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Old 05-25-2020, 01:20 PM   #1
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2002 Itasca Sunrise Starting issue

I am new to motor homes but have been around pull campers most of my life. We bought a 2002 Itasca Sunrise last year and love it! I have it parked in my driveway and have started it every month during the winter. I tried to start it yesterday but nothing. No lights clicks or anything. The slide and jacks also have no power. Everything in the living area works but not the cockpit. I tried the auxiliary switch and still nothing. Has anyone had this issue before?
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:57 PM   #2
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It sounds like your chassis battery is dead - or the cabling is disconnected, loose or corroded. That would be your first place to start. This assumes you've turned on your power disconnects, of course.

The slide and jacks are powered from the chassis battery - same as the RV's engine starter motor.

So, everything is pointing to one of the above mentioned items.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:35 PM   #3
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Common problem for new users. There are small things like radio presets and ignition parts which are called "parasitic drains",which are constantly using power from the battery. If there is not some method used to keep them charge or disconnected, the starting battery will go dead. First step is to charge the battery but it is not unusual for them to be damaged if they are too far down for too long.
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:23 PM   #4
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That was exactly what it was. It was my understanding that the auxiliary (mom) would start the RV and when that didn't happen, I assumed it was more complicated than it was. Thanks for the help.
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:38 PM   #5
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Many just fill the fuel tank, add a stabilizer, service the batteries with cleaning and water, then just disconnect the grounds from the two sets. They will very slowly discharge over the winter so you just attach a small float charger ($25 from Walmart) for a day or two before trying to reconnect them. Or just jump the starting batteries. Usually there's enough juice to start the engine when using the AUX switch on the dash. Worked for me after winters in Fairbanks Alaska. Starting the engine every month without driving it for 20 minutes is never recommended that I know of.

Another common thing is that the manufacturers are not known to be generous and often leave out a 'keep charged' circuit for the chassis (starting) batteries when plugged into shore power. So the engine, tranni, and radio circuits slowly discharge the starting battery. The small optional solar panel on the roof is so anemic as to be worthless. Anyway, what people do is add a Trik-L-Start device or similar to take a small amount of charging current from the house batteries and feed it to the chassis batteries.
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mwdcoach View Post
That was exactly what it was. It was my understanding that the auxiliary (mom) would start the RV and when that didn't happen, I assumed it was more complicated than it was. Thanks for the help.
I ran into the same problem with my 2004 Itasca Sunrise 34D and discovered the solenoid was bad which isn't that big of a deal to switch out. A quick search here should help you figure out if this is a problem in your case. As an aside, I just discovered that the same solenoid is also responsible for ensuring the coach batteries are being charged by the chassis alternator while underway.
Avery & Angel
2004 Itasca Sunrise 34D
Killen, Alabama
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Old 06-08-2020, 12:58 PM   #7
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Sure - you have a dead chassis (engine) battery.

All the items you mentioned are powered by the "engine" battery, and it is VERY important to keep that properly charged up. The reason why is that low voltage can be very damaging to some electric motors. In our 2005 Adventurer I know the jacks and slides are all powered by HWH hydraulics - pressured by one main motor. I especially do not want that burning out due to low voltage.

So it is very important to keep some type of charger on the chassis battery when the rig is not being driven. So 1 thing I did was to re-direct the 10watt roof solar panel (OE from Winnebago at the time) to charge up the chassis battery (instead of the house batteries as it was originally configured) because we use and constantly re-charge the house Lithium batteries from the main solar system, shore power or generator. Found out through experience that it was always the poor engine battery which lost charge when not driven as it is just "forgotten".

For times when parked under trees (little solar then) I also put the engine battery on a low wattage battery charger/maintainer - powered from our inverter.

So again - keep that chassis battery charged at all times!
Rick & Barb
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 37b
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