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Old 12-04-2018, 07:39 PM   #1
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THOR #11726
Exclamation Batteries not charged by shore or alternator

I have a 2017 Thor Quantum and have a problem with the house batteries not being charged by the alternator or the shore power. It seems to work fine with the generator.
My husband and I are fairly new to the RV scene, but he knows some about batteries and such. Just stumped with this one. Help!
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:02 PM   #2
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THOR #4735
while both your Shore power and your Generator power go thru the same ATS(automatic transfer switch) before reaching your Inverter/Charger, or Converter, it would be really strange to have only 'one' of those 120v power supplies reaching your batteries.

Tell us what you are doing when this occurs, i.e., traveling, parked with 30amp shore power, running the generator when off-grid, etc. so that we can better access your situation. Also, make sure you are not switching [OFF] your USE/[STORE] switch by the entry door in any of these situations.
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:55 PM   #3
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THOR #11726
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
while both your Shore power and your Generator power go thru the same ATS(automatic transfer switch) before reaching your Inverter/Charger, or Converter, it would be really strange to have only 'one' of those 120v power supplies reaching your batteries.

Tell us what you are doing when this occurs, i.e., traveling, parked with 30amp shore power, running the generator when off-grid, etc. so that we can better access your situation. Also, make sure you are not switching [OFF] your USE/[STORE] switch by the entry door in any of these situations.
Yes, we are parked and plugged into 30 amp shore power.
The use/store button was in the use position.
Inverter showed 13.2 volts

We did find a 7.5 amp fuse in the BIRD blown and we replaced it.
Now the batteries show 13.7v On shore power. Still not charging from the alternator, as confirmed by a reading of 12.8 with engine running.
Hubby has confirmed that alternator output is above 14 volts.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:06 PM   #4
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THOR #4735
you're making headway, and actually may have repaired the 'issue'... as if you are seeing the correct CHARGE voltage, thru the Inverter's charger, from the generator or shore power, you're most of the way there...
now, though, the Alternator does NOT flow thru the battery Charger, but goes DIRECTLY to the battery(thru a 12v DC Coil controlled by the BIRD), and probably is not going to register the same Voltage on the panel, while charging, as you might expect from the Gen or Shore.

The charging output of the CHASSIS Alternator is going to power and charge the Chassis batteries FIRST, before ever changing over to the HOUSE batteries(via the BIRD and the 12v DC Coil).

If you are Inverting, while under the Alternator power, you're probably only going to see 12.8 or less...

The BIRD is the charging SENSOR, and
the 12v DC Continuous Coil is to handle the combining of the two battery banks when the BIRD calls for it...

you may also have another 12v DC Coil, if you also have an 'AUX' or 'Battery Boost' dash switch, which also combines both battery banks, but for the purpose of OUTPUT, rather than charging, such as to boost your Chassis batteries to start the coach in the even they are low.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:29 PM   #5
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THOR #11726
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Thanks for the encouraging input. Hubby will look into the other DC coil tomorrow. I think he's had just about enough of troubleshooting for today.
He's really glad the shore power is working again.

Will post more when we get to the bottom of it. But we won't turn down any sage advice from the forum! You guys are saving our bacon.... And money!
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:51 PM   #6
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THOR #7035
It has been noted that some of Thor's Class Cs do not charge the house battery from the alternator (for whatever reason).
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:33 AM   #7
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THOR #11726
Tfryman, our Thor owner's manual says the alternator does charge the house batteries. But thanks for the input!
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:56 AM   #8
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THOR #11442
There is a circuit breaker, usually next to or near chassis battery, that allows house and chassis to connect via a relay for charging or emergency start. It'll probably be 100A and look something like this photo. Look for a flag, yellow or red, protruding out from the side. Click image for larger version

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Old 12-05-2018, 08:57 PM   #9
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THOR #11726
We've done everything we can think of, but still no charging to the house batteries from the alternator. We have a call in to a repairman, but not sure when he can come.
We have a trip coming up next week, and I'm a little edgy about it with this issue still going on.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:18 AM   #10
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THOR #2631
Hi, I am not familiar with your coach but it seems from previous postings that you have the Bird battery charge monitor system and you are still not getting the alternator charging the coach batteries. A generic Bird schematic is attached for a basic reference....but your actual coach wiring may be different.


You mentioned that your husband measures 14 VDC when the engine/alternator is running (I assume measured on the chassis (engine) battery), but only 12.8 VDC on the chassis battery at the same time. I believe the Bird sensing unit waits 2-3 minutes after sensing 13.1 volts before closing the isolator relay to connect chassis and coach batteries together. Do you have an emergency battery start switch at the driver location ? If yes, with engine running, when the emergency switch is operated, do you hear a relay operate and does the coach battery see the alternator charge voltage at that time?
Basically this is manually operating the Bird system “isolator” relay (connects chassis and coach batteries together while emergency switch is held operated) in case the Bird voltage sense unit has failed. If your coach batteries see alternator charge voltages now (or closer values) when emergency switch is operated, then the isolator relay is likely good. Some isolator relays also have 5 amp fuses mounted on the relay for control wiring so check them if equipped. It is possible that the Bird monitor box has failed; wiring issue; bad connection etc.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:15 AM   #11
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THOR #11726
Thanks for the info.
Will do the test on the emergency start switch tomorrow.
Did replace a fuse in the BIRD. Can't find any more to check at the moment.
Stand by for results.
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:59 AM   #12
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THOR #11376
When shore power is plugged in and converter is working, the 'Red Light' comes on at the master switch. However, this does not mean that the coach batteries are being charged -- one still must manually click the Master Switch to engage the Coach Disconnect solenoid in order to bridge in the coach batteries for charging.
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Old 12-15-2018, 06:29 PM   #13
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THOR #12533
I am familiar with your coach. I also have a 2017 quantum that had the same problem. It is a problem with either thrombetta contractor solenoid or the intellec isolator relay or a fuse problem in the wires from the chassis to house wiring. There are several blade type fuses in this system. Check those fuses first. If fuses are good just change out the contractor and isolator relay. Both the contractor and the isolator relay are located on the driver side firewall under the hood. It is a pretty easy repair. Here's the parts from amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
It's about a 20 minute fix. Disconnect both the house and chassis batteries before starting on this so you don't short something or get shocked.
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Old 12-15-2018, 07:59 PM   #14
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THOR #13457
I also have the same problem with my 2017 Thor Quantam. I cannot find any solution yet. I have replaced both batteries and now they won't charge either. Please let me know if you get a solution.
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:45 AM   #15
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THOR #12533
tinker3030 What have you tried? It is not overly complex. Take a digital multimeter and check voltages in different modes. If you haven't got a digital multimeter get one. Very handy tool. Check whether the batteries charge while on shore power. If charges on shore power it is not the inverter. Check whether they charge while running the generator. If charges on generator it is not the transfer switch. That leaves the solenoid and isolation relay and the associated fuses. The Trombetta and the isolation relay are easy to replace and fix. My batteries were discharging while we were driving because we were running the axxera rear camera (use it as a rear view mirror) When we arrived the battery was sufficiently discharged that the leveling jacks wouldn't run. Dealer found some battery problems but it didn't fix the problem. I checked all the fuses in the wiring between the chassis and house batteries. All were good. That just left the trombetta and isolation relay. I changed both and everything now works. Charges as we drive and jacks work as soon as we arrive.
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Old 12-16-2018, 07:15 PM   #16
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THOR #11376
If your system is like mine, this is not a broken part -- but the way the system works!

Refer to the block diagram in previous post. The issue is that AC (shore power or generator) will run converter which runs coach DC. If you have a Red Light on your main battery switch, it will come ON. However, the Coach battery will not charge UNLESS the Main Power switch is on.

In other words, the coach battery isolator is only controlled by the Main Power switch -- it does not automatically engage when AC power is connected.

To assure that my coach batteries are charging, I make sure Main Power Switch is ON, then plug into AC power.
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:41 AM   #17
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I also have a Quantum. When I plug into shore power, it will automatically switch to the "Use/Store" switch to "Use" position. It's repeatable.
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