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Old 08-09-2022, 07:42 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Arkansas
Posts: 3
THOR #27634
"Underhood generator" and maintenance.

I have a 2023 Thor Tellaro with the standard equipped "underhood generator" along with the 200 amp hour system.

I'm a complete novice so...

According to Thor you just run the engine when you would normally use a generator and that provides power. Now, unless I am mistaken, a generator uses a "hour" scale to determine when you would need to perform maintenance on your generator and a gasoline engine uses the miles indicator to determine when you would perform maintenance.

When the van is running and you're not moving nothing is "measuring" anything how do you know when to do an oil change??

I haven't found anything in the literature saying anything other than perform maintenance according to the guide that came with the ProMaster chassis.

I also contacted Thor directly and they insisted that I do it according to the maintenance schedule that is indicated in the owners manual which is in miles.

My stupid tiny brain tells me that when the engine is running its breaking down the oil regardless of whether the wheels are turning so the oil changes need to adjust accordingly but nothing tells you how to do that.

Am I wrong? Is this something I don't have to worry about?

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Old 08-09-2022, 08:35 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 25.6
State: Wisconsin
Posts: 24
THOR #25594
I don’t have a Promaster but the 2022 Promaster owner’s manual on page 56 shows a “Engine Oil Change Message” will display. It further has it’s “Duty Cycle Based”.

Also on one of the “Driver Assist” screens is “Service Information”.

Both these have “If Equipped” so they might be based on trim level.


I do have a Jeep Cherokee and in the drivers display I can see the remaining life of my oil. My owner’s manual has to change the oil at 3000 miles, I get closer to 6000 miles between changes before I get the 5% life display to change the oil.

Erv
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Old 08-09-2022, 08:40 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 31S
State: Texas
Posts: 3,604
THOR #6411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renocide View Post
I have a 2023 Thor Tellaro with the standard equipped "underhood generator" along with the 200 amp hour system.

I'm a complete novice so...

According to Thor you just run the engine when you would normally use a generator and that provides power. Now, unless I am mistaken, a generator uses a "hour" scale to determine when you would need to perform maintenance on your generator and a gasoline engine uses the miles indicator to determine when you would perform maintenance.

When the van is running and you're not moving nothing is "measuring" anything how do you know when to do an oil change??

I haven't found anything in the literature saying anything other than perform maintenance according to the guide that came with the ProMaster chassis.

I also contacted Thor directly and they insisted that I do it according to the maintenance schedule that is indicated in the owners manual which is in miles.

My stupid tiny brain tells me that when the engine is running its breaking down the oil regardless of whether the wheels are turning so the oil changes need to adjust accordingly but nothing tells you how to do that.

Am I wrong? Is this something I don't have to worry about?
According to page 212 of the 2022RAM ProMaster owners manual, it looks like oil changes of 10,000 miles or one year which ever comes first.
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Old 08-09-2022, 08:44 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Arkansas
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THOR #27634
Thanks for the reply.

Yeah I thought that maybe it would track it somewhere and alert me when it might be due.

But...I have a 2021 Chrysler Pacific Hybrid that my wife drives. When I asked her about the oil one day, because she had not mentioned having it changed, she said that the system was showing 44% or something. When I asked her how many miles she had on it when it was changed she said she hadn't had it changed since we bought it and it had 10k+ miles on it now! That didn't sit well with me so I had it done regardless of that built-in system.

Maybe I should just trust my new computer overlord and await him/her to bless me with the message when it arrives.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDug 25.6 View Post
I don’t have a Promaster but the 2022 Promaster owner’s manual on page 56 shows a “Engine Oil Change Message” will display. It further has it’s “Duty Cycle Based”.

Also on one of the “Driver Assist” screens is “Service Information”.

Both these have “If Equipped” so they might be based on trim level.


I do have a Jeep Cherokee and in the drivers display I can see the remaining life of my oil. My owner’s manual has to change the oil at 3000 miles, I get closer to 6000 miles between changes before I get the 5% life display to change the oil.

Erv
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Old 08-09-2022, 08:48 PM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Thor Vegas 25.3
State: Nebraska
Posts: 29
THOR #24456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renocide View Post
I have a 2023 Thor Tellaro with the standard equipped "underhood generator" along with the 200 amp hour system.

I'm a complete novice so...

According to Thor you just run the engine when you would normally use a generator and that provides power. Now, unless I am mistaken, a generator uses a "hour" scale to determine when you would need to perform maintenance on your generator and a gasoline engine uses the miles indicator to determine when you would perform maintenance.

When the van is running and you're not moving nothing is "measuring" anything how do you know when to do an oil change??

I haven't found anything in the literature saying anything other than perform maintenance according to the guide that came with the ProMaster chassis.

I also contacted Thor directly and they insisted that I do it according to the maintenance schedule that is indicated in the owners manual which is in miles.

My stupid tiny brain tells me that when the engine is running its breaking down the oil regardless of whether the wheels are turning so the oil changes need to adjust accordingly but nothing tells you how to do that.

Am I wrong? Is this something I don't have to worry about?

This might not apply, but food for thought anyway. As an over the road truck driver we used to idle the equipment 8-10 hours a day for heat and A/C. Probably 8-10 months out of the year. (This was before the auxiliary power units that are on many of the trucks today) We always used mileage for oil changes and other service. Also, we were cautioned by the manufacturer to avoid idling as much as possible on a new (or rebuilt) engine until it was broken in. Idling didn't produce as much heat and could lead to the rings not seating properly.
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Old 08-09-2022, 08:52 PM   #6
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Arkansas
Posts: 3
THOR #27634
Good point. Didn't think about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnerJim View Post
This might not apply, but food for thought anyway. As an over the road truck driver we used to idle the equipment 8-10 hours a day for heat and A/C. Probably 8-10 months out of the year. (This was before the auxiliary power units that are on many of the trucks today) We always used mileage for oil changes and other service. Also, we were cautioned by the manufacturer to avoid idling as much as possible on a new (or rebuilt) engine until it was broken in. Idling didn't produce as much heat and could lead to the rings not seating properly.
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Old 08-09-2022, 09:09 PM   #7
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 31S
State: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnerJim View Post
This might not apply, but food for thought anyway. As an over the road truck driver we used to idle the equipment 8-10 hours a day for heat and A/C. Probably 8-10 months out of the year. (This was before the auxiliary power units that are on many of the trucks today) We always used mileage for oil changes and other service. Also, we were cautioned by the manufacturer to avoid idling as much as possible on a new (or rebuilt) engine until it was broken in. Idling didn't produce as much heat and could lead to the rings not seating properly.
I would bet you had more than 5 qts of oil in the pan and never went more than one year without an oil change.
I drive a modern diesel (2009) and if you idle the engine for more than 30 minutes, you will fill up the particulate filter and the computer would go into regeneration mode..
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Old 08-10-2022, 12:55 AM   #8
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 24F
State: Ohio
Posts: 2,392
THOR #16721
I would suggest going by what Beau388 said. 10,000 miles in a year is a LOT for a typical RV classed vehicle, unless you're full-time... so once a year.

You could use some WAG ballpark math and estimate miles based on hours, then keep a chart... but I'm guessing you're still going to fall far short... unless you're planning on dry camping in very hot weather, and need A/C.

Therefore I would bet you'd fall under the "once a year" category. That's what I'd suggest, and call it close enough.
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Old 08-10-2022, 09:50 AM   #9
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Model: Quantum JM31
State: Tennessee
Posts: 329
THOR #21926
Use the engine oil life % in the menu and change the oil at 5% life left. The engine oil life factors in more than just mileage. Our Ford 7.3 owner's manual says the oil should be changed at 10,000 miles but the oil life went to zero at 9500 so I changed the oil.
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Old 08-10-2022, 02:34 PM   #10
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Tellaro 20L
State: North Carolina
Posts: 66
THOR #26907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renocide View Post
I have a 2023 Thor Tellaro with the standard equipped "underhood generator" along with the 200 amp hour system.

I'm a complete novice so...

According to Thor you just run the engine when you would normally use a generator and that provides power. Now, unless I am mistaken, a generator uses a "hour" scale to determine when you would need to perform maintenance on your generator and a gasoline engine uses the miles indicator to determine when you would perform maintenance.

When the van is running and you're not moving nothing is "measuring" anything how do you know when to do an oil change??

I haven't found anything in the literature saying anything other than perform maintenance according to the guide that came with the ProMaster chassis.

I also contacted Thor directly and they insisted that I do it according to the maintenance schedule that is indicated in the owners manual which is in miles.

My stupid tiny brain tells me that when the engine is running its breaking down the oil regardless of whether the wheels are turning so the oil changes need to adjust accordingly but nothing tells you how to do that.

Am I wrong? Is this something I don't have to worry about?
I also have the Tellaro on Promaster chassis but do not have the underhood generator. I have not found an oil change % indicator anywhere in the diagnostics of the computer unless I have missed it somewhere. The recommended interval of 10000 miles "seems" a bit optimistic to me even though not using the engine to idle and charge the house batteries. I completed my first oil change at 6000 miles just as a precaution for "break In" and not knowing how long the vehicle sat on the lot prior to my purchase. The oil change on this is simple to do yourself if you have some inexpensive ramps and have very basic mechanical ability. Personally, I plan to just change the oil/filter myself at a minimum of 8000 miles since it is not expensive and can be done in less than an hour. I would recommend keeping receipts for oil and filters to avoid any warranty issues.

Some other owners with the same setup have reported some issues with the serpentine belt clearance so you might want to read some earlier posts about that if you were not aware to make sure yours does not have similar issues. I think this was on 2022 so hopefully yours would not have the same problem. I have attached the link in case you need:

https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f4...ose-31760.html
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Old 08-10-2022, 02:55 PM   #11
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Brand: Still Looking
State: Texas
Posts: 5,934
THOR #2121
I expect ProMaster takes idling time into account when estimating oil changes, not just mileage. I would be surprised if it doesn’t also take other factors into account related to how hard engine is working, like when towing, high ambient temperature, etc... I would read ProMaster owner’s manual.

Having stated above, I suspect you will not spend as many hours idling as you think you may. Many RVers who do not run generators while driving to power roof-top A/C end up using very little generator time. RVers who boondock in hot climate are an exception because they use the generator a lot, but your system is not really optimized for that type of camping anyway.

Other than trying to power roof-top RV air conditioner with batteries/inverter (which you shouldn’t that much if at all), I expect you shouldn’t have to idle enough to make a big difference in oil changes.
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Old 08-17-2022, 08:13 PM   #12
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Pennsylvania
Posts: 23
THOR #20046
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Nodine View Post
Use the engine oil life % in the menu and change the oil at 5% life left. The engine oil life factors in more than just mileage. Our Ford 7.3 owner's manual says the oil should be changed at 10,000 miles but the oil life went to zero at 9500 so I changed the oil.



What he said!!! The on-board computer will tell you when to change the oil.
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Old 08-31-2022, 02:13 PM   #13
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Model: Carado Banff
State: Minnesota
Posts: 5
THOR #23006
the Underhood Generator is a second alternator that runs off the engine via belts. No maintenance is needed on the alternator but like automobiles you need change belts every so often.
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Old 09-07-2022, 11:59 AM   #14
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Wisconsin
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THOR #27874
@renocide You make a good point.

The Balmar (second alternator) is designed specifically to output high amperage at low RPM's (1150+), idle speed. That doesn't happen without it putting a load on the engine.

As someone mentioned, I'm betting that the Promaster computer takes engine operating conditions into account for oil change intervals.

Yet I still am wondering about all the other maintenance items, since these units will probably be run at idle a bit more than most engines.

All that would be nice to know, at the end of the day I plan on staying inside the recommended maintenance intervals; just to be on the conservative side.

Ron
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