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Old 04-06-2009, 10:43 AM   #1
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grtwhthuntr's Avatar
1972 31' Excella 500
Lagrange , Kentucky
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 28
valence lighting solutions?

In my 1971 31' excella 500, the valences have 24? gauge wire with clips. On the street side I had a 5' tube with one of the wires attached to one end. It also has 2-12 guage loose wires. In the radio compartment is one end of those 12 gauge wires that looks as if it has been very hot and corroded.

Was there a trend for this type of arrangement at some point or am I dealing w/ a PO that did this himself and I get to read his mind on where the ballast would be or if he used 12vdc or 120 vac.

I am also wondering on opinions of this arrangement...whether you liked it or not.

Thanks in advance


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Old 04-06-2009, 12:40 PM   #2
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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Hi Chris,

AFAIK Airstream never offered valance lighting. Sounds like something a PO might have put in. I have seen a couple of different ideas over the years, the one I liked best was using the lighted "rope". The install I saw done was using the 12volt stuff.


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Old 04-06-2009, 01:22 PM   #3
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1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,061
I added valence lighting taking kpower through the access holes in the upper front compartment. I used a small rotary switch mounted on the end of the curtain molding. for lights I used the led panels out of the cheap cylindrical work llights. these are 12" strips of leds all ready to go. cheap and effective.
"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:47 AM   #4
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1972 31' Excella 500
Lagrange , Kentucky
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 28
Thanks for the thoughts and ideas. I do like the rope lights as I could dim them as I wished. LEDs do not like the dimmer idea much.

This means I can remove the other wires and such. I just wonder where they put the ballast...hopefully it was in the valence and they already removed it. That's the fun of having a pre-owned, you get to figure out how someone else thinks. Ha!

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Old 04-08-2009, 03:16 AM   #5
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1983 34' Excella
1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Nov 2006
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My "1984 Airstream Trailer Service Manual" clearly shows valance lighting. There is a switch behind the curtains on the road side of my 1983 Excella under the speaker near the lower curtain rail to turn on the "indirect lighting". Everything was wired in and obviously factory, although only 1 of 3 still worked.

I don't know about your year model, my 1967 Trade Wind does not have this.

My plan is to replace the original ThinLites with the bare tube fixtures from Scroll down from the RV fixtures at Lighting.

Since they are behind the valances, a cover is not needed. Plus, they use regular 24 or 48 inch tubes vs. the smaller ones.
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:17 PM   #6
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1972 31' Excella 500
Lagrange , Kentucky
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 28
Well, it has been found!! It was very well installed in the endcap by the curbside reading lamp.

It was wired into the reading lamp also. 24 or 120 volt?

It was purchased at Midwest Trailer Mart Inc. for $24.75.

Manufactured by Iota Engineering.

"Designed only for one F72T12 and one F36T12 wired in series."

I wonder...was it really made for the ole girl?? Why would you make a ballast for two different size bulbs??

Anyhow...thanks for the help

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