I rewired the whole trailer and decided to wire all the lights to to 12vdc. I figure I'll just use 12vdc bulbs in the standard 12vac fixtures, and run them all through my converter. This just seems simpler to me, rather than having one 12vdc light, and the rest requiring me to be plugged into shore power, or having to run an inverter. I put in a couple of 120 outlets as well for when I am plugged into shore power, since I won't be able to plug into the lights anymore, not that I really ever would have given the undersized wiring.
Anybody have any thoughts as why this is a good idea, or may have been a bad idea? It's not too late for me to switch back, but I'm planning on doing my final wiring in a few weeks.
JoeK '61 16' Airflyte
Vintage Trailers: a common dream for uncommon people
Post by montanablue on Mar 29, 2010 15:03:36 GMT -5
JoeK, That is exactly what I am doing. I am using all LED lights to help reduce the power consumption on the deep cycle battery. I also have made two solar panels using 6 VW battery maintainers running them through a solar charger. I should have no problem running my LED lights inside and outside the camper. I can post some pictures if anyone is interested. I mounted the VW solar panels onto a copper tubing frame. I don't know if VW still ships these with there new cars but I got all of mine for free at the local VW dealership. I think they are 3 to 5 watts each. I have a total of 6 units wired together. I think my converter is a 60 amp unit. I will post the name and specs later. Rick (Montanablue)
Has anyone else done what Joe describes, switching the interior light fixtures over to 12 volts? I've seen that you can buy 12 volt bulbs that will fit in the original fixtures and have wondering about this as an option also.
I don't see any reason why this wouldn't be doable. The wiring would be totally over kill, but that is never a bad thing, much less of a fire hazard. The led bulbs would be tougher than incandescent bouncing along the highway too. Not to mention although the up front cost would be higher, you would never have to replace bulbs again, no need to carry spare bulbs in a drawer etc. I think it is a great idea. I think I will steal it this spring.
I don't think they are LED, just 12volt DC in the form of a common 110v AC type A bulb. I like the idea that I can have one set of interior light fixtures, the original ones, running off a battery or at an electric site. I would just use a power converter to always have 12 volts DC running to the lights. As someone mentioned, it would be good add some 110v outlets in a couple of places as the existing outlets on the light fixtures would also be 12DC.
Besides VTS I've also found several other sources for 12 volt bulbs that look like typical 110 bulbs and would fit into the original light fixtures. Pricing all looks pretty similar at the different sites.
Here's some more info that might help when seeking options to fit the original 110 volt fixtures like in my '63. They were designed for typical 110 volt incandescent lightbulbs like you would have in your house until the new spiral fluorescent bulbs came on the scene. The screw bases are called "E26". The glass envelope is called a "A19"
Here's a website showing some details for a A19/E26 12 volt DC bulb that should work when the wiring is re-configured for a 12 volt system. The bulb shown is a 50 watt bulb that draws 4.17 Amps.