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Old 05-01-2012, 09:54 AM   #1
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Running Lights on a 1979 Not working

Hi,
I'm looking at 79 Argosy. The seller says the running lights are not working. thinks it's a short. I've asked him if they've ever worked. Waiting for a reply.
The question(s) I have are,
Is fixing non funcitonining running lights for a non electrition type a, 'DIY', thing or would I need to take to an airstream dealer for repair?
I kind of think that since all of them are not working then it most likely is a short at the point all the lights come together.
Thanks for the help.
Dave
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:28 AM   #2
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I would start at the 7 pin plug, the the fuse box, and then check continuity between the box/plug and box /lights. That will at least narrow down the problem area and give you a good starting point.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:01 PM   #3
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Could be you need to re-wire the umbilical to match the current standard. I know early 70's airstreams used a much different standard for the umbilical than what is standard now. Not sure how that would apply to a '79 Argosy, but something to check out before you go looking for broken wires, shorts, etc. Buy a new 7-pin trailer connector and wire it according to the diagram it should come with. That might solve the problem.

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Old 05-02-2012, 07:54 AM   #4
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thanks guys,
So, ... a follow on question is that I don't think i'd want to buy a coach where the lights don't work. Is this a solvable problem? Would an airstream dealer be able to fix it? Would it be expensive? Is it a Do It Your self thing? I'm not very knowledgable about electical systems. I mean i can hook up a light but that's about it.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
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A '79 might be a cherry of all cherry trailers and it might be the best thing you ever bought. Fix the lights and everything else is perfect and nothing will leak or break. Or, it might be a time and money pit.

I fix up old trailers, so if the price is right and I like the trailer, I'd buy it. My lights didn't work when I bought mine. I had em working in short order.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davcarv
thanks guys,
So, ... a follow on question is that I don't think i'd want to buy a coach where the lights don't work. Is this a solvable problem? Would an airstream dealer be able to fix it? Would it be expensive? Is it a Do It Your self thing? I'm not very knowledgable about electical systems. I mean i can hook up a light but that's about it.
Hi Dave,

Is this solvable? Yes it is and a dealer could certain do this for you, though many here (self included) would consider this DIY work. The lights typically run on different circuits, so if a group of them are not functioning then I would suspect a fuse or trunk line issue. I don't think that would be an expensive fix, and it is certainly something the members here could gladly walk you through.


If it was caused by a short in the feeder lines to the individual lights then it might get a bit tricky, but still solvable. These systems are not complicated. Accessing things is usually my issue, as it always seems that whatever needs repair is located in the least accessible part of my trailer.

If the price is right I wouldn't necessarily rule the rig out because of this. You could certainly use it as a negotiating chip.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davcarv View Post
So, ... a follow on question is that I don't think i'd want to buy a coach where the lights don't work.
In my experience, running lights is a minor issue on a 33 year old failure prone trailer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davcarv View Post
Is this a solvable problem? Would an airstream dealer be able to fix it? Would it be expensive?
Yes! Yes! Probably!


Quote:
Originally Posted by davcarv View Post
Is it a Do It Your self thing?
It is for me. Since you are concerned about it, you may not be comfortable trying.

If your experience is like mine, nothing will work once you get the trailer. What is working will quit on your first trip. Lots of these old Airstreams have floor rot, frame damage, bad axles, nonworking air conditioners, leaking plumbing, worn out appliances, bad converters, dead batteries, too old tires, broken windows, leaking window gaskets, bad vents, and leaking roof seams.

That's for starters.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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UGH, ... I struggle with the knowledge of the reality of old and new.thanks for the feedback. ...
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:56 AM   #9
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Little confused by your response about error prone 33 year olf trailer
Do you mean being so old a trailer in general is error prone or that model IRS error prone or both?
Thanks
Dave
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:47 AM   #10
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What he's saying is that it's an old trailer and things are likely to go wrong. You wouldn't expect a 33 year old car to be in perfect condition, nor would you expect a 33 year old house to have working original appliances.

And this issue specifically: We can't diagnose it over the internet - you need a multimeter and some time to start tracing the wire, starting with the plug on the front of the trailer that hooks to the tow vehicle.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:14 AM   #11
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I doubt there would be wiring problems within the walls of the trailer. Most problems are with ground connections, UCord not wired to match the TV, bad bulbs, bad connection between the bulb and socket.
To my knowledge there are no fuses in the external lighting system. Fuses in the TV provide the protection for this wiring.
I would start by using a portable battery charger as a 12 volt power source. You can check the circuitry without the fear of blowing something up.
There are only 5 circuits and the ground/common to check out.
1. Tail/marker lights
2. Left turn
3. Right turn
4. Electric Brakes
5. Charge Line
Plus the ground/common
There are plenty of members here with the knowledge to walk you thru it. We will be glad to help.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:26 AM   #12
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thanks for the responces guys. I really appreciate them. Very helpful.
Now if I could only get the seller to reply to my email/phone call.
ugh
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:47 AM   #13
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Bad wiring is possible, but can be fixed

We had a running/marker light problem with our '66 Safari last winter. Turned out to be bad wiring to the front set of lights. It took some fishing, but new wiring and new lights for the entire circuit was well within a do-it-yourselfer's capability.

See my thread from that time at
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f447...lem-85885.html
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davcarv View Post
Little confused by your response about error prone 33 year olf trailer
Do you mean being so old a trailer in general is error prone or that model IRS error prone or both?
Thanks
Dave

I wrote: "a 33 year old failure prone trailer"

What has not already failed is about to. The design of the trailer predicts leaking, wood rot, and steel rust. All of the components are past their life expectancy or near the end. Every item must be useful and safe. For me, that means new.

My budget for my next 33 year old travel trailer will be in the area of $14,000 (parts only) above purchase price to repair and replace. I don't want a trailer with any body damage at all and I don't want a trailer with any major frame damage. Backup lights, I can fix.
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