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Old 04-18-2010, 09:24 PM   #1
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Lights outage

Last fall some of my lighting failed when my wife went to turn on the ceiling light in the kitchen right next to the A/C unit. The light fixture has a round knob for various light settings and it also acts as a vent. Today I took off the light cover and noticed that there was no power coming to it. I checked the 12V control panel and one glass fuse looked suspicious. I replaced the fuse (brown wire) and the lights came ON but I noticed that the fuse was getting too hot to touch while in the panel. That seemed strange so I went to check the light switch. As I wiggled the wires around the wires were warm and the light switch was getting even warmer. In the pictures you can see that some of the light fixture was burned by the light switch. The wires attached to the switch are very loose and have a bad connection.
  1. If I replace the switch will this cure the hot wire issues?
  2. Where can I get this light switch?
Thank you!
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:07 PM   #2
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I acquired our '79 31' last year and in our unit all the ceiling light switches had been replaced with single throw toggles, meaning we now throw one switch (not rotate a knob) and we also don't have a dim/bright option (which suits me well.)

You may want to consider replacing your switch with a high quality toggle, as it will be less expensive, easier to find, less trouble to us and more reliable too.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoSheriff View Post
Last fall some of my lighting failed when my wife went to turn on the ceiling light in the kitchen right next to the A/C unit. The light fixture has a round knob for various light settings and it also acts as a vent. Today I took off the light cover and noticed that there was no power coming to it. I checked the 12V control panel and one glass fuse looked suspicious. I replaced the fuse (brown wire) and the lights came ON but I noticed that the fuse was getting too hot to touch while in the panel. That seemed strange so I went to check the light switch. As I wiggled the wires around the wires were warm and the light switch was getting even warmer. In the pictures you can see that some of the light fixture was burned by the light switch. The wires attached to the switch are very loose and have a bad connection.
  1. If I replace the switch will this cure the hot wire issues?
  2. Where can I get this light switch?
Thank you!
Replacement switches are readily available.

What exact bulbs are in those lights?

They should all be 1141.

Brighter bulbs can be installed, but they draw more current, which in turn, burns up those switches.

Low voltage switches, do go bad in time.

31 years for yours is way above average life.

The only problem with a toggle switch is when your running self contained, all the lights will be on, instead of just 2 of them.

Andy
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:46 AM   #4
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"You need upgrade"

Now may be the time do perform some electrical updating. I've put two 8 watt fluorescent tubes in thos fixtures in place of the incandescents. A single 1141 draws about 15 watts, so the power savings are huge, along with the fact they don't get as hot, which cuts down on interior heat. I then put a two position (on/off) rotary switch from Radio Shack or other electronic/electrical store in place of the three way switch.
It does require some skill, as I simply cut a Thinlite fixture in half, and place one tube on each side of the vent in its mount, and rivet the halves to the existing housing, after removing the old incandescent mounts.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:27 AM   #5
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Now may be the time do perform some electrical updating. I've put two 8 watt fluorescent tubes in thos fixtures in place of the incandescents. A single 1141 draws about 15 watts, so the power savings are huge, along with the fact they don't get as hot, which cuts down on interior heat. I then put a two position (on/off) rotary switch from Radio Shack or other electronic/electrical store in place of the three way switch.
It does require some skill, as I simply cut a Thinlite fixture in half, and place one tube on each side of the vent in its mount, and rivet the halves to the existing housing, after removing the old incandescent mounts.
Do you have any pictures of your project or finished product?
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:29 AM   #6
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Replacement switches are readily available.

What exact bulbs are in those lights?

They should all be 1141.

Brighter bulbs can be installed, but they draw more current, which in turn, burns up those switches.

Low voltage switches, do go bad in time.

31 years for yours is way above average life.

The only problem with a toggle switch is when your running self contained, all the lights will be on, instead of just 2 of them.

Andy
Andy, are these switches available at RadioShack or other local hardware store or do I need to visit Airstream dealer? I'm not sure on the bulb type but I'll check.

Once I replace the switches, will that eliminate the electrical wire heating issue?
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:59 PM   #7
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Do you guys have any recommendation on modern lighting? What should I be looking for?
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:53 PM   #8
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anyone???
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:14 PM   #9
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the switches are available at airstream part suppliers. the switch must be rated for 12v use.

LED replacements for the 1141's will make the switch last much longer. (they're not cheap) or you can go the "master switch" route. again, it must be rated at 12v and for the amperage of those 6 1141's.

this thread should answer your questions:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...ing-15323.html
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:16 PM   #10
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There are direct replacement LED's that will fit in place of the standard 1141 bulbs. They can be found on the internet or from RV or Marine retailers. They are cool and draw much less power. I don't particularly like the type of light produced because it typically has a bluish cast to it. A retro fit like Overlander 63 suggested can also be done by taking apart a standard 12v thinline flourescent fixture and installing the appropriate pieces in the existing lighting fixture. It is kind of hard to replace the whole fixture with something more modern because it is an integeral part of the ceiling vent. I would replace the switch make and sure the bulbs are 1141's. The switch itself could probably be found at a good hardware or lighting dealer if not radio shack.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:02 PM   #11
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the switches are available at airstream part suppliers. the switch must be rated for 12v use.
Do you guys know if these light switches can be purchased online? If so, can you recommend an online source and the product number/name?
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:35 PM   #12
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many of the vendors you've seen on this site have web sites. i would think that your dealer of choice can take a phone order and ship it to you. i don't have part numbers but i'll try a search.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:42 PM   #13
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i found two so far.

Electrical Inside : ODMRV , Out-of-Doors Mart

Inland RV Center Inc.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:45 PM   #14
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thread:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f447...tch-47710.html
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