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Old 11-14-2013, 09:54 AM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
Atlanta , Georgia
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Rear Brake / Backup Lights Upgrade

We're repairing / replacing rear brake and backup bulbs lenses etc.. on our 31 Sovereign rear bath. Any advice on removal replacement or LEDs would be helpful. Looks like at a minimum I have some cracked lenses. I assume I can remove the piece holding the lights as a single unit but haven't tried yet.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:03 AM   #2
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I am not too familiar with which light/lens setup you have, but LED4RV has replacements for several AS types.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:28 PM   #3
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Removing old bulbs

Here is a picture of what I'm working with. The bulbs are heavily corroded at the bottom and working them out has been difficult. The holder itself is also rusted out. I'd prefer not to gut the bathroom just to get at these lights. If I cut out the light holder is there enough wire connected to it to install new lights? Are they two wire with ground or do they ground to the backing?

Has anyone removed their bulb holders that could recommend the best method? As I try to remove the bulbs they are quite loose.

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Old 11-15-2013, 07:23 AM   #4
1971 31" Excella 500
 
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Taillight repair 1969-1973 Models

On these models, each metal can is held in place with two original rivets on the back face. Drill out each rivet with a 1/8" bit, then gently pry out the metal can with a flat blade screw driver and a rag to prevent any scratches. Be gentle, the aluminum taillight housing if fragile.

There are connector plugs behind to disconnect the unit from the wire harness. Check condition of wire for any worn insulation and replace if necessary.

Clean or replace the 1156 bulb socket if corroded for the taillight/turn center unit,
Clean or replace the 1157 bulb socket for the backup lights
Por15 rust system works great if the metal cans can be cleaned up and painted. If not, replace.
Vintage trailer supply has them.


BAY15D Bulb Socket for 1157 Bulb

Out -of -doors mart has LED upgraded lens units that plug into your Bulb socket. They come with new gaskets and SS screws. Original SignalStat Regular lens are available from Trucklite model 9021 (red) 9021W (clear)

LED Sealed STT for Airstream units from 1965-74 STT65-74AS [STT65-74AS] - $29.95 : Out-of-Doors Mart!, More Airstream Parts on-line than anyone!

Aluminum taillight housing is attached from inside with six 1/8" rivets to the shell, then a plastic interior housing is sealed from the interior behind the interior wall. If yours is intact and secure to the shell, just calk the perimeter of the housing.


Take your time, do a good job, secure everything, and the lights will be bright, have a good ground, and be safe for road use.

Hope this helps you.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razinni View Post
Here is a picture of what I'm working with. The bulbs are heavily corroded at the bottom and working them out has been difficult. The holder itself is also rusted out. I'd prefer not to gut the bathroom just to get at these lights. If I cut out the light holder is there enough wire connected to it to install new lights? Are they two wire with ground or do they ground to the backing?

Has anyone removed their bulb holders that could recommend the best method? As I try to remove the bulbs they are quite loose.

The cans are usually held in place with a couple of rivets.

Simply drill them out or shear them off.

There are some LED tail lights and backup lights available, that directly fit into those round 4 inch sockeys.

Andy
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:01 PM   #6
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Can someone give me an idea of where the rivets might be? I'm a few miles away from the trailer.

Maybe in this picture it might be easier to point out.

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Old 11-16-2013, 02:49 PM   #7
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I was able bezel off as you can see in the photo but I really couldn't stop myself so not only did I remove both sides but I also opened up all the other rear light fixtures. 100% had corrosion and failed bulbs. This trailer sat in a park for nearly 10 years and while internal electrical both AC and 12dc work no attention was ever paid to the driving lights. I've had to manually connect the plug at the front of the trailer but now I don't really have a way to test anything. I can confirm that the rear bumper is a good ground but with my vehicle hooked up I don't think their is enough resistance for me to test. In other words if I attach one wire to the bumper and the other side of my cheap tester to the bare wires I don't complete a connection. Do I need to get a multimeter? I'm ordering bulb replacements so just not sure how to confirm my wiring.
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:40 PM   #8
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Between the lights and the plug in front is there another location where I can easily check power to the various tail lights?
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:58 AM   #9
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You need to learn the basics of both wiring and your specific trailer manual complete with all information and wiring schematics available from the Airstream company on their website before beginning any projects. All information is available to study online including the invaluable experiences of the Airforums. Stop, take two weeks to educate yourself of your airstream's systems before attempting any repairs.

Proper repairs are necessary due to the road vibration, moisture, and temperature variations when these trailers are in use. Proper electrical connections are critical to the safety and operation of the 12V light system.

Your Airstream has three distinct electric systems.
The 110V system
The 12V system
The 12V Tow Vehicle system

The Rear Taillights are part of the 12V Tow Vehicle system. Power is activated through the 7 way Tow Vehicle connector. They only have power when the brake are activated on the tow vehicle.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:12 AM   #10
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The filaments for the brake lights is the same filament used for turn signals in most cases. You can check that circuitry by connecting the UCord, then turn on the emergency flasher in the TV.
Tail and marker lights should come on with the head light switch of the TV.
The electric brakes are activated by the brake controller. Either manually with the slide bar or automatically when you step on the brake pedal.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:06 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replies. Sometimes I don't describe my issue very well. I had removed all bulbls and was down to bare wires. I was grounding to my bumper and testing to see if I was getting tail lights and not seeing anything. I've matched the color at the plug but it appears that I don't have connectivity to the light fixture and was looking for somewhere along the way that I could test other than at the plug or at the fixture itself.
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