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Old 09-26-2018, 01:54 PM   #21
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1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Originally Posted by dawaves View Post
Total newbie alert!
I just bought a dilapidated 1973 23' safari in need of new everything but wanted to start with the broken exterior lights first. (See pics)
I would like to replace with led bulbs for the tail lights and led clearance lights.
My 1st question is for the tail light assembly, how do I access the back of the lights to replace all the contact wires? Does the rectangular frame around the taillight assembly pop off? Or do I have to take off an interior panel?
2nd question: for the clearance lights, some are riveted on and some use screws. For the riveted one's, I'm assuming I have to drill out the rivets with drill. Then with the new replacement led assembly, just put new rivets in or can I use self tapping screws or stainless steel screws? I've never riveted before but am willing to learn. Just want to know what others have done.
I think the answer lies in your comment that your Safari is "in need of new everything". Take a step back and assess what needs to be done to get the trailer to the condition in which you want to use it. Most 45-year-old Airstreams have at least some rot in the floor, so the first consideration is whether you replace the whole floor or patch it, or whether you're one of the chosen few who lucked out on a trailer with a good floor.

Along with the floor issue comes looking at the condition of the frame. Is it rusty to the point of needing parts repaired or replaced? On our '74 Sovereign I repaired or replaced about 3/4 of the outriggers and a few of the cross-members. It's hard to do that without removing the floor, but I'm much happier knowing that all of the other work I put into the trailer is sitting on a new floor and repaired and painted frame. Replacing the floor requires removing at least the lower interior skins, which gives you access to the back of the exterior lights (see where I'm going with this? )

Removing the interior skins requires gutting the trailer, but it also allows you to inspect (and replace if necessary) the insulation and wiring. It also give you the chance to remove the mouse nests common to old trailers.
1974 Sovereign
2005 F-350 SRW 4x4 crew cab long box

1965 Avion C-10 Truck Camper (
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:16 PM   #22
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Bathurst , New Brunswick
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 61
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convert clearance lights to led

Originally Posted by dawaves View Post
Thanks gregsch, I've called InlandRV and they have some in stock but I'll go and check first.
How much of the wiring can I pull out? Or do I just splice what's exposed with the new LED light?
What sealant do u recommend? Trempro 635?
Here is what i did for my vintage makeover for the marker lights. Use the full led marker lights . One wire for power and the body for ground. Pull the 2nd ground wire inside the light under the lens and ground the light thru the rivet. My tailights were different than yours. Seal the base with butyl tape and top and sides with aluminum pigmented gutter seal ,as required . see pics
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:47 PM   #23
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
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If you haven't looked at you should it's a great source for parts & supplies .
Glen & Jane 1969 all electric Airstream 25' TradeWind
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:53 AM   #24
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Bathurst , New Brunswick
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Originally Posted by Glenritas View Post
If you haven't looked at you should it's a great source for parts & supplies .
I deal with them all the time. My vintage is a canadian Travelux 1971,similar to avion. My taillights are the big round Bargmans, so i refitted the inside with a total led insert, not led bulbs. My only led bulbs are my backup lights which are from vts. Because they are very cheap, i clear coated the metal parts of the light, because they will not last very long otherwise.
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Old 09-27-2018, 06:10 AM   #25
3 Rivet Member
1973 25' Tradewind
1962 22' Safari
Augusta , Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 168
I concur with the recommendation on Vintage Trailer Supply. I have a '73 TradeWind and replaced all the exterior lights. Started with marker lights from Wally World. Then bought a couple from VTS. Superior quality. While they are LED, the lights have plenty of LED so they are bright and don't look like LED when lit.

Also VTS sells replacement light cans for the 1969-1974 rear assembly, while expensive they are worth it in the long run. My cans were in terrible shape. If there is any corrosion on the old cans bite the bullet and replace.
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