Originally Posted by Nos4r2
Define 'Dot approved'. Does it have to be approved when attached to the trailer or can it be removable? If it can,why not just build yourself a lighting board with Dot approved lights?
The DOT approval involves (I think) testing the light units themselves for things like on-axis brightness, off-axis brightness, stuff like that. The DOT approval has nothing to do with water-tightness or durability or any other real-world desirable factors. It just states that the light meets the brightness requirements.
I do not know what the penalty would be for running non-approved lights, but I would assume that, in case of an accident at night, it would open up a lot of liability issues (what doesn't), so its not really something that I would suggest taking lightly.
You certainly can build your light board with DOT approved lights, and I've seen a few smaller inflatables that have done just that. There is some spec that defines the heights that the various lights must be within, but I have no idea what those are, but I do recall that they would have come into play on my boat (assuming the board would be mounted on top of the tubes.)
Personally, I think I would find removing and installing the light bar to be something of a hassle. That's just me, though. I can see how it would add to the longevity of the units themselves, though.
How do you guys wire the board to the trailer (if at all)? Is it on a pigtail going to a connector mounted on the trailer, or are you just using wiring direct from the tow vehicle with the wiring separate from the trailer?