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Old 12-05-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
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Journey HID Headlight Conversion

Has anyone converted their Halogen type headlight bulbs to HID type bulbs in their Winnebago Journey and if so, how much trouble was it?

Thanks,
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:20 PM   #2
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not in my coach but in a pu truck did not like it high beam was inefective so really only had low beam not a hard install at all about an hours work
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:02 PM   #3
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We'd be interested in this too.

Remember, though, true HIDs require a conversion kit with ballasts and the correct wiring and not just changing out the bulb to mimic a HID with a bulb that gives off a bluish light.

A true HID kit will be at least a hundred bucks or more, correct? For example, Alfateers in California charges $550 for a HID conversion on an Alfa (click here). They could probably do it for a Winnebago but we haven't contacted them yet to see what they'd charge.

If anybody has done a true HID conversion on a Journey, we'd be interested.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:13 PM   #4
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I would not recomend it unless you go with an expensive HID kit, that cheap ones are JUNK.

A good altenitive is some Sliverstar Bulbs

Is the Journey using a sealed beam or a replaceble bulb

HID kits are universal to replace "X" bulb, if you have sealed beams there is conversion housings so you can put replaceable bulbs in them
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by amanda_h View Post
We'd be interested in this too.

Remember, though, true HIDs require a conversion kit with ballasts and the correct wiring and not just changing out the bulb to mimic a HID with a bulb that gives off a bluish light.

A true HID kit will be at least a hundred bucks or more, correct? For example, Alfateers in California charges $550 for a HID conversion on an Alfa (click here). They could probably do it for a Winnebago but we haven't contacted them yet to see what they'd charge.

If anybody has done a true HID conversion on a Journey, we'd be interested.
I used a full kit including the wire harness and ballsts, one from a dealer one off line both not what I would call great , they are plug and play type instalation
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:45 PM   #6
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I upgraded to Silverstar bulbs and aligned the headlights which helped somewhat. What really helped was to adjust the fog lights so that they wouldn't shine into oncoming traffic and turn them on. They really light up the road.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:47 PM   #7
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I upgraded to Silverstar bulbs and aligned the headlights which helped somewhat. What really helped was to adjust the fog lights so that they wouldn't shine into oncoming traffic and turn them on. They really light up the road.
Great advice Chuck!!
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:49 PM   #8
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Well Gang,
I've not done it on our '04 Itasca "yet" but, it's in the thought process. I have done it with my '08 Honda Goldwing. The kit I used was a dual bulb kit, for the low beams only. It came with slimline, digital ballasts and, all the wiring needed to complete the job.

Now, one thing you need to learn about here is something called CCT or Kelvin. CCT is: Color Core Temperature. Kelvin means the same thing. And what they both mean is, the color of the light in the spectrum. The higher the number represented in the bulb, the "blue-er" the color of the light is.

For instance, the slightly "blue" headlights you see on some cars and trucks etc. has a CCT of 6000 or higher. The average headlight is around 3000 and is amber in color compared to a "White" light. Between 4500 and 5500 is the whitest light, without any blue hint, you can get in an HID bulb. There's even some out there with a rating of 8500. Those are actually purple lights. Yuck.

I've used the Sylvania Silver Stars and they were marginally brighter than the stock bulbs. The kit I used on my Goldwing has performed flawless since the changeover, about 18 months ago. The light is considerably brighter than a stock bulb and, it's even a 35 watt, HID bulb as compared to the stock bulb which is a 55 watt. They sell 55 watt HID bulbs/kits but, those have been determined to be way too bright for the application.

HID "Projector" beams are the real, true, HID units but, that's a whole 'nother system and usually cannot be retrofitted without some substantial work. Not saying it can't be done, but, most guys aren't willing to do what's needed to make them work. You do see them on some motor homes. If your headlight housing has standard H-7 bulbs from the factory, replacement HID kits intended for H-7 application should work just fine. There are other kits, H-4, 5 and more, that also have application kits available.

I trigger my HIDs on my Goldwing with the stock wiring and no extra relays etc, and it works as stated, flawless. The light presented by the 6000K bulbs is brighter and just a hint of "blue" but, not overpowering at all.

Our headlights on our '04 Itasca Horizon are considerably better than the sealed beam headlights we had on our previous coach, a '99 Fleetwood Bounder. Those were hideous.

The problem with putting conversion HID bulbs into "High beam" applications is, HIDs like that do not go to full brightness immediately. They take as long as 5 seconds or more to reach full brightness. That kind of delay is for the most part, not tolerated in that application. When you want high beam, you want it now, not later.

The really good part about HIDs is, they require a bit less voltage to operate effeciently. And as many of you know, the voltage to some factory headlights is less than desireable. Some of you have even remedied that by setting up relays to get the appropriate voltage to the stock headlights and have reported substantially brighter "Stock bulbs".

I'm planning on looking into a change for our rig. We'll see. (so to speak)
Scott
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
. Some of you have even remedied that by setting up relays to get the appropriate voltage to the stock headlights and have reported substantially brighter "Stock bulbs".

The realy and silver star sealed beams on both my motorhome and camaro along with a better aim helped alot, I can see FAR down the road without blinding others

Im running "fake" HID bulbs in all my other cars and trucks, buy the in bulk on flea bay from 1 seller that as good quality bulbs

I had a cheap HID kit ($70) on my Honda, they lasted about a year


On another note, a good quality (like Hella) driving lights can make a world of help too


Everyone has great points for the O.P.

Oh yeah the realy trick was good for +1.8 volts on the motorhome and +2.3 on the camaro, Im getting the same voltage on the head lights as at the battery directly now
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Well Gang,
I've not done it on our '04 Itasca "yet" but, it's in the thought process. I have done it with my '08 Honda Goldwing. The kit I used was a dual bulb kit, for the low beams only. It came with slimline, digital ballasts and, all the wiring needed to complete the job.

Now, one thing you need to learn about here is something called CCT or Kelvin. CCT is: Color Core Temperature. Kelvin means the same thing. And what they both mean is, the color of the light in the spectrum. The higher the number represented in the bulb, the "blue-er" the color of the light is.

For instance, the slightly "blue" headlights you see on some cars and trucks etc. has a CCT of 6000 or higher. The average headlight is around 3000 and is amber in color compared to a "White" light. Between 4500 and 5500 is the whitest light, without any blue hint, you can get in an HID bulb. There's even some out there with a rating of 8500. Those are actually purple lights. Yuck.

I've used the Sylvania Silver Stars and they were marginally brighter than the stock bulbs. The kit I used on my Goldwing has performed flawless since the changeover, about 18 months ago. The light is considerably brighter than a stock bulb and, it's even a 35 watt, HID bulb as compared to the stock bulb which is a 55 watt. They sell 55 watt HID bulbs/kits but, those have been determined to be way too bright for the application.

HID "Projector" beams are the real, true, HID units but, that's a whole 'nother system and usually cannot be retrofitted without some substantial work. Not saying it can't be done, but, most guys aren't willing to do what's needed to make them work. You do see them on some motor homes. If your headlight housing has standard H-7 bulbs from the factory, replacement HID kits intended for H-7 application should work just fine. There are other kits, H-4, 5 and more, that also have application kits available.

I trigger my HIDs on my Goldwing with the stock wiring and no extra relays etc, and it works as stated, flawless. The light presented by the 6000K bulbs is brighter and just a hint of "blue" but, not overpowering at all.

Our headlights on our '04 Itasca Horizon are considerably better than the sealed beam headlights we had on our previous coach, a '99 Fleetwood Bounder. Those were hideous.

The problem with putting conversion HID bulbs into "High beam" applications is, HIDs like that do not go to full brightness immediately. They take as long as 5 seconds or more to reach full brightness. That kind of delay is for the most part, not tolerated in that application. When you want high beam, you want it now, not later.

The really good part about HIDs is, they require a bit less voltage to operate effeciently. And as many of you know, the voltage to some factory headlights is less than desireable. Some of you have even remedied that by setting up relays to get the appropriate voltage to the stock headlights and have reported substantially brighter "Stock bulbs".

I'm planning on looking into a change for our rig. We'll see. (so to speak)
Scott

Scott, Thank you so much for your text book explaination on HID headlight bulb conversion. I recently had to drive home from San Diego at night after our thanksgiving dinner at my brother in law's house. I usually don't drive my coach much at night if I can help it. Well, I found out that these stock headlights really [email protected] and need to be upgraded in the worst way.
Please keep me in mind if you make the change to your rigs headlights as I'm sure that you will do the research and end up with the best way to go.

Thank's
Sammie
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:15 AM   #11
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Having my headlights aligned at a truck svc place made a huge difference (dealer said they were fine). Then I replaced low beams w/ HIR bulbs (HIR=Halogen Infrared Reflecting). That also helped. That was 8 yr ago, zero problems.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:25 AM   #12
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Having my headlights aligned at a truck svc place made a huge difference (dealer said they were fine). Then I replaced low beams w/ HIR bulbs (HIR=Halogen Infrared Reflecting). That also helped. That was 8 yr ago, zero problems.
Paul, Did you find it difficult to remove the bulb from the lamp housing on your coach?

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:38 AM   #13
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No ...figuring out the right twist/pull/etc maneuver from an odd angle was the only real challenge. It's been so long ago I don't recall now what it was.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:49 AM   #14
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Paul, Did you find it difficult to remove the bulb from the lamp housing on your coach?

Sammie
It seems the most difficult part to removing the bulb of our vintage Journey/Meridian headlight assembly is actually accessing it from behind the assembly itself. DH can't maneuver himself under there very well. He had me get in that little cavern of the front cap to pull the bulb out because I'm smaller and nimbler I guess. If you get on the ground and peer upward under the front cap, you can see the back of the assembly and where the access the bulb. You may be able to sit on the ground and reach up to the back of the assembly. I can almost stand up back there.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sammie View Post
Scott, Thank you so much for your text book explaination on HID headlight bulb conversion. I recently had to drive home from San Diego at night after our thanksgiving dinner at my brother in law's house. I usually don't drive my coach much at night if I can help it. Well, I found out that these stock headlights really [email protected] and need to be upgraded in the worst way.
Please keep me in mind if you make the change to your rigs headlights as I'm sure that you will do the research and end up with the best way to go.

Thank's
Sammie
Sammie,
You're certainly welcome Sir. I'm certainly no expert on this stuff, just did a bunch of research on them, who sold them, how they worked and more. Lots of trial and error in there too. The "Projector Beams" as I stated are the true HIDs. But, in order to make them work, all new housings and backings must be made to retrofit your (anyone's) existing coach. One more item to take into consideration, the height of your stock headlights.

Some coaches have really low mounted headlights due to the manufacturing design of the front end and some are quite a bit higher. Most of the ones that have the really low mounted type, have more of a complaint than the other ones due to the fact that the beams from the head lights don't get to "broadcast" in the same manner the higher ones do. But, there's not much anyone can do about that unless one cuts holes and mounts new headlights, higher up in the front end of their coach.

It you take out your bulbs and find they're an H-7 for example, then an H-7 HID kit would most likely work just fine. Besides, it's really not that expensive to even try a kit. A little wiring, bulb install and, it's done. If you don't like the results, put it back the way it was. Installing a KIT like that does not change anything structural in the housings so, they can be removed and the stock bulbs or, Silver Stars if you please, can be re-installed.
Scott
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:02 PM   #16
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It seems the most difficult part to removing the bulb of our vintage Journey/Meridian headlight assembly is actually accessing it from behind the assembly itself. DH can't maneuver himself under there very well. He had me get in that little cavern of the front cap to pull the bulb out because I'm smaller and nimbler I guess. If you get on the ground and peer upward under the front cap, you can see the back of the assembly and where the access the bulb. You may be able to sit on the ground and reach up to the back of the assembly. I can almost stand up back there.
Amanda,
Thank you for your input. You sure must have a sweet talking husband as I have tried to get my DW under the coach and she just laughed and said "Yeah Right" anyway I'm guessing that if you can do it, so can I.

Thanks,
Sammie
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:05 PM   #17
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Sammie,
You're certainly welcome Sir. I'm certainly no expert on this stuff, just did a bunch of research on them, who sold them, how they worked and more. Lots of trial and error in there too. The "Projector Beams" as I stated are the true HIDs. But, in order to make them work, all new housings and backings must be made to retrofit your (anyone's) existing coach. One more item to take into consideration, the height of your stock headlights.

Some coaches have really low mounted headlights due to the manufacturing design of the front end and some are quite a bit higher. Most of the ones that have the really low mounted type, have more of a complaint than the other ones due to the fact that the beams from the head lights don't get to "broadcast" in the same manner the higher ones do. But, there's not much anyone can do about that unless one cuts holes and mounts new headlights, higher up in the front end of their coach.

It you take out your bulbs and find they're an H-7 for example, then an H-7 HID kit would most likely work just fine. Besides, it's really not that expensive to even try a kit. A little wiring, bulb install and, it's done. If you don't like the results, put it back the way it was. Installing a KIT like that does not change anything structural in the housings so, they can be removed and the stock bulbs or, Silver Stars if you please, can be re-installed.
Scott

Thanks Scott,

Can you recommend any brand HID kits in particular?

Sammie
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:16 PM   #18
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Sammie,
At this minute, no I cannot recommend any particular HID supplier. I don't know how you feel about purchasing items from ebay, but, I've purchased many items from ebay, including my HID kit for my Honda Goldwing. As stated, it's still working flawless.

But, before jumping out and buying any, you'll need to know just what bulbs you have. And, one thing I've not mentioned is, it makes a difference if you have a single bulb that has dual duty. That is, that bulb is HIGH and LOW beam. If you have seperate bulbs for high beam and low beam, you're good to go. Check that first. Now, again, my experience in messing with these is primarily limited to working on my Honda Goldwing which, has a four bulb system. Two for low beam and two for high beam. I did not change the high beam bulbs for reasons stated.

There are HID kits out there for SINGLE BULB/DUAL DUTY systems.
Scott
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:34 PM   #19
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I bought a HID kit for 60$ from the mexican flea market in Indio// They were a plug and play system for My H9007 systems.its high and low beam but only the high is HID
If U have daytime running lites this kit will burn out low beams so make sure u disconnect DRL .This kit is far above and beyound any bulb convertion on high beam
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:37 PM   #20
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Sammie,
You're certainly welcome Sir. I'm certainly no expert on this stuff, just did a bunch of research on them, who sold them, how they worked and more. Lots of trial and error in there too. The "Projector Beams" as I stated are the true HIDs. But, in order to make them work, all new housings and backings must be made to retrofit your (anyone's) existing coach. One more item to take into consideration, the height of your stock headlights.

Some coaches have really low mounted headlights due to the manufacturing design of the front end and some are quite a bit higher. Most of the ones that have the really low mounted type, have more of a complaint than the other ones due to the fact that the beams from the head lights don't get to "broadcast" in the same manner the higher ones do. But, there's not much anyone can do about that unless one cuts holes and mounts new headlights, higher up in the front end of their coach.

It you take out your bulbs and find they're an H-7 for example, then an H-7 HID kit would most likely work just fine. Besides, it's really not that expensive to even try a kit. A little wiring, bulb install and, it's done. If you don't like the results, put it back the way it was. Installing a KIT like that does not change anything structural in the housings so, they can be removed and the stock bulbs or, Silver Stars if you please, can be re-installed.
Scott
its not the height of the headlite at all.Most all DP MH i have seen the headlite is as high or higher than the toad.Its the width.Most all DP A MH headlites are spaced too wide. The HID convertion is cheap,easy and works well
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