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Old 01-09-2019, 12:26 PM   #1
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THOR #10769
Battery topic - one more time!

So I have read all of the threads I could find about low voltage or faulty "house" batteries and I understand that most likely the relatively cheap ones that come in the Thor Four Winds 31W need to be replaced...

That said the last camping trip at the end of a 5 day plugged up to shore power, when I unhooked everything and tried to use the automatic levelers to retract, it stated low voltage and would not complete the operation. I believe the Inverter readout was about 9.something...

Hooked up to Shore and was able to retract and go home - thank goodness, but now a couple months later, went to move it and the Inverter readout was 0.00! I still assume that holding down the Red lit button on the entrance to the door is the proper way to go into Store instead of Use, and that was done so in theory - nothing should be draining the battery right?

Even with the generator running and then hooked up to shore power, it is still reading 0.00 after about 12 hours. Trying to figure out if it is the Inverter or are the batteries actually completed dead and NOT recharging.

Also when I use the panel that has push button indicators for LPG, Battery, Grey and Black tanks - the Battery indicator shows Full (4 bars). What is that really monitoring?

Probably taking it up to the dealership in February as it needs inspection but wanted to ask my friendly EXPERTS hear before going to CW!

Thanks in advance as always!
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:37 PM   #2
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THOR #7035
Sounds like your batteries are dead and the USE/STORE switch is still in STORE.

Placing it in STORE does not stop all drainage from the batteries, plenty of threads on here about that. If your batteries were already down to 9 volts and you "stored" your coach for a couple of months then I would expect them to read 0 VDC, even if they were good, if you didn't have SP connected.

So connect your coach to SP, get a voltmeter (to eliminate the possibility of an Inverter issue), Put the USE/STORE switch in USE and measure the battery voltage at the batteries.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:25 PM   #3
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THOR #10769
Yeah - but when I hook it up to shore - it automatically goes to USE right? Or at least the Red light shows on and you can't toggle it back to Store (off). So I assume that when hooked to shore it "should" be charging the batteries. So far, after 12 hours - still reads 0.00 - hence my concern it may not be the batteries or at least just the batteries.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:37 PM   #4
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THOR #4488
i don't know for sure about your coach, but mine doesn't NOT automatically switch between use/store. While in store, the batteries do NOT charge whether running your generator or hooked to shore power.

The only time you should switch to store is when leaving your coach for more than a week or so. Store mode eliminates MOST of the battery draw but not ALL. If your batteries are in good condition you should be able to leave it in store for at least a couple months without running them too low.

Bottom line, whether plugged into shore or using generator or alternator you must be in "use" mode to charge your batteries.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:43 PM   #5
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THOR #10769
Mine only automatically goes to Use when plugged into shore or when the generator is running - and it doesn't seem you can toggle to Store. When disconnected from all - it can either toggle from Use or Store - and I toggle it to Store only when no power is being provided. It makes sense that something is draining it even when in Store - guess I am more concerned with why when running the Engine or Generator or being hooked to Shore, it does not appear to be charging...or at least the Inverter readout is showing 0.00 while the Battery check button shows Full.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:02 PM   #6
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THOR #6411
When you have the generator running or on shore power the converter is supplying power to the power center and to the coach. The batteries are not involved. To use the batteries for anything, charge or discharge, the use/store relay MUST be in the use position. The relay is a latching relay and will stay in the last position until the control switch is activated. There is no auto position. Forget about the light as it only indicates there is power to the switch to change the position of the latching relay.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:10 PM   #7
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THOR #10769
That makes perfect sense - and what has confused me reading all the other posts - seems that most RVs have the Use/Store switch as a standard toggle? The one in the Four Winds 31W doesn't have a toggle - it is held in until the Light goes on or off (or you hear the actual transfer I guess), it doesn't stay one way or the other. Would be much happier if it did have a definite Use vs Store position!
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:19 PM   #8
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THOR #2631
This use/store switch indicator lamp has fooled many RV owners into thinking their batteries were charging when in fact they are not. On my ACE there are separate coach and chassis battery momentary use/store switches for added control flexibility ( or head scratching when you are an RV green horn). When on shore power (or gen) the coach use/store indicator light is on, even though the actual coach battery string is still physically disconnected from the converter (battery charger). You have to put the coach into “use” mode in order for the converter to actually also charge the batteries (you should hear the battery latching relay operate or release when operating the use/store switch). I always suggest that Rv’ers purchase a cheap digital multimeter which you can use to occasionally check voltage on your coach and chassis batteries to make sure they are actually charging (13.1v +) when you think they should be. If they are not.....it is time to find out why not.
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:22 PM   #9
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THOR #10769
So that would be a different switch - or just holding the one I mentioned until i "hear" the transfer - and of course checking it with a multi-meter? Hate there is no visual (that I can find) that I am in either Use or Store. I have scratched my head bald on that one! :-D
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:40 PM   #10
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THOR #6411
The latching relay that Thor has used for many years is controlled by a momentary three position switch. The switch returns to the off position when released while the relay holds the last position. Holding the switch in either the use or store position for more than couple seconds can burn out the relay's solenoid. It is a dinky little relay located near the power center and is rated for 50 amps continuous. Any 12 volt circuit that is not fused in the power center will still continue to draw power from the batteries even if the latching relay is in the store position.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:00 PM   #11
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THOR #10769
Yeah - seems like lots of issues with that transfer. The only real problem I see at this moment - is that while the Inverter/Converter reading is 0.00 - the Axxis Rear View Camera and Entertainment panel will not come on at all - so backing up is back to the old manual method (hmmm...that's what those side mirrors of for huh?). And I am wondering if it is going to successfully be able to run the Fridge while on the road - as it seems that necessitates the Use function. The levelers are definitely pissed at no battery voltage but work fine either on the generator or the Shore power.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:26 PM   #12
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THOR #1150
Note that there are two different use/store switches in Thor coaches these days.

The one with the light (that will erroneously light up when the converter is providing 12V power even though it could still be in "store"), and the old momentary toggle (without a light).

People need to be clear about which one they are talking about. (There are many threads now where the conversation keeps going because of this confusion.)
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:30 PM   #13
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THOR #10769
Thanks JamieGeek - that is what has me confused for sure - mine has the light that now seems to be an idiot light that is there to distract me!
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:37 PM   #14
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THOR #2631
Just one last comment on this one.....for those with the indicator light on the use/store switch(es) when you are not on shore or gen power the light should only light when you operate the battery latching relay(s) to connect it(them) to the DC coach loads. In my case, when not driving I almost always plug into shore power (home and camp ground) so I rarely turn off the latching relays during the entire camping season (I have coach and chassis battery latching relays). Since we rarely boon dock I know the latching relays are typically always on so I expect batteries to be charging (13.1v +) whenever driving (from alternator or gen) or via shore power or gen when camped. I check correct charging status by occasional voltmeter tests (takes 5 minutes) or via my aftermarket inverter which when turned on standby, shows coach battery voltage in its remote monitor. (easier than the multimeter routine).
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:59 PM   #15
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THOR #10769
Well I fixed it (mostly) - using the old IT Guy method - just reboot something!

Checked the Converter indicator and still showed 0.00 but couldn't believe the batteries were not charged even a little. So in a effort to determine whether I was in Use or Store I unplugged from Shore with neither the Generator or the Chassis running. But low and behold all the lights and everything were still on and the Red Light was still aglow. So at least I knew I was in use mode and the batteries had to have some charge. The lights were bright and nothing seemed to dimmed by low battery. So I checked for any obvious bad fuses but saw none. On a whim, I cycled the breaker to the converter -which didn't really do anything obvious. So to just test the Use/Store once more i pressed it and the lights and everything went off as expected - when I pressed it again - bamm - lights AND the Converter read 13.1!!! The refrigerator came on and all looked great again. The only exception I still have is that the stupid Axxis cab screen will not come on at all. Not sure about that one but I can always back it up like the old days if I don't get that one fixed by May! :-D
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:10 PM   #16
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THOR #7035
Quote:
Originally Posted by bglanning85 View Post
Well I fixed it (mostly) - using the old IT Guy method - just reboot something!

Checked the Converter indicator and still showed 0.00 but couldn't believe the batteries were not charged even a little. So in a effort to determine whether I was in Use or Store I unplugged from Shore with neither the Generator or the Chassis running. But low and behold all the lights and everything were still on and the Red Light was still aglow. So at least I knew I was in use mode and the batteries had to have some charge. The lights were bright and nothing seemed to dimmed by low battery. So I checked for any obvious bad fuses but saw none. On a whim, I cycled the breaker to the converter -which didn't really do anything obvious. So to just test the Use/Store once more i pressed it and the lights and everything went off as expected - when I pressed it again - bamm - lights AND the Converter read 13.1!!! The refrigerator came on and all looked great again. The only exception I still have is that the stupid Axxis cab screen will not come on at all. Not sure about that one but I can always back it up like the old days if I don't get that one fixed by May! :-D
Do you mean Axxera Radio? Try the reset button with a paperclip; hold it for about 15 seconds.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:22 PM   #17
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THOR #10769
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Originally Posted by Tfryman View Post
Do you mean Axxera Radio? Try the reset button with a paperclip; hold it for about 15 seconds.
And this is why I love this Forum! Spot on TFryman! Thanks to all that have endured another Battery dead rant! I still feel like I know about 75% of the stuff about this RV - and all of that pretty much came from you great peeps!
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:07 AM   #18
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THOR #8813
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Originally Posted by bglanning85 View Post
Yeah - but when I hook it up to shore - it automatically goes to USE right? Or at least the Red light shows on and you can't toggle it back to Store (off). So I assume that when hooked to shore it "should" be charging the batteries. So far, after 12 hours - still reads 0.00 - hence my concern it may not be the batteries or at least just the batteries.


Mine automatically switches to use
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:22 AM   #19
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THOR #14070
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Originally Posted by javelin View Post
When on shore power (or gen) the coach use/store indicator light is on, even though the actual coach battery string is still physically disconnected from the converter (battery charger).

We that’s just plain STUPID. I think this is my problem and I have to say thanks, Thor, for killing my two new batteries.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:04 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by motofabio View Post
We that’s just plain STUPID. I think this is my problem and I have to say thanks, Thor, for killing my two new batteries.
You have found out why a detailed PDI is so important. The operation of every switch and CB in the coach should have been explained to you in detail as you recorded the PDI on your cell phone or camera. A good dealer will have a delivery area where you can spends a day or two trying-out your coach. If you have a question the delivery techs are near by to solve any problem you have. I even had the PDI tech accompany me to the dump station and watch while I tried to dump the tanks. It was there I found the sewer hose outlet swivels down.
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