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Old 09-29-2019, 03:15 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Outlaw 29H
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THOR #15098
Front battery positive wire

Just got back from a trip. I happened to glance out at the 2016 Outlaw this AM and noticed a wire hanging. It is the red wire on the front house battery positive terminal. Upon inspection, it appears as thought this wire has been broken for some time, but must have shaken itself loose from the plastic wire wrap. The broken side that goes to a terminal that I can't see looks as though it was worn by the road. The part attached to the battery is frayed and green in spots. I looked at the PDF, and this wire goes to a terminal that must be up under the frame. From that terminal are 3 wires, one to a 100 amp breaker which then goes to a garage terminal, one that says it goes to the generator, and one that says it goes to a converter. Just to check, I fired up the generator without being connected to shore power, and it fired up. So, the burning question is what does this wire do?
Wanted to add to this, as I just realized that the PDF for the battery cable layout that I have dated 4/3/2015 does not represent what my cable layout looks like, unless the drawing is inverted on the PDF. The front house battery in the PDF shows 3 wires attached. One is my broken one, one is the jumper in between the batteries, and there is one in the PDF that shows a connection to the inverter. My front house battery only has 2 wires connected to positive, the one that is broken, and the jumper from the rear house battery. More confused than ever now

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Old 09-29-2019, 04:15 PM   #2
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THOR #8860

Which model Outlaw do you have?
I had a 29-H, and here's what my battery compartment looked like...
Can you point out the offending wire? None of mine appeared to have enough slack in them; to ever contact the road surface.
If yours is a Class A rig: forget about my picture...


http://www.thorforums.com/forums/att...1&d=1569773721
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Old 09-29-2019, 04:22 PM   #3
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THOR #15098
Bob: The terminal I'm talking about is the one to the farthest right. Like I said in the revised post, there's a jumper from the rear battery connected to it, and the broken wire is also connected. Everything else looks the same as yours, right down to the disconnect that you have installed on the front negative terminal. Wish I could post a pic, but I don't know how!
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Old 09-29-2019, 04:27 PM   #4
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THOR #8860
If you have a picture of what's going on with your rig on your computer:
You can edit your post above mine, and hit the "advanced" button...
That'll bring your to another dialog box that already has your post in it...
Move your cursor to the end of what you have typed, and then find the "paperclip" on the top row. (A spot or two right of the "smiley")
Click on it, and it'll take you into your computer to pick out an image file.
Note: if everything is on a smartphone: I'm flat out of suggestions...
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Old 09-29-2019, 05:20 PM   #5
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THOR #15098
See if I can attach to a new reply. Also attached the PDF of the wiring diagram from the battery.GDC10146(4).pdf
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:09 PM   #6
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THOR #8860
Yup! That cable sure does need replacing...
But the good news: it's not really all that big of a job... just the annoying, "crawl on your back" kind...

Good luck!@

(And the pictures were excellent! )
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:59 PM   #7
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If I "read" your pictures correctly it looks like a positive battery terminal cable with too much slack let loose from its zap strap/taped cable bundle and dropped on the road while under way.

I think you are very lucky that the bare end of the cable that is still connected to the + battery post did not bounce up and hit the chassis while under way (depending on where the 100 amp breaker is located - sounds like its on the other end of the cable). Some fine welding would have occurred with potentially serious electrical damage and even a fire if it was a long arcing event.

As Bob says, a simple cable replace probably.....using safe battery procedures of course......might want to remove battery grounds/power sources while you re-terminate a new (appropriate gauge and length) battery cable. Nothing like looking up at the stars at night while camping.......or the underside of your coach the rest of the time (NOT). A good time to look for other potential issues down the road.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:16 PM   #8
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Yes, I agree with all as to my situation and the possible consequences. But there are two things that are driving me nuts. One is that from the condition of the end of the cable that I removed from the battery, this wire has been loose/burned/disconnected for some time. It just recently wiggled its way out of the protective wrap. So why didn't I lose power somewhere in the house? That leads to the question where is the third line that is supposed to be connected to my inverter? I say third if you include the jumper wire from the rear battery. The next question is where is the frayed wire connected in the coach? It goes up under the frame somewhere, but I can't see where it's terminated. And if it goes to the terminator that powers the generator and the garage terminal in the rear, how can I still start the generator without shore power? I thought I'd get into RVing in retirement to enjoy my spare time, not crawl around on the ground or discover a problem every time I take the rig on the road. Now I'm ranting, but am I just so frustrated at the "dime-store" way these things are constructed/engineered that I'll never be able to enjoy it?
So, as to repair, I'm just gonna clean and bare both ends of the cable, take some copper pipe and make a butt splice, slip the small piece of pipe over either bare end and solder the snot outta it, cover that area with heat-shrink, and tape the protective covering back over it....even though I have no idea what that wire does, or what it is connected to!!!! Hell, that wire's been disconnected for so long, when I hook it back up it may well destroy something else!!!!
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:20 PM   #9
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So maybe not so easy after all at the buried end.

The other thing besides death and taxes you can probably count on, is that you canít guarantee the Thor factory folks wired your coach according to the details shown in your schematic drawing.......unfortunately. So you could trial and error determine which load(s) are affected by this battery cable cut as a start. You started the gen OK which should not start if it is fed from the battery with the broken cable per drawing; jack pump appears to be fed from the other battery + post.......what if they flipped the two +ve posts at the factory.......that would mean your jacks should not work, but all on the triple split should work fine. You will have to do some detective work if you want to determine what is not being battery fed by this break. IMO it is important to do so, but I am not the one laying under your coach. If you do that, you might be able to find an alternate route to replace this broken cable with a clean new run ( if you wanted to).
Unfortunately the blue sky and carefree traveling Marketed by RV companies is not usually the reality, but life is never easy for most of us either. The more you know about your coach though, the more prepared you will be to overcome the maintenance hurdles that may come your way.
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:49 PM   #10
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Well, I did check the genny with the shore power disconnected, but I jacked up the front when I started this AM while I was shore connected. And now the bulb is starting to glow a little more brightly (in my brain, that is). The previous owner had instructions taped to the wall by the jack panel that says "to remove error code, press enter and retract buttons together". Seems he was getting a low voltage error frequently, but instead of investigating the problem, he chose to ignore it by bypassing the code. If, as you say, the experts at the factory did not wire the rig to spec, I may have inadvertently stumbled on the low voltage error. I can only remember leveling the unit once without shore power, and it worked, but the house batteries were brand new. Not that brand new batteries would be of any help if the line was completely broken. And you can see from the photos that the line in question looks to have been broken for quite some time. I will, however, attempt the repair in the manner I described above, and hope to God that the genius assemblers at Sore (I mean Thor) didn't connect one end of that red wire to the chassis!!!!! Just as an aside, I read and followed blueprints for a living for 45 years. I never didn't do what the print said to do on purpose!!!!
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:51 PM   #11
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THOR #2631
It would be nice if we all received "As Built" drawings with our coaches.....but the Dealer network would probably not like that since they make their bucks on doing the repairs (or trying to do them). The other thing is the previous owner may have made changes that diverted from your schematic too......

You could use a voltmeter to test the buried cable end to see if there is any voltage on it first and then use the ohm meter (or voltmeter) and see if the buried cable end is grounded.....before doing your repair "splice". I have not heard of anyone "plumbing their wires" before......not sure that's in any code book I know of either.
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:24 AM   #12
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THOR #15098
Actually, by copper pipe, I meant a round piece of copper (or brass) turned and drilled to fit the wire. I imagine they make butt splices for #2 wire that are crimped on, but after years of restoring antique vehicles, I have found that brass and copper sleeves used to solder wires together seem to fill the bill far better than crimped joints. BTW, thanks for the tip re/the voltmeter.
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:36 PM   #13
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Hi Omar1951, I was just poking at you a little in my last post.

I know the soldered butt splice you are making from copper pipe will probably work, but a crimped splice butt connector is probably the strongest/safest.....if you have the right crimping tool; the two ends of your cable can reach the connector fully after the damage they received; and the crimper can get in there to do the job. Just soldering will probably work but a very awkward place to do that for one end termination at least. Hope you find out what that load is and get back in business safely.
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:39 PM   #14
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Yeah, I can take a little ribbin', no problem! I'm beginning to think that the broken wire is the one that comes from the generator that charges the batteries. Did what you suggested today, checked the end of the wire from the house for continuity with all the power off. No continuity, so that tells me that the wire's not grounded anywhere. Then I connected the house batteries and checked for backfeed voltage, and got none. Then I plugged in the shore power and checked again for backfeed, and got nothing. I did not fire up the genny and see if there was any voltage coming from that wire. Probably should before I complete the connection. I'll keep you apprised of my progress! the pics show the sleeve I turned, and the sleeve attached with solder
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:43 PM   #15
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THOR #2631
Must be nice to have the tools and talent to turn your own copper butt splice connectors. Since your battery cable that broke is 12vdc and larger gauge wire, based on your schematic diagram.....you would have these connections:


1. Converter output to charge batteries: When on shore power (with use/store on/engine off) you should measure charging voltage levels on the coach batteries. Typically there can be a 50 amp re-settable cct breaker in series with the output of the converter which may have tripped.....sometimes located near the converter, but depends on coach etc. When on shore (engine off) can you measure at least 12.8 + vdc on your coach batteries to confirm normal charging?


2. The Generator connection: This would be the 12vdc feed to the gen starter not an output. I think you said the gen starts OK so not the gen feed. The gen output is 120vac connected to your auto transfer switch to feed the converter 120vac side when gen is running.


3. The Garage feed: Not sure but with a 100Amp breaker it could be another hydraulic pump to operate a garage door perhaps....or high current electric motor/gears for the door? If that works then not that.


4. Inverter feed: Battery cable feeds the high current fuse to the converter.......it must work or you would have noted that long ago.


5. Jacks hydraulic motor: This works as you said they work previously.


I am betting on the converter output.......but not being there and since Thor rarely seems to wire to spec.....it is still a WAG.
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Old 10-01-2019, 05:57 PM   #16
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THOR #15098
The batteries read 13+volts, even after resetting the zero point on my levelers. Like I said before, the genny fires up even without shore power. The only thing I didn't check was the kind of voltage coming out of the broken wire while operating the generator. But the last time I boondocked, the genny kept the batteries up and provided me with all the electrical necessities I needed. The only thing that draws and appreciable power in the garage is the AC.
Anywho, the wire is fixed and re-attached to the front positive battery terminal, and all seems well.
Just a warning: NEVER try to pry any info out of the tech support at Sore Industries. After sending the tech multiple pics and trying to explain over the phone what my situation was, the best this jerk could do was send me an email telling me first, that the wire was a ground wire, and second, that the battery wiring print that I sent to him was correct. How could he say that after looking at the pictures that I sent him? All I wanted to know was what the broken wire was for!!! Since he didn't have the smarts to figure that one out, his next email recommended that I take the unit to a dealer to make sure the batteries were wired correctly!!!!! Here's pics of the repair before and after shrink tube. I also put the slinky wire cover back on, and wire-tied
the cable up against one side of the chassis.
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Old 10-01-2019, 07:02 PM   #17
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Looks like you are back in business.....no battery cables dragging now at least. Sure would be interesting to know what "should not have been working" with that open cable connection though. Hopefully the buried end terminates somewhere requiring battery voltage. At least you know it was not grounded from your testing.



I guess we see in the forum many times that the spec schematics/drawings are not always As Builts ......so probably the Thor tech can only assume the drawings are accurate.....and short of that, refer you to a Stealer for a second visual opinion (at a cost). Sometimes it is hard for forum contributors to visualize posted descriptions and sometimes posted pictures too. I hope you can now enjoy some trouble free camping.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:06 PM   #18
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Did you figure this out?

Sorry, I just read this thread (briefed) and my initial thought is that itís the emergency start cable. The location is right and you wouldnít miss it until you try to use the bypass switch. Cheers
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:34 PM   #19
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Omar, I have a 2017 Axis by Thor. After MUCH trouble with wiring, batteries and Thor, on my motorhome the cable you seem to describe would go to the Ford E450 engine battery for the emergency start alternative using the house batteries. Darwin
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:38 AM   #20
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thanks to the 2 of you for the info. I'm thinking that's what it is, too. After I repaired the wire, I fired up the generator and checked with a voltmeter, but got no reading. Everyone who reads this will probably laugh, but the previous problems I had with dash warnings (check engine and check gas cap lights) have now mysteriously disappeared! Why that would be is beyond me, but I'm happy that's 2 things I don't have to have staring me in the face whenever I drive the rig!
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