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Old 10-28-2015, 06:07 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1968 30' Sovereign
New Richmond , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 98
Question about 12 Volt LED replacement

We're working our way through a remodel / refurbishment of our 1968 Sovereign, and I've come to the topic I know the least about - electrical - particular 12 volt wiring. People keep telling me it's simple - I have a very steep learning curve with this 12 volt wiring!

I am looking at replacing the rear license plate light with an LED bulb as I need to replace the entire light assembly anyway. So, I bought a replacement light assembly from Vintage Trailer Supply. On some blog, a person said he replaced that light in that unit with the LED unit in the attached picture. So, I bought one, primarily because it was a waterproof LED light. Can't get ahold of that person to ask any additional questions though!

My million dollar question - the light replacement I received from VTS has one black wire coming out the back - as the original did. The LED light bar replacment has a red and a black wire! My confusion - what do I do with the red wire - or is this LED light not a suitable replacement for the bulb that is there?

As a second question, can anyone give me any guidance as to where I can buy just the black gasket that goes on the back of this light assembly? I am hoping to repurpose the original license plate light holder that was there - but - that rubber gasket is completely shot! Would love to find a replacement for it!

Thank you for any help you can give!
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:14 AM   #2
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Belegedhel's Avatar
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,902
Have a look at the link below for some good information on how your 12V systems are put together. There is a part 1 and part 2.

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

The clearance lights, tail lights, and license plate lights will generally have a hot wire that lights up the bulb, and the other wire will be grounded to the shell (thus you may not even see a wire, as in the case of your new license plate assembly). So with you LED assembly, you will attach one wire to the hot wire coming to the assembly, the other grounds to the shell.

good luck!

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Old 11-01-2015, 08:01 PM   #3
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sgschwend's Avatar
1986 25' Sovereign
Oak Harbor , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 269
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As to the wiring: Black wire goes to the screws that connect the light to the metal skin of the trailer, the Red wire connects to the same place the old light fixture connected to (the original black wire connection).

I would use a liquid sealant instead of looking for a gasket. A small amount of 3M, 5200 would work.

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Old 11-01-2015, 08:16 PM   #4
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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Only apply the sealant to the top and sides of the fixture. No sealant on the bottom. That way any moisture can drain out.

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Old 11-01-2015, 08:23 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
1968 30' Sovereign
New Richmond , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 98
Thanks to both Steve and TG for the additional information regarding installing this light. This project is coming up later this week so I truly appreciate the timely clarification regarding the wiring and the advice regarding the sealant!
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:45 PM   #6

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,802
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Thumbs up Black gasket.....

.....I used an inner tube for my teardrops.

A bit 'old school' I guess.

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:31 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
1968 30' Sovereign
New Richmond , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 98
Bob, may be "old-school" - but it works! Thank you for the input!

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