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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > How to seal marker lights?

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path1

Wa State (wet side)

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Joined: 04/19/2012

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Posted: 04/21/12 01:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

REPLANT: you said "The factory drills a rather large hole for the bulb socket to fit into. When installing the LED lamps I cut a patch of Eternabond tape large enough to cover the hole and cutting a slit in the center of the patch to suspend the wiring away from the sharp edges of the hole. Now they are watertight and will not short out".
I'm lost. Here is what I interput. You put the eternabond between the LED lamp and body of RV and then trim eternabond so it doesn't look bad and it works as a water proof gasket?
Do I have it right?


1990 37 ft King of the road 5th wheel. Great carpentry, summer home
1997 33 ft Holiday Rambler, Never again will a new RV come into this family
2003 25 ft Majestic M/H, Old RV rental Best travel machine we've ever owned.

Replant

Someplace

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Joined: 09/09/2010

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Posted: 04/21/12 06:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

path1 wrote:

REPLANT: you said "The factory drills a rather large hole for the bulb socket to fit into. When installing the LED lamps I cut a patch of Eternabond tape large enough to cover the hole and cutting a slit in the center of the patch to suspend the wiring away from the sharp edges of the hole. Now they are watertight and will not short out".
I'm lost. Here is what I interput. You put the eternabond between the LED lamp and body of RV and then trim eternabond so it doesn't look bad and it works as a water proof gasket?
Do I have it right?

Not quite. I was referring to my installation of LED lamps which are a flat circuit board encapsulated in epoxy unlike the incandescent bulb type that have a deep socket to accept the bulb. The socket protrudes beyond the lamp base. therefore a hole must be made in the surface to accommodate the socket. This hole, which is about 3/4" is no longer needed except for the thin wires. The skin of my cab-over is aluminum and the edges of the hole are almost razor sharp. It was no problem with the old style lamp because the heavy rubber socket didn't touch the edges of the hole, assuming the lamp was carefully installed. In any case the wires did not touch the edges.
I cut patches large enough to cover the hole, 1 inch square or more, but not to interfere with the base of the lamp which needs to sit flat on the surface. I then cut a slit to the center of the Eternabond patch and inserted the wires in the slit to keep them suspended in the middle of the hole and overlapped the the slit to make the hole waterproof.

In addition, for added protection, I put a patch on the base of the lamp to stop any water from getting to the wiring on the circuit board and, with a nibbling tool, added drain holes on the sides of the lamps. Before installing the LED lamps I covered the holes in the cab-over surface with small patches of the tape and then inserted the screws followed by a bead of ProTex RV around the base of the lamp and covering the original drain hole on the bottom of the base since, in theory at least, rain water can be driven up the hole when in motion.

* This post was edited 04/21/12 06:40am by Replant *





path1

Wa State (wet side)

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Posted: 04/22/12 01:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Replant Thanks. OP asked "Any ideas how to seal the yellow marker lights that are on the front of our cab over? It seems that as soon as we replace one, another blows off. I didn't think they should be totally sealed in case you had to change the light bulb, but I'm tired of replacing them all the time"
Up grade to another brand or are they put on right? How about putting in yellow bulbs and if the cover goes, OH well. Top lights are a problem.
Neighbor that retired from truck body shop has me almost convinced to mount a polished stainless bar 10 gauge metal maybe with about 4 inches away from cab over with sealed LED clearance lights. 4 inches is to get a brush in there to clean and to replace lights if need be. And plug up old holes. That would stop the problem but hard to convince wife, she thinks it will look odd. All my problems are from water getting in at running/clearance lights. The other option is to take off lights and see how long before I get a fix it ticket. 27 years of driving trucks and cops never bothered me about top lights (brakes & tail & turn, yes problem but not top lights). How about 350,000 hits on google for motorhome water leak. Fixing the cab over for the second time, this time I'm going to make a piece of trim for the very top that is about 6 inches wide so I check out by pulling of this trim piece to see just what is happening behind the paneling, held on by a wing nut in 3 places. Just an idea right now.
Top lights were maybe needed when you had to take route 66 to get anywhere?

ksg5000

Oregon

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Joined: 06/30/2008

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Posted: 04/22/12 02:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I seal the entire fixture with pro flex caulk and replaced the std light bulbs with LED bulbs which last about forever so removing the caulk to replace the bulb isn't an issue. I also use some dielectric grease on the light fixture to deter rust.


Kevin

Replant

Someplace

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Posted: 04/22/12 06:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

path1 wrote:


Top lights were maybe needed when you had to take route 66 to get anywhere?

That reminds me of something that I read in Readers Digest many years ago. The story was that a trucker was driving his car carrier one moonless night on an unlighted narrow 2 lane road when all of his lights blew out. There wasn't a shoulder or safe place to pull off the road and he couldn't very well leave the truck on the roadway - what to do Then he got a bright idea to climb up to the upper deck of his car carrier and turn on the headlights of the first car to illuminate the roadway ahead. Everything was going great until he saw the lights of a vehicle coming from the other direction. Suddenly the oncoming vehicle swerved off the road and into the woods. The trucker stopped to help and asked "What made you go off the road?" The dazed motorist replied "When I saw you coming at me I thought "If this thing is as wide as it is high, I'm getting the heck out of here!"

tracyb-oh

Cincinnati,Ohio

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Joined: 02/24/2002

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Good Sam RV Club Member

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Posted: 04/22/12 12:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

nice story replant. Well yesterday we put on new marker light covers using a dab a silicone caulking. Hope that does the trick. Thanks everybody for the info...


Tracy and T
Jayco 2001 Class C 3150J Designer
2007 Honda CRV
"The Girls" Honey and Crystal our dachshunds


TiogaRV

Mexico

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Posted: 05/05/12 08:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Tracy & T,

I am planning to replace all of my inexpensive clearance lights very soon. Both cab-over and rear. It's been my experience that replacing the clearance light fixture takes some innovation. Many RVs do not have good construction below the lights. So, there is nothing for the fixture screws to bite into.

Here is my plan. First, I will buy good quality truck clearance light fixtures from a company that caters to the big rigs (link).

After I have received these good quality LED clearance light fixtures, I'll take one of the light fixtures to a wood shop and have the shop fabricate a wood base for the fixtures. A fabricated base is required because:
  • The clearance light fixture should be attached to a durable mount
  • The mount must be waterproof
  • The mount must provide for fastening the fixture to the mount
  • The mount must be permanently attached to the cab-over roof

Now I have the light fixtures and the wood mounts. Next thing is to take my light project to a fiber glass shop. A shop that repairs fiber glass fishing boats is good. Some body shops that have a good fiberglass guy may be good.

When the wood mounts are taken to the fiber glass shop, they must already include the fasteners which will attach the mounts to the fixtures. I do not have a preference between threaded studs or insert nuts. Both will do the job as long as there is "No way" for the stud or nut to ever come loose!

The fiberglass maestro that you choose will take your mounts and fiberglass them to your RV roof or wall. All of the past mounting screw holes will be fiber-glassed closed. Then, the mount should be painted to match your RV.

Electric wiring must be considered when doing this project.

Good luck,
George



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