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Old 06-21-2016, 11:49 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Kentucky
Posts: 1,022
THOR #1020
Replace all the batteries = lesson learned

Our 2015 Challenger came with 2 batteries and we upped it to 4 on the way to a 2 month winter semi-boondocking in Key West. While in Key West and after about 30 days our batteries started being difficult to charge and then had difficultly holding a charge for 8 hours. Granted we had lots of "stuff" running all night but initially it wasn't a problem.

We had to take a 4 month hiatus from RVing while we had our knees fixed. Three months into our dry dock, the batteries had become very poor performing (we are at our brick and mortar home). While doing routine maintenance, batteries wouldn't hold a charge and wouldn't go over 12.7 volts on generator charge.

Today I went and put 4 Trojan T105 in, replacing the hodge podge I had from the previous 6 months. Bingo, Bango, Bongo. Immediately fixed my battery state.

Morale to the story - replace all the batteries as a unit, if not the lower performing battery will pull the others down. With my background I knew this but didn't do it - gotta just claim an old age lapse.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:02 AM   #2
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Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Pennsylvania
Posts: 410
THOR #4486
Yes, I have also read in the Motorhome magazine last year where it was recommended that all batteries be replaced at the same time for the exact reason you experienced. Did you stay with 6 volt batteries and you had enough room in the existing battery compartment to add two more without a modification?
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:07 AM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Windsport34F
State: California
Posts: 91
THOR #3382
Batteries

I had the knees replaced a few years ago too. Hope you are back at it.

I have a 2015 Windsport 34F, and had nothing but problems with batteries, and all of the electronics, and the generator. In regards to the batteries, went through the Harris house batteries, dead in a couple of months. THOR dealer replaced at no charge. They lasted 2 months, dead as door nails. Next, had 4 Interstate 6 volt Golf Cart batteries installed. All of them were dead in a week.

The dealer finally diagnosed a bad battery control box, and replaced that. Glad it is still under warranty, as that part didnt look cheap. Find out if you have a battery control box, its under the hood on the drivers side. If it is defective, your batteries won't charge, and all of your electronics will mis behave. Its been a week, and I haven't been to see it since Saturday, I hope the batteries aren't dead.

The generator was a crimped, over tightened union in the fuel line, that was not ever supposed to have been there in the first place. That took a few visits, and 2 generator fuel pumps in 40 hours of operation to diagnose.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:13 AM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Kentucky
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THOR #1020
schreinertms - plenty of room for the additional batteries. I'd strongly recommend that a part of the deal when buying a coach is to make sure you have 4 batteries where possible.

After I was able to get up and around some, I visited our coach and the battery alarm bells were going off (figuratively). As soon as the batteries were in place, everything worked correctly. I felt like an absolute rookie for spending about $350 too much.

At least everything seems to be working well now, including my new knee. DW is recovering nicely as well.

Just wanted to try and save other owners my $350 learning lesson.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:47 PM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 23U
State: California
Posts: 179
THOR #1490
I have a small 12 Volt meter installed next to my accessory switches. i can see how much voltage my batteries get from either the engines alternator, solar panel, or my progressive dynamics charger. In a charge state the voltage is one to one and a half volt higher. So I know they are getting charged. the gauge cost three bucks from Amazon.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:01 PM   #6
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Model: Challenger 37TB
State: Kentucky
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THOR #1020
Sikoriko - fairly sure I know what the voltage in has been. Fairly sure I know the charge level and positive I know the voltage after the coach has been sitting. I went beyond just the voltage test and checked cells with a hydrometer to double check. Extremely low specific gravity in one, very low in another and weak in the #3 and 4. The problem wasn't with the charging system, the problem was operator error. Two new batteries with 2 older weak batteries = 4 weak batteries.
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Old 06-23-2016, 02:38 PM   #7
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Florida
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THOR #4366
Now that you have the T105's it's time to update the charging system if you have a WFCO; it won't produce the 14.8 volts required by the Trojans. See this link.....http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/dat...ata_Sheets.pdf
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Old 06-23-2016, 04:53 PM   #8
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State: Texas
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THOR #2121
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrubjaysnest View Post
Now that you have the T105's it's time to update the charging system if you have a WFCO; it won't produce the 14.8 volts required by the Trojans. See this link.....http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/dat...ata_Sheets.pdf
What I find most important in that data is that the amount of usable stored energy declines significantly as these types of batteries are discharged quickly. Even at 2-hour discharge rate the usable energy is much less than at 20-hour rate.

When there isn't enough battery capacity available for the load, batteries will run down very fast and will often end up almost completely discharged. And it doesn't take too many cycles getting close to zero state of charge to kill an otherwise good battery.

Long-term lithium batteries will solve this problem because they are not as sensitive to discharge rate.
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