Bunk end light/fan lifespan?

Discussion in 'Lighting, Interior and Exterior' started by tfischer, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    I bought two new bunk light/fan combos when we got our NTU pup in 2012 They've become a vital part of our camping: we often camp without AC and shore power and they keep air moving. And even if we do bring our portable AC along, they are needed to circulate the cool air. So they get a lot of use.

    Our last trip not one but BOTH died on us. The first started getting noisy, then when we came in from outdoors it had completely stopped. I took it apart and it's the motor itself... probably a bad bearing. And the motor is not designed to be disassembled.

    A couple days later I was actually sitting in the pup and I heard the fan get slower, and slower, and slower... I actually turned on our voltage readout to make sure we weren't losing 12V power. But after a few seconds the fan fizzled out to a dead stop. Same symptoms as the second one.

    Not sure what brand these were, we got them through eTrailer. Seems like a relatively short lifespan for a product... we camp several times a year but usually only weekends.

    But... we find them vital so I've already ordered another pair. Incidentally etrailer's price has nearly doubled since 2012. I found another source similar to the old price.
     
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  2. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    I personally found them to not move enough air for me. I found some nice fans from O2Cool, although I think they changed their name or got bought this last year. They run off 12V or batteries, so I bought a some cable that had the correct barrel adapter on it, and soldered the other end to a mono guitar plug that our bunk lights use. Bought some other goodies and made a Y-adapter so I can plug both a bigger bunk fan in and still retain the clip on light. Works great, although we don't boondock or run off the 12V only, but it helped free up room on the plugs for phone chargers and the like. They also move a ton more air.

    I do think those combined units have a poor track record - seems at least once or twice a year I see someone mentioning that they died. I think JimmyM maybe pulled one apart and put a new fan in it? I know I saw one thread some years back where someone did some work to try and improve on the poor motor they put in theirs.
     
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  3. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    Ours moved a decent amount of air on high, but they are pretty noisy on high (much quieter on low). We really like having the extra lights as well... one that we can reach and turn on while already in bed.
     
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  4. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Small fans usually do not have bearings, but bushings. Try a drop of oil on the shaft where it goes into the housing. Post a picture of the motor housing. Sometimes disassembly is possible.
     
  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I didnt have mine long enough, but people say they dont last long. I loved them for the air movement, and the white noise. I'll agree couldn't use the pup wothout them.
     
  6. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    They are packed in the pup right now... when I pull them out to replace them I'll try to take some pics. If I can get them running again I can keep them as backups or perhaps sell them.

    I did try putting a drop of cooking oil on the shaft while we were camping (only oil I had available) to no avail.
     
  7. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

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    I had one last two trips and one lasted 3 trips (Brand New Camper)...The fans burned up but lights still worked.
    Too bad it wasn't the other way around since i have roof lights there anyway where they plug in.
    The dogs enjoyed them and found the sweet spot where the air was hitting them.
     
  8. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    Mine are original to the Pup and are a combo light/fan, circa 2005, and in perfect working order. I've only upgraded to LED bulbs. Pick up a 12v fan from a truck stop to move more air.
     
  9. KenCC

    KenCC New Member

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    Just found these guys on Amazon
    [​IMG]

    Link HERE.
    I've got a couple old PC cooling fans that I stick in the windows and roof vent. They were free and work a lot better than any other 12 volt fans I've seen.
     
  10. athread678

    athread678 Member

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    This seems to be a common issue. We have been through quite a few of these as well over the years, but keep just buy the same ones because of "novelty" of them. When they work, it's a great accessory. In our new pup, the lights sit further inside the camper, so there is a lot of tension on the cord. Because of this I started looking at other options that might work. I might try this from Amazon.
    61NxL93S+IL._AC_SL1000_.jpg

    It is rechargeable, but there are even USB adapters that would allow it run through the existing pup lights.
     
  11. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    We still have our fan/light combos from when we purchased the pup new back in 2008. We didn't really use them that much to begin with. But we stopped using them in 2014 when we got A/C. Even when we used them they were noisy! If we know it's going to be really, really hot we will bring a small fan (120VAC) to move the air around in the pup with the A/C on. It does help!
     
  12. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    This is what I use. I never had a bunkend fan/light. Although I can't
    claim the idea myself, popup Steve suggested it on another post. I thought it was a great idea. It's a little on the big side but my little side kick used hers last year on our week long trip all the time. Although we just used regular batteries as I figure that was easier to replace and she can bring in everywhere and not just in the bed. The fan is surprisingly pretty good on low. Although probably uses more current than your bunkend fans. My niece really loved the light as it can be angled to where she wants it. It's not for everyone but I look past the bulk and see the positive. download.jpeg
     

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