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Old 03-27-2020, 03:41 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 25.2
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THOR #15515
Battery charging question???

Axis 25.2. When plugged to shore power and battery switch in store mode does the on board charger still charge? I am wanting to use a battery tender instead of the on board charger and use the outlets in the RV to plug in the tender.
Thanks a lot,
SR
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by sandrooney View Post
Axis 25.2. When plugged to shore power and battery switch in store mode does the on board charger still charge? I am wanting to use a battery tender instead of the on board charger and use the outlets in the RV to plug in the tender.
Thanks a lot,
SR
No, the store/ use switch activates the latching solenoid which physically disconnects the house batteries from the power center (which contains the charger). You can check by removing shore and generator power from the coach. If the interior coach lights illuminate (with the light switch), your latching relay is in the use position. If the interior lights do not illuminate then the relay is in the store position.
The store position assumes you are not going to use coach and there is no power of any sort on the coach. You can still drive the coach, as the chassis battery is not controlled by the use/store switch.
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:09 PM   #3
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For batteries to charge -- the USE/STOE switch MUST be in the USE position. When it is in STORE no charging current from the converter is being sent to the batteries.

So, when you are connected to shore power, when the generator is running, or when you are driving down the road be sure the USE/STORE switch is in USE.
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:46 PM   #4
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Thanks. Does it hurt anything to have it plugged into shore power and have the switch in store position? I do not want the on board charger to charge the batteries. I want to put the batteries on a tender and use the outlets in the rv to plug the tender in. Thanks again.
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:43 AM   #5
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I understand your question but why not use the onboard charger?

If it was me I would add disconnects if connecting a separate minder. Too easy to bump the use/store switch and have two chargers connected.
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:20 PM   #6
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Thanks petefoss. The onboard charger doesn't cut off when the battery is charged and that just doesn't seem right and I don't believe a tender will boil the water out.
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Old 03-28-2020, 01:07 PM   #7
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The onboard should go into maintain mode.
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Old 03-28-2020, 01:35 PM   #8
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Our Axis doesn't go into maintain mode. Our previous 5th wheel Dutchman Voltage did not either. From what I have read most don't.
Thanks a lot
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Old 03-28-2020, 02:25 PM   #9
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I just checked my converter model and it is supposed to have a 3 stage charger.

13.2 float mode
13.6 absorption mode
14.4 charge mode

Should this maintain the batteries without boiling out the water?
Thanks
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Old 03-28-2020, 03:02 PM   #10
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Our Axis doesn't go into maintain mode. Our previous 5th wheel Dutchman Voltage did not either. From what I have read most don't.
Thanks a lot
Thatís probably because if the crap converter/charger Thor uses. It is supposed to go into all three modes. I had 2 and they never worked right. I replaced mine with a Progressive Dynamics PD 4655 and it worked perfectly, every time for the three years I owned the coach. You get what you pay for - at least sometimes.
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Old 03-28-2020, 03:03 PM   #11
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I just checked my converter model and it is supposed to have a 3 stage charger.

13.2 float mode
13.6 absorption mode
14.4 charge mode

Should this maintain the batteries without boiling out the water?
Thanks
Yes. As long as it actually goes into maintenance or float mode. Check and make sure that it does.
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Old 03-28-2020, 03:30 PM   #12
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Yes. As long as it actually goes into maintenance or float mode. Check and make sure that it does.
How would you check that? Everytime I look at my battery voltage when plugged in it seems to be 13.6.
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Old 03-28-2020, 03:55 PM   #13
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How would you check that? Everytime I look at my battery voltage when plugged in it seems to be 13.6.
On yourís, the only way to check it us to measure the voltage. If it does not drop down around to 13.2 or 13.1v within 48 hours (depending on how far down the batteries are to begin with) then it is not going into float mode and it will boil you batteries and destroy them. Your only option (if you do not replace the converter/charger) is to charge your batteries and then unplug from shore power. When the batteries discharge down to about 12v, plug back in again. One nice thing about the PD4655 is that it has a flashing display light that tells you what mode it is in.
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Old 03-28-2020, 03:58 PM   #14
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The other thing the converter/charger in the Thor may not do is desulfate the batteries. That will also destroy them over time.
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Old 03-28-2020, 04:11 PM   #15
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Thanks, I will check my voltage. My batteries are in my garage right now on a tender. I am planning to install them back into the RV tomorrow. It should go into float mode fairly quickly being they are fully charged now.
Thanks to all
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Old 03-28-2020, 05:10 PM   #16
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How would you check that? Everytime I look at my battery voltage when plugged in it seems to be 13.6.
If the battery is about 80% charged (by electrolyte's specific gravity) a three stage converter will automatically switch to a float charge (maintenance). The actual voltage is totally dependent on the temperature of the charger (or batteries if a battery temperature monitor is installed). The float voltage can vary from 13.1 volts @ 30 F degrees to 13.6 @ 80 F degrees for 12 volt flooded batteries. The minimum voltage needed to charge a battery is dependent on the batteries temperature. A fully charged 12 volt battery will show about 12.8 volts resting (sitting for 30 minutes with neither being charged or discharged). Because of the batteries internal resistance it takes about 0.50 volts to move current into a charged battery. Equalization is overcharging a battery to stir-up the electrolyte by boiling out the water in the battery. This is never necessary unless the battery sits for a long time. De-sulfation is a contentious subject at best; whether it works or not seem to be dependent on the charge's manufacturer. Sulfation only occurs when a battery is not fully charged. If it is discharged slowly and recharged the next day little sulfation will occur.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:24 PM   #17
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So am I correct that a charger in float mode would show a cycle in voltage with time as it charges up and drifts back down?
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Old 03-29-2020, 01:32 AM   #18
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So am I correct that a charger in float mode would show a cycle in voltage with time as it charges up and drifts back down?
It really won't noticeably cycle. The charger circuity is very sensitive and easily compensate for typical coach loads. If the charger voltage were to vary during the float stage the lights in the coach would follow the voltage dimming and brightening. The typical charger can supply 50 amps DC with only a 0.3 volt drop.
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Old 03-29-2020, 02:58 PM   #19
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My volt reading on my batteries is 12.8 and my onboard charger is still charging at 13.6. Does that mean that it's not going into float mode?
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Old 03-29-2020, 03:10 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by sandrooney View Post
My volt reading on my batteries is 12.8 and my onboard charger is still charging at 13.6. Does that mean that it's not going into float mode?
Again there is always a 0.5 to 0.7 volt difference between charging voltage (float) and discharging voltage, always. The actual voltage stored in a battery can only be check in the battery's resting state (no electricity in or out of the battery for 30 minutes or more).
If the charging voltage never goes higher 13.0 volts the battery would gradually self-discharge. One thing to consider is when the ambient temperatures get above 90 degrees some battery water will be lost even during float charging, so it is best to check the battery water level at least every 30 days, even if the coach is not being used.
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