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Old 09-13-2019, 10:16 PM   #1
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THOR #14426
Alternator not charging house batteries, can't figure it out

I could sure use some help. I have a 2019 Thor Chateau. Ever since we purchased it, the engine alternator has not been charging the house batteries. Unfortunately I did not realize this until I ruined the first set of house batteries.

So far I have (1) replaced the house batteries and verified that the shore power and the generator charge the house batteries, (2) verified that the use/store switch does shut off the 12 volt power when I place the switch in the off position, (3) replaced the Isolator Relay Delay by Intellitec which controls the solenoid, (4) replaced the Trumbatta solenoid, and (5) verified that the engine alternator is putting out 14 volts. After all this I still do not have the alternator charging the house batteries.

What am I missing? What should I do next? Is there a fuse somewhere? Whatever the problem is it started at the factory. Anything else I can test?

I appreciate the help.
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:24 PM   #2
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What has your Dealer said about this?
Since it's always been this way: doesn't it make sense to let the warranty pay for fixing it?
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:23 PM   #3
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THOR #14426
Unfortunately in dealer is in Texas and I am in Upstate New York. No dealers within 100 miles.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:42 PM   #4
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THOR #2631
Hi I don't know if the attached schematic is the same as what your coach actually uses, but it might help you trouble shoot your situation. Does your interconnect relay actually operate via the BIRD controller or via the emergency start switch? If it does and you have a chassis disconnect latching relay (I don't know your coach) then you should see alternator voltage on the coach battery. Check for the 5 amp fuse shown on the schematic....lots of folks complain about it being blown.



You say that you have damaged the coach batteries because the alternator does not charge them. Is this because of many deep discharges when travelling, that shore power could not restore?
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Old 09-14-2019, 12:05 AM   #5
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THOR #14426
My coach is a 2019 25V, and it seems that the BIRD is not used in this coach, but rather the Isolator Relay Delay device. As far as I can tell there is only one solenoid and it is controlled by the IRD.


When I picked up the unit, new, the house batteries were charged, but after a day or so they seemed to weaken, even though I was driving all day. When I got to my destination I had a 30amp hook up so the batteries recharged. I went through this cycle several times until the batteries would not take a charge. They were being discharged too deeply, but I was not sure what the problem was. When I replaced the batteries I trouble shot the system and realized the alternator was not charging the batteries. I don't think it ever did.


Thanks for the diagram, any advice?
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Old 09-14-2019, 12:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradox998 View Post
I could sure use some help. I have a 2019 Thor Chateau. Ever since we purchased it, the engine alternator has not been charging the house batteries. Unfortunately I did not realize this until I ruined the first set of house batteries.

So far I have (1) replaced the house batteries and verified that the shore power and the generator charge the house batteries, (2) verified that the use/store switch does shut off the 12 volt power when I place the switch in the off position, (3) replaced the Isolator Relay Delay by Intellitec which controls the solenoid, (4) replaced the Trumbatta solenoid, and (5) verified that the engine alternator is putting out 14 volts. After all this I still do not have the alternator charging the house batteries.

What am I missing? What should I do next? Is there a fuse somewhere? Whatever the problem is it started at the factory. Anything else I can test?

I appreciate the help.
Since this is a 2019 model, why not take it to the dealer and have them repair it under warranty? I know that it takes time, but it sounds like you have spent quite a bit of time yourself trying to solve the problem. I get fixing little things as taking it back to the dealer could be a pain. Will they cover an RV tech to come out under warranty?
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Old 09-14-2019, 12:24 AM   #7
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THOR #2631
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradox998 View Post
My coach is a 2019 25V, and it seems that the BIRD is not used in this coach, but rather the Isolator Relay Delay device. As far as I can tell there is only one solenoid and it is controlled by the IRD.


When I picked up the unit, new, the house batteries were charged, but after a day or so they seemed to weaken, even though I was driving all day. When I got to my destination I had a 30amp hook up so the batteries recharged. I went through this cycle several times until the batteries would not take a charge. They were being discharged too deeply, but I was not sure what the problem was. When I replaced the batteries I trouble shot the system and realized the alternator was not charging the batteries. I don't think it ever did.


Thanks for the diagram, any advice?

OK, so IRD is missing the B as in "Bi-directional" charging control. I don't know and I am speculating here, but maybe your coach only charges one way.....on shore power you charge both coach and chassis batteries, but the alternator might only charge chassis battery while traveling? I am just throwing this out there as I don't know. I believe at least some Sprinter class coaches might have a similar charge system. There are ways to upgrade if this is the case so that you get true bidirectional charging.......BIRD would be one. Since you are under warranty it would seem better to determine exactly how your charge system is supposed to work and then take steps to change it in future if you want, to a better alternative.
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Old 09-14-2019, 03:13 AM   #8
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THOR #14698
Ok my question have you called Thor? They have folks who may be able to put you on the right track or perhaps hook you up with a tech close to home.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:54 AM   #9
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I think there's something wrong in the connections of your BIRD controller and relay.

I'd verify that both battery systems are connected appropriately to it,
then
I'd really focus on the control connections.
Seems that it's either not pulling the relay in when it detects low house voltage and charging chassis voltage...
OR
the thing is pulling in the relay but the charge voltage isn't being seen by the house.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:58 AM   #10
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oh, I'll add this for commiseration.... a very similar thing happened to me.... mine did work....but later I found out that my relay was bad while on a trip and I killed the house battery.

I've since installed a volt meter so that I can monitor both battery systems, but it's a cheapo thing and I don't trust it all that much.
It would be great if they'd do a better job from the factory of monitoring and indicating what's going on with the batteries...like a full on battery monitoring system that measures amps in and out of each....
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Old 09-14-2019, 01:02 PM   #11
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There'a a hundred ways to do the same thing, Thor was using the BIRD and Trombetta relay, then they went to the BIM:



Which is what I would think you would have but you say you have an IRD which may be their latest iteration on this system.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:50 PM   #12
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THOR #14426
Fixed it! There was a 7.5amp fuse that was inline with the wire to the ignition switch. Of course it was by black cable covers and hidden by electrical tape. In any case thanks to all for the help. It would have been nice if Thor noted this fuse location (or existence) somewhere in the manual or on an electrical schematic. Well at least I know my charging system now.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:19 PM   #13
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:14 PM   #14
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Syracuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradox998 View Post
Unfortunately in dealer is in Texas and I am in Upstate New York. No dealers within 100 miles.


Thor dealer is in Syracuse...if that is any help
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:59 PM   #15
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THOR #5919
Make sure your Xantex pro is turned on and the use switch is on. You should be able to monitor coach voltage. Once you start coach you will hear under bed the isolator click and voltage will jump to about 13.7-14.3. If use button has been switched to store you will not charge while driving.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:15 PM   #16
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I had this same issue on my 2017 Quantum WS31. 4 times I took it to LaMesa RV in Port St Lucie, FL. 4 times they said nothing was wrong. In 1.5 years, I went through 3 sets of house batteries. Thor sent me the parts. Trombetta and relay isolator work together, so it's best to change both. Been working fine ever since. These parts were under the coolant reservoir.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:05 PM   #17
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Great!
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:24 PM   #18
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Your store switch must be turned on.
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Old 09-22-2019, 12:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradox998 View Post
Fixed it! There was a 7.5amp fuse that was inline with the wire to the ignition switch. Of course it was by black cable covers and hidden by electrical tape. In any case thanks to all for the help. It would have been nice if Thor noted this fuse location (or existence) somewhere in the manual or on an electrical schematic. Well at least I know my charging system now.
We got in on this convertsation late....
BE SURE TO USE YOUR
USE/STORE SWITCH CORRECTLY !
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Old 09-22-2019, 02:57 AM   #20
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Model: Palazzo 36.2
State: Illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradox998 View Post
Fixed it! There was a 7.5amp fuse that was inline with the wire to the ignition switch. Of course it was by black cable covers and hidden by electrical tape. In any case thanks to all for the help. It would have been nice if Thor noted this fuse location (or existence) somewhere in the manual or on an electrical schematic. Well at least I know my charging system now.
I've had issues with my "16" Palazzo since I bought it. Thor will not supply sufficient information to allow the owner to troubleshoot. They insist that the "Qualified dealer service personnel" do it. The problem with that fantasy is that their service network is inadequate, incompetent and inefficient. It's fine if you can afford 2-4 month waits for service and don't care if it does not get fixed. The only way some of the issues on my rig get fixed is if I do it.
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