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Old 07-25-2016, 08:22 PM   #1
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1997 Holiday Rambler Imperial Night lights, air horns, and stereo's oh my

Good evening everyone,

My wife and I recently purchased our first RV. It is a 1997 HRI and we are way excited about having it. I am the type that wants to try and get everything working and have run into a problem.

There is a switch on the dash and in the back bedroom labeled night lights. I have NO IDEA which lights these are supposed to turn on, but it is set up like a 3 way switch, and pops the 7.5 amp fuse each time I turn on either switch. If I knew which lights were supposed to be getting turned on, I would start my search for a short at those locations.....any ideas? It seems as if I have checked all interior lights I can find and made them turn on with other switches, so feel like it might be an outdoor light?

Also, on a different note, but possibly related. The air horn switch to the big mamba jamba horns does not seem to be making them blow. The horns seem to be mounted through the fiberglass roof and there for don't appear to be easy to remove to look at from above. Any thoughts on those?

Lastly, the stereo won't power on at all I have check all fuses I can find related to that. Seem like the deck completely died...never had that happen to me before and I used to swap out car stereos like they were going out of style back in the day. Do you think these could all be related or are they most likely different problems?

I am also going to shop for a 3 camera system for backing up and changing lanes.....what is the preferred route for the cables needed to run the cameras?

Thanks,
Tyler
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:32 PM   #2
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Different problems probably.

Check under the toe kick of the cabinets, the night lights may be mounted rope light along the bottom.

The air horn probably has a solenoid type valve. Mine is mounted behind the overhead cabinets. Not easy to get to. The valve relies on air pressure and a power source for the horns to blow. There may be a fuse that is blown or the solenoid itself. Also, check the horn itself to make sure something hasn't built a nest in it.

There may be an inline fuse installed behind the radio. My radio also has a fuse in the back of it. I had 2 radios fail so that may be the problem also.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:47 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, nd congrats on your new to you coach.
Your air horn may have a switch on the dash to shut it off. My Imperial has one and it is a nice option to keep the dog from honking the horn. There are also fuses in the electrical bay.

The lights are probably on the kick of your kitchen and bath cabinets like said above.

The radio I would pull and check if there is power to it, if not then it is probably a fuse.
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:47 AM   #4
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Rock on. Thanks for the advice. Round two of troubleshooting will begin after work today and I will let you know how it goes.

Thanks all....
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Old 07-26-2016, 07:40 AM   #5
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Rock on. Thanks for the advice. Round two of troubleshooting will begin after work today and I will let you know how it goes.

Thanks all....
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:25 PM   #6
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MixedupHRI wrote
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I am also going to shop for a 3 camera system for backing up and changing lanes.....what is the preferred route for the cables needed to run the cameras?
If you already have a rear view camera, you may be able to reuse the factory cable with adapters. That factory cable is probably run through the roof, and can not be used to pull a new cable.

If you do not have a rear view camera, the easy route is:
(1) mount camera on rear cap, and drop the wire down the open gap between the rear cap shell and the back wall of the motorhome
(2) affix the wire to the frame carefully so that it does not rub or suffer from heat damage.
(3) at the front, bring the cable up into the underdash area.

The side cameras are easy. The wire runs under the dash to the side of the coach, through a hole you've drilled in the side wall and that hole is covered with the mount of the camera.

Some considerations from my experience.
1. Consider a tilt/pan rear camera, or mount two cameras (one for close up view of toad and one for view of traffic)
2. Experiment with the location of the side cameras until you find the proper location for the view you want. A liberal amount of masking tape will hold that small camera in place for a test.
3. If possible, buy CCD type cameras instead of CMOS types. You can go cheap on the monitor (7 inch color is under $30) but don't go too cheap on the cameras.

To download a file that shows my installation, go to the files section here on IRV2 - Electrical and look for the title Rear View Cameras (2) and Monitor Install. The link below will get you to the files section.
http://www.irv2.com/forums/downloads.php?do=cat&id=5

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Old 07-28-2016, 08:11 AM   #7
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Update

First, thanks for all of the help and advice, it is all very much appreciated. Second....here are my updates:

Night lights: Traced the wires behind the kitchen sink drawers to find an old mouse nest and wires chewed through.....and touching. Removed bad wires cut out old lights and have new led strip lights coming in tomorrow.

Stereo: found that the 12v that should be on all the time ( usually you need 12v always on and 12v switchable/ignition) was not working. Did a temporary test running bot 12v wires on the switchable source and the stereo powered on, but only the two back bedroom speakers worked. There are two cube speakers mounted in the front and an additional Speaker mounted in the side of a couch. Could not get them working. There is a separate media/theater switch that I can turn on or off (separate from the stereo power switch) and that media switch does not seem to do anything. There is an amp mounted behind the head unit I need to look at to see if it has a separate fuse.

My question is.....do these rvs usually have all speakers running off of the head unit all the time or am I supposed to be turning on the theater switch to get more than the back 2 running? New stereo is on the way.....this Sony tape player won't cut the mustard and it might be easier for me to start fresh with the install. I would love to know what the theater switch is supposed to be doing for me.....tvs vxr/DVD function with that switch on or off....

Horn: The switch for the air horn is not really a switch nut more like the contact point to honk the horn. You press it down and it pops back up when you let go.....like the generator switch. I have not checked voltages because I can't access the back of the contact.

At this point I have only found the fuse box and breaker box inside the rv near the back. Any ideas on if there is a no there location hidden somewhere? I have done a decent search of the outside compartments and didn't find anything.

Lastly I had to buy some black dash plastic and make a new fsce plate to house all of the switches and stereo......seems like someone else has done a lot of troubleshooting in this area and trashed the original one till it fell apart. Can't believe you don't have the ability to just call up the dealer and order a new one! A big eye opener and a bit of anxiety set in finding that out.

Also ordered an back up camera and will expand to two if the one works ok......I think I am going to stick with the side mirrors for now
..should be good enough to tell me if someone is on the side or not right?

Thanks again.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:22 AM   #8
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At this point I have only found the fuse box and breaker box inside the rv near the back. Any ideas on if there is a no there location hidden somewhere? I have done a decent search of the outside compartments and didn't find anything.
The air horn is chassis related. The chassis will have it's own fuses and breakers. Yours being diesel, i'm not sure but on my gas, one of the fuse panels is in the dash.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:51 AM   #9
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Thanks...will climb under there tonight.
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:05 AM   #10
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I found the other fuse box and good news/bad news is all appear to be good.

So still no idea on why the highway horns are not working. Not sure where to find the guts of what makes them blow.......or not blow in this case.

Car stereo troubleshooting is nearing an end. All 4 channels out from deck are working but I only get two of the 5 channels working once it goes into the AMP. Verified the wires to the other channels are intact by bypassing the amp and at this point I am assuming the amp has gone belly up. No fuses to replace on it.....so not sure what to do.

I have a new stereo on the way. I was going to run the deck straight to the 4 speakers then run the sub out to a mono amplifier to power the 5th speaker. Any thoughts on if that is a bad idea?

Thanks,
Tyler
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Old 07-29-2016, 06:59 PM   #11
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I had the exact same motorhome and have lots of info on it. Send me a private message along with an email address and I can send you wiring diagrams as well as a bunch of other stuff. Loved my imperial.
Steve
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:01 PM   #12
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Our is the same year, but a different model, so there may be similarities.

Regarding the horn, the solenoid is mounted under the hood, top center. Additionally, there's a switch over near the transmission control marked town/country. In the country position, the air horns blow. On city, a pair of much smaller electrics under the hood blow (rarely selected).

Regarding front/rear speakers, our radio has both a balance control for side to side, AND a fader control for front to rear. While on the radio, many coaches have their radios set up on a switch that controls the power source they run on. In one position the radio is switched on and off with the ignition switch. The other position runs it off the AUX batteries, and is always on. Regarding the wire that stays on to hold the radio's memory - if the coach is going to be sitting for longer periods of time, you want to keep in mind this wire IS capable of pulling an entire battery bank down over a few months. Be careful where/when it gets it's power....

Congrats on the new coach!
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:10 AM   #13
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You all rock! Thanks you for all the info. Excited to get this all squared away and on to our first family road trip!
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