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Sunday, August 1, 2021

My Trailer Redo - Day 126 - Exterior Electric Decisions

  Well, it has taken me a lot more than a day to get to what I'm calling a day of work on the trailer. I have been agonizing for over a week about choices for the exterior trailer lights. The only given was that the wiring harness had to be replaced, and two of the clearance light fixtures that didn't seem to work any more (not the bulbs).

Here are the current tail lights. I think they are original, and there is nothing else that would fit those holes if I chose to replace the fixtures. travel trailer tail light

You won't believe how long I spent figuring out how to open them up. It's pretty embarrassing to admit I did not see those four screws on the red plastic. (No, not the rivets in the white frame, the four little screws on the red.) But, eventually I got them open. travel trailer tail light

At this point, I decided I had 3 options. I'm putting the whole sordid mess here, partly so I can remember it later. But it's possible it might help someone else some time. My first choice was option 2.

1. Keep the original incandescent fixtures.

2. Keep the original fixtures and just put LED bulbs in the sockets

3. Change all the fixtures to LED fixtures. (There are two sub-options to this)

Comments on Option 1
Pros- definitely easy. I need to replace two clearance fixtures, but that’s super simple. This is the time to make any changes before I finish the interior.

Cons-The lights are not bright. I have thought ever since I bought the trailer that someone was going to run into me, not realizing I was braking because they are not visible enough in daylight. I want LEDs

Comments on Option 2
Pros- definitely easy if it works. Not too expensive, and quick, if I can get the right bulbs. (I do have to replace the two clearance light fixtures which I can get locally)

Cons- Trying to figure out which bulbs are correct. The clearance light bulbs are CE 193. I can apparently replace them with CE 194s, and I have found this set as opposed to my local store that wants $7.99 for ONE bulb. https://www.amazon.com/LED-Extremely-Chipset-License-Clearance
The taillight bulbs are CEC 1157 (assuming someone put the correct bulb in last time it was changed), and I think I can replace it with these

Then I discovered this video, so now I’m thinking I shouldn’t do option 2
Video about replacing regular bulbs with LEDs

Comments on Option 3
3a- For this sub option, I would keep the taillight fixture boxes and just put in new sockets. They would need a little bit of jury-rigging, but I don’t have to remove the old boxes, fiberglass the holes and paint.
3b- For this sub option, I would remove the old taillight boxes, fiberglass the holes, paint, etc. and then mount surface units.

Pros- all new equipment would be nice, and would forestall future issues
3b makes adding a license plate light easy, which the trailer does not currently have (and is required in some states).

Cons- Time and cost. Con specific to 3a- trying to figure out which sockets are correct.

Extra comment: 3a doesn’t save me any money. By the time I buy all the parts separately, the cost is nearly as much as 3b. The only thing 3a does for me is save the days it will take to do fiberglass and coats of paint. travel trailer tail light

As you can see, I have chosen option 3. (Twilight sure made the color look weird!) At least I know exactly what I'm doing for all the parts of this choice. I got a good start on filling those holes today. But, the joke is on me for trying to eke the last of the Bondo out of the other can. I'll have to buy another.

The holes are on their way to being filled. The new lights will arrive this week. travel trailer tail light

In other news: I edited and formatted for other people (more on one of those projects soon). I got things pretty well planned for the hike Marie and I are going to take in September, reserved a campsite for part of our time (big hassle), got maps. Then I wrote a chapter. Oh yeah- and I put the repaired tire back on the lawnmower. Wonderful, cool day. I got a lot done.

See Fiberglass 103


Ann said...

That's a lot of options. It would have taken me weeks to decide what to do.

Sharkbytes said...

Ann- well I don't have weeks. I had to make up my mind. So I did!

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