Bad Casita Porch light - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-05-2003, 11:43 AM   #1
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Bad Casita Porch light

Every time it rains I'm continually blowing fuses for the fridge, porch light and "foyer" light. When I purchased the Casita the fuse was blown and the porch light was heavily corroded and the casing near the switch was broken. I replaced the light fixture and the first rain it blew the fuse again. After the fuse blew again I noticed that the new light didn't have insulation on the wire connectors and top of the switch like the old one did so I siliconed the connectors and top of the switch. I also noticed that water had pooled in the bottom of the lens so I put a bead of silicone along the top edge of the lens sealing the top of the lens to the housing. Again the next rain the fuse blew again, water must have blown into the light while I was towing it, there was water again in the lens. I'm planning on isolating the porch light (cut the wire) to verify that is my problem. Is anybody else having problem with this light/circuit and water?

Thanks
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Old 03-05-2003, 11:49 AM   #2
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Bill ... are you sure it's the light that is blowing the fuses?

In other words, have you disconnected the fixture (and covered exposed wires with electrical tape). ... and waited until a rain storm to see if the fuse will blow?

Obviously you have a "short" somewhere in the system.

RV lights are made to get wet and continue to operate in the rain.

And I find it too much of a coincidence that your old fixture and new fixture both caused the same problem.

(Whoops, after posting, I noticed you said you were going to cut the wires as a test ... let us know the results!)
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Old 03-05-2003, 02:43 PM   #3
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I've disconnect the light and installed a new fuse. It has been raining every weekend so I should know something by Saturday at the latest;)
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Old 03-05-2003, 03:32 PM   #4
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porch light

Same condition on my 2000 16 LD when we bought it (one year old). Rusty bulb/socket, switch contacts almost touching, water stains inside the housing.

The wires for the inside and outside light run up the side of the lower fridge vent accessable thru the vent opening next to the door. Or trace back to a splice back up under the bench near the fridge.

I cleaned the bulb, 'lightly' caulked the housing on the top/sides, drilled a couple of small drain holes in the bottom, electric grease on the bulb/socket, bent the switch connections for some clearance. It's been OK since. :)

The door gutter emptys right on to the light, not so good! :o
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Old 03-05-2003, 03:49 PM   #5
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porch light

By the way, Bill:

It's crummy to have something like a light go bad, and it causes your fridge to quit.

There's several empty fuse terminals on the converter.

I connected a 10ga wire to one of these and ran it around to the fridge directly. Now the fridge is happier with it's own circuit and a big fat wire to feed it. I think Casita did this sometime after 2000. Anyway, several other owners have rewired their fridge. I have photos if you're interested.
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Old 03-05-2003, 04:03 PM   #6
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"electric grease" that might be my ticket at least for long term maintance. I noticed water ON the bulb (as well as pooling in the bottom of the lens) after I installed the new fixture. The water would drop on the bulb and run down into the socket. It would be nice if the RV parts makers would make a quality replacement part that fit perfectly as an option to replacing the generic "inexpensive RV" quality parts. There is nothing like doing a job right and then having to go back to rig it so it will work. The original fixture was three years old and the casing was broke by the switch and the socket was badly corroded. It looked like the bulb/socket had rotated up so it was too close to the lens and it melted an almost undetectable opening in the lens which allowed water to drip/flow directly onto the bulb. Replacing the fixture would have been a quick and easy task except for the fact that the 12 volt wiring (and light connections) is under the glued in carpet directly behind the shelf in the cabinet.
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Old 03-05-2003, 04:23 PM   #7
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PinconeDon,
Yes I'd be interested in how you ran your 10ga line and pics! Did you run a new ground as well?
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Old 03-05-2003, 04:51 PM   #8
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fridge wire

Bill:

Yes, I ran a 10 ga ground wire also. Probably didn't need to, but.......

I'll gather up the wiring photos and start a new thread. ''DC Fridge Wiring''. ;)
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Old 03-05-2003, 07:26 PM   #9
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While we're on the...

subject, who can advise me where to find one of those neat yellow lenses for my porch light? The yellow bulb is OK, but the yellow lens looks so "trick".

Thanxx in advance!! :wave
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Old 03-05-2003, 08:31 PM   #10
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Porch Lense

I have been in two RV stores in the last two weeks and they both had them. I think you'll find them in almost any of them.
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Old 03-06-2003, 08:58 PM   #11
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Must just be...

our area. I too have been in two & neither had or could supply the yellow ones. I've got one more option...another dealer that is typically high $$$, but I'll try him.

TNX!!
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Old 03-06-2003, 09:37 PM   #12
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Amber Lenses

I purchased mine from a dealer that had nothing but large motor homes and Airstreams. The price was $1.97. I purchased a small dc fan to go inside the refrigerator while I was there.($17) It runs on two D cells and last 30 days. Some of his prices for things that I already have were cheaper than I had paid. I figured that they wanted their customers to come back, so they had fair prices. That way maybe they would trade up during a future visit.
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Old 03-11-2003, 07:17 PM   #13
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Short

A very simple short that can cause a real headache is to have any bulb on that circuit not make good contact on the bulb base and end up sliding off and shorts out that circuit. Easiest way to find it is take the bulbs out on that circuit and put them back in one at a time. Sometimes a file will seat the contact well enough to eliminate the problem, had to replace the pigtail once. It has only happened a couple of times. I reckon it is from all of the bouncing.
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Old 03-11-2003, 08:50 PM   #14
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Water alone is not enuf to short out a connection and blow a fuse; you could stick the light fixture in a bucket and it would still work. The conductivity of water, even salt water, is overrated at low voltages; used to watch boat trailers backing into water and coming out with the fixtures full of salt water and the lights merrily burning (the long term effects of corrosion are another story).

Don's suggestion of using dielectric grease on the exterior lights (and umbilical cord contacts) is a good one to inhibit corrosion, but be sure to grind the components a little when you fit them together to break thru the grease film (it is actually an insulator, not a conductor).

I was having a lot of trouble with my interior Bargman lights that I thought was contact problems (dimming and going out), but finally took them totallly apart and it was switch components being loose. Tightened everything up and they've been working fine since.

Pete and Rats
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