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Old 07-25-2020, 02:57 PM   #1
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Electrical or just bad luck

Hello, it has been forever since I posted, but I have a question which I hope someone can answer.

I have a 2009 Winnebago Sightseer. I bought it a couple of years ago and have barely used it. I have had it in the shop almost since day one. I have had the rig not start, the stairs not retract and the leveler does not function and will scream at me relentlessly that the jacks are down when I know they are up.

Nobody seems to know what the problem is. I have replaced the coach battery and yet I just checked and the rig is dead again. I always make sure that the switches are in the off position. And even though the switch is off, the house battery is dead.

I have been able to barely function when using the rig but to be safe I am always plugged into shore power and I have to disconnect my coach battery if it is going to sit for a while...and by that, I mean more than a couple of weeks.

The shop seems to have fixed the stair issue and returned it thinking everything had been resolved but it hasnít been. While the stairs now retract, the jack leveler doesnít so I must constantly unplug it when I drive and then plug it in when I have to use the jacks. And even now, the panel is having problems.

After I got it back from the shop I saw that the overhead fans stopped working. Maybe they were disabled so the stairs would work? I do know that the stairs are not the original ones and wonder if the motor is draining the batteries and affecting the power to other sources such as the fans. The dash ac also stopped working, but I think that is perhaps an issue with the coach.

Needless to say, driving the rig in hot weather was not pleasant.

Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas on what the heck has been going on?

I have put more miles on this going back and forth to the shop then for fun.

Keeping my fingers crossed there is a Winnebago guru here who can help me.

Terry
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Old 07-25-2020, 03:06 PM   #2
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My coach has given me very few problems and I sympathize with your issues.

I've had to replace the two rear jacks very early in my ownership. I believe they were just a bad batch from HWH. They wouldn't come up all the way and I had to help them with a 2X4 board. Since replacing, I've had zero problems.

My stairs quit working last year and I had to just replace the stair motor (actually a power window motor from a Ford vehicle).

It almost sounds like a bad solenoid that's draining your batteries.

I can't help you with the dash A/C.
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Old 07-25-2020, 03:45 PM   #3
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Look for a better shop? Get a referral or use google for reviews.

These things have problems no doubt but a good shop can fix things if they are broken when you bring it in.
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:08 PM   #4
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A bad solenoid? But wouldn’t that have been resolved when I bought a new battery? I can put a trickle charger on it and it will start.
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:10 PM   #5
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Hi thanks for your reply. I have had the coach to two different shops plus have had it looked at by a mobile repair tech. Nobody seems to be able to figure it out. Do you know if the fans have a fuse associated with them?
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:08 AM   #6
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Which fans do you mean? The ones at the top of the windshield or the ceiling vent fans, all of which use 12v or the A/C fans which need 110v?
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:10 AM   #7
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Terry-

Let's start with something simple- the "defrost" fans over the dash.

Is your Sightseer built on a Ford or a Workhorse chassis? And, what model Sightseer is it?

If a Ford, the fuse for the "defrost" fans (and a lot else) is fuse #5 on the Ford fuse box that is inside the coach. It is a 10A fuse.

if a Workhorse, the fuse for the defrost fans (and a lot else) is fuse #E1 on the Workhorse fuse box that is inside the coach.

To find the interior fuse box for both the Ford and the Workhorse, look in the operator manual for your coach (link here), page 3-13 (that is page 39 of the PDF document). You'll see a picture there. The access panel is by the driver's left foot. The top of that panel should have a fuse box that looks like one of the two shown below.

Winnebago provides a wealth of information on your coach at this link:

Manuals and Diagrams

including wiring diagrams. The diagrams look difficult at first, but as they become familiar you can diagnose and fix many electrical problems in your coach.
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Old 07-26-2020, 11:09 PM   #8
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Hi George, sorry I was not clear. The windshield fans stopped working. I have no idea why but it happened right after I got it back from the shop. Then I noticed that I had no ac from the dash. It blows out air but it won’t blow out cold air. Coincidence? I wouldn’t have thought so but I am not sure. It had gone into the shop because the coach wouldn’t start. And the stairs would not retract. They said it was because a light in one of the compartments was left on and it drained the battery. I don’t think so. And neither did they because they charged everything up and the very next day it wouldn’t start again. I thought the stairs was drawing power continually and that was draining the battery. Anyway, they said they fixed everything and returned it to me. As soon as they dropped it off....it wouldn’t start. I bought a new battery and it started up. The stairs were working again but that is when I saw that the windshield fans were not working, the ac on the dash was not working and the jack leveler was always sounding an alarm even though the jacks were raised. I went out a bit ago to start the coach and it was dead. Both switches were turned off. The last time I got into the coach, which was a few months ago, everything started. There must be some kind of electrical drain. I am wondering if the switches could be bad. I’m at a loss.
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Old 07-26-2020, 11:15 PM   #9
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Hello Mark, thanks so much for the information. My manual never mentioned a fuse box near the foot. There are two panels inside the coach under the fridge and one panel in an exterior compartment. I will check the fuses but i don’t know if this is where a fuse to the windshield fans would be. I am assuming since you mentioned the fuse for the defrost that that is also the fuse for dash ac? I will look at the schematics. I did review wiring diagrams and you are right they are confusing but after I studied them they began to make sense. I just didn’t know what the codes meant, like “dy”. The coach has a Ford engine. This is a 2009 sightseer 37l ... Gas.

Terry
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Old 07-27-2020, 04:59 AM   #10
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Terry-

The picture below shows the interior chassis fuse and circuit breaker panel. I copied it from the 2009 Sightseer operator manual, page 3-13, for which I provided a link in my post #7. A quick look at the floor/wall to the left of the driver's seat should confirm if your coach has that panel. If it does, then the Ford fuse box is in the upper section of the panel.

By the way, there are two Ford fuse boxes on your coach. The first, called the "Power Distribution Box," is under the hood, above the radiator, attached to the firewall. The second, called the "Passenger Compartment Fuse Panel," is in the interior, attached to that Winnebago panel as shown in the picture below. You can download the Ford manual for your coach at this link. (You enter the model year of the chassis, then "Ford," then "F-53 Motorhome Chassis"). For a 2008 chassis, the manual is here, and for a 2009 chassis, the manual is here. The fuse sections of the manual starts on page 62 (for 2008) and page 69 (for 2009). Note: It's possible your 2009 coach is built on a 2008 chassis.

On to the wiring diagrams for your coach (link here). You may not have known it when you bought the coach, but 2009 was one of the last years Winnebago provided a full set of diagrams. You have two choices: Download the entire set as a "Complete Wiring Diagram Book (701674-78-022)," or download the diagrams individually. If the latter, you will need a copy of the Wiring Identification Guide, which is included in the book, to study the circuit designators, such as "DY." I call the Guide the "secret decoder ring," a term that gives away my age.

For the defrost fans, look at the Automotive Wiring Diagram.

1) Fans shown on sheet 1, zones D-20 and D-21. Circuits "LE" and "LF" are the 12V power circuits, "XW" the grounds, per the Guide:

Code:
CODE / COLOR    FROM:                                                         TO:
LD / 14 YEL     IGNITION SWITCH ACCESSORY POWER SOURCE                        GENERAL PURPOSE(AUX FANS,RELAY TRIGGER,ETC.)
LE / 14 YEL     AUXILIARY DEFROST FANS SWITCH  (HIGH SPEED)                   AUXILIARY DEFROST FANS (BLK)
LF / 14 YEL     AUXILIARY DEFROST FANS SWITCH  (LOW SPEED)                    AUXILIARY DEFROST FANS (RED)
XW / 14 WHT     IGNITION SWITCH ACCESSORY FEED RELAY CIRCUIT                  GROUND
2) "LE" and "LF" go to a 6-pin connector on the same sheet, zone D-19.
3) A note above the connector sends you to sheet 3, zone A-4.
4) On sheet 3, zone A-4 the DEFROST FANS SWITCH has three leads: "LD," "LE" and "LF." That means "LD" is the 12V input to the switch. And "LD" leads to the same 6-pin connector. So, off to sheet 1, zone D-19 again.
5) From the 6-pin connector, we follow "LD" down and to the right, and "up" until we find its source. Along the way, we see that "LD" feeds components, in addition to the defrost fans:
a) a 15-pin connector in zone A-18 (RADIO POWER SWITCH)
b) a 3-pin connector in zone D-11 (REAR MONITOR)
c) the POWER MIRRORS RELAY in zone A-10
d) a 3-pin connector in zone A-5 (HWH - possibly the jack system)

We finally find the source in zone D-2. It's a Ford 16-pin connector. The drawing says the function is ACCESSORY FEED #1 ACC & RUN.

... and finally, you will find that feed on the Ford Passenger Compartment Fuse Panel layout (links above), on fuse #5.

Since "LD" feeds many items, it is possible that if the fuse is blown, its replacement will cause other things besides the defrost fans to start working correctly again.

As I said in post #7, let's start with the fans and their fuse. If you can fix that, you can move onto the other problems that may remain.
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheMove2 View Post

1. I have had the rig not start, the stairs not retract and the leveler does not function and will scream at me relentlessly that the jacks are down when I know they are up.

2. I have replaced the coach battery and yet I just checked and the rig is dead again. I always make sure that the switches are in the off position. And even though the switch is off, the house battery is dead.


3. I am always plugged into shore power and I have to disconnect my coach battery if it is going to sit for a while...and by that, I mean more than a couple of weeks.

4. While the stairs now retract, the jack leveler doesnít so I must constantly unplug it when I drive and then plug it in when I have to use the jacks. And even now, the panel is having problems.

5. After I got it back from the shop I saw that the overhead fans stopped working. Maybe they were disabled so the stairs would work? I do know that the stairs are not the original ones and wonder if the motor is draining the batteries and affecting the power to other sources such as the fans. The dash ac also stopped working, but I think that is perhaps an issue with the coach.


Terry
1. The jacks have a sensor at the top that is made when the jacks are fully retracted. If the jacks are extended even 1/8" the sensor will give the controller the signal that the jacks are down. It doesn't know if they are fully extended of within 1/8" of full retraction.

You can try to extend the jacks, wipe them down with WD 40 to clean any grime off them, wipe them down and retract them to see if they will go to the full home position. If this works be sure to extend the jacks again and be certain all the WD 40 is cleaned off. It works good for removing debris, but if left on will attract more.

If this procedure fails try replacing the return springs with HD ones from HWH. Should that not cure the problem about the only recourse is to replace the offending jacks. We had to replace the return springs and rear jacks on our 2001 Adventurer.

2. It's possible that the batteries are not being charged while on shore power. To be sure start the engine and go to the "One Place" monitor station. Look at the charge on both the chassis and house batteries. They should both be in the 13.4 range while the engine is running if the alternator is working properly. If the chassis battery is reading in that range, and the house batteries are not you probably have a bad solenoid. We had to replace this solenoid on our 2001 Adventurer.

3. Also check the house batteries with the engine off and plugged into shore power. They should read in the 12.8 to 13.4 voltage range. If they are below that range either the charging solenoid or the converter/charger has failed. We had to replace the converter/charger on our 2013 Adventurer.

4. As for the stairs be sure to lube all pivot points on a regular basis. We had the stairs on our 2013 Adventurer refuse to retract after only 2 weeks of camping in Florida.

5. Since the coach is rarely used I would check for the possibility of mice, squirrels, or other rodents having set up house keeping in the engine compartment, or having chewed on one or more wiring harnesses. We had varmints chew through a wiring harness at the rear of our 2001 Adventurer. We were lucky in that the only things affected were the lights on the towed vehicle.
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Old 07-27-2020, 02:57 PM   #12
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So many things that seem t be unrelated makes me wonder if maybe a mouse or squirrel had lunch in your wiring harness.
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:37 PM   #13
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Did the dash ac work good before all this or was it weak? If it was weak my guess would be low freon charge.
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Old 07-31-2020, 03:29 PM   #14
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Wow Mark,

I read your message last night and then went to bed so I would have fresh eyes while reading it. LOL It made more sense to me, but so I could truly follow along with your logic (and thank you so much for the stealth work in pulling the threads on this) I printed both your message as well as the complete wiring diagram, yes all 189 pages. While I saved the entire document to my laptop, I went old school by printing them since A. My laptop has been known to fail on me and B. Sometimes I just understand things better when I have the actual pages in front of me.

I should have spotted the fuse box in the manual, can't believe I overlooked that. That being said, after crawling on my stomach to view the fuse box, since I have no battery power thus I could not move my chair back, I saw the panel there had fuses which did not appear to be pushed outside. Nonetheless, I pushed on each of them just to make sure.

So, I will be on to checking on the fuses under the hood. Thanks for that information. Good to know there is another place to check.

Yesterday I hooked up a trickle charge to the house batteries in the hope they will have charged overnight. I would plug them into my house but I think my surge protector is bad and don't want to have a problem with a surge. Of course, this might have also blown a fuse, it certainly destroyed a breaker inside the house. I had wanted to install an independent 50 amp breaker for the motorhome, but I live in the boonies and simply can not locate an electrician to come out and do this. But I digress. I will let you know if I find any blown fuses, but unless I can get the batteries charged, I won't be able to tell if replacing them will fix my problems. And thank you, yes I agree, one problem at a time.

This is my first motorhome (ha ha can you tell?). And being a 65 year old woman with zero electrical or mechanical experience, this is a jungle I am walking through and I have nothing with which to cut a path. But I am learning...with everyone's help and patience....thank goodness.
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