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Make your RV battery last longer: Swap out old bulbs for LED lights

| Updated Jun 18, 2012

Installing LED lights in an RV from Mike Wendland on Vimeo.

Make your RV battery last longer: Swap out old bulbs for LED lights 1More and more, we're using our Roadtrek for boondocking, or dry camping – living off the power in our batteries or onboard generator rather than the electrical hookups found in most commercial and state parks.

Out in the sticks, or even in a WalMart parking lot, conserving power is critical.

So, on the e-mailed advice of fellow RT owner, Alan MacRae, I recently switched out the six round overhead light inside by RS Adventurous with LEDs. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and, while costly (each of the disk style lights I needed for my Roadtrek cost $15 each), they give great illumination and use considerably much less power. That means my boondocking wont drain my house battery nearly as fast when I use those lights.

Alan tested them and reports:

I measured the amperage in that circuit with only one of those lights  on with the standard 10 watt halogen bulb and it drew 0.8 amps, which is correct according to Ohm's Law (watts/voltage = amperage).  Now, with all of those round lights turned on, the entire circuit draws only 0.34 amps, a very significant power savings.

The accompanying video shows how fast and easy the process of replacing the old with the new went for me.

There are lots of sites that sell them.  The lights for the six round overheads that I installed were this style. I bought mine from Another online source is But after I ordered them, I found pretty much the the same thing here at Amazon for $9.95. So it pays to shop around.

if you have a better source, post it under comments.

I have four round map lights to replace and the porchlight. But because those LEDs are so expensive, I'll do it in stages.


Mike Wendland

Published on 2012-06-18

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

3 Responses to “Make your RV battery last longer: Swap out old bulbs for LED lights”

December 26, 2016at4:56 am, leisurervparts said:

Thanks for sharing the informative article, to know more RV Led Bulbs visit Leisure RV Parts

August 03, 2012at10:13 pm, Ted C said:

You only need replace the bulb. Check your fixture to see how the bulb is inserted; either vertically or horizontally. Then just purchase that type of LED. They had been running $15 to $20 each. Getting out the small halogen bulb can be tricky. I saved mine, just in case, but I made sure not to touch the bulb, which will burn out from the oil on your skin. The replacement bulbs can be found from vendors at a rally or now at camping stores. I would have to search for the business cards that I saved. I was most impressed with the difference and how white our bathroom now looks.

July 03, 2012at5:39 pm, Barb M. said:

Hi Mike– Have you discovered the type of bulb needed to replace your round map/reading lights yet? Also, do you know if you can just replace the bulb or do you have to purchase a whole new assembly? I have the same type of lights as you in my SS-Agile and can’t seem to pin down the type of bulb to replace the stock halogen bulbs. Thanks.

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