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Old 08-05-2013, 07:23 PM   #1
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Question RV Will Not Start

I have a 2001 Winn Brave 32 ft. When I turn the key to start the rv, the it is dead, kind of similar to when you have a dead battery on a car. However, most everything powered by the batteries works, except for the instrument cluster (speedometer, oil pressure, temp, etc) and the steps will not retract when ignition is in the on position and the door is closed. A/c fan, radio, power mirrors, head lights, leveling system all work. When I turn the key completely, I hear what I think is the battery disconnect relay/solenoid, but engine does not turn over. Basically, no engine start, no instrument cluster, no retractable steps. Also, the gen cranks fine. Pretty sure it is not batteries. Thinking the first place to check is the ignition switch. Any ideas on where to look and how best to troubleshoot? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide as I am extremely new to RVing.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:31 PM   #2
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Welcome to irv2.
Sounds like its your starting battery is dead or you have a poor battery cable connection possibly the negative cable to chassis frame, the Gen starts off your house batteries and you should have a boost button on dash to connect the house batteries across the chassis battery and start you coach.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:38 PM   #3
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The boost from house batteries has no affect. Also, I tried jump starting with no affect.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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I had an 01 Winn and the inverter did not charge the chassis battery. When I didn't use it for a few months even the aux battery switch didn't help as it was too dead. Try getting a boost.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:48 PM   #5
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I don't think the batteries are dead as most everything works, except their appears to be no power going to the instrument cluster or the power step when the ignition is on.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:50 PM   #6
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How long did it sit ?
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:52 PM   #7
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How are the connections on the battery? IE - any crust? A battery could be fine, but you can't power up main current items. It's a little concerning that this includes your instrument cluster, which means the main feed to the power distribution box isn't getting enough currently. I'd start by removing and cleaning both battery cables. There should be a fairly fat red wire attached just after the battery somehow, usually screw down - you'll want to unscrew this can clean it too if it looks oxidized.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:53 PM   #8
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All that is not working up front is your chassis engine battery powered.
You have a meter to read voltage, you have checked battery cable connections both positive to battery and negative on battery and chassis frame need to be tight and clean.
We are having you check the simple things the other could be ignition switch and other problems.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:57 PM   #9
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Just a wild guess, but a faulty ground connection from your starter solenoid to ground, can give wild and unpredictable results. And easy enough to clean and secure.

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Old 08-05-2013, 08:09 PM   #10
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Another thing is that I had just driven it about 20 miles, parked it, then came back an hour later and it would not start. While I was driving it, the emergency brake relay stayed on due to low fluid level. I filled and that problem went away. As soon as I parked it, this new problem started. I guess there could be a loose ground somewhere from the vibration driving down the road???
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:53 AM   #11
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Yep, I'd say you have a loose connection somewhere. I would clean and tighten all the connections including the ones at your starter relay and starter and the battery posts. If you do that and still have the problem then you can proceed from there by checking voltage at the starter relay, starter, etc.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:29 PM   #12
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It is probably the starter solenoid. Ford put it under the doghouse cover, way up front on left side. Get a Ford solenoid and replace it. Not easy to get at, but you can do it with a little effort.. This solenoid is separate from all the others mounted outside on the firewall.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tar Heel RV View Post
Another thing is that I had just driven it about 20 miles, parked it, then came back an hour later and it would not start. While I was driving it, the emergency brake relay stayed on due to low fluid level. I filled and that problem went away. As soon as I parked it, this new problem started. I guess there could be a loose ground somewhere from the vibration driving down the road???
What about the headlights?

The engine, head and tail lights, and steps are usually on the chassis battery. If they are all not working, then the battery is dead or not connected properly. The chassis battery could have died or become disconnected during your trip, with the engine running on the alternator power.

If the chassis battery is totally dead, then it is like a black hole, so jump-starting or using the Aux Start from the House batteries will do no good.

Test the chassis battery at the terminals to see if it has any voltage. If it is dead - replace it, then have a charging system check done to see why it died.
If it shows at least 12Volts, then there is a connection problem.

Best of luck
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:16 PM   #14
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Could be starter brushes, can you safely get under it and Hit the side of starter while someone holds key in start position??
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