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Old 10-17-2010, 04:28 PM   #1
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minor issue but still need help

I really belong in a tent (& camped for many yrs in one) due to my mechanical ineptitude so looking for advice from those w/ better skills
Few yrs ago after spending 10 wks in that tent wife put her foot down & we bought small trailer. Just this wk we upgraded to '06 t-1950 & can't wait to take this beauty to AZ for a winter of boondocking
While spiffing it up today I noticed a front marker lite is 1/2 filled w/ water. When I tested the lites before driving new to us trailer home few days ago all lites worked fine. Didn't plug in the 7 pin connector today to see if they still work but can't believe having water inside lens is good idea. I removed mounting screws & tried to remove lite in hopes of draining it but appears to be a sealed unit ?
My next thought was to drill a very small hole thru bottom edge of lens to allow it to drain & maybe then exchange it w/ a side mounted one which might be exposed to less water especially when traveling. It doesn't seem to want to be removed very easily, however
Any adivice for the mechanically challenged ? Thanx
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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I thought the yellow cover on the marker lights was removable.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:47 PM   #3
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Hi GK

The problem you have reported is common. I do not exactly know which side marker light you have on your 2006. I know the ones on my 2004 I can untwist the black rubber fitting that is exposed when you remove the clearance marker and then dry out the lens. This removing of the black rubber (vinyl maybe actually) is also how you change the light bulb.

If you cannot figure out what I am talking about I have a spare I can take a picture of and post to show you.

To combat the problem I have used some non leveling Dicor caulk around the lens to seal out the road water. Seal over the lens edge, the black foam gasket and then to the side of the TT. That is if the lens itself is not cracked. If the lens is cracked and they will in time, then you have not a lot of choices other then replace. The screws also rust out creating issue. The only way to stop that long term is stainless screws.

See these 2 pics of mine. They are Bargman lights, rectangular and have 2 screws exposed to hold them on. These just happen to be 2 pics I already had up on my picture server to show you.





Hope this helps

John

PS, try undoing the black connection first before drilling the holes. Driving down the road the water may still fly in even if the holes are on the bottom.
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:50 PM   #4
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John, we both have the same lights. Sunline used this Bargman light through the end and I believe they started it around 1993, IIRC.

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Old 10-18-2010, 06:13 AM   #5
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It is the Bargman #68 light fixture, available in Red and Amber. They are available at some RV dealers, but you'll pay top price there.

Try your local auto parts store first. If they don't have them, they may be able to get them for you. They should be no more than about $7 to $9 each.

The internet is also a good source and there are reputable online sales outlets that carry the Bargman #68. RV 12 Volt Lights from Bargman for Sale is one. There is an amber one on Ebay right now for $9.99 and free shipping.

Several of my lights have similar issues after 11 years of service. I have drilled the hole on the bottom with good success. I also replaced all the screws a long time ago with stainless steel ones.

The fixture is reversible. If you have a crack at the top, remove it, drill the hole on the cracked edge, and re-install it with the crack on the down side.

Sunline shipped my trailer with the front and rear fixtures caulked along the top edges. The ones on the street and curb sides were not. I suspect that they used the Dicor caulk because they had so much of it in commercial applicators for the roof installs. Because it is not a skin joint subject to movement, I have used regular house caulk on the lights and one time used bathtub/sink caulk. Both have held up well. I did not want to open a tube of the Dicor just for a few inches of caulking on the marker lights so I used what was in the shop and already opened.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:14 PM   #6
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thanx for the help

They are the Bargman 68 lites & front(amber) & rear(red) & both are caulked on top edge. I believe caulk is reason lens resisted being removed & I was reluctant to break the seal w/o having a replacement lens on hand. Side marker w/o caulk came off easily & I am now aware of bulb replacement procedure (but still couldn't separate colored lens front from white plastic rear section so guessing it's sealed).
Drilled 2 small holes in bottom of flooded lens rather than breaking caulk seal & that drained it. Noticed some small "spider-webbing" so perhaps that's how water entered ?
Despite being under water, after draining I hooked up 7 pin connector & previously flooded bulb still burns brightly
Don't think I'm yet ready to hang out that "Trailer Repair" sign (nor does it appear Sunlines need much repair) but appreciate the helpful advice regardless.
Will also get ss screws to replace rusted ones
Thanx again
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:29 PM   #7
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I've seen many crack right down the middle, and based on the volume I've seen, I'd say it's common. I'm not sure if it's stress related due to the screws being too tight or if the sun just causes expansion which causes it to crack.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunline Fan View Post
I've seen many crack right down the middle, and based on the volume I've seen, I'd say it's common. I'm not sure if it's stress related due to the screws being too tight or if the sun just causes expansion which causes it to crack.
And, in the winter, if the fixture fills with water, that may crack it when it freezes.

Also in winter, the plastic is a bit more brittle in the cold making it more susceptible to that kind of damage.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:39 AM   #9
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When we bought our 2499 all but one lens had such a fine crack down the middle I missed them all in the indoor light where we had the PDI. I think it's over aggressive use of a power screwdriver. These screws should be tightened alternately one turn at a time.

These things really do cost "a dime a dozen". When I went back to the dealer he was going to get me new ones, but Sunline shut down without warning. When I couldn't find the lenses anywhere I emailed Bargman to see if they sold them retail and they sent me a whole box full at no cost and they paid the shipping. So I'd say they are a pretty good company to deal with.

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Old 10-19-2010, 11:28 AM   #10
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Just FYI - walmart is selling various sizes of amber and red markers and in some stores the DOT clearance lights (the 3 in a row) for nto a bad price....once you wire it up and glue it on with silicon, you can ignore it forever. I made said switch to my beaver tail and boat trailer years ago and have never looked back.

(plus I noticed that some RV TT's have an option now to run all the marker lights while sitting at camp disconnected from the tow vehicle? If you absolutely must light up like a psychotic christmas tree, might as well do it with <1 amp vs 10....)
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:53 PM   #11
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(plus I noticed that some RV TT's have an option now to run all the marker lights while sitting at camp disconnected from the tow vehicle? If you absolutely must light up like a psychotic christmas tree, might as well do it with <1 amp vs 10....)
Some of us have been doing that for years by jumping pins 3 and 4 on the 7-pin pigtail. Works fine with incandescent bulbs in a campground with electric hookups. Not recommended for boondocking unless you've got LED's all around.
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:55 PM   #12
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Hi GKLarson

Well I have had a change in my thinking process. After the last campout a few weeks ago I looked up at my top 3 red marker lights on the back of the camper and 1 bulb was out. This was caulked along the top. Climb up there, yup it has water inside and gummed up the connection. So I took it off, unscrewed the bulb holder, blew the water out, cleaned up the bulb and put some dielectric grease on it.

Then I looked at the others up top. Oh boy. Here is the left most red light and it is filled solid with water. I mean 98% filled…. And the bulb is still working. This is not good. Being that full if it ever snuck by the bulb socket it would be right into the insulation.

And this filled lens is not cracked that I can see and is sealed on the top. The water some how got in.

Since your post I have been searching around on this. See here on a buddy of mine who has a Jayco. They use a different style. No screws




And here, look at this Bargman no 59 that I added to the back of my camper when I added the down spouts. There is a lighting law that the clearance markers have to be visible at an angle when approaching from the rear of the vehicle. So I used new marker lights this time no 59 and spaced them out beyond the down spout. The screws for these are inside and the lens snaps on. This is not the exact one on the Jayco, it is a little different.






This one inside is very dry. In fact you can see the dry dust on it. Since there are no screws to crack it and the thermal expansion is not held tight, I “think” it can grow and move and not crack the lens.

So after seeing my Bargman 68 almost solid with water and no easily seen cracks, I had to do something. So I took Steve Collins lead and I drilled 2, 3/32” holes in each lens and used an air blow gun to blow out the water. Blow in 1 hole and out the other. I had at least 4 of them with traces to a level of water in them. I was originally concerned with the holes but now I’m more concerned not having them. See the 2 holes on the bottom.


I will keep an eye on them. At least if water gets in it has a chance to get out with the drain holes. Since I have several with cracks if I’m buying new fixtures I’m going to at least go to the Bargman 59’s and spray 303 on the white backing plates. The only thing I do not like about the 59’s is the white plastic backing plate. The stop lights are made of that same plastic what ever it is. The sun beats it to the brittle stages and then I loose a red lens on the stop light when the lens holding tabs crack off. I now have 3M 33 electrical tape to seal the stop lights after loosing 2 lens. The tape keeps the sun off and helps hold the lends on if the tabs ever does break. And this summer I had the license plate tabs disintegrate. Now have a piece of metal holding the license plate on.

Hopes this helps and I myself now will keep an eye on this after every camping trip and see if the holes are solving the problem or not.

Thanks

John
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