Whether you’re a new owner or an experienced road warrior in the RV world, you know how important having different levels of lighting in, and around, your RV can be for you and your family. You need multiple levels of illumination for various reasons when you’re out on the road. What comes from the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) are generally your required DOT (Department of Transportation) lights and then a few decorative and safety lights. Whether you’ve been out boondocking (camping away from civilization with no water and electrical hook-ups) or at one of the many campgrounds that dot the landscape of this country, you know a porch light and a few scare lights aren’t enough.
The lighting around your rig isn’t just about safety and illumination. There are many reasons to have your recreational vehicle lighting up the night. The aesthetics of your RV (how it looks to the world) to get the most enjoyment out of the RV life all can be affected by the lighting scheme you have on your vehicle. The LED RV Awning Party Light with Mounting Channel from RecPro serves all of these purposes. Let’s take a closer look at why this seamless strip of lights is a fantastic addition to your rig’s exterior:
Safety – This is top of the list when it comes to reasons for you to have extra lighting outside of your rig. How can lighting keep you safe? Here is a list of reasons why bright illumination, like awning lighting, can help you and yours stay secure while you’re out there on the road:
Trip hazards – Whether you’re boondocking or snuggly tucked away in your camping spot at the RV park, extra lighting can help to keep you from breaking out the first-aid kit, or worse, visiting the local emergency room. Even if you are familiar with the RV park you are staying at, nighttime has a way of obscuring trip hazards around your RV. From rocks, roots, and timbers sticking out of the ground to the cords and hoses running from your RV to the hook-ups, there is a multitude of things you can hook your foot on causing a fall. Extra lighting, especially a robust awning light kit from RecPro, can help you to avoid those trips and pitfalls.
Animal intrusion – You’re out in the wilds; it is the nature of RVing. Whether you’re in the Great Smoky Mountains where they warn you not to feed the bears, or in the Alaskan wilderness where gigantic moose reign free, mother nature has a way of coming to you. Sometimes it’s curiosity. Most times it’s because you’re bringing delicious-smelling food to the campsite. Bright lights are proven animal deterrents at campgrounds. A scared animal is as likely to attack as it is to run if startled. If you don’t have lighting on the exterior of your vehicle, and you step outside at night for any reason, a close animal could become a massive problem for you or a family member.
The human component – People can be just as problematic as animals. Sometimes they’re worse. Bright lighting is an excellent way to help keep those ne’re do wells away from your RV at night.
Security – While this may seem like it fits under the “Safety” category, it indeed is its own listing. Security has more to do with the human elements that you encounter while you’re out on the road. While the occurrences may seem like they are fewer and further between than in locations where the populations have more density, the numbers are about the same when it comes to crime statistics. So, how does lighting affect crime? A major study in New York City conducted by the government and public safety offices found that crime was reduced by (on average) 39% when lights were left on at the residences in both heavy, and moderately criminally active areas*.
What does this tell you about lighting and RVs? It shows you that with a little precaution you can prevent possible problems in the future. While some may consider lighting a nuisance at the campsite at night, it is a proven prevention tactic for people that may be up to no good. Don’t depend on the lighting at the campground to deter those that look to harm. Merely installing a scare light, porch light, and decorative awning lights can be a help keeping the evildoers at bay.
Lifestyle - Whether you like turning up the stereo outside and dancing the night away with your friends, or relaxing with a few drinks on your roll-out patio before you hit the rack, this awning light will fit well into the landscape of your RV lifestyle. You can light up the night with white or blue bright LEDs
Looks – Part of owning an RV is cultivating a certain look. It’s important to many owners who put a lot of money into their rolling homes that they look nice. Not just to the owner, but to everyone that comes into contact with the RV. You can go as far as wrapping your RV in a new paint job and adding chrome to everything. But, if you add exceptional lighting to your rig, you can make an outstanding impression to everyone while you’re camping. Our bright blue or white LED awning party lights are a perfect accent to your RV and every campsite you will visit.
These lights aren’t just about looks, safety, and security. They are durable and ready to last on the road along with your RV. These channels and light strips are specifically designed for outdoor use and recreational vehicle applications. While some OEMs and (many) aftermarket retailers offer the IP65 crystal resin “waterproof” LED strip light, these have proven time and time again to be less than ideal when up against the elements. Considering the majority of your RV’s life is spent on the road, this does not bode well for the standard strip lighting offered by the industry.
At RecPro we provide the IP68 Full Waterproof LED Lighting Channel. This heavier-duty version of the IP65 is what many of the OEMs have switched to for production. While it looks and performs much like the IP65, being encased in crystal resin, it is also surrounded by an additional silicone sleeve giving it twice the protection from the elements. It’s attached to the unit inside of a compression fit UV treated polycarbonate channel. The compression fit is so solid that it eliminated the need for adhesive backing on the lighting strips, which has, in turn, reduced the cost of the strips to our customers. This also makes it easier for the customer if they need to adjust the lighting strip in the channel. It can be easily removed, and reinstalled, without any scraping, cleaning, and reapplication of adhesives. If you’re concerned about the difficulty of installing this product, don’t be. Here are some simple installation instructions to help you with your DIY project:
Installation instructions -
Generally, you will want to install the lighting channel underneath the awning bracket that is fastened to the sidewall of your recreational vehicle. Locate that area and measure the length of the channel you will need. This is the best place to install this type of strip lighting (aside from in the framework below the unit) as it will show best on the RV as well as keep it safely tucked underneath the awning during travel.
Once you have an accurate measurement (always measure twice) of the identified area, use (if possible) a 3M adhesive promoter to clean the area where you plan to mount the strip. If the adhesive promoter is not available, an alcohol-based cleaner or solvent can be used. Use the cleaner (or promoter) to thoroughly wipe down the area where the channel is to be applied. You do not want to have any dust, residue, old glue, grease, or other material on the surface you are mounting the channel up against. If you do, you could risk blocking part of the strip while attaching it to the exterior of your RV and this will create an eventual failure where the channel will peel away from your RV. This could be especially dangerous if it happens as you are driving down the highway.
Once you have thoroughly cleaned the area, use CLEAN, fresh water to wipe down the surface again. This is to remove any excess cleaner/solvent/promoter from the surface. If you leave any chemical on the mounting surface and try to attach the strip, it will break down the adhesive causing it not to stick properly. While this is highly unlikely after the drying process (see step .4), it is a possibility that it can cause an adherence problem.
Either let the surface air dry for at least 30 minutes, or use a lint-free automotive drying cloth to wipe down the surface. You will want your mounting surface to be completely dry when applying the plastic compression channel.
Take the mounting channel(s) (the first piece if there are multiple sections) and slowly peel the 3M backing off of the adhesive part of the strip. Make sure that you take it off completely and that you haven’t left any parts of the blocking strip on the adhesive part of the channel. If there are any pieces of the adhesive backer strip on the actual adhesive strip, it can create an inconsistency in the surface adhesion and can lead to a failure in the channel sticking properly to the recreational vehicle.
Slowly, and carefully, push the channel (facing open-side down preferably for best illumination) onto the cleaned surface. Go at an even pace, sticking only a small portion of the channel to the RV at a time. If you move too fast or stick too much channel to the RV all at once, it could be out of line, not stick properly, and not line up if you have multiple pieces of channel to attach to your unit.
Once the channel is attached along the length of your awning (or undercarriage) and you are satisfied with its positioning, let it set (cure) for at least 15 minutes. While you can install the lighting portion of the party light immediately after the channel is placed, we recommend letting the surface and adhesive strip have plenty of time to bond together before adding weight to the channel.
Once the channel is secured to the RV, unravel your light strip spool. Make sure that you have the leads (connecting wires) at the end of the RV where you will attach to the power source. Since the lighting strip does not have an adhesive back, it can be reinstalled relatively easily, but you don’t want to double your work.
Use your thumb (or index finger) to install the flexible lighting strip into the channel a few inches at a time. You want to make sure the lighting strip is not bunched up inside of the channel but is instead flush against the “floor” of the channel all along its length.
Once the lighting strip is secured within the channel you can attach the leads into an existing lighting source (porch or scare light)
*Statistic does not include standard street lighting*