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Old 01-26-2017, 10:55 PM   #1
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Didn't start my '97 Southwind Storm for 2 months!

I did something really stupid, and let my rv sit for 2 1/2 months before I turned it on. I know better, but I was busy and distracted and lost track of time in a big way. So when I went to turn it on recently and...
Nothing happened. At all. Starter didn't make a peep, or anything. Just silence. No reaction at all from the engine. I know, shocking, right? Now I need to figure out what may be wrong with the ford super-duty class a motorhome engine on a '97 fleetwood southwind storm.
First, I'm going to charge all 3 batteries, then try again. If it isn't the batteries, does anyone know what it could be?
Thank you for your help. I'm really broke and I cant afford a qualified mechanic (except as last resort) So I'd really like to figure it out myself, with help from this site.
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Old 01-26-2017, 11:47 PM   #2
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Check batteries for charge should be 12v or more. If no voltage on chassis batteries check coach batteries. If charged use the battery boost switch to start engine. If no voltage check all battery terminals (clean/tight) plug into shore power and let charge. Check battery water if low add H2O also. Lots of things you can check such as ensuring the chassis batteries are turned on...simple thing but if off she won't crank.
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:34 AM   #3
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Batteries most likely are run down. Check them with a voltmeter. Check for water if the house batteries are wet cell. Put a battery charger on the chassis battery to get it started. Then turn attention to the house batteries.
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanarchy View Post
I did something really stupid, and let my rv sit for 2 1/2 months before I turned it on. I know better, but I was busy and distracted and lost track of time in a big way. So when I went to turn it on recently and...
Nothing happened. At all. Starter didn't make a peep, or anything. Just silence. No reaction at all from the engine. I know, shocking, right? Now I need to figure out what may be wrong with the ford super-duty class a motorhome engine on a '97 fleetwood southwind storm.
First, I'm going to charge all 3 batteries, then try again. If it isn't the batteries, does anyone know what it could be?
Thank you for your help. I'm really broke and I cant afford a qualified mechanic (except as last resort) So I'd really like to figure it out myself, with help from this site.

x2 what Phil and Vince said

If/when batteries are fully charged and cable connections at battery are clean and tight:

If lights on dash work, headlights, radio, etc., but no starter turning check connections at starter and starter.

If still no lights, etc. check fuses.
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Old 01-27-2017, 05:29 AM   #5
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You did not mention trying the auxillary start switch. It is on the far left of the dash, it connects all three batteries for supplemental starting power. If the chassis battery has crapped out it should start the motor.

Hold the switch in, you should hear a click, try starting while holding the aux switch in.
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Old 01-27-2017, 08:01 PM   #6
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There is nothing stupid about leaving a motorhome for 2 1/2 months without starting it. Your only error was not ensuring that either the batteries had a trickle charger connected OR were fully charged then disconnected.

Many (most?) people leave there rigs parked (stored) without starting. In fact, just starting and idling does more damage than not starting. IF you are going to start the rig once a month you need to drive it normally for about an hour to get EVERYTHING up to temperature to drive out any moisture.

Two years ago we did not go to Mexico for the winter and parked it at home. In the spring it started instantly. In Mexico we are usually parked here for at least three months. Start it up at the end of February and off we go. Over 100,000 miles on the rig.
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:10 PM   #7
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I agree on what others have said. We don't start our Bounder after we put it to bed in November until April or even May comes around. Never once had an issue with it starting up just fine. So it's not just the fact you didn't start it. It's something else.

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Old 01-28-2017, 10:35 AM   #8
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I'll try not to be redundant. As well stated, not starting it for even 5-6 months is not a problem. Our past 2011 Fleetwood Storm would winter outside in Northern Ohio winter, October to April never started. The first two years it fired right off, at the start of the second season just like you.... nothing.
The weakened 3 year old battery failed to hold a charge, no power source nearby, I had topped off the water and gave it a full charge prior to hibernation. As I suspected it it's weakened state it was frozen solid. Rather than let it thaw and attempt a charge, bought a new one from Costco, $110.00 with tax.

So.... remove the caps and make sure it isn't frozen before attempting a jump start, or you may end up with battery shrapnel. Sounds like you know it's time to replace.
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Old 01-28-2017, 04:56 PM   #9
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I let my 1994 Pacearrow with a 454 sit for almost two years without starting.
Put batteries back in and started right up and never had a problem with it.
Check batteries
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Old 01-28-2017, 05:46 PM   #10
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You may try the battery switch ,toggle type switch near door-Mine had to be turned on & off about a dozen times then I heard it click and motor started right up-you did not say if you turned that toggle switch off though-If batteries show charge I bet the toggle switch just needs a good cleaning-Rich
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Old 01-28-2017, 10:40 PM   #11
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Turn the ignition key to the run position. Does the volt meter show 12 volts? If not you have a dead or low battery or a connection problem somewhere.
A volt meter placed across the battery terminals should read 12 or more volts. If not you have a dead or low battery.
If you have a battery charger hook it up and let the battery charge on low for a few minutes before changing it to high charge rate. After the battery has charged for a while turn the key back on to run position. Now do you have 12 volts on the dash volt meter? If so try starting the engine. If the engine starts the battery was dead before you charged it. Either drive the MH to a parts store which will test the battery for you or remove the battery and take it to the parts store for a test.
If the battery tests bad it is replacement time. If the battery tests good there may be a drain somewhere in the electrical system or something may have been left on while the unit was left sitting.
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