Repairing External Lights On Older Recreational Vehicles

As you enjoy your Recreational Vehicle, the years and the miles begin to show themselves in the outdoors lights. Running lights flicker, then stop working completely; backup lights work sporadically; sign and red light do not constantly provide fair caution to other vehicle drivers.

If a bulb is blown, it will never ever work. But if it works on and off, and the filament within is sound, suspect bad connections.

No have to rush over to a repair shop to obtain the connections fixed. This is a job you can do yourself, even with no electrical knowledge. Repair shops prefer to make it appear like an extremely hard task when, in truth, it is one of the most basic tasks.

CAUTION: if the store begins discussing re-wiring your lights, dive in the cab and repel as quick as you can. Either they do not know what they are talking about, and will damaged your lorry, or they have actually marked you as an easy dupe and are about to take you for a lot of loan. Here is why:

1. The circuitry of the outside lights is extremely solidly done at the factory. The wires are stapled in location and will likely never require replacement. Nearly all troubles with outboard RV lights are due to malfunctioning ground connections, which are easy to remedy.

2. An outboard light has one wired connection, bring the +12 volt battery supply. This is the only actual wire connecting to the bulb fixtures. (Two wires for brake-signal-backup bulbs.).

3. The connection to the negative side of the battery (the ground return) is through the lorry chassis. In other words, the battery is grounded to the chassis, and the electrical circuits are usually grounded to the chassis, as well. This makes it easier to supply power to the circuits; just one physical wire has to be routed to each gadget. The negative connection for an outdoors light is an easy sheet metal screw secured through the grounded aluminum siding of the lorry.

4. Are any of the other running and signal lights working? If so, the merges are most likely OK.

Again: ensure the bulbs are still good, which the metal spring contacts are tight versus the bulb contacts. Running lights have just one filament in the bulb, while the signal-brake-backup bulbs have 2, and for that reason two wires and spring connections to the back of the bulb.

THE NORMAL PROBLEM? The grounding screw! The ground return is through a screw attached to the weakest part of the system– the thin aluminum outside siding of the Recreational Vehicle. Rough roads, rain, dirt, all help damage the connections. The older the automobile, the more these screws work their method loose. As soon as the ground screw starts to loosen even a little bit, the electrical energy begins to arc; rust collects in the joints in between the screw and the bulb connector, and in between screw and chassis.

THE FIX? Tidy up the connections. Here is how:.

1. Remove the plastic light covers. The bigger ones will have little tabs on either side: push in the tab on one side and carefully raise the cover off. The small running lights will pry off with mild pressure from behind any one of the sides.

2. Inspect the grounding screw and the metal connection to the light underneath it. You will likely see some corrosion, and the screw may even be rattling around loose.

3. Eliminate the screw and polish up the connection with some great emery cloth (not sand paper) You desire as smooth and glossy tidy a surface as possible for excellent electrical connectivity. Look behind, at the screw hole in the aluminum siding. Tidy that up, too!

4. Change the screw with a new one of the exact same size. If the screw hole in the siding has been bigger through miles of vibrations, or over-tightening, then utilize a screw one size larger in size. This will cut a slightly larger hole, making a clean, new connection.

NEVER USAGE A LONGER SCREW! You never ever understand what you may pierce behind the aluminum sheeting!

Finally, tighten the grounding screw securely in place, but not so hard that you strip the hole.

5. Older light covers have flat putty strips on the inside for waterproofing. (Many people choose instead to run a thin bead of silicone caulking around the outdoors edge of the colored lens covers to keep dirt and wetness out.) Clean away all the old putty first, though.

6. It pays to check all of the running or signifying lights when you are at it. Re-tightening ALL the screws ensures that all your lights will work well for a very long time to come.
While you are at it, clean all those colored plastic lenses: brush the dirt out and after that give them a wash-up with a little meal cleaning liquid. Your outboard lights will shine like new.

Now you are prepared for many more years of road-running with safe lights, and you will avoid fines for inappropriate lighting.