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Old 02-13-2010, 07:27 PM   #1
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1999 UA Electrical-Radio Problem

We recently purchased a 1999 38' UA. We have owned a couple of TT but we are new to motorhomes. So far we are very satisfied with our decision , no major problems. Waiting on the cold weather to break, even here in Houston to start our first trip. We are having a couple of minor problems that I am trying to work out myself. The dash radio (Panosonic) acts like it is not getting any electrical power. I have checked all the fuses I can find. I have no idea if this is the original radio or not or if it is even connected the way the original was. So far I haven't been able to get the radio out to check the wiring. Any suggestions or ideas? The next question is really dumb but I know there is a spot light of some kind on the roof. I can't find a switch to turn it on or to rotate it. It is probably somewhere obvious. Didn't find anything in the material that was left in the coach for either problem. Any help would be appreciated. I have a lot to learn and I do want to get to where I take care of minor problems without a large repair bill, but time will tell.
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:59 PM   #2
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1999 ua electrical

spotlight in many Winnes use a remote for all funtions...find the remote and you should be all set to go....RKL
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:04 AM   #3
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Thanks. I have a bag of remotes that I hadn't really looked through. Sure enough one of them is a 'GoLight'. I am sure that is for the spot light.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:02 AM   #4
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Have you tried the radio with the key "on"? I ask because there is a switch on your dash that sets the power to the radio as either "house" or "engine". If you are trying radio while stationary and the switch is set to "engine", you will not have any power to radio.

Other than that, there may be an inline fuse on the power wire to the radio, which unfortunately will be behind the radio. Don't know how to get it out, sorry.

If your spotlight doesn't work with remote, you will need to re-sync it to light. The Golight manual tells you how. Unfortunately, it requires removing power to the spot, and after finding the fuse for it on mine, it is a popout style, located in the driver side front compartment. Only way to remove power is disconnect batteries. I haven't done that yet, so my remote still doesn't work.
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:26 AM   #5
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Regarding the radio.. Many motor homes the dash radio is both the "Vehicle" dash radio and the House radio.. Somewhere there is a toggle switch that transfers it from "house" to "Car" and back... This switch could, conciveablly, have an "off" position.

Second. MOST panasonic radios that I have seen ship with an "in-line" fuse in the power lead.. usually a red wire. You might meter the red wire on the back or the radio.. Make sure it really is getting (or not) power.. Trace that wire for more info. The wire may also have a "Flag" on it with a PLUS sign (Very common to do that)

If you do not have or wish to purchase a meter you can use a test lamp

I made my own test lamp.. I took a license plate socket from the local auto parts store, this socket takes a blade type bulb and has 2 leads on it.. I got a matching bulb (Same source) and some (optional) wire and a couple of test clips (Alligator clips) and a bit of tape

I extended one lead, put Alligator clips on both the other lead and the extension

If all you want to know is "Is there power or not" this lamp is fantastic since you do not actually have to "read" the meter.
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:36 PM   #6
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Welcome to the list, and to the small group of UA owners!!

Sounds like you got the spotlight question figured out. And you already got a suggestion about the switch between CHASSIS and HOUSE battery power on the radio. I'm not sure what dash differences there are between your '99 and my '03, but the dash should hinge upward ...at least part of it will. On mine, if I grab it on the bottom corners the part wtih the radio will hinge up. It isn't as easy as opening a door, but it should come upward and a bit toward the windshield. My radio slides out the front of the dash ...it has two holes on each side of the faceplate ...the official right way to remove it is to insert two special tools into those holes to release the catches that hold it in. I made to "tools" out of coat hanger wire that worked great on a Ford SUV I had, but not as well on the UA ...even when I release the catches the radio is pretty tight. But with the dash hinged up I was able to work the radio out. Whether or not you remove the radio, with the dash up, you should have no problem finding the fuse and other wiring.

We are about 100 miles or so NE of you this month, near Carthage TX. We got some impressive snow here, and more cold weather than we needed. Good luck, and have fun with the UA!
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:24 PM   #7
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I appreciate all the good comments. They gave me some ideas that I can try. Probably be next weekend before I have time to work on it. The remote for the spot light didn't work but I will try to reset it. There is a switch on the dash that appears to disconnet the batteries from everything, and I hope from the spot light also. I can't find any drawings on the Winnie website that address the spot light (maybe because I am not use to working with electrical drawings).

I am going to try to take the radio out to check the power in next weekend. There is no idication that the dash swings up but I am going to look at that again. Maybe that was a good idea that Winnie came up with after 1999.

Before I started working this afternoon I noticed that the inverter didn't seem to be working. It appears to be drawing the batteries down below 11 volts and probably shutting off. I had a service place check the house batteries but now I am not sure they did it correctly. I may have to take it somewhere else. Would the voltage be 12+ with no load if one battery has a bad cell?
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:40 PM   #8
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There are two battery related switchs in your Ultimate.
- One is the "battery boost". It is a "mom" type that you have to hold in the on position ...when you release it goes back to the off position. That one bridges the chassis and house batteries together so you can start the coach engine if chassis batteries are dead and house are good, OR, so you can start the generator if the house batteries are dead and chassis batteries are good. This probably is the switch on the dash.
- The other is the "aux. battery disconnect" switch ... perhaps by the entry door if you have switches right there on the left as you enter. The switch disconnects the house batteries when you store the coach, or when you equalize the batteries. It DOES NOT disconnect the chassis batteries (so probably not the spotlight), so they can still go dead when the coach is in storage as there are a number of parasitic loads. Some folks have added a second disconnect switch for the chassis batteries for storage purposes.

There is no indication that the dash top will hinge up (that part right in front of the driver). Just grab hold somewhere and do some tugging and see what happens. I'll be surprised if yours does not hinge up.

Winnie Owner Relations can be VERY helpful to you in answering questions and probably in supplying wiring, plumbing, etc diagrams. You can contact them at (800) 537-1885 via email at [email protected] --- you will need to provide them with your coach s/n for accurate assistance.
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:41 PM   #9
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ellis,
do you have a radio-tv switch on or near your entertainment panel?
my switch must be in the radio position for the radio to work.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:01 AM   #10
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The radio/tv selector switch for the surround sound on the UA is probably located in the overhead passenger-side front cabinet on the outside wall. I can't see mine w/o a flashlight ...I just feel for it. If on tv, the radio will have power, but so sound. If you radio has a powered display, that situation is easy to detect. Good point that this switch is something to check!
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