Thursday, September 22, 2011

Working on the Coach

This post will take a short look at some of the little projects Rick has been messing around with on the coach. Fulltime RVing means there is always something to putter around with!

Replacing Halogen bulbs with LEDs

Rick has been interested in replacing some of the halogen lights in the ceiling of the coach. The halogens are hot, use quite a bit of electricity and burn out quickly. 

This LED light, on the other hand, is supposed to run cool, last a long time and give good light. We will see. 

The installation is easy, but some LED lights must be installed with respect to polarity - if the socket is not wired with correct polarity (polarity does not matter with halogen bulbs), the LED light will not operate and you will need to reverse the wires to the socket. Fortunately, you can also buy bulbs with circuitry that eliminates this issue and Rick thought were well worth the extra couple dollars. 

Anyway, after plugging it in, we tried it and success! Looks like nice illumination.

 With the light cover screwed back in, we were delighted to find that the LED lights were actually brighter than the old halogens. I think we will move to replace all the commonly used bulbs in the coach, but at $10 to $14 a bulb, this will take a while!

New Plug on the Brake Buddy:

We have used a Brake Buddy for supplemental braking in our towed car with great success for several years. Lately, however, Rick noticed that the Brake Buddy was acting erratically and did some investigation. He found that the cigarette lighter plug used to connect the Brake Buddy had corroded and was overheating. 

Rick did not like the cigarette plug since it seemed to be loose, so he bought some high amperage in-line plugs to simply replace the cigarette plug route. These are simply installed by soldering on the ends on the male/female ends.

 Once soldered on, the ends just plug into the nylon socket and we were ready to go.

 Success! The plugs work great and provide the Brake Buddy with consistent, strong and reliable 12 volt power. The Brake Buddy operated much better and this upgrade has totally solved the issues.

The Fabulous Collapsible Bucket!
 While not seemingly an exciting little project, Rick found he was always dragging out a bucket to clean the windshield, or wash the coach. The bucket was always in the way when stored and, being round, did not fit the rectangular brush we used. But, when he saw this rectangular bucket he was impressed. Mad of a waterproof fabric, it is very light and easy to lift.

 Hey, look at this! It folds up into a couple inches high instantly. Interesting.

Finally, the collapsed bucket fits into this handy cover. Wow, this thing stores anywhere, unfolds instantly, and works great. Rick is a much happier camper when cleaning the coach now.


Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Those are good ideas. If I have trouble with my brake buddy, I will do the same.

Rick and Orinda said...

The Brake Buddy is really working well now. I suspect the cigarette plug was not making solid connection. The new plug system works much better.