Saturday, April 1, 2023


Wiring diagrams can save your sanity

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
It wasn’t but a few minutes after we’d been doing a little roof work on our “camper project” that another problem surfaced: All the fluorescent lights and the bathroom light “quit” working. What happened here – let’s see. Ah, yes! The luggage rack seemed a little wobbly, as did the roof access ladder, and a new set of lag screws had been introduced to try to shore up the situation. Did one of those new screws sabotage the circuit? (Word freaks, stick around. We’ll discuss that old origin of “sabotage” question at the end of this entry.)

Poking around in the fuse panel revealed a definitely “blown” fuse, but was this the whole story? If only we knew just where the wires ran, it would make the whole job of trying to resurrect the lights much easier. Since the rig is an “orphan” – its manufacturer having gone out of the camper business long ago – we despaired.

However, a Google search led us to others who had success in finding diagrams for their more current rigs. Hence, we took courage and phoned Fleetwood. A sympathetic listener at the other end of the line took the request, even called back later asking for a VIN number, and next morning, hot off the email, a five-page wiring schematic for our out-of-production rig.

Long story short department: It didn’t take long to figure out a pretty likely “point of impact” for our errant lag screw. We’ll attack the roof shortly, and armed with the schematics, if worse comes to worst, we may have a hand on a “work around” solution. Moral of the story: Even if your rig is out of production, if the company still exists give them a call and ask about the possibility of getting schematics. They may even give them to you for free!

And a word about “sabotage”: Star Trek fans, while it’s a popular notion that throwing sabots (French for clog) into powered looms could “clog up the works,” there doesn’t appear to be any credible report of such a sandal scandal. More likely, since the word sabot can also be reckoned as a literal clog, the sound made by someone clunking around in clogs leads to the word, saboteur. Such walking was oft associated with clumsiness, and later extended to deliberate clumsiness that damaged machinery.



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Oscar Thomson
2 years ago

We had a 2008 Montana 3485. In 2010 I requested wiring and piping diagrams from Keystone. They said they only give them to dealers. Although I’m not thrilled with our Jayco they provided them. You have to be specific, but after several calls and emails I have enough to fix most problems.

Roger B
2 years ago
Reply to  Oscar Thomson

Keystone considers wire schematics and plumbing diagrams proprietary information and will not share anything with owners. Once you buy it they are done with it.

M. Will
2 years ago

I tried to get a wiring diagram for my travel trailer after I had bought it. Called the manufacturer and they said they’d send me one. Showed up in the mail and all it showed was a bunch of different colors going to different numbers on a pic of the trailer and not a word as to what or where any of it meant. A big waste of time!!

K Burke
2 years ago

Your Motorhome or camper doesn’t need to be “orphaned” to be denied or run into roadblock for a wiring schematic for your coach. I have asked on more than one occasion for wiring schematics to my Tiffin Motorhomes 2009 Allegro Bus from the manufacture ( still very much in business) and have been denied. Its not something they make available to their owners.

Bob P
2 years ago

After reading all these comments I’m really glad I accidentally bought a Newmar, my 2002 Mountain Aire came with 2 big owners manuals with not only all the information about how everything worked but a full set of schematics and wiring diagrams. I had to use them two times and everything was exactly like the diagrams said. They must be a quality manufacturer.

Austin J Crehan, Jr
2 years ago

You rascal. Once again you win the prize for the day.
I am amazed the ‘factory’ sent you a wiring diagram. How very excellent.
Yes, I’m thrilled to be a part of this rv community but more thrilled people such as yourself will share good, factual news.
My thanks to you sir.
Austin Crehan

2 years ago

Just FYI, last year when we visited the weaving museum in Lyon, FR — a city famous for it’s weaving industry — one of the loom exhibits described the origin of the word sabotage and referenced unhappy weavers throwing shoes into the works to halt production….

2 years ago

I have a Thor 4 Winds Chateau. When it was <10 years old I asked for a schematic and was told that they don’t have one available “we do not keep them”. So I have an issue to this day and can not figure out the circuit’s trace.

Chris Varnadoe
2 years ago

Jayco won’t send you anything until you are out of the warranty period.

Thomas D
2 years ago

Even the best wiring diagram does not show WHERE the wires are, only where they terminate. I would not put a lot of faith in one. My ceiling lights failed and because nothing was fastened ,just thrown into the ceiling ,i was able to pull enough slack to find a wirenut had fallen off. I doubt a diagram would have shown the termination

Glenda Alexander
2 years ago

Okay. I’m a “word freak” so I have to point out a couple of things: (1) Say “try TO Do something” NOT “try and do…” (2) It’s = it is. Its is the possessive form. I always enjoy your entries. Thank you for all the useful information.

John Crawford
2 years ago

Yes and thank you for using the English language that most of us use, whether correct or not.

Ken Schaffer
2 years ago
Reply to  John Crawford

John Crawford – Did you intend that to sound like a veiled racist comment?

Donald N Wright
2 years ago

Many of us have asked Aliner for blueprints or assembly drawing of our popups. We are told that there are not any, each camper is sort of custom built. The parts are the same, and in the same places, but different.

Robert Strigler
2 years ago

I called Forest River to ask about a wiring diagram for our 2015 Flagstaff and was told there is no such thing since they are wired on the floor by the guys building it and therefore eack one is different depending on the whim of the workers. So much for that good idea.😁

2 years ago

I agree. Too many people building the unit in multiple shifts. The wiring goes from point A to point B, but who knows the path they took to get it there. Especially in the ceiling. That and the fact that they do not use a standard color code.
It is not like an automobile that uses a standard wiring harness on every vehicle.

Ed I.
2 years ago

An issue I have ran into is that Gulf Stream forgot they built my coach and no longer have or are willing to supply any information on the wiring they installed. I have been contacting them since 2009 hoping something would change as people were moved around in the organization, but no luck so far.

Tommy Molnar
2 years ago

What a great idea (calling for a schematic). Maybe I’ll wait a while until all the others call for schematics before I call – grin.

Glen Cowgill
2 years ago

There are plenty of tools for tracing circuits, even a short finder would have helped here. I have tools to induce signals in wires both 110V and 12V circuits. Being a mechanic, I have had the pleasure of rebuilding circuits after a fire without schematics but those schematics are like gold when available.
Had a Citron that had a fire under the dash that I rebuilt the wiring one wire at a time because there was not a schematic available. Of course today I can’t get under the dash nor do I do much work anymore.

2 years ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

Boy. Isn’t that the truth. And what’s more, would you even want to have a look see under the dash. All the computer wizardry and such the new vehicles have. I used to do a lot of my own repairs. Now, just plug in a scan tool, and take it to the shop.

2 years ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

Same thing for me. I can no longer get under a dash or under a sink.

Glen Cowgill
2 years ago
Reply to  Impavid

I have a 1967 Camaro with a LS1 engine and 4L60E transmission all computer controlled. Done it all myself and just finished it. At 79yo I am slowing down. Happy Camping.

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