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Overland

Nightstand Table Lamp

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One thing we noticed the first few nights sleeping in the Ollie was that there's not a convenient light or light switch that can be reached from the bed. If you're on the curb side, you can sit up and flip a switch if you remember which one to flip but otherwise you have to get out of bed to turn on or off the lights. I loved the cool table lamp that @scubarx installed in the Outlaw Oliver, so I added a lamp to the list of to do's.

 

My list of requirements for the lamp were: that it be 12 volt so that I didn't need to be plugged in or have the inverter on to use it; that it be securely mounted but easily removed; that all the wiring should be hidden and everything look completely built in; that the bulb have a nice warm temperature (I'm a believer in having only low temp lighting on for at least an hour before bed); that it have a switch that's easily accessible while lying in bed; and that the lamp itself should be high quality, able to withstand bumps and vibrations, and last the life of the trailer.

 

So, with all that in mind, I first picked out the lamp. We went with the Petite Candlestick Lamp from Restoration Hardware. I would have preferred something a little bit more modern, but this one was the right size and has an Art Deco feel to it that I think goes fine with everything else we've done and with the trailer itself. It's way too tall as it comes, but dismantling it and cutting it down to a reasonable height for the trailer is pretty straightforward. I've gotten several lamps from Restoration Hardware, and they've all been super high quality and this one is no exception. They have a yearly or twice yearly half-off sale on lighting, so if you get one from them, be patient and wait because they're arguably overpriced at retail.

 

Secondly, I found these bulbs on Amazon, which you can get in warm white or daylight, whichever you prefer.  That's really all you need to convert a lamp to 12 volt these days, apart from swapping out the plug or direct wiring it to the trailer.  I went with a lighter plug since I wanted to be able to remove the lamp.  You can get those anywhere, but I highly recommend a locking marine style plug because the quality difference is substantial.

 

Third, you'll need a socket for the plug if you go that route.  I was fortunate in that I had asked Oliver to provide us with USB ports on the nightstand, so I already had 12 volt power run.  If you don't, then you'll need to tap into the wiring behind the breaker panel on the right side of the attic and then run your wiring down to the basement and then up through the base of the nightstand.  Shouldn't be too difficult but I can't say for sure since I didn't have to go that route.  But I did need the socket, and while I was at it I wanted to add some USB ports inside the nightstand as well.  (That's actually what I'd asked for, but Oliver placed the outlets on the side of the nightstand instead.  Easily accessible, but otherwise you've got to deal with cords getting in the way of bedding and a little green light shining in your eyes.)  So I ordered a combination outlet panel by Blue Sea off Amazon.  It has a pair of dual USB sockets and a lighter outlet, and also has a switch and circuit breaker inside.  It's a really nice panel.

 

Finally, I decided that a little chrome push button mounted to the table top in front of the lamp would make for a great switch.  This one was perfect.

 

So, how to mount the lamp to the table.  Steve and Tali had the genius idea of glueing magnets to the base of their lamp and to the underside of the table top.  I experimented with that but just couldn't get it to work.  Maybe the table tops are different or thicker, but I just got a really weak hold even with some super strong magnets.  So instead, I decided to bolt through.  Since I had the lamp apart anyway, I just swapped out the threaded rod holding it together with one that was a few inches longer than what I needed.  (The way the original rod was made it couldn't be cut down.)  When I put the lamp back together, I left the extra rod sitting out the base at the bottom.  Then carefully drilled a ½" hole where I wanted the lamp, put the rod through the hole and screwed it in.  I got the biggest washer I could find to distribute the load on the tabletop.

 

Then I drilled another ½" hole just in front of the lamp and mounted the switch. The switch is just a tad mushy for my taste, but it's acceptable and I like the way it kind of disappears in all the reflections on the top. Underneath, wiring it up was a simple task and the only tricky part was that I had to solder the connections to the switch, and I've never developed good soldering skills.  But it works.  I added a few zip tie mounts with VHB tape to hold the wiring in place out of the way and keep it from vibrating too much.  The switch connection is a bit exposed, so I think I might paint some plasti dip on the leads.  Finally, I added the lighter plug, leaving plenty of slack in the cord, and covered the cord with wire wrap to protect it.

 

In the nightstand, I removed one of the little shelves that hold the tray in place and mounted the outlet panel there.  The panel is a bit too wide, but it's a good spot for it, so I cut a little notch on the bottom of the tray for it to fit back.  I just unclipped the wiring from one of the USB outlets Oliver had installed and clipped it to the new panel.  I'll probably run a jumper back to that outlet even though I doubt we'll ever use it now.  I don't like the angle of the wire coming out of the plug, so I'll need to add another zip tie mount or something there, but I was down to the two I used on the top so I'll need to get some more.  I then cut a scallop out of the back of the tray to run the wire, and any other cords we might have for charging stuff in the tray.  You'll also notice in the pics that I drilled a hole in the back of the nightstand for USB cords to run, and ground out a little notch in the bottom of the top for the cords.  I think I need to grind out a notch along the back as well, since right now I have to pull the top out a bit for the cords.

 

And that's it.  Pics...

 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Here's a pic of just the lamp on. This makes it look slightly dimmer than it is, but it's definitely a low light level which is what we wanted. They're supposed to be 2W, but the battery monitor can barely detect them. In fact the amp draw went down 0.1 amps once when I turned on the lamp, so maybe they're magic bulbs.

 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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To be clear, you hard mounted that lamp in front of your emergency egress?

 

On the other hand, it looks fantastic and incorporating that switch is great. You do really nice work and have a great eye for things.

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Wow! Very nice job. I paricularly like the light switch you installed in the nightstand top. Very clean lines. Love it!

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Yvonne & Doug


2017 Legacy Elite II, twin bed


Hull #223


2017 Ford F-250 Lariat, crew cab

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Nice installation. Pretty! I especially like your choice of power distbution box. Did you get the high output USB ports?

 

I share Randy’s thoughts on blocking the emergency exit, the fixture being right next to that window and bolted down. I expect in a fire you would blow right through the lamp, smashing it flat, but you would probably end up with some extra scratches... would you care to share your thoughts and reasoning about this?

 

Did you consider a large flat plate and industrial velcro?

 

Do you find having the lamp on top hinders routine access to the inside compartment, or do you just no longer use it?

 

Did you secure all those floppy wires? But I guess they all ride pretty well just lying in the wood tray when stowed.

 

I greatly appreciate the good quality pics. I am still waiting to see more of the pointy part of your trailer.....

 

Edit: I have a suggestion in regard to pics. It is really hard to get correctly exposed images due to the bright reflective finishes Oliver uses. It’s like being on a bright white sandy beach. When you edit your pics, use the Exposure or Brightness settings to lighten up the too-dark areas. It will tend to wash out the rest of the shot, but it will highlight the hard-to-see black parts. Like this:

 

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Forcing the flash ON may help to brighten a black box, but it introduces unwanted reflections. It can be challenging taking pics of Olivers...

 

Thanks.

 

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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To be clear, you hard mounted that lamp in front of your emergency egress?

 

I did! But of course the lamp comes off with the velcroed top. I plan to use the lamp and top as a shield against the bear as my wife crawls through the window. I'm chivalrous like that.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I share Randy’s thoughts on blocking the emergency exit, the fixture being right next to that window and bolted down. I expect in a fire you would blow right through the lamp, smashing it flat, but you would probably end up with some extra scratches… would you care to share your thoughts and reasoning about this?

 

Do you find having the lamp on top hinders routine access to the inside compartment, or do you just no longer use it?

Like I replied above, the lamp and top are one now. I can actually grab the lamp by the bottom of the post and pull the top off, so if a bear comes through the door, it's an extra step but not anything I'm worried about. We don't use that compartment much anyway, but access to it is no different. There's enough slack in the lamp cord that I can put the top down on one of the beds. Or in an emergency, throw it on the floor, or at the bear.

 

If anything it disguises that compartment better.

 

Did you consider a large flat plate and industrial velcro?

Yes, but since I wanted to run the cord through the top to hide it, it made more sense to use that hole to secure the lamp as well. Plus I didn't want any chance of a heavy lamp like that flying around the trailer if it were to come loose.

 

Did you secure all those floppy wires? But I guess they all ride pretty well just lying in the wood tray when stowed.

Not yet. I ran out of zip tie mounts. Plus I've ordered some with clips off amazon that will allow me to plug and unplug stuff without having to cut zip ties every time.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I suspect that a 44 magnum would work a bunch better.

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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To be clear, you hard mounted that lamp in front of your emergency egress?

I did! But of course the lamp comes off with the velcroed top. I plan to use the lamp and top as a shield against the bear as my wife crawls through the window. I’m chivalrous like that.

 

Wish we had an lol button. ?

 

Looks great.

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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