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Old 05-11-2010, 05:50 PM   #1
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HID Headlights

If anyone has installed HID headlights in their Monaco coach I would appreciate knowing what you did.

Did you install new headlight housings or were you able to plug and play using your existing headlight housings. Did wiring prove to be an issue, if so, what did you do to solve the problem.

We have a 2008 Diplomat, I have upgraded the bulbs but would prefer HID's if it makes sense to do so.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:06 PM   #2
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More than likely your headlights were from an existing manufacturer such as GM, Ford or Chrysler and unless your current headlights have a HID option, installing a HID bulb will have little effectiveness. HID headlights are designed with a lense assembly and "black out" baffle to keep stray light away from oncoming vehicles. Just adding HID lights to a standard light assembly just pisses off the oncoming vehicles with just a little better illumination for you. That said, there are a couple few options:

1. Better halogen bulbs such as Sylvania SilverStars or GE NightHawks. A little whiter light and a little brighter
2. Installing HIR headlights if your bulbs are 9011 or 9012. Much brighter and whiter than standard or the SilverStars or NightHawks/
3. Upgrade the light circuit wiring which lessens the voltage drop to the lights resulting in more votage/current to the lights.
4. After market HID assemblies for your Head light assembly. Pretty slim though
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:52 PM   #3
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BHEMOTH.......I was going add HID's to mine, but after reading this Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply you'll see SixPack98 is correct.

I solved my lighting issues by adding the Silverstar HIGH beam bulbs in the low beam position and replacing the fog/driving lights with Hella driving lights. The Hellas were the biggest improvement and they don't disturb oncoming traffic.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:26 PM   #4
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Also verify that the voltage to the headlight bulb is close to 13v with engine running. I had 10.9 volts from the factory. Now with 13.5 volts and HIR bulbs I can really see. The Sylvania Silverstar Ultra were good, but the HIR's are over the top. If you get the Silverstar bulbs, be sure to buy the Ultra's, as Syvania makes three different bulbs.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:42 AM   #5
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Don brought up an excellent point that installing Hella driving lights made a huge improvement. The headlight assemblies on the vast majority of Motorhomes are from cars and to a lesser extent pickup trucks. On these vehicles they sit much lower to the ground and were engineered for that application. The lights on Motorhomes sit much higher and a dead zone is created for some distance in front of the coach. The Hella's are well engineered driving lights and fill in this dead zone and throw a very focused beam low and greatly improve night time visibility.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:00 AM   #6
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My vote also for the Hellas. Easy mod with great results. The HIR's are awesome as well. Important next job...check voltage and upgrade if necessary.
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:32 PM   #7
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I don't really drive that much at night, not that I mind driving at night, but these coaches are very nice to sleep in when it is dark outside! However, on the occasions that I have driven at night I have found the OEM headlights to be next to useless.

Given the cost and the recent auto chat room hype in favour of HID "plug and play" kits I thought I might have found a solution, but my reading did not convince me to buy so I turned to the good folks at IRV2.

It seems unanimous, the best solution, save for a complete headlight system replacement, is to upgrade the existing bulbs and add Hellas.

I'll be shopping tomorrow. Thanks to each of you for your time, wisdom and sound advice.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:32 AM   #8
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FWIW, our "new" Class A has lighting from, it looks like Dodge, both for the headlights and taillights.
I havent had an occasion to drive it at night but Im thinking like several others on here and changing the bulbs to Silver Stars.
I v had them on another vehicle and they were a lot better than the stock bulbs.
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:10 PM   #9
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Don't overlook rewiring the stock lighting circuit. I had results to what Harry posted. Reworking the light circuit greatly increased the light level of the NightHawks. Installing the HIR's was amazing. Next project is to install the Hella's to fill in the bottom.
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:41 PM   #10
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I installed HIR bulbs (from Daniel Stern) in my low beams several years ago ...my high beams provide great visibility.

Don ...I am interested in your use of high beam bulbs in the low beam position ...just the bulbs, not the bucket? ...that works well for the driver w/o blinding oncoming drivers?

DO NOT OVERLOOK THE NEED FOR PROPER ALIGNMENT of your oem headlights. Most motorhome owners I know who have had their's checked found they were way off. It doesn't matter how great a bulb or fixture or voltage you have if the lights are aimed way high and to the way right like mine were...
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:20 PM   #11
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My vote is also for Hella driving lights. Easy install and great results. I could not drive at night before with my class A until I replaced the fog lights with Hella driving light. Marked improvement for a small cost.

Good luck.

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Old 05-13-2010, 07:14 PM   #12
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AFChap....If you look at your lenses, there is a large silver disc on the low beam side that prevents oncoming traffic from being blinded. When I bought the low beam Sylvania Silverstars for my coach, they also have a coating over the tip to do the same thing as the silver disc in the lense.

Soooooo....I bought the high beam Silverstars which do not have the coating and are 10 watts brighter. The difference between the high and low beam bulbs is how they are "clocked" (fit into the socket). There is a ridge on the high beam that prevents it from sliding into the low beam socket. If you look at both bulbs (the new high beam Silverstar and your old low beam bulb, you'll see the difference). I trimmed off the ridge and installed the high beam bulb. It improved the lighting along with the Hella's.

I have yet to check the voltage at mine.....will do that soon.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:16 PM   #13
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Don ...understand about trimming the high beam bulbs to fit ...I had to do some trimming to get the HIR bulbs into my low beam sockets. With the high beam bulbs in the low sockets, no cars flashing you for too bright lights?

I looked at changing my fog lamps to driving lights but was told it is illegal to have driving lights on at the same time as low beams ...'course if I replaced fogs w/driving, I could control the driving lights w/the fog switch if necessary, and don't know that anyone but me would know they are driving rather than fogs. Your (high) low beams w/driving lights together aren't too bright for oncoming?
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:44 PM   #14
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I run with the low beams (Silverstar High beams) and the driving lights on at the same time without offending anyone. It took awhile to adjust them just right.
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