Inherited a 1989 Bounder

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Feb 24, 2013
My dad has recently passed away and my siblings and I have inherited his 1989 Bounder.  It was his pride and joy!
We are attempting to find out how to start the generator and the other items in the trailer so we can possibly sell it so it can be some else's pride & joy and hopefully it can be finally used to its full potential.

We drove it to Chambersburg, PA from York, PA and it rode nicely though there was no heat???  Once we got the RV 'home' we attempted to start the generator and it won't even start to turn over.  Both batteries are hooked up and according to the books, the RV battery will charge the generator battery. 

I looked at the generator and there is oil in it...but that is the extent of my ability. 

I would appreciate any help that I could get.

thank you,
Kathi Chesnut
Try running the engine and see if it will start then. If it does then there is a problem with the batteries. If it doesn't start then there is a problem in the gen starting circuit.

You said it has no heat. Are you referring to the dash heater or the house furnace?
Yes, dashboard heater.  I remember helping my dad winterize the RV two years ago when he had to put it into storage that the generator was running and the heat from the RV itself was awesome, but I can't remember anything about the heat from the dashboard.

Dashboard heaters in vehicles that old are problematic and many times don't work. You will probably need a mechanic to fix it. Since you are just going to sell it I wouldn't bother. However I would make sure you get the gen going, that is always a big selling point.

Bounders are very popular motorhomes so you should have no problem selling it if you price it correctly.

Here is a list of the different 89 Bounders from the NADA price guide. Measure the length and determine if it is a diesel or a gasser. If it is a diesel select the length and Deere, if it is a gasser then select the length and Chevy. Hint, if the engine is in the rear it is a diesel. On the next page just click Continue, don't add any options. Then on the next page you will see the average high and low value of the RV. That will give you a starting point for your selling price. NADA is not gospel. If it is in super good shape you can get more. If it is a wreck then less.
Thank you for the website, that was very helpful.  We were in the $4500 range to start.  It is a nice vehicle and would be nice to keep but no time to use it properly.

I will stop by tomorrow and start the engine up and check the fuses and read the book to find the starting circuit. 

Generators are usually connected to the house batteries.  If the house batteries are low the generator won't crank over.  Sometimes there's a master disconnect switch you can use to disconnect the house batteries from the rest of the RV so parasitic loads won't drain them while the rig is in storage. Look near the entry door or on the monitor panel (with the tank gauges and maybe the water pump switch) for a switch marked "Storage" or "Battery Disconnect".

If the storage switch is open, the interior lights won't work unless the rig is plugged into electricity or the main engine is running and supplying power from it's alternator, so that's another clue.

The generator needs a lot of current to crank.  Make sure the house batteries are well charged, you may have to plug in the RV for a day or so to charge them.  Make sure all of the battery connections are clean and tight, corrosion can inhibit large amounts of electricity from getting out of the battery but can sometimes pass enough to turn on a light or two.
thank you, now I know what to look for.  I will keep you all up to date.
More info on the unit would help to give you an idea what its worth. How my miles, diesel or gas, length, condition and age of tires, hours on generator, generator gas or diesel. ect. Pictures are worth a thousand words as well. Sorry about the loss of your father.
39,285 miles
needs tires (RV was stored for two years)
don't know about the generator hours or the type of fuel it takes, I know it is an Onan

I can work on uploading pictures
Sounds like a nice older unit.  Would be a good starter RV for someone.  eBay would be a good way to sell it....get a nationwide audience and exposure.  I wouldn't put any money into tires or fixing anything if it runs well....sell it as is and disclose everything. 
How did you try to start the generator. Most have remote start switches inside on the dash, as well as one at the generator. I know on my mh, my remotes dont work, but the one at the generator itself will start it.

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