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Old 01-09-2022, 11:53 AM   #21
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My 2004 Classic was one of the last trailers built by Airstream with incandescent tail lights. If any of you drove behind one of these that were backlit by strong sunlight, you know that those lights in my opinion, didn't have enough brightness to truly make them noticeable when you used the turn signals or brakes. At the time plug compatible LED technology for replacement bulbs had not developed much yet.

Airstream made a tail light replacement LED array assembly that fit into the the same mount of the old bulb assembly and used the same lens. Cost for the retrofit in labor and parts back in 2006 was $200. Today you could get a LED bulb that would fit the old socket assembly. Back then, it had to be a custom assembly. It was night and day the amount of visibility in daylight. Best enhancement I ever made to my trailer. Was very happy Airstream built these at the time.

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Old 01-09-2022, 12:44 PM   #22
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I’m okay with the tail lights, but I think the new Airstreams should have reverse lights like some of the old models. I don’t think they’re necessary to provide light behind the trailer as much as they are to alert others that the driver is reversing. It sometimes surprises me how many people drive or walk behind the Airstream when it’s quite obvious that I’m reversing.
I added my own. The 22’ Sport I own (2008 model) had the wiring aft of the axle for it…but unfortunately AS did not carry that particular wire in the harness all the way forward. It was like a seperate harness in the rearmost of the AS…but it did not come all the way from the 7-way plug. I had to “snake” a wire back to the aft bath vanity and spice into the backup-light wire depicted in the schematic.

I obtained AS-identical-appearing fixtures at e-trailer, cut the holes and mounted them. (I believe I posted pics somewhere when I did this about 7 or 8 years ago.)

I found that post…but apparently I didn’t post pics…but I posted the following:

“... my little 22' Sport electrical schematic shows that the BU wiring is BLACK. Now to clarify... my Sport did not have BU lights...they had only running lights and tail/turn lights. And the FIXTURE for the lights came from an outside vendor to Airstream and that vendor had 6-inch long white, black, and red wire pigtails on their fixtures.... So my point is you cannot utilize the color-codes found on the fixtures to determine what Airstream used to supply power to them. (Normally, yellow, green, brown and white are what are used to supply pwr to running and tail/turn lights..... so you need to find the AIRSTREAM HARNESS wire which is used to feed BU lights.)

To further add to your dilemma... Airstream likely did not connect the "tail lamp harness" all the way forward to the umbilical-connection. Not only that.... but the universal color used by umbilical mfr's is YELLOW for BU power.

Therefore, in MY trailer, in order for me to add BU lights... I had to open up the cabinetry in the bath to access the BLACK wire AS has in the "taillight harness" ....and connect it to my own wire (I chose black for "consistency... and I had to run my own wire beneath the toilet, thru the wardrobe-basement, behind the galley area, beneath the forward bed, and connect it to the M-3 connector at the front of the trailer just inside the wall/beneath the bed....and be certain to connect it to the terminal which also connected to the YELLOW-UMBILICAL …”
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Old 01-10-2022, 02:43 PM   #23
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Do people actually signal where you guys live? Around here I think directional signals are an extra cost option as no one seems to use them. Or if they do, they turn them on when they are half way through the turn. Or maybe they went to the Godfather school of driving, "Never tell anyone outside the family what you're thinking." Either that or no driving school at all.
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Old 01-11-2022, 01:54 PM   #24
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I’m in So Cal

About half or a little less signal, and about 10% of those signal correctly, and maybe half the “professional” semi-truck drivers signal properly.
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Old 01-11-2022, 01:56 PM   #25
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Colorado drivers are not familiar with turn signals. They're a rarity here. they're also not familiar with our state's left lane law. It can be frustrating.
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Old 01-12-2022, 01:41 AM   #26
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Colorado drivers are not familiar with turn signals. They're a rarity here. they're also not familiar with our state's left lane law. It can be frustrating.
Turn signals are not a substitute for good driving. Around here people come down the entrance ramp at 45 mph with that blinker going expecting it to create a space in traffic. Iíd rather they use the accelerator instead of the signal to merge.
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Old 01-12-2022, 07:18 AM   #27
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Turn signals are not a substitute for good driving. Around here people come down the entrance ramp at 45 mph with that blinker going expecting it to create a space in traffic. Iíd rather they use the accelerator instead of the signal to merge.
Correct. They are not a substitute - but using them is part of good driving.

Shouldn't be an either/or situation, but unfortunately it is too often. Seems like over the past few years the preferred method to get on the highway is to merge quickly at slow speed and then accelerate once in the lane. Not sure when that got reversed from using the ramp to accelerate and then merge.
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Old 01-12-2022, 07:44 AM   #28
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Back in the day when high schools still had driver's ed classes, the term I learned for the entry lane was the acceleration lane. Not entry lane or on ramp as they seem to be the terms used today.

Jack
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:18 AM   #29
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Turn signals are not a substitute for good driving. Around here people come down the entrance ramp at 45 mph with that blinker going expecting it to create a space in traffic. Iíd rather they use the accelerator instead of the signal to merge.
Yes, I agree. But good drivers generally use turn signals.

Iíve spent some time driving in Europe, and my time in Germany taught me how turn signals are used differently in other parts of the world. Germans take driving very seriously. In Germany, a turn signal isnít a request for permission to turn or to change lanes like it is in the US. In Germany, a turn signal is a way to let other drivers know that youíre turning or that youíre coming into the lane. A German driver entering a highway with a turn signal flashing isnít slowing down, waiting for someone to allow them to merge. That German is accelerating and entering the highway.

I wish more people in the US used turn signals, and used them properly. Stopping at the end of a highway entrance ramp with your turn signal flashing isnít a good thing.
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:35 AM   #30
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When I did the training to upgrade my CDL from class B to class A a few years ago, I was surprised to learn that I'd been using signals wrong for a long time when switching lanes. Perhaps I never learned the correct way, or perhaps I'd forgotten...

What we were taught in truck driver training was to put on the turn signal as soon as you know you need to switch lanes, and to keep the signal on until all the vehicle is fully inside the lane.

In the past, I'd wait until I saw an opening before turning on the signal, and I'd turn it off once I was partway into the lane.

By signaling early openings in traffic appeared which were not there prior, and keeping the turn signal going until fully in the lane was to help make your presence known to drivers attempted to enter the lane from the other side, possibly passing a car and not seeing you enter the lane.

I know that others learned different ways to do this, but it's really helped doing all this when towing the Airstream as well.
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Old 01-12-2022, 09:00 AM   #31
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I think that's an excellent tip, especially when towing.
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Old 01-13-2022, 05:41 AM   #32
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When I did the training to upgrade my CDL from class B to class A a few years ago, I was surprised to learn that I'd been using signals wrong for a long time when switching lanes. Perhaps I never learned the correct way, or perhaps I'd forgotten...

What we were taught in truck driver training was to put on the turn signal as soon as you know you need to switch lanes, and to keep the signal on until all the vehicle is fully inside the lane.

In the past, I'd wait until I saw an opening before turning on the signal, and I'd turn it off once I was partway into the lane.

By signaling early openings in traffic appeared which were not there prior, and keeping the turn signal going until fully in the lane was to help make your presence known to drivers attempted to enter the lane from the other side, possibly passing a car and not seeing you enter the lane.

I know that others learned different ways to do this, but it's really helped doing all this when towing the Airstream as well.
If thereís not room enough to make a safe lane change, donít do it. Driving along with that blinker going ainít gonna create more room. I like the lane change feature on my F350. It blinks five times. If I move over thereís plenty of room, and I donít need permission to do it.

It is easy to identify aggressive drivers. A trick I learned in reserve academy is if that blinker is going every few seconds, that person is making too many unnecessary lane changes. They stick out like a sore thumb.

The best drivers signal sparingly. And when I merge Iím doing traffic speed or more. No one needs to move over to let me merge. This is one reason I pull with a diesel. If Iím not careful with the right foot it will spin the tires when merging.
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Old 01-13-2022, 05:45 AM   #33
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Yes, I agree. But good drivers generally use turn signals.

(Snip)

I wish more people in the US used turn signals, and used them properly. Stopping at the end of a highway entrance ramp with your turn signal flashing isnít a good thing.
Not sure why a signal is even needed when merging. When you see a vehicle coming down an entrance ramp, do you really need to see a signal to know where theyíre going?

Donít get me wrong, I signal when merging to be courteous and avoid LE problems. But here in Detroit people sit on that signal, crane their necks out the window, and stop on the ramp.
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Old 01-13-2022, 06:16 AM   #34
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Our unit has four which to us is adequate. Would like the back ups.
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Old 01-13-2022, 06:40 AM   #35
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If thereís not room enough to make a safe lane change, donít do it. Driving along with that blinker going ainít gonna create more room. ...No one needs to move over to let me merge. ....
Not at all sure where you typically pull your trailer, and in many less-crowded areas I'm sure you're correct.

But, there are lots of parts of the highway system where openings in traffic just don't exist and if you are waiting for a space large enough to merge to come along you'll be stuck in your lane all day.

The worst of these situation to me is when you're driving along in the right-hand lane in an urban or suburban highway and the exit you need is on the left. You've got to get over to make that exit, and if there is moderate/heavy traffic there may be miles of road without an opening.

Fortunately there are drivers who will back off and let you over when they see a turn signal come on. Driving along with a turn signal blinking for a short distance does make openings appear - not always but it does help. Obviously I won't keep it on for miles on end, but if other drivers don't know I want to move over they can't help me do it.

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Not sure why a signal is even needed when merging. When you see a vehicle coming down an entrance ramp, do you really need to see a signal to know where theyíre going?

Donít get me wrong, I signal when merging to be courteous and avoid LE problems. But here in Detroit people sit on that signal, crane their necks out the window, and stop on the ramp.
Yes - it's needed. Aside from legalities, I want to know what the intention of the driver on the ramp is and I want other drivers to know my intentions. Is he/she paying attention, aware of traffic on the road, and actually planning to merge.

Also, that little blinking light might be the difference needed to catch the attention of someone not watching carefully and let them know that a vehicle is about to come towards them. I know, it won't fix people with their face in their phones, but there's only so much I can do from my vehicle to help others see me.
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Old 01-13-2022, 06:49 AM   #36
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Tail Lights... Big Arses need Big Tail Lights

A suggestion, some here are self interrupting or writing what the rules for merging to a highway should be or how they expect other drivers should accommodate them, become familiar with your state driver manuals as to who has right of way and what is the responsibility of the merging traffic.
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Old 01-13-2022, 10:07 AM   #37
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Yes - it's needed. Aside from legalities, I want to know what the intention of the driver on the ramp is and I want other drivers to know my intentions. Is he/she paying attention, aware of traffic on the road, and actually planning to merge.

Also, that little blinking light might be the difference needed to catch the attention of someone not watching carefully and let them know that a vehicle is about to come towards them. I know, it won't fix people with their face in their phones, but there's only so much I can do from my vehicle to help others see me.
I agree. Besides, how much effort does it take to flip the lever? It is common couresy.
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Old 01-14-2022, 12:31 PM   #38
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Not at all sure where you typically pull your trailer, and in many less-crowded areas I'm sure you're correct.

But, there are lots of parts of the highway system where openings in traffic just don't exist and if you are waiting for a space large enough to merge to come along you'll be stuck in your lane all day.

The worst of these situation to me is when you're driving along in the right-hand lane in an urban or suburban highway and the exit you need is on the left. You've got to get over to make that exit, and if there is moderate/heavy traffic there may be miles of road without an opening.

Fortunately there are drivers who will back off and let you over when they see a turn signal come on. Driving along with a turn signal blinking for a short distance does make openings appear - not always but it does help. Obviously I won't keep it on for miles on end, but if other drivers don't know I want to move over they can't help me do it.



Yes - it's needed. Aside from legalities, I want to know what the intention of the driver on the ramp is and I want other drivers to know my intentions. Is he/she paying attention, aware of traffic on the road, and actually planning to merge.

Also, that little blinking light might be the difference needed to catch the attention of someone not watching carefully and let them know that a vehicle is about to come towards them. I know, it won't fix people with their face in their phones, but there's only so much I can do from my vehicle to help others see me.
The driver on the ramp is either going to stay on the shoulder and slam into the next bridge abutment, or enter the highway. Most choose the latter. It is the responsibility of the vehicle merging to yield and enter safely.
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Old 01-14-2022, 12:35 PM   #39
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I agree. Besides, how much effort does it take to flip the lever? It is common couresy.
Yes, itís a courtesy. Iím just sick of people using it as an apology or a warning they are about to merge right into the side of my bright white F350 and 28í Airstream. Some even get angry when the space doesnít magically appear.

I do what the law requires, nothing more. Iíve had people cut me off when driving the ambulance with a patient in the back. Iím not gonna swerve and wreck because someone canít merge.
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Old 01-14-2022, 01:17 PM   #40
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The driver on the ramp is either going to stay on the shoulder and slam into the next bridge abutment, or enter the highway. Most choose the latter. It is the responsibility of the vehicle merging to yield and enter safely.
True,except for the times there are on-off ramps sharing the same space.

Either way, when I don't see the driver turn on the turn signal my Spidey-senses tell me to be cautious as the driver is possibly not fully engaged in driving at the moment.
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