RV Advice Q&A Motorhomes

Below are questions and answers to RV Advice that are related to service on motorhomes.

You can send your question(s) using the form at the bottom of any of our Q&A pages. We answer ALL email that comes in to us (if you follow the rules at the bottom of the page).


This page updated March 31, 2016 containing letters emailed to Pete from January1st – March 29th.

March 29, 2016 Jon of Ephrata, Pennsylvania writes regarding electrical problem in 2003 R-Vision

Both batteries were old and needed to be replaced in my 2003 RVision Trailite class A (29 foot-gas powered), RV.
I replaced the batteries and now my radio and the two cabin fans in the front of the rig will not work unless I hold the battery boost switch on; what’s up with that?
Dear Jon,
You missed a wire or blew a fuse or circuit breaker some place.

March 28, 2016 David of Lillian, Alabama writes regarding 1998 Damon Daybreak with Chevy 454 not starting

Started unit, ok. Shut it off, when I tried to restart, solenoids and relays click and dash warning lights come on but starter doesn’t turn at all.
Battery is fully charged, starter solenoid is new, starter bench checks ok.; wires all look ok. Reworked all grounds, all ok.
I suspect there is a starter relay or a solenoid for power to the starter, where it is, is the question.
There is a fuse and contact box on the outside of the firewall that contains some relays with larger wiring.
Only one has a purple wire. A purple wire also goes to the starter solenoid. Could this have failed? What else is there to check?
Dear David,
Sounds like you located the starter solenoid, which could have failed.
Also, look at the alternator bracket to see if a solenoid is mounted there, and check the ignition switch mounted on the steering column.

March 25, 2016 Dee Jay of Lakeland, Florida writes regarding problems with rust in gas tank of 1997 National Tropi-Cal class A

Have a 75-gal steel fuel (gasoline) tank with rust sediment that clogs a new OEM fuel pump. Tried removing the rust particles but baffles prevent thorough cleansing.
Can you replace the fuel tank with a plastic tank or an aluminum tank and if so, especially if the new tank isn’t baffled?
Dear Dee Jay,
I haven’t heard of anyone who changed it out with aluminum. But if you find a supplier there is no reason it won’t work. On a big tank, with no baffles, it could cause some fuel problems on long grades.

March 24, 2016 David of Carlin, Nevada SHOUTS regarding alternator not charging and dies when negative terminal is pulled

Dear David,
Pulling that terminal is a good way to kill a lot of electronics on your chassis. Check all the fuses and battery isolator.

March 24, 2016 Dave of Richmond, Virginia writes regarding noticing water in basement of newly purchased 2015 Crossroads Elevation Toyhauler

I picked up my new toy hauler last Thursday, we took it out over the weekend and had a great time. When I was packing up to leave, I noticed some water in the basement. After further investigation, I found that the plastic type bladder at the very bottom of the driver’s side was full of water. I dropped it back off at the dealer and am waiting to hear back. Should there be a water issue like this with a new trailer?
ALT=”answer”> Dear Dave,
No, but it happens. Hopefully it won’t be a ig deal and they will get it fixed and dried out for you.

March 23, 2016 Frank of Lakeville, Massachusetts writes regarding back up lights not working in 1996 Fleetwood American Dream with 300 hp Cummins

My backup lights don’t work all my other lights work. Checked all the fuses but I can’t find the fuses to the backup lights or brake and parking and blinkers.
Dear Frank,
Look back near the batteries for a separate fuse panel.

March 22, 2016 Allen of Otis Orchards, Washington writes regarding hydraulic leverlers not working in 1995 Fleetwood Southwind with Chevy chassis

The hydraulic leveler system won’t work. If I hold the auxiliary battery switch down, it comes on but lights the “low voltage” indicater and still won’t work. Batteries are all nearly new and fully charged. All fuses are good on the panel.Loose wire underneath?
Dear Allen,
Check your solenoids and grounds to see why you’re only getting voltage to the jacks when the boost is pushed.

March 19, 2016 Ginny of Ventura, California writes regarding battery wiring on 1993 Hawkins Aerosport II with Gillig chassis and 3116 Cat

I have two 12V batteries that appear to be wired separately as opposed to series or parallel. Both are fairly new. One battery won’t hold a charge from generator, shore power, solar panels, or alternator while engine is running. All the 12V lights, water pump, fans, and TVs are running fine.
Are they running from the only house battery with a charge? Why wouldn’t one of the two in the bank not be charging? Could it be because they are not linked together? Is there a fuse that could cause one to charge and not the other?
Dear Ginny,
Sounds like your chassis battery is not charging while running. I would check the battery isolator.

March 14, 2016 Gord of St. Paul, Alberta writes regarding problem with 1996 Triple E with Ford 460 blowing fuse constantly taking out exterior lights and cruise control

Just bought from dealership. Paid for it once a concern was supposedly fixed. Got half way home and the fuse blew again, meaning no brake lights (dangerous), no cruise control and no daytime running lights. Called dealership and was told to take it to nearest Ford dealership. They replaced fuse again but said there is an underlying problem as to why fuse keeps blowing. Dealership paid for the temporary fix and told the Ford dealership that they will take it back to the original service department which is five hours drive from where we live.
Trying to find which wires may be burnt or what the problem is may be very costly. Do you have any suggestions of where to look for the underlying problem? If you cannot suggest anything we sure hope we can return it and look for something else.
Dear Gord,
It could be as simple as the wiring in the rear to the taillights or tow lights; or it could be a shorty in the wiring harness or turn signal switch.
No way to know without trouble shooting.

March 13, 2016 Janice of Gothenburg, Nebraska writes regarding looking for instrument cluster in 1999 Fleetwood Flair, chassis not stated

We need an instrument cluster FIN 732DX5227676 MNG Serial # 27679 34 D
We cannot find one. Can you steer us in the right direction?
Dear Janice,
You can try some on line salvage yards. Go through a Fleetwood parts store to see if they will supply it. What chassis is it? It could be a Ford or GM (Workhorse), part.

March 8, 2016 Carl of Lakeland, Florida writes regarding cruise control engaging but then increasing 1mph each minute

The cruise control engages but then surges ahead. Gains about 1 mph per minute.
Dear Carl,
You might want to contact Spartan. Somewhere around that period there was a recall on the cruise control.
There should be a sensitivity adjustment on the regulator if it was one of the effected units.

March 6, 2016 Tim of Cypress, California writes regarding needing dash board wiring harness for 1998 Dolpin with Chevy 454 and Workhorse chassis

Where can I find a dash board wire harness for my 1998 Dolphin, class A motorhome?
Dear Tim,
I have no idea. Workhorse and National both are out of business. Precision Sales and Service in Birmingham, Alabama is the best known source of parts and information I have for Workhorse chassis.

March 5, 2016 Greg of Albuqueque, New Mexico writes regarding problems with accelerator pedal in 1994 40′ Monaco Executive

My accelerator pedal sometimes does not transmit to the engine and it goes to stop position sometimes it works, if I operate it manually at the engine it works fine. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. What could it be?
Dear Greg,
The air pressure regulator to it. It has an air activated unit so it won’t accelerate until it has at least 60 psi of air pressure.
That should get you to the right place to start troubleshooting.

March 5, 2016 Daryl of Zanesville, Ohio writes regarding amount of air pressure to use in air bags under 1995 34′ Georgie Boy

How much air pressure do I put in the air bags under my motorhome? I know it can hold up to 100lbs right now their at 75lbs.
Dear Daryl,
It’s personal preference between 15-100 psi; wherever it feels best to you. If you change the air pressure, you can change pressure from side to side as well, until it feels best to you.

March 4, 2016 Duane of Crystal Falls, Michigan writes regarding not able to start 1999 Fleetwood Discovery on Freightliner chassis

Cranked but didn’t start. Turned off key, continued to crank until batteries died. Pulled starting batteries to charge (had frost on sides). Both 6V batts were frozen and split. Charged starting batteries for days in house had 14+V each. Installed new house batteries and the recharged starting batteries. NOTHING! No crank, no wait to start light.
AUX start doesn’t work either. Checked all fuses I could find, swapped relays in chassis fuse panel.
Cleaned terminals on electric components under motor home and battery compartment. Physically unable to get at starter/solenoid connections. Had start batteries load tested-failed-replaced-charged in house over night-installed-NOTHING-no wait to start light-no crank-no solenoid click.
Shorted two larger terminals on a component under motor home (slave solenoid?) Heard solenoid-cranked and cranked but no start. Still no AUX start.
Other things I noticed: light on jacks down panel momentarily flashes and goes out; no lights on shift panel; ignition switch crank position does NOTHING; stovetop isn’t getting propane (propane generator runs); tail lights are on when key in start (light switch off) normal? Sorry I can’t identify the components because I have no clue what they are so I just cleaned them all and used dielectric grease on them. Things like radio, wipers, rear view camera, heater etc all work.
ALT=”answer”> Dear Duane,
Sounds like you’re dealing with a few different problems.
But you will need to locate all fuse panels.
Check your ECM fuses, transmission fuses, possibly an inline fuse for ignition (in battery box).
Hopefully that will get you started and maybe more things will seem normal.
The parts are too expensive to just start changing shift modules, etc. So, a Freightliner shop could save you some money.

March 4, 2016 Doug of Tullahoma, Tennessee writes regarding fuel gauge not working and temperature gauge not working correctly in 1997 Fleetwood Discovery with Cummins engine on Freightliner chassis

My fuel guage does not work and temp guage doesn’t read properly. Replaced sending units with no help. Need to repair or replace cluster but can’t find replacement or repair shop.
Dear Doug,
Contact Fleetwwod’s parts; they can help. If you don’t have their number you can find it on RV Advice Manufacturers page within our site.

March 2, 2016 Lester of Mobile, Alabama writes regarding finding relay for windshield wipers in 38′ Cruisemaster of Freightliner chassis

Where can I find a relay for windshield wipers?
Dear Lester,
That should be a Freightliner part. Check with your closest Freightliner parts or call Freightliner’s 24/7 Custom Chassis Customer service line.

February 28, 2016 Martin of Hearne, Texas writes regarding location of water resorvoir in 2004 Newmar Kountry Star with Freightliner chassis

Low water light in dash coming on and off need to know where the resorvoir is located and is this for the windshield or the engine water?
Dear Martin,
The light is for the engine. The reserve tank should be in view when you’re looking at the radiator. If not, follow the hoses.

February 24, 2016 John of Macon, Georgia writes regarding location of emergency gas shut off switch and fuse in 1999 Pace Arrow with Ford V-10

Location of emergency gas shut off switch; also fuse location.
Dear John,
Look under the dash near the floor line on the steering column support near ECM or on the firewall close by.
The fuse should in in the fuse panel, also in the same location.

February 21, 2016 Terry of Minco, Oklahoma writes regarding location of engine diagnostic plug in Ford 460 in 1996 Fleetwood Bounder

Where is the engine diagnostic plug in for the engine check light?
Dear Terry, Look under the dog house next to the radiator, driver’s side, by the start solenoid; or possibly located on the steering column support bracket under the dash.

February 20, 2016 Douglas of Dahlonegag, Georgia writes regarding switching out exterior lights to LED

How do I go about switching my tail light/brake lights to LED ?
 Dear Douglas,
Buy the new lights and switch them out; the existing wiring will work.

February 14, 2016 Jimmy of San Angelo, Texas writes regarding front end sitting low on newly purchased 1996 Fleetwood Bounder with Chevy chassis

I purchased this rig used and the front end looks like it is sitting too low while the rear end sits up quite high. I have looked through the manual to see if there is any mention of air shocks or air bags and can’t find any references to any.I looked under the front cowling to see if I say anything that resembled an air pump but nothing.
 Dear Jimmy,
There is a procedure for checking the ride height. You might want to check the ride height on the front axle and go from there to see if it’s sitting normal or if the springs are bad.

February 10, 2016 Paul of Pottstown, Pennsylvania writes regarding hooking up trailer brakes to 1996 class C Jamboree on Ford chassis

I am looking to hook up trailer brakes. I have the controller plugged in and it has power. What I need to know is where the blue wire from the trucks wire harness is located so I can hook up the plug at the hitch.
 Dear Paul,
Look where the main wiring harness running down the frame rail terminates at the rear near the end of the frame rails. You should find the wires tied up there if they are not run in the main harness. You might have to separate the plug to locate the wire.

February 8, 2016 Bill of Ocala, Florida writes regarding location of fuse panel for interior lights in 1996 Holiday Rambler Endeavor

Ford 460 engine, the front interior lights under cabinets and two ceiling lights and outside door light don’t work.
Where are the fuses for these 12 volts lights? All other lights in coach work.
 Dear Bill,
Holiday is good about putting fuse panels in bedroom closets. The front light under cabinet might actually be in the chassis panel as “dome light” fuse.

February 8, 2016 Charles of Colton, Oregon writes regarding rear view camera coming on in 2003 Western RV Alpine with Peak chassis when brake is applied

When applying the foot brake the rear view camera monitor comes on. Also, the head lights and clearance lights will come on while parked with all switches off. This is prevented by putting the driving light switch on.
 Dear Charlee,
Check your exterior lights. You’re getting feed back through the bulbs tying different circuits together. You could possibly have a bad head light switch also.

February 5, 2016 Karen of Riverview, Florida writes regarding problems starting 1997 36′ class A National Dolphin with Chevy 454

I’m having difficulty starting up my RV, it is not the battery as I have had it tested and all levels are where they should be. When I turn the key the engine won’t turn over, just gives a cranking sound. I had the fuel hose replaced due to leaking last year. I typically start it up monthly as it is in storage, but now it won’t start.
I’m wondering if it is my fuel filter, fuel pump or starter that is causing the problem or a fuse. Please help as I’m trying to sell my RV.
 Dear Karen,
Sounds like you need a mechanic. It’s not the starter because you say it’s cranking.
You can check all the fuses under the dash and hood. You might try starting fluid to see if it’s a fuel problem.

February 2, 2016 Larry of Carlisle, Iowa writes regarding 1998 Pace Arrow not charging house batteries while traveling

Our house batteries do not charge while traveling.
 Dear Larry,
It’s probably a bad battery isolator located on the fire wall outside; normally above the radiator, right of center.

February 1, 2016 Joe of The Villages, Florida writes regarding horn not working in 2008 Winnebago Vista with Ford chassis

Horn doesn’t work and slide out left front does move.
 ALT=”answer”> Dear Joe,
Check the fuse for your horn, horn relay, horn itself and possibly horn button.
I don’t understand the reference to the slide out.

January 31, 2016 Jon of Brea, California writes regarding problems with intermittent speedometer in 2008 Winnebago with Ford V-10

Sometimes the odometer light that shows the reading is not on. It works because another time it comes on and the correct mileage is shown.
 Dear Jon,
There is a problem in the cluster. You will need a speed-o shop to fix it, or you can replace it with a new one.

January 27, 2016 Larry of Traverse City, Michigan writes regarding service transmission light coming on in 1995 Winnebago Vectra on Oshkosh chassis

The service transmission light came on. It’s only been about 1,000 miles since oil and filter were changed. Oil level is good how to reset?
 Dear Larry,
Well did you change the engine oil or the transmission fluid? Could it be running hot?
I would have the transmission module scanned for trouble codes. If there is a reset they can do it at the same time.
Are you sure it’s an Oshkosh chassis or on a Freightliner chassis?

January 27, 2016 Paul of Connecticut writes regarding gauges going dead while driving 2006 Damon Intruder with Ford V10

All my gauges go dead while driving except turn signal lights; the gauges come back when at a stop. Twenty mile per hour seems to be when they go out.
 Dear Paul,
I suspect a problem with the instrument cluster. It’s also possible the alternator could be putting out too much AC voltage knocking out the cluster.

January 24, 2016 Jerry of Westport, New York writes regarding towing 2006 Honda Accord automatic four wheels down

Can this be towed w/o damage to transmission?
 Dear Jerry,
You should be able to, yes. I believe 2006 was the last year Honda recognized towing it four wheels down.

January 23, 2016 Harold of Eaton, Georgia writes regarding loose steering on 2008 Gulf Stream Yellowstone on Freightliner chassis with 300 hp Cummins

The steering is too loose which requires too many adjustments as you drive. This model is a diesel puller. Does any tightening of the steering have to be done by Freightliner?
 Dear Harold,
No, but after market sway bars will make a world of difference.

January 22, 2016 Steve of Woodstock, Georgia writes regarding turning key 50+ times before engine will turn over in 1997 Winnebago class A with Ford 460

Replaced starter, battery, cleaned all connections. Have to turn key many times before engine will turn over. May turn key 50 times before engine turns over; other times may start first time. No pattern that I can find. Makes no difference if in park or neutral.
 Dear Ellis,
Check the start solenoid, not the one on the starter.

January 21, 2016 Austin of Norman, Oklahoma writes regarding auto park brake engaging while driving 34′ 1997 Fleetwood Bounder with Chevy chassis

On a 1997 Fleetwood Bounder, what would cause auto park to engage while driving?
 Dear Austin,
A bad switch, low hydraulic pressure.

January 20, 2016 Derrick of Monroe, Georgia writes regarding which fuses are for fans and storage compartment lights in 1997 Four Winds with Ford chassis

Which fuse is for the overhead fans and storage compartment light on my 1997 Ford chassis Four Winds class A motor home? All storage compartment lights don’t work and the passenger and driver overhead fans won’t work.
 Dear Derrick,
Look in the coach 12 volt panel. The over head fans could be tied nto the 12 volt chassis fuse panel under the dash.

January 20, 2016 Gary of Birmingham, United Kingdom SHOUTS regarding how to reset service engine light on 2000 Damon Intruder with Ford chassis

 Dear Gary,
It’s not really a service light, but a check engine light. You need to have the ECM scanned for trouble codes to see why the check engine light came on and to clear the codes to reset the lights.

January 19, 2016 David of Milford, Massachusetts writes regarding problems with no turn signals, flasher or brake lights with 1996 class A FourWinds Hurricane with Ford 460

The motorhome has no turn signals, no flashers and no brake lights. But the middle third brake light does work. Any information in regards to this problem would be very helpful.
 Dear David,
First, check the fuses and the wiring to see if you’re getting a signal to the back. Then check the turn signal switch. It’s actually not a big job to replace on that unit.

January 18, 2016 Gail of Canty, Massachusetts writes regarding why is Ford engine stalling when backing up and engine “bucking” while driving 1995 Damon Challenger

We have replaced many parts of the engine. But when we put it in reverse it stalls out. And at times while driving it “bucks”. It sat from 2004 and it only has 32,597 miles What would cause these issues?
 Dear Gail,
A dirty fuel system, you might have to start at the fuel tank and work forward.

January 17, 2016 Charles of Mifflinville, Pennsylvania writes regarding wanting to pull radiator out on 2004 40′ Sportscoach with Catepillar engine and Freightlinger chassis

I want to pull the radiator to do some preventative maintenance. Belts, hoses, fan and pulley bearings etc. I need all the help I can get. Info and pics. would be a great help.
 Dear Charles,
You might find some information through Freightliner’s customer service 24/7 information line.

January 15, 2016 Kenneth of Lansdale, Pennsylvania writes regarding what size chassis battery they should purchase for their 1998 38′ Newmar Kountry Star, chassis not stated

We just brought this used RV and it won’t start without a jump. We need to know what size battery should be in the front of RV. There is a car battery in the front of this big RV, we think they switched the battery. We brought a new big battery for the back battery.
 Dear Kenneth,
I am guessing on what chassis you have, but I am assuming when you say “battery in front”. I would recommend about a 750 cold cranking amps starting battery.

January 13, 2016 Truette of Albany, Louisiana writes regarding slide out room not retracting in 1999 National Tropical

I have a 12 volt type slideout. Slideout will go out fine. Will not retract, someone has to push while turning key. Checked seals, alignment and obstruction. all look okay, can you help?
 Dear Truette,
You will have to do some trouble shooting and see if the motor is too weak, or maybe a shear pin busted, or even low voltage to the motor.

January 10, 2016 Steward of Easley, South Carolina writes regarding engine shutting down after changing fuel filter in 2000 HR Imperial 40′ with Cummins 350 engine

I just changed a fuel filter as per instructed in the owners manual. The engine started immediately but shut off in about 10 seconds. I tried to restart but the starter does not engage. It’s as though the battery is dead. I checked the batteries and that is not the problem.
Where should I look next?
 Dear Steward,
Starter. Make sure you have good voltage at the starter and see if you’re getting power to the ignition wire at the solenoid when you turn the key to crank.

January 10, 2016 Ashleigh of Columbus, Georgia writes regarding not being able to find brake fluid reservoir in 2001 class A Damon Daybreak on Workhorse chassis

I’m having trouble finding where to check my brake fluid. My brakes require me to apply force when coming to a stop. The ABS light hasn’t came on, nor do the brakes feel soft, nor stick. Any suggestions?
 Dear Ashleigh,
Brake fluid reservoir is probably out on the exterior of the fire wall. You might want to check for rust restricting the calipers.

January 7, 2016 Bob of Las Vegas, Nevada writes regarding dead 1999 40′ American Tradition diesel with Spartan chassis

Attempting to start the motor home produces nothing. Turn the key to on and all is normal. Turn to start and nothing. Not even a click from the starter. Batteries new. Have 12vdc available at starter.Suspect bad starter relay. Can you provide a location (it needs to be pretty exact for this novice), and part number for the relay?
 Dear Bob,
I would start by testing the starter. Use a test light on the small terminal on the starter solenoid (on starter). If the test light lights up when the key is turned, replace the starter.

January 6, 2016 Peggy of Pocomoke, Maryland writes regarding how to reset door entrance combination on 2007 Newmar

How can I reset the door entrance combination. The number two does not work.
 Dear Peggy,
Call Newmar tech service if you can’t find anything in your owner’s packet to trouble shoot or contact the manufacturer of the lock.

January 5, 2016 Thomas of Goodyear, Arizona writes regarding looking for fuse location schematics for 1995 Newmar Mountain Aire with Ford 460

I am looking for schematic of all fuse locations for coach and chasis and description of items on each fused circuit.
 Dear Thomas,
I suggest a Ford service manual and call Newmar’s customer service to see if they can assist you with the coach fuses.

January 5, 2016 Calvin of Raleigh, North Carolina writes regarding problems with brakes in 2003 Newmar Country Star, even after brake recall was done

I don’t have enough brakes. Done recall; rotors were cracked at that time.
Every time I get in the mountains, brakes get hot and have had hydraulic back up come on leaving virtually no brakes. I’ve been lucky so far.
Is there anything out there such as larger rotors and better calipers as I am facing total replacement. Cost of engine brake and install.
 Dear Calvin,
I have been told you can use the calipers and brake pads and rotors that Holiday Rambler used on the Roadmaster chassis for the HR Neptune, etc., in 2003.

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