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Old 07-16-2007, 12:25 PM   #1
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Interior light bulbs burning out quickly

I have replaced at least 6 bulbs in the interior lights since we bought our AS new about a year ago. I did not keep a log of which ones, so I am not sure if I have replaced the same one more than once. Usage times have been minimal as we have only had it out 5 times. When we returned from out trip last week, I checked the voltage. On battery it runs just a shade over 12V, but when connected to electricity, it goes to 13.4 V. Could this be causing the bulbs to burn out pre-maturely ?

Any other ideas ?

Also, the covers seem to be constantly coming out/off. They are a pretty flimsy and cheap light fixture. Has anyone found a good replacement or fix to the existing set-up ?
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:31 PM   #2
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WHat type of bulb? Halogen?

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Old 07-16-2007, 12:46 PM   #3
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hate to bring this up, but.....

running gear balance?.....are you shaking the trailer to death when you tow it?
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:57 PM   #4
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There was one halogen bulb burnt when I got it home (poor pre-delivery check by dealer, but that is a different story and Thread). I replaced it. then numerous of the 12V bulbs in the overhead lights have burnt also.

I'm not sure the rough roads would be causing this as the lights are never on while in tow.
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 64Vette
There was one halogen bulb burnt when I got it home (poor pre-delivery check by dealer, but that is a different story and Thread). I replaced it. then numerous of the 12V bulbs in the overhead lights have burnt also.

I'm not sure the rough roads would be causing this as the lights are never on while in tow.
This has nothing to do with rough roads or light on while towing.
It has to do with the hub assembly not being properly balanced as a unit resulting in lots of vibration throughout the trailer as it is towed, even on smooth roads.
Such vibration could cause the filaments in the bulbs to break, or cause the covers to consistently be coming out/off. The covers coming off is really the clue to me that your running gear might be out of balance severely unless the quality of the fixture is really that inferior.
The only other things that could be the cause in my opinion are poor electrical connnections resulting in overheating the bulbs, or just a bad batch of bulbs.
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dscluchfc
This has nothing to do with rough roads or light on while towing.
It has to do with the hub assembly not being properly balanced as a unit resulting in lots of vibration throughout the trailer as it is towed, even on smooth roads.
Such vibration could cause the filaments in the bulbs to break, or cause the covers to consistently be coming out/off. The covers coming off is really the clue to me that your running gear might be out of balance severely unless the quality of the fixture is really that inferior.
The only other things that could be the cause in my opinion are poor electrical connnections resulting in overheating the bulbs, or just a bad batch of bulbs.
Interesting thought, but these are 12 volt bulbs just like those in our TVs. I have had some bulbs (running lights, etc) in my vehicles last 100K miles and they are off and/or on while traveling down the road.

The covers are coming off while it is sitting still. Have not had one come off while traveling down the road (yet anyway).

You could be on to something with the heating issue though. If the bulbs are heating up, the lenses could be warping from the heat.

I too have thought about a bad (or cheap) batch of bulbs. I am now keeping a log of which bulbs I have replaced to see if I am just weeding out the initial batch that came with it.
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:31 PM   #7
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All filement type bulbs crystalize the fliments as they age due to temperature and time. Higher voltage from the converter will cause the bulbs to run hotter and crystalize more. As they cyrstalize they become more brittle and succeptable to breakage due to shock and vibration. The fact that the fixtures are in the ceiling and the insulation immediately behind them may make the fixtures run hotter than the home kind of mounting they were originally designed for. Too bad the halegon bulbs are not as cheap as regular incendesents. You could always convert to LED lighting, No heat very resistant to vibration and much more energy effiecient.
t
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
All filement type bulbs crystalize the fliments as they age due to temperature and time. Higher voltage from the converter will cause the bulbs to run hotter and crystalize more. As they cyrstalize they become more brittle and succeptable to breakage due to shock and vibration. The fact that the fixtures are in the ceiling and the insulation immediately behind them may make the fixtures run hotter than the home kind of mounting they were originally designed for. Too bad the halegon bulbs are not as cheap as regular incendesents. You could always convert to LED lighting, No heat very resistant to vibration and much more energy effiecient.
t
The higher voltage was something I considered could be causing or contributing to them burning out, if 13+ volts is too high. I wouldn't expect AS to warranty bulbs, but if the power converter is the issue, then its a horse of a different color.
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:25 PM   #9
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I've had a few burn out too, but nowhere near what you are describing.

If in fact it is the running gear killing the lights, you have far bigger problems than just the lights. To shake to death a bulb like this doesn't take a little bit of shaking.......
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:57 PM   #10
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Over voltage is the most likely culprit. Youy may need to rig up something to monitor the 12 volt circuits actual voltage.
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Old 07-16-2007, 04:40 PM   #11
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13.4 volts is within allowances as a "12V system" is a generic term with automobiles an example of running at battery charging voltage not simple battery output as a twelve volt battery reading twelve volts is close to being fully discharged.

Your 2007 model diffusers coming off sounds like a fit and finish problem coupled with Texas sunshine and high temperatures causing the latch mechanism to release spontaneously.

Halogen bulbs are notoriously hot - hot enough that any oil from being handled will carbonize on the bulbs glass envelope which then absorbs light and raises temperatures high enough to promote early failure. Cleanser over-spray by an exuberant delivery prep person or somesuch may even play a role on a rash of original lights going out...

A plain paper towel to handle the bulbs - and rubbing alcohol to rinse the glass off pre-emptively. Even handling with tissues can be wrong since many brands have lanolin or other moisturizers incorporated into the paper.
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Old 07-16-2007, 04:43 PM   #12
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I have had a few hallogens burn out and was told upon replacement while I was at JC for other service to not touch the bulb with my bare fingers that it would burn out more quickly and to use a tissue or something to handle the bulbs, so far the new bulbs haven't burned out yet.
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Old 07-16-2007, 05:22 PM   #13
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The bulbs should be standard #1141 automotive type bulbs, such as that commonly found in backup lights. If you are continually replacing one bulb (though from your post it doesn't look that way), try checking the voltage, and the ground. Bad ground will cause increased heat in the bulb and fixture. Usually with a bad ground, you will notice the bulb being dimmer than the other bulbs, or flickering.
You can try a LED replacement for one of the problem bulbs, and see if it does anything squirrelly.
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:22 PM   #14
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As stated the 13.2 is normal "12 volt" operation. A 12 volt battery is actually six cells in series that are all 2.2 volts each. If you check the battery on your car it will be 13.2 volts too if it's fully charged.

You're only loosing interior bulbs, rigth? If it were vibration from the running gear you'd be popping tail lights, running lights and brake/turn indicators. I would have to suspect a large AC ripple from your charging system. If you have a good digital multimeter set it to AC and see what sort of value you get. On straight battery power it should be near zero. If you then see an AC component kick in when you plug in to shore power then I would suspect the charger/inverter.

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