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Old 04-11-2020, 05:10 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau
State: Massachusetts
Posts: 55
THOR #18547
House Batteries

Hi,
I'm hoping that you all can point me in the right direction to help solve my problem.
RV is 2017 Thor Chateau 23u with 2 house batteries under the steps.
They are 2 12V and I believe group 27 size.

We purchased in January with very low mileage (2730) so clearly it sat mostly unused. We have put over 4k miles on it since purchase.

With minimal use, (lights, water pump) batteries run down overnight with barely enough charge left to start the generator in the morning.
I have plugged in MH during the day to charge up batteries, unplugged at night, set use/store switch to store.
In the morning, I set use/switch to use and batteries are nearly dead. Only one led lights up on the panel.
Is something draining the batteries or are they bad?

Thank you.
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Old 04-12-2020, 03:00 AM   #2
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THOR #14426
You should check each battery to make sure they are still good. If they are original, they are probably bad. Thor only warrants the batteries for 90 days! I bought a 2019 and had to replace the house batteries after 2 months. While your unit is a 2017, the batteries could be 2016's. After sitting on a dealer lot for months they have been pretty well abused.


Get a battery tester, disconnect all the wires and test each battery. Good luck
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Old 04-12-2020, 03:43 AM   #3
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THOR #3483
Batteries

Yes, what he said. Our 2019 SOB needed the batteries replaced before our first year was up. They were Interstate batteries that were probably abused before we bought it new. Replaced with two six volt AGMs. A few months later I got tired of the mess with the flooded 12 volt chassis battery and replaced it with a AGM.
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Old 04-12-2020, 12:42 PM   #4
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THOR #4735
I would leave the batteries charging ALL the time, and make sure they are actually BEING charged, fully, before unplugging, which sounds like you are 'testing' them for what happens overnight...

check the water levels
check the specific gravity of each cell(simple cheap device to do this)

and just because you put the Use/Store switch in STORE mode does not mean that there are NOT phantom draws, which still occur from C02 and Propane detectors, and even radio/video feeds, etc. Batteries aren't always going to 'last' as long as you might hope - different folks 'camp' different ways and use more/less power as they do...

if you 'do' replace the batteries, do so with 2) 6v GC2 'golf cart' DEEP DISCHARGE batteries, wired in SERIES for 12v output. These should give you a much better 'off-grid' time for 12v power usage versus 12v 'standard' batteries that your RV may have come with.
Sams, Costco, Batteries+Bulbs, and other 'battery' dealers, even GOLF CART or ATV dealers, may have GC2 batteries for $99 each, or close to it.
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Old 04-12-2020, 01:39 PM   #5
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The batteries aren’t charging if the switch is set to “Store”.

If you are hooked up to 120VAC the Use Store light is ALWAYS on - even if the relay is unlatched. Whenever the relay is unlatched, the built-in charger cannot send current to the batteries.

There is a modification to correct this built in problem. Rewire the positive output from the charger “converter” from the 12 fuse panel to the input side of the latching relay

Dave
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Old 04-12-2020, 01:44 PM   #6
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THOR #18547
Thanks for all of the replies and great info.

I did not realize that there could still be phantom draws with the switch set to Store.
I am ordering a tester and multimeter to confirm things, but am fairly confident that the batteries are at the end of their useful life.
I had intended to replace the batteries with similar but if the GC 6V batteries are the same price as the 12v, I will probably switch.


TurnerFam: Will the GC batteries fit under the steps without any modifications?
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Old 04-12-2020, 02:45 PM   #7
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“TurnerFam: Will the GC batteries fit under the steps without any modifications?”

I’ll let TurnerFam answer for his TV, but for mine...
Most of the 6V golf cart standard batteries are too tall to fit under my entry steps.
However, there are sizes available of the AGM 6V that are small enough for my needs.
That said, once the AGM 6V are installed, then I need to upgrade my Converter Charger so that it properly charges these new batteries.

So for me, based on my current research, the expense to upgrade is more than I’m willing to pay or modify at this time.
But, to each his own.
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:12 PM   #8
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THOR #1589
Back to square one. Turnerfam asked if you had checked the water in the batteries. That's my first question, too. They can evaporate under charger. Replace only after you're sure about this. Then again, it's your money.
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Old 04-13-2020, 12:30 AM   #9
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THOR #18547
My apologies, I did not mean to ignore the question about the water levels in the cell.


It was one of the first things I checked when we got home from purchasing the RV in January and I, of course, checked again recently. All cells are full.
What I believe that I need is a new battery tester so I can check the individual cells. I found one in my tool box, probably 25 years old, the style with the little plastic balls in a small vial.

Putting an amazon order together now so I should have the new tester late this week.
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Old 04-13-2020, 12:43 AM   #10
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Good answer. Report back, you have some good suggestions.
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:44 PM   #11
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THOR #18547
Ok, here's the update.

I bought the Etekcity MSR-R500 multimeter from Amazon ($13)
With the generator running, the batteries charge at 13.33 volts.
Plugged in to shore power, they read 13.58v.
Immediately after charging for several hours, the batteries read 12.69.

After 5 hours with USE/STORE set to USE and no running of any lights, etc the batteries read 10.18v.

I recharged the batteries for several hours, turned switch to STORE and let sit overnight. This morning, the batteries read 12.41v.

My conclusion is that the batteries are done and I should replace both unless someone has other ideas.

Thank you.
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:48 PM   #12
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THOR #4735
it actually sounds like they are holding just fine under the 'STORE' provision, with very little loss overnight

when you are in 'USE' mode, you have things that are obviously drawing power, even if you don't think there is...as exhibited by your own numbers you provided.

Charging the batteries for 'several hours' may not be enough time to fully charge them, when you expect closer to 12.8volts at rest.... but 12.69 is not bad.
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Old 04-18-2020, 07:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGallagher View Post
Hi,
I'm hoping that you all can point me in the right direction to help solve my problem.
RV is 2017 Thor Chateau 23u with 2 house batteries under the steps.
They are 2 12V and I believe group 27 size.

We purchased in January with very low mileage (2730) so clearly it sat mostly unused. We have put over 4k miles on it since purchase.

With minimal use, (lights, water pump) batteries run down overnight with barely enough charge left to start the generator in the morning.
I have plugged in MH during the day to charge up batteries, unplugged at night, set use/store switch to store.
In the morning, I set use/switch to use and batteries are nearly dead. Only one led lights up on the panel.
Is something draining the batteries or are they bad?

Thank you.
a GOOD REPUTABLE dealer or station should be able to test those....most do iit free....Advance Auto, NAPA etc and have him/her show you the results. You might have some bad cells.
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Old 04-18-2020, 07:56 PM   #14
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THOR #15410
We have a 2017 chateau and the original batteries are starting to go. The one for the engine has 2 bad cells. It will charge but if you put a load to it it will go dead. We keep all our batteries on tenders.
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Old 04-18-2020, 09:19 PM   #15
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Model: chateau 23U
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THOR #1241
Golf Cart batteries may not work

If you 23 U is like mine, the golf cart batteries will be too tall. They are a much better solution (I prefer the flooded cell due to price.) but you're likely to be stuck with paralleled deep cycle Group 27s. These are readily available at Walmart for about $85 each and replace them every 2-3 years.

Also, your store switch should be in the use position for the converter to charge the house batteries.





Quote:
Originally Posted by JGallagher View Post
Hi,
I'm hoping that you all can point me in the right direction to help solve my problem.
RV is 2017 Thor Chateau 23u with 2 house batteries under the steps.
They are 2 12V and I believe group 27 size.

We purchased in January with very low mileage (2730) so clearly it sat mostly unused. We have put over 4k miles on it since purchase.

With minimal use, (lights, water pump) batteries run down overnight with barely enough charge left to start the generator in the morning.
I have plugged in MH during the day to charge up batteries, unplugged at night, set use/store switch to store.
In the morning, I set use/switch to use and batteries are nearly dead. Only one led lights up on the panel.
Is something draining the batteries or are they bad?

Thank you.
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Old 04-19-2020, 02:02 AM   #16
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Model: Newmar Ventana LE
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THOR #16834
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
and just because you put the Use/Store switch in STORE mode does not mean that there are NOT phantom draws, which still occur from C02 and Propane detectors, and even radio/video feeds, etc.
Not sure if this is correct, but it's easy to check.
Set to STORE, check the indicator lights on the CO detector and smoke alarms , also try the radio(s).

On my former coach, 2017 Thor Citation Sprinter, setting the switch to STORE stopped all current to the: dash radio, rear & side cameras, wall radio/stereo/DVD, smoke alarm, CO alarm, all house lights, AND prevented the 2 house batteries from being charged.
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Old 04-19-2020, 08:01 PM   #17
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
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THOR #18547
Thanks everyone for all of your replies and suggestions.

I will likely do what RVGeek suggested and purchase 2 new group 27 batteries from Walmart or BJ's and be done with things.

I am waiting to receive my battery tester from Amazon just to see what the individual cells read before I buy the new batteries.
Unfortunately, tester not scheduled to arrive until early May.
Doesn't really matter though, nowhere to go!

I'll report my findings once the tester arrives.
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Old 04-19-2020, 08:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfbum18 View Post
a GOOD REPUTABLE dealer or station should be able to test those....most do iit free....Advance Auto, NAPA etc and have him/her show you the results. You might have some bad cells.
My house batteries are junk and were junk when I picked up the coach 2 years ago. They test fine according to the dealer. I assume that's a quick voltage under load test?

But if I hook up a 12V load like a few lightbulbs the battery voltage goes under 12V after taking out less that 10 Amp hours of capacity as measured by my Astroflight Wattmeter that integrates amps over time.

Personally I don't think the dealer has equipment to test battery capacity as we care about it.
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Old 04-19-2020, 08:57 PM   #19
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THOR #4889
Most of the original equipment batteries are extremely poor quality. I was lucky as mine lasted two years. I just went to Walmart and got a new one and problem solved!
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Old 04-19-2020, 10:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldiee View Post
Most of the original equipment batteries are extremely poor quality. I was lucky as mine lasted two years. I just went to Walmart and got a new one and problem solved!


Iím not sure itís that the OE batteries are poor quality so much as it is that dealers abuse them dreadfully. Maybe itís a distinction without a difference since either way it means that the purchaser is left trying to get a warranty replacement our just purchasing new if they last a year. Dealers rarely bother with the use/store switch and often leave lights on after showing the unit on a busy Saturday. And they only charge it when itís completely flat. And they absolutely never check the water level! It doesnít take long to seriously degrade a battery. If your prospective purchase is more than a few months post production and/or has been to one or more RV shows you should expect some damage to have occurred.
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