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After reading so many helpful posts in this forum, I have decided to give back and share a fix for the interior cargo light problem that the 4.3 RAV4 has. My solution to this issue comes in 2 forms. I have found Dot-It-Lights made by Sylvania to be a good solution to this problem. For a low tech solution, simply remove the backing on these long lasting LED lights and stick them in the rear Cargo area. They press inward to turn on-off. Now for the better (high tech) solution. You will need 3 of these Dot-It- Lights.
1) Remove the batteries from the back of the unit by removing the 3 screws.
2) On the left rear interior of the RAV4, remove the screws holding the panel in place.
3) With some force, pull the panel off (you will hear the pins snap).
4) You will now be able to see the plugs that wire up the rear accessories. You need to locate the white connector furthest away from you. When you unplug this disconnect, you can verify you have the correct connection by trying the rear door light while the rear door is open. The light should not turn on. Now we need to locate the correct pins that wire up the rear tail light. The Pins are the ones on the the inside end of the plug.


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The pins on the rightmost side of the above diagram are the power and ground for the rear door light.

If you use 24AWG solid wire you can tap this plug without cutting any wires by inserting the wires from behind.

5) Now that you have the power and ground tapped, you need to solder some 24 AWG wire to the Dot-it-lights. You can visually see the wires that hook up to the battery connections. Red is positive and yellow is negative.

6) Mount the Dot-it-Lights where you feel they are best needed. I have drilled a small hole in the back of the lights in order to hide the wires.

7) Connect the Dot-it-Lights Positive to Negative.

8) When this is finished you should have one positive end and one negative end free and available. These connections connect to the power connections from step 4.

8) Connect the power from step 4 to the connections from step 8 and see if the Dot-it-Lights come on with the rear door open. If it does not work reverse the connections and try again.

9) Carefully solder all connections and cover them with heat shrinkable tubing.

The set of 3 LED lights will consume about .5W per hour.
If you left these LED lights on all night, your vehicle will start with no problem.

Your rear tailgate light will function as it did before.

Sit back and see the light .....ok the success of your hard work.

Last but not least...please be careful when working on you vehicles wiring. Do not short any pins in the wiring harness or connectors. If you take your time you will have success with this project.
 

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Are these the same lights that someone else tried but found that the self adhesive on the lights was not aggressive enough to hold in high temps??
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I personally do not like the battery operated solution. I have attached (hard wired) these lights using wire ties (wraps) and using the 3M glue back that these lights come with. Without the batteries, the lights have very little weight. One word of caution.. If you wire these lights into your electrical system ...then you must wire 3 of them in series. If you use less than 3 of them they will burn out. If you use 4 of them it may not light. I will try to post pictures of the final mod and I will also try to post a diagram of the setup. It sounds harder that it actually is to complete this mod. I will try to answer any questions posted re:this issue.
 

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I have one stuck on that little cover near the center of the back rear roof and one on the side removable jack storage door and it has reached 92 deg. here and so far they are holding fine.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I considered a solution similar to the one you have found but I realized that the accessory outlet does not work unless the vehicle is on. This solution would not work for me.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
The Energizer LED headlamp is powered by 3 AAA batteries that last for 50 hours. There's no need to use the 12V cargo outlet.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Then it is similar to the Dot-it-lights that I have proposed. Sounds like a good solution.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Because the LED headlamp comes with a strap, I'm able to strap it to the tailgate pouch net. With this method, it's much easier to change the batteries after 50 hours of usage. Note that the headlamp is adjustable to 135 deg.
I realize you could also cut off the strap and use velcro tape to attach it to any plastic trim in the cargo area.
 

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I just found one of these Dot-it lights at Lowes and bought it remembering this thread. It looks to me like the optimal placement for it is on the ceiling on the cover to the center child seat anchor. Anyone tried putting one there?

I'm also skeptical about the apply/release/re-apply adhesive, and wonder if it might be better to use a small square or circular piece of velcro to attach the Dot-it to the anchor cover. That way, I can just separate the velcro to replace batteries or if I want to go "hand held" with it. Anyone tried that?
 

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BarnyFife said:
That is where mine is, and it has stayed there, but you do have to pull it off to replace the batteries.
I don't suppose you've had to unstick it yet? I wonder how hard that's going to be to do without damaging the anchor cover, and whether it really will restick?
 

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njl said:
I just found one of these Dot-it lights at Lowes and bought it remembering this thread. It looks to me like the optimal placement for it is on the ceiling on the cover to the center child seat anchor. Anyone tried putting one there?

I'm also skeptical about the apply/release/re-apply adhesive, and wonder if it might be better to use a small square or circular piece of velcro to attach the Dot-it to the anchor cover. That way, I can just separate the velcro to replace batteries or if I want to go "hand held" with it. Anyone tried that?
My Dot-t light is located on the child seat anchor cover. I found the Dot-it light adhesive less than ideal during the warm weather months. I put a 3M mounting strip (http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Command/home/us_en/products/mounting_strips/) on the light to hold it to the child seat anchor cover and it's held fine for the last four months.
 

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AndreLaplume said:
Anyone tried that 3M tape they stick auto molding with...or must you be able to get the sucker off to change the batteries?
I've used the sticky backing on the Dot-It and it always falls off. Might be days, might be months, but it invariably ended up flopping down to the cargo floor. I finally gave on sticking it along the cargo wall when it stuck onto the carpeting, picking up a lot of lint and debris in the process. Maybe I'll try using some 3M Command adhesive or something -- really don't want to cut or drill into any panels just to mount a miniature taplight.
 

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I used sticky velcro on so that I can take it down when I need to change the battery.
So far it has not fallen down.
 
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