Motorhome & Trailer Slide LED Strip Installation
At the Entegra Vegas Rally we attended in 2016 we had a chance to look at the new 2017 Entegra coaches and one feature we really liked was the LED lights under the passenger side slides. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but these LED lights that come factory on the Anthem and Cornerstone really make a difference for your outdoor lighting (plus they look really cool!). So we had two choices, trade our coach in and spend another 100k for an Entegra Anthem (yea that isn’t happening) or install our own version for under $75.00. We’ll take option 2!
Before we got started we inspected a Anthem and Cornerstone factory LED installation and felt confident we could near replicate what we saw.
Before we got started we did some research online on what LED strips we were going to use. We found there were all white LED strips and RGB LED strips that allowed you to change the light colors. We assumed that if we had a choice, we should just purchase the RGB color lights to give us some variety. After inspection however, we found that if you want a true white LED light, you’re best off using white only lights which are brighter and more of a pure white light.
Ok, so here is a complete material list of everything you’re going to need including some optional items.
- Waterproof LED RGB Light Strip (16ft) or White Only Strips
- Optional Android/Iphone LED Controller
- LED RGB Extension Wire
- LED Strip to Wire Connectors
- LED Strip Mounting Brackets
- White Silicone (or whatever color your prefer)
- Optional fancy On/Off Switch
The installation can be broken into these major steps which are demonstrated in the video at the top of this article.
Cleaning & Surface Prep
We used household cleaners and alcohol pads to clean and prep our service for the LED light installation. Make sure your surface is completely clean and free of dust or you’re lights wont stick to the bottom of your slides.
LED Light Strip Installation
Before you install your LED strips plan out your wiring route and make sure that you’ll be able to easily get access to a power source to power your lights. You can also power them with portable battery packs if you want to simplify the installation, but they will need to be recharged frequently and will only run your lights for about 8 hours. Measure the length of your slide and determine how long you want your LED strip light. Once you’ve measured, make sure to subtract a few inches to ensure you’re slides will close without interference. Cut your LED light strip to length. There are copper points every 3-4 inches where you can cut the strips safely which are shown in the video. Once your strip is mounted make sure to secure it using strip mounting brackets. It may not look like you need them but after a couple hot summer days you will and the last thing you want is your LED strip falling off while operating your slides.
Disassembly & Finding Power
Every coach is different so this section is going to vary with your coach. If you are not comfortable dissembling your coach, a qualified RV accessory installer or dealership should be able to help you with the installation. If you are an Entegra owner then you are in luck as our video details your installation.
Wiring & Power Hookup
LED lights run on 12 volts. The hit you purchase will likely come with an AC adapter or “brick” but it converting 110v AC power down to 12v DC power. You can safely cut the wire between the “brick” and your LED light controller and splice those wires into a 12 volt power source. If you have an outdoor TV or an outdoor TV system then you are in luck as you’ll be able to tap 12 volt power at that location. If you don’t don’t worry, there are plenty of 12 volt power sources in your coach, especially in the basement area. Use a multimeter or test light to find a power source or run you’re own power source from the house battery bank. Remember to fuse any lines you run to prevent issues should you have an electrical short or frayed wire over time.
You’ll also need to mount your LED controller and IR receiver in a location that will allow the remote to work. If you wish to hide your installation completely you can install an RF controller which will control your LED lights without line of sight. Make sure to seal up all of your connections with silicone or another water-resistant sealant to prevent leaks.
Reassembly & Testing
Take your time during reassembly and testing. Make sure your lights are working properly while on shore power and also when disconnected. If you find that your lights are flickering or not turning on you may need a voltage regulator to ensure your LEDs are getting clean 12 volt power. Most of the times you wont, but if you have a solar setup or something that pushes 14v or more into your battery bank you may need one.
Questions? Comments? Please let us know below and we’ll be happy to help out!