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Old 08-18-2016, 01:36 AM   #1
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Question 3 exterior lights on one interior switch - for those who have done it....

Hi all

I seem to recall that Donna D did this? Maybe? I can't remember who else did...

So I have maybe changed my mind, and i'm now thinking it would be nice... on our 2017 21' .... to have 3 dedicated exterior lights on one interior switch. Added at build.

As the double pane windows are pretty 'tinted' .....

late at night... shining a flashlight out a window might not do much good....

- for those who have done it.... how exactly did you implement exterior lights, on one (?) internal switch?

We wont get the optional front window on our 21'

so my thought was to leave the 2 Standard lights alone:

on passenger side porch, (and maybe pop in an amber lens, for more relaxed night time usage)

and on Driver Side above sewer connections


and *ADD* 3 lights on the Escape - all on one interior switch - on the passenger side, the rear, and the drivers side. (all up high - ?)

so if i hear mysterious sounds outside, (or need to quickly setup camp in the dark) i flip one switch, and then I can see all 3 sides. (and turn off as soon as possible)

my only thought was.... if someone was forgetful and turned off one of these lights locally, then no way to turn on remotely, correct? (till the local switch was turned back on)

or could i specify exterior lights that didn't have a (local) ON-OFF switch? (do they exist?)

I bet i'd have to provide them.

and

any other ideas for implementation?

thanks.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:26 AM   #2
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Lots of folks have had exterior light switches mounted on the door frame, although I've not seen one switch that controls more than one light. Since the redesign, mounting them on the door frame is out. But, the logical place for them is on the end of the overhead cabinet by the door. I had two switches installed there, left for passenger side and right for drivers side. I also have a switch on the door frame that controls the central interior overhead light. It's so I can turn on the interior light from outside without opening the screen. Not really applicable to the new design, because of the new door. I think if I were building a new 2017, and wanted a third light for over the storage box, I'd have them install a triple gang switch in the same location on the end of the overhead cabinet. The middle switch would control the front light.

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Old 08-18-2016, 06:30 AM   #3
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I did it on my Escape, you then have the option of all lights on or you can individually turn each one off as there is a switch on each light. You may want to specify clear or amber lens.
More important is having a switch to turn on a light when entering the trailer.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Hi all

I seem to recall that Donna D did this?
Yes, I did.

Top switch turns on the dual ceiling light right inside the door

Middle switch turns on the porch light

Bottom switch turns on the other three exterior lights: under loft, drivers side and rear (which was an added option).

Yes it's true the switch rockers must be in the correct position for the interior switches to work. Simple really, just double-check during setup.

I'm happy. Turning on two switches lights up Ten Forward all the way around. As a solo traveler, its just one of those passive security deterrents I have at my disposal.
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:23 AM   #5
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Back in 2013, I had optional exterior lights installed on the drivers side near the exterior shower and on the front of the trailer over the storage box. That was in addition to the light beside the entrance door. All three lights have a switch on the light itself for turning them on or off. I had a single master switch added on the inside of the door frame during the build that turned the power to all three lights on or off at once. I normally keep the exterior switches on the front light and drivers side light in the "off" position, and the switch on the light by the entrance door in the "on" position. With that approach, the interior switch turns the entrance door light on or off when used. In three years of use, I have never had the occasion to use the front box light or the drivers side light. On my next Escape, I would consider eliminating those extra lights and just keep a flashlight in the trailer for situations where I may need it.
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:26 PM   #6
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Our 21' is still on order, but we ordered similar to Donna D except ETI won't mount the switches on the door jam anymore. So we're having the switches mounted on the side of the sink cabinet so they can be easily reached while standing on the ground just outside the door or standing inside at the sink.
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:29 PM   #7
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Our 21' is still on order, but we ordered similar to Donna D except ETI won't mount the switches on the door jam anymore. So we're having the switches mounted on the side of the sink cabinet so they can be easily reached while standing on the ground just outside the door or standing inside at the sink.
That would work as long as you don't have a folding table there. Because the door jam is now different in the 2017 builds... I would think the standard location would be at the end of the upper cabinet, next to the door. You wouldn't be able to reach them while standing outside, but how long does it take to take one step up? I guess I'm saying, I like the folding table.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I did it on my Escape, you then have the option of all lights on or you can individually turn each one off as there is a switch on each light. You may want to specify clear or amber lens.
More important is having a switch to turn on a light when entering the trailer.
Yup. Going to have the main interior light on a switch

They now do it just aft of the door. Just below the forward edge of the sink.

And even with the flip up table there we will add - 2 switches will fit. I was at ETI Monday and confined this on a 21' 2017 with Sarah.

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Old 08-18-2016, 11:38 PM   #9
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That would work as long as you don't have a folding table there. Because the door jam is now different in the 2017 builds... I would think the standard location would be at the end of the upper cabinet, next to the door. You wouldn't be able to reach them while standing outside, but how long does it take to take one step up? I guess I'm saying, I like the folding table.
On the 2017 21 light switches are on the lower cabinet. Below the sink. Right by the door jam

And yes 2 switches will fit there with the optional flip up table there

Sarah of ETI showed me on Monday at ETI

I am hoping they can fit 3 switches there.

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Old 09-21-2016, 12:22 AM   #10
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Good news is that Escape is willing to fit 5 light switches for me

Thanks to all who encouraged me to have each exterior light on its own switch.

Plus the interior ceiling light.

Glad it can be done.
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:35 AM   #11
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We just had our front light on for going back and forth to the tow vehicle with ball mount left on. We had the back light off where we had a campfire where one of us spent more time. Glad we have separate switches.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:16 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Good news is that Escape is willing to fit 5 light switches for me

Thanks to all who encouraged me to have each exterior light on its own switch.

Plus the interior ceiling light.

Glad it can be done.
Just my opinion but I would not want 5 light switches. I would be concerned about how that would look and you would have to remember what switch controls what. One for PS porch light and one for any others would work fine. All of ours are on one switch and I control them at each light if needed. If I need to turn the outside lights on its just one switch to turn on.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:20 AM   #13
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Just my opinion but I would not want 5 light switches. I would be concerned about how that would look and you have to remember what switch controls what. One for PS porch light and one for any others would work fine. All of ours are on one switch and I control them at each light if needed.
I agree. My three outside lights are on one switch and my interior "hall" light is on a second switch. Works great to satisfy my needs.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:29 AM   #14
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Well Dave.. and Tom & Cheryl isn't it just great that Escape is willing to give us all these options.

I feel very fortunate that Escape is so helpful and so willing to customize so many facets of our travel trailers.

I dont know of any other manufacturer that comes even close.

Plus I have a P-Touch and I will do very neat looking small labels just below each switch to remind us what is what. Problem solved.



As the British sometimes say.... horses for courses.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:42 AM   #15
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Well Dave.. and Tom & Cheryl isn't it just great that Escape is willing to give us all these options.

I feel very fortunate that Escape is so helpful and so willing to customize so many facets of our travel trailers.

I dont know of any other manufacturer that comes even close.

Plus I have a P-Touch and I will do very neat looking small labels just below each switch to remind us what is what. Problem solved.

As the British sometimes say.... horses for courses.

Don't blame Cheryl. She is the nice quiet one. Its just Tom.

Guess I should change my signature so she don't get blamed for my rudeness and opinions which I have many.

And yes ETI does let us get carried away sometimes.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:55 AM   #16
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And yes ETI does let us get carried away sometimes.
yeah.... having each bright light (that points in a completely different direction) each on it's own light switch...... oh now that is crazy.

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Old 09-21-2016, 11:31 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Well Dave.. and Tom & Cheryl isn't it just great that Escape is willing to give us all these options.

I feel very fortunate that Escape is so helpful and so willing to customize so many facets of our travel trailers.

I dont know of any other manufacturer that comes even close.

Plus I have a P-Touch and I will do very neat looking small labels just below each switch to remind us what is what. Problem solved.



As the British sometimes say.... horses for courses.
Exactly what we did for our 3 switches . No confusion at all . Pat
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:38 AM   #18
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On my next Escape, I would consider eliminating those extra lights and just keep a flashlight in the trailer for situations where I may need it.
In 6+ years I never once used the light installed on the driver side, and will eliminate that on my 5.0 too. I had one on the front that saw very minimal use, but I did not have the storage box. I do want one under the loft though, but I think that might be standard? I would likely not want it switched inside, as I would need to be outside to use it anyway.

I plan to make any light switch at the door a 3-way switch, for the porch light and the ceiling light. I will likely have to do the retrofit switches to make it work, but that would not be too tough. I would get Escape to add the third wire needed. I know Jon V did this, and has a how-to on his site.
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Just my opinion but I would not want 5 light switches. I would be concerned about how that would look and you would have to remember what switch controls what. One for PS porch light and one for any others would work fine. All of ours are on one switch and I control them at each light if needed. If I need to turn the outside lights on its just one switch to turn on.
I agree. That would be one heck of a cluster of lights.

If I was to have three exterior lights added, and wanted them switched from inside, I would simplify it to be just one switch for all three. There would not be any drawback to having them all on for the brief time you would need them, as the LED lights would not draw much power. The only drawback would be that you could not do use 3-way switching.
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:21 PM   #19
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If someone is out boondocking and starts lighting up that many external lights there is going to be UFO siting reports phoned in to the local news stations.
Eyes see incredibly well in the dark until the retina's get blown out with artificial lights. Military won't allow this type of light on night maneuvers, they'll get ya 86'd.
I've hardly ever used these lights, don't think the driver side one has ever been used, but everyone has their own approach and ETI will usually accommodate.
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:59 PM   #20
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All of ours are on one switch and I control them at each light if needed. If I need to turn the outside lights on its just one switch to turn on.
So how does this work?
  1. Do you leave the local switches at each light on all the time, and turn off at the interior switch? That would mean that any time you turn on the interior switch, all of the lights come on to annoy others around you, until you run around and turn off the extras. That doesn't make sense to me.
  2. Do you leave the local switches at each light off all the time, and turn on at the interior switch to enable them when needed? That would mean going to whatever area where you want light in the dark, until you turn the light on. That's a bit like having only lamps in a room instead of a switch at the door turning a light on, and seems to me like a loss of functionality to avoid having a switch in the trailer - are the switches that hideous?

If the trailer comes with one common switch that's okay. Given the chance to have the lights individually switched, that certainly seems more functional to me.

It is not at all uncommon for houses and commercial buildings to have a row of identical switches together, typically near a doorway. If that causes confusion (typically because the controlled lights are not visible from the switch location), the obvious fix is labels... and RVs routinely have labels. There are seven switches just inside the door of my motorhome, all identical other than one of them being illuminated when on; four of them are lined up in one bezel. They run two sets of interior lights, the storage compartment lights, the outside "patio" light, the power step, the awning, and the battery disconnect relay. It's no problem to keep them straight in routine use, and all have neatly printed labels in case of any uncertainty.
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