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Q&A

How can I attach a BARE (no accessories) flashlight to a rental car, to illuminate the hinterland ahead?

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My family wants to off-road. Due to COVID, we'll avoid other people to our best ability. The boondocks where we'll be driving won't have lights, let alone on roads.

I've spoken to all rental RV and car companies in the area. They confirmed they don't equip any car with extra headlights. They advised that most people attach their own flashlights to their rentals for offroading.

Presume that

  • the rental car has no roof racks

  • my flashlight got NO strap or appurtenance.

How best to mount it temporarily to the rental car or RV? I don't know if we'll be renting a car or RV yet, and I don`t know which flashlight I'm buying.

It's blindingly obvious that I can't just place the flashlight on the car's dashboard and point it forward, because the front windshield will reflect most of the light back at and blind you!

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Magnets

While not exactly the same, a few years ago when I had my car towed, I saw incredible advances in technology in such a seemingly mundane activity.

  • Tracking of the tow truck via GPS location on my phone until he got to my location
  • Radio controlled (Zigbee? Bluetooth?) flashing lights placed on the back of my car while it was being towed
  • The flashing lights placed on the back of my car while it was being towed were stuck on with a magnet

This last item, which admittedly is the least innovative (magnets are nothing new) is the relevant one here. The key is that magnets - whether in headphones, on refrigerators (I've got some super powerful ones on the refrigerator next to me that I got for almost nothing on Amazon) or for other uses are far more powerful than they used to be. The key word is "rare earth". I don't all the physics behind them, but the bottom line is that you can get really strong magnets now for a very low price, and that's ideal for holding things - including lights - to the hood (or door or trunk) of a car.

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