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Old 09-25-2017, 02:01 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger LX
State: Texas
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THOR #6185
Generator runs but doesn't provide electricity...

I have a 2017 Challenger 37 LX with the Onan 5500 generator. I have used this generator several times with no problems. The last time I used it was two days ago. I turned off all power to my coach, removed the wire that goes from my shore power plug to the box that switches from shore power to generator power, and then ran the generator which worked fine. I installed a wired in EMS into the cable that I removed. Then I turned off the generator and reinstalled the cable which worked fine. Today we got on the road, and when it started getting warm we turned on the generator but got no power. I checked the breakers on the generator and under the bed, and they were all good. I did see that the big positive cable that is at the bottom left when you open the generator side panel was very loose, so I tightened it up and looked for other loose wires. Today is a long day of driving, so I haven't gotten to deep into the search for other issues yet. Since I'm still on the road I was hoping someone on here might be able to point in some direction before I get started on a wild goose chase.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:00 PM   #2
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I would check your connections in the power transfer switch box, especially since you were working there. The switch (relay) gives priority to the generator, which will provide your RV electrical power when ever it is running, even if you are plugged in to shore power.
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Old 09-27-2017, 05:04 AM   #3
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I was able to shoot the wires in my transfer switch. For the generator input from ground to red and from ground to black was 110V. I got nothing from white to anything else, and nothing from red to black. Unless anyone can tell me anything else the next thing I will do is disconnect the cable that I installed the EMS on again to see if it works.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:53 AM   #4
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Sounds like the white is open.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Huck View Post
I was able to shoot the wires in my transfer switch. For the generator input from ground to red and from ground to black was 110V. I got nothing from white to anything else, and nothing from red to black. Unless anyone can tell me anything else the next thing I will do is disconnect the cable that I installed the EMS on again to see if it works.
Red to white and black to white should also be 110 Volts. White to ground should be 0.
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Old 09-29-2017, 04:40 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the assist! I was able to find and fix the problem today! I will attach some pictures, but this is what I found. There's a junction box that takes the wires from the generator and joins them to the wires that go to the transfer switch. In one picture you will see that the cover is all jacked up and one screw hole is broken. I will have to replace that cover. In the other picture you will see what I found when I took the yellow electrical tape off...the two white wires from the generator weren't even in the cap, so it's amazing that I even got any power out of that. I just took the cap off twisted the two little white wires around the big one and put the cap back on. Then I retaped it and pushed the wires back in the box better than they were and closed the lid. Click image for larger version

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Old 09-29-2017, 04:42 AM   #7
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Sorry I don't know why it posted both of my pictures twice.
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Old 09-29-2017, 11:40 AM   #8
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Good job, I correctly told you it was a open white wire connection.
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:58 PM   #9
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I think I need to take a day and go through all the junction boxes and pull all the wire nuts. I've heard that it's common for hot water heater connections to be loose. I see this thread about barely connected ground (or maybe it was neutral) wires.

I guess the key is to just find them all. I'm guessing many are underneath the coach or other difficult to find/reach places.
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:01 PM   #10
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Check for my thread "smoking or non"
I had loose connections in tbe transfer switch splices that melted down.
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:57 PM   #11
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Update on my issue. After I got it working I stuffed all the wires back in the junction box. Then a few days later we tried to use the generator again and it didn't work again! So I opened up that junction box again and took the electrical tape off all the connections and found that the black wire wasn't in the wire nut either... Now all the wires in that box are secured well, and this time I waited until all the wires were back in the box with the lid screwed on before I tested to see if it worked. Everything is good for now. I think we should all go through all our electrical connections to make sure everything is secure.
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:31 AM   #12
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We have the same coach and the same issue. We were not able to troubleshoot ourselves. CW told us both batteries have dead cells and need to be replaced. Problem now is the batteries (we bought new 2017) have their serial numbers scratched off and expiration date is not present. Of course battery company states they did not leave factory like that , etc and CW Berkley won’t honor the warranty. They want us to pay $153 per battery plus installation. We’ve been complaining about the electric since the first week we bought it. They actually told us at one point the challenger was not designed to dry park. It took them 5 months and 5 service visits to identify the problem and now they won’t honor the warranty bc they are in the business of “making money” and the battery company will only reimburse them for their actual cost. I’ve tried hard to stay positive with all the other issues we have encountered but this takes the cake. Scratched off numbers and expiration dates on dead batteries is clearly unfair and deceptive business practices...
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Old 10-07-2017, 02:18 PM   #13
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I bought the same exact batteries CW had On Sale at $145 for $79 @ Tractor Supply Company and they had a factory sticker of only being a month old!
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:24 AM   #14
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jmcjaw2 you should always just stay clear of any CW most all of them are known to be horrible to customers. I'm glad that I had twenty years experience as a helicopter mechanic in the Marine Corps before starting this RV journey, I just wish I had more experience in the electrical portion.
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:17 PM   #15
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Generator

Does anyone have suggestion on where you can get warranty work done for Thor other than CW? We are on the east coast now and cannot find anyone except CW. We are not accustomed to this type of poor service and disrespectful treatment. If this is the norm I fear we made a huge mistake buying a Thor.
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:39 PM   #16
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Does anyone have suggestion on where you can get warranty work done for Thor other than CW? We are on the east coast now and cannot find anyone except CW. We are not accustomed to this type of poor service and disrespectful treatment. If this is the norm I fear we made a huge mistake buying a Thor.


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Old 10-08-2017, 05:50 PM   #17
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THOR #6185
If you do any research on all the other brands you will see that the poor quality is across the board. As far as getting good customer service you will find that there's a huge shortage of maintenance personnel and an even bigger shortage of decent maintenance personnel. You will also notice that CW for the most part is the absolute worst...I'm betting that within a year or two they will begin to collapse and eventually go out of business unless they change.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:51 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jmcjaw2 View Post
Does anyone have suggestion on where you can get warranty work done for Thor other than CW? We are on the east coast now and cannot find anyone except CW. We are not accustomed to this type of poor service and disrespectful treatment. If this is the norm I fear we made a huge mistake buying a Thor.
Call Thor and ask them for authorized Thor service centers in and near your location.
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