The storm chaser vehicle "look": stickers and other items

Im live and let live to a point. I can't help but get irritated at people who use fancy gizmos and stickers to come off as a chaser when they couldnt chase their way down their own drivey without GPS guidance. People start to answers those cries for attention and put faith in those individuals. IMO thats false advertising, or fraud. Be what you want, as long as you are real about it.

If youre a novice there are two types of responses. If they're upfront and say "Yea this is my 1st/2nd year out there im learning a lot and cant wait to learn more" or "I am out there conducting important life saving research for the betterment of mankind" it really says a lot about that persons character and what their true agendas are. I find myself gravitating towards, and having more respect for the former as opposed to the later.
All of that aside, I am convinced that there are certain police officers who profile storm chasers and selectively target them for greater scrutiny when it comes to certain classifications of traffic/moving citations. Some LEOs do not like storm chasers, or they have an issue with the hobby in general, and I believe some of the chaser accounts when these chasers have reported that they feel they were on the receiving end of a citation whenever the police officers realized they were a storm chaser, simply because they were out chasing in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I was told last year the Sherriff of the county next to mine informed his troopers to follow chasers and pull them over any chance they far as it being true...unconfirmed. As for my current vehicle, I'm not going through the trouble of putting all the stuff on it again. Only thing differentiating me from normal traffic is my Storm Assist bumper sticker.
I think anything more than one or two small decals or emblems is overkill or obnoxious.

Radio antennas and roof mounted instruments are certainly useful for communicating with others who are out on the same storm (perhaps with a different vantage point) or for your own amusement (e.g., to see if you sampled severe winds). Hail guards can be useful, but they do tend to make people's vehicles look even more goofy in my opinion. Regardless...

...will you see me using these things? Highly unlikely.
Will I poke fun at those who go overboard and drive around like a Hollywood billboard and talk sh1t about them behind their backs? Hell yes!
Do they have every right to use these things? As long as it's within the law, absolutely.

My vehicle looks very plain - I don't use any exterior decoration or equipment. Everything I use is inside the vehicle. I have thought about purchasing a plain black-and-white "STORM CHASER" bumper sticker, though, just for sh1ts and giggles, and to be obnoxious in my own way.

I agree with everything here. Although I have seriously been thinking about something I can attach and remove quickly, just to save the windshield. Even though im fully insured, its still a pain to have to get one replaced. But I wouldnt put huge expanded steel grates over anything. Im trying to figure out a quick, easy to attach and remove awning of sorts. But definitely nothing that sticks out.
I don't understand the "look at me" attitude, but I did once have a lightbar on my truck in my first year of chasing. I realized pretty quickly it was stupid and didn't even turn it on more than once or twice.

I'm to the point where I don't have anything on my car identifying me as a chaser, but you can tell with the laptop, camera mounts, ham radio antenna and the impossible-to-read Oklahoma NWC tag.

I don't really care what others do, but I really like to publicly poke fun at those who drive a look-at-me-tank or even look-at-me-car and haven't seen a tornado or only seen 1 recent, well observed tornado. You don't need a look-at-me-tank until you start getting lots of up close footage. If you have no footage from less than a mile away, save your benjamins.
I don't have a problem with whatever anyone wants to do. I chase about the same I chased back in 2003, I've just added an iPhone and maybe a tablet into the car but otherwise you'd never be able to tell I was chasing. I like it that way to stay incognito and just kind of move in and out of places without much attention, it suits my personality much better. So long as you aren't breaking any laws, do whatever you want -- just don't be surprised if you catch some jabs from people if you go over the top ;)
Well i am guilty of having 3 custom chase vehicles in my team and yes stickers as well. However these stickers are for my sponsors to make them happy. I will be using high powered floods on my rig this year but its for only night time conditions in areas where there is absolutly no light and no one else is on the road.
I usually chase using a rental car, therefore I keep a low profile. I slap on a couple of small magnetic mount Skywarn stickers and one with my website. My antennas include one for the MiFi and amateur radio. As I often rent cars that are similar to unmarked police cars, I've had people slow down in front of me until the see that I am a storm chaser. Although some may feel targeted by law enforcement, I think having some visible indication of being a chaser puts the police officer at ease when they pull up to investigate. Over the years, I have had police officers stop by while I've been parked in random places late at night. The chase decals show the officer that I am less likely to be some weird druggy engaged in illegal activity. As for others, I have no problems as long as it is legal. I really like Dan's analogy with sports fans. No matter how we express it outwardly, we all love storms.

Bill Hark
I'll admit, I have a bumper sticker I bought from a group, but it's on my bumper, not very visible... and a Skywarn sticker in my window I picked up after my first Skywarn class. I do have reflective tape on the back of my vehicle, but that was when I thought it was cool to have it because all the other volunteer firefighters in town had it too, I have been too lazy to remove it. It makes me more visible at night when headlights shine on it, but that's it.

As far as police go, I have had my share of police stop to see what I was doing, but the minute they saw the camera, they drove off. A few have asked what I was up to, but the minute I say anything about lightning/storm photography, night photography. They always tell me I'm good to go about my business. I have never been harrassed by cops. I enjoy chasing, both for the awe of nature and for the opportunity to help.
I've never been a fan of being the center of attention so a low profile approach works for me. I do have a small skywarn magnet that sometimes will be on my vehicle, but more times than not, it's not there. I don't have a website to drive traffic to and I am completely in it for the trophy and wall hanger photos. If I am stopped on the side of the road or at fuel stop, I'd rather someone wanting to meet up to talk to me, and not my vehicle.
I use my truck on the family farm a lot, so chasing is secondary with regards to anything I do on my vehicle. I'm not a huge photographer either; that's more just to remember things more than anything so I can capture the moment for myself. If it weren't for the farm or needing pulling capacity, I'd probably have an AWD vehicle like a Rogue or Subaru.

I'm indifferent on the issue as a whole. To each their own. At some point I'll have more antennas as I get into other bands of ham radio, but for now it's just a 2m/70cm antenna.
Don't mind a little flare on a chase vehicle. Believe light bars are over the top. No one should be looking like an emergency response vehicle unless they are one. I will say have a few magnets. Skywarn & one with our logo/websites. Like having them mainly for farmers. It least the Skywarn magnet. The are ever so suspicious when you're parked close to their fields or silos. Once they see the magnet, usually get a wave or nice comment. Way better then a shotgun pointed at ya. It's happened before.
Regarding stickers, in my ChaserTV days, we had stickers made (courtesy of @KendraReed) but first we consulted with our lawyer regarding liability issues with signage. We were advised at the time to make the sticker no larger than 4"x4". The reasoning was that if someone is supplying content to our website while also sporting stickers, magnets, wraps, etc., then gets into an accident, CTV would also be named in any potential litigation as a third party due to the vehicle being perceived as "commercial". Whether we could ever actually be implicated in such a matter is a gray, case-by-case area, but we would have had to lawyer up and deal with instances as they arose which can be expensive, as you can imagine.
So, you guys who have incorporated "teams" and companies that offer a service accessible to the public and have advertising on your vehicles, keep this in mind and potentially save yourself some hardship.
I'm a whacker...:p

Actually this vehicle rarely sees storms, it's purely advertising for the company. When I do chase, I fly out and catch a ride with someone else or rent a vehicle, if necessary. Last time this vehicle saw a supercell was in 2010. @Shane Adams even launched it over a deer, "Dukes of Hazard" style.


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I'm a whacker...:p

Actually this vehicle rarely sees storms, it's purely advertising for the company. When I do chase, I fly out and catch a ride with someone else or rent a vehicle, if necessary. Last time this vehicle saw a supercell was in 2010. @Shane Adams even launched it over a deer, "Dukes of Hazard" style.

Guilty as charged LOL. Driving back towards Kansas overnight from our epic 5-22-10 South Dakota "missed everything by 17 minutes" bust, nailing a very dead deer splayed across the center line was just the icing on the cake. Fortunately we had the where-with-all to radio back to @KendraReed and let her know to back it down before she nailed it as well. Silver lining, we did document a couple nocturnal tornadoes in NW Kansas the next evening.
I'll admit, when I was first getting started with the tv station I chase for (KAMR) in Amarillo (2001), I liked the attention that I got from having stickers on my vehicle. I thought I was hot stuff when people looked at me and gave me attention. It made me feel good, but now that I've grown up, I don't care about stickers anymore. I just like to chase whether I look like a chaser or not.
No Drew, no video...Shane and Bridget were driving my vehicle, I was lagging behind in another like Shane stated after an epic fail missing Bowdle by minutes.

I should also plug @Shane Adams company, Deep Blue Graphics in Grand Prairie, TX for making the back window logo for me.
I'd much rather read a thread about lights and stickers than a thread full of complaining about people that talk about lights and stickers. Concerning the topic, for me personally, there is nothing more annoying than to have police pull up behind me checking me out when out shooting lightning at night. One year it seemed I was questioned almost every outing. It is not just coincidence that when I added a couple of small flashing amber lights at the back corners of my cab, my visits with law enforcement went to almost zero. My assumption is they understand that a person that is up to no good is not going to advertise their position with a locating beacon. When I am mobile I turn them off. Or maybe it is a reflective sticker that works the magic for some, but it definitely works. Standard flashers don't work. Folks then assumer that you are in need of assistance and it seems they draw more attention. I have even had law enforcement stop then tell me not to use them unless I needed assistance. Other than that I want to go unnoticed and be left alone, so I can view the awesomeness of nature and take a few photos. That is really the only reason I'm out there regardless of what I'm "chasing".
An overkill of stickers is annoying, no matter what the subject of the stickers. I always have enjoyed having a couple stickers on my car, but most are not chasing related. Anymore, all I have is a one weather related sticker. Nothing too obvious. My antenna or camera dome will probably draw much more attention, but their benefits outweigh any trouble they bring, unlike most stickers. My camera dome is really quite subtle (compared to my last).

My one wx sticker -

A separate set of amber lights are not the same as having emergency lights on. That extra ambers catch someone's attention better, just by being different and they are located higher. I have only used them a couple of times while chasing, when I am stopped on the side of the road. Have used them a lot more when out taking photos, like Joshua said. You get a lot less visits from police about what you are doing and people dont think you are broke down either. The lights have come in handy other times. I saw this semi get knocked over near Canyon, TX on the leading edge of a storm. The truck was sticking out into a lane on the bridge and people had stopped to help him. Given the heavy rain, others coming down the interstate would have not had much braking distance. So I whip around and stopped at the other end of the bridge off on the shoulder with ambers on. I only stayed till emergency vehicles were there. They definitely come in handy, even if they are only used once a year. I will say though, someone running a light bar/ambers/emergency flashers when I am right behind you driving down the road deserves to be punch in the throat. You have to learn when to use it.

Simple but effective (through tint even at an angle)-
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Hate to post again, but in relation to this thread. I saw a fairly new chaser on facebook showing a video of his chase vehicle. He was highlighting the weather station on top, the light bars in the front windshield and back window, the added flashing lights in his headlights and taillights, his magnets for his chaser group, and his computer inside. Pretty sure everyone will be able to see him when it comes to chasing this year. He seems like a good kid, very excited to be chasing. But he may be going overboard just a bit...
As has been said before new chasers get excited and sometimes carried away with the lights, stickers, equipment etc.. After a while they begin to realize what is truly necessary and what can be discarded. For me I really don't care what anyone else puts on their ride so long as they chase safely, don't block the roads or otherwise cause a hazard to others.
I'm a car guy, was for just as long as I was a severe weather enthusiast. So adding fun stuff to the car just seem cool. Wasn't about proving anything to anyone, just thought it looked cool. Kinda like various movie or TV cars.

Of course, with time while chasing, I learned there were a number of negatives with having lots of stuff on the vehicle. Unwanted attention, from locals to thieves made me go more toward the 'stealth' mode. I still have stickers on my car, but now they are geocaching and instagram related.