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Old 11-09-2020, 02:11 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Washington
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THOR #20520
Need to understand how it works...

Hey folks,

Just bought my first Class C and it came with 300w renogy solar panels and 2 new coach batteries.
While driving, everything runs fine ( Generator and the 400W inverter) but once I stopped and hooked up, after few hours ( 3 maybe), my battery indicator on the solar panel device becomes red ( 10v battery left) and I canít run the inverter or even start my generator. I have to start the engine for both.

My questions are :
1- Can I only recharge my batteries while driving ?
2- The solar panel are supposed to recharge my battery so I could use my inverter and start generator if needed.
3- while plugged in, the battery are supposed to recharge ?
4- When I am NOT hooked up, how long can my batteries last with my fridge running only. In the morning ( 7 am while my baby wakes me up )my batteries are weak so my LED lights are blinking.

Thank you for your help !!

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Old 11-09-2020, 02:16 AM   #2
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Model: 2020 Magnitude SV34
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THOR #12751
There is a Converter / Charger onboard. It is used to convert AC voltage to 12V DC voltage when plugged into shore power or running the generator. It will also charge the house batteries when on shore power or running the generator.

The solar panels will help keep the house batteries charged as well depending on the amount of sunlight they are exposed to.

There is a Use / Store switch in the coach. You likely have it set to "Store" because in this position the batteries are disconnected and will not use the Converter and charged them by shore power or the generator. Find that switch and put it into the "Use" position. The house batteries should then be charged on shore power / generator.

The Use / Store switch does not impact the solar panels usually because they are typically connected directly to the batteries via the Solar Controller.

The Inverter converts 12V DC voltage to AC voltage to power a limited number of outlets in the coach, which are typically for a refrigerator or TV. If it is not during the day when the solar can be helping to keep the batteries charged or you are not plugged into shore power or running the generator (with the Use / Store switch in the "Use" position), you will drain your house batteries over time if the Inverter is powering the fridge and another AC appliance.

How long the house batteries will last depends on a lot of factors such as the capacity of the batteries, condition of the batteries, how much power the Inverter is drawing based on what it is powering.

The generator uses the house batteries to start. If the house batteries are drained too far, the generator won't turn over.

The house batteries could be charged by the engine alternator on some class C's but not all are configured this way.

The house batteries could be charged by the engine alternator on some class C's but not all are configured this way. If you start the engine, run it a bit and then you have power again to start the generator, then your coach likely charges the house batteries when the engine is running.
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Old 11-09-2020, 05:14 AM   #3
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Yeah !!!! Thank you for the amazing answer ! So I figured that I donít have a switch for the battery but my converter should recharge it and stop when full. I checked the system and itís not running. Full of dust and canít see any light. I will check more in the morning and testing components.

Also my batteries are 27DC and I am guessing that the 17 is the AH which is very small.

I will look for some 100AH so I can spend at least a while nigh with heater is needed.

I will keep you posted tomorrow or so when I fixed the converter...or bought a new one.

Thx again !
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Old 11-09-2020, 11:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DorianColling View Post
Yeah !!!! Thank you for the amazing answer ! So I figured that I donít have a switch for the battery but my converter should recharge it and stop when full. I checked the system and itís not running. Full of dust and canít see any light. I will check more in the morning and testing components.

Also my batteries are 27DC and I am guessing that the 17 is the AH which is very small.

I will look for some 100AH so I can spend at least a while nigh with heater is needed.

I will keep you posted tomorrow or so when I fixed the converter...or bought a new one.

Thx again !

should not need a new one. Just be sure the one you have is on and working. As in Voltmeter. Battery disconnect switch (Salesman switch) must be on! (inuse).

Assumeing you mean 27. 27 is the size of the battery. Not the AH.
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Old 11-09-2020, 12:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judge View Post
There is a Converter / Charger onboard. It is used to convert AC voltage to 12V DC voltage when plugged into shore power or running the generator. It will also charge the house batteries when on shore power or running the generator.

The solar panels will help keep the house batteries charged as well depending on the amount of sunlight they are exposed to.

There is a Use / Store switch in the coach. You likely have it set to "Store" because in this position the batteries are disconnected and will not use the Converter and charged them by shore power or the generator. Find that switch and put it into the "Use" position. The house batteries should then be charged on shore power / generator.

The Use / Store switch does not impact the solar panels usually because they are typically connected directly to the batteries via the Solar Controller.

The Inverter converts 12V DC voltage to AC voltage to power a limited number of outlets in the coach, which are typically for a refrigerator or TV. If it is not during the day when the solar can be helping to keep the batteries charged or you are not plugged into shore power or running the generator (with the Use / Store switch in the "Use" position), you will drain your house batteries over time if the Inverter is powering the fridge and another AC appliance.

How long the house batteries will last depends on a lot of factors such as the capacity of the batteries, condition of the batteries, how much power the Inverter is drawing based on what it is powering.

The generator uses the house batteries to start. If the house batteries are drained too far, the generator won't turn over.

The house batteries could be charged by the engine alternator on some class C's but not all are configured this way.

The house batteries could be charged by the engine alternator on some class C's but not all are configured this way. If you start the engine, run it a bit and then you have power again to start the generator, then your coach likely charges the house batteries when the engine is running.
Great overview!
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Old 11-10-2020, 04:04 AM   #6
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THOR #20520
Well spent a part of the day looking for the switch and can not find anything. Is it possible to not have one?
The manual on board whichI believe is not the original one says that the converter should recharge the battery as you mentioned but they donít say anything about a switch.
The batteries should be connected to the converter directly ? Shall I try looking at the wiring ?

Yes you are totally right, 27DC is the size. The AH is apparently 95 according to what I found online.
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Old 11-10-2020, 04:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DorianColling View Post


.....cut.....

4- When I am NOT hooked up, how long can my batteries last with my fridge running only. In the morning ( 7 am while my baby wakes me up )my batteries are weak so my LED lights are blinking.

Thank you for your help !!

If you are only running the fridge, batteries should last for days provided you are running the fridge on propane; in which case the batteries only power refrigerator controls.

Your motorhome was not built originally with solar or a 400-Watt inverter, so itís difficult to say what the installer did or wired. However, if you are running the refrigerator on electric power from the inverter, it would explain running down your batteries quickly. On electricity, the fridge will use ďaroundĒ 300 Watts of power, so it will run down two batteries overnight.

Please confirm if you are running the absorption fridge on propane or electricity.

Also, the switch others are mentioning is often located by the entry door and sometimes low. Since your motorhome was originally a Cruise America rental, the switch may be labeled differently. Look for language that suggest some type of disconnect or On-Off of batteries. While very unlikely, it is possible a previous owner could have removed the switch.
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Old 11-14-2020, 08:37 PM   #8
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Make sure the conveter circuit breaker is on

On my Thor Four Winds, there is a circuit breaker for the converter at the bottom of the main 110 volt circuit breaker panel. If this is switched off, the shore power or generator will not cjarge the house batteries even if the battery disconnect switch is on.
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:12 AM   #9
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THOR #20520
Alright I found the problem. Basically my converter Magneteck 6345 was not working anymore. I was having power for light but the battery side was broken. I guess one of the resistance broke. I changed it and found out that I have been running my batteries down to 10.5 too many times.

So I also bought 2 new 6V batteries connected in sťrie. Now itís working great !! This is gonna be my first night off grid with the batteries. Itís going to be about 20 degrees out. I hope that my batteries will last the entire night to keep us warm.

I also have a breaker to turn off the batteries but I am leaving it on. No battery disconnect switch though. I will install one once I get back home.

Thank you all for your help !
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Old 12-07-2020, 12:41 AM   #10
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Glad to read that you found the solution!
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Old 12-07-2020, 01:54 AM   #11
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Question

Quote:
No battery disconnect switch though.
I don't understand this part. Every Class C I've ever seen has one, usually on the wall to the left of the entry steps, which is a convenient location when you are entering or leaving the rig.

What year, make and model class C do you have?
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Old 12-07-2020, 02:11 AM   #12
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THOR #2812
You probably can't find the Battery Disconnect switch because it is labeled "USE/STORE" and is usually just inside the cabin door.. With the switch in store the house batteries are completely disconnected.
If you unplug from shore power and the interior lights go out, switch is in store..
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Old 12-07-2020, 03:01 AM   #13
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THOR #14543
Exclamation

My own rig has the type pictured below - a simple rotary on/off switch. But there are a few other types. This You Tube video may be helpful to the OP.

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Old 12-07-2020, 03:41 AM   #14
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THOR #20520
My class C is a 2001 Ford winds that was previously rented by Cruise America.

I literally looked everywhere for this bloody switch and none. I always have power even when I am unplugged for the shore. I actually mainly camp off grid with my wife and daughter and had to run the generator many nights prior to change the converter.
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Old 12-07-2020, 02:21 PM   #15
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Cruise America has the RVs built to their specifications.
You should probably give them a call...
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