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Old 03-16-2018, 06:48 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Outlaw 37RB
State: Washington
Posts: 21
House battery issue

I'm having an issue with the house battery system on our 2017 Outlaw 37RB and I'd love some advice.

As soon as the coach is unplugged from shore power, I get zero power to the system -- zero lighting, central control panel is completely dead, not even the radio has power. Plug shore back in (or start the genset), everything works perfectly. Control panel lights back up, etc. The weird part is, the residential fridge running off inverter is working when unplugged from shore.

- The store switch is turned on, and I can hear the "click" of the solenoid when it's changed. I haven't investigated the location of the solenoid on the coach yet.
- The inverter reads 12.7V, with 8A input, .08kW output, running the fridge. Drops down to 12.4V after a few minutes use.
- With the chassis engine running, the inverter reads at 14.3V, 12A input, .15kW output.
- Turning off the inverter to remove the load doesn't help powering anything else.
- Coach has four 6V batteries, each are reading the same at about 6.37V on a multimeter. Dropped down to ~6.32V after maybe 30min testing. That's not very high, but doesn't seem super low either.
- Checked the water level in the battery cells, looks fine.
- Checked 100A battery disconnects in the battery compartment, they are closed.
- Cycled all the circuit breakers on the main panel, though none were tripped.
- There was some corrosion on one of the battery's negative terminal, assume from from undercharging. Cleaned it all off and sprayed it, with no improvement.
- Plugged it into shore power for two days.

The coach did sit over winter and I (foolishly) forgot to disconnect the batteries, but only left it in store mode and ran the engine and generator on occasion. It was not a very cold winter this year in Seattle. But maybe the batteries are toast. I would have thought it would not run the fridge off the inverter if that were the case. Or possibly a failed store switch or the solenoid? Is there maybe another fuse or breaker somewhere that would cause this?

Would very much appreciate any advice or diagnostic suggestions before I try a whole new battery set.
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:14 AM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Outlaw 37RB
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Replying to my own thread, but if anyone can tell me where the store switch solenoid is on one of these coaches, I would appreciate it. Can check that it's getting power. Next up will to be calling Thor.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:28 AM   #3
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your battery levels are at 6 volts?? if thats the case, they are not high enough - they should be well over 12 volts, 12.5 - 12.8 being ‘normal’ when charged. You’ll probably need an external battery charger to get them out of this low state as your Magnum charger is not designed to recharge from such a low state.

Your 12v items may work fine when on Shore or Gen as the Converter is powering them...
Your 120v system, such as for the fridge, also works fine because power from Shore or Gen pass thru the inverter, but if it’s still ‘working’ after removing shore power is a mystery.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
your battery levels are at 6 volts?? if thats the case, they are not high enough - they should be well over 12 volts, 12.5 - 12.8 being ‘normal’ when charged. You’ll probably need an external battery charger to get them out of this low state as your Magnum charger is not designed to recharge from such a low state.

Your 12v items may work fine when on Shore or Gen as the Converter is powering them...
Your 120v system, such as for the fridge, also works fine because power from Shore or Gen pass thru the inverter, but if it’s still ‘working’ after removing shore power is a mystery.
Read again: He has 6 volt batteries. 6.32 volts is a fully charged 6 volt battery.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:59 AM   #5
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I think you've got a good handle on how things should work and I suspect the USE/STORE relay is not working correctly. The inverter does not go through the USE/STORE relay so that explains why the fridge works when on battery power, but nothing else does.
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:34 AM   #6
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You are definitely on the right direction. On my class c outlaw, the relay is mounted behind the fuse panel accessible by removing the drawer directly above the panel. Best bet is to follow the clicking when someone is operating the switch.
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:39 PM   #7
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shouln't the batteries show 12v plus if wired in series. Maybe they were installed parallel?
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Old 03-16-2018, 04:23 PM   #8
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shouln't the batteries show 12v plus if wired in series. Maybe they were installed parallel?
Not if you measure the individual battery.
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:52 PM   #9
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Not if you measure the individual battery.
Yep, was measuring the batteries individually to see if I could find a bad one.

Thanks for the feedback, looks like my next step is to locate the battery disconnect relay and check that.

Does anyone know if the chassis emergency start switch also disconnects the house batteries? I did have to use it to start the chassis once. Wondering if relay failing in the "on" state would look like this. Assuming that one is located in the engine compartment.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:34 AM   #10
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I just got done spending a day troubleshooting the same problem. In my case the solenoid was located under the bed. I replaced it and everything was back to normal. There is a 5 amp breaker wired to the solenoid which was blown so I needed to replace that also. I think the defective solenoid was blowing that fuse.
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Old 03-17-2018, 01:08 AM   #11
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Model: Compass 23TR
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Our Compass 23TR suffered house battery failure when new. That’s when I realized how lacking detailed electrical documentation is from Thor. In their defense, Thor customer service provided engineering drawings in PDF format that I used to make my own wiring schematic. These drawings also showed locations of transfer switch, ignition relay, use/store latching relay, 50 amp main 12V CB, E Start solenoid, & Isolator Relay delay module. Using drawings along with vendor information of the equipment provided enough information to complete my drawing. I have an electrical control systems background and it still took awhile before I understood how my Compass electrical worked. The isolator relay delay module & use/store mechanical latching relay is where the magic happens.
Keep searching and you’ll find the problem. With any trouble shooting, start at one end and work your way back.
Looking at my Compass system if I had your symptoms it would be the use/store relay or the 50A circuit breaker from the house battery.
Good luck,
Hugh
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:57 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by vfrhugh View Post
Our Compass 23TR suffered house battery failure when new. That’s when I realized how lacking detailed electrical documentation is from Thor. In their defense, Thor customer service provided engineering drawings in PDF format that I used to make my own wiring schematic. These drawings also showed locations of transfer switch, ignition relay, use/store latching relay, 50 amp main 12V CB, E Start solenoid, & Isolator Relay delay module. Using drawings along with vendor information of the equipment provided enough information to complete my drawing. I have an electrical control systems background and it still took awhile before I understood how my Compass electrical worked. The isolator relay delay module & use/store mechanical latching relay is where the magic happens.
Keep searching and you’ll find the problem. With any trouble shooting, start at one end and work your way back.
Looking at my Compass system if I had your symptoms it would be the use/store relay or the 50A circuit breaker from the house battery.
Good luck,
Hugh
Agreed, the documentation is not great, to say the least. That is one of the reasons why I'm looking at working on this myself, in order to gain more knowledge of the system. That kind of knowledge can be really useful on the road.

Thanks for the input, that's good confirmation of what to look at next.
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Old 03-17-2018, 03:27 PM   #13
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Let us know when you find the problem.
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:31 PM   #14
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Batteries sulfated?

Check to make sure the batteries can supply a load directly from their terminals. Batteries are strange beasts and can look fairly normal until they are actually loaded. A voltmeter only reads the open circuit voltage under no load. I had to replace my "brand new" batteries the first week I owned and drove the vehicle because the dealership let the batteries go uncharged for all of the time the vehicle was on the "showroom" floor. They attempted to re-charge them upon delivery but to no avail. They, of course measure correctly after charging but one was leaking badly and neither held much charge. A 5-10 Amp load using an automotive headlight or other load will tell you in a couple of minutes the condition of the battery. Then, you can find the open relay somewhere in the coach.
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:29 AM   #15
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Model: Outlaw 37RB
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Found the battery disconnect relay and it looks like the problem. Getting 12V to it, but nothing on the other side, even after triggering it manually with a battery. Covered by warranty but I'm not going to wait for it, so ordered a new one that should arrive early next week. So we'll see after replacing it.

In case anyone with a Outlaw 37RB is ever looking for the use/store relay -- mine was mounted to the side of a wood support behind the breaker box at the foot of the bed. Easy to get to by opening the storage "hatch" under the mattress and unscrewing one wooden panel. Also provided easy access to the backside of the main fuse panel as well as the Firefly panel.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:21 PM   #16
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Was there a 5 amp breaker connected to the relay? I found that the faulty relay caused that to blow also.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:50 PM   #17
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Congratulations on finding the faulty relay. I’m probably going to order a spare relay. There seems to be a high failure rate for these things. Should probably buy a spare isolator delay module also.
Hugh
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:01 PM   #18
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Was there a 5 amp breaker connected to the relay? I found that the faulty relay caused that to blow also.
Yep, it has a 5A fuse that is protecting the power to the switch. It is still good in my case. The switch and relay is still mechanically operating, but it's not delivering power.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:23 PM   #19
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Model: Outlaw 29H
State: New York
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Originally Posted by SharkTank View Post
Found the battery disconnect relay and it looks like the problem. Getting 12V to it, but nothing on the other side, even after triggering it manually with a battery. Covered by warranty but I'm not going to wait for it, so ordered a new one that should arrive early next week. So we'll see after replacing it.
Congratulations on getting the issue under control!
(We just were looking at a 37RB this Saturday... WOW! )
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Old 03-21-2018, 05:58 AM   #20
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Outlaw 37RB
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Follow-up: It was in fact a bad battery disconnect relay. Swapped it out for the new one and everything works again. Thanks all for the input.

This is the unit if anyone is looking (model #01-00055-002):
https://www.intellitec.com/index.php...ects_100A-200A

Got it off a vendor through Amazon for $45.

Might take this failed one apart if I get time to see if it's a mechanical problem that could be fixed for a spare.
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