Unobtrusive, yet Conspicuous

I wanted to increase the night visibility of my RV when it’s parked. It’s white, but not reflective and thus doesn’t really attract a driver’s attention.

3M and others make “Conspicuity” tape which contains retro-reflectors. You see it on school buses, and trucks wider than 80″ or weighing more than 10,000 pounds are required to mark their trailers with 2″ wide conspicuity tape. This has resulted in a reduction in rear-end collisions. So, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to have it on your RV.

The problem is that the versions usually used are ugly. They’re alternating white and red, or yellow. So they aren’t just reflective at night, they’re obtrusive during the day.

But you can get white conspicuity tape. This is the best of both worlds: unobtrusive during the day, reflective at night. Your RV won’t look like a school bus or a 10-wheeler.

3M’s product is the best quality, incorporating glass corner reflectors with a claimed brightness of four times that of their competitors. But it’s pricey: about a dollar per foot. On eBay I found an acceptable no-name white conspicuity tape that claimed to meet DOT C2 standards at $45 for a 2″ by 150′ tape, including shipping. This is enough to treat the typical RV.

I applied mine to the plastic corners of my Trailmanor (which were yellowing and needed something to brighten them up anyway), to the lifting rods (in their horizontal, closed position) the bumper, and to the top edge of the trailer.

I drove my car around the trailer at night to test the reflection. It really stands out now! But during the day you would probably not notice the white tape at all.

I’ll try to get some night photos and upload them to this post.