Tuesday, March 12, 2013

LED Lights and Dealing with the USPS

Montgomery, AL

Many of the newer MHs today come with LED lighting.  Our Tiffin Phaeton is a 2010 model and was still manufactured using halogen bulbs in all of the ceiling lights and incandescent lights in most of the other fixtures.  Because LED lights produce much less heat and use less power than comparable halogen bulbs we had been looking at changing out for some time, but I wasn't sure of the color I wanted and sure didn't want to pay the price some places were charging. 
I decided to go the cheap route to allow me to compare light color first.  I purchased a set of 10 G4 bulbs for $14.99 from Ebay.  These lights were listed as pure white and rated at 0.9 watts per light.  These lights seemed "whiter" than what we wanted, so I made another purchase of 10 for $16.99. The latter purchase was rated at the same 0.9 watts per light, but the color was "warm white".

 I installed both sets of LED lights and kept a row of the original halogen bulbs for comparison.  We still leaned toward the warmer color of the halogen bulbs at that point. Also, the light output from the Ebay bulbs just did not seem adequate.

During out recent stay in Red Bay we went over to talk to the guys at HHH Electronics.  This company supplies all of the LEDs (among other electrical components) for the Tiffin coaches. I indicated to them that we didn't like the brighter white color that I had selected.  They suggested that I go over to the plant and take a look at the finished rigs which all had LEDs installed.  We did, and were impressed.  We wound up purchasing 58 bulbs to replace all of the ceiling halogens in our rig.  The purchased bulbs cost $7.00 each and are rated at 2.2 watts per bulb.
One of the reasons for the higher cost is that the $7.00 bulbs have voltage regulation where the cheaper bulbs do not. This is an important factor when LEDs are used in RVs as the voltage can vary. We may do something later with the rest of the rig's fixtures, but will do a bit more research first.

Yesterday we installed all of the ceiling LEDs in short order.  We are VERY happy with the light color and output.  MUCH brighter than the cheaper ones I had purchased, and a much more even color.

Moving along to our next adventure, we drove to a small local post office in an attempt to receive our mail via "General Delivery" later in the week.  We use America's Mailbox as our mail forwarding company in South Dakota and have experienced absolutely zero problems since signing up with them last October. Up to this point, however, each mail "drop" had been sent to the campground we were currently staying in.  We are currently staying in a Corp of Engineers park and they will not accept mail addressed to campers.  Not a problem (or so we thought).  Our research prior to beginning the FTing lifestyle indicated that we could have mail delivered to a small, local post office as General Delivery. We took a look at the USPS website and found a small post office near us that was listed as accepting General Delivery mail.  Since we weren't doing a whole lot yesterday during a very rainy day we decided to make a drive over to the post office.  Well.....it's a good thing we did.  The clerk advised us that they cannot accept General Delivery mail and that it is "against the rules".  Those who did are breaking the rules.  Karen informed her that MANY, MANY post offices accept this type of mail, but the clerk was an unbending beauracratic type (or just ignorant), and we left without success.  On to the next post office.  We drove the same distance north to the next post office.  This office is larger than the first, but immediately indicated that they do receive General Delivery mail.  Amazing, huh?
The lesson to be learned here is that if the first Post Office declines your request for General Delivery, then just try another one.

Just out of curiousity, what has been others' experience with General Delivery and the post office?

Thanks for taking a look!


  1. We were told by the post office in Overton Nevada that we could have mail sent general delivery. They do it for 30 days but it didn't matter if it went over a little longer than that as they were not going to return our mail. They want you to get box if more than a month.

  2. We were told by the post office in Overton Nevada that we could have mail sent general delivery. They do it for 30 days but it didn't matter if it went over a little longer than that as they were not going to return our mail. They want you to get box if more than a month.

  3. Interesting that Gunter Hill doesn't accept mail. Here at Isaac Creek, the mail is delivered to a mailbox for which we were given an address when we called. All we had to do was walk over to the mailbox and check to see if our mail had arrived. As for General Delivery ... we've only used it once and that was in Red Bay ... worked like a charm. We have also received mail at the mil base post offices ... works pretty similar to the way Gen Delivery does.

  4. Since you all may be having problems with your mail, you might want to check somewhere, I sent you a card about a week before your birthday. Let me know if you ever get it.

  5. Great post. When we replaced our LEDs we also used HHH and opted for the brighter lights. So far I don't think we have every had a problem getting mail General Delivery at the Post Office.

  6. Steve,

    I have only had a little experience with GD at a post office, when we take extended trips, and it has been a couple of years since we did it. I did what I used to do at work........ didn't ask!! I just had my son send the package of mail to a "General Delivery" at a post office that we would be at in a couple of days. Never had a problem.

    Regards LED lights..... it seems we all go the same route of trying the cheaper lights first. I did! I also ended up at HHH. They have a very good light to replace the two spots over the PS couch, but they are pricey at $16 each. Thankfully, it is only two, and the lack of heat for my wife to lay there and read is worth it. I ended up putting some of the 'white' lights in the 'entry' light fixtures, since we seldom use them and the bright light is good for seeing in the cabinets near them.

    I also realized that by using HHH, I could get additional lights or replacements, and the color would match the others. Not so by just buying from a multiple set of vendors. It makes a big difference when we have the rows of lights!!

  7. I look at the post offices on line that are near us wherever we may be and then call them. So far, there has been no problem, if the PO won't accept General Delivery mail, they'll say so and recommend one that will.

    In Tucson, for example, there are lots of POs, but only the main PO did the general delivery mail. It's worked well for us.

    Those LED lights were expensive, but the results look great. :c)

  8. Interesting comments about your experiences with the PO. We had been told that it was easier to have mail sent to "General Delivery" in the smaller POs. Apparently, just like our experience with the "little" PO that is not always the case.