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RV Consumer Support: Dash gauges go down

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If your RV dash gauges go down, life can get particularly complicated. Our RVtravel.com Consumer Support staff heard from Dan H. over this very problem. His gauges took a vacation while he was trying to take a vacation of his own. Here’s Dan’s note to us:

Going to ground?

“I have an Itasca Solei 36-foot Class A on a Freightliner chassis. Recently while on a trip I lost all the analog gauges in my dashboard. I have tried troubleshooting the problem with the Freightliner RV hotline. They have not been much help – only to tell me to visit a Freightliner shop.

File photo

“My assumption is that it is a ground problem, but I have no idea where the ground wire is connected. I re-seated all the connections. I brought up the fact there was a recall on the wiring harness, but Freightliner says that recall preceded my 2015 rig.

“Reading that your focus is on safety and quality control, I thought you might know of another avenue to pursue. Dropping $250 at Freightliner’s shop to fix a critical component is outrageous! At 72 years, I still like to do things myself. But looking underneath the RV and not knowing where to look is a problem for me.”

Dave to the rescue

We immediately knew this was right up the alley of our RV tech guru, Dave Solberg. We told Dave about Dan’s problem, and here’s what Dave suggested to Dan.

First, if you want to do what you can on your own, track down a chassis fuse diagram. This should be in your Freightliner owner manual. That diagram will identify all the fuses on the chassis block, and one of them should be for the instrument panel. First off, check that fuse.

From there, locate a copy of a Winnebago wiring diagram specific to your rig. Dave feels this should be available on the Winnebago website. You’ll probably need to look under the “customer” tab on the site.

Next in line, a phone call to Winnebago’s tech support folks. Ask them if they might be able to give you a little guidance. It’s possible that other Winnie owners have had a similar problem and reached out to “Mother” for help. Dave says he’s not heard of this specific problem before, and isn’t sure if the instrument cluster is a Freightliner part, or a Winnebago-provided part.

Overworked customer support lines?

Dave agrees with your thoughts that the problem probably does trace back to a bad ground situation, barring a bum fuse – which would be just too easy. But there are a lot of points to check, and this is where getting much specific help from customer service can be a problem for both you and the company. The high volume of calls phone centers are taking is not allowing much time for the techs to walk through the possible “gremlin” locations that these kinds of issues provide.

Hopefully, a diagram for the wiring that runs up to the instrument cluster may give you a hint of where a bum ground might be found.

We’re all hoping things go well for Dan and his dastardly dash gauge problem. It doesn’t have to be dash gauges that go down – we’re happy to hear about your RV problems, whatever they may be. Click on the first link under “Related,” and we’ll show you how to get help.

Related

New RV Consumer Support column – We need YOUR help

To see all of Dave Solberg’s RV tech articles, click here. 

##RVT1020

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Joe
1 month ago

This just happened to me! All of my dash gauges went out on my 2020 Sportscoach and then came back again within a few seconds. It’s hard to troubleshoot an intermittent problem. Hopefully Coachmen will give me a wiring diagram.

Stefan trestyn
1 month ago

It’s not a ground problem. It’s a gauge problem. The gauges are daisy chained together. disconnect each gauge one at a time till it works and replace that gauge or disconnect it