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Old 02-19-2016, 01:20 AM   #1
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12v sockets on dash powered by house or eng. battery

Or does shore power provide a trickle charge to the eng. battery? When NOT plugged into shore power, with a volt meter plugged into the dash outlets I get a reading around 12.6v. When plugged into shore power, the meter reads 13.6. When the USE/Stow switch is in Stow, meter reads 12.6v. When the eng. first starts and runs the meter reads 14.6v and then drops off slowly. From all the indications it appears that the eng. battery is getting a trickle charge from shore power.
Anyone have a wiring diagram to check this out? I have never had any battery discharge problems on my Vegas as has been mentioned here before.
Thanks
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:09 PM   #2
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Whether shore power charges the chassis seems to be another 'it depends' topic... From your measurements - I would say yours does. Mine (2014 Hurricane) seems to as well..

Last winter I ran a laptop from one of the dash cigarette lighters for quite some time before thinking about its power source... It was powered by the chassis (as are all 3 12v outlets on the dash - 2 by driver and one in the 'flip out' desk at passengers seat) - the chassis battery was happy as can be after this...

I need to request wiring (and plumbing) diagrams from Thor for my unit - that will confirm... but hard to argue with a charged battery
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:20 PM   #3
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Twice I have gone out to the Vegas RV and the chassis battery was stone dead. The RV was plugged into 30 Amp the whole time. I took it in to the Ford dealer and they said all was fine.
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:28 PM   #4
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THOR #1249
There are a couple of others, maybe more on the forum who have had the eng. battery as well as the house batteries drain on theirs when in storage. Some have installed a disconnect switch to solve the problem. Also, you may want to check the state of your battery if you haven't already to make sure it will hold a charge and is not defective. if you do a search, you can find a lot of info on what others have done to work around or solve their problem.
Good luck.
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:59 PM   #5
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In my 2014 Hurricane 34E a 12V Fantastic Fan Endless Breeze fan lives virtually permanently right in the middle of my dash board circulating air.

It's been plugged in to the top socket right next to the steering wheel for over a year.

I notice that the speed of the fan gently fluctuates as the voltage converter/battery charger normally cycles and does it's thing, (you can hear it's quiet fan go on and off).

So, I'm venturing to say that the 12V sockets on the dash are connected to the house batteries, (which are definitely connected to the voltage converter/charger).
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Old 02-23-2016, 05:01 PM   #6
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I have a friend who just also bought a Vegas. He also has problems with both chassis and house battery going dead after only a week or so, even with the kill switch off.
I usually have 30 amp power to the RV on since I park it at home and only the chassis battery goes dead. but if I do not plug the RV in, both batteries go stone dead in a week or so. The batteries are so dead I can't use the emergency start to start the engine off of the generator.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f troop 8th cav View Post
Twice I have gone out to the Vegas RV and the chassis battery was stone dead. The RV was plugged into 30 Amp the whole time. I took it in to the Ford dealer and they said all was fine.
Plugging into 30 amp power (or 15/20 amp power) only charges the house batteries, not the chassis battery. I have a small solar panel that I have hooked up to the chassis battery or (since you are plugged into 30 amp) you could purchase a trickle charger, plug it into one of your wall sockets and run wires to the chassis battery.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f troop 8th cav View Post
I have a friend who just also bought a Vegas. He also has problems with both chassis and house battery going dead after only a week or so, even with the kill switch off.
I usually have 30 amp power to the RV on since I park it at home and only the chassis battery goes dead. but if I do not plug the RV in, both batteries go stone dead in a week or so. The batteries are so dead I can't use the emergency start to start the engine off of the generator.
This seems to be a common problem in RVs. I have owned three previous RVs and in all three the batteries drained even when the kill switch was thrown. You can go crazy trying to figure out what the manfacturer wired directly to the battery or you can purchase a battery disconnect switch. My new Axis is the first of four RVs where the "kill switch" actually totally disconnects the coach batteries.
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmc View Post
Whether shore power charges the chassis seems to be another 'it depends' topic... From your measurements - I would say yours does. Mine (2014 Hurricane) seems to as well..

Last winter I ran a laptop from one of the dash cigarette lighters for quite some time before thinking about its power source... It was powered by the chassis (as are all 3 12v outlets on the dash - 2 by driver and one in the 'flip out' desk at passengers seat) - the chassis battery was happy as can be after this...

I need to request wiring (and plumbing) diagrams from Thor for my unit - that will confirm... but hard to argue with a charged battery
I have an Axis 24.1, built Oct 2014. I have been using the dash cigarette lighter ports to power my iPhones and iPads through a USB adapter plus my GPS. Suddenly no power! I haven't been able to test whether the USB adapter is the culprit or the cigarette lighter port is bad. It never occurred to me that the cigarette lighter ports may be powered from the engine battery. I didn't bring the proper test tools so I am at a loss.

Am I reading your post properly?
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:52 AM   #10
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Thor changes things so often, it is better to check your coach. Just turn the Use/store switch to store and see if the ports work. If they still do work, they are powered from the chassis battery. If they do not work, the Use/store switch disconnected them from the house battery.
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:25 AM   #11
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Oneilkeys gave the best way to tell... though you will likely need to be disconnected from shore power to do the test...
(Shore power provides 12v to the coach even if the USE/STORE is in STORE.. It won't charge the coach batteries unless switch is in USE.

However - since you now have NO POWER in those 12v outlets - we need to fix that first...
Will the engine start? Rules out a dead chassis battery
Plug in another 12v accessory and see if you have power...
If not - check the fuses (location will vary by model - for the Axis - if you haven't downloaded Ed's manual - he shows you where EVERYTHING is on that rig...)

We've had many discussions about charging of chassis battery from Shore Power since my post back in Feb... A properly wired and all components functioning coach SHOULD charge BOTH the coach and chassis batteries while on Shore Power. The Axis has either a Battery Control Center (BCC) or BIRD/Trombetta to provide both the isolation of coach from chassis - as well as tying them together to charge when appropriate. Ed's manual has quite a bit on this as well...

See Ed's post with link to latest manual here:
Thor Forums - View Single Post - Link to Ed Felker's Vegas/Axis Manual
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:19 PM   #12
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A post last year indicated that the fuse for the 12v dashboard power outlets is F17 in the outside compartment underneath the driver's seat. Might be a good place to start.
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:41 AM   #13
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The only way to tell is test with a volt meter and try different configurations of the use/store switch with the coach not on shore power.
The cigarette lighter outlet on ours is 30 amp feed from the house batteries.
The USB is feed from the dash radio and with the fuse pulled in the DC distribution panel is still hot. Our dash radio gets some pwoer from the chassis battery and some from the house batteries.
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Old 12-14-2016, 12:49 AM   #14
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When at home, I have 20amp power plugged and and use a battery tender on the chassis battery.
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Old 12-14-2016, 01:07 AM   #15
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When our 2016 VEGAS is on shore power the chassis and coach batteries are charged. EXCEPT if I have started the truck with shore power connected, then only the house batteries are charged. So, I have to make sure that shore power is disconnected before I start the truck...Strange, but seems to work...

The alternator DOES charge both the coach and chassis batteries going down the road.
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Old 12-14-2016, 01:37 AM   #16
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I'm not sure I understand? You start the engine with shore power connected and the chassis battery is not being charged by the alternator? Or are you saying that if you start the engine with Shore power connected and then shut off the engine that shore power does not then charge the chassis battery? I have always been "goosey" about starting the engine when on generator or shore power or starting the generator while the engine is running. I know the system is supposedly built to handle it, but I just have never been comfortable with doing it.
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Old 12-14-2016, 12:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneilkeys
starting the generator while the engine is running
About 60% of the time when we're going down the highway the genny is running because someone needs 120V... LOL

Growing up my father had a couple of boats (not at the same time) with generators and it was the same thing: While underway the genny's were running.
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Old 12-14-2016, 12:35 PM   #18
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Yep... I know everyone does it and I am not saying that you shouldn't. I put in a small inverter to give me 120v on the highway.
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:58 PM   #19
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Oneilkeys -- in your post 7 you said that plugging into 30 amp power only charges the house batteries not the chassis battery. I researched this extensively back in Feb and posted the thread http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f10...when-3315.html specifically because I had heard the same thing from many other owners. It made no sense to me that if I were camped for 1 or 2 months and used the USB port on the dash (powered from the chassis battery) and the two 12 VDC ports (also powered by the chassis battery) on the dash to power 12 VDC appliances, TV, etc everyday, when it was time to leave and I tried to start the engine I'd be dead in the water because I killed the chassis battery using the USB and DC power points everyday for 2 month.

Here is what my research revealed:
The house and chassis battery will charge when on shore power or generator power through the charging circuit of the converter, or when driving down the road through the alternator. In the Vegas/Axis Thor does this through either a Battery Control Center (BCC) or a Bidirectional Isolator Relay Delay (BIRD) and Isolation Relay (Trombetta). Whether a BCC or BIRD/Trombetta the charging of the batteries work the same way.

First charging current will come from either the converter (if operating off shore or generator power) or the engine driven alternator.

Engine Alternator Charging the Batteries
When the ignition switch is turned on and the engine is running, the charge monitoring circuit in the BCC or the BIRD senses the level of voltage on the chassis 12 volt system. When this voltage goes above 13.1 volts for approximately 2.5 minutes, as happens when the engine is running normally (normal alternator output voltage of a cold engine is approximately 14.4 volts), it will close the BCC's isolator relay or the Trombetta providing charging current to the coach battery. This delay allows a cold engine an opportunity to start and warm up before having the heavy load of a discharged coach battery placed on it. If the voltage should fall below 12 volts for more than about 1 minute, the relay or Trombetta will drop out to feed all the alternators available output to the chassis battery to keep the engine running. This might happen when the alternator is not able to supply sufficient current to all of the loads and charge the coach battery at the same time. When the chassis voltage goes above 13.1volts again, the relay or Trombetta will again close in about 2.5 minutes to retry to charge the coach battery. The resultant flickering of lights would alert the driver of the system overload.

Converter Charging the Batteries
When the coach is plugged into shore power or the generator is running and the ignition is off, the BCC or BIRD senses the voltage on the coach batteries. When this voltage goes above 13.1 volts for approximately 2.5 minutes, as happens when the converter isn't heavily loaded, it will close the BCC isolator relay or Trombetta providing charging current to the chassis battery. If the voltage should fall below 12.6 volts for more than about 1 minute, the relay or Trombetta will drop out to prevent the coach loads from discharging the chassis battery. This might happen when the converter is heavily loaded by coach loads. When the coach battery voltage goes above 13.1 volts again, the relay or Trombetta will again close in about 2.5 minutes to retry to charge the chassis battery.

So while camping or driving down the road there are systems in the RV that ensures charging current is going to both the chassis battery and coach battery bank. The USE/STORE switch must be in USE for he coach batteries to charge regardless of what charging circuit is being used.

If the chassis is not charging off shore or generator power or the coach batteries do not charge going down the road -- something is either not working correctly or something was incorrectly wired in the BCC or the BIRD/Trombetta. After the thread I posted in February, several owners found their Trombetta was not wired correctly by Thor.
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Old 12-14-2016, 11:26 PM   #20
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You're right Ed. If you look, that post you referenced was from 23 February when I had just picked up my new Axis and it did not charge the chassis battery when hooked into Shore Power. Mine was the original one that had the miswired BIRD. It took me several weeks of discussions with Thor, the BiRD manufacturer and the Trombetta people to figure it out. SailingVessel restarted the thread on 9 December.
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