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Old 02-24-2024, 02:06 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Washington
Posts: 13
THOR #29354
Sequence auxiliary alternator

Hi,
This week, my 21J Thor Sequence started howling when I start it. Took it to Dodge dealer and he said the auxiliary alternator and/or tensioner is failing and not a dodge/mopar issue. I called campingworld and he said that he has had 8 of these "failures" so far and believes Thor will issue a recall on it. Problem is, its my only vehicle as I am away from home. Today, it smelled like burning rubber which means the pully has froze and soon will snap the belt.

Does anyone know if I can remove that alternator belt so I can drive this van? Or is it a serpentine belt to all other engine components.

Please don't respond with speculations....I don't need the "I think you can..." crap as I don't want to catch it on fire or breakdown.

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Old 02-24-2024, 02:29 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2022 Tellaro 20L
State: Vermont
Posts: 526
THOR #30506
UHG recall for Tellaro, Sequence

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klondike Kat View Post
Hi,
This week, my 21J Thor Sequence started howling when I start it. Took it to Dodge dealer and he said the auxiliary alternator and/or tensioner is failing and not a dodge/mopar issue. I called campingworld and he said that he has had 8 of these "failures" so far and believes Thor will issue a recall on it. Problem is, its my only vehicle as I am away from home. Today, it smelled like burning rubber which means the pully has froze and soon will snap the belt.

Does anyone know if I can remove that alternator belt so I can drive this van? Or is it a serpentine belt to all other engine components.

Please don't respond with speculations....I don't need the "I think you can..." crap as I don't want to catch it on fire or breakdown.

Many have had their belt shredded by improper installation. Attached is an installation manual- Page 5 ahows belt path, and suggests that it is NOT ok to drive w/o belt. You can ask dealer to verify as well. It is not clear if there two belts or one. I suggest Ram dealer remove the UHG belt and replace oem belt to keep you going. Then you just have to plug into shoreline to charge batteries.

Another thought is that the UHG alternator has seized from overheating. Probably not set up properly at Thor assembly. Some have reported overheating and also not set for lithium batteries at the monitor inside.

Mine is ok, but you can see how close it really is- I had to add a clamp to stop the leak seen in the photo as well. TMC should not be installing these as they are not up to the task! The coolant hose usually gets cut instead of an idler siezing. In your case- the belt may have found that hose and clamp??

Best to call number on the attached pdf to make sure. CW will not know most likely, and I wouldn't trust them anyway.

My Ram dealer will work on this at my request (I asked early on) so if you can find a Ram dealer like mine (also a 'business link' dealer) then I'd go that route and have Thor pay for it. I got approved for a repaint of my rear doors by Thor at the Ram body shop (improper install of bike rack), so you can do it that way too- have the two of them duke it out.

For the future, I recommend carrying any one of the 4 belts listed on Page 5. I prefer Dayco belts, so I have a spare for my tool kit, and keep a copy of that pdf handy in my travel binder. There is also a sticker under my bonnet showing that path.
A spare oem belt from dealer too!

Hope you can get it sorted out- another alternate idea is to see if you have a mobile tech nearby that you can call that knows the UHG system. Good luck!!
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Old 02-24-2024, 03:02 PM   #3
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THOR #29354
Thanks Mark....replacing the belt is not an option as the alternator is seized.

UPDATE - since my 1st post, I called the dealer and he said removing the belt it and driving is also not an option, as the main alternator runs off this belt.

Curious - your thread subject is "UHG recall for Tellaro, Sequence" 1st, what is UHG? 2nd, is there an actual recall in place for this?
Dusty
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Old 02-24-2024, 03:16 PM   #4
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THOR #20289
Is there no current limiting from the aux alternator feeding a Lithium battery?

We have known for years that a Lithium battery can suck current from an alternator, overheat it and ultimately fail. It needs current limiting and/or an alternator temperature sensor that backs down the regulator to keep the alternator from overheating.

Why is Thor just now learning this at the expense of its customers?

David
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Old 02-24-2024, 03:51 PM   #5
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THOR #27962
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
Is there no current limiting from the aux alternator feeding a Lithium battery?

We have known for years that a Lithium battery can suck current from an alternator, overheat it and ultimately fail. It needs current limiting and/or an alternator temperature sensor that backs down the regulator to keep the alternator from overheating.

Why is Thor just now learning this at the expense of its customers?

David
My 2023 Tellaro with the UHG (under hood generator) and LiFePo4 batteries had the modification Mark posted above factory installed when I purchased in August 22. The Balmar alternator (UHG) does have a temp sensor as do the batteries. Both are connected to the Balmar regulator. The Alternator sensor is for high heat shutdown. Battery sensor is for high and low parameters.

As Mark suggested, perhaps the settings were not set to the correct parameters for the battery type on the OP's vehicle.
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Old 02-24-2024, 04:26 PM   #6
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THOR #20289
The Balmar alternator with a Balmar external regulator, high alt temp sensor and high battery temp sensor are good products. Did any of the reported alternator failures have this setup or was it only implemented recently?

BTW, I think that the Balmar temp sensor cuts back the field current to keep current output down and alt temps below 225. It doesn’t just shut it down.


David
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Old 02-24-2024, 04:46 PM   #7
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THOR #30506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klondike Kat View Post
Thanks Mark....replacing the belt is not an option as the alternator is seized.

UPDATE - since my 1st post, I called the dealer and he said removing the belt it and driving is also not an option, as the main alternator runs off this belt.

Curious - your thread subject is "UHG recall for Tellaro, Sequence" 1st, what is UHG? 2nd, is there an actual recall in place for this?
Dusty
UHG= Under Hood generator. Basically a 2nd alternator for charging the battery systems. I love it, b/c it's more reliable than the "O-man" (Onan) generators, and also uses the emission reduction systems of the van's chassis drive train. The Onan is a lawn mower engine with a dynamo/alternator and that's all it is. Then you have a 2nd gas engine that is stinky and noisy, to maintain. The UHG is a proven device, but not if Thor installs it, evidently.

No recall that I am aware of.
Hymer RVs have been using these a long time. Thor has not, so they are idiots when it comes to any info or advice.

Dealer can't bypass the UHG with new oem belt on old system? Siezed alternator must be in the way then- would have to remove the UHG alternator and use oem belt until new UHG comes in. I'd start a warranty claim with CW and Balmar, and Thor all at the same time.

You need to get a Ram dealer (preferably) who is willing to work with you to work it out- CW will delay you a long time- most are 4-6 months out, and RV season is approaching so it will be worse.

If you bought the extended service plan (was $10k for me, but I declined- dealer financier was all upset with me) I would A) try to use it, or B) cancel it and get $ back to fix this issue. and C) may have to rent a car to stay mobile, and have insurance and ultimately Thor, pay for it. I know- good luck...

Do you have access to any mobile techs in your area?

I bought my Tellaro, and said goodbye forever to the dealer. They couldn't even walk me thru the PDI w/o showing their ineptitude. I do all my own work- I have set up my Balmar monitor for my battery system- was set for lithium and some have had theirs set for AGM, so when you get it back online, need to verify. PM me for a manual on the MC-618 regulator and how to change settings at the monitor up front.
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Old 02-24-2024, 04:55 PM   #8
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THOR #16721
Why not install a Li-BIM 225 to at least limit the time the auxiliary alternator is connected? There's endless stories and video accounts of these "under hood generators" failing. Either they're installed wrong OR there hasn't been sufficient real world testing... likely a combination of both.

It's a neat concept, but execution has been a little lacking.
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Old 02-24-2024, 05:10 PM   #9
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THOR #30506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chateau_Nomad View Post
Why not install a Li-BIM 225 to at least limit the time the auxiliary alternator is connected? There's endless stories and video accounts of these "under hood generators" failing. Either they're installed wrong OR there hasn't been sufficient real world testing... likely a combination of both.

It's a neat concept, but execution has been a little lacking.
I think her UHG won't even freewheel, so she might have to remove it and use the oem alternator above and re-belt with oem setup, and if she uses a Li-BIM225, she can at least charge the lithium batteries while driving. I like it.
Just has to find someone to make it happen- mobile tech most likely. I got one here near me who is really good with this stuff, but it's too far to go from Washington to Vermont...
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Old 02-24-2024, 05:11 PM   #10
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THOR #27962
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
The Balmar alternator with a Balmar external regulator, high alt temp sensor and high battery temp sensor are good products. Did any of the reported alternator failures have this setup or was it only implemented recently?

BTW, I think that the Balmar temp sensor cuts back the field current to keep current output down and alt temps below 225. It doesn’t just shut it down.


David
I'm not sure of the history or the why/when of alternator failures, but like I said, mine was built in mid 2022. I expect some were actual alternator failures due to improper settings, and some were simply hoses being cut by belts because the bracket "fix" was not implemented or was not installed properly for adequate belt clearance.

You are probably correct about the alternator temp sensor. The term "shutdown" was improperly used and more appropriately should have stated the sensor allows the regulator to do it's job...regulate.
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Old 02-24-2024, 05:13 PM   #11
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THOR #30506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klondike Kat View Post
Thanks Mark....replacing the belt is not an option as the alternator is seized.

UPDATE - since my 1st post, I called the dealer and he said removing the belt it and driving is also not an option, as the main alternator runs off this belt.

Curious - your thread subject is "UHG recall for Tellaro, Sequence" 1st, what is UHG? 2nd, is there an actual recall in place for this?
Dusty
It's really cold today, but I will try to go out and see if the UHG and oem alternator are on separate belts- double pulley system, in other words.
If they are, and oem alternator is not involved- along with water pump etc, then possible to eliminate the 2nd belt and run with it. RV dealer does not know wtf they are talking about- Ram dealer can verify tho.

Standby...

Update- just got underneath- couldn't see from above except that the Promaster is a marvel in packing 10# of crap in a 1# bag... pics taken from below, cannot determine if (and unlikely) a double pulley system is used- the bottom most pulley is extended to pick up UHG belt.

I also need to add another clamp as I see a drop of AF coing out. Good job guys- clamp is too high up.

Looks like from manual and what I saw, is a system that is added to existing system, not an auxiliary system that runs alongside. Not enough room for a side by side system.

If it were mine, I'd remove the UHG alternator, and add a standard pulley to substitute that and replace belt until new UHG can be installed- just one idea...
bottom pic is upside down- why does this site do that???
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Old 02-24-2024, 06:12 PM   #12
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THOR #16721
Pics are displayed as you took them. Your phone cheats and (using sensors and algorithms) automagically rotates them. A quirk of forums is you get the "raw data".

I like your idea of having the Ram service replace the belt, bypassing the Thor installed alternator - just use the factory (lower capacity) alternator. But as a stop-gap until the aux alternator is sorted out, I'd still install a Li-BIM 225. That way you're at least giving the batteries a nominal charge.
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Old 02-24-2024, 06:46 PM   #13
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THOR #20289
I have used Balmar high output alternators and regulators for decades on boats. They work. Decades ago the alternator temp sensor would cut back the alternator output by about 50% when it got too hot. I would be cruising for 30 minutes or so on 50% depleted batteries with a 100 amp alternator putting out 80-90 amps when the output would suddenly drop to about 40 amps. It stayed this way until the batteries got up near 90% SOC, but by that time the alternator wouldn't put out many amps anyway.

I understand that the current Balmar regulator with the alternator temp probe does this proportionately to maintain a 225 deg case temp.

I checked the MC-618 regulator installation instructions and this is what they say about temperature sensing:

"Programming the Battery and Alternator Temp Sensor Enforcement (SEn)
When both Alternator and Battery Temperature sensors used and expected to be present, setting Temp Sensor enfocement to
“ON” will automatically change the max field percentage when ever either sensor is missing, damaged or incorrectly connected
• If the Alternator Temperature Sensor is affected, the Max field percent is set to 50%
• If the Battery #1 Temperature Sensor is affected, the max field % is set to 12. This usually provides about 3-8A depending
on the alternator and RPM. "


Soooooo, temperature sensing enforcement must be set to On. I'll bet dollars to donuts that Thor didn't set it on and that is why their alternators burned up.

Everyone with that alternator and regulator should immediately check that it is set on.

David
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Old 02-24-2024, 08:22 PM   #14
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THOR #27962
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
I have used Balmar high output alternators and regulators for decades on boats. They work. Decades ago the alternator temp sensor would cut back the alternator output by about 50% when it got too hot. I would be cruising for 30 minutes or so on 50% depleted batteries with a 100 amp alternator putting out 80-90 amps when the output would suddenly drop to about 40 amps. It stayed this way until the batteries got up near 90% SOC, but by that time the alternator wouldn't put out many amps anyway.

I understand that the current Balmar regulator with the alternator temp probe does this proportionately to maintain a 225 deg case temp.

I checked the MC-618 regulator installation instructions and this is what they say about temperature sensing:

"Programming the Battery and Alternator Temp Sensor Enforcement (SEn)
When both Alternator and Battery Temperature sensors used and expected to be present, setting Temp Sensor enfocement to
“ON” will automatically change the max field percentage when ever either sensor is missing, damaged or incorrectly connected
• If the Alternator Temperature Sensor is affected, the Max field percent is set to 50%
• If the Battery #1 Temperature Sensor is affected, the max field % is set to 12. This usually provides about 3-8A depending
on the alternator and RPM. "


Soooooo, temperature sensing enforcement must be set to On. I'll bet dollars to donuts that Thor didn't set it on and that is why their alternators burned up.

Everyone with that alternator and regulator should immediately check that it is set on.

David
Good info, thanks! It's great to have someone with "decades" of experience with this equipment.

Here's a pic of my Sen readout. Apparently I lucked out.
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Old 02-24-2024, 08:34 PM   #15
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THOR #27962
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark54 View Post
It's really cold today, but I will try to go out and see if the UHG and oem alternator are on separate belts- double pulley system, in other words.
If they are, and oem alternator is not involved- along with water pump etc, then possible to eliminate the 2nd belt and run with it. RV dealer does not know wtf they are talking about- Ram dealer can verify tho.

Standby...

Update- just got underneath- couldn't see from above except that the Promaster is a marvel in packing 10# of crap in a 1# bag... pics taken from below, cannot determine if (and unlikely) a double pulley system is used- the bottom most pulley is extended to pick up UHG belt.

I also need to add another clamp as I see a drop of AF coing out. Good job guys- clamp is too high up.

Looks like from manual and what I saw, is a system that is added to existing system, not an auxiliary system that runs alongside. Not enough room for a side by side system.

If it were mine, I'd remove the UHG alternator, and add a standard pulley to substitute that and replace belt until new UHG can be installed- just one idea...
bottom pic is upside down- why does this site do that???
As they say in the financial industry "your results may vary". Here are pics of my Tellaro two belt system. Fortunately it's a little warmer here in AZ to take a few pics. It appears to follow the bracket and belt layout described in Mark's pdf above. (FWIW, I posted that same info back when others were discussing their problems with belts cutting into hoses.)

I believe Mark's pics are similar. It's just hard to make out that second belt route. Or I'm imagining it! Reading the instructions for the bracket install, it refers to removing and reinstalling the OEM belt and then installing the second belt. So, if your rig has had that bracket installation, it would have two belts. If not, then it's a whole different ballgame.

Mike
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Old 02-24-2024, 10:46 PM   #16
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Posts: 526
THOR #30506
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
I have used Balmar high output alternators and regulators for decades on boats. They work. Decades ago the alternator temp sensor would cut back the alternator output by about 50% when it got too hot. I would be cruising for 30 minutes or so on 50% depleted batteries with a 100 amp alternator putting out 80-90 amps when the output would suddenly drop to about 40 amps. It stayed this way until the batteries got up near 90% SOC, but by that time the alternator wouldn't put out many amps anyway.

I understand that the current Balmar regulator with the alternator temp probe does this proportionately to maintain a 225 deg case temp.

I checked the MC-618 regulator installation instructions and this is what they say about temperature sensing:

"Programming the Battery and Alternator Temp Sensor Enforcement (SEn)
When both Alternator and Battery Temperature sensors used and expected to be present, setting Temp Sensor enfocement to
“ON” will automatically change the max field percentage when ever either sensor is missing, damaged or incorrectly connected
• If the Alternator Temperature Sensor is affected, the Max field percent is set to 50%
• If the Battery #1 Temperature Sensor is affected, the max field % is set to 12. This usually provides about 3-8A depending
on the alternator and RPM. "


Soooooo, temperature sensing enforcement must be set to On. I'll bet dollars to donuts that Thor didn't set it on and that is why their alternators burned up.

Everyone with that alternator and regulator should immediately check that it is set on.

David
I agree- nice to know. I had no idea you were a boater- so nice feedback and verification that the UHG is a good system!!

I also agree that TMC has no idea wtf they are doing. I will be verifying my settings when I de-winterise, and add my BT gateway so I can do from my phone.

I think 90°C is a good cut off- any thoughts on that are welcome, along with other setting parameters recommended.

As I said, I have had mine 2 yrs w/o a hitch, but a fellow owner who insprired me to move my batteries for real, just had his UHG fry out on him, and he's expreienced w/ electrics/electronics like me. So that made me nervous.

When I got my rig, the regulator was on the floor of the compartment covered with wires. I couldn't even see it until I removed 20' of excess wire! The Shunt was also invisible. Such careless shoddy workmanship. I knew I was in for more surprises when I went from the 20AT to the 20L, but that's inexcusable to do such low end work. Much worse than I expected and TMC should be ashamed of that kind of product.

I could not verify the presence of 2 belts unfortunately.
I sure hope Klondike Kat gets this figured out.
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Old 02-24-2024, 10:51 PM   #17
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THOR #30506
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCP View Post
As they say in the financial industry "your results may vary". Here are pics of my Tellaro two belt system. Fortunately it's a little warmer here in AZ to take a few pics. It appears to follow the bracket and belt layout described in Mark's pdf above. (FWIW, I posted that same info back when others were discussing their problems with belts cutting into hoses.)

I believe Mark's pics are similar. It's just hard to make out that second belt route. Or I'm imagining it! Reading the instructions for the bracket install, it refers to removing and reinstalling the OEM belt and then installing the second belt. So, if your rig has had that bracket installation, it would have two belts. If not, then it's a whole different ballgame.

Mike
Your 2nd pic shows two distinct belts! Any further verification by a Ram service tech would be great. Nice pic!!!
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Old 02-28-2024, 11:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark54 View Post
Many have had their belt shredded by improper installation. Attached is an installation manual- Page 5 ahows belt path, and suggests that it is NOT ok to drive w/o belt. You can ask dealer to verify as well. It is not clear if there two belts or one. I suggest Ram dealer remove the UHG belt and replace oem belt to keep you going. Then you just have to plug into shoreline to charge batteries.

Another thought is that the UHG alternator has seized from overheating. Probably not set up properly at Thor assembly. Some have reported overheating and also not set for lithium batteries at the monitor inside.

Mine is ok, but you can see how close it really is- I had to add a clamp to stop the leak seen in the photo as well. TMC should not be installing these as they are not up to the task! The coolant hose usually gets cut instead of an idler siezing. In your case- the belt may have found that hose and clamp??

Best to call number on the attached pdf to make sure. CW will not know most likely, and I wouldn't trust them anyway.

My Ram dealer will work on this at my request (I asked early on) so if you can find a Ram dealer like mine (also a 'business link' dealer) then I'd go that route and have Thor pay for it. I got approved for a repaint of my rear doors by Thor at the Ram body shop (improper install of bike rack), so you can do it that way too- have the two of them duke it out.

For the future, I recommend carrying any one of the 4 belts listed on Page 5. I prefer Dayco belts, so I have a spare for my tool kit, and keep a copy of that pdf handy in my travel binder. There is also a sticker under my bonnet showing that path.
A spare oem belt from dealer too!

Hope you can get it sorted out- another alternate idea is to see if you have a mobile tech nearby that you can call that knows the UHG system. Good luck!!
I have a "22 Tellaro, with an Onan generator hanging underneath. Is this problem specific to Tellaro/Sequences with UHG? Big trip planned for Sept, I'd like to be proactive now if I have to.
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Old 02-29-2024, 12:36 AM   #19
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THOR #29354
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Originally Posted by marksil View Post
I have a "22 Tellaro, with an Onan generator hanging underneath. Is this problem specific to Tellaro/Sequences with UHG? Big trip planned for Sept, I'd like to be proactive now if I have to.
From what I've seen, its specific to the Thors with lithion batteries and UHG charging system.

I will be installing a SG2-0300 Gateway Monitor to monitor and manage it via my phone. I contacted Belmar and the support guy highly recommended it...and it's only $69.00. I can then watch the temp of the UHG and shut it down when it reaches high temps - he recommended 100 c (212 f).
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Old 02-29-2024, 12:43 AM   #20
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2022 Tellaro 20L
State: Vermont
Posts: 526
THOR #30506
Quote:
Originally Posted by marksil View Post
I have a "22 Tellaro, with an Onan generator hanging underneath. Is this problem specific to Tellaro/Sequences with UHG? Big trip planned for Sept, I'd like to be proactive now if I have to.
What Klondike Kat said. If you have the Onan, you will not have a UHG.

The generator has it's own unique problems like loose wiring and low clearance.

So be sure you don't go 'offroad' and inspect the wire harness to be sure it's tucked up high as possible.
I had a 20AT with all those wires ripped out from prev. owner not paying attention to road debris I suspect.
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Mark & Cyndy
2022 Thor Tellaro 20L, 600Ah LFP/ Balmar UHG, 380W solar.
Former: 2001 Rialta QD, (full refit), 2021 Tellaro 20AT ( 3mos)
Daily driver: 2021 VW ID4
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