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Author Topic: More candlepower?  (Read 7608 times)

Tom

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More candlepower?
« on: April 28, 2005, 11:48:26 PM »
We rarely drive the coach at night, but our very late start today left us with little choice tonight. The headlights on the coach are about as bright as a couple of candles. I recall having a similar problem with the old coach, and adding a couple of spot lights and a couple of fog lights. But that was 20 years ago, and headlamp technology has advanced considerably since then.

Has anyone else had this problem, and how did you solve it?

TIA
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Ron

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2005, 12:00:38 AM »
I have heard similar complants on different manufacturers coaches.  Somewhere an explanation was given that the light just appear to be dim due to the lights being much lower from the drivers field of vision.  We always thought the 88 Bounder lights were dim.  Haven't really driven much at night so can't comment on how the Eagle lights are.

Get an early start tomorrow and do the driving before sundown. Have a safe trip.
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Tom

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2005, 12:11:28 AM »
LOL Ron. I'd still like to solve the problem before we need to use the headlights again.
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Carl L

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2005, 12:23:58 AM »
Quote
The headlights on the coach are about as bright as a couple of candles. I recall having a similar problem with the old coach, and adding a couple of spot lights and a couple of fog lights.

Be careful about adding spot lights -- that can get you a ticket if you drive with them on.    Are your head lamps halogen?
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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Ron

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2005, 12:26:01 AM »
I do remember one guy telling me while checking into why the lights were dim on his coach he found the voltage at the lights to be less than 10 VDC.  His dealer and manufacturer didn't give him any satisfactions so he rewired the headlight circut.  Didn't ever hear if he corrected the problem though.

Nicer driving during the daylight you get to see more. ;D ;D
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2005, 03:41:21 AM »
There is almost nothing you can add that will materially enhance the road lighting except fog lights and they only help in the fog.  Using spot lights while driving on the road is illegal as well as discourteous to other drivers.

Check the voltage.  Have the headlights aimed properly  - they probably just stick the assembly in the front cap at the factory.  Finally, go out on a empty road or parking lot and see how much they actually light up at a distance. Put something a 150 feet or so away and see what you see.  You might be surprised that they actually work much better than your perception suggests.
Gary
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John From Detroit

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2005, 04:16:48 AM »
LOL Ron. I'd still like to solve the problem before we need to use the headlights again.

Suggestion.... Some night, have an observer standing outside the motor home look at the lights as they shine upon a target (IE: Tree in the campground)

Do the same with your toad, same distance, same tree, same conditions.   

Note any differences.

NOTE: There are some headlights, that are brighter due to more modern technology.  Some of these are replacements for some older headlights.  Alas, I can't give you bulb numbers but any good auto supply should be able to illuminate
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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Tom

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2005, 05:36:00 AM »
Be careful about adding spot lights -- that can get you a ticket if you drive with them on. Are your head lamps halogen?

Oops, thanks Carl, didn't realize they were illegal. I won't be adding them then. Not sure if they're halogen or not; I'll check in daylight.
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Tom

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2005, 05:39:28 AM »
....he found the voltage at the lights to be less than 10 VDC.

Interesting Ron. The thought of low voltage occurred to me as were driving last night, but I (maybe naiively) dismissed it. I'll get thye voltmeter out, probably after we get to Moab. I still need to get the problem fixed for the times when we have little option.
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Tom

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2005, 05:46:40 AM »
Thanks Gary. I won't be adding illegal lights. As for being discourteous, my intent was to have them aimed low so we can see immediately in front of the coach, much less discourteous than high beams coming in the opposite direction that folks don't dim.

One comparison we had last night was when we were alongside truckers going in the same direction; There's no doubt in my mind that their lights were miuch brighter. Adjustment is definitely out of whack, but doesn't account for what I was seeing. I'll re-visit the low voltage possibility that I considered and dismissed.
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Tom

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2005, 05:51:52 AM »
Thanks for suggestion John. Maybe I could get a bunch of folks to line their coaches up in the field at Moab one night and we can compare headlights. BTW the coach is less than 2 years old. Compared to headlights on our cars, the lights on the coach feel like those old oil lights they used to use on very early automobiles.
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Jim Johnson

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2005, 06:21:24 AM »
I had the same problem when I bought the Dutch Star.  The first time we drove at night was like driving without any lights at all.  There had been a lot of discussion on different forums about the DS lights about that time.  I took it back to the dealer and told them if they did not fix it I was going to take it to DOT and let them see them.  Newmar put different headlights in it which made a world of difference.
Jim

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Tom

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2005, 06:22:57 AM »
Thanks for returning my sanity Jim. Do you happen to know which lights they installed for you?
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Karl

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2005, 06:33:13 AM »
Tom,

Also check the headlight ground wires;  loose or corroded, that is the number one cause of dim headlights along with corroded pins on the headlights themselves. Also, headlights are not fused, but use a circuit breaker which can increase in resistance with age. It's usually on the headlight switch itself, so you may try bypassing it with a short piece of #12 wire and see if they become brighter.
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Tom

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2005, 06:36:15 AM »
Thanks Karl, I'll add them to the checklist. I'll have plenty of time at Moab  :)
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John From Detroit

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2005, 06:27:35 PM »
There is almost nothing you can add that will materially enhance the road lighting except fog lights and they only help in the fog.  Using spot lights while driving on the road is illegal as well as discourteous to other drivers.


There are also "Driving Lights" these are wide flat beams and are often mounted lower than the regular headlights (except on off road vehciles where they mount them higher, on the roll bar usually)  Properly adjusted they provied a good cross between high and low but without blinding other drivers.  I used to use one of those, center mounted on one car where I was not happy with the lights.

Only time I had a problem is a cop who had to be educated as to the law (he thought 3 headlights was illegal... It's not, at least not where he was working, 1 is, but 2,3,4 or six is legal
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Tom

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2005, 06:47:23 PM »
Quote
"Driving Lights" these are wide flat beams and are often mounted lower than the regular headlights

That's how I was going to mount the "spot lights" (below the bumper), but I guess they're illegal anyway.
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Ned

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2005, 08:32:53 PM »
We hate "driving lights" as they are rarely aligned properly and are at least as blinding to oncoming drivers as high beams. There are times when I wish for a really, really powerful laser.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Tom

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2005, 08:56:21 PM »
Well, the driving lights (aka headlights) on our coach wouldn'/couldn't blind you Ned  ;D
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Smoky

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2005, 09:11:41 PM »
Sounds like my problem Tom.  Except I am fixing my problem on May 10 by going under the knife.  Once I get rid of the cataract in my right eye, I expect night driving to improve a hundredfold.   ;D

anyone know the recovery time on cataract removal.  I am scheduled to fly out to Montana a week after my operation to establish my new domicile.
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

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Karl

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2005, 10:51:37 PM »
Ned,

My '70 'Cuda came standard with round 'driving lights' mounted between the grill. Can you guess what I replaced them with?? Aircraft landing lights ;D One very brief flick of the switch did the trick every time. Illegal? Heck yes, but I didn't drive into any ditches either.
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

caltex

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2005, 11:26:22 PM »
Those aircraft lights were awesome, I had a set on my 63 Corvette.  Sure beat the standard lights of the day.
Robert

Ron

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2005, 11:43:15 PM »
I installed landing lights on a 66 Caddy I had.  Did require a wireing change to make them work right but the sure lit up the road.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Jim Johnson

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2005, 06:37:16 PM »
Thanks for returning my sanity Jim. Do you happen to know which lights they installed for you?

Tom, have been off the air for a day.  The only identifying marks on the lights say TYC, don't know if that means anything.  When I get to Moab I will look on the back side and see if there is anything there.  See you Sunday.
Jim

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Tom

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2005, 06:51:37 PM »
OK thanks Jim.
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Ron

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2005, 12:25:09 AM »
Tom,

Take a look at ths site HEADLIGHTS for information on fixing the headlight anomaly you mentioned.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Tom

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2005, 06:18:18 AM »
Take a look at ths site HEADLIGHTS for information on fixing the headlight anomaly you mentioned.

Thanks Ron. I will be checking the alignment, and have done so on previous vehicles, and already know that they're aimed low. But I'm not convinved that this is the only issue. I'll start my diagnostics at Moab.
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Smoky

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2005, 06:55:51 AM »
Ron:

That is a VERY cool web site.  Thanks!
Smoky S  Ham radio - W3PY

The magic of a campfire
where the fish get bigger
the mountains get higher
the hike was uphill both ways
and new friends become old friends

2005 KSDP3910 Newmar Kountry Star
Toad - Taurus wagon w/ axle lock
On our way to the Poudre River in Colorado for the summer!

Ron

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2005, 09:16:58 AM »
Are you sure you will have time? ??? ??? ??? Busy schedule here in Moab. ;D
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Ron from Big D

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2005, 11:01:19 AM »
Tom:  I had that problem on my 83 Bird.  Found out the line voltage to the headlights were routed directly through the switch.  We re-wired the circuit by having the switch control a relay that took voltage directly to headlights with large wire.  Improved the lighting considerably.

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Tom

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2005, 09:49:42 PM »
Thanks for that input Ron. It's certainly one of the things I'll be looking for.
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Tom

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Re: More candlepower?
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2005, 09:57:20 PM »
Are you sure you will have time? ??? ??? ??? Busy schedule here in Moab. ;D

Betty took care of that by including a headlight aiming competition in the Moab events schedule (g).
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