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Old 08-23-2019, 09:40 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2019
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1999 Bounder Starting Issues

Hey guys,

I recently purchased my first RV, a 1999 fleetwood bounder 34v with 43k miles. I have been having issues starting it. I searched the forum and didnt see any issues exactly like mine.

When i go to start it, it wouldn't start. The rado has power, the ac mtor runs, and the running lights worked, but the engine wouldnt turn over.
If i held the aux start button, sometimes it would start.
I had an rv guy come to the house and he said its a starter issue. ($80 service call charge) he was able to start it my turning the key back and forth between the run and start positions. He said the starter is getting locked up and using the aux start was able to give it enough juice to turn over.

I changed the starter last night, and it's doing the exact same thing. It only starts when i turn the switch back and forth between run and start until it cranks over.

Any thoughts on what this is? I think i will change the starter solenoid out to see if that helps, as its only $21 to replace, and its accessible via the wheel well.


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Old 08-23-2019, 10:02 AM   #2
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Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 6,195
Verify the battery connects are clean and tight.

When you turn the key to the START position and nothing happens, do this..

Continue to hold the key in the START position, and then wiggle the gear shift lever. This will tell you if its a gear position switch.

When you replace the solenoid in the wheel well, look carefully at the connectors and wires. This is a very bad location with a lot of debris and salts that can corrode or break connectors or wires.

Change out the ignition switch. Its about $15 at Rock Auto

F53 – Replace ignition switch – 1999 Southwind 35S


1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10 275hp 4R100 4 spd trans) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:55 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Buxton, North Dakota
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Probably the starter relay. It is near the firewall on the passenger side.
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G F53/ V10 605 watts of Solar
1999 Winnebago Brave 35C F53V10 Handicap Equipped
1999 Jeep Cherokee, 1991 Jeep Wrangler Renegade and 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Diesel
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:07 PM   #4
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i will try the gearshift when i get home from work. i am also going to pick up an ignition switch and starter solenoid. (ive also seen it called a starter relay).

Ill post an update after i install them.
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:13 PM   #5
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i got it working, but it took a bunch of steps.

i tried the gearshift trick, and it didnt make a difference.
i replaced the ignition switch, and i noticed that afterwards i couldnt get it to crank at all.
I shorted out the terminals on the solenoid switch (mounted to the frame on the passenger side, but the front tire) and the starter would crank.
i metered the ignition wire and i got 14v. (but i later found out that it dropped down to 0 if i waited a few seconds)
i went out and got a new solenoid switch at autozone.
replaced it, and it still didnt start. (this is when i realized the ignition wire dropped down to 0v)
i put the old ignition switch back in, and i was getting 14v at the ignition wire when the key was cranked.
i put all the wires back in their places, and the rv started multiple times, with no issues.

so ultimately it was the solenoid switch. i should have used my meter earlier, but it seemed like more of an ignition switch issue.
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