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Topic: Headlight Adjustment

Posted By: Ten41seven on 08/15/07 08:39pm

I own a 2001 Winnebago/Itasca Horizon diesel pusher. The lights on this unit are terrible. At times we cannot hardly see with them at night.

I read that headlights dim as they age so we are considering replacing our headlights.

Does anyone have information of how to correctly adjust the headlights on a Class "A" RV?

If so please let me know.

Posted By: robatthelake on 08/15/07 09:32pm

First off The Headlights are adjusted the same as any Car or Truck and unfortunately that is a Legal Requirement so that They Don't Create a Hazard to On Coming Traffic!
The only way to get Brighter and Better Lighting is to Install Secondary and Possibly Illegal Driving Lights. I Say possibly Illegal because The Lawmakers in this Country have decided that the Headlights must be as Bad Today as they were Good in 1940!

Rob & Jean
98 Dutch Star Diesel Pusher ..07 Honda CRV AWD

Posted By: Kenneth on 08/15/07 10:43pm

First, be sure the lenses are clear. If they are cloudy, try the plastic polishing compounds sold by auto parts stores, and maybe even try very fine wed/dry sandpaper first. Determine the original car or truck the headlights were originally used in and consider buying new lights from an aftermarket on-line suppler...much cheaper than a dealership.

You can buy standard wattage bulbs that are up to 50% brighter due to better (costlier) gases and more precise filament placement.

Aim the lights so they are as high as possible without blinding oncoming drivers. Do not fall for the hype about blue tinted bulbs.

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Posted By: bsprague on 08/15/07 10:53pm

Try this link to visual headlight aiming. Basically, you want them to aim down 2 inches at 25 feet.

Bill Sprague
2004 Beaver Monterey, 8.3 ISC 350 Cummins
2007 Ford Edge AWD
9 ft Quicksilver inflatable boat w/ 15 hp Suzuki

Posted By: flhtci-rider on 08/16/07 06:00am

be sure also your chassis batteries are full charge. This can cause low lighting.

"> 2006 Scepter
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Posted By: lake on 08/16/07 06:32am

The problem is that Winnebago headlights are crap. Mine are just glued in and I don't see how they can be adjusted. Both of my headlights on my 04 Journey have fallen out at various times and even when they are reglued in the lights are so dim it is very dangerous to drive at night so we just try to only drive in daylight. Other than the glue/adhesive that Winnebago used in 04 models, the quality of the entire unit is pretty good.


Posted By: wa8yxm on 08/16/07 07:36am

First: you should not have to aim them.. For all intents there are basically two kinds of headlights.. The older "Sealed beam" headlights were very precisely made, There are 3 lands on the bulb that set in pockets on the lamp holder, these are very precise and the new ones should already be aimed the same as the old ones.

The newer halogen bumps you replace only a "Cartridge" (lamp) and not the lense assembly so again, the aim stays true.

However that said.. Sometimes they do need a bit of touching up

So thnaks to the person who posted the link to visual aiming. I'm saving that one

Home is where I park it.
Kenwood TS-2000 housed in a 2005 Damon Intruder 377

Posted By: Rex & Shirley on 08/16/07 08:09am

We had a 00 Horizon and I know what you are talking about. Winny put the cheapest sealed beams available in them. I changed ours out to Hella lamps and reset them. I also believe the lamps are adjusted with the coach "down" from the factory as I found the Horizon and our GS FriendShip as well had the lights set way to high. The Winny's lights were so weak they didn't bother oncoming traffic but the GS's blinded everyone.

Rex & Shirley S.
4 big dogs in a
Gulf Stream FriendShip

Posted By: bingoldsby on 08/16/07 08:15am

My experience with headlight bulbs (speaking now of the small replacement lamps) is that they are not all made the same. It depends on the quality of the filiment placement within the bulb (not the price).

I bought a set of quite expensive lamps from the internet once and found their build quality to be so poor (and diffenent from each other) that one could not posibly be re-aimed to shine in its correct alignment. Replacing those with lamps obtained from a parts store confirmed that experience.

On my Goldwing motorcycle, I set the bike up on the centerstand on level ground, turn on the lights, and walk quite a ways ahead of the bike to look at the alignment consistancy of the individual bulbs. (The up-down position of the entire headlight array can be adjusted with an electrical position control knob on the dash.)

Modern headlight bulbs have a very distinct cut-off line across the beam, above which the light barely shines. Standing out ahead of the vehicle, it is easy to see that cut-off point and adjust up-down using it. It's also easy enough to determine aim side to side looking back at the vehicle from a distance.

If visibility doesn't improve with proper aiming, then there's several other things to do (like read some of the things written above already).

I didn't yet look at the link to visual aiming. Perhaps I'm just spending unnecessary time writing these things.

Brian K7ZRZ
Currently residing in Tacoma, WA
1987 30' Holiday Rambler Class A
GL1800 Goldwing - Honda Helix Scooter
2000 Silver Miata LS Toad

Posted By: ramblinwreck on 08/16/07 12:02pm

Here's my theory: First, your chassis batteries are in the rear of the vehicle (at least mine are) and the headlights are connected to the battery with something like 16 gauge wire.

I'm posting a link below to a previous discussion on this topic but in there you will find a discussion on rewiring the headlights. I did this with 10 guage wire and at the same time shortened the total distance from the battery to the headlights (not by a little bit, by a lot) and the improvement in my headlights is phenomenal. It is not a hard task and the payback is immeasurable.

First link:

This guy will tell you more stuff about lighting than you can imagine. I almost bought stuff from him, but I decided he was too expensive and I could accomplish the same thing much cheaper. He would have sold me wire, relays and lights for about 600.00, I did the same for about 150 counting new headlights (which I probably didn't need in the first place)

here's the thread:

In this thread you will find a wiring schematic of how to rewire your lights and get huge improvement immediately.

i bet your headlights don't need to be adjusted. They just need more power that is currently being lost in the transmission through very thin gage wire.

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Posted By: rv37tonk on 09/13/07 07:57pm

We have a four winds class A
The headlights were horrible. One looking for racoons an the other bots dots.

I found two adjustments behind the fiberglass headlamp chassis mount(1st Clue-fiberglass moves and sticks) The adjustments would barely move the beam as needed (2nd clue- bump the fiber glass housing with a closed fist). Yea the lamp did move where I wanted it to. This a back and fourth routine to achieve the results you need. Good luck and happy night driving.

RV 37 tonk

Posted By: yudamann on 09/13/07 08:26pm

I have a Monaco and it does NOT have adjustment screws the same as automobiles. The only way to move the beam aiming point is to bend the aluminum brackets that support the light housing. It is a pure guess at first, but at night you can see where the center of the light has moved after bending. It is a horrible design. Mine came from the factory with misalignment and I got the finger pointing game from the chassis warranty and the coach warranty guys, so had to do it myself. Like so many things we have to do with this hobby.

Outer Banks NC
2005 Allegro Bus 38TGP
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Brakemaster toad brakes

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Posted By: DSDP Don on 09/13/07 08:51pm

I did several things to my coach and the lights are great now.

If you have the replaceable socket type.... I did the following. I replaced the high beam with a high beam Sylvania Silverstar bulb and the low beam with a "High Beam" Sylvania Silverstar bulb. A lot of the socket type headlight lenses have a "quarter" sized area built into the center of the lense to block direct light from oncoming traffic. The low beam bulbs also have a painted or blocked area at the tip of the bulb, duplicating the blocking of light. The High Beam bulbs don't have this and are typically 10 watts brighter. The High Beam bulbs will not fit in the low beam sockets because they are "clocked" differently ( alignment pins in different spots). With a dremel you can remove one of the pins and the lights become interchageable. (I know a lot of people will say the Sylvania Silverstars are worthless, but I find they work better than stock and the improvement is worth the price).

Finally, I replaced my 3" oval driving lights with Hella 75 driving lights. Between the two modifications I don't outdrive my lighting anymore.

My brother-in-law replaced the driving lights on his Itasca Meridian with similar Hella's and also saw a great improvement.

Don & Mary
2014 Newmar Dutch Star 4018 - All Electric
Cummins 450ISL
2016 GMC Canyon 4WD Crew Cab

Posted By: crash354 on 11/11/07 03:29am

Ten41seven wrote:

I own a 2001 Winnebago/Itasca Horizon diesel pusher. The lights on this unit are terrible. At times we cannot hardly see with them at night.

I'm in the same boat. What did you go with?

I have a 02 Itasca Horizon. I think it has the same round 7" headlamp - Winny part "Headlamp ASM-HL, RD 134625-02-000". Is there a better headlamp than the stock? Mine are very dim. The bra doesn't help, I know, but I want to keep the bra on. Let me know. BTW, to replace this bulb, the entire lamp needs to be removed - it is not a screw in bulb type? Thanks, Jeff.

02 Itasca Horizon 34HD
Explorer, F150, YZ250, Regal 21 LSR

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