12 Volt Yard Sale find - Fiberglass RV

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Old 02-05-2006, 06:37 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1994 20 ft Bigfoot 5th Wheel / Toyota Tacoma SR5
Posts: 229
While Yard Sailing today I found this item:

1 Landscape Lighting power unit..(transformer)

Input..........120Volt AC 60HZ 48VA

Output..........12Volt AC 3.33A 40VA



12Volt 5Watt

Couldn't help but think that a guy with a 12Volt trailer always could find a need for these.

Anybody out there have an idea?

The guy who sold them said he'd used them as underwater lights in a small fountain. I thought they might make decent reading lights when hooked up to shore power.


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Old 02-05-2006, 10:23 PM   #2
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Posts: 5,000
I would assume that these would be of more interest when not hooked up to shore power, as they would run directly off of the trailer battery power. This assumes, of course, that you like to read underwater... or that the light pattern works out well in a more normal reading environment.

Then there's always lighting the fountain that any really well-equipped camper packs along.

I think that a 5-watt incandescent bulb would need to be focussed relatively tightly to be bright enough to be a good reading light, but at least the power consumption is low (for battery use). Typically home lamps with low-voltage halogen bulbs use 20W and higher sizes.

As for the power supply: it could run several bulbs of this size, for various lighting needs, but they could also run off the trailer converter. If the trailer doesn't have a AC-to-DC converter, then one large enough to run other stuff (such a vent fan) seems like a better idea to me.

1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
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Old 02-07-2006, 09:39 AM   #3
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Forty VA is just another way of saying 40 watts, because volts x amps = watts. A forty watt home type light just isn't very bright.

For shore power lighting, why not use fixtures that use standard house lights. Then you could use those twist type flourescent bulbs, if you like. Not only are they more efficient in the heat developed vs light output ratio, but they seem to be quite a lot more robust to bouncing around in tool boxes and trailers.

Note that it says 48 VA in and 40 VA out. That comes out to be a 17% power loss through the transformer alone. Many perform worse than that. Always happens when you convert. I'm sure it makes you happy to be reminded of this.
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