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Old 01-21-2007, 02:59 PM   #1
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Question LED Lights- do they wreck the vintage asthetic?

I love the look and low amperage draw of LED lights. There are some very nice, virtually original looking clearance and marker lights out there. (Also some crummy ones, so caveat emptor!)

What I am wondering is, on a vintage trailer, would these be considered an enhancement, or would that clash with the vintage-ness of the trailer?

This is a SUBJECTIVE matter; there is really no "right" answer. I just wanted to get a pulse from vintage airstreamers: Original or LED?

Thanks,
-SilvrSausage
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:03 PM   #2
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Not to me.
IMO, anything that makes it more visible (within reason, I'm not painting it safety orange) and will keep the crazies from running into me is a good thing, and will keep my vintage unit safe for longer.
Dave
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilvrSausage
I love the look and low amperage draw of LED lights. There are some very nice, virtually original looking clearance and marker lights out there. (Also some crummy ones, so caveat emptor!)

What I am wondering is, on a vintage trailer, would these be considered an enhancement, or would that clash with the vintage-ness of the trailer?

This is a SUBJECTIVE matter; there is really no "right" answer. I just wanted to get a pulse from vintage airstreamers: Original or LED?

Thanks,
-SilvrSausage
SS,
I personally don't have a problem with GENTLE customization of vintage units. Anything that is a safety upgrade and/or can be easily reversed is fair game in my book. Now if it was going to be shown in a Concours event it might be a problem. My oldest unit is a 1975 and I am making upgrades as I go. The interior is going to look pretty much original but with some twists. Some of the OEM fixtures are being rebuilt using modern fluorescent insides I may go with the LED exterior lights as they do look sharp when reflected off of shiny aluminum.

Aaron
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:10 PM   #4
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Not what I was thinking about , but reminds me of someone I read put color-changing accent lights under their vintage airstream, which they said looked awesome reflecting off the highly polished sides at night. Now THAT isn't stock or vintage by any stretch! Neat, maybe, if it is your taste.
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It seems I love the mountains and deserts more than my friends do. I sure miss them!

1971 Streamline Imperial project "Silver Snausage", 1985 Coleman tent trailer, 1964 Little Dipper, 1975 Northwest "Proto Toyhauler", 2004 Harbor Freight folding, still seeking my Airstream.
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:12 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum. I personally do not see the advantage of useing LED just for the sake having LED, for the running or clearance lights, as these lights are powered by the alternator of the tow vehical while the trailer is under tow. Unless the original lights are completly corroded out and need to be replaced anyway. The interior lights are a different thing altogether as they pull power from the trailers on board batteries and LED lighting uses considerable less amps prolonging trailer batterey life between charging cycles.
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:39 PM   #6
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Cool

Thank you for the welcome.
The draw of incandescent running lights does add up. Less draw on the tow vehicle is a good thing, running or not. I sometimes go off hiking in the dark, always way farther than I intended, so sometimes I leave my parking lights on in the middle of nowhere as a beacon. Mainly, though, I like the LOOK of the light they emit.

I am replacing fixtures that are variously old, decrepit, and missing. For the running lights, I have found some that are virtually identical to original, right down to the hole pattern, but they look a little different lighted. The round tail lights on my Streamline will be a bit harder to find, but I think I've found a few. I'm also upgrading the middle-side running lights to include turn signalling. For that, I had to go to a slightly different appearance.

If you are shopping for these, again, quality is all over the map. Pay attention to bulb count. Stop/tail/turn fixtures come with 15 to 60 LEDs each. Some of the ones I ordered online turned out to be fit for my utility trailer instead. In any case, like the compact fluorescents all throughout the house, I feel good knowing they use less energy (whether the difference is noticible at the pump or not.)

Thanks for the opinions so far!
-SilvrSausage
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It seems I love the mountains and deserts more than my friends do. I sure miss them!

1971 Streamline Imperial project "Silver Snausage", 1985 Coleman tent trailer, 1964 Little Dipper, 1975 Northwest "Proto Toyhauler", 2004 Harbor Freight folding, still seeking my Airstream.
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Old 01-21-2007, 04:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilvrSausage
I love the look and low amperage draw of LED lights. There are some very nice, virtually original looking clearance and marker lights out there. (Also some crummy ones, so caveat emptor!)

What I am wondering is, on a vintage trailer, would these be considered an enhancement, or would that clash with the vintage-ness of the trailer?

This is a SUBJECTIVE matter; there is really no "right" answer. I just wanted to get a pulse from vintage airstreamers: Original or LED?

Thanks,
-SilvrSausage
Changing the old tail lights out for the new style Leds, is a great idea.

Yes you have made a change, but the change you did make did not ruin the original trailer looks as much as it tremendously improved your safety.

Looks is subjective, true.

Safety, can never be too much, or for that matter subjective.

Safe is safe. No in between.

Andy
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Old 01-21-2007, 04:54 PM   #8
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All my clearance marker lights need to be replaced. LEDs only cost a buck or so more and the mounting holes are the same. That's my plan. As for the tail lights I'm still thinking. I may keep the originals if don't find too much corrosion when I open em up, but if there is I think that will make up my mind. Thinking out loud I might even go way out on the limb and put one of those little blue center lights in. Neon underneath cool but I wonder how long it would last. I try to drive during the day so I can gawk at the scenery anyway so I'm not that inclined to light it up like a Pimp My Airstream. Chistmas lights on an Airstream is cool though.
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Old 01-21-2007, 05:00 PM   #9
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Whose safety?

I think the brighter, LED stop lights are great on any vehicle whether it be a trailer or tow vehicle. But I got behind a small cargo trailer on the interstate one night which had LED clearance lights installed on the back and eventually had to pass the trailer because the clearance lights were too bright for me to drive safely.

I am not saying that all LED clearance lights are too bright, but the ones on this trailer were.

Tom
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Old 01-21-2007, 05:37 PM   #10
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Thumbs up save the old ones

Hey Silver Just change them and save the old ones . if you ever sell your unit you can give the new owner the orig. ones to them.leds are nice..
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:03 PM   #11
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If you were to buy stop LED's to fit a 71 - square tail light - where would you find them and how hard are they to replace.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:34 PM   #12
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You asked "do they wreck the vintage asthetic?"

No- but the real question may be will you get "wrecked" without them?

Turn your lights on and and go back an 1/8th mile or so and see how the current ones look.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:53 PM   #13
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LEDs make sense in every aspect in my opinion. There is one thing to keeping it original and I truly respect the vintage look but if you follow that all the way through, you must use the same mattress for the bed. There's things that just make sense to modernize. Lighting, brakes, tires, electrical, plumbing, etc.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Turn your lights on and and go back an 1/8th mile or so and see how the current ones look.
The ones that are still there are intact, but dim and intermittent due to the ravages of time. The ones on the passenger side are completely gone due to interaction with a freeway soundwall on the maiden journey home. Therefore, I have to decide (quick) whether to invest in original or LED. The various side lights are already getting upgraded, because they are generic and I found excellent identical LED replacements.

It looks like I'm gonna go with the L.E.D. tail lights, too!

Thanks for the ongoing input. I'm all for the LEDs; my girlfriend is more the traditionalist. I also have to keep trade-in time in mind.

Cheers,
-SilvrSausage
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It seems I love the mountains and deserts more than my friends do. I sure miss them!

1971 Streamline Imperial project "Silver Snausage", 1985 Coleman tent trailer, 1964 Little Dipper, 1975 Northwest "Proto Toyhauler", 2004 Harbor Freight folding, still seeking my Airstream.
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