RV Dash Gauges Not Working – What To Do

A new RV is a big purchase, and you expect it to work completely and safely when in use upon purchase. But lots of things can go wrong with your RV from the top on down. Few things, however, are as dangerous as various gauges on your dash not working properly. You require your dashboard computer to function properly so you can be safe. So what are some causes for gauge malfunction, and what can be done to remedy the situation? We here at VEHQ.com have researched these very questions for you down below. 

The reasons below are some of the major reasons your gauges are failing to work:

  • Blown fuses are causing improper readings or no readings at all to get to your gauges. 
  • Voltage regulators that feed your instrument cluster could be off.
  • Erratic needles usually signally bad grounding or wires.

There are other reasons your RV gauges are reading inaccurately or failing to read at all, but these are some of the bigger ones you would benefit from looking into. Keep reading as we go more in-depth on these RV issues and more. 

A senior man drives a 36' foot long motor home on the highway in autumn. RV Dash Gauges Not Working - What To Do

Some Reasons Your Gauges Could Be Faulty

Blown Fuses In Your RV 

A big suspect on your list of potential culprits when it comes to gauges reading improperly is a blown fuse. Your dash is, in essence, a computer and thus requires constant electricity to properly flow and display information about your vehicle to you at all times.

Without this electrical flow, your dash and the gauges present will be unable to do their jobs properly. A blown fuse is a likely culprit, particularly when none of your gauges are working. So what can be done about it? 

instruments of measurement in a Camper RV

Is There A Fuse In Your Dashboard? 

Fuses are an important part of the electrical system in your RV. You can find them in both your AC and DC systems, and it's their role to regulate power flow. This regulation is important to prevent fires from breaking out should electrical malfunctions occur in your RV. 

Your fuse box is often with your electrical panel. Sometimes, however, your fuse box is located in a cabinet in your kitchen area. Your RVs fuses should all be located in this box and ready to be inspected or looked at. If for any reason you are having difficulty locating your fuses, consult your manual or get to a garage as soon as possible. 

If you are replacing a blown fuse, keep in mind you will need to replace it with a fuse of the same amperage. Replacing your blown fuse with a fuse of a higher or lower amperage won't work. Your RV will continue to fail to work as intended. Unfortunately, while you might think you can overcharge with higher amperage fuses, it doesn't work that way. Carrying replacement fuses of all required amperage will ensure your safety and preparation down the line.

Bad grounding and poor voltage regulators

Usually, when your gauges display irregular needle movements or irregular displays or you know to be correct, bad grounding is the cause. You may also be looking for faulty components in your voltage regulator, for example. Reinstalling and cleaning these components can serve to re-establish a proper connection. 

If you can find the faulty ground causing the issue, you'll similarly want to clean it completely of rust and corrosion and securely fasten it back to your system. 

A Faulty Battery 

Unfortunately, needing a complete replacement battery is always a potential option when it comes to vehicular troubles. If you're experiencing complete gauge failure and troubles with your RV, it might be time to look into potential battery replacement. A full diagnostic at your closest garage will do your RV a world of good. 

Read now on VEHQ: How to deal with RV water damage

Specific Important Gauges

We went over some more general reasons why several gauges in your RV might not be working. Now let's look at some of the more important specific gauges and what might be making them struggle. 

What Causes A Fuel Gauge Not To Work?

The fuel gauge is quite obviously one of the more important gauges in a vehicle to have working. Running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere puts one at great risk of danger of being stranded. Wasting money with overfilling and, in general, just struggling with a faulty fuel gauge is a pain no one wants to deal with while driving their RV. So what exactly is causing your fuel gauge not to work? 

The most common problem with faulty fuel gauges is a bad fuel sending unit. The fuel sending unit is used to measure the amount of fuel left in the tank and communicate this information with the gauge on the dashboard. Should anything happen to this fuel gauge to cause improper readings, you can see where trouble arises. 

The fuel sending unit has three parts: the float, the metal rod or arm, and the variable resistor. A resistor has the ability to resist electrical flow, and a variable resistor can change the amount of flow it can resist. This resistor is used in the fuel sending unit as the baseline signal. Should any of these three parts suffer a breakdown, your fuel sending signal will suffer, and your gauge will likely malfunction. 

Can you drive with a broken fuel gauge?

Technically speaking, a broken or faulty fuel gauge will not disable your RV's ability to move or drive. Your RV will continue functioning, but you should fix your fuel gauge for the reasons stated above. Not only do you run the risk of stranding yourself and putting yourself in danger, but it could be a sign of further issues with your RV. 

What causes the speedometer not to work?

In terms of safety, your speedometer is up there with the most important gauges in your RV. Unfortunately, there are a few reasons your speedometer might stop working or go faulty. 

The vehicle speed sensor is one of the biggest culprits behind a faulty speedometer. The relationship between the sensor and the speedometer is fairly clear cut. When the sensor fails to read speeds accurately, the speedometer can no longer work accurately. Faulty electrical wiring can always cause issues and should be tested immediately at your local garage. 

Is it safe to drive with the speedometer not working?

Simply put, no. You can certainly try your best to gauge your speed on your own, match that of drivers around you, etc. But there is nothing you can do that is as safe and effective as having a functional speedometer in your car. 

Does an inaccurate speedometer affect the odometer?

In most vehicles, the speedometer and the odometer run off the same sensors. If it's a sensor problem causing your speedometer to read inaccurately or cease to work, this is likely affecting your odometer. This, in turn, will be affecting your gas mileage and causing other issues. This is another big reason why getting this looked at will serve you well in the long run. 

Read now on VEHQ: How to Read an Odometer [A Complete Guide]

How much does it cost to fix an instrument cluster?

So the gauges in your vehicle don't work, and the time to fix the instrument cluster has arrived. What should the process cost you roughly? The average cost for replacing an instrument cluster is between $795 - $815.

This estimate includes labor costs and the price of materials but does not factor in taxes and model-specific needs, or unique locational requirements. Feel free to consult online estimate calculators for more information on what a good price for your requirements would be. 

In Closing 

Your gauges to your RV are important. They are telling you the information you need to know to be a safe and informed driver. Don't take them for granted and skirt on their maintenance and care. The potential for danger is simply too great to ignore. Be safe and take care of your vehicle, and more importantly yourself, at all times. 

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