I found the cause of water intrusion in both of my LED light assemblies. Several issues contribute to the issue, including but not limited to:
1) When installed, the backing gasket provided by Command Electronics was not mounted properly. It was as if it was stuck on the back of the assembly, then the assy was tossed in the hole & screwed in place - Twice. There are 11 holes in the fiberglass - 6 in the original - perhaps misaligned position, then one was reuse and 5 new ones were drilled using the drill-bit style screws.
While it had factory sealant around the perimeter except the bottom, the mounting holes were allowing water to intrude around the screws. A gentle wash from the hose showed up the issue as water trickled down the inside of the lens from each top corner.
2) On a previous attempt to seal these lamps, I had pulled the backup light lens and properly mounted the gasket, as it appeared to have been tossed in the hole & lens screwed in.
I understand production work, as I used to build Terry trailers back in the mid 70's; this would have been unacceptable work then and is still unacceptable to me now.
What a mess. After any rain storm or even a gentle wash, the assembly would capture up to a half inch of water in the bottom. On our 1450 mile 3 day trip last month, we encountered significant rains about 1/4 of the time. Upon returning home, I discovered there was 1 to 1 1/2 inch of water standing in the bottom of the lens.
I found two contributors:
1) As mentioned for the left assembly, I had reworked the backup lens assembly - it was a major contributor to this issue. Again, the gasket was non-functional, and this lens had only two screws where the left one had 4.
After the backup lens gasket issue was corrected, I though that I'd pretty much cured the issue. No - it still collected water at nearly the same rate as before.
2) Upon examination of the assembly while I was disassembling it to clean the interior, I found this unit was sealed with silicone. What gives? The rest of the coach is done with a good quality non-silicone sealant; I've heard it called Lexel. The silicone came off easily - way to easily. Then I found the right center screw was missing. Again, what the he!!? After removing the remaining 5 screws, I found the assembly wiring was attached with yellow wire nuts, not the crimp connectors used in the remainder of the coach. This assembly had been replaced post-factory, but pre-delivery.
Because the screw was missing, it was a large entry point for water. And , the right center of the fixture was not pulled tight against the skin, so it had pulled away from the silicone, allowing a second large entry point.
While I could have made an appointment with my dealer to have this mess corrected while the coach is still under warranty, I opted to make the repairs myself for a variety of reasons:
1) I want it done right - can I depend on the dealer to correct this issue to my satisfaction?
2) The dealer is a couple hours from home; I'd have to make an appointment, run the coach in and have a second driver/vehicle run me home, then after they get around to it, I'd have another two vehicle/driver run. An how long would it take them to get around to it?
I have photo documentation; I'll post pictures in a follow-up post.
Sigh. While I've been satisfied overall with our new Sunseeker, there's been a lot of issues that I've found that should have never left the factory. Again, I understand production methods, but much of what I've found would have never left our factory.
Would the issues as I documented above regarding the tail/brake lamp assemblies fall under the NHTSA recall? Would Forest River acknowledge (at least) part of the problem due to poor production practices? Or would the blame fall on the poor design of the Command Electronics modules?
I've measured the openings, and I feel I can replace the Command units with 3 LED fixture Bargemans, at a cost of better than $100. But I'll be confident they will remain moisture free, as that is what I installed on our Four Winds some number of years ago.
Formerly: 2000 Four Winds 26Q/Ford, '96 Kit Sportsmaster 22' 5th wheel, '91 Sunlite truck camper, Wildernest flip-top canopy