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

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.
"Attention seeking" has been a common and rather pejorative caricature over the years used in the criticism of a chaser who utilizes common chase vehicle accessories. But is it really a fair assessment? I say sometimes yes, more often, no.

NFL/college football fans display pride in their teams and love for the game with pennants, t-shirts, bumper stickers, jerseys, etc. In Pittsburgh you'll find black cars with Steelers stickers, license plate holders, pennants on the antenna, and Terrible Towels on the seat backs. Some black cars even have yellow stripes. When I wear a Steelers shirt, almost anywhere I go I run into a fan who enthusiastically strikes up a conversation about them.

Well yeah, but are we talking about a bumper sticker on the back of your car that says "I (heart) Severe WX"? Because I highly doubt anybody would have a problem with those.

I think it's more a matter of what "flashing light bars" means in a general sense. What kinds of vehicles have them? Police, fire, ambulance, other government or emergency vehicles; construction equipment. Things that as a typical driver you're supposed to be yielding to, making way for, or making a positive effort to stay clear of. Many people feel it is presumptive for someone who is not engaged in one of these jobs to adorn his vehicle with something that ostensibly is giving directions or commands to other drivers in a sense. The sentiment is, if you are engaged in a hobby activity, then you need to be taking steps to make sure that you stay out of traffic's way, not trying to tell traffic that it needs to keep itself out of yours. That is my impression at least.

It amazes me that so much energy is devoted to discussing and arguing about decals and light bars when there are far more egregious things being done in the storm chasing world to make us look like "idiots" and shysters.

This is one of the reasons so many veteran chasers have departed.

Because people occasionally start threads about light bars and stickers? Surely not.
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.

Russell or Trego???

Try using a heat gun to get the lettering off. A lot of auto enthusiasts use this method to get decals off of their cars.

Yeah a heat gun and a razor blade (just to lift the corners of the letters, be careful) works good for cut vinyl. If it is a 'badge' attached with foam adhesive (like 3M VHB), use dental floss in a sawing motion to cut the foam, then use Goof Off or an orange oil based gum remover (I like De-Solv-It) to dissolve the leftovers.

Just be aware unless this is a white or similar light colored car, there will be a 'ghost image' of whatever you removed, because the badge protects the paint underneath from fading, so it will be darker than the rest of the paint.
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I'd say having a light is fine as long as it isn't overkill. Don't get some Federal Signal or Whelen lightbar that's as big and bright as one on a police car, or other emergency vehicle. You could ruin other storm chaser's photos or videos, and its not all that necessary. I have a mini lightbar that isn't too bright. I have a laptop mount in my vehicle for my chase partner to use while im driving. As for decals, I have a skywarn sticker to the left of my license plate, and a custom front plate.
I've seen some deadly accidents resulting from low visibility issues. So, I have no problem with plastering a vehicle with lights, reflectors, etc., for safety purposes.

I think we can agree the big **problem** starts when such lights and warning systems are abused. For example, using colored (red, blue, etc.) emergency lights when you are not driving a registered emergency vehicle and not involved in an active emergency.
When I was active with skywarn I had a little dome yellow light I kept in the car. When I stopped off the road to watch a storm I'd just pop in on the roof ( magnetic base) plug it in the cigarette lighter until I was done then take it off.
Different states have different laws regarding the different colored lights. For instance, blue lights may be fine for a garbage truck in one state, but will be reserved for law enforcement vehicles in another. It may be unlawful to run with a certain colored light as soon as you cross the state line. There is no national standard
Different states have different laws regarding the different colored lights. For instance, blue lights may be fine for a garbage truck in one state, but will be reserved for law enforcement vehicles in another. It may be unlawful to run with a certain colored light as soon as you cross the state line. There is no national standard
Right on Todd, especially here in the Great Lake state. The thought of "hey, a lightbar would look cool and add some safety to what I do" turned into "hell no, I don't need the ticket, or the hassle in other states." Plus, I don't want to be the chaser who is blinding the 50 others who are chasing the same severe warned storm.. To @Adam's point previously, your hazard lights achieve the same thing. Anything else someone wants to do to their own vehicle to identify themselves as a chaser or spotter, the more power to them. I have a "Storm Assist" and three year old "ChaserTV" sticker on the Jeep, and that's about it, other than my dual band HAM antenna, to identify myself.
This year I had even taken my little 3x5 SKYWARN magnet off the car when I was detailing it, and never bothered to put in back on. Only real identifiable qualities to my car during this past season was my little booster antenna, the spare on the roof and the interior. And even those would only be identifiable to another chaser.

While out at night in the boonies though, I would throw on the big SKYWARN magnet, just to deter curious locals and ease the law enforcement concern when they passed by. Otherwise, it stays in the glovebox.