LED bulbs and what else?

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by TheBlurb, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. TheBlurb

    TheBlurb Member

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    My new deep cycle battery died after less than 2 days. I’m in the midst of a long trip with my 2003 Jayco (charging while driving); so this was a first.

    My incandescent bulbs inside and out must be the biggest draw (poor weather forced us inside with lights for awhile). Is converting to LED as simple as changing bulbs, or should fixtures be also upgraded? Anyone have a link with recommended product? Any other power-savers?
     
  2. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Bulbs can be changed. I changed entire fixtures. Furnace fan will eat a lot of power
     
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  3. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Furnace is a huge power draw when on battery. If you were using your fridge on 12v that’s the biggest power draw in the entire camper. Best to use the fridge on propane if it’s available. As far as the led’s no need to swap fixtures, I just swapped bulbs. I just took my old bulb out to get the number on it and google searched for the equivalent. Thing to note there are some real cheap bulbs on amazon, let’s just say they are cheap for a reason. Lesson learned on my part. Ended up needing to find leds at autozone when all the cheap leds burned out the following day.
     
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  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    I bought cheap led bulbs of Ebay pretty much replaced every bulb in the TT for the price of one new fixture.
     
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  5. Fil_Kay

    Fil_Kay New Member

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    I second Ebay as a source of LED lights; I've been sourcing automotive LED bulbs from Ebay for years, and I've had about an 80-90% success rate with them as far as quality goes. I've had a few arrive that wouldn't work right out of the box, or would burn out rapidly, but 5 or 6 years ago the price difference between Ebay and the local stores was huge, with Ebay having similar products for about 1/10 of the price. Nowadays, the price difference may not be as significant, but the technology's also come a long way, so newer bulbs (even from Ebay) should last you a little while.

    Keep in mind that many LED bulbs are produced by the same factories and simply re-branded/re-packaged for different companies. The quality may be slightly different (i.e., the diodes may be from higher-quality batches for particular runs), but they're pretty similar overall. I don't recommend buying the cheapest ones, but with a bit of poking around you should be able to find some reasonable ones. If you're really concerned, buy limited quantities of the same style of bulb from different manufacturers and test them out, then figure out which ones are best by process of elimination. You can always keep a couple halogen bulbs as spares in case one of them dies while you're out.

    I'm not certain about other power draws (as I haven't actually taken the trailer out yet), but I aim to try and maximize efficiency of my trailer as well. If you've got a 2- or 3-way fridge, then use it on propane (as mentioned above). I don't know about the furnace fan, but it's been mentioned as a major draw as well, so I'd consider minimizing furnace usage when not necessary (i.e., keep it off during the day, keep it lower at night and run it only if necessary). A 12V water pump probably doesn't take much power, but you can always reduce usage by making sure it's off when not necessary (e.g., make sure you don't have any leaks that'll cause the pump to switch on when not needed), and minimize your faucet/shower usage. Additionally, minimize use of electrical appliances in the trailer; consider using a kettle and pour-over or French press for your coffee instead of a coffee machine, open some windows to get a cross breeze instead of using a fan or AC, and use citronella candles instead of plug-in mosquito repellents.

    If possible, you may consider picking up an inexpensive multimeter and checking your battery voltage from time-to-time; IIRC, once your battery drops down below 10.5 V it's on its way out, so you can always start the car up and let it run for a bit to charge it up. It's not ideal, but if the option is running your car for 30 minutes to re-charge the battery or have it die completely 2 days into a week-long trip, then it may be your best bet.
     
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  6. Garrity

    Garrity Member

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    Swapping the bulbs to LED was the first thing I did when we bought our camper. We purchased from Amazon. I had one faulty bulb (was dim) and the company sent me 2 for the trouble. They have been working great for about 1.5 years now.
     
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