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Monday, April 20, 2015

Whistling Down The Highway

What fun would RV life be without a challenge thrown in once in a while?  Actually, I’d love it to be once in a while instead of seemingly every time we get the Journey rolling.

We departed the J. Strom Thurmond COE this morning with a new “bug” bugging us.  Our dash gauges, the oil pressure, water temp, fuel level, charging, speedometer and tach were all not functioning.  Zero, zilch and nada.  Yet the engine lit off just fine and the two air pressure gauges came right up into their normal range.

We have to be in Florida by Saturday to catch our cruise or lose a pretty significant chunk of money, so we rolled out anyway.

Now I would never do anything dangerous, despite any monetary loss.  My dash has a information readout that told me the speed and a temp reading on the transmission, which runs a cooler through the radiator.  If the engine started to overheat, I’d see that temp rise.


Having just checked the oil level and knowing I had a full tank of fuel with a range of more than 500 miles, there wasn’t anything that would hold us back, so away we went.  Along with one major bummer.

The dash has an alarm whistle when any of those aforementioned gauges fail, along with a red light.  We had to put up with the whistle.  Turning up the radio helped a bit.

Along the way, we spied a Freightliner dealer, so we stopped.  No chance of getting any service, they were swamped with over the road trucks.  I decided to do some troubleshooting myself.


I opened the chassis fuse and circuit breaker panel and checked all the fuses.  All good. 

There were a number of relays and circuit breakers there that I couldn’t test.  Plus on the back of the panel cover was a list of what all the fuses, relays and circuit breakers went to.  Of course, there was no listing for anything remotely connected to dash gauges.  With a wild guess, I bought and replaced the relay that went to the ignition circuit.  It’s the clean square thing on the bottom left of the panel.  Thankfully, it was only $5, because I guessed wrong.  It didn’t stop the whistle or restore the gauges.  :c(


With no other options, we whistled down the road.  225 miles to the Golden Isles Campground in Brunswick, GA, a Passport America participant.  Nothing fancy, but for $18.90, it’ll do for the night.


I’ve got a few posts on some RV forums looking for some ideas.  Hopefully someone has seen this issue before.  Tomorrow we’re going to a nearby Speedco for an annual oil, lube and filter change before we head further South.  I’m going to check for some possible ground issues and do a “hard reboot” of the chassis electrical system by disconnecting the batteries for a couple of minutes. 

Will any of it work?  Stay tuned, I hope something will, the ringing in my ears hasn’t stopped yet…

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Those alarms always make me a nervous wreck, and I have no idea how to fix anything mechanical. I'm not surprised your ears are still ringing!

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  3. Good luck with your gauge situation, and getting to the cruise ship on time.

  4. Oh Boy... That sounds like a bit of fun...NOT!!! Sure hope you find the problem and can get rid of the whistle ASAP. If not...enjoy your cruise and tackle this issue when you return:o))

  5. We had similar issues on a new Journey earlier this year.
    Our solution was to cycle the chassis battery relay one time.
    Everything came back to normal.

  6. As a friend says, if it's not one thing with these RVs, it's another. Hope the gauges comes back to life ... I don't know if I could have stood the whistling for all those miles. Have fun on the cruise.

  7. No help here. Hope you are able to get to your cruise with no damage. Praying for a safe trip...

  8. Glad to see Bob and Paige at least have an idea for you cause I sure don't. What an irritation to have to listen to that. It would drive me crazy. Call Winnebago, they are really seriously great on the phone. Their tech support guys have helped us more times than I can count. Hope your speedometer works! LOL

  9. Yuck! At least the ship's whistle won't bother your ears with them being numbed by your dash alarm :)

  10. I would be certifiably crazy from the whistle. We had a loud screech when the jacks were raised and lowered. To save my sanity, such as it is, Ron found it under the dash and disconnected it.

  11. Um, I know its stupid but ... I spent a useless 15 minutes cussing (can cussing ever be useless?), anyway, before doing the chassis batteries, I had to make sure to turn off the coach ones.

  12. You have my complete sympathy. That racket would get on my last nerve, for sure! Good luck and Bon Voyage!

  13. I can certainly understand not wanting to lose that cruise money. Sounds like you'll be sure to get there on time with the Journey just purring by the time you arrive.

  14. When I was a kid, I worked in my dad's TV repair shop. Since I did not know much, I just kept changing tubes (remember them?) until it worked. That could get pretty expensive in the Journey:)