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Old 12-31-2022, 02:12 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Wisconsin
Posts: 222
THOR #27874
Tellaro 2023/20L 200Ah Relion/Balmar UHG - rewiring etc.

I'm sure you either crawled under the rig, peeked into under the beds, or saw pics...Thor wiring/plumbing layouts, components and manufacturing techniques are abysmal...understatement.

On top of my OCD for neat/safe wiring, I've been following DIY Smart RV FB group for a bit, got some good automation ideas from there.

I've started collecting the parts and planning the work. Too cold to work on it at this time of year in WI.

My plans are to re-do/improve as needed.

List so far:
Re-route, re-connect, remove excess wiring
Add ditch lights (almost hit a coyote at 70, headlights are good, but not wide enough for night driving on 2 lane roads)
Add battery negative lead disconnect near shunts
Add MC4s between panels and solar charge controller
Add DC breaker/switch to solar charge controller output
Add second 190W panel (in series to avoid changing out controller for now)
Add second (more accurate and informative) smart shunt in series with Balmar
Add several temp logging devices (via ESP32s/cheap BT thermometers - integrated with Home Assistant)
Clean up plumbing around pump - recover enough space for more batteries
Clean up wiring behind fuse panel - recover storage for needed, but infrequently accessed stuff (spares, tools...etc).
Add water flow measurement sensor/esp32 integrated with Home Assistant
I'm sure I'll find more stuff as I go.

I'm on the hunt for the best weather/water proof connectors. The German style automotive connectors are getting higher on my list. Amazon has several offers, of seemingly various quality, hard to choose. Any thoughts?

Every single one of those butt-splice crimp connectors will corrode in a few years, particularly the ones exposed to rain/snow/salt.

I'm thinking the exposed fuse holders should either be moved to a block (protected from elements) or better weather proof holders.

All the RAM stuff seems good, it's the Thor work that needs complete re-work.

Ron

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Old 12-31-2022, 02:37 PM   #2
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Marine butt connectors:
https://www.amazon.com/haisstronica-...07RX6QYX5?th=1

3M makes a variety of sealed wire splices and kits.
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Old 12-31-2022, 02:42 PM   #3
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Those look perfect, heat shrink with some goo/adhesive..nice.

Thanks
ron
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Old 12-31-2022, 02:44 PM   #4
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Also lotsa silicone filled wire connectors available from various manufacturers.
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Old 12-31-2022, 04:10 PM   #5
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I like the shrink wrap ones , it's all I used on my Vintage HD's & newer ones & yes the goo or sealer in them make it much better .

I'm in agreement abut cleaning up the wiring , but first I want to know where everything goes , I'm going to start labeling.

Ya got to think in a home construction mentality , if you can't see it ,it's OK , as long as it works . I guess Thor & probable all the rest , never heard of cable runs .nor do they evidently care about the rats nests tucked away , when the best time to make good wire runs is in the building process .
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Old 01-03-2023, 01:06 AM   #6
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THOR #27962
Regarding your adding a disconnect of the Lithium batteries at the negative leads near the shunt. I believe you previously commented that you had to check for other wiring connected directly to the batteries. FWIW, my 2023 Tellaro 20k with d2x100ah Relion batts does have additional connections at one of the batteries. A +/- 16 ga black at the negative and similarly red at the positive. In addition there is a temp sensor at the positive. Interestingly, Balmar literature says the sensor should be connected at a negative post near the center of the bank. I believe the red and black go to the regulator terminals 1 and 2 while the sensor goes to terminals 7 and 8. I have yet to confirm the connections at the regulator however. I have to pull the microwave to do so. The Thor electrical diagrams and schematics don't quite get to that much detail when it comes to the Balmar regulator.

Also I contacted Thor a while ago and asked about their statement in the manual and supplement that states "always install a safety relay..." They responded that it wasn't required because it is "the smaller package." Not sure I buy that reasoning. Anyway I'm considering adding a disconnect as you are. I'm just waiting for you to do it so I can follow your lead!!

Happy New Year
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Old 01-04-2023, 04:58 PM   #7
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Cool, that's good to know. I can't wait for it to be warm enough to work on this thing...started collecting parts, next going to find board to layout the components and have it ready to install. I'll do pics when I get that far.

The temp sensor doesn't carry any current - its just a thermistor glued/heat shrunk to a lug (careful not to bend it). It has it's own 2 wires (not connected to the battery or lug) running back to the regulator. it has it's own issues, but it won't be an issue disconnecting the battery negatives.

Just an aside, I read a FB post about the temp sensor. They guy removed it by disconnecting pin 7/8 on the regulator. He also disco'ed the solar, by pulling the fuse. That allows the UHG to run the heaters and then charge the batteries in weather less than 0F, as the regulator no longer has a low temp cut-off feedback.

Otherwise, the temp sensor being at or below 0F, will feed back a signal to the regulator to not deliver any charge (or a very very small amount), subsequently no heater and with no heat the batteries will not accept a charge until heated.

It's additional protection for systems not having low temp sensors inside the batteries. But, in our case, it prevents the UHG from charging in cold weather. Rather than disconnect it (since it also senses high temp), I'm going to change the regulator parameter for low temp cut-off from 0f to -4F, that should work better for me.

So, 1/2 are the power to the regulator, makes perfect sense that they home-run wired it to the battery, since the Thor engineers are stupid. If I got bashed as much as they do, I think I'd work on straightening out my game or find a different career.

The regulator is usually sitting right next to the shunt...they could have just put the negative/ground side (think that's pin 1) on the shunt (the side with only one cable - the two cables run back to the batteries). But, why not run it back to the batteries...making it impossible to remove all loads to the batteries...ahhhhhh.

It's an easy mod, I think. Too cold yet to go out and play.

My plan would be to:

Need two additional 4/0 cables (just long enough to be neat - only 1 if no additional shunt), disco switch and WonVon shunt (optional).

Add in a disco switch (capable of at least 400amps/@12V - or more if you have a bigger battery bank - I have 200ah) one side of the switch gets the two cables from the batteries.

Add in the WonVon shunt (400amp), connected to the other side of the disco switch.

The other side of the WonVon shunt goes to the Balmar shunt (where the two battery cables were b4)

Cut the wire on the regulator pin 1 - connect pin 1 wire to the Balmar shunt on the opposite end from where the WonVon shunt is connected.

Now the disco switch should be able to completely isolate the negative cables from the batteries...still need to confirm this all on my rig.

It seems they changed the wiring style/routes and connections based on whatever they had laying around that week.

ron
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Old 01-07-2023, 10:42 PM   #8
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THOR #3523
We use Deutsch connectors on emergency vehicle wiring
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Old 01-07-2023, 11:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 09 Challenger View Post
We use Deutsch connectors on emergency vehicle wiring
DEUTSCH makes over 107,000 Products. Might want to narrow that down a little. It's like saying I drive a Thor MH.
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Old 01-07-2023, 11:59 PM   #10
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The heat shrink adhesive lined tubing is what I used on ocean going sailboats. Usually over watertight connectors. Check marine stores like West Marine for good connectors but they might be overkill for an RV. Amphenol makes a complete line of automotive connectors.
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Old 01-08-2023, 02:39 PM   #11
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The crimp connectors with the goo and the heat shrink with goo seems easy enough.

After a bit more consideration, don't think 'connectors' are necessary, the wiring that needs the fixes is pretty static, no need to disconnect/reconnect.

If it works on an ocean going vessel, it should be perfect for under the rig.

I'll have to get under the thing to figure it all out, but my biggest concern is unprotected butt-splices that they used to tie in fuse holders. I think I'd like to move all the fuses to a fuse block, protected from elements.

ron
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Old 01-08-2023, 02:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by RonRM View Post
but my biggest concern is unprotected butt-splices that they used to tie in fuse holders. I think I'd like to move all the fuses to a fuse block, protected from elements.

ron
The reason for the location of some of the in-line fuseholders is a mystery to me. However they may prove difficult to move to a central location. I have use these on boats https://www.westmarine.com/blue-sea-...-11975885.html
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Old 01-08-2023, 04:44 PM   #13
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I'm sure the reason is combination of the speed the workers need to move to make the piece rate, the amount they care (near zero), zero quality control/feedback in the process and the overall lack of design for manufacturing of these rigs.

I was looking at the cavity under the drivers side floor where the chassis battery is located to mount a waterproof fuse box. There are random fuses all over in that area and near the coach batteries.

If I can't get everything wired to a central location, those devices look like a winner.

ron.
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Old 01-08-2023, 04:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PreCambrian View Post
The reason for the location of some of the in-line fuseholders is a mystery to me. However they may prove difficult to move to a central location. I have use these on boats https://www.westmarine.com/blue-sea-...-11975885.html
In-line fuses are just that, installed in-line. If the component was meant to be protected by a fuse in a fuse block the component manufacturer would not have included an in-line fuse.
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Old 01-08-2023, 08:56 PM   #15
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In-line fuses are just that, installed in-line. If the component was meant to be protected by a fuse in a fuse block the component manufacturer would not have included an in-line fuse.
That's funny, you know we are talking about Thor products, right?
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Old 01-08-2023, 09:04 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by RonRM View Post
That's funny, you know we are talking about Thor products, right?
No, youre talking about the manufacturer of the product that uses the in-line fuse, such as radio, camera controller, etc

Last time I looked the installation instructions say to connect the in-line fuse, they dont say to find an empty lug on a fuse box.
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Old 01-09-2023, 12:33 AM   #17
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Close, but no, I'm talking about the poor design, planning and hap-hazard assembly processes used by Thor that need correcting.

These practices lead to near dangerous or for certain premature failure of electrical connections. I'm good enough at starting camp fires, I don't need any help from my rigs electrical system.

Some might want to take back to the dealer and have it sit for months while they try to get it right.

Some might want to dig right in and make the corrections themselves. To each their own, I'll dig in.

Exposed connections, cheap butt splice connectors, butt splice/ring connectors smashed to the point you can see the metal insides, not so water tight in-line fuse holders, exposed wiring outside of split loom, exposed lever nuts - with a little bit of tape on them, super tight wire runs, pinched wires, frayed wire sticking out of lugs... I could go on and on.

BTW, whether or not the fuse is in-line or in a protected box, doesn't matter whatsoever; yes, I am an electrical engineer. Fuses protect wiring, not the electrical components they are connected to. Good design puts the fuse as close to the danger as possible, limiting the exposure to 'hot' wires down stream in the case of an issue. That's not the way Thor built my rig and probably many others'.

Attached is are a few sample pics so you can wrap your head around what we are talking about. These are of the exposed underside of the rig, it actually gets worse when you look at the inside wiring but at least that isn't directly exposed to the elements - particularly worrisome is road salt, never mind anything that could bounce up off the road. This stuff is no joke.

ron
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Old 01-13-2023, 12:52 AM   #18
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I have (2)100ah volt cold weather Relions, 190W panel and old solar controller, master volt inverter and display I want to part with. All were removed within week of getting coach.

I use butt slices with dielectric grease, then heat shrink, no problem on Florida boat. I added Victron smart shut before the Balmar shunt
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Old 02-20-2023, 12:37 AM   #19
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Finally got some OK weather, and at least I got the new shunt and disconnect installed. At least a couple of things off the list.

With this setup, I can fully (finally) disconnect the negative leads that come directly from the batteries. I can now store the unit properly without worrying about the batteries being discharged (other than the slight internal discharge).

The display still needs to be calibrated. It's nice to actually have data logging (part of the app) so I can see charging/discharging behavior.

Parts list:

400amp WonVon shunt (going to add more batteries) and display.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09W2H9FB1...roduct_details

High current switch
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PN9DR6C psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

Had to buy a new tool, a hydraulic crimper.

I still have to redo all the wiring and mount the display. Once that's done, might be able to squeeze another battery in there.

For now having a way to disconnect the batteries for storage is major win.

Did find something in the process, the cables coming up through the floor from the batteries were poorly sealed, can see daylight. Poor job of applying the foam sealer.

Ron
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Old 02-20-2023, 02:45 AM   #20
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Wow! Im afraid to look under my beds and see that rats nest of wires. If my guys hooked up a house panel in that fashion Id fire them on the spot!
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