Uhaul Taillight Repairs - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:29 PM   #1
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Name: Nathan
Trailer: Uhaul
OH
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Uhaul Taillight Repairs

I've just bought a Uhaul 13. My first project is to get the taillight gremlins sorted. In my investigation I've discovered that while the plexiglass covers are still in good shape the inner plastic brackets that holds the lightbulbs are falling apart. Has anyone found anything to replace that bracket?
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:52 PM   #2
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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The inner part, known as the tail light buckets were actually rubber and also acted as the gasket for the lenses. We had a Uhaul but sold it a couple years ago. A member here was making all red lenses and I installed them. I know of no replacement part for the inner part, you'll have to fabricate something if you want to stay with the original lenses. A couple years ago another member here was making a fiberglass adapter to cover the original opening and to fit a common round or square light in place of those original lights. Those adapters were the best option. I had a set but never installed them, sold them after selling the trailer. Another person took over making those adapters, and I don't know if they are currently in production. I suggest that you join the Uhaul facebook group and ask there.
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Old 04-15-2021, 08:54 PM   #3
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Name: Michael
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Trying to jerry-rig tail lights is likely a loosing cause, at least in my experience. Go to Princess Auto, Rock Auto etc. and buy a set of sealed LED lights. Attach them and connect the wires. Low cost, PERMANENT solution.
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_L View Post
Trying to jerry-rig tail lights is likely a loosing cause, at least in my experience. Go to Princess Auto, Rock Auto etc. and buy a set of sealed LED lights. Attach them and connect the wires. Low cost, PERMANENT solution.
The problem with the Uhaul campers is that they have a unique to them curved tail light lens mounted on the curved rear corners of the trailer. If the tail light assemblies are removed, it leaves two big holes there. So the OP has to decide if he wants to keep the trailer original looking, or just needs to resolve the issue he has now of non- operational lights. Easiest option is the fiberglass adapters that I mentioned that cover the holes and provide a flat surface to mount a surface or flush mounted light. If they are currently available. Other options are repair what he has or find another Uhaul owner that has installed the adapters and has a useable set of the original light buckets. I wanted the original look on ours, found a set of good bucket assemblies, a set of reproduction lenses, and installed all new wiring. The light wiring on the Uhauls is another unique to them setup. Lots of problems with those trailers that kept us busy for a couple years, then eventually sold it after buying a Casita. And before anyone says be sure to grease the wheel bearings, they are sealed units and can not be serviced. Unless the axle has been replaced.
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Old 04-16-2021, 11:48 AM   #5
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Name: Jack
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Georgia
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U-Haul used to sell an aluminum housing that replaced the tail light assembly. The housing accepted a 4" diameter LED light that could be bought at almost any trailer supply store.


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Old 04-16-2021, 03:04 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Jack Walter;811312]U-Haul used to sell an aluminum housing that replaced the tail light assembly. The housing accepted a 4" diameter LED light that could be bought at almost any trailer supply store.

I bought a couple sets of those aluminum adapters when Uhaul had them listed on their website. No longer available there. It's possible that a Uhaul service center might have some but probably not. They were actually for the older small cargo trailers that had rounded corners, not the campers, but would fit them. I've seen a few of those trailers at Uhaul rental locations. Sold my adapters after selling the camper. The fiberglass adapters were made to fit exactly in place of the original lenses and used the same screw holes. I don't know if someone is still making them as the original guy gave it up.
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Old 04-16-2021, 03:11 PM   #7
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Name: You can't call me Al
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That seems like something that could be 3D printed and would work really well.

If anyone has a drawing of them, or has one they can send me, I'd be happy to do the CAD and give the design away for free.

Also, I could print them at my maker space for probably US$25 each (although I'd need to do the design before I can ask the software for an estimate of the material volume.)
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Old 04-16-2021, 03:44 PM   #8
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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Nathan; note that the wheels on the Uhaul campers use a different bolt pattern than almost all other trailers, 5 studs, 4 3/4 circle. And a different offset. Sometimes Uhaul sells replacement wheels on their eBay store, only difference is the original hubcaps don't fit the new wheels. Right now Uhaul Truck Parts has only one wheel left in their eBay store, so if you need one, better grab it. Part # 23516006, about $98 plus shipping.
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Old 04-17-2021, 05:40 AM   #9
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Name: Gary
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Iowa
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Nathan,
Just to add to what Bob's already said:
I made those fiberglass taillight adapters that Bob has mentioned for a number of years. 'Wanted to quit, now that I'm a geezer.
Sent the forms to one fellow, who turned out not to have the time to make them regularly.......he sent the forms back.
A year ago [give or take], I sent them to another U-Haul enthusiast. By last fall, he had the bugs out of the making of them, and started taking requests for them over on the U-Haul Facebook page. Lynh Nguyen. I THINK he's about to start shipping out the first big batch, and has plans to re-manufacture the "stone guard" that some campers had over the front window.
Gary

[Oddly enough, it seems that younger guys who're running a business and raising young children have less free time to manufacture spare parts..... who'd have thought?]
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Old 04-17-2021, 05:43 AM   #10
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'And here's the link to the thread I started on here, when I was making 'em:

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...13s-75480.html
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Old 04-17-2021, 06:17 AM   #11
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Gary; thanks for the update. I knew you gave up making the adapters but I left the facebook group after we sold our Uhaul so didn't know the current status of who was making them. If Lynh makes them as good as you did they will be the perfect solution for the Uhaul tail lights. Bob
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Old 04-17-2021, 08:40 PM   #12
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Name: Nathan
Trailer: Uhaul
OH
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Thank you all for the advice. I've built an aluminum bracket to replace the old rubber bucket. I've mounted an aftermarket LED taillight on it. The original cover should mount back in the original location once it is all installed and wired. I'll post some pictures when it's installed.
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Old 04-17-2021, 08:59 PM   #13
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Trailer: 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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Nathan; another option I've seen is to fiberglass in the original opening and then mount a surface mounted light or recess one. Just be sure to seal the lens good as you don't want water to leak in there. The marker lights are another place where leaks can happen. Almost identical marker lights are made by Arrow, but I don't remember the part number. I threw away most of the info I had on Uhauls. The only part I have left is the door striker (not the latch) which is another part unique to Uhaul. The latch is a Bargman L300 which is long out of production.
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Old 04-19-2021, 07:17 PM   #14
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This is what I managed to make. We'll see how it works.
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Old 04-19-2021, 07:19 PM   #15
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Pictures didn't upload the first time.
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:39 PM   #16
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Does the new light only show through the red part of the lens? A set of the all red lenses would be better, but I don't know if they are still available. A member here was making them. The fiberglass adapters are better yet, if they become available again.
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Old 04-20-2021, 04:26 AM   #17
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Name: Gary
Trailer: UHaul CT13
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Nathan,
'Looks like you came up with a good make-do... maybe a long-term one.

It seems like one of the more important principles in "getting to know" these campers is to get them to a point of safety & function, and then get out there and start using them.
As you use it, and travel with it, and live out of it, your long-term goals for it are liable to change... and the sense of how important & permanent any design changes need to be.

You've got a workable start.........go out & enjoy it!
Congrats on a good fix!
Gary
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Old 04-20-2021, 10:32 AM   #18
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All the functions are now only using the red lense. The yellow is now just a reflector
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Old 04-21-2021, 10:18 AM   #19
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I was the one who made the all red Uhaul replacement lenses. Many talked about wanting a replacement for their old, cracked and dingy original Uhaul lenses so I had made a reproduction of the originals. A lot bigger project than originally planned due to the 2 piece Uhaul tailight lens design. This resulted in an EXACT duplicate of the original 2 color uhaul lens in the single red color.

I made 3 runs of 20 tailight lens sets and sold most of the sets. I had a number rejects that I chose not to sell. I still have some of rejects left. They are not bad at all and are certainly usable as they are however they were not perfect to sell as first quality therefore I did not sell them. I have sold a couple of sets of "Rejects" to folks wanting lenses who understood what they were getting was not first quality and therefore the price I charged was a lot less than the original first quality delivered price. The first quality lenses are long gone and I have no intention of making anymore. If someone wants a pair of rejects contact me through the site email option. It was a fun project and a solution for some with bad tailight lenses however it did not solve the problem of the rubber light socket/lens gasket combination used by uhaul.

Several folks have fabricated their own bulb brackets and gasket to replace their deteriorated original bulb housings as those folks wanted to retain the almost original tailight design and use my lenses. Lotta work in my opinion however it did work for those that tried. The simple LED bracket shown above is a great solution!

By far the best solution is the fiberglass/metal/3D printed tailight caps or the clever LED bracket shown above. Allows the user to use modern LED lights or most any light of their choice.

When it comes to the Uhaul CT-13 and VT-16 trailers keeping them original is way overblown in my opinion. There are so many GREAT UPGRADES that can be made to make these trailers a great option for inexpensive camping in a lightweight easy to pull package. Keeping these trailers "Original & Vintage" just means you still still have a "Old and Problematic" trailer. What you have is a trailer that's NOT much fun to camp in and enjoy when they are still "Vintage"!

You can Resto-Mod a car and "I" think that's the only way to with any "Vintage" Fiberglass trailer and in specific a Uhaul CT13 or VT-16 campers. Your Resto-Mod trailer will be more valuable and more desirable now and in the future. You the owner will also git greater enjoyment and fun during your camping adventures.
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Old 04-21-2021, 11:45 AM   #20
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Had very similar problem on out 73 lovebug.. added these LED
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