Headlight Restoration: Bringing Clarity to Cloudy Lenses

TheRVgeeks Cleaning 13 Comments

Twelve years ago this week, on April 11, 2003, we hit the road full time. A few months earlier, we’d purchased our flat-towable Honda CR-V specifically for that purpose.

Repeated exposure to harsh Desert SW sunshine and spending most of your life facing into the rear end of a diesel pusher are apparently not the friendliest of environments for plastic headlight lenses. Our poor little Honda’s eyeballs have been getting more and more cloudy over time.

Since we love Invisible Glass, we figured that any other product from the same company would work better than other brands we’d tried. We were right. Watch the video above to see how quick and easy it is and how well it works.

The restoration kit is so inexpensive that it often costs more for the shipping than the kit itself! So we suggest ordering more than one at a time, or consider doing what we did… ordering the complete “Ultimate” Care Kit, which includes a ton of great car & RV care products. Both are available on Amazon. The Ultimate Kit makes a great gift, too. wink


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We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, and The RVgeeks are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. But our opinions are our own, you won’t pay an extra penny, and we only link to products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence.


Comments 13

  1. Thanks very much for your quick and most helpful response to my problem.
    I will do my turn off and see what happens to the lights after I trip the breaker on the shore power.
    Best regards,
    Jack

  2. Thanks very much for your quick response!
    It is a 2003 Tiffin Allegro Bus so I doubt if it has anything special about the batteries.
    I will do the light trick to determine which switch I need for the batteries.
    Thanks again.
    Jack

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      Author

      Our 2005 Mountain Aire is pretty comparable in age and features to your Allegro, and our charging system charges both house and chassis batteries when we’re on shore power. So we’d suggest that you shouldn’t assume yours doesn’t as well. A call to Tiffin’s service department might be worth it just to find out, since it might be an easy fix, like a blown fuse or something simple like that. Please let us know how you make out.

  3. I just got a 2003 Tiffin allegro bus and need to know what to do about the chassis batteries when I park in an RV park for 30 days or so.
    It was about 4 weeks since I had started the engine to let in run for an hour and when I went to start it, it was dead.
    I used the aux start button to start it and ran it for an hour and the batter symbol on the inverter showed green.
    My question is should I disconnect the chassis battery when I plug into shore power and am not going to be moving for 30 days or more. Would this reduce the possibility of the batteries discharging so it would not start? I have 2 disconnect switches in the battery compartment and I don’t know which controls the chassis batteries.
    Thanks for your help. Jack

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      Author

      Hi Jack,

      Sorry to hear that you had this problem. Our first suggestion would be to contact Tiffin to find out if your year & model coach came with any kind of system designed to keep the chassis batteries charged while plugged in to shore power. Because if it did… it’s obviously not functioning and should be repaired.

      If you determine that your coach DOESN’T have a system for charging the chassis batteries while on shore power, there’s a number of ways you could go:

      • You could certainly use the disconnect switch to prevent any draws from draining them while parked long term. You’d just have to determine which switch is which (turn one… if the inside lights go out, that’s the house battery disconnect, LOL! Turn it back and switch the other one, that should be the chassis battery disconnect.). But that may not completely solve the problem… as some manufacturers hardwire some items (like awnings or entrance steps) to the chassis batteries, so the cut-off switch may not eliminate all power drains.
      • You could put a small battery charger (one that has a float stage so they don’t OVER-charge) on the chassis batteries when you’re parked longer term, just to keep them topped up.
      • You could look into systems you can permanently install on the coach to supply a charging current to the chassis batteries when the house batteries are fully charged… there’s several to choose from, like the Xantrex Echo Charger or the Magnum Smart Battery Combiner. Either of these units would make it so you wouldn’t have to remember to do anything different when parked long term or short.

      Hope this helps!

      P.S… depending on the age of the chassis batteries, you may also be seeing this problem because they are getting old and either can’t hold a charge as long OR have a larger self-discharge rate that is killing them sooner. If in doubt, a good battery shop should be able to test them for you to determine if they need to be replaced.

  4. Pingback: Toad Headlight Hygiene: Does Toothpaste Actually Work? TheRVgeeks

  5. Do you have any wisdom on replacing headlight lens on 2001 Mountain Air? Your videos are awesome; thanks for all the help you provide.

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      Author

      Hi Al,

      Thanks for the nice comments… we’re happy you find our videos helpful! On the headlights… we don’t have any specific “wisdom” to impart, but we can try and help get you started on the right foot. Not sure about replacing just the lens… you may have to replace the whole assembly.

      First, we’d try to identify the part number from the headlight itself (making sure to check them both as they could be different part numbers for the two sides). Sometimes it’s molded into the lens… but you may also have to get behind the headlight as it could be molded into the reflector assembly. One handy trick is to use your smartphone or handheld camera… it’s a lot easier to get IT up into a tight space and snap a shot, then to try and squeeze your head into the same spot! LOL! Once you’ve identified the part number, try Googling for it. You will most likely find out that the headlight assembly comes from some model year of production vehicle (like a 1999 Ford Bronco or some such). From there, it should be easy to find a good source of replacements online.

      Second, we’d look in the Forums on iRV2.com (http://irv2.com/forums). It’s quite likely that someone else has already identified the correct auto/truck that your headlights come from, which could save you from crawling around trying to find part numbers. Plus, there may be other owners who have tackled this project already and may be able to give you their wisdom on how to actually get it done.

      Sorry we can’t be of more help, but let us know how you make out!

  6. Polishing does work, and doing this by hand will not generate heat in the plastic that will cause stress cracking (this is a real problem with using a drill motor to polish with). Using this product is a safe solution to the dull headlight problem.

    An even faster method is to use Acetone saturating a clean paper towel, one swipe across the lens melts the surface and it flows out to a smooth clear finish. No polishing needed. CAUTION!! this method does melt the surface and should not be used unless you have no clear coat left on the lens (the clear coat is not affected by the Acetone). This works on head and tail lights. You also have to be careful about the paint, Acetone may affect the finish. So this method is not for the faint of heart, but it is cheap and works.

  7. As always, great vid!
    Don’t park facing east unless it’s afternoon. It’s the morning sun that causes the yellowing.

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      Author
  8. Perfect timing! Thanks for the tip. My motorhome headlights are not as bright as they should be – as I found out while driving at night last year on a trip to Vermont. One of my spring projects is to work on getting them to an acceptable level for those few times a year when I need to travel after dark.

    Thanks for the tips!

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