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Old 05-11-2020, 11:32 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Connecticut
Posts: 4
THOR #18774
HELP - Truck battery keeps dying!

ok - I have a BRAND NEW Thor 28A and drove it home from the dealership. Parked it in my driveway and tried to start it 3 days later, battery is dead. (on the Chevy truck, as well as the motorhome itself.)

Roadside assistance came out and jumped it. It was left running for 90 minutes. Turned it off and tried to start it again, it was dead. I managed to start it once with the "emergency start" switch, but then nothing. It's dead as a door nail again. He checked the battery and said it was fine (it's brand new.)

Any ideas? We are moving and I bought the RV to get my family away from the movers due to COVID and to drive across the country with my father who can't fly. Movers arrive today and I obviously can't risk going anywhere until this is fixed.

Any ideas would be welcome. By the way, I am new to RV'ing. Not super impressed so far....
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Old 05-11-2020, 11:59 AM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2020 Magnitude SV34
State: Florida
Posts: 1,399
THOR #12751
Couple questions...

- What model 28A (Chateau, Four Winds)?

- What year?

- Are you plugged into shore power when it is sitting?

- Is the Use / Store switch in the "Use" or "Store" position when it is sitting?

- Who said the chassis (starting) battery was fine and brand new (dealer, roadside assistance)? Did they check the Specific Gravity of each cell?


There are a wide number of possibilities so we need more information to help. The chassis (starting) battery is independent of the house batteries.

I assume you made sure a map light or something else was not left on in the cab and that is not draining the chassis battery.


Here are a couple pointers....

1) The emergency start switch ties the house batteries and chassis battery together to give the chassis a boost to start the engine if it gets discharged for some reason.

If the chassis battery is completely dead, you would need to press and hold the Emergency Start switch for a bit to allow the chassis battery to get some current moving through it before trying to start the engine.

There is a solenoid under the hood that engages when you press the Emergency Start switch. If you don't here it click when you press the switch, check the fuse for it (which should be attached to the solenoid itself.

2) If you are not plugged into shore power when it is sitting and you have the Use / Store switch in the "Use" position, the house batteries can discharge over time. Also, if you have an Inverter it will be wired directly to the house batteries. If the Inverter is left on, it will also drain the discharge the house batteries.

In any case.... the house batteries are independent from the chassis batteries so even if they get discharged, it should not discharge the chassis battery.

3) On most Class C's, the chassis battery will not charge when plugged into shore power. You would need to install a Trik-L-Start so the coach charger can maintain the chassis battery or you would need to keep a battery maintainer on the chassis battery if it sits for long periods of time.
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:17 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Connecticut
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THOR #18774
HI it's a Chateau year is 2020.

It is not plugged into shore power since it's at my house. I do hear the solenoid click when I hit the emergency switch, but it's not enough to start the truck battery.

Both the dealership and roadside assistance said the battery of the truck was good. I'm wondering if there is an electrical drain somewhere that is killing the truck battery....

The use switch is currently to off since I didn't want anything else draining. It was set to use before.

How do I find out if I have an inverter? Sorry for the dumb questions, but when we picked the RV up, the guy ran through the whole thing in about 10 minutes due to Covid-19 so we didn't get an orientation - been trying to figure this stuff out by reading manuals and watching YouTube videos.

Trying to figure out if I can plug into shore power at my house - I have a dogbone from 30amp to regular three prong plug - any issues doing that to at least get part of this thing charged up again?

Was also thinking maybe to replace the battery?
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:30 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2020 Magnitude SV34
State: Florida
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THOR #12751
I don't see a Chateau 28A in the 2020 Brochure (there is a 28Z). It says the 31W is the only one with an Inverter so we will assume you don't have one.

If you hear the solenoid clicking when you press the Emergency Start switch, that is a good thing. If the house batteries won't boost the chassis battery to start the engine, that could mean the house batteries are weak and need charged; especially if you are not plugged into shore power. However, of the chassis battery is totally shot, has a shorted cell, etc., that could hamper the house batteries efforts to start help start the engine.

You can use a 30A to 15A adapter to keep the coach plugged into a regular 15A house outlet so the house batteries are maintained. However, you need to have the Use / Store Switch in the "Use" position for them to charge. Make sure you put the switch in "Use" (so the red light is on) and then when you plug in you can be sure the house batteries are charging.

It is possible something is draining the chassis battery up front. It is also possible the battery is bad if they did not check the specific gravity of each cell.

It is also possible there is a loose battery cable. I have seen loose ground cables make it look like the battery is dead when in fact it was not. I would check the battery cables at the terminals (take them off and then retighten them to make sure they are both making good contact and secure) and then follow the cables as far as you can to see if they are tight.
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Old 05-11-2020, 01:41 PM   #5
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Model: ACE 27.1
State: Florida
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THOR #7035
Don't know why Thor doesn't have the 28A on their website. It's a no-slide basic unit that shows up frequently in the rental market and apparently can be on either the Ford or Chevy chassis..



No magic answers for the OP; too many unknowns.

Gotta charge and test the chassis battery.
Gotta check for parasitic drain from the chassis battery with a meter
You CAN plug the RV in at home with the 30A to 15A dogbone adapter; just don't plan on running the AC. And put the USE/STORE switch in USE to charge the house batteries. It MAY also charge the chassis battery - hard to say without knowing if it has a BIRD/BIM.

If you can't get it figured out in your time crunch go buy a good portable jumper pack for your trip so you don'r get stranded with a dead battery.
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Old 05-13-2020, 05:41 AM   #6
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 24FS
State: New Mexico
Posts: 105
THOR #12181
Hooking up to your home power 15amp circuit will charge the house batteries just fine. Just don't try to run big items like microwave and air conditioning.It will blow the circuit breaker. You need to charge the engine battery. You will need to buy a battery charger for that. Get a decent one and leave it on at least over night! Look for one with a float charge. (3 stage) I have rewired my coach to charge the engine battery with a flick of a switch.
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Old 05-13-2020, 05:49 AM   #7
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 24FS
State: New Mexico
Posts: 105
THOR #12181
As others have said, Something is draining your battery. Every time it is fully depleted you lose some battery power permanently. They frequently go bad sitting on the dealer lot since they never get properly charged there. Just because its new does not mean it's good. It must be fully charged and load tested. I'm sure roadside did not do that. Each coach is wired differently. On mine several things like the steps are powered by the engine battery.
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Old 05-13-2020, 12:52 PM   #8
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Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
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THOR #8860
Here's a dumb question:
Have you checked to make sure that all of the connections are tight?
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Old 05-13-2020, 05:44 PM   #9
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Brand: Redwood
State: Texas
Posts: 1,225
THOR #3610
Just FYI on battery maintenance for the OP & other newbies tuned to this channel, the house batteries require the water levels to checked periodically & topped off with distilled water. The chassis battery is most likely maintenance free other than periodic inspection for corrosion & tightening cables.
Typically the RV dealer installs the house batteries with usually the cheapest no name crap on the market that may last 2-3 years, if a good dealer you'll get the very cheapest name brand good for 3-4 years.
The chassis battery being a Chevy is most likely a Delco, or whatever they use now, but that chassis may be a couple years old & was sitting for however long before it became the current motorhome, meaning you could possibly have a '18 or '19 model chassis on a 2020 model motorhome, not unusual. So who knows about the battery????
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:41 PM   #10
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 24F
State: Michigan
Posts: 7
THOR #18247
I hope you've got this all figured out by now. It took me awhile to get my head wrapped around it when I got my chateau 24F last year. All 3 of my batteries were/are crap. I'm looking to probably replace the chassis battery in the next month. House batteries are just about shot too, Not only where they cheap but I let them go pretty damn dry last summer because I didn't realize there was a baffle in them that kept me from seeing the cells. In the bad light under the steps I didn't notice it and it looked like they were full.



The 28A looks like a great floor plan, I'm kinda jealous, The 24F is super spacious but the bedroom/bathroom/kitchen are much nicer on the 28A.
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