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Military RVer

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So I am looking at my headlights and they are very dim. Plus they are yellowed out and just not what I am going for in this RV. Since I am remodeling the inside, I might as well remodel the out as well. I have an 08 Suburban that I have already done a headlight upgrade too and kept the originals for when or if I ever sell her. Well today I was looking and you wanna know what? The Suburban original headlights are just about the right size, now yes there is a bit of a difference and there will need to be a bit of hacking and sawing to get them to fit but they are almost spot on. The only foreseable problem is the extra plug-ins. Also they are a bit thinner than the originals width wise. So I will need to fill in a bit of the difference. What do you guys think?

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To replace the headlight housings, look for the numbers on the front lens.  Do a Google Search to find out what Auto they originally were sourced from.  Ideally you would replace with a quality Projector housing.  And replace the bulb with either a quality LED or Bi-Xenon system (more expensive, but the best quality).

 

You can also sand and polish your old headlights to clear and apply some clear auto paint for future UV protection.  And then replace the old bulbs with quality LED ones.

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Personally I wouldn't cut and paste headlamps that do not fit. Much much easier to simply replace them with OEM. I replace mine every few years as I'm not about to spend my weekend polishing the lens when new headlamps are $150 bucks/pair. Mine are Dodge Ram. Taillamps are Lincoln Navigator. Do a search....Dennis

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2 hours ago, Military RVer said:

So I am looking at my headlights and they are very dim. Plus they are yellowed out and just not what I am going for in this RV. Since I am remodeling the inside, I might as well remodel the out as well. I have an 08 Suburban that I have already done a headlight upgrade too and kept the originals for when or if I ever sell her. Well today I was looking and you wanna know what? The Suburban original headlights are just about the right size, now yes there is a bit of a difference and there will need to be a bit of hacking and sawing to get them to fit but they are almost spot on. The only foreseable problem is the extra plug-ins. Also they are a bit thinner than the originals width wise. So I will need to fill in a bit of the difference. What do you guys think?

https://www.topgearautosport.com/114679/ford-f150-1992-1996-chrome-halo-projector-headlights-with-led?gclid=CjwKCAjwzvX7BRAeEiwAsXExoyMGCpk0CQuN9H3JRyZBoaOQuw0ghH4_KSB-O66wg5D2VZLF3QDeoBoCpR8QAvD_BwE

I replaced mine with this ones (in black) I have to replace the low beam to an LED. Good looking ones

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1 hour ago, Dennis H said:

Personally I wouldn't cut and paste headlamps that do not fit. Much much easier to simply replace them with OEM. I replace mine every few years as I'm not about to spend my weekend polishing the lens when new headlamps are $150 bucks/pair. Mine are Dodge Ram. Taillamps are Lincoln Navigator. Do a search....Dennis

Dennis, are you installing just the 'stock' Dodge Ram headlights or are you also upgrading them in the process.  BTW, we should be coming through your area in about 10 days.  Will be picking up the taillights from our friend.  Thanks again.

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1 minute ago, Mike H said:

Dennis, are you installing just the 'stock' Dodge Ram headlights or are you also upgrading them in the process.  BTW, we should be coming through your area in about 10 days.  Will be picking up the taillights from our friend.  Thanks again.

Mike, I'm simply installing the stock headlamps. I rarely, read never, drive at night so illumination isn't a 'thing' for me. Nights are for reading books. Just sayin. Safe travels my friend....Dennis

 

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5 minutes ago, Dennis H said:

Mike, I'm simply installing the stock headlamps. I rarely, read never, drive at night so illumination isn't a 'thing' for me. Nights are for reading books. Just sayin. Safe travels my friend....Dennis

 

I'm with you.  I HAVE had to drive at night only twice in the 3 years since we've owned the coach and I must say I DID NOT LIKE IT AT ALL !!!

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1 hour ago, Mike H said:

I'm with you.  I HAVE had to drive at night only twice in the 3 years since we've owned the coach and I must say I DID NOT LIKE IT AT ALL !!!

I got the same feeling, when I was young (an eternity ago) my driving was at night. My last two trips I had to drive at night and I am not enjoyed.

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53 minutes ago, richmelcole@sbcglobal.net said:

I had to replace both of my headlight housings since water was leaking inside.  I found numerous small cracks on the clear plastic housing so it was time to replace.  How do you adjust the aim of the new headlights?

Richard Cole

They have adjustment screws. Put it close to a wall and try to align them

 

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Aiming headlights on our coaches is an “interesting” task...  yes, they have adjusting screws, as mentioned above by @Pampero, and if that provides enough adjustment, you’re in great shape!  
 

On my coach, (‘06 Dip), the factory fabricated aluminum brackets were so far out of whack (aka adjustment), they had to be adjusted (aka bent) to even get in the neighborhood. 
 

Unfortunately, since I still work (much of the time from the coach), I drive at night often and need decent headlights. 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

My upgrade path to get GOOD (not great) illumination from my headlights - which is drawn from the collective wisdom of this group over the years...

1. Replace the slow-baked-to-a-crispy-crunch headlight switch and add relays. 

2. Replace the Monaco factory installed TYCO aftermarket-brand headlights with real OEM headlights from GMParts.com (My coach uses a 2000-2006 Buick Century headlight).

3a. Change to LED bulbs (low and high beam). LEDs draw roughly 10-15% of the current of incandescent bulbs, so voltage drop is not as bad.  Unfortunately some Monaco coaches don’t have enough clearance behind the headlights to use LED bulbs because of the extended heat sinks.  @Tom Cherry might weigh in on that  

or

3b*. Add relays to improve voltage if your coach doesn’t have them and you prefer standard bulbs (some don’t like the color, brightness, or glare of LEDs)

4. Aim, according to the Daniel Stern website mentioned above in @Ray Davis post.  (NOTE: Daniel Stern is NOT a fan of LED bulbs, but for me that was the only way to get enough light!)

Hope that helps!

* - If you prefer Halogen or other standard headlights, the best way to get more light is by adding relays so you have good voltage. Without getting into theory, low voltage dramatically affects the output of incandescent bulbs — much more than LED.  In *some* Monaco coaches, the headlight current actually flows through the headlight switch on the dash, which really isn’t designed to handle that much current, and that plus long wiring runs kills your voltage (mine was 11.3 volts with headlights on, the engine running, and fully charged batteries). There is a great article on the Daniel Stern website on adding relays, and you can even order the required parts from him. 

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I found the stock headlights were a joke. I don’t drive at night, but I wanted good headlights just in case. I replaced mine with a high quality headlight that not only puts out a lot light, but made my coach look more modern. 
 

304E04E2-59DA-463B-91FA-D213463BEE65.jpeg

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Try here.

https://www.headlightsdepot.com/
 

But first cross reference dot numbers on lights to find out what vehicle they were used on.

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LEDs are now relatively cheap enough to try. If you can't get projector lights, they will not make it worse and will beat your old stock halogen lamp any time, new or old housing as long as you have space to install them. I got 12.000 lumens lamps for a daylight in front of me at any time of day.

IMG_1900.JPG

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Not everything on the internet is true. This is from consumer reports, probably believable. Whether the DOT sticker is real or fake is an other story.

Automakers have embraced light emitting diodes (LEDs) in headlights, and their use is becoming more widespread. At Consumer Reports, 55 percent of the 2018 models we tested had LED headlights. Of the 2019 models we've tested, 86 percent had LEDs.

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9 hours ago, Mel S - '96 Safari said:

 From headlightsdepot.com, (as posted on safarifriends.org):

LED BULB APPLICATION NOTICE: LED bulbs are legal in the USA for Fog Light use only. Not compliant with DOT / FMVSS108 and not street legal in the USA for Headlights. Legal for off-road use in ATV, snowmobile, and off-road racing use. International legality varies by country.
Note: This usage regulation is not unique to Diode Dynamics bulbs. All LED bulbs from all brands, regardless of marketing claims, are prohibited from street use in halogen headlights in the USA.

That's odd that it would still be on headlightsdepot.com's website, and I believe it is outdated information.

Since 2006, the US DOT has allowed LED headlamps to be used in production vehicles in the US (With the Lexus LS600h being the first vehicle produced for the US with all LED lighting).  My wife's 2013 Lexus ES300h came from the factory with all LED lighting, including headlights, as did my 2017 GMC Canyon Denali...  I can't imagine either Lexus or GMC would violate Federal regulations.  I researched this extensively back in 2009 for my Honda Pilot.

My guess is that headlightsdepot.com puts that old regulation, plus the requirement that LED headlights be used for "off-road purposes only"  on their site as a "C.Y.A." for those who replace standard 800-1600 lumen halogen headlights with much higher output LEDs. 

All of that said, high output LEDs (Likely with a different focal length than the halogen bulb the reflector was designed for) coupled with poorly aimed, cheap aftermarket headlights found on many RV's can create a lot of glare for oncoming drivers.

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