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Old 05-21-2015, 04:01 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1993 30' Excella
Pueblo , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 19
Overhead Lights in the main cabin problem.

'93 Excella 31'. The overhead light fixtures (2 with 6 bulbs each) If I switch on Low,maybe 3 one time and two the next. Or on hi maybe 4 or 5 one time and 2 or 3 the next. They are not necessarily the same bulbs lighting or not lighting each time. These are the bayonet base incandescent bulbs. I have pulled and tested them and all are good. Seems to be in the connection (Bulb to bayonet base). Or it could it be the wiring harness; if it has one. I can flick them with my finger or twist them and they go off and on. Is there a halogen bulb that will work better or are the bayonet bases going bad?
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:34 AM   #2
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1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,344
I wouldn't use a halogen bulb in those fixtures, it'd probably melt the plastic. I suggest LED instead, and there are quite a few options for those bulbs; check out led4rv.com for example.

You're right, it's probably some corrosion on the bulb/socket. But this might affect the LEDs as well, although they draw less power so tend to work when a regular bulb might not (for example, I've got a socket in a pinball machine that won't do anything with an incandescent bulb, but works fine with an LED).

In mine, on low, the inner two bulbs light, and on high, the outer four bulbs light. There's no way to turn on all 6, not that I'd really want to. We replaced the "low" settings with LEDs so as to have that option when camping without electricity. The newer LEDs are better than they were even a few years ago, so it may be time to look into replacing the outer four bulbs.
1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
Sold: 2006 F-250 6.0L Powerstroke Supercab
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:10 AM   #3
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2004 25' Safari
Crestview , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 162
Lights out

I have used something called Corrosion X in my tail and running lights and solved problem. I would put rags or old towel on floor under lights let set over night and clean up in am. Its not cheap $18.00 a can but it works on all types of rusty or ares of corrosion I keep a can in truck at all times. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-22-2015, 04:00 PM   #4
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2005 19' Safari
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,453
If you have a multimeter (Ohmmeter), remove all bulbs and check for continuity. Also, inspect bulb and fixture bases for corrosion; and remove any found with an emery cloth or very fine sandpaper. Then, clean with contact cleaner, alcohol, etc.

If that doesn't fix the intermittent lighting problem, tap/thump all bulbs firmly with your finger while switch is ON. Old bulbs sometimes have broken filaments where pieces at the break are just barely touching, and bulbs will flicker or go OFF when thumped.

Similarly, some have broken filaments where the ends are NOT touching; and thumping will sometimes make loose ends touch, so the bulb will light.

In either case, the bulb is defective and should be replaced.
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Old 05-22-2015, 04:03 PM   #5
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1999 34' Excella
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Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6,369
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Jerry, consider LEDs. They have come a looooong way!

Ping in PM and I can share details or check out RV LEDs a sponsor here.
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 05-23-2015, 12:22 PM   #6
1972 21' LY Globetrotter
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1972 21' Globetrotter
Pico Rivera , California
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 13
My 1972 21" LY has Two overhead light. I had a similar problem. It was the rotary switch. They are a 4 position switch. off-2-4-6 or in other words, Off- then middle two lights, then the four corners, then ALL six, then off again. These switches are hard to find. Rod from C & G Trailer In Bellflower, CA takes car of my needs. Unless someone has rewired your lights. This could be your problem. another hint. I removed the one of the middle bulbs on the fixture by the door. I leave this one bulb on at night, when we are all outside and then you have to come in to get one thing, you have a little light to see. Like a inside night light.

I strongly suggest LED, they save so much when dry camping. They even make LED's for the reading spot lights above my bed. And make sure of the Kelvin color you want. My wife likes the 2700. Many people like the 3500.
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