Rewillia

Installing Ground Effects Surround Exterior LEDs

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Rewillia   

After a brief delay, I have resumed my DIY installation of the soft white (single color only) Boogey-Lights Under-Glow LEDs on my coach this week and will share/post additional photos shortly. Having already completed installation of the lights underneath the front fascia, ahead of the front steer tires & door steps as well as behind the tag axle and across the rear (above rock guard), I'm currently running the aluminum channel extrusions between the front/steer and rear/drive axles and should commence connecting the wiring runs later this week.

Side channels are being attached to the underside of the belly pans using self tapping screws with small o-rings on the backside between the channel and belly pans as to form a good seal.

 

 

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Rewillia   

 I'm somewhat stuck now trying to sort our how to fish wire (16AWG) to the electrical cord reel bay from my engine bay. Can't seem to locate a conduit tunnel or opening that I can fish the wire through. Have tried using a powerful LED flashlight to beam light from inside the basement back toward the engine compartment but am yet to see any indication of the light penetration.  Placed a call to Newmar Customer Service and their reply was to run it through the frame rails. Unfortunately, that "dog won't hunt" as my frame rails are sealed and where they penetrate the basement are as well sealed. I definitely do not want to run the wire under the coach and figure there's got to be a way to get it there through the basement. 

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Rewillia,

I did some rewiring on our coach marker lights and used some 3/8 in. PVC with some 90, 45 and 30 degree fittings to construct a conduit. As I routed the conduit, I also passed the wire through it as each section was attached. Running wire through all the twists and turns when the whole run is assembled is just not doable. 

Used clamps to hold the sections in place. Did not cement them, just pressed them tightly together. Keeps the wires protected, out of the way and looks very much like an OEM install. Sprayed the assembly with undercoating. 

Never drilled a single hole for the conduit, just the ones needed to place the clamps. If needed one could drill a hole or 2 just big enough to run the PVC and then seal the gaps with some sealant.

Rich. 

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Rewillia   
20 hours ago, DickandLois said:

Rewillia,

I did some rewiring on our coach marker lights and used some 3/8 in. PVC with some 90, 45 and 30 degree fittings to construct a conduit. As I routed the conduit, I also passed the wire through it as each section was attached. Running wire through all the twists and turns when the whole run is assembled is just not doable. 

Used clamps to hold the sections in place. Did not cement them, just pressed them tightly together. Keeps the wires protected, out of the way and looks very much like an OEM install. Sprayed the assembly with undercoating. 

Never drilled a single hole for the conduit, just the ones needed to place the clamps. If needed one could drill a hole or 2 just big enough to run the PVC and then seal the gaps with some sealant.

Rich. 

With your reference to marker lights, am I safe to assume you mean between the front and rear/drive axles. My challenge is to run the wire from my rear engine compartment to a location ahead of the drive axle and that's where it's gotten complicated. Other than in the engine compartment and rear axle area, My chassis is fully sealed underneath with belly pans so I have no means to access the frame members ahead of the drive axle (and I'm not prepared to start pulling belly pans off). 

It may indeed come to something like that (routing under the chassis forward ahead of the rear axle ) but I'm going to take another "stab" at finding a way today. Unfortunately, schematics of wiring runs are not available from Newmar or Spartan so I'm left to my own creative means of tracing existing wire looms and using a fishing tape. What cautions me is the idea of running a lengthly metal fish tape into and through one of the existing conduits and getting stuck to a point that I have to exert more pressure than desired to retrieve it and end up pulling something apart (then leading to a much bigger problem). If I knew more about how the coach wire runs are laid particularly between the chassis and the house then It'd be easier but as it is now, I'm left to my own creative devices to find the right path.

Thanks to ALL here who have provided input on this subject to date.

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jleamont   

Rick, snap some photos of with explanations and post them, pictures would be a huge help in assisting you with the project.

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manholt   

Until now, I was seriously considering buying a new Newmar.  However if I can't obtain the proper schematics for electric and plumbing from Newmar?!  I'll have to re think this, and it's 3+ month's to Perry, GA. Rally! :angry:

You said Customer Service.  Did you speak with a Tech?

Can you run the wire, between the chassis outside and frame in a conduit?

Carl

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jleamont   
12 minutes ago, manholt said:

However if I can't obtain the proper schematics for electric and plumbing from Newmar

Huh? Why not?

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Rick,

Joe's thoughts regarding some pictures would help get the creative juices flowing !

Thinking you have a Raised Rail chassis with sealed Bays.   Just for clarification - are you running wiring for ground effect lights or marker lights?

The pan you are referring to is the one covering the bottom of the bays between the front and rear Axles. Wire path ways - IMHO. could run under the bottom pan, through the top of the bays or along the outer edge, tucked behind the area where the bay doors seal.

Once ! one has a main conduit or race way - the wiring could be run the length of the coach. Standard wire loom would work to cover the wire from the duct work to its termination point.

Rich.

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When and where you decide to tap into the wiring loom remember most all of your clearance lights are wired with 16 to 18 gauge wire. You can easily over load the circuit.

So be careful where you obtain the source of power for your under carriage lighting.

IMHO Herman

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Rewillia   

LENGTHY COMMENT - MEANT TO DESCRIBE LOCATION OF ACCESS CHANNEL FOR RUNNING WIRE FROM REAR (ENG) TO FORWARD BASEMENT.

As previously mentioned here, I've been struggling to find a means of access to run wiring from the rear of my coach, ( i.e. engine compartment) forward into my basement compartment ahead of the drive & tag axles as well as the wet bay (tank compartment). With the RV house, Frame Rails and Belly Pans fully sealed at the back (engine compartment) as well as underneath the coach forward of the drive axle, there was no "apparent" means of access to fish/run the additional wiring without penetrating either the RV house or the belly pans which I wanted to avoid for all the apparent reasons (as well, not to mention that practical reach to some of those areas is next to impossible). I had previously tried running a fishing tape at various locations from inside of the basement area (and exposed frame rails) back to the engine compartment with no success. It has been frustrating.

That said, I finally had some success yesterday after discovering a horizontal pathway on the passenger/door side of the coach located at the top of the basement doors (behind the weatherstripping that also includes a semi-closed section of metal channel that runs the length of the rear tag/drive axle wheel-well between the DEF tank compartment  (aft of the Tag axle) and the wet tank bay (forward of  the drive axle).  The location of the channel or void space may be best referred to as an area that exist between the location where the RV house meets and sits upon the sub-frame (much to the like of what Rich referred to in his comment/post above).

The pathway is hidden by either basement doors/frame work and it's weatherstripping or by the exterior painted fiberglass body side panel that cover the wheel well (between the forward and aft basement compartments). Using it, I was able to run a horizontal 20 ft. +/- section of 1/2" split loom flex conduit (and wiring) from my DEF tank bay forward to the basement storage compartment (ahead of the wet tank bay just ahead of the drive axle) and only had to drill one small 1/4" hole for my wire through the weatherstripping and vertical metal frame that host the basement door. I then further secured the split loom flex conduit ever 12 inches (including the exposed area inside of the well well) using conduit fasteners which serve to hold it taunt and in place. I plan to follow-up with using some expanding foam spray and undercoating on the exposed section of channel inside of the wheel well area to further secure and protect the wire loom. 

Note: While choosing to use split loom flex conduit I could have equally used 1/2" PVC rigid conduit for the exposed section of channel inside of the wheel well area but fell that the split loom will be fine given the additional measures taken to secure it plus the fact that its semi-protected to begin with in that its laying at the bottom inside the channel which is all but closed other than having a 3/4" reveal at the top of it; Think U-shaped.

Power source. (reply to Herman's comment). In doing the installation of these LED under glow surround lights (10-separate light strips), they will be bridged using post terminal blocks at the front (genset slide), mid-ship (basement) and rear of the coach (chassis bat compartment) with each commonly grounded (-) to the chassis while the common power (+) source will be taken from a spare fuse block terminal inside my electrical/cord reel bay and using a 20-amp fuse. (location of power source recommended by Newmar).  The LED Light RF Controller along with a separate power on/off switch will be mounted inside the passenger side basement compartment as to improve RF signal transfer vs. installing it in the driver's side cord reel bay. 

I will be posting photographs in the coming days but for now am providing the sketches below which hopefully provide further explanation of where the channel or void space is located and hopefully assist others contemplating a similar installation of aftermarket LED surround lighting (at least on coaches of similar body style and design).

rear wiring method.jpg

REAR WIRING ACCESS POINT.jpg

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manholt   

Rick.  Great work and the drawing makes it easy to visualize!  A separate 20A fuse is a good solution to Herman's statement!  The biggest plus for you, is that when your finished with this "Project", you will know every square inch of you coach!  Hope your taking lots of pictures for any future problems you might encounter under and over chassis.

Joe.  Scroll up and you will come to Rick's post, where he say's that "unfortunately, schematics of wiring runs are not available from Newmar or Spartan"!  That was yesterday at 3:30.  

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Rewillia   
8 hours ago, manholt said:

Rick.  Great work and the drawing makes it easy to visualize!  A separate 20A fuse is a good solution to Herman's statement!  The biggest plus for you, is that when your finished with this "Project", you will know every square inch of you coach!  Hope your taking lots of pictures for any future problems you might encounter under and over chassis.

Joe.  Scroll up and you will come to Rick's post, where he say's that "unfortunately, schematics of wiring runs are not available from Newmar or Spartan"!  That was yesterday at 3:30.  

Photos attached. More to come now that the hurdle of getting wire run from the chassis battery compartment to a cargo bay ahead of the rear axles and wet tank bay compartment is completed.

controller mount.jpg

def tank .jpg

Exit wet bay.jpg

rear wheel well channel.jpg

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Rick, for future reference, those cheap remote controllers that you can order on ebay work really well for your type of project. You can find a hot 12 volt wire in many places on your coach, then install one or more of those critters almost anywhere. You can also power on or off all or only one at a time from a single remote. This is what I like most about, I carry the remote with me and use at any time.

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manholt   

Rick. Fantastic job! :):wub:

One question.  Who keeps your underside spotless, or do you just keep the coach in the garage? LOL

Today is little Christmas, since it is now after midnight in Bethlehem...:)

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Rewillia   
2 hours ago, kaypsmith said:

Rick, for future reference, those cheap remote controllers that you can order on ebay work really well for your type of project. You can find a hot 12 volt wire in many places on your coach, then install one or more of those critters almost anywhere. You can also power on or off all or only one at a time from a single remote. This is what I like most about, I carry the remote with me and use at any time.

The controller I installed came/comes with an RF remote. What you see in the photo is the RF paring device, re: controller that all the wires from the lights connect to. It, the controller then direct wires to a 12 vDC power source which as I mentioned with come from a spare 20-Amp fuse terminal on my 12vDC panel inside the electrical bay. (the white button on the face of the controller is for pairing it with the remote) and is not an on/off switch.

I purchased the Boogey Lights Under Glow set-up to include the 10-separate pre-wired led light strips in the lengths I wanted along with their HD-M7 RF controller, aluminum channel and diffuser panels. I will also be adding a separate switch to power the system on/off as an additional safeguard.

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Rewillia   
14 minutes ago, manholt said:

Rick. Fantastic job! :):wub:

One question.  Who keeps your underside spotless, or do you just keep the coach in the garage? LOL

Today is little Christmas, since it is now after midnight in Bethlehem...:)

Due to my having an OCD with respect to keeping my coach clean, I jack it up after every trip and scrub the belly pans and suspension. Not really. Its only because its still relatively new having purchased it 15 months ago albeit we did manage to over 6 months and 13,000 miles in the past 12 months. Planning now for next year where we'll leave in early March for what should be touring 8-months out west/northwest.

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manholt   

I'm Jealous.  Wish I and Linda could disappear for a 8 month period.  Being 2nd VP for Lone Star, Golf Captain for FMCA Six State and ND, it's not to be for 3 more years!  There was a period of time, when there was 144 countries in this world and I have been to all of them...I want to take Linda to the best parts, that we are still allowed to go too.  Then there is the ones that was closed at that time...Iron curtain countries!  There is a train, that has compartments like the old Orient Express, that run from Helsinki, Finland thru all 11 time zones of USSR.  In spurts of 4 weeks we can do those things.  Just not 8 months! 

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Rewillia   

Happy to say at this phase of life we have no other commitments other than what can be accomplished using cell phones, face time and PCs (i.e. email). We do on occasion and should need arise, leave the coach at a good park or resort and may fly home for a short period then return back and continue. We did that last June from Baltimore when we left our coach at Cherry Hill Park and flew to Houston for 3 weeks before heading back and spending the 4th of July in DC. I have on occasion done some consulting but its more the type that allows me to remain at the personal location of my choosing (I don't do business travel anymore including overseas). Just grew tired of air travel having spent the better part of 30 years abroad.

 

 

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manholt   

Understandable!  I took a 27 month gig for a friend from Norway, promoting his business with the contacts that I had.  Did not hurt, he paid an obscene amount and expenses.  Was very surprised that he agreed. :rolleyes:

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Rewillia   

Well Gents,

I'm now 99.9% complete with my DIY installation of UnderGlow Exterior surround LEDS on my 45DP. All that remains is the securing of some of the 1/2" split loom conduit I used. All LED light strip aluminum channel ends have been closed/sealed with RTV silicone and all cable/loom runs secured throughout the basements and forward/aft sections of the chassis. I used pole terminals in the generator slide compartment to bank the wiring for the 3-sections up front ahead of the front axle, and in the chassis battery compartment for the 3-sections aft of the Tag axle as well as chassis grounding at these two locations. All exposed wiring has been sealed using a urethane electrical seal coating. I also had 2-two long 14AWG single wire runs from the generator slide and rear chassis to my P-4 door side basement (midship) compartment where I located the central junction box and HD M7 RF controller for the LEDs.  I fished my wire from the generator compartment alongside of my option hot water line that runs from the wet bay to the front of the coach and the rear wire as already posted using an open channel located from the DEF compartment into the forward Wet Bay Tank compartment.

End Result = by doing this installation myself, I saved between $2,700-3,200 based upon quotes earlier obtained and my total material cost was less than $700. I also gained the experience of knowing where everything is in the "unlikely" event I ever have a problem with any of the lights.

INSTALLED CENTRAL JUNCTION BOX AND SEPARATE RF LED CONTROLLER IN P-4 (PASSENGER SIDE) MIDSHIP BASEMENT COMPARTMENT. (all that is pending to complete installation is tethering of the 1/2" split loom with plastic clamp/fasteners to secure it neat and orderly inside the compartment).

IMG_4237.JPG

INSTALLED LIGHTED ON/OFF ROCKER SWITCH TO SERVE AS MASTER POWER SWITCH IN ADDITION TO REMOTE CONTROL. MAIN POWER LEAD RUN TO SPARE 20-AMP FUSE TERMINAL ON 12V DC PANEL IN DRIVER' SIDE CORD REEL ELECTRICAL BAY 

IMG_4238.JPG

REAR POLE CONNECTOR MOUNT - TIES RR/LR AND REAR BUMPER/ROCK GUARD LED LIGHT STRIPS TOGETHER AND USING COMMON CHASSIS GROUND.

IMG_4212.jpg

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Rick. Nice job! I Did not know that there was a wire raceway running the length of the enclosed bay area>

That sure saved some time and parts. 

As you mentioned , a project like that enhances ones knowledge of how things are wired and where those wires run.

Rich.

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jleamont   

Can't wait to see it light up! Just a note, that has got to be the best place I have ever seen the air brake governor mounted! Not sure what make/model coach you have but I can certainly tell what manufacturers it's not.

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Rewillia   
25 minutes ago, jleamont said:

Can't wait to see it light up! Just a note, that has got to be the best place I have ever seen the air brake governor mounted! Not sure what make/model coach you have but I can certainly tell what manufacturers it's not.

It's in my signature, a '17 Newmar Essex (Spartan K3 chassis). Will post final photos in the next few days to including ones at night with the lights on once I pull the coach outside of my shop next week as We're heading over to New Orleans to do some wining & dining in celebration of a birthday with some dear friends and troll around the French Quarter and Riverfront for a few days. 

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