Manufacturers never put adequate lighting in the back of their vehicles for 4×4 touring purposes.

WHEN YOU ARE CAMPING or working out of your vehicle at night the standard lights just aren’t bright enough. But with the advent of LED strip lights there’s an easy solution.

I purchased a couple of rigid, aluminium led lighting strips with a rotary dimmer from Ebay for cheap. I popped the lift gate plastic fascia off of one side and then drilled a few holes for the light strip retaining clips. I drilled another hole for the wiring and fed it behind the fascia. The aluminium strips are quite easy to bend so I moulded them to fit the curve of the rear lift gate and popped them into the mounting clips.

I then used some high strength double sided tape to attach the other light strip to the top of the rear window. Again, some bending was needed to get the correct curvature for a flush mount. I mounted the rotary dimmer with some of the double sided sticky tape and put it within easy reach and fed the rest of the wires behind the fascia. I could have run the wires through the rubber wiring loom protector that goes from the lift gate to the rear of the Everest but I didn’t want to get too fancy so I connected the wiring to a 12 volt plug and attached it to my rear battery system. I ran the wire along the top corner, along the fridge slide and straight to the 12 volt outlets on my rear spare battery. This was so I never have to worry about draining the main battery.

I did consider wiring it to the rear factory interior light so it would come on with the rest of the interior lights but I often turn those off when camping to conserve the starter battery. Now I have all the lighting I need and can adjust the brightness levels as desired for those romantic evenings up in the High Country.

Job done!

While this modification is for the Everest, similar changes can be made to any 4×4. LEDs draw very little current, so can replace the existing interior lights. Here’s an example for a Discovery 3, with two LEDs, one facing out, one facing in.


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About Author

Michael Haworth

I am a long term off-road driving enthusiast. I have owned a variety of four wheel drives which have included a 60's FJ40 Landcruiser, a Discovery, a Jeep Wrangler, a Defender, and a Ford Everest. I have a very particular set of requirements for my vehicles to be both comfortable day to day and yet very capable off-road. I am a gadget nut as well so I am the one usually running three GPS systems and a live diagnostic suite from the OBD port.

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