Bigfoot ceiling lights electrical issue - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-25-2021, 02:29 PM   #1
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Bigfoot ceiling lights electrical issue

First: I'm having a problem with Gladys' ceiling lights on the passenger side of the cabin. Those lights on that side have stopped working. I've used a multimeter to test for electricity and it seems that there isn't any along that side. This issue includes the oven hood/light and I'm thinking that the lights for the vent fan/oven hood are wired on the same leg and that somewhere there is a "break" in that circuit leaving the entire side out. The outside light on the entry handle is out also and that used to work, even though we never used it.

Second: There is a light at the top of the entry stairs in the main cabin the holds two bulbs controlled by a three position switch. First switch position is all off, second switch position is one bulb lit and third switch position is both bulbs lit. BUT, when I turn on the first bulb everything is fine However, when I turn on the second bulb and then the first bulb is reduced to 50% brightness and the second bulb may come on or may not. I have to remove both bulbs, turn the switch off and reinsert the bulbs to get either bulb to work again. I've attempted switching bulbs to other bulbs I know work correctly in an attempt to eliminate the issue but it doesn't matter what bulbs I use or if I use the multimeter; the sockets go dead. I've pulled the fixture and all connections look good and solid. The only thing that I can think is that the switch is failing' because everything else looks good.

MAIN PROBLEM: I don't speak "electrical" Ohms and resistance and all that crap so my searching on YouTube for assistance has been impeded by my inability to decipher what the hell they're talking about. I don't understand how to check continuity or that other crap to test the switch.

So, I'm stuck on the idea that I should replace the switch or fixture to see if that fixes the problem. I could simple loose wire a temporary fixture in place to test my theory, if I had one, which I don't.

Last: I'd like to replace all the incandescent bulbs with LEDs to cut battery drain and lower operating temperature of the fixtures. Some of the lenses of the light fixtures are showing a little age like they don't like getting so hot from the old bulbs. I wonder if anyone has any recommendations about LED bulbs for a camper/trailer.

Sorry for the long post that almost sounds winey but this issue has been in my hair for over 12 months and I've been avoiding it. It makes me a little crouchy.
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Old 06-26-2021, 10:00 AM   #2
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I used the search feature while waiting for some input from anyone and found a replacement LED fixture from Kohree on Amazon. I might simply replace all the fixtures with these new ones and get new led's in the process.
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Old 06-26-2021, 10:07 AM   #3
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Makes sense to me. When I stopped by Escape to pick up a couple new LED bulbs, they simply replaced the entire fixture.
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Old 06-26-2021, 01:55 PM   #4
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From what you are describing, you may have an open ground wire connection to the chasis. The indication is from your description of the 2 light entry going one bulb dims as both are switched on. Locate your converter, and follow the big heavy 12V dc wire that goes to the chasis connection and inspect it. If dirty or corroded wire brush all the components until shinny and then reassemble. All the 12 problems may be gone. BTW, be sure you turn off the shore and battery power before doing this.
I hope this helps you find the problem. Good luck ............... Swampy
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Old 06-26-2021, 07:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimknoch View Post
From what you are describing, you may have an open ground wire connection to the chasis. The indication is from your description of the 2 light entry going one bulb dims as both are switched on. Locate your converter, and follow the big heavy 12V dc wire that goes to the chasis connection and inspect it. If dirty or corroded wire brush all the components until shinny and then reassemble. All the 12 problems may be gone. BTW, be sure you turn off the shore and battery power before doing this.
I hope this helps you find the problem. Good luck ............... Swampy
Jim, thanx for this advice. I'll go look first thing tomorrow. I should not have any trouble locating the primary ground wire.
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Old 06-26-2021, 07:39 PM   #6
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Bill, if you still have the old converter and fuse block? you may want to check your fuses. If you are upgrading your interior lighting to new LED. Consider going with the warm white version lights. They are not as harsh and bright.

https://www.amazon.com/Lumitronics-L...motive&sr=1-57

https://www.amazon.com/FIXTURE-SINGL...motive&sr=1-91
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Old 06-27-2021, 06:38 AM   #7
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mszabo: Nope, we installed the new charge controller on 3/26/19. You can look back through this thread and see my notes on post #79. The lighting problem that we're experiencing is happening in only half the lights and it would seem that it's on the passenger side of the cabin. Still sorting things out...
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Old 06-27-2021, 11:41 AM   #8
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Myself I replaced all of the light fixtures in my 1977 Trillium with new LED units (Amazon). Some of my fixtures were melted/distorted/yellowed.

I replaced just the bulbs on the 1996 Casita I used to own. Some got hot, I was never happy with the outcome.
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Old 06-28-2021, 02:59 PM   #9
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I never got around to look for the ground wire but I have clarified the issues. The fixture in the entryway with the bad bulb is definitely the bulb or the socket. I can hold the bulb in just a way that the fixture will perform perfectly.

I have been able to clean the socket on the exterior entry door light from the corrosion and rust and it'll work fine. The exterior lamp lighting the pin box is good and the switch is good so the problem there was just exposure to the elements.

I kitchen vent fan/hood lamp is still unresolved. I checked the continuity of the bulb and it's good but the socket has no juice. This is combined with the light over the sink and the light in the corner-all three fail to light and all three do not have juice. I've tried to trace the wires but I think they're in the ceiling track behind the wall panel in the storage cabinet and I'm not ready to pull all that apart yet.

Besides, it 96° in the shade in our driveway and I'm too hot and tired to keep going today. I may decide to pull a new set of wires for those fixtures from somewhere else if I can find the original wiring harness in the ceiling.

I've already ordered all new LED fixtures for the all the ceiling lights except the reading lights in the bedroom. Those seem to be working just fine for now.

Don'tcha just love electrical problems?
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Old 06-29-2021, 08:49 AM   #10
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If you have power at the light, the ground can be "rerouted" to any solid ground. Wall framing of trailer if aluminum or actual frame of the trailer and that will keep you from having to open the ceiling.
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Old 07-23-2021, 05:18 PM   #11
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problem solved

I found the problem and am glad to have the tools to resolve this issue. I am proud to have figured out and used my multi-meter.

First, I blew the line fuse from the battery and that's why the entire system was off line.

Second, the toggle switch to the bathroom light is shot so I've hard wired that light and we'll be using the switch on the light base.

Last, I traced the frame ground wire as recommended and it's in great condition so no issues there. Glad to have all our stuff working correctly.

I really appreciate all the advice I've found here, for this issue and all the others that y'all chime in on. I love this forum.
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