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Old 09-15-2019, 12:55 AM   #1
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THOR #6025
Generator and land line will no longer charge the house batteries

We have a 2017 Thor 29.3 ACE. Not sure where to look! When hooked up to land line or using the generator (AC inputs) the system will not charge the house batteries. The only way to charge the house batteries is to run the engine. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:58 AM   #2
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Sorry... but have to ask. Are you sure the Use / Store switch is in the "Use" position?

Otherwise it could be an issue with the Converter / Charger. You might want to check fuses or the 12v Bussman breaker.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:30 AM   #3
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Check the converter Circuit breaker. Check the reverse polarity fuses. Check the main inline reset-able fuse near the battery.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:34 AM   #4
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If its not an AC problem:
You can’t charge house batteries from the converter you say, but with use/store “off” does the converter power the DC lights and fans in the coach OK? Yes, means converter AC inputs/DC output is probably OK and you might have an open 50 amp mini re-settable breaker tripped between the converter and coach batteries (typical picture attached; note the arrow – not necessarily specific to your coach though). In some coaches that mini breaker is located under the bed close to the converter/breaker panel......but I am not familiar with the 2017 ACE at all, or which battery management system it uses. If you find the mini breaker reset it by pushing in the small black button.


If that mini breaker is not the problem, does the use/store latching relay operate OK (you hear a clunk when it operates or turns off?). Do DC lights and fans work off house batteries when the shore and gen are disconnected/off? No, could mean a failed coach battery latching relay.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:56 PM   #5
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Thank you all for your comments. To answer a couple of the "Use/Store" switch. It seems to work fine. When I click it to "store" everything shuts off as it has sense new. When it is on "use" everything works. The only thing that drew my attention to the battery appearing not to be working was the interior light would flicker and then dim. In the past I could start the generator and you would here a click after 10 sec and then everything would be working. Checking the battery status would show full lights and the refer would default to using the electricity not propane. Shore hook up would show battery status full and the light were bright. You could here the fan come on for the converter (I believe) and all systems would work. Now the only time all this all works is when I start the engine. At first I thought there might be a bad relay somewhere but all the ones that I know of have not tripped. To include a 50 amp. I have a extended warranty so I may just take it in and save myself the headache of trying to chase the issue.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:15 PM   #6
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How about checking the ATS?
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:18 PM   #7
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Please give us a follow up report.
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Thor29.3inAZ View Post
Thank you all for your comments. To answer a couple of the "Use/Store" switch. It seems to work fine. When I click it to "store" everything shuts off as it has sense new. When it is on "use" everything works. The only thing that drew my attention to the battery appearing not to be working was the interior light would flicker and then dim. In the past I could start the generator and you would here a click after 10 sec and then everything would be working. Checking the battery status would show full lights and the refer would default to using the electricity not propane. Shore hook up would show battery status full and the light were bright. You could here the fan come on for the converter (I believe) and all systems would work. Now the only time all this all works is when I start the engine. At first I thought there might be a bad relay somewhere but all the ones that I know of have not tripped. To include a 50 amp. I have a extended warranty so I may just take it in and save myself the headache of trying to chase the issue.
After reading your response, I don't think you replied to the question:

with use/store “off” does the converter power the DC lights and fans in the coach OK..... with shore power connected of course?
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javelin View Post
After reading your response, I don't think you replied to the question:

with use/store “off” does the converter power the DC lights and fans in the coach OK..... with shore power connected of course?
With the use/store "off", everything is off. So the converter power is off along with everything in the coach. No refer, micro wave, lights, heater, A/C etc. Nothing is on. Whether AC or DC.
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:23 AM   #10
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Please give us a follow up report.
I will certainly do that.
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:27 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
How about checking the ATS?
Are you referring to the automatic transfer switch? If so, I do here it click when short power is connected. it also clicks when the generator is used (separate from short power). Bear in mind when the generator is started, it takes aprox 10 sec for AC power to engage the coach.
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:56 AM   #12
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Thanks for the response. I am not familiar with the electrical details in your coach, but usually when you are connected to shore power and use/store is off, you should still have 120vac to the converter via the auto transfer switch and typically the 12vdc loads (lights fans etc) work without the use/store being “on”.

Then when you want to charge house batteries (and in some coaches chassis batteries too) you turn on the use/store switch. This connects the house batteries to the converter/fuse panel so battery charging can proceed.

So what I was trying to get at is if we disconnect the house batteries (use/store off so house batteries are disconnected) and shore power is connected (120vac) to the coach, you should get 12vdc to lights and fans. If you don’t, then somewhere between power source in the campground and the converter 12vdc output you have an open/failed circuit/device.
You said on gen all works fine......so 120vac from gen triggers the transfer switch (10 sec delay you said) to switch power off shore source and onto gen source.....and everything works. So it sounds like the shore connections in the transfer switch or a shore connection all the way back to the power source might be open somewhere. Bad/loose wire nut connection; burnt wire etc. Maybe your coach is different though.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:20 PM   #13
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So re-read your original problem again and you said only engine alternator will charge coach batteries not gen, as I stated in my last post. If no 120VAC source (shore or gen) power is even getting to the converter input so no 12vdc output, then as other posters have stated you need to focus on auto transfer switch/connections and all connections/breaker between it and the converter as a start. The converter itself may have a problem.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:43 PM   #14
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I am having a similar problem (but mine is a 2017 Thor Gemini 23TR) ...not charging up house batteries while on shore or generator power --only while driving. I can't see any flag on my 50 amp (due to its position behind house batteries -see picture). Anyway, I have made a service appointment (several weeks off) so I'm wondering if I can maintain the 2 batteries until then using my trickle charger? I have attached a picture of my house battery set-up and wondered if I could clamp onto existing posts while still wired together -and if so which posts? Or I'm I better to disconnect and trickle charge each battery one at a time? Nancy
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by nmcmilla View Post
I am having a similar problem (but mine is a 2017 Thor Gemini 23TR) ...not charging up house batteries while on shore or generator power --only while driving. I can't see any flag on my 50 amp (due to its position behind house batteries -see picture). Anyway, I have made a service appointment (several weeks off) so I'm wondering if I can maintain the 2 batteries until then using my trickle charger? I have attached a picture of my house battery set-up and wondered if I could clamp onto existing posts while still wired together -and if so which posts? Or I'm I better to disconnect and trickle charge each battery one at a time? Nancy

Hi Nancy, a couple questions for you first: (again, I don’t know your coach or its battery control system):


1. when shore power is disconnected from coach; gen and engine are off, do you get 12vdc lights and fans running OK in the coach when use/store switch is on? If yes, then the converter/fuse panel is connecting OK to the coach batteries (so 50amp breaker and use/store latch relay are probably OK).
2. When you turn off the use/store switch the 12vdc lights and fans should stop working. Do they start working again when you plug in shore power “or” turn on the generator (leave use/store off)? If not, then I would suspect component/wiring failures on the AC side of the converter as a start (like output side of the AC transfer switch not connecting AC power from either shore or gen through to converter AC side; tripped breaker in breaker panel feeding AC side of converter; bad or loose physical connection somewhere along those various connections). Also check the two reverse voltage fuses on the output of the converter. They will blow if the coach batteries are accidentally connected in reverse polarity to the converter output. It could also be the converter itself has failed (AC input to converter is proven good, but no DC output can be measured with a voltmeter on any DC fuses for example). If you are not comfortable testing these circuits then leave it for the RV techs.


Regarding the trickle charger.......if you are using the coach as in #1 above (use/store on) then you will likely pull more amps out of the battery than the trickle charger can supply (and may blow output fuse on the trickle charger), so not much point. If you are not using the coach, turn off use/store as a minimum /or better yet disconnect the coach batteries ground cable(s) and then trickle charge the batteries.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by javelin View Post
Hi Nancy, a couple questions for you first: (again, I don’t know your coach or its battery control system):


1. when shore power is disconnected from coach; gen and engine are off, do you get 12vdc lights and fans running OK in the coach when use/store switch is on? YES .....
2. When you turn off the use/store switch the 12vdc lights and fans should stop working. Do they start working again when you plug in shore power YES “or” turn on the generator (leave use/store off)? YES
Also check the two reverse voltage fuses on the output of the converter. NOT SURE WHERE THESE ARE (when connecting the new batteries there was incidental contact with metal generating a spark - might that have blown fuses?)
They will blow if the coach batteries are accidentally connected in reverse polarity to the converter output.
It could also be the converter itself has failed (AC input to converter is proven good, but no DC output can be measured with a voltmeter on any DC fuses for example). I HAVE ALREADY HAD A SIMILAR PROBLEM HANDLED BY DEALERSHIP JUST OVER 12 months ago...

you are not comfortable testing these circuits then leave it for the RV techs.


Regarding the trickle charger.......if you are using the coach as in #1 above (use/store on) then you will likely pull more amps out of the battery than the trickle charger can supply (and may blow output fuse on the trickle charger), so not much point. If you are not using the coach, turn off use/store as a minimum /or better yet disconnect the coach batteries ground cable(s) and then trickle charge the batteries.
Thanks for your help javelin. I added comments in capitals above (not yelling just so they would stand out;-) I think I will have to tickle charge 1 at a time until mid Oct RV tech appointment. Nancy
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:30 PM   #17
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Hi again......so from your yes answers to both questions it sounds like your coach batteries can feed the 12vdc loads OK in the coach when use/store is on (means coach batteries are feeding the converter fuse panel OK).......and then when the coach battery is disconnected (use/store off), either shore or gen can AC power the converter (battery charger) and it is then DC powering the 12vdc fuse panel to feed coach loads. So that all sounds normal......


So I have to ask: do you have the use/store switched on when on shore power or gen? If not, you will not be able to charge coach batteries. Do you hear the clunk of the coach latching relay when you turn it on or off?


Lastly, why do you say the coach batteries are not charging when on shore or gen? Do you have a digital voltmeter that you can use to test across the coach batteries; use/store must be switched on and shore power connected. You should measure approx 13vdc or higher with limited or no DC loads on in the coach.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:24 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by javelin View Post
Hi again......so from your yes answers to both questions it sounds like your coach batteries can feed the 12vdc loads OK in the coach when use/store is on (means coach batteries are feeding the converter fuse panel OK).......and then when the coach battery is disconnected (use/store off), either shore or gen can AC power the converter (battery charger) and it is then DC powering the 12vdc fuse panel to feed coach loads. So that all sounds normal......


So I have to ask: do you have the use/store switched on when on shore power or gen? If not, you will not be able to charge coach batteries. Do you hear the clunk of the coach latching relay when you turn it on or off? ..YES


Lastly, why do you say the coach batteries are not charging when on shore or gen? JUST FROM THE LACK OF LIGHTS ON THE MONITORING PANEL.
Do you have a digital voltmeter NO
that you can use to test across the coach batteries; use/store must be switched on and shore power connected. You should measure approx 13vdc or higher with limited or no DC loads on in the coach.
Hi javelin and thanks again. See adds above. You didn't comment on whether the arch created while hooking up the 2 12 volts might have blown a fuse?
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Old 09-20-2019, 02:02 PM   #19
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Hi Nancy, I missed your comments about the accidental spark situation. Depending on what touched where it can blow fuses or trip DC breakers, but since your coach batteries power the converter DC fuse panel OK (based on your descriptions), I am pretty sure the reverse protection fuses on the converter are OK also. It is not unusual to get a small spark even when hooking up coach batteries correctly initially, especially if you have an inverter in the coach; or if the use/store was left "on" before coach battery changes were made.
I am not familiar with the Gemini control panel, but I think the old Thor units were/are made by Ventline. Are you getting any lights on the control panel at all, or is the problem just that the battery “low” light is coming on when you press test in all power situations except when engine is running....and then is it "full" battery lights?

If the control panel lights work normally for tank levels and other system checks then possibly there is a problem with the battery sense portion of the cct board inside the control panel. I would guess that the Ventline control panel has a direct battery and ground connection from the converter fuse panel (or similar) to power its internal cct board......but the various sensing inputs would have their own inputs into the cct board.



It is always a good idea to buy a cheap digital multimeter; ......using the voltmeter and measuring voltage across batteries under the various coach charging conditions would help teach you what is normal and when something is not right (hopefully before you get stranded somewhere). There are lots of Utube videos on how to use a multimeter.
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:08 PM   #20
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Hi javelin, I do get 4 of 4 lights on the battery monitor when I run the engine. I my model there is a small draw on the house batteries even while in "store" so I have been idling the engine a couple of times the last week to bring all 4 lights on.
I will pick up a multimeter.
Waiting for the RV Tech appointment but I am thinking of trying to get to my use/store relay (which is under a drawer) to see if anything is amiss in there.
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