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Old 07-29-2017, 03:35 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37LX
State: Maryland
Posts: 109
THOR #3920
Angry Summer Road Trip


We finally got back this morning from our 3 week road trip out west. For the most part, everything went well . until we got to Moab.

For starters, we left Maryland and headed west following I90 west until Indiana where we were stoping off in Elkhart to get out full wall slide looked at because the controller was throwing a short circuit code on motor 1. I spoke to Thor and let them know my plans and they said they they would get the slide fixed free of charge at a local dealer (Total Value RV) since their bays were full. Total Value RV got us in quickly and found out that the motor had been installed a little crooked which was tearing up the gear teeth and also the slide rail, not to mention it grabbed the wires and were slowly stripping them away. So they replaced everything, the motor, slide rails, wiring, and weather stripping. Everything seemed to go as planned and we got 2 extra days in Elkhart to look around (I wanted to give them extra time in case they needed it). Proceeding west, we made all the typical stops, Wall Drug, Badlands, Falls Park in Sioux Falls on our way to Mount Rushmore. So far so good. The slide and everything else worked perfectly. Even the wife was happy with the shower since I got a new water softener to hook up. Onward to Yellowstone where we spent three days to look around, then off to Salt Lake City, Bryce, Zion, Monument Valley, and then to Moab before heading home. Even though there was a lot of driving, all of the sights were well worth it and we even did some white water rafting at Moab.

Then, the sh!t hit the fan in Moab. The full wall slide failed again with the same error code. I took apart what I could to get a look at things, and the wiring looked good but the motor moved slightly when running the slide out. The slide would not go out at all, it would just move about 1 inch and then stop. The rear would get to about 1.5 inches and stop. So I tried to retract the slide and it came back in so I thought. We had one hell of a storm that night, lots of lightning and rain. When we woke up, there was some water on the floor. We were scratching our heads wondering where it came from. Did it come from the A/C ducts somehow from the high winds and deluge of water? After the rain stopped, I walked around and could see that the seal was not tight against the coach in the rear of the slide. I hit the retract button several times, but the slide did not move. The first thought I had was $%@ ^!%$@ %$^^ slide. We could live with the slide in, but not having it all the way in was an issue. My son could even use the drop down bed without the ladder by using the dinette seat to jump in to bed. I called Thor and they said it sounded like the slide was out of sync and to try to run it our and in a few times to sync it up. Well duh, it doesn't move out, so how can I sync it up?

By this time, we had to get moving because we needed to get back home by the weekend (isn't working great?). We headed to Colorado. Once in Colorado, I remember reading about overriding the slide. I went out and pushed the override button 7 times and then it went into override mode. I ran back in and hit the retract button and that pulled the slides in as tight as they could get. Water problem solved.

Onward to Kansas City. Nothing really bad there, just an overnight stay.

Then to Dayton Ohio. We stayed one night with the deluge following us. We decided to sleep in because we were almost home and didn't anticipate anything going wrong boy were we wrong.

We got out on the road around 10am to head home. About into the drive, I see that the high beam indicator is on and my stereo is showing me the rear camera view. The only problem is, I am not in reverse and the lights are not on. Hitting the blinkers does not bring up the side view. The horn does not work. I turn on the light switch for the headlights and find out that my lights are not working. Again, first thought What the $@%@^ &#^#%&# is wrong now? We pull into a rest stop, I turn everything off (engine, lights, etc). I restart the coach and they seem to work. We drive off again and the first time I signal to pass, the high beam indicator comes on again and the stereo turns on the rear camera. %#%#%!!!!!!! This happens several times and sometimes it would just go off by itself. I am thinking there is a major short someplace in the wiring. I pull over and see that the A/C is dripping all over the wires on the passenger side. Down in to the wire loom. I get some wire ties but before relocating them to a dryer location, I pull them all out of the plastic loom and dry them off, then mount them up and out of the way. Yeah, this solves nothing just burns more light. So now I have no lights up front. I do however have lights in the rear of the coach, blinkers, running lights, everything. Absolutely nothing up front, no fog lights, headlights, running lights, LEDs, noting, zilch. I don't even have a horn. Apparently all of this is hooked together in some fashion.

Well anyway, we get about way home on I70 and it is pouring and getting dark. I really have no choice but to pull over. There was nothing around, so we had to sit on the side of I70 because with no headlights, I couldn't take any chances. I am thinking Yeah, this is real safe. We couldn't drive anymore because it was raining hard and getting dark. But I didn't want to get hit in the rear either. Luckily I was towing and ended up turning on my jeep lights so people could at least see the rear and I illuminated the RV by turning on the off road lights. Great way to spend the last day. So we slept there .. in the middle of nowhere. We woke up and drove off as soon as we had enough light. Turns out it was 10 miles before the next exit. A little far with the conditions we had.

Now I am home and pissed off and someone is getting an earful and needs to get this figured out ASAP. I already notified Thor and the dealer where I bought it. It's going on their lot and I will not take it back until everything is fixed. I cannot take a chance on losing lights on the road again, that's too dangerous. I guess I am cancelling the rest of the summer vacation unless they get it fixed and can prove to me that the lights especially will not fail. As of right now I don't trust it enough.

I am however, going to go buy some wire spools and if need be, directly wire the lights to the switch myself because there is something definitely wrong with their wiring harness.

Oh, and with talking to Thor, there is no way that I can lose lights, horn and have the stereo do what I am saying it does. Good thing I had my wife take video and catch it in action.

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2017 Thor Challenger 37LX, Westward interior, Riverside paint job. Upgraded to 4 battery setup, Splendide 2100XC Washer/Dryer combo, Progressive Industries HW50 EMS, Heavy Duty Steering stabilizer, and TST TPMS 6+4 setup for tow vehicle . Member FMCA

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Old 07-29-2017, 05:11 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37LX
State: Arizona
Posts: 506
THOR #7863
Wow! Just, wow!

I'm sorry your family vacation was impacted by these issues. I'm reading this and thinking, could I have even figured out the things you did... probably not. Im glad you're all safely home, and hope you get your coach back, fully operational, soon!
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Old 07-29-2017, 05:53 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 29.0
State: Colorado
Posts: 215
THOR #2581
Holy sh** Batman! Glad you made it back. Starting to think my issues are not so bad after all. Really be interested to know exactly what they find. Could save one of us down the road.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:16 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37LX
State: Maryland
Posts: 109
THOR #3920
Update on my issues.

After the dealer in MD could not get me in for 2 months I decided to go about fixing it myself because I need to get to SC to see the eclipse. As it turned out, the wiring connector from the motor to the coach had the connecting pins pushed in too far (on motor side). I used a pair of pliers and carefully pulled all the pins so they were straight and aligned. Then carefully put it back into the coach end connector. I tested it several times over the course of 4 days and not once has the controller reported the error on motor 1. Everything works like it is supposed to.


Next on my list is figuring out where the short is on my headlights. I found the wiring bunch causing the issue, but it started to rain and I had to stop. There are about 5-7 splices in the wiring harness going from one side of the coach to the other and there must be a bad splice in there someplace on the driver's side. I mean really? You couldn't use one freaking piece of wire? It looks like pieces of scraps were spliced together just to connect the lighting in the front. Once it stops raining, I am going to take the wires out of the plastic sheath and start checking each wire to see where the short/broken splice is.
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:07 PM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2017 Windsport 29M
State: Indiana
Posts: 3,688
THOR #5196
I would say you have had a very interesting and memorable trip! Good thing you're handy with tools or your coach would be sitting. Good for you!
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:59 AM   #6
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2016 Vegas 25.2
State: Florida
Posts: 2,085
THOR #1589
Thanks for the update, and not leaving everyone holding their breath for your resolution.

Suggest you call Thor again and ask for more authorized dealers to call. When I had a warranty problem on the road, the first dealer said 3 weeks, the second said 1 week (which we didn't have) and the third said, bring in in now.

Yours is a cautionary tale for folks who schedule a RV trip like a car trip. When things go screwy in an RV, a little planned in slack time can help ease the stress. Just sayin'...
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Old 08-08-2017, 02:23 AM   #7
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37LX
State: Maryland
Posts: 109
THOR #3920
Oh, I am technically 1 month out of warranty. Thor new this but still covered the parts and labor at the dealer in Indiana. They even scheduled it for me when I told them I was passing through. Service-wise, I am impressed with how they handle things. It is a 2017 model ordered and delivered end of June 2016. I do have a 7 year extended warranty but I still like to know how everything in the RV works. Now I know how my slides work in pretty much great detail and I go over it once a month just to make sure everything is tight and in what I would consider perfect working order. I have no issues taking it apart and putting it back together again because I know if I do it, it will be done right.
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Old 08-08-2017, 03:07 PM   #8
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37LX
State: Florida
Posts: 297
THOR #6310
Thanks for your post! Sorry you had such difficulty. I can't imagine spending the night on the side of the road. I would not have slept at all!

We're 7 months in on our 2017 37lx. Trying to work out any issues and anticipate future problems before the warranty expires. Were you able to correct the slide issue the second time with the override and re-syncing? Our slide has been working fine. Have extended and retracted more than a dozen times. However, it seems to be slowing down and making some horrific sounding noises lately. I cringe and hold my breath every time. lol Wondering if we're experiencing a similar problem with the motor and gear teeth.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:06 PM   #9
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37LX
State: Maryland
Posts: 109
THOR #3920
Final fix. Traced everything out. This ground wire was painted underneath and also loose. So the only ground is when it touched the physical screw, which explains the intermittent lights over bumps. So I took it out, sanded both parts clean, reinstalled the screw, coated it with an anti-corrosion/anti-rust spray and after it dried, coated it with an undercoating rubberized spray to make sure it was weatherproof.

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