Electrical Problems Solved

Ken Freund Coach & Powertrain

I own a 1999 Fleetwood Bounder on a Ford chassis. For years I have experienced several problems. The chassis battery loses charge even when plugged in to shorepower. On several occasions, when the ignition switch was on, there would be no electrical power to the dash or any of the systems powered from the coach distribution panel. This panel is located on the left, behind the grille. The battery disconnect relays are in this panel in back of the printed circuit board/fuses. Power to the dash, steps and levelers is supplied through this circuit board.

My problems were caused by the internal failure of the chassis battery disconnect relay. Installing a jumper wire around this relay solved several problems.
Ron Dalby | Crowley, Texas

Your experiences may help others with similar problems. Thanks for writing, Ron.

— Ken Freund


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  1. I have 1992 Bounder Ford chassis with Banks kit. I have had starter tested. Replaced solonoid / relay in doghouse ut stilll will not start . When igition turned clicks one time. Any ideas?

  2. I’m having trouble with a 1992 Hawkins diesel motorhome. At the beginning of the known problem when started and running It wouldn’t turn off. now I can’t start it. I’ve primed the fuel system with no luck. I checked the fuses. Are there any other suggestions? I did check for power at the fuel shut off and that is good.

    • did you ever find the problem? I have a 92 HMC as well that had the same issue. My HMC is a rear engine model with an inline 6 diesel engine. while facing the engine compartment there are 2 solenoids on the right side that are connected. I found the lower solenoid was bad, it caused a fuse that lives attached to a board mounted between the radiator and rear bumper to blow. Which in turn caused the front and rear start not to work.

  3. I have a serious and deadly problem with a 2009 Hurricane 34U Ford Triton V10. 35,000 mi. Last night at 2am in pitch black I had a catastrophic electrical failure. As making a right hand turn the entire electrical system quit, no light brakes, steering, dash lights, flashers, nothing. RV would not stop rolling down the slight hill I was on, I am paraplegic so was pushing on the had brake,( just pushes the normal foot brake) hard as I could but would not stop. I eventually rolled into the median of grass and rocks and stopped but I could not have told you where I was resting, pitch black at 3am, scary, scary, scary! I was the luckiest guy alive to have this happen at 5mph and not 75! It would kill you, no doubt. I used to manufacture RV’s, Tiger motorhomes, and I noticed the power switch and light for the truck chassis does not work now and wondering if the main relay that closed for chassis power failing can do this? The battery seems to be fully charged but I have my suspicion there too? Does anyone have any experience with this? Really scary stuff!! Dave

  4. My issue is that I have a 2016 Minnie Winnie that when returning from an outing the house battery disconnects with will not work. I’ve had this problem since I purchased the vehicle and have brought it to the attention of the dealer for almost 3 years now to no avail. Their service department says that it fine, but it’s not. On my last service visit I was told by the dealer, after requesting that they check it again, that I will have to replace the House batteries. Which I did at a cost of almost $500, and was told the switch was fine, again. When I returned the rig to the storage facility and went to disconnect the house batteries, the switch wouldn’t work. Is there something I can do on my own? Is this a problem other Minnie Winnie owners are experiencing? Thanks in advance for any help!

    • Thank you for your post, Larry. We asked MotorHome’s technical editor, Chris Dougherty, for his take.
      He wrote:

      Intermittent problems can be the most frustrating to diagnose. While it’s possible the big relay has an issue, I’d check all the connections, wiring and the switch first. You didn’t say which model Minnie Winnie you have, so I looked at the wiring diagram for the 22R. In this case, the battery solenoid is adjacent to the house batteries. Since this is “under” the coach, it’s possible that the terminals on the solenoid have become corroded or loose. The small wires that attach to the sides of the unit are the switch contacts. Each of these should be checked, cleaned and tightened, making certain the studs are not broken.
      Next, remove the battery switch on the wall and check to make sure the contacts on the back are tight. Testing the switch with a multimeter repeatedly in both directions is a good idea. This is checking to ensure +12-Volt power is being sent to the S terminal and ground to the I terminal to open the solenoid, and the reverse of that to close the solenoid.
      If the problem is still not fixed, the next thing would be to check the wiring to the solenoid for continuity. If that checks out, then, most likely, the solenoid is faulty and should be replaced. The Intellitec website should have a service bulletin for your solenoid.

  5. I have a 1987 Hawkins Motor Coach with a Catepillar diesel engine. It came with electrical schematics for a gasoline engine that had 3 – 30 amp fuses in the battery compartment. The diesel does not. Have lost power to the refrigerator and the entry steps. Suspect power fuse blown but have not been able to find it. Does anyone know where the fuses might be?

  6. I have a 203 Fleetwood Discovery and just have listed it for sale I do not know why the cabin lights and power will not turn on. The power seats and fans work but no other outlets. Can anyone tell me what fuse or switch to check

  7. I have a 2016 Thor motor home, a mouse got into the AC/Heat ducting and jammed the squirrel cage fan, I cleared the fan and ducting but apparently the jammed fan blew something. AC will not come on nor will the fan, I have tried everything I can think of to get an wiring diagram for the ford 450 super duty but have into a brick wall with Thor and ford, any ideas?

  8. I have a 2019 Gulf Stream 6237LE RV Power cable (hot) has lost continuity between the battery and the starter solenoid. Battery is new (even thought the unit only has 30 hours operation) Verified the loss by using a jumper cable between the two original cable ends (battery post and solenoid). any ideas?

  9. I have a 1992 Hawkins motorhome and I can’t get the “light” for the shift engage to come on. I drove it about 100 yards stop and got out and everything was just fine. Got back in and no “light” indicator so I can’t put it in gear. I don’t know what happened. Can anyone help? Is their a reset on something that old?


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