MOD LED lighting with Boogey Lights on a 2017 Newmar Ventana Motorhome

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Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
I've always admired the LED lighting on other RV's especially the awning lights on Girard awnings. I've also admired the cool under glow lighting I've seen on coaches and when a fellow Essex owner did an under glow project I was hooked. I had to do this. I researched various LED products and decided to use the same thing the Essex used which was by Boogey Lights. Seems like a quality product and they offer RGB lighting so you can change the colors, and now they offer a RGBWW which offers a more pure white light where the RGB option I have is an off white but still good. They offer various remotes which I prefer the M7 remote vs. the other key fob option, which I have one of by mistake, but with the bluetooth controllers which I highly recommend you can drive it all and typically will from your smartphone or tablet. Boogey Lights offers various lengths of their LED strips and various controllers that go up in size (and price) depending on the amount of LED lighting you're driving. A single strip can use a standard controller whereas the under slide and under glow required the larger controllers. Make sure you follow the guidance so you have enough power to drive your lighting.

Types of LED lighting I installed:
  1. Under Glow: This LED lighting runs the perimeter of the bottom of the coach. There are essentially four elements that are spliced together at the controller. The under glow also uses a track for mounting to the bottom of the coach so you mount the track and then add the LED lighting to the metal track. It also uses a diffuser to help with the lighting effect as you want it more spread out and less bright but you can also adjust the brightness within the app.
  2. Under Slide: I put LED lighting strips on the bottom/horizontal plane of each slide at the far outside. It does not interfere with the slide retraction i.e. no issues with it peeling off the LED lighting. The adhesive is very strong and you will prepare all areas by first cleaning with ISO Alcohol and applying a 3M primer to promote adhesion. The under slide provides a great effect too but it also provides outstanding lighting of all of your basements. It's also a great way at night to keep people from dividing their craniums on your slides!
  3. Slide Toppers: As I don't and can't put LED lighting in the CareFree awning as it rotates and rolls itself up I opted to put LED lighting on the slide topper tubes. This is the area at the top of my slide that offers a great upper lighting location to light the side of the coach. This turned out to be an outstanding illumination that I first only did patio (passenger) side that I later did the entire Full Wall Slide. It has come in handy for walking the former dog, grilling, and also parking at night to illuminate the surrounding areas very well.
  4. Awning Tube: This was my first attempt at patio area lighting and it offers a nice effect with the awning out but it's not an ideal location. It was the first of all the lighting.
Wire paths and controller locations:

So now you want to install LED lighting, how are you going to run the wires? This was a challenge but a great lesson learned to understand my coach and how to get wires anywhere I want. Now that I understand the paths I can pretty much run anything needed. The awning tube I went top down into the half bath electrical cabinet and put a standard controller in there. Easy as the 12V power source is right there. I essentially adhered the LED light strip then ran the wiring up then back along the path a little using sikaflex or silicone to adhere it in place or use cable tie type adhesion pads you'll get with the Boogey lights to keep the cable runs in place. I had to drill with a 3 inch hole saw up near the existing cable bundle as I couldn't fit a wire down that path with any ease. That area is saturated with wires so as with any drilling you must be in complete control of the drill to stop once you get through.

The full wall slide is actually not hard at all and with the under slide and slide topper I used the same path. You essentially route the wires through the existing angle path that extends/retracts as you'll see in the picture below. Newmar runs the wires from that contraption into the basement in the bay aft of the battery bay at least in my coach. From there you can run wires anywhere in the basement.

The patio/passenger side has other challenges. For my kitchen slideout the trick is the path under the sink. There is a plastic cover plate that has a daisy chain contraption that allows wires to run from the basement up into the slide. You'll essentially poke a hole in the basement ceiling material to run your wires up into that area. I ran the slide topper wire down the side of the slide then under the slide to an entry into the exterior TV bay then into the coach and following the exterior TV cables then down under the sink to get down into the basement and to the LED lighting controller area which I'll address next.

The under slide and slide topper for the bedroom slide was a puzzle to solve. It's even harder when doing this alone but I got lucky. I used the glow in the dark fishing rods you can get from Lowes and the path to about everything can be figured out by removing the black plastic top panel of your pegboard bay. From that area you run a fishing rod/stick aft along the exterior edge following the wires and water line which you will find at the back center of the bed. You'll have to remove the panels under the bed where you find your slide motor etc. That is where you'll be running the wire from the slide to your controller which will be in the bay forward of the pegboard bay where Newmar has all of their controllers for about everything. To get the LED wiring in from the slide topper and under slide in the bedroom slide I opted to drill a hole from bottom up into the side storage area on either side of the bed, I chose the forward side. You then drill into the side of the bed frame to get the wire from up in that storage area into the under bed area where you'll need to then run it into the back center area then over to the pegboard. Not easy!!! Also you'll see that you need to follow the path Newmar uses as this slide goes in and out and so does the wire in a path so you'll need to allow for that extend/retraction of that wire. The bedroom slide was a challenge but it is very nice to balance the entire side of the coach vs. just the kitchen slide.

Under glow was also a challenge to figure out but in the end makes perfect sense. The mounting of the LED's was a little challenge in the fore and aft horizontal runs having to assemble angled aluminum and mounting the hangars formed. The wiring was interesting. The two long under glow runs went up from the aft into the wet bay and pegboard bays, i.e. the aft most location to get up into the basement. I went into the wet bay aft of the bottom tray so as not to compromise the tray, actually I think I came up in between the tray and the fresh tank, probably drilling down from there. Behind pegboard area was the same. So that gets the LED lighting wiring on the side strips in. The forward of the tire LED's was three strips for the two sides and one side to side strip spliced together into a longer run going to the basement. The path was down the driver's side of the coach via the left front tire well over the battery bay and into the bay aft of the batteries and from there a run to your controller location. For me all controllers are in the bay forward of the pegboard. The aft LED lighting again are 3 strips spliced and then into a longer wire run that came over the passenger side aft dual axles. What you may not know is that at the rear wheels the side panel actually hinges so if you remove the "self tapping" screws at the bottom of that location you can then lift that side panel up to access the wheel well. I was able to secure the wire coming through there and into the pegboard bay and across to the bay forward for the controller. Takes some thought but this wire run is not that difficult. But it's a bit of work.

All boogey light controllers are mounted in the bay forward of the pegboard. I then got the 12V source by running wiring to the electrical bay by running wires across the basement into the OASIS bay then up and over and into the cord reel bay to 12V power sources. I used the fused panel as it was easy to tap into an existing ground and then use a spade connector to get 12V power. If I did it again I would instead use the self resetting breakers. I actually share a 12V source for under slide and under glow and you can tell when both are on the power is strained. Each controller should have its own dedicated 12V power source. The controllers themselves have inline fuses.

It's a lot of work and quite frankly a lot of money. All of my lighting, controllers, supplies probably is in the $2500-3K area. Do what you want for lighting, a lot of this is experimenting and exploring RV systems and cool things you can do. Slide toppers are awesome. Under slide is next up for benefit. Under glow is cool for the effect but I also hate a blacked out camping spot, I prefer some lighting and it helps me find my coach :)

I think that about covers it but the gist is don't be afraid to do anything to your coach. We can all help solve the puzzle with you. The benefit is you really learn your coach and in the land of RV's as they say if you can't do it yourself you'll go broke getting it done. You can do it. I never changed oil in my cars prior to the RV, i.e. I never did anything on my own. Now I really enjoy it and as the other saying goes, there's nothing your credit card can't fix :) Newmar can fix anything :)

Happy mod'ing :)

lighting-example.png under-slide.png under-slide-wire-path.png wire-side-loom.png bedroom-slide-entry.png wire-side-tape-only.png kitchen-slide-entry.png slide-topper-strip.png under-glow-entry.png
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
As I reviewed the images above I forgot to mention how I secured the wires coming down the sides of the slides. Originally as Newmar uses wire loom for everything I decided to run the wires down a wire loom and then use Sikaflex 221 (like silicone) to secure it to the inside edge of the slide. It does not interfere with the slide seal. When I did the full wall slide I decided NOT to use split loom but instead just use black gorilla tape to hold the wire in place. This worked much better and it's more of a low profile setup. I have had some of the split loom come loose and used black gorilla tape over top of it. I imagine it's struggling more with the slide seals and the seals pulling on the loom.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
331
Location
Glendora, CA
RV Year
2019
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutch Star 4369
RV Length
43
TOW/TOAD
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor w/AF1 Braking
Nice!

I hear the under chassis lights deter mice. True?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Nice!

I hear the under chassis lights deter mice. True?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I have heard that. Right now I hope they are deterring scorpions and rattlesnakes.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
331
Location
Glendora, CA
RV Year
2019
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutch Star 4369
RV Length
43
TOW/TOAD
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor w/AF1 Braking
I’ll take it! I want them. LEDs, that is.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
500
Location
DFW, TX
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
New Aire 3543
RV Length
35
TOW/TOAD
2020 Jeep Gladiator
I wouldn’t recommend black lights in Arizona...
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
7
Did the Boogey Light thing first winter out. Redid the front and back using beam clips and angle AL to secure just in front of the Newmar mud flap. It shines so pretty!! Added the same arrangement under the front after my nose piece broke where the lights went over the body seam. BL warranted the strip even though it was my fault.

love their customer service!View attachment 491
CF91DE50-923A-4823-882F-5BB88DE1F36B.jpeg
D5133577-C887-4501-9874-C7F832C3C890.jpeg
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
I want to follow-up on my boogey light installation as I had to make a few changes on the trip I'm wrapping up now. The main issue I had was what appeared to be an undervoltage situation, I'd turn on one set of lights and another set would dim. For example I may have under slide lights on and when turning on the slide topper lights the under slide lights would dim. I had a situation where I left the slide topper lights on and walked the dog to come back to a very low brightness and purple color, something was way off!

The first problem was using an insufficient sized lights controller. Boogey lights offers various sizes (and prices) of controllers based on the number of lights you have on the controller. I had to replace two of my controllers to larger units to solve part 1 of the problem.

The second problem was voltage drop in the wiring. When you run any wires you need to google and find the voltage drop charts so that you use the proper wire gauge for the distance you want to run the wire with the expected voltage at the other end. You may be piping in 13.67V at the source and know to expect 13.3 at the components. My initial wiring was not only sized wrong it just wasn't optimal in that each controller I was running into the 12V panel behind the cord reel to available spade connections. Just not the right way to get 3-4 controllers powered on the opposite side of the coach, it's a wiring mess and using up spades in poor form.

The right way is how @Chuggs did it but I took it one step farther by using a fuse panel with a negative bus bar so I could centralize the grounds like some of us see in our half bath 12V panels. I followed Charlie's guidance by using a self-resetting breaker behind the cord reel which I added above the existing ones. Based on my needs I used a 40A breaker. What I learned from Charlie is where the 12V source comes from for these breakers one side is always on, the other side is controlled by the salesman switch so it's not always on regardless of the coach configuration. That's the side you want. I use a voltage test pen to verify which side is cold when the salesman switch is off. I used a 10 awg cable to connect the breaker to the 12V source, and I ran an 8 awg cable from the breaker to the 6 way fuse panel in the bay forward of the pegboard where my boogey light controllers are attached to the side wall with velcro. This provides a very clean cable setup using only one heavy gauge wire to go from the 12V source behind the shore power reel to the controllers allowing short wire runs for spade connections to the fuse panel both positive and negative connections. I ran the ground side of the fuse panel to a chassis ground screw. Caution, connect the cable to the fuse panel first and then connect to the self resetting breaker. Don't ask me how I know! That wire is hot! :)

This is the 10 way fuse panel with negative bus bar as I can't find the 6 way like I used any more:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W6KBJ8G/?tag=rvf01-20

8 awg wire:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B079SBBJD7/?tag=rvf01-20

10 awg wire:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00INVF40E/?tag=rvf01-20

Self resetting breaker:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DNFZV5S/?tag=rvf01-20

Voltage test pen:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MA3I1WQ/?tag=rvf01-20

12 awg wire for controller connections:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C7O82LU/?tag=rvf01-20

IMG_1643.png
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2019
Messages
61
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
King Aire
RV Length
45
TOW/TOAD
Jeep rubicon
I've always admired the LED lighting on other RV's especially the awning lights on Girard awnings. I've also admired the cool under glow lighting I've seen on coaches and when a fellow Essex owner did an under glow project I was hooked. I had to do this. I researched various LED products and decided to use the same thing the Essex used which was by Boogey Lights. Seems like a quality product and they offer RGB lighting so you can change the colors, and now they offer a RGBWW which offers a more pure white light where the RGB option I have is an off white but still good. They offer various remotes which I prefer the M7 remote vs. the other key fob option, which I have one of by mistake, but with the bluetooth controllers which I highly recommend you can drive it all and typically will from your smartphone or tablet. Boogey Lights offers various lengths of their LED strips and various controllers that go up in size (and price) depending on the amount of LED lighting you're driving. A single strip can use a standard controller whereas the under slide and under glow required the larger controllers. Make sure you follow the guidance so you have enough power to drive your lighting.

Types of LED lighting I installed:
  1. Under Glow: This LED lighting runs the perimeter of the bottom of the coach. There are essentially four elements that are spliced together at the controller. The under glow also uses a track for mounting to the bottom of the coach so you mount the track and then add the LED lighting to the metal track. It also uses a diffuser to help with the lighting effect as you want it more spread out and less bright but you can also adjust the brightness within the app.
  2. Under Slide: I put LED lighting strips on the bottom/horizontal plane of each slide at the far outside. It does not interfere with the slide retraction i.e. no issues with it peeling off the LED lighting. The adhesive is very strong and you will prepare all areas by first cleaning with ISO Alcohol and applying a 3M primer to promote adhesion. The under slide provides a great effect too but it also provides outstanding lighting of all of your basements. It's also a great way at night to keep people from dividing their craniums on your slides!
  3. Slide Toppers: As I don't and can't put LED lighting in the CareFree awning as it rotates and rolls itself up I opted to put LED lighting on the slide topper tubes. This is the area at the top of my slide that offers a great upper lighting location to light the side of the coach. This turned out to be an outstanding illumination that I first only did patio (passenger) side that I later did the entire Full Wall Slide. It has come in handy for walking the former dog, grilling, and also parking at night to illuminate the surrounding areas very well.
  4. Awning Tube: This was my first attempt at patio area lighting and it offers a nice effect with the awning out but it's not an ideal location. It was the first of all the lighting.
Wire paths and controller locations:

So now you want to install LED lighting, how are you going to run the wires? This was a challenge but a great lesson learned to understand my coach and how to get wires anywhere I want. Now that I understand the paths I can pretty much run anything needed. The awning tube I went top down into the half bath electrical cabinet and put a standard controller in there. Easy as the 12V power source is right there. I essentially adhered the LED light strip then ran the wiring up then back along the path a little using sikaflex or silicone to adhere it in place or use cable tie type adhesion pads you'll get with the Boogey lights to keep the cable runs in place. I had to drill with a 3 inch hole saw up near the existing cable bundle as I couldn't fit a wire down that path with any ease. That area is saturated with wires so as with any drilling you must be in complete control of the drill to stop once you get through.

The full wall slide is actually not hard at all and with the under slide and slide topper I used the same path. You essentially route the wires through the existing angle path that extends/retracts as you'll see in the picture below. Newmar runs the wires from that contraption into the basement in the bay aft of the battery bay at least in my coach. From there you can run wires anywhere in the basement.

The patio/passenger side has other challenges. For my kitchen slideout the trick is the path under the sink. There is a plastic cover plate that has a daisy chain contraption that allows wires to run from the basement up into the slide. You'll essentially poke a hole in the basement ceiling material to run your wires up into that area. I ran the slide topper wire down the side of the slide then under the slide to an entry into the exterior TV bay then into the coach and following the exterior TV cables then down under the sink to get down into the basement and to the LED lighting controller area which I'll address next.

The under slide and slide topper for the bedroom slide was a puzzle to solve. It's even harder when doing this alone but I got lucky. I used the glow in the dark fishing rods you can get from Lowes and the path to about everything can be figured out by removing the black plastic top panel of your pegboard bay. From that area you run a fishing rod/stick aft along the exterior edge following the wires and water line which you will find at the back center of the bed. You'll have to remove the panels under the bed where you find your slide motor etc. That is where you'll be running the wire from the slide to your controller which will be in the bay forward of the pegboard bay where Newmar has all of their controllers for about everything. To get the LED wiring in from the slide topper and under slide in the bedroom slide I opted to drill a hole from bottom up into the side storage area on either side of the bed, I chose the forward side. You then drill into the side of the bed frame to get the wire from up in that storage area into the under bed area where you'll need to then run it into the back center area then over to the pegboard. Not easy!!! Also you'll see that you need to follow the path Newmar uses as this slide goes in and out and so does the wire in a path so you'll need to allow for that extend/retraction of that wire. The bedroom slide was a challenge but it is very nice to balance the entire side of the coach vs. just the kitchen slide.

Under glow was also a challenge to figure out but in the end makes perfect sense. The mounting of the LED's was a little challenge in the fore and aft horizontal runs having to assemble angled aluminum and mounting the hangars formed. The wiring was interesting. The two long under glow runs went up from the aft into the wet bay and pegboard bays, i.e. the aft most location to get up into the basement. I went into the wet bay aft of the bottom tray so as not to compromise the tray, actually I think I came up in between the tray and the fresh tank, probably drilling down from there. Behind pegboard area was the same. So that gets the LED lighting wiring on the side strips in. The forward of the tire LED's was three strips for the two sides and one side to side strip spliced together into a longer run going to the basement. The path was down the driver's side of the coach via the left front tire well over the battery bay and into the bay aft of the batteries and from there a run to your controller location. For me all controllers are in the bay forward of the pegboard. The aft LED lighting again are 3 strips spliced and then into a longer wire run that came over the passenger side aft dual axles. What you may not know is that at the rear wheels the side panel actually hinges so if you remove the "self tapping" screws at the bottom of that location you can then lift that side panel up to access the wheel well. I was able to secure the wire coming through there and into the pegboard bay and across to the bay forward for the controller. Takes some thought but this wire run is not that difficult. But it's a bit of work.

All boogey light controllers are mounted in the bay forward of the pegboard. I then got the 12V source by running wiring to the electrical bay by running wires across the basement into the OASIS bay then up and over and into the cord reel bay to 12V power sources. I used the fused panel as it was easy to tap into an existing ground and then use a spade connector to get 12V power. If I did it again I would instead use the self resetting breakers. I actually share a 12V source for under slide and under glow and you can tell when both are on the power is strained. Each controller should have its own dedicated 12V power source. The controllers themselves have inline fuses.

It's a lot of work and quite frankly a lot of money. All of my lighting, controllers, supplies probably is in the $2500-3K area. Do what you want for lighting, a lot of this is experimenting and exploring RV systems and cool things you can do. Slide toppers are awesome. Under slide is next up for benefit. Under glow is cool for the effect but I also hate a blacked out camping spot, I prefer some lighting and it helps me find my coach :)

I think that about covers it but the gist is don't be afraid to do anything to your coach. We can all help solve the puzzle with you. The benefit is you really learn your coach and in the land of RV's as they say if you can't do it yourself you'll go broke getting it done. You can do it. I never changed oil in my cars prior to the RV, i.e. I never did anything on my own. Now I really enjoy it and as the other saying goes, there's nothing your credit card can't fix :) Newmar can fix anything :)

Happy mod'ing :)

View attachment 413 View attachment 414 View attachment 415 View attachment 416 View attachment 417 View attachment 418 View attachment 419 View attachment 420 View attachment 421
nice job. looks awesome
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
389
Location
Florida
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
CanyonStar
RV Length
39' 11"
TOW/TOAD
Demco KarKaddy 460SS and VW Passat
Neal, do your basement compartments share interior walls or is there a space between the various compartments. The reason I ask on the CanyonStar there is a space between the basement compartments running front to back. Approximately a two to three inch gap between compartments. Unless I run the lights against the out most edge, the lights will be loose between compartments.? I have considered running an aluminum channel along the bottom to provide a continuous surface for the LED string of lights.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
They are back to back, not exactly sure what you're talking about. The under glow wire paths were interesting. In the DP's there is supposedly a channel down the center to run wires but I never could fish it.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
389
Location
Florida
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
CanyonStar
RV Length
39' 11"
TOW/TOAD
Demco KarKaddy 460SS and VW Passat
They are back to back, not exactly sure what you're talking about. The under glow wire paths were interesting. In the DP's there is supposedly a channel down the center to run wires but I never could fish it.
My issue is a F53 chassis issue surely. There is no continuous path along the bottom of the coach between the front and rear wheels unless I put the lights right at the outer most lip under the doors. On my coach each basement compartment is separated by two or three inches of open space. The DP chassis sounds different than mine.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,624
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
The DP basement is pretty sweet. I can pretty much get anything to anywhere other than the base isolated compartments (where side radiators are for the bigger boys).
 
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