By Bill Dirkin
Some years ago, I purchased a 28-foot 1994 Fleetwood Coronado motor home with a Chevy Chassis. Although the thing drives like a sinking tanker, I was pretty satisfied with it. A couple of years ago, we had the vehicle in storage over the winter. When we recovered it, the LCD electronic odometer had quit working - it was just blank. It turned out to be basically irreplaceable, as Fleetwood doesn’t support spares. I notice however, that there was another, old, odometer in a drawer. It had apparently been replaced by the original owner, presumably when spares were still available.
The backup power for this device is a welded-in battery! When chassis power is cut off, apparently this battery was to keep the program alive and remember the mileage. That might have been a not so good idea for a automobile, but it is positively simian for a motor home that is typically stored with the power disconnected. The odometer is guaranteed to fail. This is probably in violation of some state laws, but Fleetwood, supposedly a reputable brand, is unapologetic, and they certainly has no fix to offer.
They could have, back when this vehicle was being designed, used a non-volatile odometer memory, or maybe even really splurged and used a good old fashioned mechanical odometer. But that would have cost a couple of bucks more.