More on electrical, etc - any help is appreciated

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
Every weekend we get closer to our initial overnight use of our Bounder. Because of my rugged commute and intense Mon-Fri job, weekends are really the only time I have to get used to the rig, learn about the systems, etc.

This weekend I put water in it, ran the water pump - all seems well. I bought the waste water hoses and maybe next week I'll run the rig by a waste dump to see if there's anything in there. One of the tanks reads "full" but putting a stick down the toilet (sounds crude, doesn't it?" reveals nothing and there's no smells.

I got the oven burners fired up for the first time and the fridge seems to work fine, even though (as others here have stated) it will cool slowly - not like a fridge at home. I raised and lowered the antenna - although I have no clue how to receive anything on it. Don't forget - this is ALL new to me!

I did receive the Bounder Owner's manual from Fleetwood ($8) but it's pretty basic. Looks like there's ANOTHER manual or two I need for more specific stuff. Geesh.

On Sat. I took the chassis battery in. As I've stated here before, the new battery went dead after a few days - produced only that whirring dead battery sound. Turns out the battery was only slightly drained. They charged it back up and it works like a champ. I bought a new, computer-driven battery charger in case it's needed.

Here are some new questions if anyone can give me some advice.

Apparently, the rear chassis lights don't work. Headlights are fine, nothing on the rear. Are these controlled by a fuse under the dash? If so, that's a problem. The manual I have says there are fuses there but good luck getting under there to find them. The driver's seat won't move back and there's no door there. Ideas?

Also, there are a pair of rectangular white lights above the headlights - what are they? I couldn't find any way to turn them on. The amber coach lights on the top and side don't light up, either - I'm hoping these are all a common fuse that's blown.

The dash A/C doesn't do much. Is this A/C freon-based on a '99 Bounder? Can it easily be recharged? I used the generator as we drove today (Sun) and the roof-mounted A/C units work well.

Is there a pilot light for a water heater to get hot water?

I know I have a lot of questions and it's basic stuff, but I'm truly learning by doing. Any advice is appreciated.

Danny Wright
Poulsbo WA
1999 Bounder 34J
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,731
chaajoad said:
....the new battery went dead after a few days - produced only that whirring dead battery sound. Turns out the battery was only slightly drained. They charged it back up and it works like a champ.

That suggests you might have a loose or corroded connection somewhere, possibly at the battery terminals, the ground connection to the chassis, or at the starter motor. A partially discharged battery should still crank the engine.

A poor chassis ground could possibly produce some unpredictable results such as some of your lights not working.

Some water heaters use a pilot light while some use a spark igniter.
 

Jim Dick

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Posts
7,651
Location
Titusville, FL
chaajoad said:
One of the tanks reads "full" but putting a stick down the toilet (sounds crude, doesn't it?" reveals nothing and there's no smells.

I raised and lowered the antenna - although I have no clue how to receive anything on it. Don't forget - this is ALL new to me!

I did receive the Bounder Owner's manual from Fleetwood ($8) but it's pretty basic. Looks like there's ANOTHER manual or two I need for more specific stuff. Geesh.



Apparently, the rear chassis lights don't work. Headlights are fine, nothing on the rear. Are these controlled by a fuse under the dash? If so, that's a problem. The manual I have says there are fuses there but good luck getting under there to find them. The driver's seat won't move back and there's no door there. Ideas?

Also, there are a pair of rectangular white lights above the headlights - what are they? I couldn't find any way to turn them on. The amber coach lights on the top and side don't light up, either - I'm hoping these are all a common fuse that's blown.

The dash A/C doesn't do much. Is this A/C freon-based on a '99 Bounder? Can it easily be recharged? I used the generator as we drove today (Sun) and the roof-mounted A/C units work well.

Is there a pilot light for a water heater to get hot water?

I know I have a lot of questions and it's basic stuff, but I'm truly learning by doing. Any advice is appreciated.

Danny Wright
Poulsbo WA
1999 Bounder 34J

Hi Danny,

Tank monitors are notorious for false readings after a couple of years. You'll probably find the tank is actually empty. Usually the electrodes that are attached to the tank get corroded or covered with "stuff", especially the blank water tank, and need to be replaced. Most people know how long it takes to fill the tank so they don't bother fixing them.

Your TV antenna has an amplifier associated with it. You'll most likely find a small panel where the TV is connected. There will be a 12V outlet, the F connection for the signal, and a small switch and light. You must turn this switch on to activate the amplifier. That F connection is also where the park cable will appear. Then you don't need the amplifier turned on. Some of the newer coaches have a switch box with the amplifier built in. The on/off switch there does the job. The older switch boxes have buttons to push for the feed you want to the TV. Be sure you have the correct input selected. Those are normally overhead in a cabinet next to the TV.

When you crank up the antenna, you can pull down on the large ring and rotate it for better reception. Be sure to align the two arrows, one on the ring and one on the ceiling, before bringing the antenna down. It won't come down all the way if it isn't lined up properly. It may also get damaged by hitting something on the roof. Please be sure to bring it down before leaving the campground or the first bridge will do it for you! :)

Your lighting problem sounds like a bad ground or fuse. Check the fuse first. I don't know about the newer Bounders but the 95/96 Bounder had a hinged dash that you could raise to access everything under it. A strap usually held it in place. You might try lifting it to see if yours is that way.

I can't say what's in the dash A/C but using the generator and roof air is much better than trying to use the dash air. The generator uses less fuel than using the dash air, it exercises both the generator and A/C unit and will keep the whole coach cool, not just the driving area. It also will not take any horsepower from the engine. The generator is plumbed at 1/4 tank so it cannot run the coach out of fuel.

There probably isn't a pilot light on your water heater. You should have a switch on a wall that has a red light. It will come on when you turn the switch on and then extinguish when the gas has ignited. As long as the light remains out, you will get hot water. If it comes back on it means the gas has failed to ignite. I'd try restarting it a few times. If that doesn't work then you'll need to find out why. Spiders love the smell of propane and build webs inside the burner tube. That's the first thing to check for failure to ignite.

Hope some of this helps. :)
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
Thank you both!

I did check the fuses in the hinged  box under the outside hood and saw nothing there for tail lights. Tom, are you saying that there is a way for the dash INSIDE the Bounder to open on a hinge to reveal more fuses?

I'll get busy on checking for the corrosion, bad ground thing. And based on this info, I won't worry about the dash air that much. Many thanks for those tips!
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,950
Location
Davison Michigan
If none of the rear lights work Tail, Stop or Turn or Backup or License plate lamp, I'd suspect a connector somewhere under the coach has either come loose or corrrosion has eaten it (happened in a car I had once)  Fuses may be under hood, under dash or somewhere else for those lights,  Alas, they hide them some times

Hopefully the  bounder owner's manual will show where they are

in addition you should visit the manafacturer's web sites for your fridge, water heater, furnance, air conditioners, awning, jacks and the like and download the manuals,  Even the radios and televisons may be needed

My motor home came with manuals, about 20 lbs of them
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,731
chaajoad said:
Tom, are you saying that there is a way for the dash INSIDE the Bounder to open on a hinge to reveal more fuses?

Jim said that and I'd believe him given that he works at a dealership and sees a lot of this stuff. Sounds likie a very nice feature.
 

Howard R

Well-known member
Joined
May 3, 2005
Posts
567
Location
Minnesota
Danny,

Congratulations on your "new" Bounder.

You might also want to check out the Bounder forum at

<http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/bounder/>

some of those guys are amazing with their Bounder knowledge ...

Howard
 

Mblaster

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Posts
120
If your dash air isn't blowing cold it may just need a charge, its a easy DIY.
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
You guys will love this - and I'll admit it only because I'm really not THIS dense but for some reason ... I neglected to push in the tiny A/C button on the dash and wham! Cold air!

One problem is that the used rig came with no manuals. I ordered an "owners manual" from Fleetwood but it's pretty generic. I'll scour the web site, maybe give them a call to try and get the other manuals.

I still can't figure out what the rectangular white lights are above the headlights. Fog lights of some kind? No switch seems to turn them on. They might be wired in to the tail lights that won't work. I need to check in the fuse box the manual says is under the driver's dash. Problem is the seat and no drivers door to open makes it very difficult to get in there.

I'm not giving up. More time this weekend to go at it.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,969
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
There will be separate manuals for each major component or appliance, e.g. water heater, furnace, tvs, a/c, etc.  Since most Rvs have pretty much the same appliances and maor systems (they all buy from same few suppliers, primarily Dometic, Atwood and Suburban), you can probably make copies of the manuals that other Rvers have.  Many are available online as well.  Make a list of the make and model numbers of your major items and look/ask around.  It's common for one manual to cover several models from a manufacturer, so even if another Rv has  a differnt model, the manual may still cover yours.  Those manuals wil be pretty simplistic too, though, so don't expect much. :(  And since they do not cover your particular installation, they won't tell you where to find a switch or a valve on your particular rig.
 

Woody

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Posts
917
Karl said:
They could be daytime running lights wired directly into the ignition switch circuit. May have it's own fuse somewhere in the engine compartment. Did you check them when the engine was running?

On some GM chassis the vehicle must be on and in gear before the running lights will come one.

Woody
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
Karl, Woody, All -

Those rectangular lights do NOT come on when the headlights are on but I'll need my wife to help me with the "in gear" part. If the tail light problem is anything other than a fuse, I'll probably have to take it in - I can't seem crawling underneath the rig with no clue what I'm looking for.

The mystery goes on ...
 

Karl

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Maybe you misunderstood - daytime running lights will come on with the engine running regardless of whether the headlights are on or not, but the vehicle may have to be in gear.

On my '96 Bounder, there is a strap with a snap connector (just like you'd find on the front of a jacket) on the lower edge of the dashboard. I simply unsnap it, and the whole dashboard swings up to reveal everything inside. There's even a little rod you can swing up to hold it open; just like on some automobile hoods. Fuses should be easy to get at.i
 

Jim Dick

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Posts
7,651
Location
Titusville, FL
chaajoad said:
Thank you both!

I did check the fuses in the hinged  box under the outside hood and saw nothing there for tail lights. Tom, are you saying that there is a way for the dash INSIDE the Bounder to open on a hinge to reveal more fuses?

I'll get busy on checking for the corrosion, bad ground thing. And based on this info, I won't worry about the dash air that much. Many thanks for those tips!

On some of the Bounders, at least until 1996, the dash was hinged so it would swing up for access to the interior. A small fabric strap with a snap held it in place. Try gently to raise the dash around the steering wheel. If it moves but not much then there probably is a strap just under the front lower edge. There will also be a rod to hold it open while working under it.
 

Jim Dick

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Posts
7,651
Location
Titusville, FL
chaajoad said:
I still can't figure out what the rectangular white lights are above the headlights. Fog lights of some kind? No switch seems to turn them on. They might be wired in to the tail lights that won't work. I need to check in the fuse box the manual says is under the driver's dash. Problem is the seat and no drivers door to open makes it very difficult to get in there.

I'm not giving up. More time this weekend to go at it.

You may find those are signal lights. Can you tell if there's an amber bulb behind the glass? Try turning on the emergency flashers and see if they light up.
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
After I post this, I'm going out to the rig to ck on the dashboard to see if it will raise.

Here's some new stuff - again, any comments are appreciated.

The rectangular lights above the headlights blinked on and off with the turn signals. I'll also try the emergency flashers after this post to see if they work for that as well.

With the coach running, the rear turn signals both worked - as did brake lights when my wife pushed the pedal. They do not work as plain ol' back lights. Until I get this figured out, I obviously can't run the rig after sun down. I'm thinking I'll just have to take it in to a shop soon. And that's another issue. The shop nearest our house - part of the biggest RV center chain in the Puget Sound area - has a terrible rep for customer service and, to be honest, I'm hesitant to go there. Sad ...

 

Karl

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Don't know if you tried this, but simply replace the rear bulbs with new ones. The filaments may just be burned out. While you have the bulbs out, use a pencil eraser to clean the two round contacts in the sockets. At worst, you'll have two spare bulbs when you figure out the real problem.
 

chaajoad

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
322
Location
Poulsbo WA
Hi Karl - I will and let you know what happens. After haunting this board a bit, I'm beginning to think a good repairman could make a living by going to folks like me and fixing problems in the driveway, giving tutorials to used rig buyers (like me), etc. for an hourly fee.
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,950
Location
Davison Michigan
New item at Harbor Fright is a wire tracer system  (I have used bigger versions of this in the past) it consists of a transmitter and a receiver, the Transmitter is also a contuinity tester but that is an extra.

To use it you make sure the wire you are checking has NO POWER on it, (remove fuse) and hook the red lead to the wire, Black gooes to any good ground, and then you take the receiver, turn it on, turn it up and press the button, as you move around the sound level tells you where the wire is.  Follow the wire with the wand and when the sound suddenly  goes away, one of three things has happened

1: Wire turned and you missed the turn

2: You reached the end of the line (Design end)

3: You reached the end of the line (Broken wire end)

In any case, a very useful tool  I don't know if it's in the online catalog yet (Will look)

Solar Charger (interesting item)

Cable Tracker

Gee. found it in one search.  (I should be buying lottery tickets with that kind of luck)
 
Top Bottom