Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-06-2004, 07:35 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,482
Images: 19
New 12 V Fluorescents - Advice Please

I bought some 16 watt Thinline recessed fluorescent fixtures for my '85 25' Sovereign. The goal is to improve on the illumination provided by the single two bulb Bargeman incandescent located about midway between the front vent and the A/C. Sadly, in the 25' the ribs in this area are about 1 inch too close together to permit a recessed fixture.

Possible solutions:
1) Get a surface mount fixture. Objection - a single 16 watt fluorescent still has insufficient light power. A 30 watt is too long.

2) Install two, one on either side of the vent, retaining the Bargeman light. This is what I am leaning toward. Objection: the ceiling is curved at that point. It APPEARS that the curve is not strong enough to make the appearance a problem, in fact, it APPEARS that the light housing itself is flexible enough at the outer edges to conform to what is only a very slight curvature. BUT - if I am wrong, there are going to be two large holes in the ceiling. Further, the lights will be angled slightly toward the center. I am not at all sure that is an issue either, as both together should provide nice general illumination.

If I do this, I may also replace the Bargeman with a surface mount fluorescent of similar style.

3) Offer the two lights for sale on Ebay and buy a couple of surface mount 30 watt fluorescents and mount as above, one on either side of the vent, and have some real lighting power. Objection: Be a bit of a load for battery power alone. Using the two or three lamp setup in 2) above would allow more judicious selection of light vs. power consumption.

Now, if I go with the lights on either side of the vent option, anyone have a suggestion as to where to pick up the 12v power? I need only to rob about 3 (or 5 if going with two 30 watts fixtures) amps. There is the entire bundle of coach wiring right there at hand. Of course, I have no idea what wire does what.

Thanks,

Mark
__________________

__________________
j54mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2004, 04:18 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,313
Images: 4
Mark, we have the same layout as you, with the corner double bed. I agree that it's truly excellent. I am considering the same lighting options, and I would go for option 3, as this should give good reading light, and at least you have the option of 60 or 30 watts, depending on battery capacity. You've saved me some heartache by discovering the ribs are too close together for the recessed fittings. Thanks! You clearly are looking to have good light when boondocking. For this, we have a truly un-American solution! We have a paraffin pressure lamp. This takes a cup-full of paraffin each evening, and provides a very powerful light. One example is at http://www.tilleylamp.co.uk/lamps.htm
We use this in the cabin of our cruising sailboat to conserve battery power. It hangs from a hook in the cabin ceiling. An advantage in the English climate is that it also gives out heat. We have to keep a ventilator open at each end of the boat to prevent a shortage of oxygen. We also have 12v fluorescents throughout the boat, but we prefer the light and friendly warmth of the pressure lamp. It makes a hissing sound, and this might be objectionable to some. Also, the filling is best done outside, where spillage is not such a problem. Pre-heating with a spoonfull of methylated spirits is required with our lamp.
On the subject of the wiring loom, there is a color coded wiring diagram in my Airstream manual. I assume you do not have this. Perhaps a kind forum member could scan you a copy of the relevant page, or post the color-codes in this thread. I'm 4,000 miles from my manual, unfortunately. Good luck. Nick.
__________________

__________________
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
"The price of freedom is eternal maintenance."
nickcrowhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2004, 06:06 AM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pick's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
High Springs , Florida
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2,310
Images: 36
Send a message via AIM to Pick
When I replaced my foward vent and light fixture with a Fantastic Fan over the gaucho/dining area, I lost the light fixture. I replaced it with a 16 watt Thin-Lite fixture. The fixture puts out quite a bit of light. It seems to put out more light than the original 6 bulb fixture.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	THINLIT2.jpg
Views:	426
Size:	18.6 KB
ID:	5755  
__________________
ARS WA8ZYT
2003 GMC 2500HD 4X4 D/A Ext. Cab
Propane Powered Honda EU2000i
Lots of Hot Sauce!
Air # 283
WBCCI 1350
Pick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2004, 07:12 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,482
Images: 19
Pick, your photo is very much like my setup, right down to the Fantastic Fan, except my TV antennae is aft of the A/C. I was thinking of installing the two recessed lights one on either side of the vent fan, just outboard of the joints where the interior panels come together.

I see you installed your light athwart ships. That was one other option I had considered. Does it snug up to the ceiling adequately? There is a curve there, even at the center of the ceiling.

For those confused by Nick’s post, “paraffin” is perfectly good English for “kerosene”. Nick, many older Airstreams came equipped with a LP powered gas mantel lamp. They probably are even more convenient in use as they do not require yet another fuel can. They do require permanent mounting, however. I think there is a photo in my photo album of the remains of one that came with my coach.

Mark
__________________
j54mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2004, 03:02 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,313
Images: 4
Smile

Mark, thanks for the translation. I'm currently also having trouble remembering to drive on the left! For the last 35 years I've owned a Bedford Dormobile (camper with a lifting roof). This has the gas mantle lamps you describe. The mantles shatter at every journey, but for boondocking they are a practical solution, provided ventilation is considered. Do let us know how the Thinlite solution works out. Nick.
__________________
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
"The price of freedom is eternal maintenance."
nickcrowhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2004, 03:52 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
RoadKingMoe's Avatar
 
2001 34' Limited
The State of , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,605
Images: 23
Airstream put 12 of the 16W ThinLites in our 34, in pairs in some places, so you can have the light of a 30W fixture when on campground power, but only use one and save battery power when boondocking. There are two in the living room overhead, two in the galley overhead, two in the dressing area overhead, and two over the bathroom mirror. There is one over the couch, one over the galley sink, one over the appliance garage, and one in the bedroom ceiling. Some are surface mount, some are recessed.

These are augmented with incandescents near the door, over the dinette (on a dimmer), in the range hood, on the mini-wardrobes on each side of the bed, with two reading lights under the couch and bed overhead cabinets.
__________________
Maurice
RoadKingMoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2004, 05:59 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pick's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
High Springs , Florida
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2,310
Images: 36
Send a message via AIM to Pick
j54, it snugs up on the corners only, there is a gap in the center of the ceiling. Doesn't bother me though, I like the fact that it only uses the energy of one of the bulbs in the old fixture. I like using propane/LP powered lanterns when I can. Left them all up in Ohio though, would have been nice on the colder Florida nights for light and a little heat. Making coffee with the Coleman "Boondocker Coffee Pot" in the morning warms up the place in the morning.
__________________
ARS WA8ZYT
2003 GMC 2500HD 4X4 D/A Ext. Cab
Propane Powered Honda EU2000i
Lots of Hot Sauce!
Air # 283
WBCCI 1350
Pick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2004, 07:32 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,482
Images: 19
"Airstream put 12 of the 16W ThinLites in our 34"

12!! My how things change. I got mine out of a 90 model 34' salvage. I got the entire supply - all four.

Mark
__________________
j54mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2004, 11:11 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,482
Images: 19
While still undecided about the lounge area lighting, I went ahead and replaced two of the incadescent ceiling lights this evening. Wow! What a difference. Both is quantity and quality. No more dingy yellow lights!

Here is a photo of the new installation.

Mark
Attached Images
 
__________________
j54mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2004, 11:15 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,482
Images: 19
This closeup shows the one problem I had: I had to rivet the plastic ends to snug them up against the ceiling panel. It wasn't too bad in the bedroom, but the area just outside the bathroom is rather far from any ribs, so it wanted to sag and buckle. I'll find some white paint somewhere to touch up the rivet heads and they should largely disappear.

Mark
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	light1.JPG
Views:	337
Size:	27.6 KB
ID:	5867  
__________________
j54mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2004, 08:25 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
R&SZinser's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Yorktown , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 85
Mark,
What model of lights did you use in lieu of the old incandecents? I'm thinking of doing the same thing you've done.

Roy
__________________
R&SZinser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2004, 10:20 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,482
Images: 19
They are Thin Lite model 732 - see the specs at http://www.thinlite.com/prod05.htm .

I was having trouble fitting the lens over the screw heads, so I re-installed them with rivets. They tighten up against the ceiling much better, and the lens fits more easily.

They came out of a '93 Excella 34'. It looks like I have two extra - if you are interested, pm me. I also have a template I made for cutting the opening. I can get one more, but I could only figure out a place to put in two of this type.

I am also installing a model 656 just aft of the front vent (http://www.thinlite.com/prod04.htm) and a model 115 (http://www.thinlite.com/prod02.htm) under the front storage bins.

The one in the rear bedroom and the hall add a far cleaner, brighter light. I cannot tell you what a difference they make. And about 1/2 the amperage draw!

Mark
__________________
j54mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2004, 10:34 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 472
Images: 17
Send a message via Yahoo to silver suz
J54 MARK- thank you, That's what I have!!! an LP powered gas mantle lamp with coleman written on it but a permanently fixed propane line to it!!! Thanks -now I know what it is! Are they relatively rare? Silver suz
__________________
silver suz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2004, 11:06 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,482
Images: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by silver suz
J54 MARK- thank you, That's what I have!!! an LP powered gas mantle lamp with coleman written on it but a permanently fixed propane line to it!!! Thanks -now I know what it is! Are they relatively rare? Silver suz
Not at all. At least one was standard or optional for many years. New ones are still available.

Mark
__________________

__________________
j54mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Seeking Advice.... jtshipp On The Road... 9 05-17-2004 05:42 PM
Water Heater Advice! John Sims Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 1 06-16-2003 09:43 PM
Route 66 is Screaming for Me... !! Need Advice! LittleRadio Our Community 18 05-14-2003 01:52 PM
12 VDC Mystery roessler Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 3 08-01-2002 06:20 PM
Advice please - Travels, Flags, Fuel and Caravans NickSowter On The Road... 6 06-27-2002 11:04 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.