Awning light problem

Mar 14, 2005
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Several of the LED s forming the awning light on my Coachman Vision 545 have failed. There is no obvious way to remove the fitting or access the LED strip itself either externally or from the inside. I am reluctant to try prising the joins between fitting and caravan side.
Any ideas please .
 
Sep 5, 2016
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I have the same problem and spoke to Damian about the problem depending on which awning light it is you can replace the LED's other than that you have to replace the whole unit but from what I can gather it is bonded on to the caravan and can be a problem to remove,
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I have the same problem and spoke to Damian about the problem depending on which awning light it is you can replace the LED's other than that you have to replace the whole unit but from what I can gather it is bonded on to the caravan and can be a problem to remove,
That’s one giant leap for mankind isn’t it. The makers clearly took the 20000 hour led life literally. When I was an apprentice at a lighting company I spent time at their Buckie development dept. The life expectancy of bulbs tested was actually based on being tested by switching on and leaving with one switch on/ off per 24 hours. But of course the old incandescent or newer fangled quartz halogen didn’t last too long anyway. So extreme patience and lengthy test periods were not required.
 

Damian

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Unfortunately most caravans have the awning light bonded to the body of the van and they are a real pain to get off without causing damage to the body.
Added to that is the fact that in many cases the bonding medium gets into the cable exit hole in the van body and sets like concrete, making it very difficult to get to the connections.

Having been tested to the Nth degree changing some of these lights I would leave it to an engineer, at least if any damage is done it is their responsibility.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thanks for that insight Damian. It reinforces my conviction that caravan makers are more interested in form over function; or as my friend says “ Glitz over bitz”.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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What about removing the LED unit without disturbing the housing to caravan joint ? The unit is 'dead' anyway so does not have to be removed in one piece. You can get covered LEDs on flexible strip, of or mount a complete unit on a base which will fit into the aperture.
I assume the 12v connection it to the unit as a whole and not to each LED individually.
 

Damian

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What about removing the LED unit without disturbing the housing to caravan joint ? The unit is 'dead' anyway so does not have to be removed in one piece. You can get covered LEDs on flexible strip, of or mount a complete unit on a base which will fit into the aperture.
I assume the 12v connection it to the unit as a whole and not to each LED individually.

There is one unit which you are "supposed" to be able to do this with, but I have never found one that actually does what is claimed.
In general the unit is one piece with the LED strip put in , in such a way as to make it impossible to just slide one out and slide a new strip in without removing the whole fitting from the van, added to which the connecting cable is generally joined with the joint inside a hole in the the van wall, which is usually full of sealing mastic and is a real pig to get to.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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There is one unit which you are "supposed" to be able to do this with, but I have never found one that actually does what is claimed.
In general the unit is one piece with the LED strip put in , in such a way as to make it impossible to just slide one out and slide a new strip in without removing the whole fitting from the van, added to which the connecting cable is generally joined with the joint inside a hole in the the van wall, which is usually full of sealing mastic and is a real pig to get to.
Thanks Damian, appreciate your time to reply. Does it not make you wonder about who designs these things and who approves the design. This may seem a trivial thing but to many new buyers the absence or part working of an awning light may well influence a buy/ not buy decision. They could reasonably argue that if a simple thing like this can't be fixed, what hope is there for more more complicated stuff like space heating ? And I would tend to agree with them.
I thought ' planned obsolescence' was a phrase of the 70-80's but clearly not.
 
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I had a 2019 Coachman that had a problem with leds on the running lights. These were screwed home. Turned out there were a few dodgy ones. Once replaced no problem. I don't know about the awning light but if it removable the screws would be behind the control panel. Job for an expert?
 

Damian

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Is there no form of solvent that might make the bond easier to deal with?

I have not found anything that touches the adhesive mastic they use.
There are silicone dissolvers but they have no effect.
The only way I have found is the application of heat and a very sharp cutting tool, but it is a very delicate balance of heat and judicious use of the cutter as it is very easy to mark the van.
 
Oct 12, 2016
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Use a thin piece of fishing line or very thin nylon string ( better) to saw through the adhesive. Might have to attack it from each end assuming the wire comes into the middle of the unit. It’s the way they get bonded-in car windscreens out.
 

Ern

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I removed the bonded awning light from our Swift so that I could reposition it a bit lower to clear the roll-out canopy.
I use a cheap cheese wire obtained from tinternet for about £6. Mask the adjacent area to prevent scratching and pull the wire through. It just took about 5 minutes. As Damian said though, you then have to get the surplus adhesive out of the hole which must have taken 3 times as long! It's not too tricky though if you are handy.
 
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Oct 8, 2006
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That’s one giant leap for mankind isn’t it. The makers clearly took the 20000 hour led life literally. When I was an apprentice at a lighting company I spent time at their Buckie development dept. The life expectancy of bulbs tested was actually based on being tested by switching on and leaving with one switch on/ off per 24 hours. But of course the old incandescent or newer fangled quartz halogen didn’t last too long anyway. So extreme patience and lengthy test periods were not required.

Buckie eh? My father worked for the same firm albeit in Chesterfield! Mazda lamps stay brighter longer - as they used to say!

Per LED lights, yes they do last for megaseconds - or thousands of hours - BUT the electronics that drive them don't. Most LED lighting is strobed to reduce power consumption - even awning lights on caravans!!!
 

Mutamycete

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It seems to me that here you need to contact a specialist to help you already on the spot, having seen the whole picture as a whole. I know what it's like to make a mistake in something related to electricity in the house. Because I did all the wiring in the house on my own, I made a huge number of mistakes, because of which no chandelier in the house worked for me. I ordered temporary fixtures from https://www.amazon.com/smart-light-bulb-bulbs-color/dp/B0922Q43LY/ to each room, and paid a huge pile of money to specialists so that they would fix it all.
 
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Mar 24, 2022
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if you want to replace your awning light with LED then you can replace by yourself. just visit the link and see the instruction step by step
 
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Nov 12, 2021
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I replaced the awning light on my 2016 Coachman VIP 575/4. I was able to carefully prise the outer casing off the light fitting and leave the original base fixed to the wall. The outer case only clips on. I then replaced the LED strip and outer casing with the new one, which left me with a brand new unused base. To try and prevent a reccurence of the problem, which I believe to be caused by water ingress, mainly from the careless use of a hose to wash the caravan, I put a strip of clear lens tape over the light strip to help protect it.
A worse problem was actually getting at the wiring. I had to remove the master control panel from the console above the door. Try as I might, I found this impossible to do this without marking the plastic moulding surrounding the control panel and breaking one of the locationg tabs. This is definitely not designed to be removed. I ended up drilling four small holes in each corner of the control panel and using self tapping screws to fix it in place. This does have the advantage of making it easy to remove the control panel in future though if necessary.
I've actually replaced the screw head covers shown in the picture with dark grey ones which closely match the colour of the control panel so it looks less obvious.
 

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Nov 11, 2009
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I replaced the awning light on my 2016 Coachman VIP 575/4. I was able to carefully prise the outer casing off the light fitting and leave the original base fixed to the wall. The outer case only clips on. I then replaced the LED strip and outer casing with the new one, which left me with a brand new unused base. To try and prevent a reccurence of the problem, which I believe to be caused by water ingress, mainly from the careless use of a hose to wash the caravan, I put a strip of clear lens tape over the light strip to help protect it.
A worse problem was actually getting at the wiring. I had to remove the master control panel from the console above the door. Try as I might, I found this impossible to do this without marking the plastic moulding surrounding the control panel and breaking one of the locationg tabs. This is definitely not designed to be removed. I ended up drilling four small holes in each corner of the control panel and using self tapping screws to fix it in place. This does have the advantage of making it easy to remove the control panel in future though if necessary.
I've actually replaced the screw head covers shown in the picture with dark grey ones which closely match the colour of the control panel so it looks less obvious.
The makers clearly don’t make it easy. I wonder if “ right to repair” will influence their design. I very much doubt it.
 
Apr 24, 2012
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I appreciate this thread is quite old but see some have commented recently, so I thought I would comment too.
I have just replaced my awning light on my 2020 VIP 520 (Other types may be slightly different). I measured the position of the light for info for replacing. I used a thin strip of plastic to "break" the sealant bead around the light fitting once this has been done you need to gently prise the top part of the outer cover I used my trim removal tool to do this. I then started from the right hand edge of the back plate (as the cable exit is on the left) using a "saw" action to "break" the 3m double sided tape that is holding the light to the caravan wall. I then removed the Alde and control panel above the door to get access to pulling the cable through, then connected the new cables after removing the old cable. Then tested the light before refitting the panels inside. After cleaning all the old sealant and 3m tape residue off the caravan wall, I placed masking tape and marked it with the dimensions taken before removal. I then removed the 3m tap backing and gently positioned the light making sure it is kept away from the wall. Once stuck back onto the wall, I removed the masking tape and run a small bead of sealant around the backing plate. Then locating the bottom of the outer cover into the locating lugs and pushing the top until a "click" sound is heard then cleaned off the excess sealant if any. Job Done. One word of warning Coachman had not ensured the door frame had not had the manufacturing burrs removed so my fingers were ripped to bits.
 

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@Paullus1959

I have done it this way as well, as you say the cover just un clips, two screw see the LED’s loose, control panel off, disconnect cables, pull through to outside removing the grommet. Refit in reverse order.
 
Sep 28, 2023
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Having read all the above help and guidance regarding the replacement of the awning light, I attempted the same on my Coachman 565 and it was very fiddly and time consuming.
With hindsight, I would do this instead… No need to remove cover from the Truma Control Panel to access the wires!!!

1. Remove the outer cover of the awning light carefully. It will be stuck down pretty well with the adhesives.
2. Remove the LED strip lights from the awning light attachment by unscrewing the 2 screws.
3. Pull out the LED wires from the van through the hole
4. Reconnect the wires to the new LED strip and push it back into the van via the hole.
5. Replace the outer awning light cover and reseal with sealant/adhesive.

Hope that helps!
 

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