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Old 02-27-2010, 10:31 AM   #1
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LED Replacement Lights

I am sure this has been discussed before but I could not find the thread.

What experience do folks have with LED replacement "bulbs" for those 12 volt, bayonet base bulbs that are in most interior RV fixtures?

Do you have a best source (that is, best value)? What problems have you seen? Do you have a view on just what you have saved in electricity, especially dry camping?
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by poodlepeople View Post
I am sure this has been discussed before but I could not find the thread.

What experience do folks have with LED replacement "bulbs" for those 12 volt, bayonet base bulbs that are in most interior RV fixtures?

Do you have a best source (that is, best value)? What problems have you seen? Do you have a view on just what you have saved in electricity, especially dry camping?
I have been switching over my 198 bulbs in the overhead lights to an LED light panel board which others here have used and I am quite pleased. You can get a sense as to how little amperage they use by looking at my post on the Trimetric 2025 battery monitor

I buy these panels from a seller on Ebay who ships from Hong Kong. I know, sounds a little dubious but my first round of lights (just two of them to try out) came in 2 weeks and have worked great. Light ouput although a hotter color than incandescent is outstanding. They run just under $10 per light with free shipping. Others find this to be too expensive but it is less than half the cost of like products available on other web sites. Also to put it in perspective, I will be opting this year to stay at a huge public parking area/boat launch to do my fishing on the Columbia River where I will be dry camping instead of using the state park nearby at $37/night. The money I save by dry camping for 3 nights will pay to replace nearly all the 198 bulbs in my rig.

I have also been testing other styles of bulbs for our ouside porch lights and a different style of 198 type LED replacement and as soon as I have a good comparison I will do a wright up here on each of them and how I found them to work.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:08 PM   #3
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Thanks Jeeper. I also looked at your older post on the consumption of various fixtures and equipment. I am dismayed about furnaces and pumps as we hope to do a bit of dry camping.

I am working to replace my group 27 battery with a pair of T-125's. This should help since I understand recharging my use in this setup will be more efficient (from a generator) than recharging the "hybrid" 12 volt battery.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by poodlepeople View Post
Thanks Jeeper. I also looked at your older post on the consumption of various fixtures and equipment. I am dismayed about furnaces and pumps as we hope to do a bit of dry camping.

I am working to replace my group 27 battery with a pair of T-125's. This should help since I understand recharging my use in this setup will be more efficient (from a generator) than recharging the "hybrid" 12 volt battery.
We have learned that if we intend to dry camp in colder temps to load up on the blankets and set the thermostat low for the night. Limiting the amount of time the furnace runs is very important. On our old rig I installed a simple digital programmable thermostat that ran on 2 AA batteries so that we could program it to automatically increase the temperature in the morning rather than having to get out of a warm bed to turn up the temperature.

Also the converter/charger in most RVs is not sufficient to properly charge batteries and for that reason when dry camping I would recommend bringing a good automotive type of charger and hooking it up to the batteries and the generator rather than just charging with the converter.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:50 PM   #5
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I have been talking to both the manufacturer of our converter and to the Trojan battery people to try to understand this dry camping business.

My converter is a three stage unit that, they say, will provide up to a 65 amp bulk charging rate, depending on the battery voltage. It then switches to an absorption mode and eventually to a trickle charge mode if the RV is not in use for a few days (not likely in my case - I remove the batteries if we are not using it for more than a few days and recharge/float charge at home).

I am betting on the higher capacity of the new battery arrangement allowing the converter to switch from the bulk to absorption mode faster than it would with single 12 volt battery once I start the generator and AC "shore" power in the morning.

Alternatively, I will be able to run several days (watching my power use) without recharging.

This will be a life-long adventure, I am afraid but input from folks who have taken this journey should help smooth the ride - thanks.

We have two standard poodles who join us in bed (we are not planning on staying in any "three dog night" locations) but the programable thermostats sound like a good idea.
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by poodlepeople View Post
I have been talking to both the manufacturer of our converter and to the Trojan battery people to try to understand this dry camping business.

My converter is a three stage unit that, they say, will provide up to a 65 amp bulk charging rate, depending on the battery voltage. It then switches to an absorption mode and eventually to a trickle charge mode if the RV is not in use for a few days (not likely in my case - I remove the batteries if we are not using it for more than a few days and recharge/float charge at home).

I am betting on the higher capacity of the new battery arrangement allowing the converter to switch from the bulk to absorption mode faster than it would with single 12 volt battery once I start the generator and AC "shore" power in the morning.

Alternatively, I will be able to run several days (watching my power use) without recharging.

This will be a life-long adventure, I am afraid but input from folks who have taken this journey should help smooth the ride - thanks.

We have two standard poodles who join us in bed (we are not planning on staying in any "three dog night" locations) but the programable thermostats sound like a good idea.
What is the name and model of converter you have. Not to argue and you may be right but most converters supplied with RVs are not 3 stage. I am learning a lot on this right now. Also, wet cell batteries should normally not be charged at a rate higher than C/10, which means you take your bank amperage size which for instance on two Trojan T125s would be about 240amp hours, divide by 10 and you get 24 amps charge. If your charger cannot put out between 14.4-15.0 volts then it is not a 3 stage charger. 65 amps of charging mixed with 13.6 volts will just cook your batteries and lessen their life. If you haven't visited The 12 Volt Side Of Life, you should check it out. Excellent information here on this stuff.

We too have two dogs, a miniture dachshund (natures bed heater) and a Bichon. The bed gets kinda full with the 4 of us in it but they do help on those cold nights.

If you like to dry camp like we do you will become obsessed with how to extend your capabilities. I am still learning (and schemeing) on how to do better. Solar panels, inverter, LED lighting, motion sensing porch lights, etc. etc. I like the challenge myself.
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:01 AM   #7
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NWJeeper, I pulled my owners manuels last night after reading about your post about the converter chargers, the manual claims it to be a 3 stage charger, even uses the terminology, but also states it will charge float at 13.6, went to Walmart and bought a charger that is really 3 stage with 15.1 float charging. I think it will take a while to get my batteries reconditioned to hold the full charge. Thanks for doing the homework for the rest of us
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:02 AM   #8
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The WFCO 3-stage charger in our Surveyor has 14.4 Bulk Charge, 13.6 Absorption Charge, and 13.2 float mode. Many newer trailers have these 3 stage converters.
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:05 AM   #9
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And here is another LED alternative.

http://tweetys.com/double-dome-white...light-kit.aspx

We bought one of these and one of the units NWJeeper has purchased. I'm going to install one of each and see what I like best. Then, procede to convert most of my trailer (assuming one of the 2 alternatives is acceptable). We dry camp primarily and the lamp usage really adds up.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:06 AM   #10
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NWJeeper, I pulled my owners manuels last night after reading about your post about the converter chargers, the manual claims it to be a 3 stage charger, even uses the terminology, but also states it will charge float at 13.6, went to Walmart and bought a charger that is really 3 stage with 15.1 float charging. I think it will take a while to get my batteries reconditioned to hold the full charge. Thanks for doing the homework for the rest of us
Flyrotor, I was mistakenly told by a well meaning member here when I first joined that the converter in my rig was a 3 stage. After another member did the research (I cant take credit for that) I found out it is not, imagine my dismay since I had been leaving my rig plugged in all the time. After installing the Trimetric monitor and reading the great documentation that comes with it I realized that if I want my batteries to be in top shape for dry camping I need to change out the converter.

Acadianbob: I have been hearing nothing but great things from owners with the WFCO converters and they are not as expensive as I thought they would be. Thanks for the info on the LEDs too. I am really pleased with the replacement LED panels that I bought to replace the 198 bulbs in my existing fixtures. I should have more of them on my doorstep tomorrow
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