We do like the LED taillights, which most 18-wheelers have on the towed trailer these days. They are bright, highly visible and when the driver hits the brakes these LED lights pop right into your eyes. You do notice the big rig in front of you! Some newer travel trailers and 5th wheels have them too. They are easily being seen in the fog, heavy rain or drifting snow, while you are driving on the highway.
When we purchased our new 2016 Jayco White Hawk 24RKS travel trailer we noticed Jayco’s inside lighting is all LED, but the outside clearance, side marker and taillights were the old fashion incandescent bulb fitted series lights, much to my dismay. This put a damper onto my spirit and I started to search for a taillight, side marker lights and clearance lights LED solution.
Jayco is using the Command series of taillights and clearance lights from Command Electronic Ltd. Schoolcraft, MI. Marlene thinks that Jayco in Indiana must still have a pile of these older fashion taillights in stock and wants to work them first off before switching over to LED taillights.
While searching on the Internet, I noticed that the taillight manufacturer "Command Electronic Inc." in Schoolcraft, MI has a LED conversion kit for their #003-81 series taillights. These are the taillights Jayco has been using for years on 5th wheels and travel trailers incl. our new 2016 White Hawk 24RKS travel trailer.
The LED conversion kit #K-0026 is DOT approved and fit the bill. It cost only $42 US plus $14.00 shipping to us in Canada compared to a local RV outfit that is a saving of over $100 Canadian.
Marlene ordered the kit online at Command Electronic Ltd. and it was shipped per US Postal Service, arriving in our hands via Royal Mail here in Canada in less than a week after ordering.
Inside the box were two LED circuit boards, two red taillight lenses, a bag with screws and another bag with a small clear lens for the license plate window, plus an installation instruction sheet. The packaging was first class, tight fit with bubble wrap.
The instructions were simple:
1. Remove the taillight red lenses
2. Cut the wire right at the bulb socket
3. Remove bulb socket with bulb
4. Connect wire from circuit board to existing wire per instruction
5. Mount PC board per instruction
6. Fit new supplied red lenses.
I started the changeover and was done in an hour. As wire connector you can use wire marrettes or crimp on copper terminals, which I used. You may have to pull the wires a little out of the trailer wall for stripping and crimping. Keep a tube of silicon sealant handy to waterproof the wire bundle in the borehole after that exercise. I had to do it.
To finish the job, I hooked up the truck, plugged in the cable connector and tested the new taillights. Wow, super bright, just great!
original Jayco taillight
parcel from Command Electronic with LED conversion kit #K-0026
complete contents of package
lens removed and wires cut per instruction
old lens & socket on the left / new lens & circuit board on the right
circuit board wired up
circuit board fitted
new lens installed & LED powered up
taillight powered up during daylight
Watch an upcoming write-up about changing the trailer’s side marker and clearance lights to LED to compliment the trailer’s LED taillights!