Sunday, September 4, 2016

Successful Electrical Problem Solving

Today, I fixed my motorhome. For some reason, the main battery would not crank the engine so I couldn't get it started. The place we bought the new battery checked the battery and proved it was charged. They suggested it was my starter getting sticky, and that's why the AAA guy could give me a jump and it start. Battery experts at Interstate Battery told me my rig needed that extra umph to start my rig. Bottom line, a serious mechanic was in order.

I groaned. I need new tires before I can even get a jump start to move the thing.
I met Larry in 2012 while camping up in Colorado. Seeing what a nice guy he was, I subscribed to his youtube channel.. Mobiltec does amazing restorations of RVs. He lives in the southwest, so I emailed him I'd be heading town to Quartzite. He recommended I hang out here another month because the weather is stinking hot down there in the desert now.

One email thing led to another and I eventually lamented my RV blues. He said, send me a photo of the battery terminals. Below is one of a dozen I sent. He said, clean those until they shine.
 "I'm all thumbs around and engine.":
"Don't worry, I'll walk you through it."
"Larry, I'm sorta scared?"
"What? You? Naw you can do it. Besides, you got me. Just keep me posted."
"Okay, I'll do my best." I worried. "I'll get out the tool box."
"One thing. Wear eye protection."
"I'm not going to blow up my engine, am I?"
"Nope. Disconnect the negative first, then the positive."

Over the next two hours I kept  Larry posted via phone photos. He encouraged me and told me, no, I did not have to unwrap the positive cables clear down to the wire.

The final photo I sent Larry showed clean cable connections, but one rusty nut I couldn't remove. However, I'd scrubbed the fire out of it, so it was no doubt greaseless.
 "Now hook it up the way you took it apart."
A dozen minutes passed while I tightened every thing down. The phone rang. It was Larry. "How are you doing?"
"Good, I think. How do I know if I got it right?"
"You hooked it up the same way, right? No sparks?"
"Right. No sparks."
"Go crank that baby."
I felt trepidation as I inserted the key. What if I totally wrecked my engine by instigating a wide ranging explosion? I turned the key. Volia! We have lift off!

Oh my god. I was so happy. "Larry, you're a genius. I'm so happy. Listen to that." I held the phone to the engine. It purred.
"Good job," he said. Not one bit of bravado or told you so.

Thanks Larry. What a pal.


  1. You're welcome Brawny. Congratulations! Now you see that with a little research and maybe a little help, you can perform regular maintenance on your motor home. Regular maintenance is key to keeping your vehicle running properly with few breakdowns. Don't forget to have those brakes and wheel bearings checked when you get your new tires.

  2. I absoluetly will, Larry, plus I will clean the cables to the house battery.
    And guess what? You inspired me to give the old generator a go. It started this morning, with only a bit of a nudge.

    So, you've saved me a ton of money. Better come to Quartzite so I can buy you some beers and grill you some steaks.

    1. I'll have to do that if it ever cools down. Tell me what's going on with the generator...

    2. I wrote a post in reply. It got too lengthy here. :)