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Old 07-26-2020, 01:33 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: South Carolina
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THOR #13982
Battery isolation manager

i have a 2016 super c 35sk. Does any one know off hand what type battery isolation system they use, and where it is mounted? Im starting my lithium battery upgrade, and need to address the alternator charging system. T.I.A.
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:00 PM   #2
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Go to the Thor Owner Resource web site and down load all your information about the 35sk

That is something you can use later as well and store on your phone or other computer
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:19 PM   #3
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For background,

We have a 2016 Axis 24.2 but, in fact, it is built on a 2015 Ford E350 chassis. I guess it was an early model in the year and perhaps Thor was working through inventory?

I installed two lithium batteries late last year and really like the battery life they provide. I also installed 400 watts of solar on the roof and a recent five-day boondocking trip never really challenged the batteries. This is partly due to the fact that we are very conservative in our use although we do use an inverter, watch movies and such.

Our rig has a BIRD and I considered two approaches Ė one is the installation of a DC to DC charger that, in essence, isolates the chassis charging system and limits the amperage going to the house batteries. It is a one-way system and does not provide for charging of the chassis batteries from the house system.

The other is installation of a lithium specific BIM in place of the BIRD that limits the load on the alternator by cycling it on and off to keep it from overheating. Both of these alternatives are recommended by Battleborn (my source for batteries and technical assistance) but the BIM is a marginal option for two batteries and better with three or more batteries. I am not an expert, talk to your supplier or installer.

I would like to understand better the specific steps in replacing the BIRD with a BIM.

I like to understand things before making such decisions and I like to do as much as I am comfortable with myself. I have the option of going to a very good RV maintenance shop in my area when I exceed my limits.

For now, I have not decided on a favored solution and I intend to isolate the two systems, at least for now, using a 50-amp breaker that is installed between the chassis battery and the BIRD until I do.

BTW, Thorís documentation indicates I have BIM but it is clearly a BIRD. I donít know how much I can count on them as a resource.
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Old 07-26-2020, 08:56 PM   #4
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BIRD vs BIM

Which is the same design just a different Manufacturer. The parameters are almost identical. BUT, there is one thing that makes changing from the old Intellitec BIRD to the BIM a good idea. The BIM monitors the actual Chassis battery voltage and IF that voltage drops to 80% of charge, the BIM connects the coach back to the chassis to allow the coach Charging system to keep the chassis battery up. The BIRD system does not do that. It monitors the Coach Charge system voltage and must be over 13.1 volts to keep the chassis connected. Replacing the BIRD with a BIM is very simple. You just replace the BIG BOY solenoid and the supplied BIM module and all wiring is already at the old system. Precision Circuits which makes the BIM, he is a old Intellitec (BIRD maker) engineer that quit and started PCI, and used his knowledge to make RV electrical systems BETTER. For instance, the 50 amp EMS systems by Intellitec that were all used before PCI came out, IF it malfunctioned all shed loads were dead, no 120 to those loads. He designed the PCI system to keep the relays CLOSED if his system failed and that left all 120 shed controlled loads still able to have power and you manually adjusted your loads until fixed. He has done the same with his BIM. Made it better by monitoring the chassis battery state of charge instead of relying on the coach charge voltage.

Interesting
From another forum
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwmcguire View Post
BIRD vs BIM

Which is the same design just a different Manufacturer. The parameters are almost identical. BUT, there is one thing that makes changing from the old Intellitec BIRD to the BIM a good idea. The BIM monitors the actual Chassis battery voltage and IF that voltage drops to 80% of charge, the BIM connects the coach back to the chassis to allow the coach Charging system to keep the chassis battery up. The BIRD system does not do that. It monitors the Coach Charge system voltage and must be over 13.1 volts to keep the chassis connected. Replacing the BIRD with a BIM is very simple. You just replace the BIG BOY solenoid and the supplied BIM module and all wiring is already at the old system. Precision Circuits which makes the BIM, he is a old Intellitec (BIRD maker) engineer that quit and started PCI, and used his knowledge to make RV electrical systems BETTER. For instance, the 50 amp EMS systems by Intellitec that were all used before PCI came out, IF it malfunctioned all shed loads were dead, no 120 to those loads. He designed the PCI system to keep the relays CLOSED if his system failed and that left all 120 shed controlled loads still able to have power and you manually adjusted your loads until fixed. He has done the same with his BIM. Made it better by monitoring the chassis battery state of charge instead of relying on the coach charge voltage.

Interesting
From another forum
My coach does indeed have a BIRD in the house battery compartment. I added a volt meter wired into the power for the side mirror's electric heat so that is reads chassis battery or alternator output voltage. I can confirm that my BIRD/Intelitec does charge the chassis battery if the charger is on and the use/store switch is in the use position.
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Old 07-27-2020, 01:50 AM   #6
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Well I still can't find where the BIRD is physically located, I did find the sol. It is mounted between the passenger side truck frame and the passanger side compartment. See picture looking straight up at it above all the wiring harnesses. They must have installed it before they put the body on. Can't even get my hand up there.
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:27 PM   #7
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edkjr, yes that looks a mess. On my Axis the BIRD is up front next to the Ford engine compartment fuse panel and the solenoid is next to it.

I found some guidance for replacing the BIRD with a BIM on another Thor site. Look at the bottom of the second page. According the thread, the edits are from Thor. It is for a different model of the BIM but the connections would be the same.
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File Type: pdf BIM Rewire.PDF (221.9 KB, 33 views)
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bill in Redlands View Post
edkjr, yes that looks a mess. On my Axis the BIRD is up front next to the Ford engine compartment fuse panel and the solenoid is next to it.

I found some guidance for replacing the BIRD with a BIM on another Thor site. Look at the bottom of the second page. According the thread, the edits are from Thor. It is for a different model of the BIM but the connections would be the same.
Thanks Bill, well I'm still looking for the BIRD, guess I'll have to trace wires. But thanks for the notes. I appreciate it. Ed
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bill in Redlands View Post
edkjr, yes that looks a mess. On my Axis the BIRD is up front next to the Ford engine compartment fuse panel and the solenoid is next to it.

I found some guidance for replacing the BIRD with a BIM on another Thor site. Look at the bottom of the second page. According the thread, the edits are from Thor. It is for a different model of the BIM but the connections would be the same.
Thank you Bill, thanks for the attachment, it really helps.

I have a Thor Chateau 2019 28Z and I am preparing to change the house Wet batteries for 2 x 100 A/H Lithium. I already have 400 watts (4 x 100) of solar panels on the roof with a lithium compatible charger controller.

I already purchased the Lithium compatible converter/charger to replace the one in the WFCO ULTRA III Distribution Center WF-8900. I'll install that when I make the switch.

I was on the fence about replacing the BIRD. I initially wanted to only disable it, (remove the fuse on the feed from the "run" ignition switch). That way it would only work if I used the emergency switch in the dash.. and the charging of the house batteries would only be done on the house side and not from the chassis alt. But I was not sure if it was wired so that the house system would be charging the chassis battery?

My question was: does the BIRD allow the house system to charge the chassis battery? looks like it does not. But If I replace it with a Li-BIM it will.

I have decided to order the Li-BIM. Today I went to look at the BIRD (located in the engine compartment, right side wall, under the coolant overflow bottle) and it looks like it's going to be an easy job. the only difference is the wire colors that does not match your info... but I am confident I will be able to trace the correct wires. One thing to note, and I quote the OEM " The Li-BIM does not guarantee 100% battery charge, but prevents harmful battery charge levels"

I think I'm on the right track, and reading through the forums really helps, so a big thanks...

Cheers

Reg
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:41 PM   #10
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I need to follow this thread as I am having similar problem. I too have 4x100 solar, 2 100a lithium house battery, 3000w inverter/charger, all renogy. my BIRD? is chirping all the time.
I disconnected it until I can figure it out.
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Old 11-21-2020, 11:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by galOnTheGo View Post
I need to follow this thread as I am having similar problem. I too have 4x100 solar, 2 100a lithium house battery, 3000w inverter/charger, all renogy. my BIRD? is chirping all the time.
I disconnected it until I can figure it out.
That's easy - the Li house batteries have a much higher foat and resting voltage than the FLA chassis battery. The voltage difference is making the BIRD/BIM whatever you have think charging is taking place on the house side and tries to charge the chassis side. I believe there is a Li specific BIM made just for this case.
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Old 11-22-2020, 03:36 AM   #12
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http://precisioncircuitsinc.com/wp-c...i-BIM-Rev1.pdf
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Old 11-22-2020, 06:15 AM   #13
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wow, THANKS FOLKS!!!!

16ace and harry....that is it! the pict in the link looks just like the one that is doing all the clicking except mine is not lithium. interesting that all the research i did building my solar system and battery upgrade i never came across this item. OR, i just didnt notice it. you folks are the best, thanks much for your time, care in contributing to what i consider a great place to be. I have very much enjoyed this last year of rv fun, learning, upgrades. come jan 8 i retire and we depart on our full time journey. our house and most stuff is sold and gone. very much look forward to meeting, becoming one with the rv family of friends out there. thanks again, lots.

follow up:
I just located the item on amazon, reading the description = "Under normal charging conditions, the BIM will connect for 15 minutes every 35 minutes. That means that the BIM will connect for 15 minutes, disconnect for 20 minutes, and repeat this cycle until the coach battery is charged" this is EXACTLY what is happening in my case. $172, the cost of a good nights sleep! i cant say THANKS enough!

here is a link to amazon item for those that may want to see it
https://www.amazon.com/Battle-Born-B...6025963&sr=8-2

one more thing, i have purchased a dc to dc charger to put between the alternator and lithium batteries, yet have not installed it, on my list of things to do. any thoughts on a dc to dc converter? my research leads me to believe this is needed to keep the load off the alternator. my alternator is 120a, the dc to dc i purchased is a 30 amp, i figured that was all i needed. I haven't figured out the correct wiring for it yet. in reading about the LBIM, i wonder if it does what the dc-dc does, i dont need the dc-dc with the LBIM?
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Old 11-22-2020, 03:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by galOnTheGo View Post
16ace and harry....that is it! the pict in the link looks just like the one that is doing all the clicking except mine is not lithium. interesting that all the research i did building my solar system and battery upgrade i never came across this item. OR, i just didnt notice it. you folks are the best, thanks much for your time, care in contributing to what i consider a great place to be. I have very much enjoyed this last year of rv fun, learning, upgrades. come jan 8 i retire and we depart on our full time journey. our house and most stuff is sold and gone. very much look forward to meeting, becoming one with the rv family of friends out there. thanks again, lots.

follow up:
I just located the item on amazon, reading the description = "Under normal charging conditions, the BIM will connect for 15 minutes every 35 minutes. That means that the BIM will connect for 15 minutes, disconnect for 20 minutes, and repeat this cycle until the coach battery is charged" this is EXACTLY what is happening in my case. $172, the cost of a good nights sleep! i cant say THANKS enough!

here is a link to amazon item for those that may want to see it
https://www.amazon.com/Battle-Born-B...6025963&sr=8-2

one more thing, i have purchased a dc to dc charger to put between the alternator and lithium batteries, yet have not installed it, on my list of things to do. any thoughts on a dc to dc converter? my research leads me to believe this is needed to keep the load off the alternator. my alternator is 120a, the dc to dc i purchased is a 30 amp, i figured that was all i needed. I haven't figured out the correct wiring for it yet. in reading about the LBIM, i wonder if it does what the dc-dc does, i dont need the dc-dc with the LBIM?
So on our 16 chateau 35sk, I ended up taking out the isolation relay delay out completely and installed the DC-DC controller set it up for lithium. I have it controlled by on/off switch (used an aux. switches on the F550). I just monitor the voltage on the coach batteries, turn on when nessasary. Although so far this year while traveling haven't needed to turn it on. The solar panels keep the batteries up. Even with residential fridge.
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Old 11-23-2020, 03:13 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by galOnTheGo View Post
in reading about the LBIM, i wonder if it does what the dc-dc does, i dont need the dc-dc with the LBIM?
That was my take on things. The idea is to protect the alternator from burning up by limiting the demand on it. Both systems accomplish this. I went with the LBIM. Properly wired it is off line unless the ignition is on. It limits the draw on the alternator by cycling on and off as you mentioned. It also can provide the emergency jump from the coach battery if the chassis battery is too weak to start the engine.

There is probably not a real issue unless there is a high draw of current from the coach batteries. In my discussions with Battleborn, I understood that to be most likely with three or more coach batteries but being cautious, I opted for the LBIM with my two batteries.

So far, with the 400 watts of solar, I haven't put much of a test to the batteries and that included some camping in the redwoods with very little direct sunlight. Consequently, I haven't put much of a load on the alternator.
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Old 11-23-2020, 03:27 AM   #16
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How often do you wash your solar panels
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Old 11-23-2020, 04:23 AM   #17
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How often do you wash your solar panels
Typically, after each trip. One of our local car washes has an truck bay where I can stand on platforms on each side and clean the top. Typical wash with wands and foam brush. On rarer occasions, I get on top and use window cleaner. The RV is under a roof so they are typically clean and ready to go at all times.
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galOnTheGo View Post
16ace and harry....that is it! the pict in the link looks just like the one that is doing all the clicking except mine is not lithium. interesting that all the research i did building my solar system and battery upgrade i never came across this item. OR, i just didnt notice it.

...cut...

one more thing, i have purchased a dc to dc charger to put between the alternator and lithium batteries, yet have not installed it, on my list of things to do. any thoughts on a dc to dc converter? my research leads me to believe this is needed to keep the load off the alternator. my alternator is 120a, the dc to dc i purchased is a 30 amp, i figured that was all i needed. I haven't figured out the correct wiring for it yet. in reading about the LBIM, i wonder if it does what the dc-dc does, i dont need the dc-dc with the LBIM?
No, you didn't miss it; the info never appears as part of a solar project, at least that I've seen.

You should not need a separate DC-DC charger. The LBIM should cover that (according to most specs/info); The DC2DC is a school of thought (preference?). Either is supposed to work but you're not supposed to need both.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:08 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
That's easy - the Li house batteries have a much higher foat and resting voltage than the FLA chassis battery.
Not really - from Battle Born FAQ:
Charging Voltages/Parameters:
  • Bulk/absorb: 14.2 – 14.6 V
  • Float: 13.6 V or lower
  • No equalization (or set it to 14.4 V)
  • No temperature compensation
  • Absorption time: is 30 minutes per battery (if it’s an option)


From the Trojan flooded batteries

ChargerVoltage Setting-- 6v---- 12v
Absorption/Bulk Charge 7.35 -- 14.7
Float Charge ---------- 6.75--- 13.5
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