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Old 07-16-2019, 09:26 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds 31L
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THOR #16018
Electrical Confusion

I am pulling my hair out, I can wire up a race car but this RV is kicking my azz. Let me try to explain, I do a lot of dry camping at the race tracks, recently in the middle of the night the generator just stopped working, would not restart. Checked the code and read a #36, tried to clear the code and that would not happen. I then broke out the generator from the enclosed trailer and ran the RV off of it, now I have no dash radio and coach lights. Generator does not start, just one click and done. Using my fluke is read 8.34 volts on the coach batteries under the side step. I charged overnight and had 13.2 the next morning but within seconds back to 8 volts. I am planning on two new batteries this weekend but questions is how do these batteries charge ? Shore Power ? While Driving ? Dont understand why everything died while generator was running ?
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:52 PM   #2
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Hi Drag Racer,

The batteries normally will be charged by the converter anytime you are powered from the generator or plugged into campground power. That is assuming that the converter is operating correctly, and that no 12-volt circuit breaker between the batteries and the converter is tripped.

The batteries should also be charging when the vehicle motor is running, from the alternator circuit.

Now, batteries at the 8 volt level are REALLY DEAD, so it's possible that they just won't hold a charge at all. If these batteries are the typical lead acid type, it's important to check and fill the cells with distilled water or the lead plates will soon be toast. It's likely too late to save your batteries now.

Get a voltmeter on the batteries while plugged in to be sure the voltage is above 13 volts or more, to prove the charging circuit (converter) is working.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:04 PM   #3
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THOR #7035
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Originally Posted by Tom N3EQF View Post
Hi Drag Racer,

The batteries normally will be charged by the converter anytime you are powered from the generator or plugged into campground power. That is assuming that the converter is operating correctly, and that no 12-volt circuit breaker between the batteries and the converter is tripped, and that the USE/STORE switch is in USE or the MASTER switch is ON.
And it sounds like dead cells in your batteries. Generator shutting down with a 36 code is another issue. 36 just means it shut down. Oil level? Fuel level? Gotta be over 1/4 tank for the generator pickup.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:28 PM   #4
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THOR #4735
yes, this is usually due to possible 'overheating' if running the air for a long time... since if the fuel ran out, the generator would just be 'out of fuel', with no 'code' associated with that...

as for the battery issue, it's likely you may have 'accidentally' hit the Use/Store switch, which would still allow the lights and fans to work since the converter is now being powered by the generator, but the batteries would not be charging... the batteries 'died' during that time, and when the generator shut down, no battery power was available to continue powering anything.


maybe
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Old 07-17-2019, 11:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
yes, this is usually due to possible 'overheating' if running the air for a long time... since if the fuel ran out, the generator would just be 'out of fuel', with no 'code' associated with that...

as for the battery issue, it's likely you may have 'accidentally' hit the Use/Store switch, which would still allow the lights and fans to work since the converter is now being powered by the generator, but the batteries would not be charging... the batteries 'died' during that time, and when the generator shut down, no battery power was available to continue powering anything.


maybe
Great explanation for newbies and anyone for that matter
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Old 07-17-2019, 04:29 PM   #6
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...yes, very good addition to my comments to include the USE/STORE switch in the equation.
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:07 PM   #7
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Having just experienced this 36 code I will try to explain how it was explained to me. 36 is a code for fuel. The brain of the generator is saying Hey! I did not shut the generator down, there is a fuel delivery issue. It can be the fuel filter, fuel pump, lack of fuel, or the carb is plugged up. If this is in a QG4000, you can pull the carb and clean it with carb cleaner.

Anyhow, I would start with checking out the fuel system on your generator.
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