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Sunday, September 11, 2011

MOTORHOME MODIFICATION - changing 110 fluorescent fixture to 12 volt

We are camping at Veteran's Park in a lovely campsite, enjoying the woods and the nice weather.

Even on the weekend while camping, that danged Steveio finds projects to work on.  And it's all because of MEL!  Last weekend, he put the bug in Steve's ear to take some 12 volt fluorescent lights from in the bedroom area and adapt them into the large 110 household type fluorescent light fixture in the kitchen.

Because we rarely camp with electrical hookups, we don't use that 110 light fixture, so it just sits there, looking pretty.   But it IS in a great location and illuminates a large area if you are cooking or working on something at the table.

There is a lack of a decent light over the kitchen stove area unless we have the inverter on to power up  that fixture or the one under the convection/microwave in the stove hood.  Both of those are 110 only.  Seems crazy to start the inverter or generator to just have some light while cooking with propane?   There are already 2 smaller fluorescent fixtures under the cabinets, along the sink and countertop by the fridge, but none over the stove.

Sooooo Mel came up with this bright idea.  And Steveio just HAD to try it out------

Our bedroom has tons of light fixtures, both 110 and 12 volt.  Thirteen light bulbs in all!   Inside the valances on each of the windows is a hidden 12 volt single tube fluorescent light.  We NEVER use them in the bedroom because we have so many other lights, mainly with switches within reach of the headboard of the bed.  To use the ones in the valances, you have to get up out of bed to turn on and off by the switch on the far end of the valance.   I think they have been used once or twice in the last five years.

Soooooo Steveio took down the valances and removed the light fixtures.   Easy Peasy.  It was only two dry wall screws to take them down, remove the light, cap off the wires, and put the valance back up.

Next he took down the covering on the large 110 volt household fixture in the kitchen.

Here is the old fixture still in place.....   At first he tried adding the 12 volt lights to each side of the original fixture, but they didn't seem to reflect downwards as well.  So he changed horses in midrace and removed the 110 fixture completely.

He accessed the 12 volt electrical wires by removing a speaker from the ceiling and reaching in and over to the wires by the Fantastic Fan nearby....   For the switch that originally controlled the 110 fixture, he created a loop using the same wires.  So nothing is changed on the wall, or trying to fish new lines, or any new switches needed.

Steveio respects electricity and double checks all lines with his Fluke meter. 

Plus.. he is tall enough to do the work without having to stand on a ladder!!!!

And here are the two 12 volt florescent fixtures in the cavity space left by removing the 110 fixture.   They are a little shorter than the old one, but work just as well.

Also a while back, Steveio insulated the top layer of the cavity with pink rigid insulation.  Otherwise it was very cold to the touch in the winter, with nothing between it and the outside roof!   I am sure it helps on the heating and the air conditioning as well.   Just look at that happy man!

 Another Motorhome Modification project, well done by my Steveio! 

Did you know our motorhome is old enough to drive all by itself now?  
Even though it is a '96, it was manufactured in Sept. of 1995... 
making it now Sweet Sixteen!  



  1. Nice job! Why ever did they put those lights up in the valance in the bedroom? I wouldn't have used them either. Maybe they knew that you guys would want them in the kitchen some day.

  2. Nice! I like having florescent lights in kitchen, too! That's usually the first mod I make to any new RV we buy.

  3. A job well done which will make a world of difference for you while working in the kitchen area. I am SO JEALOUS of the RV......maybe someday....."if" I'm good.


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