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Old 03-20-2019, 06:38 PM   #1
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THOR #12189
Help? Dead Chassis Battery

2017 Thor Chateau 31L.

I was parked in FL for a month. The only time the motor ran is when I pulled in and when I left. No issues. I even put a charge on my Patriot brake system the night before using the 12v outlet on the dash. I charged my Garmin (not much there) two nights before to apply updates before I left.

I'm parked in Tucson for a slightly less than 4 weeks and the chassis battery is dead. The Emer start switch in the cab saved the day but I'd rather know what to expect.

I might have been able to jump it with the toad and I have a trickle charger and extension cords if that's required but I'd rather not if I'm not supposed to have to.

Before I go through the pain of calling the delightful people at Thor (depends on who you get), does anyone know if the 31L is suppose to charge the chassis battery when hooked to shore power?

Thanks in advance for your help. Over and out.
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Old 03-20-2019, 06:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TheBreeze View Post
2017 Thor Chateau 31L.

I was parked in FL for a month. The only time the motor ran is when I pulled in and when I left. No issues. I even put a charge on my Patriot brake system using the 12v outlet on the dash the night before.

I'm parked in Tucson for a slightly less than 4 weeks and the chassis battery is dead. The Emer start switch in the cab saved the day but I'd rather know what to expect.

I might have been able to jump it with the toad and I have a trickle charger and extension cords if that's required but I'd rather not if I'm not supposed to have to.

Before I go through the pain of calling the delightful people at Thor (depends on who you get), does anyone know if the 31L is suppose to charge the chassis battery when hooked to shore power?

Thanks in advance for your help. Over and out.
I have a 2019 hurricane 29 m, and I'm noticing that the shore powr is NOT charging the chassis battery...all other coach's I've owned it did
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Old 03-20-2019, 06:47 PM   #3
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Some of the class Cs do and some don't use the charger to charge the chassis battery. You can also use a cheap volt meter to check the chassis battery when hooked to shore power or with the generator running.If the battery voltage is above 13.0 volts the battery is being charged, but if it is below 13.0 volts is not being charged. Simplest way to check is to buy a plug-in volt meter that plugs into the 12 volt socket on the dash.
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Old 03-20-2019, 06:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by vegasruv24.1 View Post
I have a 2019 hurricane 29 m, and I'm noticing that the shore power is NOT charging the chassis battery...all other coach's I've owned it did
It should. All plant 750 coaches come with BIRD and Trombetta module near the house battery compartment.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:42 PM   #5
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Battery Update

UPDATE to the update:


No go on the 13. 11.87 so Guess not. Pulling the battery. If good, hooking up a trickle charger and retest this process in the morning.


--------------------------------------------------


This is not to correct anyone. Most all are a big help out here. I searched this topic and the reviews are too mixed as in 'some do and some don't'

I boned up and called Thor - not that they're always right BUT - the guy on the phone said 'none of the Class C's charge the chassis battery using shore power'.

That sounds like a pretty generic statement which, in most cases, is wrong. It's like using 'all'. He also said the battery may be bad. It and the house batteries are only warrantied for a year (just great).

I have a multimeter and will do as Beau suggests and report back. If not, it's time to break out the wrenches, pull the battery, find an autozone and hook up a trickle charger if the battery load test is good. It bothers me it was fine in FL and I stayed there a month too. If Thor's wrong about the charging, the battery is an easy fix but should have been unnecessary at this time.

Thanks again you for input folks.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Beau388 View Post
It should. All plant 750 coaches come with BIRD and Trombetta module near the house battery compartment.
Have any pics of what these look like? I have what appears to be a terminal block but that may be for the Emer switch?
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Beau388 View Post
It should. All plant 750 coaches come with BIRD and Trombetta module near the house battery compartment.
do you work for thor?? whats a plant 750
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by vegasruv24.1 View Post
do you work for thor?? whats a plant 750
I am an old retired aeronautical engineer who has toured four different Thor Motor Coach Plants. Each of Thor Industries 17 operating plants has a plant number. Plant 750 is located in south Elkart, IN. The Thor Motor Coach Plant 750 produces all of the Freedom Traveler. ACE, Hurricane and Windsport class A motor coaches. Since each Thor Industries plant operates an an independent organization, I feel it is necessary to specify where a particular coach was designed and built. Each plant has its own design and engineering staff. What is designed and built in Jackson Center, OH, Boise, ID or in Wararusa, IN has no bearing on what goes on in Plant 750.
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Old 03-21-2019, 12:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TheBreeze View Post
Have any pics of what these look like? I have what appears to be a terminal block but that may be for the Emer switch?
This is what mine looks like
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by halfprice View Post
This is what mine looks like
Attachment 16288Attachment 16289
Thank you. Definitely not. At least not in the house battery compartment. See next post: Bad battery
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:23 AM   #11
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The battery test at Autozone showed the battery 'expired' and would no longer hold a charge. The sight glass in the top of the battery also showed red. Kinda sudden but I guess there's a reason for a 1yr warranty.

I replaced the battery with an Everstart 5yr. 3yr full replacement, 2 yr pro-rated. I kept the receipt. We'll see.

I guess the moral of the story is 'no'. It doesn't charge the chassis battery on shore power and I'll be looking to 'upgrade' that unfortunate circumstance sometime in the future. In the meantime, I have a trickle charger to add to my setup routine if I'm staying long-term.

If the emer switch taps into the house batteries then all I might need to do is complete/override the switch circuit. That may be oversimplification but it has my attention at the moment.

Thanks so much for your help and input. This place is awesome. Safe Travels and keep the rubber side down
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBreeze View Post
2017 Thor Chateau 31L.

I was parked in FL for a month. The only time the motor ran is when I pulled in and when I left. No issues. I even put a charge on my Patriot brake system the night before using the 12v outlet on the dash. I charged my Garmin (not much there) two nights before to apply updates before I left.

I'm parked in Tucson for a slightly less than 4 weeks and the chassis battery is dead. The Emer start switch in the cab saved the day but I'd rather know what to expect.

I might have been able to jump it with the toad and I have a trickle charger and extension cords if that's required but I'd rather not if I'm not supposed to have to.

Before I go through the pain of calling the delightful people at Thor (depends on who you get), does anyone know if the 31L is suppose to charge the chassis battery when hooked to shore power?

Thanks in advance for your help. Over and out.
We bought our 2016 Chateau 31L in Nov. 2015. The coach batteries died after our first trip and La Mesa RV replaced them under warranty. We now have 19,000 miles on it and replaced the two coach batteries and the chasis battery two weeks ago.

The batteries are checked monthly and topped off with distilled water when necessary. Hydrometer tested every 6 months or so. Coach batteries are on solar and maintained by the solar controller. We boondock 4 or 5 times a year. Thinking about putting the chasis battery on solar, also.

The chasis battery died on us about a year ago when the rig was parked for about 5-6 weeks. Since we are out on the road 6-10 days every month and usually have a 6 week Spring outing every year I never thought to start the engine while it sat that one time.

After the chasis battery died I noticed the terminals started to corrode and the hydrometer readings started to indicate the battery was deteriorating. I had the rig in for oil and filter service in January and the chasis battery failed the load test (9 volts). Even though it was still starting the engine with no indication that it was going bad, since I didn't want to wake up one morning and find the battery dead we replaced it.

The chasis battery is not charged when on generator or shore power.
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Old 03-21-2019, 02:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by dlbeck27 View Post
The chasis battery is not charged when on generator or shore power.
For anyone following this thread...if you have a generator or a toad you have a way out.

Use the toad to jump start the RV. If you have an emer switch, use the generator as a pass-thru to jump the engine battery.

Once started, the RV alternator 'should' keep it running. Then get your buns to the next service station and DON'T shut the RV off until you've made a deal.
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Old 03-21-2019, 03:05 AM   #14
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well, here's what I think,..there is a huge parasitic amp draw on the chassis side... so when it's off it is bottoming out the battery, a couple times is all it takes to kill the battery,,the thing to do is a battery disconnect when you know you will be parked for a few days..I put one of those tenders on once that disconnects the battery when it see the battery at 12v... or 11.9 I forget...
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Old 03-21-2019, 03:09 AM   #15
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most of the time the chassis has a time out , that lets the pcm go to sleep,.. but, what I have found is that gets disturbed when they start doing after market radios and such, and wiring direct to battery,..if you check for parasitic , you need to do so after the pcm goes nite nite, or you will get a real high reading... usually about an hour and you will see a big drop..
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:24 AM   #16
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I installed this in my engine compartment a few months ago. Works great. Super easy to install across the emergency start relay terminals.
http://www.lslproducts.net/TLSPage.html
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:30 PM   #17
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I thought mine charged the chassis through the bird....
I guess I don't recall really looking at that all that closely though and maybe my memory is fuzzy...since I don't have power where I store it it's not so much an issue...

One of the first things I did was to install mechanical switches on both battery systems. I disconnect both any time it's parked more than a few hours and the fridge isn't on...

I would like it to charge while sitting at camp sites though. I'm gonna have to double check that on my next trip out.
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Old 03-21-2019, 07:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Kickstand View Post
I installed this in my engine compartment a few months ago. Works great. Super easy to install across the emergency start relay terminals.
Ultra TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer
Very interesting. Would you mind going into a little more detail? The emer switch terminals under the dash or is that something under the hood? I have 3 wires running to the chassis battery. Should I 'assume' one of them is for the emergency start?

Do have any pics of your install?
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Old 03-21-2019, 07:27 PM   #19
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One more thing. I bought this rig in July. It sat in a lot until December when I exited my temporary apartment. I only started the generator when the house batteries were dead or 1/3 full (charged). When I got ready to leave, I turned the key and she fired right up. GO FIGURE.
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:51 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TheBreeze View Post
Very interesting. Would you mind going into a little more detail? The emer switch terminals under the dash or is that something under the hood? I have 3 wires running to the chassis battery. Should I 'assume' one of them is for the emergency start?

Do have any pics of your install?

No pics but I might be able to grab one this weekend. If you have an emergency start switch in your cab, it is connected to a solenoid that is normally off, but momentarily connects the coach and house battery banks when you throw the switch. The solenoid looks something like attached photo (details may vary)- but essentially a little can like device with screw terminals off it. One of those terminals goes to your house battery and one goes to the coach. In my class c, itís under the hood, hidden behind the coolant reservoir, directly in front of driver. Since the trik-l-start is a diode that allows a small current (varies depending on which device you get) to go from one bank to another, you attach it to two of the terminals with the instructions provided, and youíll have a steady trickle charge from the house to coach. Itís easy to tell which terminal is which if you have a volt meter; plug the coach in or fire up the generator, and one of those posts will have 13+ volts, thatís the house. One of the others will match the coach ~12v voltage (or you can probably just physically follow the cable directly to the coach battery). The trik-l-start itself is very hardy and can be installed right in the engine bay. The hardest part of the install was getting sheet metal screws to attach the device in the cramped quarters.
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