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Old 06-14-2006, 02:28 AM   #1
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LED tail lights.

I thought I had a cheap solution for LED lights, but I ordered several different samples from superbrightleds.com just to be sure. I wanted to try them out side by side. This is the one that I hoped would work, since they're only $10 a piece.
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Old 06-14-2006, 02:32 AM   #2
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Just for fun I bought one of these, but I was sure it would be too big. Once I pryed off the lens, I was surprised that it fit in there pretty well.
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Old 06-14-2006, 02:40 AM   #3
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Well, the little 40x40mm plug in guys just don't cut it. The first picture is a side by side comparison. They work, and you could probably center them better, but the big ones are just about perfect.

I don't think the lens is supposed to come off, but this is a test, so it had to be done. I'll have to return all the little ones I bought, and buy 3 more of the big ones. I took some wire and made sure it wouldn't move around, and stay centered. I also trimmed the housing a little to make it fit up flush with the old lens.

When you take off the lens, the circuit board and all the LEDs are still buried in a thick pool of epoxy. it's hard to see in the pictures, but I am 100% sure it's totally waterproof, and still sealed.

I'm going to see if I can find some new gaskets for the lenses, but these housings are pretty non-water proof anyway.

So they're $25 a piece, plus the $3 pig-tail wiring connector, but once you see them lit up, there's no way to can go back.

-Kevin
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Old 06-14-2006, 03:11 AM   #4
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Leds

Hello.. In the most recent issue of the Blue Beret... LEDS are available from Airstream for $25. each.. Only available for brakes not for backup yet. Annie
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Old 06-14-2006, 09:00 AM   #5
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Huh... Too bad there's no way to make the $10 one work in the backup location. Nice job otherwise!
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Old 06-14-2006, 09:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happycampers
Hello.. In the most recent issue of the Blue Beret... LEDS are available from Airstream for $25. each.. Only available for brakes not for backup yet. Annie
I can't find where they are available for older models. Maybe I am missing something.

Hey outofcontrol, did you use anything to increase resistance to make the signal flashers work?
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Old 06-14-2006, 09:30 AM   #7
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Not the same

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happycampers
Hello.. In the most recent issue of the Blue Beret... LEDS are available from Airstream for $25. each.. Only available for brakes not for backup yet. Annie
The LED conversions available from Airstream fit only the wide-body Classics, some recent Safaris, and some motorhomes. The ones above fit the earlier Airstreams.
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Old 06-14-2006, 09:48 AM   #8
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You wouldn't happen to have an exact measurement of the round ones, would you?
wondering if they could be used in the early 70's 4" round tail light housings. replacements for those are "N/A".
I saw some LEDs from some site that someone posted, but they were a little bigger than 4", so they probably wouldn't fit.
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Old 06-14-2006, 01:47 PM   #9
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I have just converted the marker lights on my 91 to LEDs. There is a direct replacement, at @7.50 each, for those marker light at

http://www.florawrecker.com/cgi-bin/miva?Merchant2/merchant.mv+Screen=PROD&Store_Code=TS&Product_Code =MAXM23012Y&Category_Code=RECTANGULARMARKER

The only problem was the fact that the base on these new lamps needs to be routed out a bit to allow for the grommet and wiring used by Airstream.

I am interested in replacing the tail/brake lights also and had seen the Blue Beret posting of a replacement but it did not mention what models it was for. If your search on the web site noted above they also have 4in. round tail/stop light for between $13.00 and $24.00.

Outofcontrol can you post your source for comparison?

As to the question of making the turn signals work with the reduced load from an LED. I had long since relayed all the lights on my trailer and run them off the trailer batter because of the limited wire size GM used in the truck. I decided to go that way after melting the headlight switch in my truck. The 1991 through 1999 GM trucks only use #18 wires in the lighting circuits and even smaller components inside the switch so any additional load will cause the back of the switch to melt. You can see the results on my web page.

http://mysite.verizon.net/vze54tx9/id4.html
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Old 06-14-2006, 01:57 PM   #10
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HowieE,

Dodge had the same problem in the 90's. At the Ft. Desoto rally last October, I had the headlight switch and multi-conector MELT as I was going down I75 in my faithful old '93 Dakota.

I mentioned it in the parts department at my Dodge dealer later. The parts guy reached under the counter, put a headlight switch kit on the counter, and said, "You need one of these."

Actually, overland63 (Terry) showed me how to do a repair by taking the connector out of the circuit with a new headlight switch. This was very valiant of him as the repair encroached upon happy hour.

Lamar
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Old 06-14-2006, 02:28 PM   #11
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Anyone try the drop in replacement bulbs? Seems like it's dirt simple and would be at least as good as stock. Lights on my '78 Argosy are just fine and the only reason for switching to LEDs would be longer life (I hate changing bulbs, lazy).

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...9.2845&next=50

They also list plug-in replacement flashers that aren't load sensitive. Seems like a lot of the newer vehicles use this type of flasher stock anyway.

Inside illumination's a different story. While the light levels are fine the reduced battery drain would be a big plus on long weekends without "shore power".
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Old 06-14-2006, 03:21 PM   #12
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I had looked at drop-in bulbs but the problem with our vintage of AS is that the mount does not come out of the back of the assembly. It is on the top (or is that bottom, I can't recall). Either way the bulb is mounted vertically not horizontally. There are right-angle LED bulbs but I could not verify if, once put in, the right-angle would face the correct direction.

As far as flasher load: I see many people that have added LED bulbs, etc (like rice-rockets or ornamentals) and the lights flash REALLY fast. This is the benefit of getting an already assembled item that is designed to be a direct replacement for an incandescent assembly.
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Old 06-14-2006, 03:24 PM   #13
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The problem with just replacing the bulbs on the marker lights is the direction of the bulb. The incandescent bulb in the marker lights are mounted parallel to the lens. If you use an LED that will plug into those sockets the bul is still parallel to the lens and you will get almost no illumination because the LEDs are very directional along their center axes.

While the LEDs shown above are mounted on the board in the correct orientation one has to consider the optics of the lens. Lens are designed for a given light source, just like a lighthouse. While there appears to be sufficient lighting by using the Airstream lens on the LED shown above I doubt if it would be acceptable to the DOT.

If no other solution presents itself I might consider making a mounting plate that would fit into the Airstream frame and fitting in a manufactured 4in LED stop/tail light assembly. A little more work than I want but it may be necessary.
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Old 06-14-2006, 03:33 PM   #14
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HappyCampers,
The tail lights offered by Airstream don't fit in the older housings. You can't even trim them down because you'd have to cut throught the circuit board and some of the LEDs.

coriolis1,
The little 1.5x1.5" lights would be perfect for the back-up lights, but the ones I ordered are RED LEDs. They make the same thing in white, but I use my back-up lights .00001% as much as my other running and brake lights, so I thought I'd just leave them alone. I might just trade in the red ones for white and make everything LED.

cooperhawk,
Yes, the flashers didn't work once I was 100% LED on the right of side of the coach. They have in-line resistors for $4.95 or digital flashers for $12.95. I haven't gotten that far yet, but they say if one of thier digital flashers fits, it's the easiest way to correct the problem. (NAPA has one, but it's $55.99 Part #285)
Check out the bottom of this page: Flasher/resistor
I haven't pulled out the flasher in my rig, so I don't even know what the pin orientation is yet. If you poke around on their website, there's several diagrams and schematics to figure out which one to use.

Chuck,
see attached image. I popped off the red lens on the sealed unit because it made the unit about 1/4" slimmer, and I thought 2 lenses were redundant.

-Kevin
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