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Old 10-04-2019, 04:21 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 29m
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THOR #16201
Generator will not charge house batteries

I have a 2019 Thor Windsport 29m. We are on a week long camping trip and the generator is not charging the house batteries. The chassis alternator is charging the house batteries when driving and when we are parked. At night when we are watching TV and the house batteries get to low, the generator will not charge the batteries. I turn on the engine so the motor alternator charges the house batteries. I checked all the fuses on the inverter and the converter, all the fuses in the panel, the fuses in the engine compartment and even the breakers and connot see an issue. Could this be a bird issue and if so how do I test it. Has anyone else had this type of issue.
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:24 PM   #2
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The later model coaches usually have a battery interconnect module (BIM) rather than a BIRD. If your engine's alternator charges the house battery then the BIM is probably good. Make sure you have the master power on any time you expect to charge the batteries whether or not you are using the coach. Next make sure the circuit breaker for the charger (it in the power center) is on. Lastly there is a 50 amp circuit in the battery compartment that connects the house battery to the charger. It can be check by removing all 120 volt power from the coach and see it the interior lights still cone on. If they do the circuit breaker is good. With the master power on and the charger on, use a volt meter at the house battery to check that you are getting 13.1 to 13.5 volts if not you could have BIM problem.
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:08 PM   #3
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THOR #16201
With the master power on all the lights are working.
Where is the circuit breaker in the power center located? Is it under the bed. We are boondocking now and phone service is scetchy.
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:12 PM   #4
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Looks like there are three breakers in the battery compartment. 2 100 amp breakers and 1 50 amp breaker.
Is there a way to test the BIM.

So if all the lights are working in the rv the most likely the 50 amp circuit in the battery compartment is good.
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:18 PM   #5
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While your problem is worrisome, your alternator is working and I see no reason to worry a nice trip into a search and cure dibacle.

My v10 use just 3/5 gallon an hour when idling and charging
The generator uses maybe half of that when charging.
So, for less a quart of gas an hour differential, I'd enjoy my trip and let the warranty fix the problem at the first Thor dealer you pass by. A kind word will get a tech out to take a look while you're in the parking lot.

If you're bored, carry on with the diagnosis.
If you're worried, use the alternator.
It just isn't critical.

And:
My wiring is a little whack in my 2018. The fifty amp breaker has a 40 amp breaker tucked under it! Both mounted on the inside wall of the battery compartment, but the wiring on the 50 covers the 40...entirely...unseen or feelable type entirely.
The big breakers might/should have a flag poking out. If it is poking out, fold it back where it goes. The red button is not for anything except popping the breaker as a test. The flag is the reset. It folds into a slot.

Punchline: if you see a flag, of any color, tuck it back in its slot. The flag means the breaker is tripped open.
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:27 PM   #6
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Some great advise and thank you for bringing me back to earth. I tend to worry about things for nothing.

Funny thing is the second time we used the full slide out it ripped the sink plumbing out of the gray water tank. It appears the slide limits either come out to far and the plywood floor has to much material and does not clear the drain part.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Machinetools1 View Post
With the master power on all the lights are working.
Where is the circuit breaker in the power center located? Is it under the bed. We are boondocking now and phone service is scetchy.
II the lights are working on battery power then the 50 amp circuit breaker is good as is the master power switch. By the way the 50 amp circuit breaker I was speaking is in the house compartment usually behind the batteries or on the wall with the other 12 volt high amp circuit breakers. it protects the cable from the batteries to the charger through the master power relay. The easy way to test whether you house batteries are charging from any source is with a multi-meter and check the actual battery voltage. If you have more than 13 volts, the batteries are charging. 12.8 volts or less and they are NOT charging. The inverter when on will show battery voltage.
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:16 PM   #8
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When my panel states the battery voltage is at about 11.6 I kick on the generator and wait for it to power up the microwave and the air conditioners. Once I know they are on generator power I check the voltage on the house batteries. If wat hi g TV I slowly start loosing voltage to the house batteries
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Machinetools1 View Post
If wat hi g TV I slowly start loosing voltage to the house batteries
If you are running the generator, the inverter will activate the bypass relay. This circuit will bypass the inverter entirely. The inverter's display will read the charging current from your charger going to the house batteries. With the shore power disconnected and the generator off, you will read the actual battery voltage. The inverter battery cable is separate from the battery cable going to the power center, so it is not usually effected by the master power switch. If you are totally on battery power (not generator or shore power), the battery voltage will gradually decay due to self-discharge and parasitic draw by the propane detector and other items not wired to the 12 volt fuse panel. Using the inverter to supply 120 volt for the coach's TVs, outside frig and electrics cabinet plus the 12 volts to the antenna will draw down the stock batteries to 11.9 volts in about 4 hours. The Thor MC installed batteries usually will only last for two years due to the abuse the receive from the selling dealer.
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:59 PM   #10
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So when I kick on the generator to charge the batteries it goes directly from the generator to the batteries. It goes through the 50 amp circuit in the battery bax and through a transfer switch under the bed or goes directly to the generator.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:01 AM   #11
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Mechanical things I can fix but when it comes to electrical items it's hard for me to grasp.
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Machinetools1 View Post
So when I kick on the generator to charge the batteries it goes directly from the generator to the batteries. It goes through the 50 amp circuit in the battery bax and through a transfer switch under the bed or goes directly to the generator.

No.. the only direct connection from generator to batteries is to spin the starter on the genny.
The generator will (thru the transfer switch) power the onboard converter - which will charge the batteries.

Need some voltage measurements - coming out of the converter and at the batteries...
See if the converter is putting out over 13v... and then if batteries are receiving it...
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:54 AM   #13
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Sometimes a generic picture is worth a thousand words. This is my go to picture for the DC portion only of a generic coach battery system. It may not represent your coach exactly. Also note that it does not show any 120vac connections and it does not show any specific battery charging electronic system (BCC, BIRD, BIM etc). The emergency start solenoid (relay) shown between the chassis and coach batteries is typically the device controlled by the BCC/BIRD etc., that either connects the two battery strings under certain charging conditions or disconnects them under certain charging conditions. This schematic shows the latching relay (typically called the use/store relay) and the 50 amp cct breaker (usually it is resettable) to help with Beau's earlier descriptions. Hope this helps you visualize.


Describing a bi-directional charging system: When the gen starts the auto transfer switch operates so the gen powers the converter (120vac side) instead of shore power. Output of the converter (approx 13vdc+ depending on charge level required ) passes through the use/store latching relay (turned on) and through the 50 amp breaker to charge the coach batteries. The battery charging electronics then determines if the emergency start relay (also called isolation or interconnect relay) will be operated to also charge the chassis batteries from converter. When not on shore or gen, the alternator will charge the chassis battery first and the battery charging electronics will determine again if the emergency start relay should be closed to also charge the coach batteries.
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Old 10-05-2019, 02:10 AM   #14
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Good picture...
In this case with alternator charging coach batteries, and generator not, I am suspecting the converter... The BIM is working to allow alternator to charge the coach. The breakers in battery box are likewise ok.
Why I suggested voltage readings at the converter and battery with genny on...
<13v at converter would be converter issue (fuse in converter or dead/dying unit).
>13v at converter and <13v at batteries would be wiring/fuse between the two.
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Old 10-05-2019, 03:43 AM   #15
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Javelin thank you for the schematic and the description, very useful. Thanks for the help.

GMC, when the generator is on and at the battery the voltage continues to drop. I have not checked the voltage at the converter yet. With the generator running if I have about 13 volts running through the inverter the converter has an issue? I thought it was good to have 13 volts to the converter? When checking he voltage I check the hot and ground as you would with battery posts?
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:23 AM   #16
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With gen running, use/store off and engine/alternator off, do you get coach lights working OK? If yes I would think the converter (or inverter/charger) output is working. If no 12vdc lights are working what happens if shore power is connected? If you are boon docking = no shore power so canít test that. Using shore would check transfer switch connections. So it is possible as GMC says the converter is not working, but you need to verify that also with shore power connected. If still no lights then 120vac feed from auto transfer switch output to input side of converter may not be connected/breaker open etc or the converter has failed.
If, however, the converter is proven to be working though, then one other consideration is if the BIRD or BIM (which ever your coach has) charge sense on the coach battery side may not be detecting the converter charge voltage correctly or has a bad connection/blown mini fuse (usually a 5 or 7 amp fuse near the latching relay). Check the voltage on the coach batteries with gen running and use/store on to see if the 13vdc+ is even getting to the coach batteries.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:58 PM   #17
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Generator will not charge house batteries

So this is what I am seeing in your posts and why I am scratching my head... if I misstate something, please correct - might point to problem...
- boondocking, and with genny off, no shore power- everything 12v works... tells me use/store is ok.
- engine alternator charges batteries telling me batteries are accepting charge and BIM is working (at least in that direction)
- inverter shows >13v on display when genny is running... telling me the genset is supplying power and converter output is ok.. and it is getting to batteries (the inverter only dc input is direct from batteries, so if it is seeing 13v, the batteries must be too... if there was a break between converter and batteries, Iíd expect the inverter wouldnít show 13v
- the BIM isnít in play as far as charging coach from converter... It is only in play for emergency start, or cross charging (alternator to coach or converter to chassis)
Of course rule #1 for our RVs is they are all unique... so if one on the above is proven false - we might find problem...

In these states:
- engine off, genny off, use/store in use
- engine on, genny off, use/store in use
- engine off, genny on, use/store in use
Measure each of these voltages: (wait 2-3 min in each state before measuring... to allow BIM functions where needed...)
- at coach batteries
- at chassis battery
- at converter output
- at inverter input (use inverter display)

Some readings will be zero. Letís see where the Ďdisconnectí is...
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:33 PM   #18
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Sorry for the confusion and I am most likely not explaining the problem correctly. When boondocking all 12 volt lights come on no problem when the use/store switch in the on position. When the inverter button is pushed and the green light comes on indicating the inverter is on the tv, VCR, and hdmi box is on everything is un working order.

When the volts go down according to the Mira firefly display panel and according to the volts tested off of both batteries in the battery box get to 11 5 volts I turn on the generator and turn off the inverter and watch tv with the generator running the batteries do not charge and actually start losing volts according to the Mira firefly display panel and the batteries in the battery box according to my volt meter. This happens with the inverter in the on and off position.

The generator will run the microwave and the air conditioners with no problem but will not charge the batteries. When I turn on the RV's v10 the battery volts in the chassis drop to 12.4 volts and only charge up to 13.3 volts. The house batteries charge up to the same 13.3 volts. This is confirmed by my volt meter and the Mira firefly display panel in the motor home.

The only time the Mira firefly display panel ever reads above 13 volts it s just after I charge the batteries with the rv motor running to charge the batteries. When the generator is actually running and the inverter is off or on I
loose volts to the batteries according to the Mira firefly display panel and the voltage with my volt meter at both batteries

With the use/storage switch in the off position nothing works in the rv. I cannot start the generator. The only way I can start the generator is with the start button on the generator itself. The only things that work in the coach is the microwave and the air conditioners. Nothing else works and the batteries do not take charge

I checked the breakers and all fuses and everything looks good. I have not checked the voltages from the converter or inverter that are located under the bed. The inverter has 2 fuses and both are good. The converter has a reset button. I do not see any other fuses under the bed except for 2 small I believe 5 or 7 amp fuses. There are 2 100 amp flag breakers and 1 50 amp flag breaker in the battery box. I looked all inside the battery box and cannot find any other breakers. There is the BIM in the battery box and all of its connections are tight.

I have not yet checked the output of the inverter that is under the bed directly with a volt meter.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:40 PM   #19
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When we were at home before we left everything worked well with the 120 v power coming from the house. The batteries charged fine when the use/store switch was in the on position. I did not think to check to make sure the batteries would charge in the driveway without the 12o v hook up and just on the generator
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmc View Post
So this is what I am seeing in your posts and why I am scratching my head... if I misstate something, please correct - might point to problem...
- boondocking, and with genny off, no shore power- everything 12v works... tells me use/store is ok.
- engine alternator charges batteries telling me batteries are accepting charge and BIM is working (at least in that direction)
- inverter shows >13v on display when genny is running... telling me the genset is supplying power and converter output is ok.. and it is getting to batteries (the inverter only dc input is direct from batteries, so if it is seeing 13v, the batteries must be too... if there was a break between converter and batteries, Iíd expect the inverter wouldnít show 13v
- the BIM isnít in play as far as charging coach from converter... It is only in play for emergency start, or cross charging (alternator to coach or converter to chassis)
Of course rule #1 for our RVs is they are all unique... so if one on the above is proven false - we might find problem...

In these states:
- engine off, genny off, use/store in use
- engine on, genny off, use/store in use
- engine off, genny on, use/store in use
Measure each of these voltages: (wait 2-3 min in each state before measuring... to allow BIM functions where needed...)
- at coach batteries
- at chassis battery
- at converter output
- at inverter input (use inverter display)

Some readings will be zero. Letís see where the Ďdisconnectí is...
GMC. We are home from our trip and had a fantastic time. Now I need to find the problem of not charging the batteries when the generator is running. I did not check the voltage coming out of the converter but I am confused. A converter converts AC to DC and an inverter converts DC to AC. when you turn the inverter on to watch tv it powers all of your 120 componates so you can watch t.v. would that not 've the job of the converter and not the inverter.

With the generator on I should be getting 13 volts out of the converter and the batteries. How many volts should be coming out of the inverter.
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