Difficult but Worth It – Relocating Our Light Switch!


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The light switch for the EKKO bathroom, in a stock configuration, is located outside the bathroom itself (because it’s a wet bath and you don’t want to get it wet).  I thought that was a little too inconvenient, so I set about relocating it to INside the bathroom.

I have to admit though, this turned out to be considerably more difficult than I thought it would be.  You’ll see what I mean in this video!

 

There’s not a lot to say about this project that I didn’t say in the video, but I’ll reiterate a few points.

  • First. I am a bit disappointed that this was so difficult.  I really wanted most anyone to be able to follow along.  But it doesn’t look like that’s in the cards.  It was no 20k project, but it wasn’t super simple either.
  • Second. now that we’ve had the light switch in this new location – and the sting of the difficult project has worn off – I’m pretty pleased with how it worked out.  From looking at the end result, you’d never realize how much swearing there was…
  • Third.  If you do decide to try the shortcut approach I discuss towards the end, you’ll need a pretty shallow switch to make it happen.  Something like these might work, but I have no experience with them.  (Don’t hook up the lighted part of the switch though – you’d have to run new wire for that.)
  • And finally.  Any piece of art or trim would have worked fine to cover up the switch hole in the hallway.  You don’t really have to 3D print anything.

So, there you have it.  Let me know what you think of this mod down in the comments.

Cheers!

 



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.


    32 thoughts on “Difficult but Worth It – Relocating Our Light Switch!

    1. Jim Thiessen

      Thanks James for the effort to show your great ideas and their implementation…warts and all. Much appreciated. Watching your “moving the light switch” video left me wondering if you can reverse the door swing? The aluminium wall frame appears strong enough to accept the hinge/latch if reversed. The door would just need to be flipped. We probably use the toilet more at night and access would be easier. An added benefit would be a defined dressing area as you come out of the shower (maybe even remove the curtain). I’m from Australia and hoping to acquire an EKKO to tour the States in 2023. Appreciate your thoughts.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Yes, this is possible.
        We’re not interested in doing it ourselves, but if you join the “EKKO Owners and Wannabes” group on Facebook, you’ll find others who have done it and posted photos.

        Reply
        1. Jim Thiessen

          Thanks….I did join. Great wealth of information from a great group. Couldn’t find any info on reversing the swing of the bathroom door (hope you can point me in that direction)…lots of other good things though…will keep me busy.

        2. James - Post author

          The facebook search is notoriously bad. Unfortunately, I don’t have a better way than that to tell you how to find it.

    2. MJ Remy

      Hi James and Steph,

      I learn a lot about tools when I watch James working. Really appreciate the input on tools. Never heard of Fish Tape before but here it is – so this is how they pull hidden wiring around, wow! A very useful tool is a top of the line wire stripper. Mine are extremely frustrating to use, take forever, and waste copper wire strands. A good quality brand – anyone have suggestions? Ditto for Crimper. Please keep up the details on your tools in every video – this is so helpful for folks with limited handyman skills.
      See how you did this switch switcheroo is going to directly help me reroute some ceiling lights in my RV. Thanks a lot! Great project work. Steph your patience with the camera and good camera work is outstanding!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Wire strippers are a funny thing for me. I have about 6 of them.
        When they work, these are my favorite: https://amzn.to/3rQ8vRp
        But when they don’t work, my fallback are these: https://amzn.to/33OiChc

        As for crimpers… I have several of those as well. They can be funny, because different kinds of connectors require different crimper styles. When I use the heat-shrink connectors (which is usually), then I use these: https://amzn.to/3GJgp5f. But lately, they’ve been giving me trouble.

        For regular insulated (non-heat-shrink) connections, I use these: https://amzn.to/3fAqwxj
        Those have been solid for me for 5 years now.

        Reply
    3. james

      Does the silver door frame trim come off? It looks like you could run the wire vertically thru there.

      Also, if someone just wants the switch on the right side, it looks easy to mount it on the side of the cabinet and have the wiring run in the back corner,

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Honestly never looked at the trim, but that looks like a good option to at least get the vertical distance.
        25 points for the suggestion!

        Reply
    4. Bob S

      FYI Search Amazon for “wireless switch 12V”. I found one by HENDON that looked acceptable to me. If there is room for the receiver in or above the light it would be an easy install. Just jumper the existing switch to get power to the receiver and connect power through the output relay to the light. I have not used one of these but it is not expensive and easy to restore back to OEM condition if desired.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I didn’t check, but that light switch in the bathroom may be the only incandescent bulb in the coach. If that’s the case, it might get a little hot up there.
        Generally speaking though, putting a wireless switch right at the fixture might work. There’s at least a neutral/ground there.

        Reply
    5. Mark

      Has Winnebago implemented any of your other mods? I see you swapped your cooktop and sink. They were unwilling to delete the cooktop with my EKKO. Seems a Revel setup is more practical given the smaller countertops. Love you improvements and your continuing education!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I don’t know if Winnebago has plans to implement any of my mods or not.
        It will be interesting to watch and see!

        Reply
        1. Kevin Scarbel

          James, may I ask what sink and cooktop (induction?) did you add?

          These mods would make for an interesting video. Thank you.

        2. James - Post author

          It’s a True Induction.
          We did take some video, but the way I did it wasn’t exactly a beginner mod.

        3. James - Post author

          That is the brand of induction burner we use. Though we have the single burner model.
          We swapped the sink to the right side to allow us to have a much larger drawer on the left side. (Also, we just like it that way.)
          It’s not obvious, but that’s a new countertop made from scratch, so swapping sides and faucet locations was no big deal.
          There will eventually be a video and post on the galley remodel.

        4. Kevin Scarbel

          “a new countertop made from scratch”

          Beautiful workmanship and design! I also like the idea of having a much larger drawer on the left. Hopefully a humble Winnebago will note and reflect on that.

          I tell you, the odds of Stef finding a near perfect man like you who is a master at all must have been a trillion to one. I hope she realizes how lucky she is.

    6. Thomas A Geriak

      I would assume that was not aluminum wire or copper clad aluminum wire as it is being pushed hard on Amazon and EBay as a cheep alternative to copper.
      Warning do not use Aluminum wire as it is not rated for the same amps as copper. Most DIYers dont know this and think all wire is the same.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        It is tinned copper wire with a silicone insulator – just as I said in the video.
        This stuff: https://amzn.to/3oUkr2P

        (Although in this low-voltage, low-current application, we’re not asking that much of the wire. Aluminum wire would probably work out just fine.)

        Reply
        1. Fred Gross

          Not all connectors and contacts are rated for aluminum wire also issues when connection coper to aluminum wires. This can cause a fire. I would encourage everyone to steer away from any aluminum wires in an RV.

          I to would have gone with a wireless switch option as I have done on several mods in our Coach House 272XL

      1. James - Post author

        I did, but couldn’t find any 12v switches that I had any confidence in (and that had an appropriate looking switch).

        Reply
        1. James D.

          Did you consider just adding a water proofing coating to the electronics to give you more options on switches you could have used?

          Or just adding a motion sensor to the light?

          Though, barring a preferred switch, an easier mod might be to use a smart switch and an old rugged phone that is water proof and supports wireless charging. So you can just surface mount it and power it through the wall without needing to cut any holes and can just tap it to turn the light on and off…

          Or maybe just use a remote sensor to turn any surface into a switch and just stick a on/off sticker on it…

          Just thinking on how others may want to consider doing it, as I think there’s a number of ways this problem could be addressed…

    7. Donald Koval

      What a lot of work for a “simple” project. Always fun to watch your ingenuity in solving problems you encounter.

      In our Panoramic Class B RV made in Québec, all the light switches are wireless, which works great and would make relocation a snap. They all have built in dimmers as well. We just have to change a few batteries on an annual basis to keep them all working flawlessly.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Because we really wanted the light switch inside the room that it lights!
        (And it would have been just as hard to put it on the outside wall.)

        Reply
    8. Mike Moscarelli

      I am sure you know this, but it feels good when your best plans go awry. We who like to make changes, ie switches, light, gauges or what ever have these same opportunities. Ha Ha! What we know should only take a short couple of hours can take a day or more. I am sure Stef’s behind the scenes comments “I told you so” would be funny. Thanks for the Help. 2017 24J View.

      Reply

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