The engine won't start. When I turn the key, absolutely nothing happens. There is only a click from turning the key.

My battery is full.

I bought this motor home last summer after my landlady sold my home. I could not afford to move anywhere, so I sold everything and moved in.

I did not have a lisence, so people had to move me around every couple weeks until finding a permanent spot for a cold as winter. The RV did not move or turn on between moves.

Since I have been back in town, I have had parked it for two months before moving and parking for another two months. I then found a place to park for three weeks. Since then, I have had to move every two to three days. I finally got my lisence and insurance two days ago. Yesterday, I drove around town running errands. I drove beautifully. I parked in a camp spot last night. When I tried to leave, I couldn't.

Whenever the RV would have to turn on between moves, it stalled a lot in the beginning. The more it was driven, the less this would happen.

Would this lack of regular use to more frequent use burn something out? What, aside from the battery should I check?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Since you've been running it regularly (lately), I'd suggest you are probably right about the battery, but you might just want to check it. An old battery can go flat very quickly (yes, overnight). One way you can check is by trying a jump start (doing it correctly, anyway). If no change with that, you can eliminate the battery as the cause. The next place to look is the starter. Aug 29, 2019 at 21:34
  • @MichelleColeman, what was your outcome?
    – mongo
    Jan 25, 2021 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


You could have a number of issues, but if turning the key to start, results in no starter motor, I would start debugging the starter and battery combination. Do you have a voltmeter? It will be handy.

I would start with checking the voltage prior to a start, and then when you turn the key. It should be 12.3 or higher before you start. When you turn the key it should not drop significantly if the starter motor is not turning.

While the entire process is more involved than can be in a short answer, I can give you several things you can check out.

Verify that the starter will energize and turn the engine. One way to do this is to jumper from the terminal from the battery on the starter, to the solenoid input. The solenoid input is normally a small connection, and is actually energized by the key in the START position.

If this causes the engine to turn over, then you will want to debug the electrical system from the starter back through to the key. If it does not, and the battery voltage remains at 12.3 or better, you likely have a bad starter solenoid or bad starter.

If your battery voltage is low, then you will want to charge it, and if it does not adequately charge, then replace it.

This process will at least get you started (no pun intended) on debugging your no-start problem.

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