LED lighting in Scamp 19D - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-22-2014, 12:55 PM   #1
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Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, Tacoma 4.0L 4door, SB
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LED lighting in Scamp 19D

I would like to share this. I just replaced several of the inside lights with LED strips in my 5th wheel Deluxe Scamp. I think the direct replacements for the automotive light bulbs are way too expensive, so I looked for an alternative.
I found these strip lights on Amazon, for ~$8, free shipping:
LED Strip light, Waterproof LED Flexible Light Strip 12V with 300 SMD LED, 3258 16.4 Foot / 5 Meter - Amazon.com
They might be considered "seconds", since some have a few flaws, or signs of manual repairs. One of three that I bought had one LED that was manually re-soldered. but, try to beat the price. (From China? Of course!)
I decided to use the existing light fixtures and wire the strips to the bulb sockets directly, by busting the bulbs and using the bases to make the connections, to save work. As the pictures show, the short thin wires exit from under the light diffuser, there is a little bit of a gap, just enough for those 24 or 26 AWG wires. I am doing this only on those light that are under the cabinets, or otherwise out of sight, for reasons of esthetics. The strips are designed so that they can be cut to length and after cutting away some of the clear silicone (very tough!) and scraping the copper pads, connections can be soldered. None of this is very complicated, or difficult. Four feet of the strip gives about the same amount of light as one of the bulbs and draws about 1/4 of the current. I am not planning to replace the "porch" light, since that is exposed to the elements, and neither those lights that are on the wall above the shower door and steps to the loft. I used a longer piece of the strip in the shower, on three walls, to get more light. The shower light is used much less than any of the other lights, so I am not too concerned about saving power. Also, I used more of the LED's under the range hood, to get good light there. That was wired to the hood switch also.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:08 PM   #2
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I was less than happy to have the AC power cord taking up all of the storage under the bench, or getting tangled up with whatever loose stuff might be there, so I recycled the blue recycling bin and stuffed it in there to have it confine the "snake". It fits almost perfectly. Had to cut a hole in its bottom and thread the cord through, then jam the bin with a piece of closed cell foam (not shown).
Also, the first picture in the previous post shows a doubled up stinky slinky tube. I prefer to store it in its relaxed state so I do not have to keep stretching it at the dump station.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:52 PM   #3
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Love the recycling bin idea Paul... might have to borrow that one!
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:18 PM   #4
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Well, the idea is in the public domain, or at least in the FGRV domain. I always like to get more use out of things that might be "one man's trash, another man's treasure". Cheap is good.
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:32 PM   #5
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I like the cord holder, recycle bin idea too!
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:48 PM   #6
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Paul do you happen to know approx. the size of the bin you used?
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:25 PM   #7
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Well, I am kind of guessing it is 10x14 inches at the top, about 16 in. high, tapered. It is the same as most office waste baskets in this part of the world, i.e. New England, more specifically Massachusetts, where I worked. They must be different in Canada, and even more out west (metric dimensions?)! I kept it when I cleaned up my office for that one last time, retiring, on the hunch that it could be really useful some day. I can measure it tomorrow.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:45 PM   #8
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Thanks Paul no problem I realized after I asked its probable best if I measure the hatch in my Scamp to figure out what size to buy.
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Old 11-17-2014, 04:13 PM   #9
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Update on shore power

Well, the blue recycling bin has not worked out that well. It prevented some of the tangling up, but it still made access to the storage space difficult, since it was smack in the middle. It also shifted around and the cord was still tough to push in, especially when cold and stiff. I do not like to spend any more money than I have to, and did not want to have another loose cable to mess with, and rejected the extension cord option.

So I thought - how about another one of those 5x5 vinyl fence post sleeves from Home Depot? It is now tied to the cross member that holds the straps for the gray water tank. There is a narrow gap, about 1/16 inch between the cross member (an angle iron) and the subfloor, near where it is welded to the longitudinal frame tubes. The gap is enough to slip in a pair of plastic cable tie type of straps and a pair of galvanized steel straps screwed to the subfloor for redundancy (I like belt and suspenders). The sleeve is 67 inches, about 4 inches shorter than the Scamp width in that area. The power cord exits through the floor in the storage box, into the sleeve. The three inches between the floor and the sleeve are protected by a piece of a rubber hose. The hole through the floor is sealed with Lexel. While in use, the cord comes out of the vinyl sleeve open end. To store it, I have two points marked along the length (with duct tape) so I know where to bend it and then hold it together with a piece of the double sided Velcro strap. The vinyl sleeve is just long enough to hold the cord, folded four times. Finally the power cord is on the outside, where it should be. Those vinyl sleeves are one of the best ideas I discovered on this forum.
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