Routine Maintenance & Service | Winterizing Required and suggested maintenance, storage and winterizing topics.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:49 PM   #1
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Default My 1999 TowLite interior and exterior lights

Asking information about lights used by my 1999 TowLite.

All the interior lights work except the light over the shower where no 12 VDC is present. Have others had problem with that light?

A few feet away on the back wall is an ON-OFF switch. What does it control? I can't determine anything different when it is ON or OFF.

There are 5 lights on the back, top of the TowLite and 2 on the front. What are they called and how do I turn them on and off? The exterior door light works with the switch near the door, and my turn signal and brake lights work when hooked up to my tow vehicle.

The 6 interior lights draw about 1.2 amp each and can be replaced by similar lumens output LED lights that draw about 20% as much current. Are you guys having good luck with LEDs. I bet Jack and those of you boondocking with solar power are using LEDs. I haven't checked the bulbs in the exterior lights, but no guess there's another big savings of current by going to LEDs.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:45 PM   #2
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Oh, Doug - you're speaking my language when you talk LEDs. I switched ALL my interior lights to LEDs about two years after I bought my trailer, back in 2009 as I recall. At that time, I don't think I had much of a choice on the light color (the "color temperature") and it was much too high - probably about 6500K, which has a lot of blue in it. I found it was hard on my eyes and was actually difficult to read by.

In 2010 or 2011, I switched them to the "soft white" color in the living areas of the trailer, but put "daylight" color in the kitchen and bathroom. The daylight is around 5500-6000K as I recall, and the soft white is maybe 4500K? These lights have been perfect and yes, they use FAR less power than the old incandescents. In fact, I calculated that I could run ALL the LEDs and use no more power than just ONE of the incandescents. They give excellent, even lighting that is every bit as bright as the OEM ones.

I HAVE put very bright 1157 RED bulbs in the brake/turn signal housings and added a white LED for the license plate light. Notice I emphasized "RED". The red lens of the housing functions by filtering out all color except red and if you mounted white ones there, they would be dimmer than the red ones, where all the light they emit is passed through. The LEDs I installed are brighter than the OEM bulbs.

The other outside lights you spoke of are "running" lights. They are only on at night and I don't know that it's worth converting them to LEDs. They are only on if your tow vehicle lights are on.

I can't help you with the shower light, except it sounds to me like the switch you found may control it. If you aren't getting 12V there, I suspect one of the wires to it has separated. Hi-Lo uses those crappy wire nuts that are used in homes to splice wires and they can come apart. Or, an animal has chewed through one of the wires like I had happen when mice took up residence in my trailer. With patience, and a multimeter, you can find the fault.

- Jack
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:32 AM   #3
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LEDs! Hooray! Like Jack, many of us have converted to LEDs. I have a digital battery monitor that plugs into the cigarette lighter near the tv crank. With all the lights on in the trailer (indcandescents), the batt voltage dropped to 10.8v. I know this was only line voltage and not the battery state, but I then switched to all LEDs. (Had them in hand). After hot gluing the flat LEDs in place, I turned them all on and voltage drop was LESS than 1volt. Also installed red LEDs in the original brake lights AND added two LED brake light strips vertically, Trust me. cars behind SEE those lights even in daytime (I can see their eyes in my rear view camera when they are TOO close). The price of LEDs has dropped, so it does not cost as much to R & R the lights and well worth it.
As for your shower light, the thought behind it was you don't want to turn the shower light on and off while in the shower (shocks I guess). So they put a switch outside the shower that also controls the shower light. In theory, you would turn on the shower light, step in and shower the when out, turn off the shower light from outside. If it does not work like that, as Jack says, you may have a bad bulb or a wiring problem. Hope it's just the bulb, you can change that with an LED!
Tree
PS: study up on LED colors, you don't wan ALL bright white lights. Like Jack said.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:15 PM   #4
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Thank you Jack and treeclimber,
I just ordered 20 natural light 1141/1156 bulbs (~ 3200 k) on ebay for $16 including shipping. Twenty soft light bulbs, described as 2700k, cost the same, so maybe I'll order them, later. Prices sure have really gone down! I 'll also order the red 1157 bulbs for my turn indicator/ brake lights later.

Yes, you guys are correct about the shower lamp. It is controlled by the switch which I didn't notice before. I had removed the bulb and when I replaced it this morning it works so hooray- all my interior lights work!
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:39 PM   #5
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Doug, try to do some research on the lumen output of the brake lights. You want the brightest ones you can find. I got these: https://www.amazon.com/JDM-ASTAR-Bri...7+led+bulb+red and they work very well.

You may find some that are brighter now. If so get them.

There are many bulbs sold that are relatively dim. You certainly do NOT want those.

And, the 3200K bulbs you have on order should be fine. 2700K will look more "yellow".

- Jack
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