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Old 11-30-2020, 07:34 PM   #1
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Keep Blowing Fuse - Can this even be Solved?

2019 Coachmen Leprechaun 311 FS Class C motorhome (Ford E-450 Chassis)

I keep blowing a 20amp fuse while traveling, in the dash fuse panel. It's fuse #6, which controls the "Direction indicators lamps. Hazard lamps. Stop lamps.". It will blow, then I lose brake lights (and turn signals). I can replace it, and it blows as soon as I turn any of those on.

Then when we get to the campground. I replace the fuse after the coach sits for a while. Everything works fine in testing (put brake lights on, flasher, etc). All works. Then, while traveling, at some point, it blows again.

It SEEMS that it was really wet/rainy when this has started. In other words, this never happened before, but has done this regularly the last several days of travel. Those days ALL had lots of rain.

Probably too many variables here, but thought maybe somebody had a similar situation. Side note - I've noticed that the running light on the passenger side cab (running light - orange in color - way up on top of the coach on the front face of the cab) is very very dim. This is true before and after the fuse blows. In the daylight, if I turn the lights on, you can't even tell it comes on. At night, it is barely visible. That light (and actually all lights on the light circuit) never go out when that fuse blows. All running lights, headlights, and tail lights still light and work. Side note number 2 - before the fuse blows, I have noticed the passenger side brake light will stop working. So I press the brakes while driving, and in my rear view camera I can see the passenger side brake light does not illuminate. This can go on for quite some time before the fuse blows.

Any thoughts? Or anybody have this happen to them?
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Old 11-30-2020, 08:30 PM   #2
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Whatever lights still work after the fuse blows, forget about them for now. The passenger side brake light seems suspicious. If this were my motorhome, I would crawl around under the chassis and look for some poorly secured or poorly routed wiring to the brake lights that chafed against the frame and is partially shorting to chassis ground. Also look at the trailer hitch socket wiring, as the brake signal would be present there, too.
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Old 11-30-2020, 08:40 PM   #3
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The trailer hitch socket wiring is where my mind went too.
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BehindBars View Post
Whatever lights still work after the fuse blows, forget about them for now. The passenger side brake light seems suspicious. If this were my motorhome, I would crawl around under the chassis and look for some poorly secured or poorly routed wiring to the brake lights that chafed against the frame and is partially shorting to chassis ground. Also look at the trailer hitch socket wiring, as the brake signal would be present there, too.
This would be my first stop. Make sure it's not full of water or connections poorly made that allow shorting.

Road spray can be nasty with electrical connections especially in areas where salt is used on roads. Doesn't take much to turn water into a conductive medium.
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:35 PM   #5
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Great point. I wonder if I should get some dielectric grease for the trailer plug? And/or other connections that I can access.
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:33 AM   #6
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Have to agree with BehindBars. Look for chafed wiring to the rear lights. The circuits going to the 7 way plug are fused separate from the chassis lights. Your problem is not there.
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:13 AM   #7
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I agree that it's highly likely a chafed wire going through a frame hole or over a frame or body member. Start at the passenger brake light and work from there. I'd pull the light fixture off the RV first to make sure it isn't right at the fixture.
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:40 PM   #8
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Before chasing wires, unscrew each light lens that is affected by the fuse outage. Look for corrosion at the light socket and/or water in the lens and s ocket assembly. Have some WD-40 to spray into any wet or damp sockets. Clean any corrosion found around the light sockets ( usually a white powder or any rust) with fine sandpaper rolled into a tube. Use dielectric grease, just a bit on the bulb sides and rear contact ( if incandescent).

You top dim light is probably a victim of this water corrosion problem also. If you find water then re-caulk the lens assembly.
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:51 PM   #9
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Isn't this still under Ford warranty? If so, Get them to troubleshoot it.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:51 PM   #10
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I kept blowing the fuse on my slide if I held the button for even a millisecond after it reached the limit. I replaced with a fuse that incorporates a breaker and auto resets. Maybe you could look into that as an option.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:07 PM   #11
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I was having trouble with the brake/turn/tail and backup lights on the back of the RV when traveling through heavy rain. Not the 7-pin trailer connector. I finally traced it to a poorly seated connector located inside the left frame rail just forward of the rear axle, it was subjected to lots of spray from wet roads.


The connector exists from Ford and the RV maker adds a mating connector and wiring to go back to the lights. In my case, I opened the connector and water came out, it is a waterproof connector but it was not completely seated. I dried it thoroughly and made sure it was seated completely and then wrapped with electrical tape, no problem since.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:07 PM   #12
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Wiring harness under the floormat?

In the 70s and 80s we had a Datsun B-210 that would periodically blow the fuse that controlled the tail lights and instrument panel lighting. I started tracing the harness at places where it would be subject to movement. First thing I did was lift the carpet in front of the right front seat. There was a four-wire flat cable underneath. I lifted it to run my hand along it feeling for any breaks and...it stuck, then came free. That was a little strange, and as I ran my hand along the floor I found a sharp tang, from the welding process, that was sticking up. I twisted the cable and, sure enough, there was a corresponding pinhole in the cable. The fuse would only blow when a passenger's foot was on the cable at the time the driver pressed on the brake pedal. It just took a minute or so to file that tang down to flush with the floor. I didn't even have to tape the pinhole.

A similar issue in the 1960s: This time it was loose metal objects (jack and tire tools) in the trunk, interfering with tail/brake lights.

The lesson is: find the cable and inspect its entire length.
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:11 PM   #13
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Larry-NC brought up some good points, and it reminded me about the E-450 driver side step well. The chassis upfitter, and possibly the Forest River division plant gets in that step running new wiring from the cab rearward, and they may leave that area a total mess. I pulled the tread from the driver step well and found loose screws, wood chips, wire scraps, and twisted wads of wiring, some of it pinched. I don’t know the routing of the tail/brake light wiring, but if it passes through that step well, anything goes.

Even if it doesn’t fix your fuse blowing issue, pulling up that driver side step trim and cleaning up the possible mess might be worth the while.
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Old 12-03-2020, 11:54 AM   #14
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Sounds like the fuse that blows is a switching fuse for the body control module since so many things go out. You will need to check out everything in that circuit, (of course start with the light you suspicion). The best way is to disconnect each item controlled by that fuse, then one by one reconnect until the fuse trips. Long, and time consuming, but electrical issues can be a pain.
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Old 12-03-2020, 05:59 PM   #15
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I had a similar problem with a Ford van I owned. Would blow under dash fuse and lose lights in rear. There is also a fuse box under the hood. One of the main fuses was blown there and the fuse under the dash couldn't handle the load by itself. So check under the hood fuses.


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