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I Cleaned The Battery Connections On My Motorhome And Now It Won't Start

by Gary Bohn
(San Jose, CA)


I have asked questions before and you were a great help Thanks. Gary, I have a 1985 Auto-Mate Royal 33 ft class A motor-home. My RV was in storage taken out for a smog test (passed) I have two on/off switches in the battery compartment. When I turned them on I noticed a lot of corrosion around the batt connections.

I removed all three batts and cleaned up everything. All nice and clean with batteries hooked up went to start it up and nothing. Am getting nothing to the ignition or starter solenoid or gauges, am getting power to the house lights, fans.


I checked the isolator, #1 is reading .11 #2 13.5 #A reading .10 I believe #a should read nothing when everything is off. And also I think it is a relay (looks like a starter solenoid but only has three contacts right left and in the middle, I don't know how to check it) I need any kind of help. Have some nice pictures but am unable to e-mail them, I tried for an hour but cant. If you answer me I should be able to.

Thanks Gary

ANSWER: Greetings Gary thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

First, thanks for the compliment, I do the best I can with the knowledge I have acquired over my many years of RVing as well as former life as a mechanic.

The first thing I would do is to test your starter battery to make sure that is fully charged and is able to take a load.

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If the battery tests good then based on what you have told me, it sounds to me that you may have reconnected your RV's batteries incorrectly. Even though your 12 volt accessories inside the RV are working does not mean that all the batteries are hooked up correctly. Start with your starter battery. Check to make sure that you have not reversed the cables going to the battery. The bottom line is that before you cleaned the batteries the RV started. So something has gone awry when you reinstalled them.

Once you have confirmed that all the batteries are hooked up properly, I would check for some simple things first, such as blown fuses, you might also want to check for an in-line fuse located on the cabling leading out of your starter battery.

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It is very hard for me to diagnose certain electrical problems without physically being there to look at the wiring, etc. Yes, you could have a bad battery isolator, but again I go back to the fact that RV started before you removed the batteries, so in my expert opinion you need to start there. I would also suggest that you get a second set of eyes looking at your battery connections. Hopefully a friend of yours that also has knowledge of vehicle electrical systems can give you a second opinion.

Now to your question about submitting pictures to our website; on the form you filled out to ask this question there is a section that allows you to upload up to 4 pictures.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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problem with electric to starter and eng after batt removed cleaned and replaced.
by: GARY BOHN

After I posted my question on my RV. I gave up trying to locate the problem and had it towed to the shop. It turned out to be the fuseable link going to the starter. $230.00 Gary Again thanks for your help.

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