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Old 09-10-2008, 06:59 PM   #1
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OK - I feel really dumb asking this question - but if the outlets and the main lights on the RV work only if you're plugged into power or running the generator . . . are those lights still 12V lights? I thought the 12V lights were the ones that ran off the auxiliary battery. And that the other lights required just as much power as the outlets produced to run the toaster and stuff in order to work. I've been looking at replacing the main lights, sconces and the icky bathroom light and had been looking at regular lights at Home Depot . . . . . (yes, the roots are blonde too . . .)

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Old 09-10-2008, 06:59 PM   #2
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OK - I feel really dumb asking this question - but if the outlets and the main lights on the RV work only if you're plugged into power or running the generator . . . are those lights still 12V lights? I thought the 12V lights were the ones that ran off the auxiliary battery. And that the other lights required just as much power as the outlets produced to run the toaster and stuff in order to work. I've been looking at replacing the main lights, sconces and the icky bathroom light and had been looking at regular lights at Home Depot . . . . . (yes, the roots are blonde too . . .)

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Old 09-10-2008, 07:34 PM   #3
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You probably only have a couple of 120V lights on the ceiling and they're more than likely florescent lights and brighter than the others. Your sconces and the icky bathroom light are 12V. I'm changing most of my lights too and have found the best source is eBay..
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:58 PM   #4
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There isn't a single 120v light on our RV - they are all 12v.

In replacing any of them, the problem that you might find is that wiring is wrong for the types of fixtures that you are planning to put in. You might want to examine the bulbs for the fixtures that you want to replace carefully. 12V bulbs have a completely different appearance than 120v bulbs.
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:25 PM   #5
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Gracies Mom, I have had a 1989 Itasca Suncruiser and a 1994 Itasca Sunrise. Neither had any 120 volt AC lights, all the lights were 12 volt DC.

Do you have lights that only work while on shore power or running the generator ?
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:08 PM   #6
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Jay -

The only lights that work WITHOUT shore power or the generator are the flat little lights above the sofa, and a couple in the ceiling - the brighter, fluorescent looking thingies with the opague covers and cheap white plastic frame. The sconces, dining light, bathroom lights, etc., don't work unless I'm plugged in to power or running the generator. That's why I'm so confused! I don't understand why light made for an RV are so much more expensive than regular lights. The ones I love at Home Depot are $12 each - the similar ones made for the RV are $59. Ugh!!
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:27 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by chasfm11:
There isn't a single 120v light on our RV - they are all 12v.

In replacing any of them, the problem that you might find is that wiring is wrong for the types of fixtures that you are planning to put in. You might want to examine the bulbs for the fixtures that you want to replace carefully. 12V bulbs have a completely different appearance than 120v bulbs. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Well, not really.. 12V incandescent and CF are commonly available in 12VDC with std. medium base 110vac configurations. I have a standard table lamp that I installed a cig plug and 12V lamp from a boat store and it's been with us for almost 20 years now. I now have a 12V florescent lamp screwed in it at 1/4 the draw and exactly the same color temp.

BTW- A friends 97' Safari had what appeared to be 12V fixtures, but were actually 110. Sure fooled me..
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:31 PM   #8
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Ok guys, can you tone the techy talk down to laymen's terms for the little lady? Thanks!!
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:38 AM   #9
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Sorry.

12v= battery powered
120v = "regular" house type

Jeff's point is the wires might be heavy enough to allow you to use either type of fixture. Mine was that the wires on the fixtures might go to the battery fuse box rather than be close enough to attach to the shore or generator power.

Based on your latest post, I'm truly surprised and I was wrong about where the wires are attached. I won't have expected so many house type lights. If they truly are, you can pretty much buy the fixtures any place. One caution, however. RV stuff is generally built to withstand the shaking that they will get when bumping down the road. Other fixtures might not be. You might not be able to tell by looking at them.

The reason that the RV stuff is so much more expensive is the same reason that many boat related items are so much more expensive - because they can. Generally, the volume of sales for RV and boat items is significantly less than for household items so the tooling and manufacturing costs are spread further, making each RV item cost a little more. The RV stores don't do the volumes of sales that Home Depot does so their overhead costs on each item are higher, too. Lastly, there seems to be the feeling that if you can afford a "luxury" item, you will pay more for the parts to it.
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:54 AM   #10
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GraciesMom,

You really need to find someone with a Digital or Analogue VOLT METER (or buy one yourself), and read the fixture voltages at the lamps themselves. This way you know EXACTLY what voltage is being provided to each fixture you want to change. You can purchase a inexpensive volt meter at Home Depot, Lowes, Radio Shack, and most hardware stores for about $12. Learn to use it yourself by reading the instructions or have someone show you how to use it.

Good Luck - Glenn
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:07 AM   #11
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TRy this site, Winnebago Manuals. You can see your wiring diagram am for your year and model.

http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/Wiring.htm
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:51 AM   #12
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Your problem is really simple. Your lights only work while plugged into shore power or the generator because both sources supply power to the converter which converts the 120V power to the 12V power that powers your lights. If you check your Auxiliary/House batteries you will probably find that they are either turned off (disconnect switch) or they are dead.
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:03 AM   #13
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Jerry, I understand your logic but if she does have dead batteries or the switch were turned off, wouldn't there be a lot of other symptoms? I know that she doesn't mention the frige or the water pump but I would have suspect that neither of those would work except on shore power either.

Is there any possibility of your getting some local help with this? This look like a situation where direct observations could help a lot.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:24 PM   #14
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As long as she is connected to the shore power or the gen is running, everything that requires 12V will be supplied by the converter. That is what convinces me that she is not getting any power from the batteries. She needs to check to see if the disconnect switch/s are set in their proper setting.
Getting help locally from someone that knows what they are doing would be my best advise. All the wiring diagrams in the world aren't going to help someone that doesn't know how to read them. JMHO!
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