Adding light switch - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-19-2015, 12:40 PM   #1
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Name: Dennis
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Adding light switch

I am rewiring my outside porch light on my 13' Scamp. I am disconnecting the outside switch and putting a switch inside near the door. It will be mounted on the side of the storage cabinet, behind screen door (fiberglass surface). I do not need any help with the wiring, but am concerned about drilling/cutting into the fiberglass that the switch will be mounted to. Any suggestions for type of switch (e.g....toggle, rocker, push), best way to mount, and best way not to mess up fiberglass when drilling or cutting would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:54 PM   #2
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I am rewiring my outside porch light on my 13' Scamp. I am disconnecting the outside switch and putting a switch inside near the door. It will be mounted on the side of the storage cabinet, behind screen door (fiberglass surface). I do not need any help with the wiring, but am concerned about drilling/cutting into the fiberglass that the switch will be mounted to. Any suggestions for type of switch (e.g....toggle, rocker, push), best way to mount, and best way not to mess up fiberglass when drilling or cutting would be appreciated. Thanks.
I prefer to make as small a hole as possible anytime I'm going through any of fiberglass. If you change the bulb to an LED bulb any switch will do. With the incandescent bulb any switch rated for 1.5 amp or more will do. I wouldn't use a house 120 wall switch.
I put CCFL lamps under the kitchen overhead cabinets. I bought a couple small round rocker switches. Mounted those in wood block, then mounted the wood block to the fiberglass with velcro. A small hole was drilled to pass the wires into the overhead cabinet. 3 CCFL lamps and 4 or 6 1/8" holes and job was done.

For one thing it's just too easy to reach outside and turn on and off the porch light to mess with it. Another the only time I use the porch light is in a non lighted campground to see the key hole in the door handle, that only if I don't have a flashlight in my pocket. Outside light destroys my night vision, so if sitting outside at night I like to be able to see the stars, the night critters, etc. Light seems to drive the night critters away and keeps me from seeing a lot of stars. That's also the same reasons I don't have campfires.
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:05 PM   #3
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Name: John Michael
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I don't like our outside porch light even after converting it to LED. We usually just carry flashlights that mostly stay in our pockets. If I were doing an inside switch I would go with a surface mount kind and then drill a very small hole just for the wires. You could even mount it with foam tape. I also like these little switches that have an indicator led. I use them for all our inside cabinet lighting. They require a inch round hole for mounting. (pic below)


My main objection to the porch light is that the light is directed straight out, blinding approaching folks and nearby campers. (I have similar objections to gas Coleman lanterns) The porch light also ruins my night vision just when I need it to find the keyhole and step. I covered the inside of the top two thirds of the lens with aluminum tape. This helps a lot, but I am still looking for a light fixture that directs the photons straight down.
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:36 PM   #4
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Name: Gordon
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My main objection to the porch light is that the light is directed straight out, blinding approaching folks and nearby campers....
I suspect that is exactly what it is intended to do, for the security of someone inside the camper. And I suspect that is the reason one would want an inside switch, to check out the things that go bump in the night from the relative safety of the camper.

Other than that, I agree and don't use the light much at all. Flashlights serve most purposes just fine.

So a small hole if you must, just for the wires, and a small surface mounted switch on the inside. (Can use mounting tape instead of screws with this...)

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Old 07-19-2015, 01:49 PM   #5
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As that area is very close when entering and exiting, I installed a surface mounting rocker switch I got at my local RV store. You do have to bore a bit bigger hole in the closet wall to fit the switch, but the rest is easy/peasy.


I would have to guess that there would be a lot of arm to switch collisions if you use any kind of above surface mount or metal handled switch in that location.
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Old 07-19-2015, 06:35 PM   #6
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Name: Dennis
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Thanks for all the good suggestions everyone.

Just for your information, two reasons I want inside switch....first, if someone approaches at night, you can see who it is (my wife really likes that). Second, if you are gone from your trailer for a number of days, and some joker shows up and turns light on, battery will run down unless fuse removed or battery disconnected. It would be nice not to have to worry about either situation, but unfortunately, one does. Thanks again for input.
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