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Old 12-27-2016, 11:21 AM   #1
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2017 Interstate EXT first problem - overhead lounge lights stopped working

OK gang, first failure. My overhead lounge lights went out. Switched them on and they blinked and then went out. Further toggling of the switch resulted in nothing. My first thought was a fuse blew, but there are other lights on the same fuse and they all work. My second thought was the dimmer is dodgy. Tried dimming up and down, still no joy (could still be the dimmer though.....). My final thought is there's a bad connection at the switch, but I don't see how the cover over the switches comes off to test it. I assume it just pops off but I didn't want to force anything or scratch anything.

Anyone else have a similar issue? Should I tackle this myself or is this a visit-to-the-dealer thing?

Thanks!
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:36 PM   #2
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See no response yet. Depends on your comfort. Betting the cover on the switches pops off. Never had it off though. Could check switch with meter. I avoid going to dealer as it's 4 hrs round trip & requires two cars since need to leave van every time.

Hopefully someone will jump in.


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Old 01-03-2017, 06:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by FlyFishinRVr View Post
OK gang, first failure. My overhead lounge lights went out. Switched them on and they blinked and then went out. Further toggling of the switch resulted in nothing. My first thought was a fuse blew, but there are other lights on the same fuse and they all work. My second thought was the dimmer is dodgy. Tried dimming up and down, still no joy (could still be the dimmer though.....). My final thought is there's a bad connection at the switch, but I don't see how the cover over the switches comes off to test it. I assume it just pops off but I didn't want to force anything or scratch anything.

Anyone else have a similar issue? Should I tackle this myself or is this a visit-to-the-dealer thing?

Thanks!
The cover to the dimmer and switch pops off it's base plate to reveal several screws. Remove them and see if you can find the positive and ground wires and be sure that they are well seated onto the 1/4" posts of the switch/dimmer. You can also try to bypass the switch with a direct connection from the positive going in to the positive going out to see if the lights will come on. If so......you need a new dimmer/switch module.
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:22 PM   #4
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I was wondering where the dimmer was. Lew, do you recall who makes it? I don't like the way it flickers when the voltage drops at lower settings and may want to replace it.
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:12 AM   #5
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The cover to the dimmer and switch pops off it's base plate to reveal several screws. Remove them and see if you can find the positive and ground wires and be sure that they are well seated onto the 1/4" posts of the switch/dimmer. You can also try to bypass the switch with a direct connection from the positive going in to the positive going out to see if the lights will come on. If so......you need a new dimmer/switch module.
Thanks!

Now that I'm back from vacation I should have some time to dig into it and see what's up.....
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:37 AM   #6
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2017 Grand Tour Issues

We took delivery of our 2017 GT Dec 9. All seemed to be working, but now having problems with electric shades which work intermittently. ALSO...make sure the little collar attaching the galley sink faucet is tight. If not, the faucet blows off when the pump is turned on. This was not a happy event. The collar seems to get loose because the faucet rotates...so will probably be an ongoing issue.

Still trying to figure out how to adjust the camera views on the rear view mirror.

Not sure what we will do about the aft TV sticking out in the aisle. We do not need TWO tvs in this tiny home.

The soap dispenser is history...not useful to us.

Could someone with the aft wardrobe send pictures? Our coach did not have one, and we are considering having it added.
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Old 01-08-2017, 05:35 PM   #7
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We took delivery of our 2017 GT Dec 9. All seemed to be working, but now having problems with electric shades which work intermittently. ALSO...make sure the little collar attaching the galley sink faucet is tight. If not, the faucet blows off when the pump is turned on. This was not a happy event. The collar seems to get loose because the faucet rotates...so will probably be an ongoing issue.

Still trying to figure out how to adjust the camera views on the rear view mirror.

Not sure what we will do about the aft TV sticking out in the aisle. We do not need TWO tvs in this tiny home.

The soap dispenser is history...not useful to us.

Could someone with the aft wardrobe send pictures? Our coach did not have one, and we are considering having it added.
Don't want to hijack the thread, but I have some similar questions/issues about our 2017.

My impression is that it's not possible to adjust the rear camera view. The camera itself seems to be in a fixed mount, and the display doesn't seem to offer any electronic adjustment.

I would really value some guidance about deactivating the linkage between the side view cameras and turn signals at night. At night I prefer the rear view camera off, but the display comes back on with a blinding flash every time that you use the turn signals, e.g. for a lane change. I've tried the dip switches on the display in various settings without luck. Maybe I need to make an opaque hood to put over the display . . .

When you're not moving you can unlatch the aft TV mount and swing it against the outside wall. Or just remove it entirely.

Some photos of the wardrobe are attached. It makes for a narrow aisle, but we wanted that. I removed the rear couch to make a corral for my wife's big dog, and I figure that if we run into something, the wardrobe is likely to help stop 120 lbs of flying meat from coming into the cockpit.

Of course Airstream mounted the rear TV on the narrower bath wall rather than the wardrobe, so that I can whack my arm every time that I go past.

PS - Just noticed that you have a Grand Tour, so the wardrobe probably differs.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:21 PM   #8
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...At night I prefer the rear view camera off, but the display comes back on with a blinding flash every time that you use the turn signals, e.g. for a lane change. ... Maybe I need to make an opaque hood to put over the display . . .
....
Whoever might be tempted to chuckle at that idea, don't. Someone else has already added such a hood, although I can't remember which user it was. It was a while back that this was discussed.
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:54 PM   #9
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Finally dug into this.....

Well, I finally got around to troubleshooting my ceiling lights and it looks like the dimmer is kaput. Poking around a bit I found out why. It looks like they pinched a wire between the dimmer module (which isn't bolted to anything....it just flops around inside the wall) and the wall such that the vibrations from driving down the road wore the wire through. Since it was the ground wire for the module, apparently it didn't take kindly to the intermittent connection and decided to die a rather quiet and unremarkable death. Zero volts coming out of the module to the lights, and yes I double checked the fuse, which is fine. Which reminds me to remind you all.....there's a fuse buried in the wall that is supposed to protect this little beast, so if your ceiling lights ever go out (and ONLY your ceiling lights), you may want to check it.

So, decision time, and I could use your input. I have two choices: Choice one, bypass the dimmer and be done (costs me nothing). Choice two, replace the dimmer (about $35 on Amazon). Do folks find the dimmer very useful? My lights failed pretty early on (less than 1000 miles) so I didn't really have time to use it much so I'd like to know what you all think.

I attached a few pics (no clue why they're sideways....) so folks can see how this thing failed. Take note if you don't think it's important to properly bundle wires. If that would have been done here, this failure would not have happened. Wires just left to flap around can and eventually will rub through if they're touching anything.....
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:02 PM   #10
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I was wondering where the dimmer was. Lew, do you recall who makes it? I don't like the way it flickers when the voltage drops at lower settings and may want to replace it.
Looks like the ones made by 'JR Products'. My RV supply house carries them, but they should be available on the web as well.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:50 PM   #11
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Looks like the ones made by 'JR Products'. My RV supply house carries them, but they should be available on the web as well.
Mine was made by American Technology Components, Inc. See the attached pic for the part number. (again, sorry for the rotation of the pic....not sure how to fix it)
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:37 AM   #12
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Follow up

I decided to order a replacement dimmer. $35 delivered to my door. I'll swap it out and move on.

Safe travels everyone.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:00 PM   #13
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Thanks a bunch guys. Another question . Where is it at? Dangling behind the dimmer switch???
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:15 PM   #14
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Thanks a bunch guys. Another question . Where is it at? Dangling behind the dimmer switch???
Yes, exactly. You can see in one of my pics that once you remove the plate around the switches (just pops off) and remove the 4 screws holding the switch assembly to the wall, you can pull the wires out that are tucked into the gap between the wall and the shower and the dimmer module will come along with them. It's connected using spade and butt connectors, so replacing it (or bypassing it entirely) is pretty easy.
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:00 PM   #15
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Thanks. That is pretty shoddy installation. Why not put in where the rest of the switch box is?

I asked about it because the stupid thing flickers at anything but highest setting when there is any load on the battery (e.g. inverter). I am going to investigate using a higher quality unit.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:00 PM   #16
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Thanks. That is pretty shoddy installation. Why not put in where the rest of the switch box is?

I asked about it because the stupid thing flickers at anything but highest setting when there is any load on the battery (e.g. inverter). I am going to investigate using a higher quality unit.
It certainly isn't very secure. In fact, the way it's just dangling there and given how the dimmer module is constructed, it can literally fall apart inside the wall! If you look at my pic of the module, you'll see that it's sort of a plastic box. Well, the top and bottom of the box are just pressed together. They easily pull apart. I think given the confines of the space that it's stuffed into that's unlikely to happen, but I am a bit surprised how it's all been installed.

When I get the new module, I think I'll tape the box closed and use some VHB to stick it to the inside of the wall. I'll also zip tie the wires into a proper bundle so they don't wiggle around and chafe....again. 5 minutes of extra work to prevent a failure. Seems like time well spent....

As to the flicker, I think many of these units use a PWM to create the "dimming" effect (basically it flickers the LEDs on and off at a higher or lower frequency to make them look brighter or dimmer). I think if you want an analog equivalent (so it doesn't flicker), you'll need to find a voltage-based design, but I'm not sure those are compatible with LEDs. If you find something, please let me know!
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:12 PM   #17
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All done

Got the new module installed today and the lights work again. Apparently the dodgy ground (due to a shoddy install job by AI) was enough to take out the dimmer module. $35 for a new module and bit of my time and I have overhead cabin lights again. I velcro'd the dimmer module to the back of the bathroom wall so I shouldn't have any more problems with the blasted thing rattling around inside the wall......
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