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Old 08-12-2005, 08:05 PM   #1
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LED tail light conversion

Does anyone have a source for compatible LED tail light conversion for the square recent Classic tail lights.

I bought a set from Airstream at the International, then returned them when I decided to swap trailers. Sadly, my new trailer has incandescent taillights and I wish now I had kept the conversion kits.

Conversion requires 4 LED units which Airstream prices at $25 each. I suspect that the lights are available over the net for less than that if I knew where to look.
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Old 08-12-2005, 08:12 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
Does anyone have a source for compatible LED tail light conversion for the square recent Classic tail lights.

I bought a set from Airstream at the International, then returned them when I decided to swap trailers. Sadly, my new trailer has incandescent taillights and I wish now I had kept the conversion kits.

Conversion requires 4 LED units which Airstream prices at $25 each. I suspect that the lights are available over the net for less than that if I knew where to look.
John, try www.led-r-us.com
That is where we got our clearance lights, they may be able to help you.
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Old 08-12-2005, 08:21 PM   #3
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IMOP, I think you'll be hard pressed to get led tailights for under 25 $ a piece. I have shopped around P-town and haven't found any yet for under 25 $. This is for my boat trailer, by the way. The Caravel is keeping its vintage wedding cake tailights.
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Old 08-12-2005, 08:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
John, try www.led-r-us.com
That is where we got our clearance lights, they may be able to help you.
Thanks. I don't find the square light units there, but I'll email them and inquire.
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Old 08-12-2005, 08:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Johnson
IMOP, I think you'll be hard pressed to get led tailights for under 25 $ a piece. I have shopped around P-town and haven't found any yet for under 25 $. This is for my boat trailer, by the way. The Caravel is keeping its vintage wedding cake tailights.
This is just for the guts of the lights; no housing. Just a plastic box with 4 wires coming out of the rear. I suspect that $25 may not be a bad price, but what I had in my hands should be somewhat less.
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Old 08-13-2005, 04:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
This is just for the guts of the lights; no housing. Just a plastic box with 4 wires coming out of the rear. I suspect that $25 may not be a bad price, but what I had in my hands should be somewhat less.
John, I haven't had one of the newer taillight asssemblies apart. Does the light bulb point glass-upward, or glass outward (toward the plastic lens)?
If it points out, there may be another solution. Pick up a package of red LED 1157 replacement bulbs. They are $14/pair at many auto parts stores. The best part is, they push and twist into place just like the incandescent bulbs.
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Old 08-13-2005, 05:31 AM   #7
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Exclamation

Now these twist in kind, are they "just as good" as the true LEDs? or are they close to them,Car Quest has a kit for boat trailers,I put these in my 77 Caravanner and they look awesome,it took some customizing but when I mash the brakes, you can see them so much better ,
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
John, I haven't had one of the newer taillight asssemblies apart. Does the light bulb point glass-upward, or glass outward (toward the plastic lens)?
If it points out, there may be another solution. Pick up a package of red LED 1157 replacement bulbs. They are $14/pair at many auto parts stores. The best part is, they push and twist into place just like the incandescent bulbs.
I haven't looked inside the housings and my trailer i currently at the dealer waiting for a new refrigerator, so I can't easily check it.

By the way, I love the new teardrop-shaped marker lights. They are far more attractive and a lot brighter than the former lozenge-shaped marker lights. The trailer really sparkles during those early morning departures.
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:38 AM   #9
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I saw this while browsing theu 'Schus News' on the WBCCI website:

August 2005:

"LED Taillights
2006 model Classic trailers come with LED taillights.
You can now upgrade your 1994 and newer Classic trailer taillights to LED.
The part number is 511973; four LED taillights are needed for a complete change out.
They are for stop, turn and taillight."
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Old 08-13-2005, 08:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scf31
Now these twist in kind, are they "just as good" as the true LEDs? or are they close to them,Car Quest has a kit for boat trailers,I put these in my 77 Caravanner and they look awesome,it took some customizing but when I mash the brakes, you can see them so much better ,
The twist in kind are in fact LED's. IIRC, there are 7 LED's arranged 6 in a circle around one center one. I put them in mine as a power-saving measure, but they wound up brighter, too. They burn less current, and they last longer. So, for no other reason than less maintenance and less strain on your tow vehicle's electrical system, they are worth a look, even if they are exactly the same brightness as the incandescent. I had taken some photos of the trailer with these lights in place, but I have since changed computers, and those photos seem to be among the missing from the move. Naturally.
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Old 08-25-2005, 02:54 PM   #11
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if you considering the led tail light conversion for the classics GO FOR IT!!!!

hi folks

while in jc last week for 3 days of warranty repairs (i'll post about this on the proper thread) i also asked them to do the led conversion.

best 100$ i ever spent......well 140$ with labor for install.

man these babies are bright!

i was still outside in the terra port going over my list of repairs when an 06 pulled in and started circling the pod. the instant he touched his brakes my questions about the leds were answered as the rear end of his trailer took on the look of an independence day light show!

whenever he'd release the brakes and shift to reverse, so that a comparison between the backup and brakes lights was possible, it was clear the led were 10 times brighter and better diffused that the standard rear bulbs. his wife commented that she could no longer stand behind the trailer to help with docking because the brake lights were "blinding".....of course we all know standing behind the trailer is a no no, so now she stands at the side which is safer anyway.

i wanted some of these puppies.

the conversion unit is a white plastic housing with the circuit board and leds attached. the entire unit replaces the old style by first removing the lens/cover (4 rusty screws) then removing the bulb housing (2-4 screws) and cutting the 3 wires. then the new unit is wired, fitted, screwed in and then the lens/covers are replaced.

2 units per side so the procedure is repeated 4 times.

most anyone could do this diy, but since i was in the holy land, i let the factory wise men do mine....i think they billed for 30 min labor.

i doubt these replacement leds are available yet anywhere but from the mother ship although dealers who stock big parts inventories could have them soon.

the unit (wiring, housing, circuit board, leds) are one complete unit the bulbs are not screwed or plug-in but rather part of the board. it looks like there are 10-16 leds on the board (i'll find my picture for another post) and they light up in different numbers/groups and patterns for running lights, turn signals, flashers and braking.

so if your running lights are on and you brake or turn the intensity and pattern changes BIG TIME.

another big plus is that these units use the original lens. the oiginal lens are designed to diffuse/scatter the light from one bulb. they are rippled on the back side and multi faceted. most led units have a lens that's smooth on both sides so the leds become very directional.....only bright when the viewer is in the optimal position (like the safari and retro housings)......anyway because this conversion uses the old style classic lens, the led light scatters and is very visible from all angles. also the entire lens cover seems to light up in a star&circle pattern that is very effective and distictive.

these puppies are cool.

the first few pics below were taken at high noon on a bright day with lights on flasher mode, which is similar to the brake light mode. even from the sides they are very visible. the last few pics are with the sun shinning toward the rear of the trailer, running lights on so they are on the least bright setting....you can barely see the clearance lights and side/running lights for comparison.

i was planning to ad a 3rd (brake) light but am very satisfied with this conversion.

i'll post pics of the housing and night shots.....when i find that memory card.

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-25-2005, 05:53 PM   #12
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Now all we have to do is find comparable LED clearance lights for the bullet style lights such as are on the newer trailers.
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Old 08-26-2005, 07:13 AM   #13
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A/S Classic LED units

The new LED Classic taillights are not the low count LED modules that have been available for a couple of years in the Bargman housing. These units contain 33 ultrabright, wide pattern diffusion LEDs in each lamp mounted on PC board in a pattern that illuminates the entire lamp lens. All LEDs operate in taillight mode and then switch to an almost blinding level for brake light mode. I investigated the startburst modules about a year ago and decided to wait for a unit that contained more LEDs.

While the starburst pattern is nice, I much prefer the solid, intense, look of the new A/S units. The only thing I have noticed is the lens that ships with the new LED units is just a tad lighter in saturation than the original Bargman. The good news is that you can put the Bargman lens on the new units as they are mechanically and optically identical. Given that these are 33 LED units, the $25 price tag is actually a bargain.

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Old 08-26-2005, 12:31 PM   #14
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thanks david for the expert opinion

hi david and others

i knew there were a lot of leds on the board.....but couldn't decide which of those little lumps was/wasn't.....i was just guessing at 16 and >30 is really what i saw on the board (i post a pic of the unit).

but one thing i am sure of is these babies is bright! and i do like that.

really much brighter AND better diffused (which matters as much/if not more) that any other leds i've seen.

and you clarified my point that using the original lens is better because the faceted backs better scatter the led light.....a problem with most led kits.

best upgrade for the bucks to my '05.

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-22-2005, 08:49 AM   #15
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I just ordered my lights from the dealer on Thursday when I brought my trailer up for warranty work. They have only ordered one set previously at this point and that was a replacement for a defective set already on a trailer. I told them that they could install them for me if they will do it for $40....sort of the deal 2air' got from JC. They are thinking about it at this point since their normal labor rate is $95 an hour and I'm sure there is an hour's labor in this.

Looks like I'll be the first one in this neck of the woods to do a conversion.

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Old 10-22-2005, 12:24 PM   #16
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This might be of use

I found this link on an older thread. The prices and compatability look good.

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...?product=TRUCK
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Old 10-22-2005, 12:47 PM   #17
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Less time than that

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
They are thinking about it at this point since their normal labor rate is $95 an hour and I'm sure there is an hour's labor in this.
Jack
It took me less than 1/2 hour to change mine, working alone. Figure about 5 minutes per light. Have phillips screwdriver, diagonal pliers, wire stripper, crimp tool, tube of caulk, caulking gun, and 12 blue crimp splices ready when you start.

One thing to think about is sealing the opening where the wires exit the trailer. When you pull off the bulb units, you have to pull hard to pull the wires out and a big chunk of sealent comes with them. Obviously, the calking was applied from inside the trailer AFTER the lights are mounted and the wire ends in the taillight unit are very short.

I put a piece of 3/8" vinyl tube on the end of a tune of caulk. That allowed me to move the new LED units almost into place and then reach in with the extended nozzle and neatly caulk the opening. That prevented me from having to ball up a lot of wire behind the LED unit.

I think these lights are a great safety change; the turn and stop lights are really bright and, for the first time, I can clearly see my taillights with direct sun on them.

Also, the color code on the left light is obvious. For the right light units, the colors are different. I stripped the wires and made a temporary connection to insure that I was wiring them correctly.
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Old 10-22-2005, 12:58 PM   #18
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Sorry

Quote:
Originally Posted by biggerjohn
I found this link on an older thread. The prices and compatability look good.

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...?product=TRUCK
There are no units shown on that site that are even remotely equivalent to the Airstream Classic taillights.
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Old 10-22-2005, 02:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
I think these lights are a great safety change; the turn and stop lights are really bright and, for the first time, I can clearly see my taillights with direct sun on them.
That's exactly the reason I'm doing this. I've been behind too many trailers which have been back lit by the sun and the standard tail lights on most trailers tend to get washed out.

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Old 10-22-2005, 06:24 PM   #20
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So the question begs to be asked, "why only post 93 unit?" I'd like to convert my 84 MH to LED's for certain. Unfortunately the '57 blubs point sideways and all the LED conversion bulbs point the wrong way. They would need a 90 degree bend to work properly. Has anyone seen a bulb with LED's that face out?
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