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Old 05-30-2013, 09:47 PM   #1
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Flood lamps under rear air spoiler, no switch? 2000 Ultimate Freedom 40JD

We just bought the MH in my sig. The referenced lights do not come on in reverse, like the regular backup lights. They do not come on with the docking lights switch. Our MH is at Camping World for some store warranty work, and they cannot find out how the lights are switched or where it is located. The tech took them apart and said they appear to have never been turned on. It appears these lights and the air spoiler (lamps are built-into spoiler) were only put on the Ultimate Freedom model. Does anyone have knowledge of these flood lamps and where/how they are activated?
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:54 PM   #2
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I don't know why this sticks in my mind but somewhere it seems to me that somebody said the switch is in the engine compartment? ...could that be?

eta: no, I think I'm thinking about something else in another coach. But I won't delete this just in case.

-harry
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:31 AM   #3
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My 2003 Freedom has a switch on the dash.. And yes they do work.. Had them on once ..
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:14 AM   #4
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OP,
Just wondering here. When you say "Spoiler", I envision a "Wing" of some type on the top and rear of a car. I have a "spoiler" on my Honda Goldwing and it's on the trunk lid, up high. Are you referring to some sort of skirting on the bottom rear of the coach? Sorry, just trying to understand the situation here. And, another thing, how in the world and ANY TECH tell if lights have been on or not? Unless they show signs of haze, a heated/burn area, fog inside, something that's really evident, that's a new one on me.

So you say they don't work if the coach is running and in reverse? And, they don't work if the coach is running and the docking lights are on AND in reverse? Do they have wires leading to them? I would think this would be really odd but, have you tried with the key in ACC position and with docking light switch in either position? Not sure why someone would wire it that way but, since they're not working in other attempts, than anything is worth a try. Do let us know what triggers them if and when you find out will you. Thanks
Scott
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:32 AM   #5
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RVIA standards demanded that rear facing lights would ONLY come on when:
A. The rig was in reverse to aid in backing up, or
B. The rig was parked with the engine off to aid in loading -this means there is a switch to activate the lights.

I have both of these type lights on my Outlaw. The loading lights have a switch. The back-up lights are automatic when the rig is in reverse.

I would guess these spoiler lights are for backing-up and there is just a relay or fuse that has failed.

BUT this is a perfect opportunity to "have it your way." If it were me, I would add a switch at the drivers seat to power the lights when I wanted them to be on...always wanted to be able to "flash" a driver appoaching from behind who was driving with high beam headlights on -ouch!

Best of luck
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
OP,
Just wondering here. When you say "Spoiler", I envision a "Wing" of some type on the top and rear of a car. I have a "spoiler" on my Honda Goldwing and it's on the trunk lid, up high. Are you referring to some sort of skirting on the bottom rear of the coach? Sorry, just trying to understand the situation here. And, another thing, how in the world and ANY TECH tell if lights have been on or not? Unless they show signs of haze, a heated/burn area, fog inside, something that's really evident, that's a new one on me.

<snip>
Scott, I should let the OP describe his own coach but I just thought I'd butt in and post a quick photo of an Ultimate Freedom that shows the "spoiler" with the lights:



(photo courtesy of Desert Autoplex of Mesa Arizona)


-harry
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
If it were me, I would add a switch at the drivers seat to power the lights when I wanted them to be on...always wanted to be able to "flash" a driver appoaching from behind who was driving with high beam headlights on -ouch!

Best of luck
I bet you already know that could cost you some big time $$$$$ depending on where you would get caught doing that.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
<snip>

BUT this is a perfect opportunity to "have it your way." If it were me, I would add a switch at the drivers seat to power the lights when I wanted them to be on...always wanted to be able to "flash" a driver appoaching from behind who was driving with high beam headlights on -ouch!

Best of luck

This reminds me of a story a friend once related to me which you may or may not want to keep in mind.

This friend mounted a cargo light to the back of his truck camper that was a white spotlight of sorts that served as a docking lamp and all-around utility light.

He wired it on a live switch in the cab which he could activate at any time ...ignition on or off. He too like to use it for such things as flashing it at guys coming up from behind with high beams on or tailgaters, etc.

One night, he noticed this vehicle approaching extremely fast from behind and decided to flash his docking lamps at it to, I guess, try to have him back off a bit.

It turns out it was a state patrol cruiser. The trooper didn't have any emergency lights on but was apparently exceeding the speed limit. It turns out he was trying to catch up with a possible speeder up ahead somewhere.

BUT, when he noticed my friend flash these lights, he pulled HIM over instead. My buddy received a hefty moving violation.

Evidently, it is against the law to have any white light showing from the rear of a vehicle at any time while in motion. I'm not sure if this is a state or Federal law ...maybe a LEO who participates here can clue me in.

So, be careful of who you flash with those live-wired docking lights. I guess that's why RV manufacturers wire them up the way they do, i.e. on only when in reverse or when the engine is off. I believe it is an RVIA requirement.

-harry




eta: sorry, John, I was composing my post before I noticed you posted the same information.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanda_h View Post
Scott, I should let the OP describe his own coach but I just thought I'd butt in and post a quick photo of an Ultimate Freedom that shows the "spoiler" with the lights:



(photo courtesy of Desert Autoplex of Mesa Arizona)


-harry
Harry,
That's exactly what I envision when someone mentions "spoiler". Now, this is not a big deal to me, or anyone else most likely but, if there were clear lights facing to the rear, up under that spoiler, then I could see (sort of) what the OP was talking about. But, I'm assuming the OP is talking about something very low, near the ground. No biggie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRR View Post
I bet you already know that could cost you some big time $$$$$ depending on where you would get caught doing that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amanda_h View Post
This reminds me of a story a friend once related to me which you may or may not want to keep in mind.

This friend mounted a cargo light to the back of his truck camper that was a white spotlight of sorts that served as a docking lamp and all-around utility light.

He wired it on a live switch in the cab which he could activate at any time ...ignition on or off. He too like to use it for such things as flashing it at guys coming up from behind with high beams on or tailgaters, etc.

One night, he noticed this vehicle approaching extremely fast from behind and decided to flash his docking lamps at it to, I guess, try to have him back off a bit.

It turns out it was a state patrol cruiser. The trooper didn't have any emergency lights on but was apparently exceeding the speed limit. It turns out he was trying to catch up with a possible speeder up ahead somewhere.

BUT, when he noticed my friend flash these lights, he pulled HIM over instead. My buddy received a hefty moving violation.

Evidently, it is against the law to have any white light showing from the rear of a vehicle at any time while in motion. I'm not sure if this is a state or Federal law ...maybe a LEO who participates here can clue me in.

So, be careful of who you flash with those live-wired docking lights. I guess that's why RV manufacturers wire them up the way they do, i.e. on only when in reverse or when the engine is off. I believe it is an RVIA requirement.

-harry




eta: sorry, John, I was composing my post before I noticed you posted the same information.
Harry and JohnRR,
Well, waaaaaaaay back in my youth, ahemmm, a few zillion years ago, I pulled a very similar stunt. I had a '63 chevy Nova with the 6 cyl and three "on the tree". Well, that car, was not equipped with "back up lights" in that model, of that year. But, the later ones were. So, me practicing for being a later life "MacGyver", I purchased some from a later model and installed them. Now, the rear looked like a '64 instead of the '63, in the tail lights anyway. But, I had no idea how to hook up a back up light switch on the little 3-speed trans. So, I rigged a switch on the dash. It worked flawless.
That is, until I forgot to turn it off one night. On my way home, 16 years of age, and yep, you guessed it, The CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL, was on the prowl and just happened to pull in behind me. Imagine that. And, you guessed it again, he got me. I don't remember the fine but, back then, it was a serious offence, at least to me anyway. Boy, was that a dumb idea.

So, to answer an above post, it's not just the RVIA that has rules. It's the "FVMSS" too. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards stipulate that no vehicle shall display "white" or backup lights that remain in operation as long as the vehicle is driving forward. It also applies to "amber" lights too. Amber lights CAN be used for momentary, like turn signals but, cannot be used as a constant light, facing the rear.
Scott
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanda_h View Post
Scott, I should let the OP describe his own coach but I just thought I'd butt in and post a quick photo of an Ultimate Freedom that shows the "spoiler" with the lights:



(photo courtesy of Desert Autoplex of Mesa Arizona)


-harry
That is it exactly, lights and all! Even the same colors. Our coach is not present at this time, we have it back at the dealers for repairs, the parts finally arrived from Winnebago. Still haven't discovered the secret to the lights, when we get it back home I'll do more investigating. I'm not sure if I tried docking switch on-engine running, in reverse-parking brake off. I know those lamps do not come on when the docking lights do with the key off.
They are not critical anyway, we always find a place to park around 3-4PM; but hang it all, if they are there they should/will work. That is just my way.
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:15 PM   #11
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Ray,
"They are not critical anyway, we always find a place to park around 3-4PM; but hang it all, if they are there they should/will work. That is just my way."

That's the way I look at it too. If something's there, and it's factory installed, then it should work. So, do let us know what you find out when you get your rig back and get them to work. Sometimes the parking brake has effects on certain operations of a coach and you don't even know it. For instance, most HWH leveling systems will not activate unless the parking brake is set. So, it's possible that your "up high" Spoiler lights may, just may, not activate unless your parking brake is released, who knows?
Scott
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:23 PM   #12
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it's possible that your "up high" Spoiler lights may, just may, not activate unless your parking brake is released, who knows?
Scott
Or maybe the brake needs to be applied like if they were intended for lights to detach your toad versus reverse lights.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:18 PM   #13
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Wiring diagram shows them connected to the docking lights.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:31 PM   #14
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Wiring diagram shows them connected to the docking lights.
Now we're getting somewhere.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:34 PM   #15
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The wiring

Here are some wiring diagram clips. Hopefully you can get to the the connector behind the right side tail lights.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:46 AM   #16
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Wow! Thanks Grant! Perhaps that wiring diagram reveals the problem. I remember when the brake lights would not work the local truck repair shop found a blown fuse, then searched for the cause. They found a bare wire hanging down behind the right side brake light fixture.
I've said it before; none of us know everything, but collectively we come close.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:04 AM   #17
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On my '03 UF, the Docking Light switch on the dash turns on two side lights AND the two Spoiler Lights. I never even knew about the Spoiler Lights until reading this thread. So here's a big shout out to all the folks at iRV2!!
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:17 AM   #18
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Sorry - I forgot to mention that the key was off. I'm not in a position to try it with the engine running. I'll maybe try it tomorrow. Oh, and my porch light didn't work when I bought the UF (isn't that a great name!). Turns out the light bulb was burned out. If that's your problem then I'd be pretty PO'd if I were you!
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:45 AM   #19
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Last night I checked the lights again. When the docking light switch is on and the engine is running, the spoiler lights will only light when in reverse. O/P, did you get your problem solved?
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:58 PM   #20
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Bulbs were my first check, both are good. I suspect the bare dangling wire the repair shop found (they taped it to prevent further shorts) while getting the brake lights to work is the wire to the spoiler lights. Thanks again Grant!
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