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Old 12-09-2018, 07:29 PM   #1
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THOR #12830
Thor Batteries

Hi folks, have a 2018 Citation Sprinter with 2 12 V presumably Harris Batteries.
They seem to discharge quickly while sitting and I switch to store. The fluids are fine. Haven't been using that often but planning a 10 week trip first of January with 5 day stops between travel. I plan on using what I have and seeing what happens. If I need to or should I before I leave "equalize the batteries".

How does one do that? Suggestions on what to do, what to do? If I did need two change out Lifeline batteries seem to be well respected in this forum.

thanks in advance>
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Old 12-10-2018, 01:02 AM   #2
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They may not be Harris batteries, but could be. I had a 2014 Palazzo which had Harris batteries, but my 2018 Four Winds has Excide batteries(New World). You may want to check with Thor. On my Palazzo, it had a Magnum inverter and converter. The magnum product had the equalize function. On the Four Winds there is no capability to equalize.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:09 AM   #3
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After the abuse of my two Harris batteries from the dealer (dead when it was on the lot, and dead when I picked it up after some warranty work), I thought I was going to need new batteries. They would barely last a day of light use. Checked fluid and it was fine, so I pulled the batteries and put them on my Schumacher charger, one at a time overnight, and then both on my Battery Tender trickle charger for the rest of the week until I reinstalled back into the coach the next weekend. They now are acceptable. Iím putting a shunt and battery monitor on them this month to take the guesswork out, but they are largely doing what I need them to do. Iím trying to get solar going and will plan for new batteries when that happens, but for now itís good. Maybe the Schumacher conditioned them better than the on-board charger, maybe it was because they were being addressed 1 at a time and load balancing was no longer in the equation? I donít know, it just worked. Itís a cheap try before going new battery route. If you donít have a ďrealĒ battery charger, I recommend the Schumachers; theyíve always worked well for me.
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Old 12-10-2018, 01:16 PM   #4
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IMO I would not trust any OEM deep cycle battery. They might have been killed 5 times before you purchased them and will give out when you least expect them too - esp in the wintertime. Mine only lasted about 9 mo and then would not hold a charge.

I would replace with a good quailty battery - I prefer AGM but they are price (but worth it).
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Old 12-10-2018, 02:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterrrr View Post
... On my Palazzo, it had a Magnum inverter and converter. The magnum product had the equalize function...
actually, on the Palazzo and other larger coaches with the Magnum ME2012 or similar Inverter, it has a built in Charger, and no converter, since the Inverter/Charger performs the same functions. The 'Equalizing' charge function is a part of the Charger so that the House batteries can perform a controlled 'overcharging' to help sulfate the batteries and bring all 'cells' to a more equal state of charge, and specific gravity reading, since a single 'bad' cell can cause issues with the whole lot.

I recently had this issue arise, as my Magnum Inverter would start to just 'shut OFF' for no apparent reason. What I found out is that the issue was really due to a sudden large load, usually associated with a motor or compressor, such as the Fridge compressor, Microwave, or even a vacuum was turned on. While smaller loads such as TVs and satellite receivers and device chargers was handled fine, once the fridge came on, the Inverter immediately shut off.

After some digging, and finding out about all the devices in the Inverter bay, and their use within the 12v system, it came down to simply checking the specific gravity reading in the House batteries - finding that the one in the rear had two cells that were very low.
Because of this, and even though all the other three House batteries were very fine, any larger load would suddenly cause the whole battery bank to suddenly 'struggle' to handle the 12v flow to the Inverter, tricking the Inverter to think that it had lost 12v power, if even for a quick moment, causing it to turn OFF. The sudden flicker of the 12v lights in the coach was a sign.

After I removed the battery in question, drained it's electrolytes(battery acid), refilled with new acid, and ran through several full charges, the battery is back up to par. I reinstalled it, and the Inverter now continues to work fine, just as it should, even when adding the Fridge's compressor, a vacuum, and the Microwave, even if all at the same time. Nice.

Batteries are not necessarily the problem that we sometimes make them out to be, whether brand names or not. A flooded acid battery has many years of fine service, and the name on the top is not an indicator of whether it is up to the task or not, it is simply the manufacturer that the factory choose to use to install in their coaches. I also don't think that just because a dealer 'may' have allowed a battery(s) to discharge on their lot is a guarantee that the battery is now 'bad'... batteries can have a second life if you give them a chance.

Our 'stock' batteries are going on 5 years now...
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:20 PM   #6
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Harris batteries IMO get a bad rap, as most of the 'premature' failures are more a result of pre-sale dealer battery abuse, or just neglect. I'm in my third year with the original Harris batteries, and so far they do what I need them to. When the time comes, I will probably replace them with AGM's, just because.
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Laco View Post
Harris batteries IMO get a bad rap, as most of the 'premature' failures are more a result of pre-sale dealer battery abuse, or just neglect. I'm in my third year with the original Harris batteries, and so far they do what I need them to. When the time comes, I will probably replace them with AGM's, just because.
I tend to agree.
sure, prob not a really great battery, but I'll bet on par with most (maybe all) of the other marine/rv hybrid types out there. The duracell, excell, whatever it is that walmart sells, etc...

Mine was good enough to hold a few minutes worth of charge as I drove it off the lot....but is was basically dead. They had it plugged in and ready for my PDI so I had no way to verify its condition (I'd even brought the tools to do so..). didn't take long though that first night to discover it wouldn't hold anything


Based on my experience buying these things over the years...boats, campers, etc., they just simply do not last if deep discharged. Could be wrong, but I'm personally convinced that even one drop down to or near zero charge causes noticeable and permanent harm.

and when you think about a typical dealership situation... all the way through from delivery through the sale, maybe a rv show or two, countless people go in and out of the thing, flipping on lights and such...things are bound to be left on overnight...and even if the thing is well cared for, they don't fully disconnect them when stored, so the self discharge takes a hit...and since it's a pain in the neck to drag around a charger or power to rigs around a lot to keep them topped off, they are not likely to be well cared for.
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laco View Post
Harris batteries IMO get a bad rap, as most of the 'premature' failures are more a result of pre-sale dealer battery abuse, or just neglect. I'm in my third year with the original Harris batteries, and so far they do what I need them to. When the time comes, I will probably replace them with AGM's, just because.


Agree. Mine are going on 5 years now and havenít had any problems with them as use for house batteries. Did replace the chassis battery a couple of months ago but it was a Ford original battery.
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:11 PM   #9
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Well I might as well comment too. I still have my original Harris batteries in my 2013 ACE 30.1 (built in 2012).....and have never had a problem (yet Ė knocking on wood) with them. Maybe I was lucky since I purchased this coach new and it was actually inside the Dealer showroom (plugged in) for customer walk throughs at the time (Fall 2012). So perhaps the OEM batteries had better than usual treatment from day one. We turn on the coach and chassis latching relays (use/store) in Spring when the season starts for us and basically leave them on. Coach is plugged in other than when travelling. I ensure the batteries are charging from converter/alternator with a multimeter often throughout the season. We rarely turn off the disconnect switches during the season. In fairness though, we do not boon dock very often. In Winter I remove all batteries; clean them externally and fully charge them with a stand alone charger one day a month (Equalization for 3 hours or as long as I want and float charge for the rest of the 24 hour period; then they are disconnected until the next month. I am not saying everyone should do this but so far it has worked for us and the batteries are still in very good condition. I posted an interesting article on wet cell sulfation in another segment of this forum......might be of interest to anyone reading here as well:


Battery Sulfation : Technical Support Desk
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:00 PM   #10
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My Harris batteries would also take a nose-dive, when not hooked up to shore power. I added a bayonet-style disconnect switch, and it seemed to help an awful lot.

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Old 12-10-2018, 10:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaktop View Post
Hi folks, have a 2018 Citation Sprinter with 2 12 V presumably Harris Batteries.
They seem to discharge quickly while sitting and I switch to store. The fluids are fine. Haven't been using that often but planning a 10 week trip first of January with 5 day stops between travel. I plan on using what I have and seeing what happens. If I need to or should I before I leave "equalize the batteries".

How does one do that? Suggestions on what to do, what to do? If I did need two change out Lifeline batteries seem to be well respected in this forum.

thanks in advance>

Define "quickly".
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:18 PM   #12
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Ummmm... The opposite of "slowly".

I can tell you that mine would draw down to about 12.2 volts in three days.
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Old 12-15-2018, 06:23 PM   #13
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I changed out my house batteries with Trojan T-105 AGM due to corrosion of the connections and cables. The batteries had been abused on the lot, however they still performed at about 75% expected capacity. They did require a lot of water but much of that was the Trombetta Relay was bad and the batteries never got charged on the road. Ran them down several times before narrowing down the faulty relay. The AGM's do work better in dry storage without having to be on a maintainer.
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Old 12-15-2018, 07:57 PM   #14
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I just changed out my chassis’s battery in my brand new (don’t even have the plates yet)2018 Thor Axis 25.2. This move was prompted by being stuck at the storage lot for three hours waiting for roadside assistance. Yes, it was plugged in to the facility’s trickle charger and the emergency start (pulling from the house batteries) did not work. After the dealer has it for two weeks and assured me that it was simply a bad fuse - imagine their surprise when they went to pull it out of the service bay for me to take it home and it did not start.
Held my tongue and upgraded to a new Optima Red. Hopefully that solves the problem. I’ll let everyone know when we get back from our DisneyWorld trip (Texas to Florida and back). Wish us luck.
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Old 12-16-2018, 01:13 AM   #15
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Dump the batteries and go buy two Interstate Deep Cell/RV batteries. You are going to drive yourself nuts trying to keep them charged. I had that problem for over a year (because the dealership didn't put the switch on 'store') and two years later with the Interstate batteries have had Zero problems. They hold a charge and are very reliable.
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:18 PM   #16
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The Harris batteries that came with our 2017 ACE 30.1 lasted maybe 6 months. Actually less than that, but it took me that long to replace them with a pair of Interstate 6 volt batteries, and gain about 50% over nameplate capacity. The batteries would draw down to 12.1-12.3 volts over a few days of just sitting in store mode. The Interstates have been great for the almost 2 years weíve had them.

I also got rid of the WFCO converter that came with the coach and replaced it with a Progressive Dynamics. If you attempt to invoke a warranty with Harris, they will refuse it and blame the battery failure on the WFCO converter.

I also have added a Bogart Trimetric battery monitor and a Bogart SC-2030 solar charger (200 watts of panels on the roof and another 120 in a portable). The SC-2030 keeps the batteries full and performs a proper equalize sequence.
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:29 PM   #17
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Excellent info, thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverTransplant View Post
The Harris batteries that came with our 2017 ACE 30.1 lasted maybe 6 months. Actually less than that, but it took me that long to replace them with a pair of Interstate 6 volt batteries, and gain about 50% over nameplate capacity. The batteries would draw down to 12.1-12.3 volts over a few days of just sitting in store mode. The Interstates have been great for the almost 2 years weíve had them.

I also got rid of the WFCO converter that came with the coach and replaced it with a Progressive Dynamics. If you attempt to invoke a warranty with Harris, they will refuse it and blame the battery failure on the WFCO converter.

I also have added a Bogart Trimetric battery monitor and a Bogart SC-2030 solar charger (200 watts of panels on the roof and another 120 in a portable). The SC-2030 keeps the batteries full and performs a proper equalize sequence.

Thanks for the info, I had the factory replace the converter when I had in to 'fix' the punch list of things failing over and over, like the slide. I had a buddy of mine mention to me about the solar charger. I'm really surprised that this is not a 'standard' on the initial build.
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:18 AM   #18
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Dead batteries

I have 2 deep cycle batteries in my Four Winds that were drawn down to nothing when I didnít switch them off in storage. Now they will not hold a charge so thinking of replacing them. I have a solar panel (160 w) on the roof and am wondering if I need to disconnect the panel, or cover it up, when I disconnect the batteries and add new ones. Any ideas?
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Old 12-29-2018, 06:30 PM   #19
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If there is ever an upgraded RV in my future, there better be AGM’s in it. Struggled with the stock Harris batteries, upgraded to the Optima Blues installed today. Looked st lithium but besides the battery costs I needed to update the converter and add some other gizmo to charge from the chassis. I can change AGMs every few years to make up that cost. 10 week trip with boondocking expected. Feeling
relieved.
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