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Old 06-13-2014, 03:09 PM   #1
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1977 31' Excella 500
Berkeley Springs , West Virginia
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New LED Tail Lights

Hello Gang!

Been a while since I've posted any serious construction photos. Well, I decided to redo my old coach (1987 34 footer) with all new LED running lights, tail lights, and license plate lights.

Last year, a buddy of mine came over who is an aircraft electronics whiz and we replaced all the running lights. It is nice to have them actually work now We took the rig to New England and had a blast.

Well, I had these nice new SuperBrightLED tail lights, but I needed to make new bezels, and didn't have time before our trip. And after our Halloween outing, I was involved in a motorcycle crash and wasn't in the shape to fab metal very well.

But anyway, I'm all mended now, so is the bike, and time to make the trailer shine.

The hardest part of making the new bezels, to me anyway, was the laying out of everything. I was going for the "Corvette" look of three round tail lights on each side. Well, as you know, these silver trailers taper in two planes, so it's not the easiest thing in the world to get the measurements. But in the end, after a few tries, I got it worked out. Drew it out in AutoCAD to where it looks like a flower: You have the rectangle with the three round cutouts in it that the lights go in, then you have four "petals" at the top, bottom, left, and right, which form the top, bottom, and sides. I sent this file off to a metal fab shop and they used their CNC plasma cutting machine to cut it out. Then a 4-way metal brake to fold the tabs over. I then had them make angle for me which I cut out and riveted in to attach the corners.

I used a pneumatic rivet gun and round headed aircraft AN rivets to get the same look as the rest of the trailer. I think they turned out nicely!

Everything is .040 inch thick 6000 series aluminum. The LED lights are quite bright, and the way I wired it up, both outboard lights serve as running lights, brake lights, and turn signals. So when I'm making a turn, there are two of these 5.5" diameter lights lighting up.

I really like these LED lights. They work great. Now if it cools down a little this evening, maybe I can install the new LED license plate light, and start installing the new reflectors to replace my old dull ones.

I need to wire up one of those switches where I can turn all the running lights in the campground and look like Las Vegas

See ya on the road!
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:30 PM   #2
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Hmm, going for the look of a Silver Streak, eh? Just move the reverse lamps to center, orient it vertically, and it'll look like someone grafted a classic SS1653-module on there. (Kidding of course, we vintage kin share enough already).

I've been searching on/off for over a year for DOT-approved upgrades to all exterior lamps on mine. No substitute for LED as todays drivers won't look for incandescent lamps in the distance.

Excellent work! Thanks for the thread and info.
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1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
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Hensley Arrow. 9-cpm solo, 15-cpm towing
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:46 AM   #3
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Berkeley Springs , West Virginia
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Old is New

Hey Slowmover, all I can say is that great minds must think alike Guess I just "reinvented" the Silver Streak tail lights.

I had to look the pictures up, but sure enough, I see where Silver Streak did have a light that looked like mine, just vertical!

I was going for a Corvette look, though it came out a bit more industrial looking. Still, I did use proper AN round headed rivets, driven with a bucking bar and all.

I got all my lights from Superbrightleds.com Haven't had any trouble with them at all. They're a bit spendy compared to incandescent, but they claim they'll last forever. We'll see. I've replaced all the running lights and tail lights with LED, as well as got all new reflectors from them. And the new license plate light. Put all that on last night after these were taken....had a storm blow through and so had to take a couple hour break. I'd like to get new entrance and jack lights as well. Add 'em to the list.

See ya,
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:17 AM   #4
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FWIW I've also been thinking of using a 7" schoolbus brake light centered somewhere on the rear. Halliburton oil field trailers (big ones, massive frac trailers) use these and one can see this from a great distance. Also, random pattern amber flashers as used on everything from crude carriers to equipment haulers. Running the oilfield in every condition one has to be aware of what is ahead . . and these two additions make a trailer stand out.

I fear a rear-ender due to poor lighting conditions and low lamp output. At highway speeds this means "bye-bye TT". An additional brake light that jumps out in the dark, and amber pattern caution lamps, day or night, really do their job.

I followed a mid-80's AVION down IH-45 towards Houston a few months back. Dark and getting darker. Lack of LED tail lights made it difficult to see. I recognized what it was before I came up on it and had a conversation with the owner in the next rest area about it. Already on his list. I recommended this site to him, and your posts.

Also, one cannot use RAIN-X and similar on plastic lenses. But KLASSE AIO can be used. Recommended, as rear lights get inordinately dirty.
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1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 9-cpm solo, 15-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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