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Why Won't My Motorhome Start- Common Causes and Solutions

Why Won’t My Motorhome Start? Common Causes and Solutions

If you own a motorhome, you know that it can be a great way to travel and explore the world around you. However, just like any other vehicle, motorhomes can sometimes experience problems, and one of the most frustrating issues that you might encounter is when your motorhome won’t start.

There are several potential reasons why this might happen, and it’s important to understand what these reasons are so that you can take the appropriate steps to get your motorhome back up and running.

One of the most common reasons why a motorhome won’t start is due to a dead battery. This can happen if you leave your lights on for too long or if your battery is simply old and needs to be replaced.

Another potential culprit is a fuel problem, which might occur if you’re using the wrong type of fuel or if your fuel pump is malfunctioning. In some cases, a motorhome might not start due to an issue with the ignition switch or starter motor, which can prevent the engine from turning over.

If you’re experiencing issues with your motorhome not starting, it’s important to diagnose the problem as quickly as possible so that you can get back on the road.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most common reasons why motorhomes won’t start and provide you with some tips and advice for troubleshooting these issues. Whether you’re a seasoned motorhome owner or a newbie, this guide should help you get to the bottom of any starting problems that you might encounter.

Battery Issues

Battery Issues

One of the most common reasons why your motorhome won’t start is due to a dead or weak battery. A battery that is not charged or is failing to hold a charge can cause issues with starting the engine. If you turn the key and only hear a clicking sound, this is usually a sign of a dead battery.

It is important to check the battery’s voltage to determine if it is the cause of the problem. A fully charged battery should have a voltage reading of around 12.6 volts. If the voltage reading is lower than this, the battery may need to be recharged or replaced.

Another issue that can arise with RV batteries is a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. This can occur if there is a short circuit or an overload in the system. Check the fuses and circuit breakers to ensure they are not the cause of the problem.

It is also important to note that RV batteries have a limited lifespan and will eventually need to be replaced. The average lifespan of an RV battery is around 3-5 years, depending on usage and maintenance. If your battery is old or has not been properly maintained, it may be time for a replacement.

Fuel Problems

Fuel Problems

One of the most common reasons a motorhome won’t start is due to fuel problems.

Fuel problems can be caused by a variety of factors including:

  • Bad fuel pump
  • Clogged fuel filter
  • Empty fuel tank
  • Contaminated fuel

If your motorhome won’t start, the first thing you should check is the fuel level in your tank. Make sure you have enough fuel to start the engine. If the fuel level is low, add more fuel and try starting the engine again.

If you have enough fuel, the next thing to check is the fuel pump. The fuel pump is responsible for delivering fuel from the tank to the engine. If the fuel pump is faulty, it won’t be able to deliver fuel to the engine, causing it not to start.

You can check the fuel pump by turning the ignition key to the “on” position and listening for a buzzing sound. If you hear the buzzing sound, the fuel pump is working properly. If you don’t hear the buzzing sound, the fuel pump may be faulty and need to be replaced.

Another common fuel problem is a clogged fuel filter. The fuel filter is responsible for removing impurities from the fuel before it reaches the engine. If the fuel filter is clogged, it won’t be able to filter the fuel properly, causing the engine not to start.

You can check the fuel filter by removing it from the motorhome and inspecting it for debris. If the fuel filter is dirty or clogged, it will need to be replaced.

Starter Motor Issues

The starter motor is responsible for turning the engine over and getting it started. If the starter motor isn’t working properly, your motorhome won’t start.

Here are some common starter motor issues:

  • Dead battery: If the battery is dead, the starter motor won’t have enough power to turn the engine over. Check the battery with a voltmeter to make sure it has enough charge.
  • Bad starter solenoid: The starter solenoid is responsible for engaging the starter motor when you turn the key. If it’s not working, the starter motor won’t engage. You can test the solenoid with a multimeter to see if it’s working properly.
  • Worn starter motor: Over time, the starter motor can wear out and stop working. If you hear a clicking sound when you turn the key, it could be a sign that the starter motor is worn out and needs to be replaced.
  • Loose or corroded connections: If the connections between the battery, starter motor, and starter solenoid are loose or corroded, the starter motor won’t get enough power to turn the engine over. Check the connections and clean them if necessary.

If you’re having starter motor issues, it’s important to diagnose the problem as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem could lead to more serious issues down the line. If you’re not comfortable diagnosing the issue yourself, it’s best to take your motorhome to a qualified mechanic.


When your motorhome won’t start, it can be frustrating and stressful. However, by following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can identify and resolve the issue without having to take it to a mechanic.

Remember to always check the battery and fuel levels first, as these are often the most common culprits. If those are not the issue, move on to checking the spark plugs, ignition system, and fuel pump.

If you are still unable to identify and resolve the issue, it may be time to seek the help of a professional mechanic or RV technician. They will be able to diagnose and repair any more complex issues that may be preventing your motorhome from starting.

By staying on top of regular maintenance and addressing any issues as soon as they arise, you can ensure that your motorhome is always ready for your next adventure on the road.

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