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Old 06-16-2022, 07:04 PM   #1
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THOR #27145
Exclamation House battery not charging while driving

Hi Everyone!

Hoping someone will know about this obscure little issue I'm having. I have a thor freedom elite 22He from 2021 (chevy chassis) and I think that the solenoid isnt working properly. The car battery charges fine while driving, but the current doesn't switch over to charge the house battery. To be clear-- the house battery charges fine when plugged into shore power or running the generator.
I'm wondering if anybody knows what specific part this is and where I can buy a new one? // would I be an idiot to try to replace this myself?

Thanks!

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Old 06-16-2022, 07:13 PM   #2
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THOR #7035
It's not an obscure issue - hundreds of posts on this Forum alone about similar issues.

Step 1 - Go to the Thor Owners Resource login page ans create an account with your VIN: https://www.thormotorcoach.com/owners

Step 2 - Download appropriate documents for your RV to determine if you have a Bi-directional Isolation Relay Disconnect (BIRD), Battery Isolation Monitor (BIM), or Isolator Relay Delay (IRD) IRD.

Step 3 - Determine if your coach is supposed to charge the house batteries from the alternator.

Step 4 - Commence troubleshooting if required.
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Old 06-16-2022, 07:38 PM   #3
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It should. Make sure your Storage-Use switch is in Use position.
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Old 06-16-2022, 08:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Grumpy Grampa View Post
It should. Make sure your Storage-Use switch is in Use position.
Has zero, nothing, nada to do with it.
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Old 06-16-2022, 09:41 PM   #5
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I'm with ACE.... many Class C's don't have a BIM or BIRD to allow the alternator to charge the house batteries. Many just have a solenoid with an Emergency Start Switch so you can use the house batteries to boost the chassis battery if it gets run down to get the engine started.
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Old 06-16-2022, 10:42 PM   #6
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In mine, I can start the engine and drive it with the use/store switch in store. House batteries don’t charge. Leaving the switch in store position, plugging it into shore power, overrides the use/ store switch and charges all the batteries. So check the use/store switch first.

We’ll see if the OP comes back.
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Old 06-16-2022, 10:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jimbo56 View Post
In mine, I can start the engine and drive it with the use/store switch in store. House batteries don’t charge. Leaving the switch in store position, plugging it into shore power, overrides the use/ store switch and charges all the batteries. So check the use/store switch first.

We’ll see if the OP comes back.
If you say so.

That's not the way Thor wires their Class A MHs. The chassis and house batteries are connected directly together through the BIRD or BIM and some breakers - no path through the house latching relay. The alternator will charge the house batteries but the converter will not charge any batteries if the latching relay/disconnect is open.

How do you think the latching relay is overridden by plugging into SP? Many people have that misconception because of the "indicator" light near or on the USE/STORE switch. That light is only an indication that the house DC buss has 12 VDC power to it, either through the batteries, or by the converter. If the USE/STORE switch is in STORE (latching relay open), no batteries will charge despite the fact that "indicator" light is on.

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Old 06-17-2022, 12:17 AM   #8
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You guys with your fancy coaches. My Class C has an Intellitec isolator relay and a Trombetta PowerSeal. With then engine running both the chassis and coach batteries charge regardless of the “use/store” if certain conditions are met. On shore power nada, only the coach battery gets charged. I guess it’s an UDR - Uni-directional relay.

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Old 06-17-2022, 12:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jimbo56 View Post
In mine, I can start the engine and drive it with the use/store switch in store. House batteries don’t charge. Leaving the switch in store position, plugging it into shore power, overrides the use/ store switch and charges all the batteries. So check the use/store switch first.

We’ll see if the OP comes back.
That is a new one for me and not the typical protocol.....

I had a Class C Outlaw that didn't allow the alternator to charge the house batteries and didn't allow the Converter / Charger to charge the chassis Battery,

Now I have a Super C Magnitude that has a BIM and the alternator can charge the house batteries and the Converter / Charger can charge the chassis batteries.

The way that both of these coaches have worked is that when you plug into shore power, if the USE / STORE switch is in the STORE position, the batteries should be disconnected from the Converter / Charger and then there no way for them to be charged by shore power or generator power.

Now in the case of the Magnitude, since it has the BIM it will charge the house batteries when the engine is running if needed because the BIM and Alternator are wired directly to the batteries and before the USE / STORE relay.
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Old 06-17-2022, 12:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jimbo12 View Post
You guys with your fancy coaches. My Class C has an Intellitec isolator relay and a Trombetta PowerSeal. With then engine running both the chassis and coach batteries charge regardless of the “use/store” if certain conditions are met. On shore power nada, only the coach battery gets charged. I guess it’s an UDR - Uni-directional relay.

Attachment 38173
Per my prior post after reviewing your schematic......

According to the schematic you posted, your USE / STORE disconnect relay is between your Converter and the batteries. If you put your switch in the STORE position, there is no way your Converter should be able to charge your Batteries according to the schematic.

Now.... if the relay is stuck closed, then that would explain why you are charging batteries on shore power with the switch in the STORE position.

Now you will still have 12V to the lights, etc. in the STORE position under shore (or generator) power because the Converter is wired into the 12V Power Distribution Panel.
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Old 06-17-2022, 12:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Judge View Post
Per my prior post after reviewing your schematic......

According to the schematic you posted, your USE / STORE disconnect relay is between your Converter and the batteries. If you put your switch in the STORE position, there is no way your Converter should be able to charge your Batteries according to the schematic.

Now.... if the relay is stuck closed, then that would explain why you are charging batteries on shore power with the switch in the STORE position.

Now you will still have 12V to the lights, etc. in the STORE position under shore (or generator) power because the Converter is wired into the 12V Power Distribution Panel.

I think you got me confused with jimbo56 - my coach works perfectly according to the diagram.
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Old 06-17-2022, 12:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jimbo12 View Post
I think you got me confused with jimbo56 - my coach works perfectly according to the diagram.

You are correct sir!

My bad eyes didn't catch the 56 instead of the 12!

That being said..... your Intellitec isolator relay and a Trombetta work very similar to my BIM.

However.... that Disconnect Relay is controlled by the USE / STORE switch. I still don't see how your Converter can charge your batteries (coach or chassis) under shore power (or generator power) if your switch is in the STORE position.

The USE / STORE connects or disconnects the batteries from the Converter / Charger and does impact battery charging when the engine is not running and there is shore / genny power.

Now unless you have an Inverter / Charger... then in that case the USE / STORE does not impact battery charging because the Inverter / Charger is wired directly to the batteries.
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Old 06-17-2022, 12:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Judge View Post
You are correct sir!

My bad eyes didn't catch the 56 instead of the 12!

That being said..... your Intellitec isolator relay and a Trombetta work very similar to my BIM.

However.... that Disconnect Relay is controlled by the USE / STORE switch. I still don't see how your Converter can charge your batteries (coach or chassis) under shore power (or generator power) if your switch is in the STORE position.

You are correct - it needs to be in USE to charge from shore power. I was referring to while driving - the USE/STORE doesn’t need to be in USE to charge either battery. I need it in USE to keep the fridge running. I ferry the coach quite a bit between NC and KY and leave the switch in STORE. My bad for not being clearer.
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Old 06-17-2022, 12:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jimbo12 View Post
You are correct - it needs to be in USE to charge from shore power. I was referring to while driving - the USE/STORE doesn’t need to be in USE to charge either battery. I need it in USE to keep the fridge running. I ferry the coach quite a bit between NC and KY and leave the switch in STORE. My bad for not being clearer.
Ok... that explains it then.... you are correct. The USE / STORE has no impact on battery charging when a coach is wired with a BIM / BIRD / Trombetta.

But we need to see if the OP has a BIM / BIRD / Trombetta. I'm betting he does not.
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Old 06-17-2022, 02:20 AM   #15
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When I compiled the Vegas/Axis Owners' Sourced Manual, I researched when the batteries charge and under what conditions. Be low is a paragraph from the manufacturer of the BIRD explains when what battery group is charging when and under what conditions when the engine is running. The manufacturer uses the word "coach" when describing the house batteries and the word "chassis" when describing the chassis battery mounted on the engine.

So basically, if you have a BIRD or a BIM, when the engine is running both sets of batteries are being charged. One set at a time will cycle to charge and BIRD uses the voltage on the battery and a specific time as the criteria when to cycle the charge from the alternator to the set that needs the charge the most.


"Engine Alternator Charging the Batteries

When the ignition switch is turned on and the engine is running, the system senses the level of voltage on the chassis 12-volt system. When this voltage goes above 13.1 volts for approximately 2.5 minutes, as happens when the engine is running normally (normal alternator output voltage of a cold engine is approximately 14.4 volts), it will close the isolator relay providing charging current to the coach battery. This delay allows a cold engine an opportunity to start and warm up before having the heavy load of a discharged coach battery placed on it.

If the voltage should fall below 12 volts for more than about 1 minute, the relay will drop out to feed all the alternators available output to the chassis battery to keep the engine running. This might happen when the alternator is not able to supply enough current to all the loads and charge the coach battery at the same time. When the chassis voltage goes above 13.1volts again, the relay will again close in about 2.5 minutes to retry to charge the coach battery. The resultant flickering of lights would alert the driver of the system overload."
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Old 06-17-2022, 10:39 AM   #16
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I was not trying to start an argument about how stuff is wired. I know how mine works and to give the poster something simple to first check. You guys assume Thor wired mine as per the schematic that was posted. I have yet to see the OP show up again.
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Old 06-22-2022, 08:27 PM   #17
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2014 Thor Freedom Elite 22e

I have a 2014 thor freedom elite 22e and I have the same issue. I found an isolator delay relay behind the coolant reservoir. I think this is the problem. I have not replaced mine yet but you can get this part on amazon for about $50. I will post when I change mine.

https://www.amazon.com/Intellitec-00...ps%2C99&sr=8-4
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Old 06-22-2022, 09:29 PM   #18
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On my 2016 Vegas there are a couple of 12v circuit breakers with little yellow levers. There is one right by the battery bank (under the stairs in the 24.1) and another in the engine bay. Among everything else, it's good to check breakers to make sure they are not in a tripped state.

As with everything Thor, nothing is really labeled where it should be so there are various mystery wires and circuit breakers around that you have to try to map to something on a wiring diagram
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Old 06-22-2022, 10:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judge View Post
I'm with ACE.... many Class C's don't have a BIM or BIRD to allow the alternator to charge the house batteries. Many just have a solenoid with an Emergency Start Switch so you can use the house batteries to boost the chassis battery if it gets run down to get the engine started.
We have a 2017 Freedom Elite 22H with a Ford E-450 chassis. It definitely charges the house batteries when driving. Not sure if it has anything to do with store/use switch. I always have it it in use when driving because the backup camera and stereo system won’t work with it in store.
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Old 06-22-2022, 11:09 PM   #20
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I don't want to argue -- but if your RV has a BIRD and isolation relays (2 of them), then your house batteries will charge while driving and your chassis battery will charge while plugged into shore power.

So the first thing the OP needs to do is determine if he has a BIRD and the isolation relays.

Here is the schematic and explanation from Intellitec the manufacturer of the BIRD.

Now if Thor missed wired the BIRD or the two isolation relays, then that's a different story.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Alternator Charge House Battery BIRD.pdf (102.6 KB, 11 views)
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