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Old 03-31-2015, 12:34 AM   #1
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Axis Rear Tail light and front amber parking light issue:

I notice today that water was collecting in the rear tail light assembly. I decided to take them apart to dry them out. To my surprise, I discovered that the tail light assembly on the right side only had three screws and the left side only had four screws securing them to the coach. At least three of the screws were stripped out. The screws that are missing may have just fallen out. The wood was completely soaked and full of wood savings. I cleaned out the savings and dried the wood the best that I could. I sure hope this doesn’t cause a problem with delamination down the road. I have also had to remove and take apart the front amber parking lights to remove water from them as well. Has anyone else seen this issue? How would you go about preventing the water intrusion? I will probably repair the stripped wood treads using golf tees and wood glue. However, I do not believe this will prevent water from penetrating the seal again.
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Old 03-31-2015, 01:16 AM   #2
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This has been posted about before. I think one owner installed a different brand of tail lights.

Is the wood soft from being soaked.? If so, you may want to treat the wood before you close it up.

Bruce
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Old 03-31-2015, 01:30 AM   #3
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I think that brings it to 4 confirmed cases on just this forum:

Taillight repair issue.

I have not yet replaced the tail lights, but I have purchased new ones that I will install this spring as soon as weather permits.

I have confirmed (at least on the 28Z) that the plywood is localized to the area of the tail lights, and I suspect it is the same on your coach. But you have to waterproof the area. The link above is how I did it.
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Old 03-31-2015, 01:31 AM   #4
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This has been posted about before. I think one owner installed a different brand of tail lights.

Is the wood soft from being soaked.? If so, you may want to treat the wood before you close it up.

Bruce
Thanks, I will search for a previous thread on the subject. The wood did not seem to be soft but it was pretty wet. I dried the wood using a hair dyer.
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Old 03-31-2015, 01:33 AM   #5
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See my post above.
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Old 03-31-2015, 02:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by FW28z View Post
I think that brings it to 4 confirmed cases on just this forum:

Taillight repair issue.

I have not yet replaced the tail lights, but I have purchased new ones that I will install this spring as soon as weather permits.

I have confirmed (at least on the 28Z) that the plywood is localized to the area of the tail lights, and I suspect it is the same on your coach. But you have to waterproof the area. The link above is how I did it.
I found you tread very helpfully. I had know idea that this was such a wide issue. The seal used on this light assembly is not adequate enough to prevent water intrusion. I think they will leak no matter how tight I get them. I hope I am wrong.
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Old 03-31-2015, 06:48 AM   #7
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I did talk to the company that makes the tail lights. I suggested they might try a rubber such as neoprene rather than the foam they use for the gasket. One of the managers told me it's most likely due to the coach not having a flat area that is causing the problem.

I disagree with that. While an uneven surface on the coach could be a contributing factor, I think it's a combination of a poor design of the tail light, coupled with the wrong gasket material that is the culprit.

They then told me to silicone the back-side of the gasket to the RV (but not to th front side that attaches to the light), so that it makes a seal to the coach... but then I think you would end up with a leaky gasket that is hard to remove.

Given that these tail lights are used on at least 4 different brands of RVs, and on many different models, I can't believe this is not potentially a huge issue.

I'll bet there are a lot more coaches out there with leaking tail lights but the owners are not (yet) aware of it.

Just seems to me another example of the lack of quality that plagues the entire RV industry.
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Old 03-31-2015, 02:42 PM   #8
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I did talk to the company that makes the tail lights. I suggested they might try a rubber such as neoprene rather than the foam they use for the gasket. One of the managers told me it's most likely due to the coach not having a flat area that is causing the problem.

I disagree with that. While an uneven surface on the coach could be a contributing factor, I think it's a combination of a poor design of the tail light, coupled with the wrong gasket material that is the culprit.

They then told me to silicone the back-side of the gasket to the RV (but not to th front side that attaches to the light), so that it makes a seal to the coach... but then I think you would end up with a leaky gasket that is hard to remove.

Given that these tail lights are used on at least 4 different brands of RVs, and on many different models, I can't believe this is not potentially a huge issue.

I'll bet there are a lot more coaches out there with leaking tail lights but the owners are not (yet) aware of it.

Just seems to me another example of the lack of quality that plagues the entire RV industry.
I concur on the gasket, the first thing that came to my mind was why is the gasket made out of foam. Water will eventually soak though foam...imho. Silicone may work but what happens when you need to replace a bulb. I would think having to reseal the light assembly would become a problem. The foam material they use seems a little fragile. The foam looks like it would tear apart if the silicone needed to be removed or cleaned up. Like you stated, its hard to believe this issue hasn't caused more problems.
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Old 03-31-2015, 02:53 PM   #9
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We will have to find a company that manufactures custom gaskets.

I am sure that we could recoup the setup cost by offering them here.

Bruce

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I'll bet there are a lot more coaches out there with leaking tail lights but the owners are not (yet) aware of it.
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:01 PM   #10
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I'm one of the "confirmed" victims.... er, cases of this here.
They replaced the entire back wall of my coach under warranty.

In my opinion, I agree with FW287. Bad design and bad execution.
The foam compresses and eventually looses it's resiliency, so what once was tight is no longer.....
And then shame on Thor for installing it with exposed wood under....

IMO, except for the gasket, there's nothing too wrong with the fixtures..... just installing them in raw wood is dumb.

After the fact, I am kicking myself for not asking them to skip the cut-outs when they replaced my wall. Stupid me, but it didn't even cross my mind until I saw a TT on the highway some time later with some great surface mount LED tail lights.
Ugh!
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by FW28z View Post
I did talk to the company that makes the tail lights. I suggested they might try a rubber such as neoprene rather than the foam they use for the gasket. One of the managers told me it's most likely due to the coach not having a flat area that is causing the problem.

I disagree with that.
Yes, good excuse, but in this case the surface is flat. The problem as I see it is that over time the gasket compresses and yields... so what was once tight and sealed, is no longer...
If a person were regularly retighten the lens to make up for the loss of resiliency, up to the point of total compression, it may likey be ok....
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:14 PM   #12
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Silicone may work but what happens when you need to replace a bulb.
They suggested siliconing the backside only - the side that attaches to the RV. The front side would be left as it is so that you can remove the bezels to replace light bulbs.

It would probably be an improvement as the crushing of the gasket by the light fixture would result in somewhat of a cupped barrier on the front side I suppose, but it seems an oddball fix.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:40 PM   #13
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Camping World's solution when they replaced my back wall.... was...... wait for it.....
yes, more silicone caulk!

They put a nice bead around the lens after everything was tightened down and in place. So far so good, & it will likely last a long while....but some day it will either fail or I'll have to change a bulb.... then I guess I'll be working up a sweat to remove the silicone residue....

I'm not too concerned for the short term, but my plan is to install a rain gutter over the lights
AND
consider replacing the fixture with those that FW28Z found and linked to here someplace, that had a proper fixture back that could be semi-permanently sealed & installed while leaving the lense removable for bulb access.

I'm still kicking myself!
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:50 PM   #14
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Camping World's solution when they replaced my back wall.... was...... wait for it.....
yes, more silicone caulk!

They put a nice bead around the lens after everything was tightened down and in place. So far so good, & it will likely last a long while....but some day it will either fail or I'll have to change a bulb.... then I guess I'll be working up a sweat to remove the silicone residue....

I'm not too concerned for the short term, but my plan is to install a rain gutter over the lights
AND
consider replacing the fixture with those that FW28Z found and linked to here someplace, that had a proper fixture back that could be semi-permanently sealed & installed while leaving the lense removable for bulb access.

I'm still kicking myself!
That is my concern as well about using silicone on a assembly designed to be removed. Will it look tacky if and when the cover needs to be removed and put back.
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:55 AM   #15
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Leaky Tail Lights

How about using RTV or the the putty tape that RV windows are bedded in for a gasket substitute?

Bruce
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:57 AM   #16
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You mean the butyl tape?

I suppose anything would work, but the issue is how hard is it going to be to remove the tail light if you have to replace the light bulbs?
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:48 AM   #17
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I am currently awaiting Thor's response for a good fix without having to drive 130 miles one way to the dealer. I would rather find a solution that will not leave the light assembly looking tacky whenever a light bulb needs to be replaced. I may not have a choice but to try one of the solutions you have suggested.
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:22 PM   #18
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Yes, the butyl tape.

I can't remember the last time that I had to replace a light bulb on a vehicle.

How about converting to LED's?

Bruce

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You mean the butyl tape?

I suppose anything would work, but the issue is how hard is it going to be to remove the tail light if you have to replace the light bulbs?
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:40 PM   #19
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I just put a LED light fixture in the external door light and I just took a knife and cut the silicone seal and the light came right off. Then I just put a light bead on top of the old silicone and I cannot see any difference. I am going to put a small silicone bead around the tail lights and if I ever have to replace a bulb, I will just cut around it.
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Old 04-06-2015, 12:30 PM   #20
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I just put a LED light fixture in the external door light and I just took a knife and cut the silicone seal and the light came right off. Then I just put a light bead on top of the old silicone and I cannot see any difference. I am going to put a small silicone bead around the tail lights and if I ever have to replace a bulb, I will just cut around it.
i think you will find that the new silicone doesn't stick to the old silicone very well.
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