For our 2011 Dodge Ram, also known as Project TowBoat, towing is its bread and butter. Doesn’t matter when, where, or the conditions outside. Its job is to tow a trailer whenever and wherever we need it. Since we’ve been upgrading this truck, hoping to create the perfect tow rig, we’ve really highlighted some of our industry’s best parts. Anything you can think of, it’s got it. But there is always room for more, right?
Thanks to our friends over at ANZO, we found the next item this truck really needs. Typically, this truck has a trailer hooked up with the race truck in tow on it. When we’re traveling around from race to race, the truck gets unhooked to head towards the hotel or wherever. One issue we run into is hooking the trailer up at night. It can easily be done with a helper but if it is just one person, visibility is a real issue. So what can be done to solve the issue?
When strumming through ANZO’s website we found an auxiliary lighting kit that looked perfect for what we needed. Imagine this- A set of lights that could illuminate the entire bed. So much light that you could easily see what was going on back there. That would make the entire process easier. So many times we’ve been hooking the trailer up alone at night and the third brake light just doesn’t emit enough light to make a difference. That’s not a problem anymore.
What Is The Issue?
Whether we’re packing up and heading home for the weekend, leaving the track late at night, or just need to use a trailer because a friend needs a tow, low light is often a problem. This has happened more than a few times and with or without help, trying to line up the gooseneck at night can be a struggle.
If we had some lighting inside the bed like some of the newer trucks, it would make this task much easier. We found this light pod kit from ANZO that features 12 LED pods attached to each other and literally, a mental light bulb came on. Pun intended. We could use these lights on the bed rails that aim down towards the trailer connection and make the hooking and unhooking procedure much easier in low light conditions.
“What if you’re leaving and it’s daylight?” Although the purpose of this truck is to tow a race truck, it also helps if your buddy calls in the middle of the night and needs a trailer? This lighting setup is a big win for trucks that tow. Why squint when you don’t have to? Between the string of pod lights on each side and the third brake light, there is plenty of light to see what you’re doing.
What Is Included?
The pod lights aren’t just pod lights, though. These are heavy-duty, off-road bed rail or rock crawler lights that include a switch too. Like most LED lights, they are small but emit a lot of light. Fitting perfectly under the bed rails of a truck bed, we’re excited to see how well they fit and do over time. Each string of lights has 12 individual pods and they are spaced out evenly making sure the lights cover a wide area.
With this light kit, you have two options. With option one, you can use the provided switch and make them power on and off with the flick of the switch inside the cab. Or, you can go with option two and wire them into a keyed accessory power circuit and keep them on anytime the key switch is in the accessory power position. We wired the light pods for full-time power. Between radio gadgets, tuning switches, a front lightbar switch, and everything else, we didn’t want or need any more switches.
Powering them was easy. Once we found the key-on power source at the license plate lights, we used some alligator clips and tapped right in. After that, it was merely running the wires safely in the bumper and through the bed where they would then attach to the string of lights on each side.
As for the light mounting, it was even easier. Each string light pod had its own 3M double-sided tape for mounting. We were hesitant at first about this mounting solution because the truck features a pretty aggressive bed liner. We were worried that even with good double-sided tape, it wouldn’t work. The good news is it does work and we’ve verified it works. Well.