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Old 09-12-2013, 07:17 PM   #1
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Lighted entrance assist handle

I know I am probably flogging a dead horse with this one.

We are new to this coach by about 4 months. One of the thing I noticed is that the door entrance assist handle is not lit when the porch light is on. My '05 Vectra was and I like that feature.

Last week I ordered a light for the handle from ITC Inc through ebay. This is the order info: LED Light for Illumagrips #86430-LED ASSEM. $14.64 with free shipping!

I got the lamp today and installed it. The lighted handle look classy.

Procedure: Before starting make certain that the handle lines up with the box that contains all of the entry way switches and wiring. Also note the relationship of the handle and the floor. You will need a 1/2" hole drilled through the wall and centered on the bottom handle bracket. Gain access to the wiring inside the box and find the leads for the porch light. I was lucky to have a courtesy light in the box to tap. I squeezed the butt splices with pliers enough to loosen them, removed and reused putting things back together. Put the white supplied lead with the white coach wire and the black with the other coach wire. Slip the butt splices back on each bundle and recrimp. Pass the wires through the 1/2" hole.

Prepare the handle by cleaning the top of the acrylic in each end with a rag or paper towel. After they were dry and clean I placed the LED into the bottom of the handle and pushed it flush with the acrylic. I used backer rod ( foam rope found in Lowe's of HD) to hold the light in place. I put caulking around the edges of the top and bottom mountings, making certain the screw holes were fully surrounded. My DW held the handle while I connected the wires. I gingerly started the screws, avoiding too much disturbance of the caulk.

After cleaning up the excess caulk we tested the light. All is well. I buttoned up the box and tidied up.

The true test was when it got dark. DW and I are very pleased with the results.

I wish I knew why Winnebago stopped putting the light in the handle. We met some folks at Forest City with a new Tour and the handle didn't light.

Hope this is helpful to someone. It sure looks classy!
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:26 PM   #2
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Mine is on a separate switch from the porch lights
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:41 PM   #3
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That works! The Winnebago porch light is more a thought than a light. All pun intended. Makes no difference to how the handle looks.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:42 PM   #4
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We were both happy when we purchased our '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT and, it had a lighted door handle. It too is incorporated the porch light switch. I've got a very high power LED bulb in the porch light so it kind of over powers the door handle light. Someday I'll separate the wires that control that door handle so I can just have it on and not the porch light. Nice write up. I know lots of folks with coaches that don't have that lighted handle and would like it.
Scott
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:56 AM   #5
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I hope so Scott.

Breaking out the handle to another switch is not that hard. Finding a good location and good looking switch might be. Keep us posted if you do. Thanks.

Rick
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:15 AM   #6
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I'm guessing that Winnie limited installation of these to their highest end models.

My 2007 Ellipse 40 didn't come with one but I added it with it's own lighted rocker switch located at the passenger's right side.

Very cool.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:40 AM   #7
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DW and I were talking about this at coffee this morning. If you could find a switch that fits in the existing patio sw that has three positions: off, center on, center and top (bottom?) on. This would allow control of both lights.

Just a thought.
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:21 PM   #8
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Hi Rick, I just received mine in the mail and intend to install it the first chance I get. Your write-up convinced me to do it. thanks
Steve
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:05 AM   #9
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Great, Steve. Glad to hear that. We are very pleased with our lighted handle.

I had a concave reflector for the handle but you can make one out of foil. Use several layers for strength and shape it to fit and reflect down into the handle. In factory installs they have the parts arranged reflector on top and bulb on bottom. Less chance of water getting into the bulb if the top seal fails.

I hope your install goes as well as mine did.

Rick
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