This is taken from Title 49 section 571.108 para126.96.36.199:
On a trailer, the amber front side reflex reflectors and amber front side marker lamps may be located as far forward as practicable exclusive of the trailer tongue.
Example. Since my towed died I have a cargo tray (Hitch hauler) on the back of the motor home.. It's 28 inches from the rear of the MH to the rear of the Hauler tray.
Michigan law lets me go up to 4 feet before I have to put on flags or lights.
I put on lights.
(Now to be fair, I had a pair of poorly designed LED tail/turn/stop lights from China that woudl blow fuses if plugged into a car's socket,, So I re-built them and used them.. easy to do, And I put 'em to good use)
If officer Jack mule (Slightly laundered not his real name) writes me for "Protudring load" I am going to have fun. (He is a cop who has it out for me, Thankfully he don't know this ride, which spends only a few minutes a year in his town) But he wrote me 3 times on the towed that the Judge dismissed,,< Why.. Well the first one was for disregarding a traffic sign THAT DID NOT EXIST!)
Nothin adds excitment like something that is none of your business
Kenwood TS-2000 housed in a 2005 Damon Intruder 377
One question is unanswered: On a bumper-tow trailer, is the "legal" length of the trailer limited to the body itself, or is the length of the tongue counted as well?
Been towing a trailer behind my Eagle for many years and I'm very carefull about the overall Length Laws- Each State mandates the overall Length-most are 65 ft with the exception of a few.
The Hitch is always included in the overall length and that includes the tongue !
The trailer is measured from the front of the tounge, to the back of the trailer. The tounge does not need to be lit / have reflectors. I put the red and white reflective tape on the tounge of my TT, and across the back bumper. The tounge had the tape because some of hte campgrounds I frequent you drop the trailer at the front of the spot, and park behind it. I didn't want the tounge getting hit at night. The tape on the bumper is because I travel after dark, and it makes finding my trailer much easier at those campgrounds.
Thanks to everyone, although the answer seems to be evenly split between "yes" and "no". Hello, Internet!
I am leaning towards adding the extra lights. It adds some annoying wire pulls, but it's still pretty cheap, and nobody gets busted for having more lights than they need. And the main point here is safety after all.
Also, +1 on the the red/white reflective conspicuity tape, it's already in the plan.