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Old 07-27-2023, 01:09 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Sequence 20K
State: Wisconsin
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THOR #16692
Chassis battery going dead

2023 Thor Sequence 20K. Dealer sent driver out to pick up RV for some warranty work. Vehicle had been sitting in driveway for a week with battery disconnect off. Chassis battery was dead so we used emergency starter to get it running. I called the dealer and asked them to load test it while in shop. They said it tested good, but they noticed the inverter hadn't been turned off before the disconnect was turned off, so the inverter stayed on. I told them I didn't think that would drain the Chassis battery, just the house battery which was being charged by the solar panel and was at 100%. He still thought the inverter may be draining the Chassis battery so I made sure it was turned off after the driver returned the RV to us. 6 days later I tried to start Vehicle and it was dead again. The cable connections to the battery seem good. Anything else that would be draining battery that fast? The battery reading on Bimpro display I believe was at 14.4v when engine was running, so it appears the alternator is working

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Old 07-27-2023, 04:03 AM   #2
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After you get your chassis battery recharged and find the discharge issue... do yourself a solid and make sure your solar panels are also charging your chassis battery.

You should have a battery isolation manager which controls/regulates the current flowing between your house and chassis battery. Wired properly, you should be getting current from the solar to BOTH house and chassis battery.

Your battery disconnect switch should not disconnect the solar charge controller from your batteries! Otherwise what's the point? Technically you should have a photovoltaic switch to disconnect the panels... but that isn't required. But you DEFINITELY should be taking advantage of the solar... IF wired properly.
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Old 07-27-2023, 04:03 AM   #3
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Unhook the positive cable use a volt meter between positive post of battery and the disconnected cable and see what voltage is, have a helper pull 12v fuse one at a time until you find the one pulling the most.
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Old 07-27-2023, 05:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by simidrm View Post
Unhook the positive cable use a volt meter between positive post of battery and the disconnected cable and see what voltage is, have a helper pull 12v fuse one at a time until you find the one pulling the most.
The voltage will be the battery voltage: always.

What needs to be measured is current flow.
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Old 07-27-2023, 11:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chateau_Nomad View Post
After you get your chassis battery recharged and find the discharge issue... do yourself a solid and make sure your solar panels are also charging your chassis battery.

You should have a battery isolation manager which controls/regulates the current flowing between your house and chassis battery. Wired properly, you should be getting current from the solar to BOTH house and chassis battery.

Your battery disconnect switch should not disconnect the solar charge controller from your batteries! Otherwise what's the point? Technically you should have a photovoltaic switch to disconnect the panels... but that isn't required. But you DEFINITELY should be taking advantage of the solar... IF wired properly.
The solar only charges the house battery on this unit just as the shore power only charges the house battery. The solar does charge the lithium coach batteries with the battery disconnect switch off.
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Old 07-27-2023, 01:09 PM   #6
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THOR #13058
You doing all the right things.

Questions that may help trigger solutions from a far.

How long have you had, and did this just start?
What is actual voltage when you say the battery is dead?

Do you have a AGS?

I would track my actual voltage daily until I got resolved. Once it hit 12.2vdc, I would recharge manually or with AGS depending upon where parked?

I don't know what is wired to you coach or how, but my Harley by design can barely make a week if sitting idle with no activity. In my case the security system is what draws that bike down so I keep it on battery tender when not in use.

If you allow me to assume, I would say that you have something that is on that is not so obvious. If you find that it drops say from 12.9vdc to 12.5vdc within an hour or two, it should be easier to isolate. Lights, radio, steps (if you have?) etc.
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Old 07-27-2023, 01:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dand View Post
The solar only charges the house battery on this unit just as the shore power only charges the house battery. The solar does charge the lithium coach batteries with the battery disconnect switch off.
So... solar and shore power charge HOUSE battery. Are you referring to HOUSE batteries when you say LITHIUM COACH batteries?

As I stated previously, you SHOULD have a factory installed properly wired battery isolation manager. That would prevent both your CHASSIS and HOUSE batteries from draining... unless you have an extraordinary phantom drain goin on. Otherwise you are not getting the full benefit of your solar charging setup.
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Old 07-27-2023, 02:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dkoldman View Post
You doing all the right things.

Questions that may help trigger solutions from a far.

How long have you had, and did this just start?
What is actual voltage when you say the battery is dead?

Do you have a AGS?

I would track my actual voltage daily until I got resolved. Once it hit 12.2vdc, I would recharge manually or with AGS depending upon where parked?


I don't know what is wired to you coach or how, but my Harley by design can barely make a week if sitting idle with no activity. In my case the security system is what draws that bike down so I keep it on battery tender when not in use.

If you allow me to assume, I would say that you have something that is on that is not so obvious. If you find that it drops say from 12.9vdc to 12.5vdc within an hour or two, it should be easier to isolate. Lights, radio, steps (if you have?) etc.
I don't have AGS. It has the underhood generator (second alternator). The voltage on the Bmpro was showing 11.9 this morning and it started. I didn't check it last night when it wouldn't start. I am bringing it to Auto Zone to verify that the battery is good.
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Old 07-27-2023, 02:06 PM   #9
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I've only had this vehicle for 3 weeks amd one camping trip. I noticed when I left campground after being parked for 2 days the voltage was 11.9. Again, this vehicle doesn't charge the Chassis battery while on shore power.
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Old 07-27-2023, 02:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Chateau_Nomad View Post
So... solar and shore power charge HOUSE battery. Are you referring to HOUSE batteries when you say LITHIUM COACH batteries?

As I stated previously, you SHOULD have a factory installed properly wired battery isolation manager. That would prevent both your CHASSIS and HOUSE batteries from draining... unless you have an extraordinary phantom drain goin on. Otherwise you are not getting the full benefit of your solar charging setup.
Yes, house batteries are lithium, chassis battery is AGM
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Old 07-27-2023, 02:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dand View Post
I've only had this vehicle for 3 weeks amd one camping trip. I noticed when I left campground after being parked for 2 days the voltage was 11.9. Again, this vehicle doesn't charge the Chassis battery while on shore power.
Not normal. As others have said; you either have a significant parasitic drain on the chassis battery, OR, the battery itself is bad.

Are you "handy"? Can you disconnect the chassis battery?
Do you own a multimeter and know how to use it?

If so, fully charge the chassis battery by battery charger or taking a several hour drive.
Disconnect the chassis battery and measure the voltage.
Measure the voltage daily (with it being disconnected the whole time)
If it is in the 11s or low 12s after two days the battery is bad. If it stays at 12.5 VDC or better then you need to shift to parasitic draw discovery mode.

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Old 07-27-2023, 02:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by dand View Post
I don't have AGS. It has the underhood generator (second alternator). The voltage on the Bmpro was showing 11.9 this morning and it started. I didn't check it last night when it wouldn't start. I am bringing it to Auto Zone to verify that the battery is good.

Good move. That dealer may have had a bias load test on that chassis battery. Dropping to a voltage under 12vdc for who knows how long before you had is not healthy for battery. The question now is how fast can it drop like that even with normal load? Turn on headlights for a few minutes and you can see for yourself to know if battery is shot if voltage drops significantly and stays.
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Old 07-27-2023, 03:15 PM   #13
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The dealer will likely be biased. Yes the chassis battery is covered under warranty. BUT... Thor will not reimburse them IF the battery was abused on the dealer lot.

Having the extra alternator is great... But it does NOTHING while the coach is sitting in your driveway. The engine must be running.

If the dealer gives you a runaround, you can educate them. With a PROPERLY WIRED charging system and at least one "sun exposed" solar panel on the roof (absent that extraordinary parasitic load), there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY your motorhome chassis battery would drain.

There are ONLY three reasons that would happen:
1) The system is lacking a battery iso manager
2) The system is improperly wired
3) Due to #1 and/or #2, the battery was destroyed.

Going to Auto Zone (or any car parts store) and getting a free and proper load test is a great idea. Then your dealer conversation is much less likely to go off the rails... because you have facts in hand.
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Old 07-27-2023, 03:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Chateau_Nomad View Post
The dealer will likely be biased. Yes the chassis battery is covered under warranty. BUT... Thor will not reimburse them IF the battery was abused on the dealer lot.

Having the extra alternator is great... But it does NOTHING while the coach is sitting in your driveway. The engine must be running.

If the dealer gives you a runaround, you can educate them. With a PROPERLY WIRED charging system and at least one "sun exposed" solar panel on the roof (absent that extraordinary parasitic load), there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY your motorhome chassis battery would drain.

There are ONLY three reasons that would happen:
1) The system is lacking a battery iso manager
2) The system is improperly wired
3) Due to #1 and/or #2, the battery was destroyed.

Going to Auto Zone (or any car parts store) and getting a free and proper load test is a great idea. Then your dealer conversation is much less likely to go off the rails... because you have facts in hand.
O'Reilly auto verified the battery is good and alternator is charging.
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Old 07-27-2023, 03:50 PM   #15
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Great! Now go through the rest of the process. Ask the dealer about the battery iso manager... more specifically why is the chassis battery not being charged from the solar.

Get VERY SPECIFIC about this! If the dealer tells you something idiotic like "it's not supposed to charge the chassis battery", explain the scenario and components/wiring I described above.

If you don't get this figured out, it WILL happen when you least expect it... out on the road somewhere. By going through the exercise of knowing EXACTLY how your system is set up, and how it works, you can avoid surprises.
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Old 07-27-2023, 03:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
Not normal. As others have said; you either have a significant parasitic drain on the chassis battery, OR, the battery itself is bad.

Are you "handy"? Can you disconnect the chassis battery?
Do you own a multimeter and know how to use it?

If so, fully charge the chassis battery by battery charger or taking a several hour drive.
Disconnect the chassis battery and measure the voltage.
Measure the voltage daily (with it being disconnected the whole time)
If it is in the 11s or low 12s after two days the battery is bad. If it stays at 12.5 VDC or better then you need to shift to parasitic draw discovery mode.
I will look into disconnecting battery later next week. We are going on a short trip in a few days and don't want to mess anything up. There is quite a tangle of cables going into the battery compartment in front of the driver's seat
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Old 07-27-2023, 04:24 PM   #17
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I will look into disconnecting battery later next week. We are going on a short trip in a few days and don't want to mess anything up. There is quite a tangle of cables going into the battery compartment in front of the driver's seat

Your Short trip can turn into a nightmare 10 times what you experiencing now.

I don't think you have to do yourself but I would have my man to man with Dealer today / tomorrow. They can do all of the above for you.

But if you must venture with a known battery issue on your Chassis

I would do the following

1. Verify the house batteries do not drain down as well? Don't won't to lose your emergency backup starting power.
2. Invest in a good quality float charger and a long extension cord if you don't have one already.
3. When not in use or overnight connect the battery float charger on the Chassis battery
4. Make sure you have a good Roadside Assistance plan

FWIW, when my coach was new I bought a true dedicated battery disconnect switch for my charger. I had a dealer install after the purchase. Turns out I didn't really need but it it is useful when I do things with the battery. But my point is if you had one, you could disconnect from whatever is draining your battery when RV is parked over night. At least until you get the problem fixed.
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Old 07-27-2023, 04:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Chateau_Nomad View Post
Great! Now go through the rest of the process. Ask the dealer about the battery iso manager... more specifically why is the chassis battery not being charged from the solar.

Get VERY SPECIFIC about this! If the dealer tells you something idiotic like "it's not supposed to charge the chassis battery", explain the scenario and components/wiring I described above.

If you don't get this figured out, it WILL happen when you least expect it... out on the road somewhere. By going through the exercise of knowing EXACTLY how your system is set up, and how it works, you can avoid surprises.
Do they make a Wireless Portable Solar Charging system where those that have gigantic waxed roofs can marvel at the roofs while getting the benefits of Solar energy at the same time?

i.e. My TPMS is solar & wireless, when I am not using it, I may place in a window where it gets plenty of sun until I need. I am thinking something like my portable antenna, I rarely need but if I do, I just plug into electrical bay. Ought to be a way to add a Solar receptacle in there wired to batteries for temporary optional use. Of course if it is not wired properly it still may not help the OP.
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Old 07-27-2023, 04:50 PM   #19
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Spoke to Thor tech on Helpline. He confirmed what dealer told me that solar does not charge chassis battery on this RV. He said there is no BIM, it has the inverter system. He thought the emergency start switch could be stuck and keeping the connection closed between house and chassis. I will fully charge battery and keep an eye on voltage
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Old 07-27-2023, 04:54 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dand View Post
Spoke to Thor tech on Helpline. He confirmed what dealer told me that solar does not charge chassis battery on this RV. He said there is no BIM, it has the inverter system. He thought the emergency start switch could be stuck and keeping the connection closed between house and chassis. I will fully charge battery and keep an eye on voltage
If there is no BIM, what does the "Emergency Start" switch operate? Have you gotten your electrical diagrams at the Thor Owners Resource website?
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