Brake lights, is it legal

I recently purchased a tow bar and had my brake lights wired by Camping World. The over the cab brake light does not work when being towed. I told Camping World about this and they tell me that the harness provided with the does not include the third light. Does anyone know this is legal? Or, do I have a fight on my hands? Camping World says they have wired many vehicles this way. It semms to me that if a car is equipped with a third brake light it should work at all times, but if it is legal, so be it. Thanks, Terry
Brake lights, is it legal

Is it legal or not? I don't know, however I know on my TOAD, the third brake light does not work from the M/H wiring harness.
Upon investigation, I found that in my Saturn, in order for me to make the third brake light work, I would have to install an additional diode assembly and a relay to furnish power to the third light.
Decided to leave well enough alone, and not screw with the internal wiring.
In over 70,000 miles towing this Saturn, I have never been stopped by Law Enforcement because that brake light is inoperative, however the two brake lights on the rear fenders are operational.

Gary B

Senior Member
Brake lights, is it legal

HI Terry6, I also have towed 25000+ miles without the 3rd brake light. I am not sure that it is required at least not here in MN, and like Troubleshooter, when I set up my new to me, 99 Dakota I am not going to get into trying to get the 3rd B light to operate, just to involved. In fact the next time your on the road just make a note of brake light set ups, you'll notice many have the magnetic lights and there are only the 2 that set on the outter coners. Happy traveling. :) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: :approve:
Brake lights, is it legal

Thanks Troubleshooter, that's what Camping World told me. They have never had a problem, my only concern is, at least here in California it is no longer just a fix-it ticket, it's a $150.00 fine for equipment violations. I know what you mean about the wiring harness, that can also cause big trouble. I'm thinking that since we take my motorcycle (blocking the third brake light) in the back of our truck, and the truck is wired to pull a trailer I might wire in to my motorcycle brake light. Easy fix, just make a harness and pull two wires to disconnect from the bike electical system. Just thinking out loud. :) Thanks again, Terry


Senior Member
Brake lights, is it legal

Terry, contact the highway patrol and asked them or contact your BMV for guidance.
I tow on a dolly and do not put any extra lights on the towed vehicle, but the dolly has lights on the fenders which protrude outside of the towed vehicle on the sides. Never been stopped yet in quite a few states and through downtown in some areas and on interstates.
Brake lights, is it legal

Thanks ARCHER, my wife and I went out for dinner tonight and on the way home we past a dive-in that CHP frequent, and I pulled in and spoke with one of the officers'. I asked him if I would be be cited if the third brake light was not working, he said I would not as long as the two brake lights were working, and that third light was just an auxiliary light. I want to thank you all again for the help you have given me on this and other questions I have asked, and a great web site. Keep it right side up. ;) :laugh: