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Author Topic: Head lights weak  (Read 4331 times)

Lee77

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  • 2004 Winnebago Brave 34
Head lights weak
« on: November 19, 2011, 12:22:13 PM »
I find the sealed-beams on my 2004 Brave very weak. I'm new to RVing maybe it's just me, but are there brighter sealed- beams available ?
Thanks, Lee

Lou Schneider

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Re: Head lights weak
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2011, 01:13:04 PM »
There are several grades of sealed beam headlights available, but before you invest in a set, check the headlight wiring.  With a fiberglass front, the headlights need both voltage and a ground wire, doubling the chances for voltage loss due to a bad connection over a car that uses the car body and frame for the ground return.

Check the voltage at the bulb itself - a 10% voltage loss equals a 20% loss in brightness.

A brighter bulb draws more current, so if the wiring is restrictive you won't gain much going to a bigger bulb - the extra current will just reduce the voltage that much further.

Sylvania headlight comparison chart
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 01:17:14 PM by Lou Schneider »

seilerbird

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Re: Head lights weak
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2011, 01:45:20 PM »
I would also check the battery and alternator voltages. Either one might cause dull headlights.

Wizard46

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Re: Head lights weak
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2011, 06:54:28 PM »
I have owned 3 motorhomes and driven more, never had one that had really good night driving capabilities. Therefore I usually only drive during the day, but I like it that way and am not in a hurry anyway.

As stated above, do check the voltage and aim of the lights.
Jerry & Patsy Potter, Taz & Jake Jr.
2000 Winnebago Journey
2006 Ford Explorer 4X4
Home: Milledgeville Ga.

THEBigLarry

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  • If a Hammer won't fix it, it's an electrical issue
Re: Head lights weak
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2011, 08:25:13 PM »
Do they make a conversion kit to Halogen?   I know they do for other sealed beam vehicles,
but I have not seen one for an RV with 4 head lamps. . .

Larry and Loretta Dodd
2007 American Eagle 42' 500 Big Horses
2014 Jeep Rubicon  "LoLa II"
2005 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic
Living Life at Full Throttle!  
FULL TIME as of Aug 1, 2014.

THEBigLarry

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  • If a Hammer won't fix it, it's an electrical issue
Re: Head lights weak
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2011, 08:34:23 PM »
http://www.rvheadlights.com/

Did some 'googling' and found this for starts.  I know Hella lights as they make good offroad lamps.
I am going to check into a conversion kit for my 2002 Winnebago Adventurer.  We just drove OKC to
near Kansas City KS and the last part of the drive was after dark.  Winter Solstice is a few days away.

For much of the drive, I left my brights on.  I had very few people on I-35 flash at me to dim.  The brights
were that weak and dim was unacceptbale.  I do not plan to drive at night that much, but when I need to,
think it might be important that I can see where I am going. 

I may post an upgrade page when I do my Hella conversion while I am 'wintering' in Sarasota. . .

The Big Larry
Larry and Loretta Dodd
2007 American Eagle 42' 500 Big Horses
2014 Jeep Rubicon  "LoLa II"
2005 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic
Living Life at Full Throttle!  
FULL TIME as of Aug 1, 2014.

Molaker

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Re: Head lights weak
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2011, 09:00:38 PM »
Watch what you put in there.  A lot of Hela lights are not DOT approved.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

BobNSam

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  • Travel/golf/reading/bridge in any order
Re: Head lights weak
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2011, 09:43:18 PM »
Do they make a conversion kit to Halogen?   I know they do for other sealed beam vehicles,
but I have not seen one for an RV with 4 head lamps. . .
Sealed beams used by 04 Winnie Brave are halogen. The particular type headlight is just not a good design and every vehicle I have owned with these lamps has looked dim.
Note that even halogens will lose some brilliance with age despite what the advertisements say.
One suggestion is to add "Fog Lamps" that operate with low beam. Most auto parts stores will have good ones that are not too difficult to install. They don't project any further down the street, but do add a lot of fill light to near and sides.
 
2017 Newmar Ventana LE
2010 Chevy Equinox LTZ
Road master tow stuff
DirecTV with Genie/Trav'ler Antenna
2+2 USAF Retired (2IDGITS)

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Head lights weak
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2011, 07:58:22 AM »
Low voltage at the headlight itself is a common problem with motorhomes of that vintage. Fleetwood modified the wiring harness on mine to to provide an extra 0.75 volts and it helped mine quite a bit. Check your voltage at the headlamp wiring itself - it should be 13 or so with the engine running. Also check the clear plastic cover  - they often get foggy with age and reduce light output considerable. Replace or polish with a plastic polish such as Mequiars or Mothers plastic polishes.

I've heard many people tout the benefits of replacing the halogen bulbs with the Sylvania Silver Star halogen bulbs.  Other recommend changing to HID bulbs instead of Halogen.

You can probably get higher wattage halogens for the headlamp assembly, but that won't help if the wiring is marginal and the voltage low.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summer: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

PatrioticStabilist

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Re: Head lights weak
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2011, 08:51:53 PM »
My husband put SilverStar Ultra for ultra Night Vision in ours.  It's a number 9006 Sylvania.  I don't drive at night but he has a few times and these helped.  They are supposed to be 50%  brighter, expand side to side up to 40%.  This is off the package.  He paid $40 for 2 of them.

llib enad

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Re: Head lights weak
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2011, 09:34:17 AM »
When you a driving in a car, your line of sight is just a little above the projection of the lights.  In a class A, you are way above the beam so it can look like a smaller projection.  Have driven an Alpine that had BMW head light assembly in it and it still looked like a shorted projectiont than what it looks like in a car.  My lights are out of a Ford truck, need to have DW running out in front with a f
lash light! 
Bill Dane    99  CC Allure

Mavarick

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Re: Head lights weak
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2011, 06:31:42 PM »
In my opinion if you have enough of a problem to ask the question then something is wrong. I agree, look at the voltage at the headlamp plug as it is probably low.
On my 03 they are not the best but I feel comfortable driving at night. Sometimes I use the running lamps which are white and help light up the fog lines. Running the brights really make a difference so if you are not seeing the same results then I suggest doing some checking until you find the problem.
2009 Tiffin Allegro Bus 43 QRP
Powerglide Chassis, 425 Cummins, Allison 6 Speed
2010 CRV - Blackhawk 2 - Air Force One
2002 Heritage Classic
Washington State

Poltax

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Re: Head lights weak
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2011, 09:39:31 PM »
First thing that you want to do is have your lights adjusted.  If your high beams are on and oncoming traffic does not flash their lights at you. Then that tells you that your lights are adjusted too low.  So have your lights adjusted.

Here is a good site for reference on lighting and how to make sure you have the proper voltage   http://www.danielsternlighting.com/home.html

I have been running Silverstars and they have made a big difference. 
Dont drive faster then your angels can fly!!

docj

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Re: Head lights weak
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2011, 10:11:02 AM »
Low voltage at the headlight itself is a common problem with motorhomes of that vintage.

We have a similar problem with our 2000 Beaver Patriot Thunder which, according to the Beaver Forum, is the result of undersized wiring which results in reduced voltage at the bulb.  The suggested fix, which I plan on implementing next year, is to install a relay wired so that the headlights "see" a shorter length of heavier gauge wire.
Sandie & Joel

2000 40' Beaver Patriot Thunder Princeton--425 HP/1550 ft-lbs CAT C-12
2014 Honda CR-V AWD EX-L with ReadyBrute tow bar/braking system
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