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Thread: Intro and the RV nightmare

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default Intro and the RV nightmare

    Or more like the night blind RV. I have been spending a lot of time searching and reading about H7 bulbs. It all makes my head spin. Then I found this forum. I'm hoping to clear the dark nights with your help.

    Here's the deal. I have a Coachmen RV that was built with knock off (Eagle Eyes) Audi A4 headlamp assemblies. I went through several bulbs trying to see where the heck we were going. They were no better than a flashlight. I even installed a relay to get more power to the bulb, didn't help. Worse yet, the high and low beam was one bulb and the high and low changed via a shutter. The passenger side shutter died and I only had one high beam. They had to go. Spent the winter looking for replacements and found these.

    http://www.spyderautо.com/product.ph...RL-BK&t=spyder

    What I liked was the separate low and high beam. Finally got them installed. Auto headlamps installed in an RV is done terribly. They didn't even use the headlamp assemblies mounting points, just self tapping screws through an aluminium bracket and into the plastic mount. I took a gamble and took out the relay figuring the low beams had to be great now. Well, they are better but a nasty yellow and we still can't see that far. I can put the relay back in, not too hard to rewire, all the wiring is easy to get to. However, I have no idea what kind of bulb (other than an H7) is in there.

    So, what do you recommend for a replacement H7 bulb? I have looked at HID and LED, I know those are not looked at favorably here but I had to explore the options. This vehicle is only used 6 to 7 months out of the year and only sees night driving once in a while. Even so, I still need to see where I'm going. I really wish the Osram Ralley H7 was still available. That would have solved all my problems.

    Thanks for the help

    Fred
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-27-2017 at 06:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intro and the RV nightmare


    Quote Originally Posted by Schwartzworld View Post
    I have a Coachmen RV that was built with knock off (Eagle Eyes) Audi A4 headlamp assemblies.
    In other words, built without headlamps.

    Spent the winter looking for replacements and found these
    Also toys.

    If those "Eagle Eyes" were shaped much like genuine Audi A4 headlamps for the '06-'08 model year, perhaps you should invest in a pair of GENUINE Audi headlamps, as those might bolt right up where the knockoffs went.

    Or, get a competent shop to mount up some Hella 90mm BiXenon modules.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Intro and the RV nightmare

    Welcome to the board. Alaric's got it right: the answer isn't some specific bulb, it's real/legitimate headlamps. The Spyder items are none of the above.

  4. #4
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Intro and the RV nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    In other words, built without headlamps.

    If those "Eagle Eyes" were shaped much like genuine Audi A4 headlamps for the '06-'08 model year, perhaps you should invest in a pair of GENUINE Audi headlamps, as those might bolt right up where the knockoffs went.

    Or, get a competent shop to mount up some Hella 90mm BiXenon modules.
    Yes, exactly, built blind, without headlights. 90 % of all RV's are in the same situation.


    We're talking Audi from 2000 to 2004. As for the genuine Audi headlamp assembly, if you can even find them, your talking $600 to $800 each used. I was in Arizona for a month last year and hit every boneyard I could. I found an Audi that had what I needed but by the time I got there they were gone. I didn't want to go with another set of Eagle Eyes so my only choice was Spyder.

    So, I got another dud, I can accept that. At least the high and low beam and separate.

    Regardless of the dud, what is a good H7 that will do something better than what's in there now?? I gotta see if I have to drive at night. I know it comes down to how the assembly is made but I'm stuck with what I've got.

    Thanks

    Fred
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-29-2017 at 01:48 PM. Reason: Pared down quote

  5. #5
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intro and the RV nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Schwartzworld View Post
    We're talking Audi from 2000 to 2004. As for the genuine Audi headlamp assembly, if you can even find them, your talking $600 to $800 each used. I was in Arizona for a month last year and hit every boneyard I could. I found an Audi that had what I needed but by the time I got there they were gone.
    Well, your Spyder toys were described as 06-08, so that's what I went by for the years. But regardless of the model year, the knockoffs don't belong on your vehicle. Unfortunately, quality doesn't come cheap-- and finding quality used can be difficult.

    I didn't want to go with another set of Eagle Eyes so my only choice was Spyder.
    San Pellegrino is expensive. I didn't want to go with Tulsa County raw sewage so I went with Logan County raw sewage instead. What should I add to this raw sewage to make it taste better and not make me sick?

    So, I got another dud, I can accept that. At least the high and low beam and separate.
    You got another dud but you shouldn't accept it. The high and low beams are separate failures instead of incorporated failures.

    Regardless of the dud, what is a good H7 that will do something better than what's in there now??
    There's no bulb that can take a junk headlamp and turn it into a good headlamp.

    I gotta see if I have to drive at night.
    Then get real headlamps.

    I know it comes down to how the assembly is made but I'm stuck with what I've got.
    Then you should know that since it comes down to how the assembly is made, that no bulb will fix that.

    As far as being 'stuck', not if you get a refund for those Spyder toys and apply it towards real lamps. If you're 'stuck' with what you've got it's because YOU stuck yourself with them.

    Once again, there is NO bulb you can install in the lamps you have or the lamps you had that will make them good. That's all there is to it.

    You should also file a complaint with the NHTSA about the Coachmen RV in the first place, stating that you believe the original headlamps present a safety issue for yourself and other highway users.

    https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 06-28-2017 at 07:39 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Intro and the RV nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Schwartzworld View Post
    Yes, exactly, built blind, without headlights. 90 % of all RV's are in the same situation.
    That is largely true. It doesn't make it non-fixable, though, and it doesn't mean shrugging and saying "That's the way it is". It is obnoxious that you have to spend money to put on what should have come from the factory (real headlamps fed by adequate wiring) but that's the situation you're in. The other option is "Don't drive at night"!

    We're talking Audi from 2000 to 2004.
    Wait, that's not the same as the year range you linked to, which was (if memory serves) '05-'09. Different lamps.

    As for the genuine Audi headlamp assembly, if you can even find them, your talking $600 to $800 each used.
    Don't know where you've been looking, but the genuine lamps (the halogen version) for the '05-'09 A4 should cost around $350/ea, brand new.

    I didn't want to go with another set of Eagle Eyes so my only choice was Spyder.
    That's just plain not true.

    Regardless of the dud, what is a good H7 that will do something better than what's in there now?
    Again (and again): There is no bulb that will rescue you. You need headlamps before you worry about what bulbs to put in them.

    I know it comes down to how the assembly is made but I'm stuck with what I've got.
    No, you're not.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Crazyeddiethefirst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intro and the RV nightmare

    Hi Schwartzworld, Welcome to CPF. The topic of replacement lamps comes up often. All too often the real question of "how can I improve visibility at night" is prefaced by "I tried X, Y and Z lights and none of them helped. How can I fix this with out spending a ton of money? The answer "almost always" starts out by a knowledgeable CPF'r pointing out that "X, Y & Z" were illegal-products that do not meet the regulating agencies standard. Then there is a back & forth debating legalities and ethics, and on occasion some nastiness. The reason for my post(and I am sorry, I do not have the answer you are looking for) is that I wanted to explain that many CPF members have experience as law enforcement, first responders, electrical engineers, mechanics, off roaders, Jeepsters, 4x4ers and virtually every walk of life. When you see firsthand the results of using unapproved, underperforming items that lead to injuries, it can make you very passionate in your opinions. I am not saying this is the case, but when I first read this thread, I could see where some may be offended by some of the comments. I thought explaining my observations of past threads might explain some of the passion coming through. Ultimately it seems like the only solution is paying for an authentic approved product (if it can be found) or an expensive "fix" such as replacing your RV's headlamps with the genuine Audi assemblies if you can find them. Good luck, and I hope you find your solution....

  8. #8
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Intro and the RV nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazyeddiethefirst View Post
    When you see firsthand the results of using unapproved, underperforming items that lead to injuries, it can make you very passionate in your opinions.
    (False notion of "approval" aside, at least under FMVSS 108/CMVSS 108)
    Or, when you see firsthand the output (and beam isoplots) of underperforming, noncompliant items and see data, it can make you very passionate about the facts.

    when I first read this thread, I could see where some may be offended by some of the comments.
    For example, reading consistent requests for a bulb that can "fix" a broken headlamp, even after being advised there is no such thing. It is a little disheartening, perhaps almost offensive, that correct information goes ignored multiple times.

    Ultimately it seems like the only solution is paying for an authentic approved product (if it can be found) or an expensive "fix" such as replacing your RV's headlamps with the genuine Audi assemblies if you can find them. Good luck, and I hope you find your solution....
    Again, we don't have a type-approval system so there is no such thing as an approved product. But, yes, the real fix involves getting real lamps, such as from Audi, or getting JW Speaker or Truck-Lite lamps and mounting them.

    A set of four JW Speaker Model 8800 (two lows, two highs) in 'heated' form might be a little pricy, but so are traffic accidents and medical bills.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Intro and the RV nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Schwartzworld View Post
    ...Auto headlamps installed in an RV is done terribly. They didn't even use the headlamp assemblies mounting points, just self tapping screws through an aluminium bracket and into the plastic mount. ...
    If you are "mechanically competent" it should be fairly easy to install the Hella 90mm Bixenon modules mentioned earlier.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Intro and the RV nightmare

    A good salvage yard listing site:

    www.car-part.com

    I find that sometimes it's probably just easier to find new parts at the pricing some salvage yards charge though.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Intro and the RV nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by SubLGT View Post
    If you are "mechanically competent" it should be fairly easy to install the Hella 90mm Bixenon modules mentioned earlier.
    This thread is nearly a month old, but this is exactly what I did on my RV in 2014. I bought the Hella 90mm Bixenon modules and fabricated mounts for them. The total cost was around $1,500. The price on the modules has gone up since then I believe.

    Headlight performance is great.

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