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Old 06-17-2014, 10:42 PM   #1
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Utility compartment modification upgrade

I realize there is an area in the forum to post upgrades and modifications but I felt this one uniquely applied to the Forester/Sunseeker units so I posted here instead.

To me, the utility compartment (sewer & power cord compartment), was just begging for some kind of work/task light to be able to get connected after the sun sets.

I just got back from a 4600 mile journey in 18 days with 10 different campgrounds stops - some of them had me setting up in the dark. Now I really wanted some kind of light.

I do have the scare light over the compartment but it doesn't throw any light into the compartment. I'm not fond of handling a flashlight with one hand and the shore cord and sewer hose with the other.

I planned to add lighting in the compartment before our trip but couldn't really come up with a suitable light fixture that would not be obtrusive.

Well, for about $30.00 and about 2.0 hours of work - I have something I am completely pleased with. I do wish the LED color temperature was a little "warmer" but it really provides some great lighting.

The LED strips came from Wal-Mart automotive dept. These particular strips throw the light to the edge of the strip. This allows me to orientate the strip to direct the light to the back of the compartment versus down as a standard LED strip would do. There is a left and right (I believe these would be for outlining headlights on cars as you see out now). This allowed me to have the leads face each other to connect to the $4.00 switch on the fascia panel in front of the waste tanks.
I ran a 12 volt wire from the light in the back compartment, wired up the switch and LED leads. The LED strips have a 3M adhesive already applied so it was just a matter of placing, then peel and stick.

I also added a half pancake LED light to the water filter compartment and wired it to the light on the passenger side back compartment. No photos of that one but it gives great light for the filter and pump area.

Those with a keen eye will notice the WFCO inverter has been replaced. Still making the finishing touches of the Progressive Dynamics inverter. That was another great upgrade!

Bobby
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:25 AM   #2
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Great lighting for the storage areas! I also like warmer lighting too.

BTW what is a pancake light (or half of pancake light)?
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:33 AM   #3
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Love the lighting. That piece you mounted the switch to is the same panel I mounted our black flush inlet in. I put that same converter on our new one the first week it was home. No brainer. I can't stand the WFCO. I have several LED strip lights for our basement and front cargo, but can't ever find time to put them in. Now you've motivated me.

Not to hijack the thread, but I'm guessing you got some of your previous issues sorted out with the dealer?
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:55 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Terier View Post
Great lighting for the storage areas! I also like warmer lighting too.

BTW what is a pancake light (or half of pancake light)?
Thanks!
A half pancake was a term I stole but its basically half of a full fixture.
Thus is what I installed - its from Command Electronics it ours out a good warm colored light.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:02 AM   #5
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Not to hijack the thread, but I'm guessing you got some of your previous issues sorted out with the dealer?
John, yea eventually it worked out. Took way longer than necessary for the repair but I will say it came it remarkable. I thought of you're issue with the paint match and I feared the same but the end result is you can't tell where they painted. Mine is the full body paint so 3 colors had to be touched up. The painter did get some runs at the top whet it curves to meet the roof but you can't see it from the ground.

It was a close call for our trip. A left on May 21 but I got the coach back on May 16.

Thanks for the guidance on that again!

Bobby
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:32 AM   #6
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Glad it's all fixed and you're satisfied with the outcome. We were just in BR spending some money last time I was home. We've been planning a camping trip down that way, just hadn't made it yet. Maybe later this summer. I'll be sure to shoot you a pm next time we're down there.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:05 PM   #7
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I'll be sure to shoot you a pm next time we're down there.
Yea, do that.
The Forester has to go back to the shop after our beach trip next month but hopefully that one will be a shorter stay. It is free storage though!

Bobby
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:29 PM   #8
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Nice upgrade. We have already added an LED light to the sewage compartment based on previous suggestions.

Unfortunately we can't just run out and buy anything (like I had thought). By code, the light has to be rated for a wet area. Started running down the line a month or so ago.
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:35 PM   #9
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Very nice!




I use one like this when I need both hands free.

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Old 06-18-2014, 03:37 PM   #10
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We have already added an LED light to the sewage compartment based on previous suggestions.

Unfortunately we can't just run out and buy anything (like I had thought). By code, the light has to be rated for a wet area. Started running down the line a month or so ago.
Naturally - always what you want or need is in the next model release. I guess that's why iPhones "age" faster - is not a broken phone, it's the missing feature.

My LED strip is designed for the exterior of a car. If that utility compartment gets more wet than the outside of a car - I got bigger problems.

Thanks!

Bobby
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