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Old 06-16-2016, 08:30 PM   #1
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1977 23' Safari
Carberry , Manitoba
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LED Marker light upgrade

I recently swapped out all my old marker lights in my 77 Safari for LED markers from VTS. They look great, however, they don't light up when I am connected. There was only one wire on the originals and there is only one wire on the new LEDs. I thought the mounting screw provided the ground. Where did I go wrong? Hope its not too messy a fix. Original Turn and brake lights still operate fine. Anyone else run into this issue? I searched forums but haven't found anything. There were no instructions with the lights so I assumed wiring was straightforward. TIA
Lorry
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:36 PM   #2
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1977 Argosy 28
2000 28' Excella
Michigan City , Indiana
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I am curious if you found a solution to your problem. I am at the front end of restoring a '77 Argosy and have no tail lights working and only a few marker lights. I am planning on putting on LEDs since the existing sockets have a lot of rust on them.

In my experience most of the headaches with trailer lights is poor ground. Check to see if you have voltage between your hot and the shell if you have a solid 12 VDC, chances are you are not grounded.
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:09 PM   #3
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1977 Argosy 24
Gilbert , Arizona
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If there is only 1 wire then the mounting screws are most certainly the ground. However you need to make perfectly sure that the mounting screws are actually making contact with the inner metal body of the light.
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:51 PM   #4
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1971 31' Sovereign
Indian Wells , California
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Check your fuses. I had the same problem when I changed out mine. It turns out one of the marker lights was pinching the wire where it went in the body, cutting the wire insulation and shorting out. I had to dremel a channel an the back of each light so it wouldn't pinch.
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Old 07-28-2016, 03:49 AM   #5
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1984 27' Airstream 270
Scotia , New York
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I used a ring lug like this on the mounting screw on a 2 wire marker light:

Just be sure you have the + and - hooked correct, they wont light up if they are reversed
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Old 08-20-2016, 08:37 PM   #6
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1977 Argosy 28
2000 28' Excella
Michigan City , Indiana
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Question Fuses inside A/S for tail and marker lights.

Are there fuses inside the Airstream for the tail and marker lights? I have not found any inside my '77 Argosy.
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:19 PM   #7
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1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
Wayland , New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Rabbit View Post
Are there fuses inside the Airstream for the tail and marker lights? I have not found any inside my '77 Argosy.
There are, Cp1977 you may have blown the fuse by accident when replacing the lights. Check the fuse for the running lights. It's probably under your front window. Separate fuse black next to the house 12v fuses.
Second make sure the lights are grounded. 2 things to check, check the resistance between the screw head in the light and the skin, should be zero; second check the shell is grounded by checking resistance between negative fuse bus and metal of shell, should be zero.
If absolutely none of them are working its most likely fuse or ground and not the wiring as the front and rear are daisy chained separately.

Buckrabbit, I don't think they put fuses for the tow circuits in the Argosys, cheaper out on them.
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:56 PM   #8
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1976 Argosy 22
Ventura , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Rabbit View Post
Are there fuses inside the Airstream for the tail and marker lights? I have not found any inside my '77 Argosy.
I didn't find any when I replaced all the old corroded-and-brittle-plastic marker lights on my 1976 Argosy back in 2013.

In my case, the electrics and fuse panel are at the rear of the trailer, inside the large closet that's in the bathroom.

It just took a trip down to the local Pep Boys/Napa/O'Reilly etc and I found similar-looking and cheap one-wire 2 bulb incandescent marker-light fixtures.

Less than $25 for 6 replacements, plus the some time in installing them.

I'm doing my "upgrades" on the cheap ... and so didn't want to spend money for LED marker lights that are only on when the towing vehicle is generating the power (i.e. no drain on the "house" battery").

This week I finally replaced the old 1141 incandescent bulbs in the interior fixtures with LED replacements (that do drain the "house" battery when dry-camping).

The price on those has plummeted in the last 3 years, especially if you buy them from eBay or Amazon, rather than going to the specialist RV stores.

I found some bright ones with a warm-white color that nicely match the original bulbs (I can't stand the "cool white" of most LEDs and fluorescent bulbs).
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:01 AM   #9
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1976 29' Ambassador
Atlanta , Georgia
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I just replaced my 8 marker lights yesterday. If none of the lights are working, it's a power issue. I installed ring terminals on the white ground wires and made sure I was getting good ground. A couple of them were weak or not on but got fixed when I retightened them. But none of them working? Definitely not getting power.

I didn't see a fuse on my light either. Is that really necessary? Mine is a complete gut job so I can add it if needed.
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:47 AM   #10
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1976 Argosy 22
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Originally Posted by Chae View Post
If none of the lights are working, it's a power issue. I installed ring terminals on the white ground wires and made sure I was getting good ground. A couple of them were weak or not on but got fixed when I retightened them.
I cleaned out both screw holes on each light with a Qtip and isopropyl alcohol ... but just like Chae, a little careful tightening was required on the screws on the ground side to get things to work.

Another thing to check is that you're actually getting power for the marker lights from the TV. When I got my Argosy the seller had wired up a new plug on the old umbilical, and got a couple of the wires wrong.

Even with a new plug and a rewiring back in 2013, I still had to clean the connectors on the plug this year after the trailer had been sitting idle over the winter.
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:47 PM   #11
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1974 31' Sovereign
1979 23' Safari
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Not doubting your intelligence here, we all have brain farts though. But did you make sure the tow vehicle lights were turned on. Not just on the automatic setting which may light up your headlights during the day but not the rest of the lights.
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