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Old 02-02-2011, 05:43 PM   #15
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Hi, JimKate,

If you haven't done so already, check the voltage directly across the headlamp terminals. Even a slight drop in voltage causes a tremendous decrease in light output.

RV wiring is notoriously undersized and also prone to corroded connections. The headlight switch itself is also a common culprit. Keep in mind that each lamp draws about 4 amps, so it doesn't take much resistance to cause a substantial voltage drop.

The fix for wiring/switch problems is cheap and well within the abilities of a shade tree mechanic: simply install relays. You can purchase complete kits, or just buy the relays for a couple bucks apiece.

After I added the relays, my headlights went from dim and yellow (and down-right scary) to brilliant white and "bright as day" (there was no change of bulbs or lenses, nor of my seating elevation.)

Here's a good How-To article:
Danial Stern Lighting
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpinRite View Post
simply install relays. You can purchase complete kits, or just buy the relays for a couple bucks apiece.

After I added the relays, my headlights went from dim and yellow (and down-right scary) to brilliant white and "bright as day" (there was no change of bulbs or lenses, nor of my seating elevation.)

Here's a good How-To article:
Danial Stern Lighting
I agree with this completely, but don't most of our rigs have relays for EVERYTHING all ready?

My 99 F53 fleetwood is chock full of relays... Ford relays for the headlights, tail lights, turn signals, and separate ones for the trailer lighting connector, fleetwood relays for the fog lights and a buch of other stuff.

Under the hood there's 2 boxes chock full of relays...

And the headlights still suck the big one, totally dangerous to drive at night.
Some good suggestions here though. When all the white stuff goes away, I'm gonna get some of those sylvania super bulbs, and also replace my worthless fog lights with some good million candlepower eye melter driving lights.

Sstioll tho, my favorite suggestion is to be parked by happy hour.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:35 PM   #17
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If you only paying $100, dont expect them to last long.. both bulbs and ballasts...

1 year warranty included.

And if they fail, the stock headlight bulb can be reinstalled.

Not a problem for me as there is enough space to allow me to change the bulbs without hassle. Others may not. And just as I installed relays for the headlights in my 63 falcon, i'll be doing the same for my mh

$100 for 3x light output, if it doesnt work out you will all know soon enough.

ON A SIDE NOTE to ALL: NO aftermarket HID are DOT approved.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:58 PM   #18
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SpinRite,

Thanks for the info, it's exactly what I've been looking for.
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:57 AM   #19
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Having driven semi's for years, I can tell you that the higher you sit above the beam, the better the visibility. When looking thru the beam, dust, fog, smoke, and whatever else that's stirred up, is illuminated and more difficult to see thru. Auxiliary driving and fog lights are much more beneficial mounted lower than your line of sight. Over the road drivers would not tolerate the lack of visibility and the danger that we accept.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:10 AM   #20
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"Driving Lights"

Thank you guys for all of the comments on my "less than adaquate" headlights.

I am looking strongly at the Xenon and/or the XtraVision headlights. I will post the results when I decide and get them up and running.

One other question: What are the "ins" and "outs" of changing my fog lights (which I very very rarely ever use) into "driving lights"? I looked at them but I don't know where to start.

Thanks.

Becker
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:29 AM   #21
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One other question: What are the "ins" and "outs" of changing my fog lights (which I very very rarely ever use) into "driving lights"? I looked at them but I don't know where to start.

Thanks.

Becker
Basically you would simply replace the entire light unit with a "driving light" of the same basic size, shape, and mounting.
Rectangular or round, and if round, what diameter?
Most mount with a single stud out the bottom.

A "driving light" has a completely different lens than a "fog light", designed to project the light as far as possible, rather than cut it off low to reduce glare.

Driving lights generally have more power too, with bulbs up to 100 watts.
Using a relay is important, tho most rigs will have an existing relay for the fog lights. Having the switch near at hand is important too, as these lights are decidedly NOT oncoming traffic friendly.

Bottom line though, you buy a pair of lights, bolt them on, plug them in, and aim them.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:39 AM   #22
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The "fog" lights on my MH where so far out of adjustement that they only projected light about two feet in front of the MH. I was parked one night in RV park that was level with nothing in front of me so I put the suspension in the driving position and put my Jeep out in front so I would be able to see how high the beams would be and not blind cars. I covered my headlights so only the fog lights were giving light. I had to move them up a lot to give me good light. I aimed them so they did not shine into the on coming traffic and also so they lit up the shoulder. The difference is night and day (pun intended). The factory installed lights really worked well with a little adjustment. I am not sure they are really fog lights and that they may really be driving lights because they do not have a sharp cutoff like a fog light they just were not adjusted at the factory.
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Old 07-24-2011, 04:37 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by BudtheDiplomat

I agree. I put the Ultras on my Diplomat which helped some. After getting a rock thru one of my fog lights, I changed both fog lights to driving lights. The added light adds a lot more safety to my night driving experience.
What driving lights did you go with? I need to do the same thing. Did you just wire to the existing fog wires or did you need to use a relay?
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:09 AM   #24
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I agree with the relays. The factory set up has your power going from the battery to the switch back to the lights. Adding the relay, the power comes directly from the battery. No voltage drop. You still make use of the factory relay, but it just supplies the power to the relay to turn it on.
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:24 AM   #25
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I put Silver Stars in shortly after they came out or just after we got this rig, don't remember now. Anyway, we do a LOT of night driving and find they work very well. I probably should wire in some relays too someday.

In my Mazda rotary engine pickup I replaced the high beams with airplane landing lights. Had to rework the wiring. I didn't use them much but they sure lit up the highway/
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:49 AM   #26
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If you add a relay (which you should) - power the 'switch' terminal on the relay from your high beams. With a manual On-Off switch between, that way when you are using high beams & driving lights together you can either turn off the driving lights with the On-Off switch or just flip to low beams and the driving light go out as well.
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