Upgrading the tailights

rwilliek

Active Member
Jan 21, 2014
210
Has anyone found a reasonable alternative to adding some light to the tail lights? The 1157 bulbs are not very bright in the tail lenses of our pup.....last week we pulled the pup through a rain storm, and the "fog" produced by the rain spray was enough to make it disappear on the road.

I purchased new 1157 incandescent bulbs, but that made little to no difference. I looked at some LED tubular replacements, but they have half the lumens (300+ vs 150 LED).

My thoughts were to gut the housing of any mounts, and replace them with rows of LEDS....maybe three rows of ten each for stop, tail, and turn.

I looked at some premade housings at Camping World, but they were $50 each...a little pricey.
 

lugoismad

Super Active Member
Dec 31, 2013
1,188
rwilliek said:
Has anyone found a reasonable alternative to adding some light to the tail lights? The 1157 bulbs are not very bright in the tail lenses of our pup.....last week we pulled the pup through a rain storm, and the "fog" produced by the rain spray was enough to make it disappear on the road.

I purchased new 1157 incandescent bulbs, but that made little to no difference. I looked at some LED tubular replacements, but they have half the lumens (300+ vs 150 LED).

My thoughts were to gut the housing of any mounts, and replace them with rows of LEDS....maybe three rows of ten each for stop, tail, and turn.

I looked at some premade housings at Camping World, but they were $50 each...a little pricey.

LEDs. The LEDs I replaced my ceiling lights with are double the brightness of the old bulbs.
 

williamtalbott

slacker since 1981!
Jun 18, 2011
45
round LED light with housing, you can get them at your local NAPA if there's one near you or im guessing from camping world,i replaced the normal square ones in my 1997 Rockwood, i had to widen the hole where they pulled the cables through for the old ones and it came out bright as hell and easy . ill see if i can find a part number and a pic for ya ,here ya go i found them online

http://www.rakuten.com/prod/-4-red-10-led-4-round-truck-trailer-brake-stop-turn-tail-lights/247918625.html?listingId=272058574&scid=pla_google_CloserToWholeSale&adid=18179&gclid=CKDQnOOgxL0CFafm7AodHFwAow
 

friartuck

Super Active Member
Nov 1, 2007
2,978
Perry, MI
The back plate on my trailer lights are black. Not a lot of reflection off black, so I covered the back plate with aluminum foil (shinier side out) and some hi temp 'chrome' tape. It's not as bright as some LED lights but it does help.
 

Big_kid

Virginia Beach, VA
Jan 13, 2008
2,210
I remember seeing (on here I think) where someone had lined the back of the housing with metallic tape. not quite a mirror, but the before and after pics showed quite an improvement.
 

Raycfe

Waterford Ct.
Oct 3, 2007
18,209
Waterford, Ct
The easiest thing to do is to cover the taillight base surface with foil tape. The honda bulb is a good idea. I also added another socket to my coleman lights and was very happy with it.
http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=55970.msg458141#msg458141

DSC_0012+%25281%2529.JPG
 

bupkis

Howdy!
Mar 3, 2006
7,904
N. TX
Would a good place to start be with a volt meter to determine the voltage at the lights?

A rewire might be a PITA but with loss at each connector from the front to the rear can add up.
 

lugoismad

Super Active Member
Dec 31, 2013
1,188
bupkis said:
Would a good place to start be with a volt meter to determine the voltage at the lights?

A rewire might be a PITA but with loss at each connector from the front to the rear can add up.

Its worth it, he could have some losses due to bad wiring.

Most likely, its a bad ground. A crappy rusty ground can cause dim lights.

Redo your ground. Get some good wire, some ring terminals, and SOLDER it. Solder the wire to the ring terminal, use a self tapping screw into the frame. Then wire in your new ground.

You might be surprised what 15 minutes of work could do.
 

lugoismad

Super Active Member
Dec 31, 2013
1,188
bupkis said:
What about 20 year old connectors like these [?:~{]

593__x225_taps.jpg

Sweet Jesus, are you trying to give me a heart attack?

Throw that crap away.

Silver solder and shrink tube only.
 

toasty

Member
Mar 23, 2014
46
Saginaw, MI
lugoismad said:
Sweet Jesus, are you trying to give me a heart attack?

Throw that crap away.

Silver solder and shrink tube only.

Agreed, if you do not feel confident soldering or a friend that can, at least get the crimp on ones.
 

hotrodcamper

Super Active Member
Nov 3, 2012
972
I replaced my old taillights last summer with LED taillights. The old ones were so dim,even at night the taillights were barely visible. At the same time,the original taillight harnes had been repaired several times. I cut out all of the repaired areas and replaced the 4 prong plug and had good power to old lights. There were 5 splices in harness from replacing plug. Each splice was loosing a small amount of power. The new lights are very bright and should last for years.
 

rwilliek

Active Member
Jan 21, 2014
210
I didn't think about voltage drop due to a bad ground....I will check that ASAP.

I only solder....I was an installer for Circuit City when they were in business....I'm also a ham (amateur extra - AK4BM), so soldering isn't an issue.

I may end up rewiring. I actually mentioned adding a second socket to the assembly as well - there is actually one there for a spare bulb, so it should be pretty easy.
 

bupkis

Howdy!
Mar 3, 2006
7,904
N. TX
here's a pic of an ole Coleman, license plate light, notice the excellent wire connectors [:!]


JBurt's 83 Coleman Williamsburg Build-Up (click pic to thread)
 

arthuruscg

Super Active Member
Nov 14, 2012
1,363
lugoismad said:
Sweet Jesus, are you trying to give me a heart attack?

Throw that crap away.

Silver solder and shrink tube only.

I agree. Those things are time bombs.
Don't forget to check the wiring for sections that are missing inspection because of the stupid metal clips.

Sent from my Moto X using Tapatalk
 

E3 Junkie

Greetings from Granada Hills, CA.
Sep 22, 2012
315
I've got a Fleetwood/Coleman E3, and I replaced every light on the thing, and I do mean every light with LED's. You have choices, so do a search on Amazon for something called an SMD (stands for surface mounted diode). They have various ones in different configurations, with a different number of LED's mounted to very small circuit boards. I've posted mods twice with this very same mod. (There are so many options for the LED conversions. I saw a post on another site where the owner had used a 48 smd and a 36 smd on different sides of the interior lights, so that the three way switch made usie of either or, and both. I've found smd's in many configurations, and I've nearly replaced every automotive accessory light with them. I started with my PUP because they use so little energy, but I thought to expand their use because they last nearly forever, thusly reducing maintenance. You can even find them for rear lighting, tail lights, trailer marker lights, brake lights etc. I do agree with Tboy in regard to brightness, so order a bunch of these things and try different ones for each application. Sometimes you can even find lumen ratings with the smd's.) One thing to note with all LED's. They only work one way when installed. If an SMD or LED does not work the first time you install and test it, simply reverse the polarity (turn the bulb around) and give it another try. You're going to especially like replacing the exterior door light. Talk about bright.
 




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