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Old 11-30-2012, 09:17 AM   #1
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Crappy Headlights

Seriously? It's like Stevie Wonder goes RVing.

They are dim and night time driving is hazardous. I have a 2002 Coachmen Cross Country Elite which is a terrific rig but I need to upgrade my headlights.
It currently has Hella bulbs which should burn retinas but are just not getting the job done.
If anyone is aware of an outfit selling kits for upgrading the system please let me know.

A known issue for me is that the lenses are a bit cloudy but I cannot believe that is the only problem.
The grounds are clean. I'm getting 12 volts at the plug.

Thanks.

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Old 11-30-2012, 09:33 AM   #2
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U can get High Intensity headlite kits on ebay etc for in the 100$ range
Thats what i did for my 2008 bus and it works pretty good
Its a plug and play kit so to speak. kit includes mini lite ballast,s that greatly enhance your high beam lighting
also u should check your voltage to your headlite with engine running and make sure your getting proper voltage
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:47 AM   #3
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You might also check the alignment. When I did mine it made an unbelievable difference.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:52 PM   #4
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You telling me… First drive and I want to throw new headlamps in with a bank of offload lights and aircraft landing lights behind the grill !
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:29 PM   #5
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And I glad it the head lights I was thinking I might need new glasses.

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Old 12-01-2012, 12:41 AM   #6
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Make sure you check the voltage at the lights with the lights on. This will show any voltage drop between battery and bulb. You did not hear this from me but installed in each projector housing is a flat black painted aluminum sheald that prevents some light from leaving the housing. This sheild is in all projector style headlamps. Hint Hint....
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
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You did not hear this from me but installed in each projector housing is a flat black painted aluminum sheald that prevents some light from leaving the housing. This sheild is in all projector style headlamps. Hint Hint....
And I'm betting (as you hint) that doing so is illegal as the bulbs and reflectors have to be Federally certified. Removing the shield would make them illegal.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:50 AM   #8
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Mr_d, I never said to remove them Just tweek a little

PS as a retired shop teacher all my students called me Mr.D
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:47 AM   #9
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Here is what I did...some of it might help your situation Headlight Upgrade
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:47 AM   #10
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Great stuff!

rvrepairnut: Ultimately, an aftermarket kit may be where I end up.

stuhly: The alignment is hideous. I need to find a shop with an alignment target. Good tip.

Jaycky: Absolutely agree. My first night drive was a month ago down to PA to pick up my hot-**** Aluma tilt back trailer. Because it was 300+ miles each way I decided to RON at the trailer dealership parking lot. I arrived during daylight, climbed all over my new trailer inspecting it and then settled in for the evening. At just about dark I realized I was without adult beverage so I fired up the rig and headed to town. I actually stopped after a mile and got out to see if I had hit the wrong headlight switch. I had not. If not for the import of the mission I would have aborted. I don't want to hyjack my own thread but if anyone wants to see a picture of my new tilt back with my car on it just say the word.

Now it's time for final preparation for our trip to the Keys and if I indeed get caught night driving I want to see where I'm going.

stink: You scoff law! Don't give out your co-ordinates or you might experience a drone strike. Wait. Never mind it's the same Government who couldn't find Benghazi with a drone so you're probably ok.

Diplomat Don: Well done Don. Everything works so well on this RV that I find it odd that the lights are so poor. I'll figure it out. I know line loss over a 35 foot run would substantially degrade voltage output if the wire gauge is inadequate. It will probably be something minor.

This forum and you guys are terrific.

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Old 12-01-2012, 09:06 AM   #11
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Here is what I did...some of it might help your situation Headlight Upgrade
X2 From what I've read, it has been pretty common for MH manufacturers to undersize the wiring going through the headlight switch and bulbs. Remember, it's a pretty long wire run all the way to the back of the coach. Using a relay so the full current draw doesn't go through the switch usually makes an improvement.

One other thing that I've not seen discussed in this thread is that the driver's position on a Class A contributes to the problem because the driver sits up high and the reflection back from an object is centered at the height of the lights. As you go above that height the percentage of the light reflected will be less. This is simply an optics issue and there's nothing you can do except increase the intensity of the light.

For those who want to understand the science "the angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence." So, in theory, if your lights were to shine on a clean vertical metal surface (like the flat side of a car) any light reflected back would come straight back to the source. Of course, the side of a car won't be totally flat nor vertical, but the reflection is always going to primarily come back in a cone centered around the height of your own lights.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:12 AM   #12
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You can also sand and clear coat the headlight lens. The clear coat will add UV protection. Just be sure to sand all yellow away.

Diffidently double check voltage. Adding a new relay to get the full output is easy.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:50 AM   #13
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Low voltage to the headlights, especially halogens like yours, is a common problem in motorhomes of various brands and models. You should be seeing 13.5v or more to the lamp sockets with the engine running. If it's 12 like you said, that's the problem. Put in some new, larger wiring and that will solve the problem. Better bulbs probably won't help if the voltage is low.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:06 AM   #14
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Instead of sanding the covers try regular toothpaste, it is supposed to clear up the cloudiness of the headlights/covers. If someone does this let me know, been wondering if it worked. None of my vehicles have a need for it.
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