LED Brake Lights for '86 Bigfoot B17 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-28-2017, 09:41 AM   #1
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Name: David
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LED Brake Lights for '86 Bigfoot B17

I have A 1986 Bigfoot B17 and was curious if anyone had replaced the brake lights with LED versions. My brake lights are intermittent where the bulbs insert and would like to replace the whole fixture if one is close to the existing size.
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:59 AM   #2
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Many on this forum have done this. On my Boler 13 (now sold) I replaced the old wedding cake incandescent fixtures with sealed LED fixtures and they worked great! Much brighter and more reliable.
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Old 03-29-2017, 05:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Gray View Post
I have A 1986 Bigfoot B17 and was curious if anyone had replaced the brake lights with LED versions. My brake lights are intermittent where the bulbs insert and would like to replace the whole fixture if one is close to the existing size.
:check your local RV stores, Camping world, maybe remove it and take to a LED store and have them convert it to LED lights for you, nothing is impossible today to get things done if you cannot do it yourself.
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Old 03-29-2017, 05:52 PM   #4
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WHY?
Why would you want to replace the brake lights with LED lights?

All running lights including brake lights, tail light, marker lights and back up lights are powered by the tow vehicle. I see no benefit in replacing the existing lights with LEDs.
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Old 03-29-2017, 06:09 PM   #5
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Byron is probably right. Far more benefit using LED fixtures in places such as Michigan where dampness and road salt wreak havoc on exterior fixtures, to the point where I am constantly spraying electronic cleaner on the terminal contacts and sockets, walking around having to tap fixtures that don't light up every time I perform the light test, etc. Gee, come to think of it, I have the same problem with the 7-blade connector...
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Old 03-29-2017, 06:56 PM   #6
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The biggest advantage to LED brake lights is how much brighter they are and easily seen even in full sun.
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Old 03-29-2017, 07:00 PM   #7
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I prefer a sealed LED tail light and running lights. (all the lights really ) mostly for reliability since if they are soldered in there is no corrosion in the sockets to worry about.
While it doesn't fit in you setup I installed a set of Harbor Freight round tail lights inside the original tail light setup.
Sealed.
I also installed new sealed side lights as well and every other light in the camper as well.
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Old 03-30-2017, 04:29 AM   #8
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I replaced all exterior lights with LEDs and was not pleased with the brightness of the tail lights. Since LEDs draw a fraction of the current of incandescent, I installed several LEDs under the original tail light lens. One LED is wired to the tail light circuit and the other to the brake/turn light circuit. I've now pleased with the light level.

LEDs Under Original Tail Light Lens Photo by tomNjo | Photobucket

http://s293.photobucket.com/user/tom...tml?sort=3&o=6
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Old 03-30-2017, 05:45 AM   #9
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I replace the original 1157 with this quality led and it looks o.k..
$28 / cad for 2 lights, and the lighting is correct.

https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...fit/2625/5697/

At the seller he had different qualities of led and he strongly suggested me to use the high quality, similar to that in the ad that accompanies this message.
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Old 03-30-2017, 06:42 AM   #10
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using 1157 led bulbs in the taillight

I tried using 1157 led bulbs in my new old stock Trillium taillights. Resulted in insufficient brightness, so I added 2 additional 1157 sockets to each taillight for a total of 2 1157 sockets in each taillight. See thread:

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ent-72842.html

The improved Trillium taillights are still not as bright as sealed LED taillights. I am thinking of trying the Tom Trostel solution ...
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Old 03-30-2017, 07:29 AM   #11
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I don't know how the 1986 is but I suspect it's the same as my '89 where the fiberglass tub is molded with a flat area to fit the tail lamp assembly (see photo). It's a pretty specific fit for the Miro-Flex tail lamps. I was never able to find a replacement LED lamp assembly that fit the mounting area properly so I just replaced the old, tired Miro-Flex lamps with new ones which can still be found in the RV marketplace. I also tried LED bulbs but was underwhelmed with the performance compared to the original incandescent bulbs. The best way to improve reliability IMHO is to get a fresh set of lamps, mount them with a fresh 'bead' of butyl tape under the base plate and around the wire holes, and coat all the electrical connections with dielectric grease. Reapply the grease periodically to keep the connections clean and insulated from the dirt and elements. I never had any issues with mine after I did this.

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Old 03-30-2017, 07:36 AM   #12
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Few years ago I installed LED panels similar to this one in the tail lights of my popup:


Boy are these bright!!
Absolutely no comparison with the old 1157 bulb.
I left the original 1157 socket in place and spliced the LED in. If the LED ever fails I can still put in an incandescent bulb to get me home safely.

I plan to do the same mod to my Trillium.
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Old 03-30-2017, 04:11 PM   #13
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
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Bargeman LED replacements.

My 1993 Bigfoot 17CB had Bargeman rear tail lights and I was able to find the exact LED replacements. Same screw holes and all. They are brighter and replace the corroded cracked ones I had. Good improvement.

Mike .....>
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:19 AM   #14
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I do a lot of maintenance work on trailers. In general LED lights are better simply because they have no filaments to burn out and break. However, there are several other things to look at when repairing/replacing trailer lights.
Corrosion issues in light sockets can be prevented by using dielectric grease on the bottom of the bulb and in the sockets. This prevents corrosion between the bulb and the socket. I highly recommend that it be used whenever replacing bulbs, whether with LED's of regular bulbs.
Secondly, when replacing any of the many clearance and other lights on the exterior of trailers, consult the online catalogs such as Grote:

http://www.grote.com/wp-content/uplo...talog_Full.pdf

Grote products, as well products from other suppliers of lights/LED products for automotive and trucking purposes are readily available from most places like NAPA, etc. and are competitively priced.

KT
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:03 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the help. I've got some research to do. I'll let you know what I come up with.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:08 AM   #16
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There one other thing to consider when replacing trailer brake lights with LEDs. Since LEDs draw a lot less current on some tow vehicles the flash rate on the combination of tow and trailer can change, depending on the tow and how things are wired. It could be good or it could be bad, the flash rate.

One other thing, the higher current incandescent bulbs have a tendency to clean the contacts while the lower current LEDs have a tendency to allow corrosion to stop the electron flow.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:15 AM   #17
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Hi Mike. I was wondering if you had the model number of the Bargeman lights you used?
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:55 AM   #18
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Would any of these work? They are listed as complete LED assemblies. LINK

I would stay away from putting LED bulbs in incandescent sockets. A LED bulb with good dispersion, high lumen, and reliable (read quality) ends up costing as much as good sealed replacement unit. And cheap drop in just frustrates you.

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Old 04-06-2017, 11:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Gray View Post
Hi Mike. I was wondering if you had the model number of the Bargeman lights you used?
Beware that he has a 1993 model, which has the later, flatter, more square tail lamp assemblies than your 1986 with the Miro-Flex lamps. The LED replacement he found will likely not be an exact fit on a 1986, and may not fit at all. Check the dimensions carefully.
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Old 04-06-2017, 12:17 PM   #20
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There's nothing wrong with good complete LED assemblies, and if you're doing a major rehab, that's probably the way to go. I'm not especially fond of cutting holes in my trailer's shell, though, and most LED lights are recessed mount.

My trailer, like a lot of them here, has surface-mount tail light fixtures (Bargman #92, to be exact). Like another poster, I put in a $15 pair of 1157 corncob LED bulb replacements. I did something else, too, though:

I glued some aluminum foil to the mounting plate behind the bulb socket. White spray paint would also work, but it was faster and easier to cut a piece of foil to fit and then glue it in with a spot of RTV silicone.

Every year I look at the lights and decide that they're definitely 'bright enough.' They're attention getting in daytime, and impossible to miss at night.

I did have to clean off the contacts last summer on one side - had an odd dim glow with parking lamps on instead of normal lamp function. I think the very low current going through the LEDs makes contact quality that much more important. A few seconds of scraping with my pocket knife to brighten up the brass and a little gentle bending and everything was proper again.

I swapped out the side marker bulbs with LEDs as well. All LED lights mean that the stock lighting module on the TV doesn't even know the trailer is back there.

My one remaining lighting plan for the trailer is to put a third brake light above the spare tire on the belly band. An and gate will be required to get the proper behavior, but it's not rocket science.
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