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Old 02-19-2024, 08:00 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 24.1
State: Tennessee
Posts: 9
THOR #31830
2022 Axis Won't Start

Hi Folks,

I am a long time RVer just purchased a 2022 Axis 24.1 in December. Traded in a 2013 Winnebago ERA (Sprinter van). We keep the RV in a storage lot, and every two weeks we head over and drive it a bit to keep the chassis battery charged.

This worked fine for the van, in 11 years I never had a problem starting it. The second time we did this with the Axis, we had to use the emergency start. Two weeks ago we went again to start it, and it was dead, dead, dead. The emergency start did not work at all.

Since it was supposed to be sunny for a few days, we let the coach battery charge some. When we returned today, it was at 14.4 volts, supposedly about 3/4 full. Tried to start with the emergency switch and still nothing. We started the generator and let it run for about 30 minutes. Still no start. We tried holding down the button on the emergency start for about 5 minutes as has been suggested elsewhere. Still nothing.

I would think there is enough power in the coach batteries to start the RV, no? I am not sure what else we can do, short of jumping the coach batteries. The chassis batteries seem to be impossible to get to, which seems like a design flaw to me.

Any advice? Ive got this great new RV we haven't even been camping in yet and we cannot get it to start.

Thanks,
Lisa

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Old 02-19-2024, 08:28 PM   #2
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Not sure what caused the problem.

On my 2021 Axis, Thor installed the Precision Circuits BIM 160, which both isolates the coach and chassis batteries, but lets one charge the other when the voltages are right. Unfortunately in later years Thor may have gone back to the less robust BIRD/Trombetta relay.

But in any case you can more easily get to the chassis battery from the passenger seat inside. Take off the sliding shelf in front of the passenger seat and cut through the last few inches of the plywood that is underneath the slider. Use a hand saw.

With that compartment open you can reach down to the battery terminals and hook up jumper cables.

David
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Old 02-19-2024, 09:48 PM   #3
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had the same issue a few weeks ago. ended up changing the trombetta. since then no issues, other than a 1/2 depleted chassis battery. also, I tested the old trombetta and it tests like it should. weird...


don't forget to check that the small circuit breaker by the battery is not tripped. mine has a blue button and a yellow trip arm. accessible from the front
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Old 02-20-2024, 06:42 AM   #4
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Welcome to the sight. I think you will some homework with a lot of reading to do. I read of these issues quite frequently. I hope my little bump for you get more idea from others.

But if it were me, I would start with TMC. They have some process you can sign up for to get your 12vdc drawings. Once received, I would study and learn what is doing what and then go to physically eyeball all of those parts.

At that time you can more easily troubleshoot with a voltmeter. You can also be more specific about what you are seeing and at what point in the electrical flow voltage is not what is expected or part not providing output needed.

FWIW, as you have gone from WBGO to TMC, it just seems to me parasitic drains are kind of expected with some of these models? I never understood why. Your ERA may have had similar issues if you went to start every 2 weeks.

But to help get things jumpstarted ( pun was intended) If you know you can jumpstart and all works you know the ignition / starter is just fine.

You then need to have chassis battery load tested, don't assume it is good because it supposed to be. Verify.

Then I would verify what all charges. i.e. Check voltage on battery when engine is running.

Your drawing (TMC) can verify if your coach is suppose to charge Chassis battery when genny is running. I get confused sometimes because I have a SOB and I read things on the forum for TMC RV and mine may not do the same. Similar goes for what happens when on shore power.

if all of the above is working you may have a really bad draw somewhere, or perhaps your House battery is also getting to a point where it need load testing too.

I sometimes wonder who designed the access location of the Chassis battery for the Axis given the Chassis being used? But I have seen worse, we once had a boat with generator that had a water pump to keep cool, but the impeller was about 2 inches from a side wall. Kohler said the genny had to be lifted out each time to change a $15 part at a cost of $1,750 I finally rigged up a 90 degree screwdriver and it took me 4 hours to get all of the screws off to remove cover to remove impeller. About 2 hours more to put back on. But I loved the boat and did it myself 3 times over 14 years
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Old 02-20-2024, 07:31 PM   #5
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Buy this
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004H...b_b_asin_image

And any jumper box of your choice.

Whatever the cause, this is the best, 3 minutes and solved, plan B.
There're pics of where I mounted mine in the last few pages of my build thread below. You can reach it without even opening hood.
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Old 02-22-2024, 04:26 PM   #6
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Ducksface, I am not yet familiar enough with the forum to find the post you are referring to, but can I assume you installed a post extender? I've been thinking of doing that myself.
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Old 02-24-2024, 09:04 PM   #7
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Invest in a roof mounted 100-watt solar panel and controller, that will keep all your batteries at a 100% charge.

I have that setup on my 2018 MB Sprinter based RV and never had a problem. I just went out to the storage lot a few days ago (after about 2 month) and all 3 batteries were at a 100%.
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Old 02-26-2024, 05:05 PM   #8
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THOR #31830
It Started

Thanks for all the responses!

We went to the storage lot this weekend, equipped with a beefy jump-start battery. After a quick look under the "hood" proved we could not see the battery, much less reach it with the cables, we removed the desk on the passenger side and got access to the battery. I wrestled the clips on and it started right up.

After it ran for about 15 minutes, I shut it off for 10 minutes or so and tried starting again. This time, it would not start initially, but the emergency start button DID work. So I am assuming that when the battery is completely dead, the emergency start doesn't work. This is kind of a bummer. I am hoping we accidentally left something on, like the screen console, and that this isn't something we have to do all the time.

Then we drove it for 90 minutes to charge it up.

I am thinking of two modifications to help with this:
- A battery post extender that is easily reachable; either just behind the grill or even maybe under the dash on the passenger side.
- A solar trickle charger for the chassis battery.

Also a new chassis battery may be in order, we'll see.

Thanks,
Lisa
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Old 02-26-2024, 06:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaR View Post
Thanks for all the responses!

We went to the storage lot this weekend, equipped with a beefy jump-start battery. After a quick look under the "hood" proved we could not see the battery, much less reach it with the cables, we removed the desk on the passenger side and got access to the battery. I wrestled the clips on and it started right up.

After it ran for about 15 minutes, I shut it off for 10 minutes or so and tried starting again. This time, it would not start initially, but the emergency start button DID work. So I am assuming that when the battery is completely dead, the emergency start doesn't work. This is kind of a bummer. I am hoping we accidentally left something on, like the screen console, and that this isn't something we have to do all the time.

Then we drove it for 90 minutes to charge it up.

I am thinking of two modifications to help with this:
- A battery post extender that is easily reachable; either just behind the grill or even maybe under the dash on the passenger side.
- A solar trickle charger for the chassis battery.

Also a new chassis battery may be in order, we'll see.

Thanks,
Lisa
It's not normal to have a dead chassis battery.
The radio is powered by the house batteries
The emergency start has to be held for several minutes to transfer charge to a dead chassis battery. If the chassis battery is really dead it may be better to start the generator and allow the converter to trigger the chassis battery charging which should have the same effect as holding the Emergency Start switch except the chassis battery will charge faster.
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Old 02-26-2024, 07:16 PM   #10
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The coach is a 2022? Probably built on a 2021 chassis. Battery is probably 3 years old or older. How long was the chassis battery in a discharged state? The longer it stays discharged the more damage is done to the battery.
If it were mine, I would pull the battery haul it over Auto Zoom and swap it out for the best maintenance free battery I could afford. When I reinstalled it I would put on some type of post extender cable to the front of the rig so I could jump or get a voltmeter on it without going through hoops.
Good Luck & Safe Travels
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Old 02-27-2024, 12:08 AM   #11
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THOR #31830
Dead Chassis Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
It's not normal to have a dead chassis battery.
The radio is powered by the house batteries
The emergency start has to be held for several minutes to transfer charge to a dead chassis battery. If the chassis battery is really dead it may be better to start the generator and allow the converter to trigger the chassis battery charging which should have the same effect as holding the Emergency Start switch except the chassis battery will charge faster.
I did all the things you mentioned: I held the emergency start down for several minutes (like 5). I ran the generator and tried using the emergency start while it was running. Ran it for 30 minutes. Nothing at all happened. But after I jumped the chassis battery and ran it for a bit to charge, the emergency start did work. Based on that and other threads I have read here, I think it is safe to conclude that if the chassis battery is totally dead, the emergency start will not work, no matter what.

Also - the radio would not turn on when the chassis battery was dead and the coach batteries full. It turned on just fine after I jump started the chassis battery. So clearly, it is running off the chassis battery, not the coach battery. My old RV had a switch to change the radio from chassis to coach battery. I
havenít seen anything like that on the Axis.

That said I think it is likely I will be replacing the chassis battery. Seems unusual for it to go bad so quickly; the coach is less than 2 years old. But if this continues to be an issue I will replace it.
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Old 02-27-2024, 12:12 AM   #12
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Dead Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJC62 View Post
The coach is a 2022? Probably built on a 2021 chassis. Battery is probably 3 years old or older. How long was the chassis battery in a discharged state? The longer it stays discharged the more damage is done to the battery.
If it were mine, I would pull the battery haul it over Auto Zoom and swap it out for the best maintenance free battery I could afford. When I reinstalled it I would put on some type of post extender cable to the front of the rig so I could jump or get a voltmeter on it without going through hoops.
Good Luck & Safe Travels
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I agree, replacing is probably best and it looks like what is there is a cheap Die Hard battery. I would like to get something better. Just wondering if Iíll be able to wrestle it out of there by myself. Iím a 60 year old woman and it looks a little heavy. Might need to enlist the help of one of my neighbors. Plus threading it through the cables and hoses will be a challenge!
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Old 02-27-2024, 01:05 AM   #13
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You should have the battery load tested when fully charged before replacing.

My WBGO has a switch to flip turn the radio ON when Ignition is OFF, not sure it is switching from Chassis to House. Did you verify your current coach disconnect switch was ON. I have been driving and my radio was not working. I was freaking out finding a place to stop thinking I blew a fuse, turns out my disconnect switch had been accidentally turned off.

Now just so you know, I have seen a brand new TMC with exploded batteries If your batteries have made it two years, that may not be all bad consider how they abuse them at some TMC Dealer lots.
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Old 02-27-2024, 01:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dkoldman View Post
You should have the battery load tested when fully charged before replacing.

My WBGO has a switch to flip turn the radio ON when Ignition is OFF, not sure it is switching from Chassis to House. Did you verify your current coach disconnect switch was ON. UI have been driving and my radio was not working. I was freaking out finding a place to stop thinking I blew a fuse, turns out my disconnect switch had been accidentally turned off.

Now just so you know, I have seen a brand new TMC with exploded batteries If your batteries have made it two years, that may not be all bad consider how they abuse them at some TMC Dealer lots.
Our unit is preowned and I have seen the abuse it took on the lot. The way those guys take care of their inventory is criminal. They tried to get me to take it with all these little issues. I made them fix everything I could find and would not take it till they did (they wanted me to drive it home then bring it back so they could fix it.)

Now I just have to fix the issues I didnít findÖ
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Old 02-27-2024, 01:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaR View Post
I agree, replacing is probably best and it looks like what is there is a cheap Die Hard battery. I would like to get something better. Just wondering if Iíll be able to wrestle it out of there by myself. Iím a 60 year old woman and it looks a little heavy. Might need to enlist the help of one of my neighbors. Plus threading it through the cables and hoses will be a challenge!
Suggestion: If you can drive it over to the local Auto Parts store. Find one of the young guys working the counter and ask if you purchase a battery are they able to change it out? (They do advertise at O'Reily they will change your battery in your car or SUV.) When they see it's an RV they may need a little encouragement like maybe $10 spot.
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Old 02-27-2024, 04:23 PM   #16
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I considered, and thought it a very good idea, to move that battery to underneath the passenger seat. Due to my fabrication ability I combined a few projects into one project and placed that battery elsewhere than under the passenger seat.
A lengthening of some cable and it will never be a problem again if under/near/behind that passenger seat.

(My battery is no longer under the dash. It is now in one of the side bins which has been rebuilt to be heated, insulated, and can now hold 1,000lbs. If I hadn't, that battery would sure be under that seat)
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Old 02-27-2024, 09:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MJC62 View Post
Suggestion: If you can drive it over to the local Auto Parts store. Find one of the young guys working the counter and ask if you purchase a battery are they able to change it out? (They do advertise at O'Reily they will change your battery in your car or SUV.) When they see it's an RV they may need a little encouragement like maybe $10 spot.
I was considering that, actually. We have an O'Reily in town, just a few miles away. My 23 year old stepson will be home on spring break in a couple of weeks, too.
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Old 02-27-2024, 10:06 PM   #18
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My jumper lugs.
And
Where my underdash battery now lives.
I try to make life easy. I can jump anyone(though I carry two jump boxes)and I can swap out that battery in 5 minutes.

Pics of under the dash(and the sound insulation I added) are in my sig thread somewhere.
Battery removal\maintaining tools are attached directly to the battery.

(The blue box is a HEPA filter on the cabin air intake for air conditioning and heater.)

Step-son is the best bet. It's an ok job for a big guy who can lift 60lbs with one hand.
It's just about like pulling a mad racoon, full of acid, out of a too small opening pet-cage.
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Old 03-10-2024, 06:02 PM   #19
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the same thing happened to me on my vages 2022. after a lot of digging I found the negative cable was not connected or had come off somehow. what a night mare. Ford could fidger it out Thor said it is a ford problem. trying to get at the battery well OMG but after about a week I got done.
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