RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Fleetwood Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-15-2019, 03:47 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 7
In need of brighter headlights!

Hi,
Last year I purchased our very first Class A motorhome,.... a '92 Fleetwood Flair. It has been a great experience as we were very fortunate to purchase it from a really great guy who was meticulous in his vehicle maintenance program.

One thing I am having difficulty with is "the headlights are not bright enough". All 4 have been replaced at one time or another but I'm amazed at how poor they work. We like to drive at night often but with our RV it is difficult. I do have some LED's attached to the bumper but rarely use them as they are extremely bright but do not shine down the road very far (& would blind oncoming traffic).

Any suggestions for a type of bulb I could use or perhaps how I can affordably get higher wattage to my headlights?

Thanks.
__________________

Dream-Weaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-15-2019, 04:46 AM   #2
Senior Member - DIYer
 
Waiter21's Avatar


 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 6,167
Welcome to the forum.

I've seen a mod where instead of powering the lights from the headlight switch, the person installed a relay for each light. The headlight switch would energize the relay, and the relay would then power the headlight directly (through a fuse) off of the battery.
__________________

__________________
1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10 275hp 4R100 4 spd trans) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.
(www.1999Southwind.com)

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
Waiter21 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 04:59 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Watertown NY USA
Posts: 2,579
Do you know what part numbers the bulbs in the lights are?
If you have the numbers you can go to an auto parts store and buy upgraded bulbs. There are many available.
Are the headlamp lenses foggy? Most MH's use automotive headlamp assemblies so replacements may be readily available.
One other thing you could check is the available voltage to the headlamp sockets. This can be done by removing a bulb and testing at the contacts with a volt meter for full battery voltage with the engine running. Most older vehicles used a common ground for the headlamp circuit. If this ground connection was corroded the voltage would be low at the bulb sockets.
Lynn
__________________
2002 Fleetwood Storm 30H on Workhorse P32 chassis 8.1 gas.
LETMGROW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 05:56 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
bamaboy473's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Gulf Coast, Alabama
Posts: 2,286
RV headlights seem to be notorious for not producing enough light. We got up-graded bulbs first; minimal change. My recent switch was to LED bulbs that are supposed to be so bright as to be illegal in some/many states.

hint: not to worry, our night driving is limited to when we're a few minutes after dark getting somewhere, and inside the CG.


The LEDs are bright, but there isn't much distance to them.

If you drive at night a lot, get a number (4) of fog lights that are directional, and aim them down the road away from on-coming traffic. Hella makes good ones.
__________________
Rick and Sandy
2003 American Eagle, 59K miles
bamaboy473 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 05:59 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
bamaboy473's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Gulf Coast, Alabama
Posts: 2,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiter21 View Post
Welcome to the forum.

I've seen a mod where instead of powering the lights from the headlight switch, the person installed a relay for each light. The headlight switch would energize the relay, and the relay would then power the headlight directly (through a fuse) off of the battery.
Interesting. If we're getting 13V directly from the switch, how would adding a relay change the voltage (assuming that higher voltage produces more light)?
__________________
Rick and Sandy
2003 American Eagle, 59K miles
bamaboy473 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 08:41 AM   #6
Senior Member - DIYer
 
Waiter21's Avatar


 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 6,167
Quote:
Interesting. If we're getting 13V directly from the switch, how would adding a relay change the voltage (assuming that higher voltage produces more light)?

When powering the bulb through all the switches and connections, this introduces a voltage drop and hence a dimmer light.
__________________
1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10 275hp 4R100 4 spd trans) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.
(www.1999Southwind.com)

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
Waiter21 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 09:38 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
bamaboy473's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Gulf Coast, Alabama
Posts: 2,286
I hear the theory, but seems that our lights run Battery-switch-lightbulb, and I'm getting 13.34V at the connection. The light is bright, just doesn't project, so my guess is that a 2003 rectangular light can just isn't efficient in that way.

I would get two more fog lights if I drove much at night.
__________________
Rick and Sandy
2003 American Eagle, 59K miles
bamaboy473 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 12:53 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by LETMGROW View Post
One other thing you could check is the available voltage to the headlamp sockets. This can be done by removing a bulb and testing at the contacts with a volt meter for full battery voltage with the engine running.
You need to check the voltage at the back of the bulb under load - that means with all of the bulbs hooked up.

The gentleman that suggested brighter bulbs is correct - there are drop-in replacements available, but I'd check the voltage first, if you have, for example, 10 volts at the far end of the wiring you need to fix that first, then decide if you need a brighter replacement.

Don't be surprised if the voltage is low - manufacturers tend to use undersize wire, and undersize switch contacts for the amount of current involved. And they daisy-chain the power and ground wiring. My old Ford had the power start at the battery and feed the unswitched side of the underdash fuseblock then go to the headlight switch, then through the harness to the left headlight, then across the radiator support to the right headlight. There was a 1.3 volt drop from the battery to the left headlight, and another 1 volt from the left headlight to the right headlight. My relay kit used 10 gauge size wire from the battery to the relay, then more 10 gauge from the relay to the left headlight and between the left and right headlights.

The relay modification is simple - use one relay for low beams, the other for high beams. Wire the relay coils in place of the existing bulbs, and the contacts switch the chassis battery to the bulbs (through a fuse, naturally).
There are (expensive) kits available for this, but you can get all the parts for it from www.allelectronics.com for a lot less.

Just as full disclosure... I have no relationship with All Electronics except as an occasional retail customer in their storefront in the Los Angeles area.

Mike
__________________
Semi-retired electronics / computer / network / 2-way-radio / amateur radio... (WA6ILQ)
1985 Fleetwood 32' Southwind (Chev P30/454/TH400), dubbed "Lazarus" by friends... I resurrected it from the dead...
AnotherMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 12:55 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
...I'm getting 13.34V at the connection...
Is that with the bulbs connected? (i.e. under load)

Mike
__________________
Semi-retired electronics / computer / network / 2-way-radio / amateur radio... (WA6ILQ)
1985 Fleetwood 32' Southwind (Chev P30/454/TH400), dubbed "Lazarus" by friends... I resurrected it from the dead...
AnotherMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 01:56 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
winniman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Muskoka Ontario Canada
Posts: 2,148
I hear you on the dim headlights. I would highly recommend not driving at night. The dangers from animals, debris on the highway, and other hazards increase after dark. Places to get parts, as well as roadside assistance is reduced as well. After many years of rving, we have learned to leave earlier, and get off the road before dark. Just my opinion, but we have had too many mishaps after dark. Cheers.
__________________
2000 coachmen santara 370 5.9 cummins isb
winniman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 05:16 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 107
I have the same 4" x 6" headlights on my 95 Bounder. I replaced them with these conversion lenses. https://www.ebay.com/itm/FOUR-4x6-H4...gAAOSwwyFZcO2Z
Then I added these LED bulbs. https://www.ebay.com/itm/CREE-H4-900...YAAOSw~fpdN78c
Just make sure and aim your headlights correctly, so as not to blind on coming traffic. The low beam hotspot should hit the road about 30 feet in front of the coach.

A word of caution, the bulbs can be inserted up side down. The Low beam LED should be turned up so the light can reflect down off the top back side of the curved lens reflector.
House Husband is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2019, 04:55 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by winniman View Post
I hear you on the dim headlights. I would highly recommend not driving at night. The dangers from animals, debris on the highway, and other hazards increase after dark. Places to get parts, as well as roadside assistance is reduced as well. After many years of rving, we have learned to leave earlier, and get off the road before dark. Just my opinion, but we have had too many mishaps after dark. Cheers.
Thanks for the warnings.

I've driven a lot at night. I drove a bus/ motor coach for a living at one point. I live in the mountains in B.C. - - very familiar with wildlife.

I enjoy driving at night when it's cooler temps., & far less cars.
Dream-Weaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2019, 04:59 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherMike View Post
You need to check the voltage at the back of the bulb under load - that means with all of the bulbs hooked up.

The gentleman that suggested brighter bulbs is correct - there are drop-in replacements available, but I'd check the voltage first, if you have, for example, 10 volts at the far end of the wiring you need to fix that first, then decide if you need a brighter replacement.

Don't be surprised if the voltage is low - manufacturers tend to use undersize wire, and undersize switch contacts for the amount of current involved. And they daisy-chain the power and ground wiring. My old Ford had the power start at the battery and feed the unswitched side of the underdash fuseblock then go to the headlight switch, then through the harness to the left headlight, then across the radiator support to the right headlight. There was a 1.3 volt drop from the battery to the left headlight, and another 1 volt from the left headlight to the right headlight. My relay kit used 10 gauge size wire from the battery to the relay, then more 10 gauge from the relay to the left headlight and between the left and right headlights.

The relay modification is simple - use one relay for low beams, the other for high beams. Wire the relay coils in place of the existing bulbs, and the contacts switch the chassis battery to the bulbs (through a fuse, naturally).
There are (expensive) kits available for this, but you can get all the parts for it from www.allelectronics.com for a lot less.

Just as full disclosure... I have no relationship with All Electronics except as an occasional retail customer in their storefront in the Los Angeles area.

Mike

Thanks.
And I've just found some vids. online showing how it's done. Definitely going to give this a go!
Dream-Weaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2019, 05:16 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiter21 View Post
Welcome to the forum.

I've seen a mod where instead of powering the lights from the headlight switch, the person installed a relay for each light. The headlight switch would energize the relay, and the relay would then power the headlight directly (through a fuse) off of the battery.
First answer and it's the correct one. Many vehicles of that era had less than adequate headlight wiring.
__________________

steve52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
headlight, light, lights



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Whiter, Brighter, Safer RV Headlights $134 - Mike Mas Idleup Newmar Owner's Forum 95 11-05-2018 09:03 PM
Brighter headlights NealC Newmar Owner's Forum 59 12-09-2017 03:29 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.