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Discussion Starter #1
If you have a Traverse-- or Outlook/Acadia/Enclave and have the factory tow option- then these directions are for you.
If you dont have the factory tow option- then youll have to figure out how to wire up your lights.

I originally made this rack for my 03 Trailblazer. I once used the rack on a long 3200 mile trip (no lights). On the trip I was always concerned that I would get rear ended or someone would not see the rack in the dark and get too close and bang.... So I opted to add LED lights for the next trip.
You can add the old style big square box lights--- but these are slim- and when on the LEDs are BRIGHT!

The rack I bought- is available at Harbor freight. Usually on sale for $50-$80.
This rack will become so valuable-- its a great bang for your buck. I use it to carry cargo on long trips--- but more often I use it to carry stuff that can leak in the interior of the vehicle.



On the Traverse--- the factory connector is referred to as a Round 7-wire. (The 4-wire plug is called a Flat 4 and WILL NOT plug into the Traverse w/o using an adapter.
Here is the connector I ordered-

http://www.etrailer.com/pc-TEC~H20042.htm

I bought the LED Slimline Stop, Tail, Turn Light with Reflectivity (they also have the NON reflective) but for a few more bucks-- why not add have the reflective ones....
http://www.innovativelight.com/slimline-stop-tail-turn-light-with-reflectivity_p_1477_11598_10.cfm

Here are the lights as they are delivered.




I wrapped up the LED lamps wires with Electrical tape. Simply to make them neat




Note that the lamps have a small stub where the wires come out of--- on my rack I drilled a hole to allow the lamps to sit flush with the metal.
I also drilled small holes- where 2 small nuts/bolts will be fastened to hold the lamp in place (for left and right side or rack)



Here I mounted. added more color coded wire (to add more lenght) soldered and shrink wrapped the connections. I then wrapped all the wiring up to make it neat.




Here I have both sides installed and I zip tied the cables to the underside of the rack- I did this because I dont want loads putting weight on cables and possibly pinching them while in transit- As you can see theyre wrapped in electrical tape and neatly zip tied so that they dont hang- and possibly get snagged by roadway debris.






Here I am making the connections to the 7 way connectors wires.
Also note that I tied off and covered the wires from the 7 way connector that I wont be using in this application.
I believe the factory connectors door- has an image of what the pins are for.




Here the wiring has all been wrapped in electrical tape- all wiring is zip tied underneath and as close to metal where it can be protected from road debris. Keep it neat. (before you wrap it all up- use a meter to check for continuity- for example- that a green wire at the beginning is still a green wire at the end)





Here is an underside shot of the factory hitch- (im laying down- looking up)- with the rack installed and the 7 way connector plugged in.
when you lift the tab on the factory electrical connection point--- the 7 way connector will only plug in 1 way- as there is a tab on the connector .
Also- with the lid open- there is a tab on it and on the connector- that holds the cable on place. it wont come loose until you lift up the tab and pull the cable.






Here is a side shot of the rack.... please note that I added red/white reflective tape...
Why? At night- drivers cant see the black rack- so for safety- I added the reflectors. I believe Wal Mart is where I bought strips of these- in the towing section.



Here is a night shot- of the brakes applied on my Trailblazer. (Couldnt wait for nightfall to take pics of the Traverse with rack).
The LEDS are bright--- especially for traffic directly behind you.
Like said- these LEDs will signal left and right. stop (brakes) and will turn on with the driving lamps. They also flash with your emergency flashers.



These are just the PARKING lamps... nice and bright- Note the Upper 3rd brake light is off.


 

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That's an interesting project you have there. One thing concerns me - what is the legality of masking your rear license plate?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good question. Good concern.
In the past- on my Trailblazer. it sits higher. and if I packaged the cargo right- plate was visible.
On the Traverse the plate is totally blocked.
For long trips- I will simply remove plate and afix to the exterior of the cargo. Be it zip ties, wire, shrink wrap-- by looking at the pics--
The plate can easily be mounted on the rack itself... I would just drill 2 more holes and attach the plate-- essentially right in the middle....
For short trips- ill just wing it...... At the current time- I still have not received my new plates... still have the dealer plates on.
 

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MartinC said:
That's an interesting project you have there. One thing concerns me - what is the legality of masking your rear license plate?
Depends on where you live. Check your state laws. OK in some, not OK in others.
 

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Very Nicely done... I just had a hitch installed yesterday for just this purpose. I did not get a light kit because I do not want to ever actually tow anything. That is what my Excursion is for.

I have used one of these on a truck I owned and I was rear-eneded in a drive thru lane. I may have to check into the light option.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
being rear ended-- is one of the reason for the lights... and for added safety- if the rack is empty--- I will place a small empty box back there as an additional 'cue' to the person behind me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Interesting. I have never seen that model.
interesting that they also use a trailblazer- like my other car... which I originally used it on...
My 1st thought- is that it looks too narrow. I think they have to keep it narrow to give the aluminum strenght.
make the aluminum too long and it loses strenght?
I like the one I have- because of its size... thats the only thing I can think.
On mine- Ive gone to a store that sells boxes (for moving) and bought boxes with the perfect dimensions for mine.. and they fit perfect.
 

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What is yours made out of? I am wondering if Aluminum may be the way to go in the rust belt up here.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
metal- (iron,steel, whatever metal the chinese used to build it----rustable).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just adding an images to this thread..

this image- is the reflector on the BUMPER and the LED lamps- glowing from the camera flash,


this image- its the LED lamps ON- via the Parking lamps. (they get brighther with brakes- note 3rd brake lamps is not on)




same rack on my 03 Trailblazer... plenty of weight on it.

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Versatile tool...
Keep the manure smell outside.
Or help carry an ice chest- Milk included-- for the baby. (we used a cup plugged into the power port to warm up his milk--- Ideal for cross country trips!)









 

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I finally did it! After a little help from rbarrios I have a hitch carrier much like his. The carrier itself I ordered from Harbor Freight is a little different than his but I used the same lights and connector he did. I had a little problem getting the wires connected correctly but finally figured it out.

I did have a little problem in that the license plate lights did not allow me to fully get the hitch pin in. After a little persuading with a ball peen hammer ::) I dimpled where they were hitting and then put some cushions between the carrier and the license plate lights and I'm good to go.

I've attached a couple of pictures of the finished product.

Ron
Baldie88""
 

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Discussion Starter #14
very very cool....
Glad someone made one of these.
Make sure to add pics of your rack in 'action'.

On yours- the rack is hard to see too... Im guessing the color of the vehicle and bumper.
Good thing for the lights and the reflective tape--- that will really let others know you have the rack back there.

Your LED lamps are also the alternate version of these... Solid red enclosure.

Mine are clear plastic- with clear around the led bulbs- and reflective red within the lamp... that reflects when lights hits them
I cant tell if yours have a reflector within.

But these are the 2 versions available if someone prefers the color better over clear.
 

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Thanks. The carrier is black and the Traverse is cyber gray so there is more of a contrast in person that what is in the pictures. But I figured the more reflective tape the better. I decided to go with the red lenses and yes they are reflective.

I'm not sure how much I will use it. If I have really big or messy stuff I can borrow a friends truck. What I really wanted it for was when we go on vacation with 6 in the Traverse, now I have more space to put suitcases and anything else.

Ron
"Baldie88"
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That hitch can 'dissapear' very easily once someone is behind you in a low car...

I also put a locking hitch pin on it-- Im sure someone would love to take it when its empty.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Can people see the pics in the original post?
I noticed theyre pointing at my old earthlink acct.... which I have not had in a while- yet I can see pics...
But its possible others cant...
 

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Yes I still see all your original pictures.

Ron
"Baldie88"
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I dont know how theyre appearing-if I got rid of that acct 2 yrs ago.. hmmmm
 

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If you right click on a picture and go to "properties", it still shows your earthlink.net address but with today's date. Usually when you deactivate an account everything is deleted as well however I still get forwarded emails from an old email address I used 6 years ago. Go figure.

Ron
"Baldie88"
 
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