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Headlight-Alignment Mystery

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Q. We recently went out on our first trip with our new Georgie Boy motorhome, and it has been a lot of fun so far. We try to drive during the day because of my eyesight, but were once caught out after dark before we reached our destination. I noticed that the headlights were aimed way off. The low beams hit the pavement just two white lines ahead of the coach, and we had to use high beams to see anything far enough ahead to be safe.

I looked for adjusting screws but couldn’t see any on the outside, so I popped the hood and looked at the headlamp assemblies. I didn’t see any screws there either, just two small metal studs that look like Allen wrenches stuck in the housing. Are those the adjusters? I couldn’t find anything in the owner’s manual about this. Am I missing something about these new-style headlights, or about adjusting them?

— M.W., Via e-mail

A. Those studs are indeed the adjusters, M.W. They’re 4mm hex shafts, and the best tool for adjusting them is available from any auto-parts shop. I recently purchased such a tool for less than $5 at Napa Auto Parts (part no. 775-9035). It’s a simple knob on a hex socket shaft that allows fast and painless adjustment of the screws.

Technically, headlight adjustment is something that should be done by the factory or dealership prior to customer delivery. You can use the tool to crank the headlights back up to a reasonable approximation of alignment, but there are strict highway standards that apply to headlights, so a trip to your dealer is definitely in order to finish the alignment job.

— J.J.

Jeff Johnston, TL technical director, started RVing at age 6. During his more than 20 years as a writer/photographer, he has worked for Truckin’ and Four Wheeler magazines before joining TL’s technical staff in 1985. Johnston also has produced an award-winning travel video and TV commercials.

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