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Old 06-15-2021, 01:05 PM   #1
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Angry Dead Batteries

We have a 2018 Thor Axis- 27 foot.
We came back from a trip and plugged into shore power.
2 weeks later the house batteries and chassis battery was dead.
I turned off the converter breaker and the fan would run for about 3 seconds and shut off.
I took out both house batteries and 1 was so dead it gave absolutely no reading.
With new house batteries and new chassis battery.
Where do I start?
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Old 06-15-2021, 03:32 PM   #2
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It is not unusual for the chassis batteries to be dead. Many coaches don't come with a system to charge the chassis when plugged in to ground power. They sell an east to install aftermarket one called Trik-L-Start. I think it runs around $60.

You need to get a meter and check the voltage at the house batteries when plugged in to ground power. It should be between 13 to 14 volts. If you had the salesman or disconnect turned of you may have disconnect the charger from the batteries.
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Old 06-15-2021, 03:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dabrooks View Post
It is not unusual for the chassis batteries to be dead. Many coaches don't come with a system to charge the chassis when plugged in to ground power. They sell an east to install aftermarket one called Trik-L-Start. I think it runs around $60.

You need to get a meter and check the voltage at the house batteries when plugged in to ground power. It should be between 13 to 14 volts. If you had the salesman or disconnect turned of you may have disconnect the charger from the batteries.
This is bad info for a Thor Axis.

House and chassis batteries are maintained.
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Old 06-15-2021, 04:06 PM   #4
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I own a 2017 Thor Axis. If you have the battery disconnect switch, down by the steps, set to " Store ", you will get no battery charging.

It needs to be in " USE " for the converter/charger to keep the house batteries charged.

With the house batteries being charged, the BIM225, bi-directional relay, will do its thing to maintain the chassis battery.

Some newer models have indicator lights in the switchs. That light is deceiving, it will light if shore power is present, even With the switch in store mode.

Before plugging in, confirm its in " Use " position by turning on some lights. Then plug it in.

If that wasn't the problem, get back to us.
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Old 06-15-2021, 06:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
This is bad info for a Thor Axis.

House and chassis batteries are maintained.
Since I wasn't sure that's why I said "some coaches". Thanks for the clarification and correction.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:09 AM   #6
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Our 2018 Thor was plugged into shore power.
My chassis battery was plugged into a trickle charge separate from coach.
The 2 house batteries were so dead the solenoid could not be turn off.
Coach and chassis batteries were dead.
The converter would only run for 3 seconds.

Anyway, I have purchased all 3 new batteries.
I'm concerned if I don't replace the converter this could damage my new batteries.

So...do you think the coverter is bad and killed the batteries?
Or...do you think 1 house battery was bad enough to kill the other house and chassis battery?
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:30 AM   #7
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Now that you have new batteries installed, check the voltage before you plug into shore power. Then plug in and check the voltage again. If the convertor/charger is on and working, you should see an voltage increase to approximately 13.6. If not, you have an issue with a connection or the invertor/charger.
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Old 06-16-2021, 09:28 AM   #8
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You had 2 chargers running and all of the batteries died ?

Are you plugged into a 15/20 AMP, GFCI outlet.

If so, its may be tripped and you had no power going to the RV.

As mentioned, get a cheap multi meter and plug in. Then test at the house battery for 13.4 volts or more.

If that's OK, Next test at the chassis battery for the same volt reading. You should not need a trickle charger.
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Old 06-16-2021, 11:28 AM   #9
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You need to use a good volt/ohm meter and do some testing but a very easy way to be sure that your batteries will not discharge while stored is to just lift the negative cable from the battery post.
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Old 06-16-2021, 12:32 PM   #10
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My first motor home was a 2015 Thor class C built on a 350 Ford chassis.
This unit didn't charge the chassis battery with shore power and I learned this the hard way by ruining that battery.
After the first winter storage on shore power the house betteries were great but the chassis battery was so dead the house battery would start the truck and it quickly would die. That is how dead the battery was.

I assumed my 2018 Thor Class A built on a Ford 450 chassis was wired the same.
This is the 3rd year of trickle charging the chassis battery.
This is the 3rd year that the house batteries have been plugged into shore power when not on trips. This is my first battery problem.

I'm currently installing the new chassis battery. This is no easy feat. The 2 house batteries are supposed to be here on the 22nd.
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Old 06-16-2021, 01:48 PM   #11
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My first experience with posting on a forum.
Hard to post because of all the different replies. Am I supposed to answer individually?
I've been trying to restate things and group shoot I guess you could call it.


I appreciate all your trying to help me!
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Old 06-16-2021, 02:17 PM   #12
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Lots of good advice above.

To be sure, you should measure terminal voltage on the batteries and even follow up a week later. As recommended above, 13.2 volts is the optimum for storage of lead acid batteries while plugged into shore power. 13.6 is OK. 14.4 is only OK for a limited time.

Monitor voltage and water level periodically. Rules of thumb are great to get you started, but knowing how lead acid batteries work and monitoring are the only way to know how yours are working this year.

If batteries are actually not getting charged, voltage will probably drop below 13 volts in a week. Fully recharge for 14 hours before voltage drops to 12.4 volts.

On first plugging in voltage may be low. It should slowly rise to above 13 volts. It takes 14 to 18 hours for a full clean charge. Check voltage on battery terminals. Do both house and chassis.

For flooded cell batteries check to see plates are covered when you start charging. Do not fill to full mark. Cells will probably overflow if you do. After fully charging, fill to full mark. Recheck later, maybe a month. Storing at higher voltage will consume more water than at 13.2 volts.

Battery University https://batteryuniversity.com/

How does the Lead Acid Battery Work? https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/...ased_batteries

Charging lead acid batteries https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/...d_acid_battery

AGM https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/..._glass_mat_agm

How to Charge and When to Charge? https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/...o_charge_table

How to Store Batteries https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/...tore_batteries

Summary of Doís and Doníts https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/..._battery_table


I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 06-16-2021, 03:08 PM   #13
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I own a 2017 Thor Axis, so I speak from experience.

If your chassis battery isn't charging while on shore power, the device that handles it is behind the left front headlight. Open the hood and look for a device with 2 battery cables and a few smaller wires on it.

There have been reports of loose wires and wires on the wrong terminals. Worth checking.

No, you don't have to respond to every response. If the post seems to fit your situation, read it and follow up on it.

If its " Just Buy a New whatsyacallit " with out any trouble shooting, ignore it.
Lots of folks just throw parts at problems, until it works again.
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Old 06-17-2021, 10:07 AM   #14
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Thanks all the great information guys.

I'm not responding to the voltage information because I will have new sealed AGM batteries next Tuesday.
I will definately check all the voltages when I'm done throwing new parts at the problem. Guilty as said!

I don't want to wait as long as needed to get my unit repaired. Very long waits and expensive here in the Roseburg area.

I'm already 77. Hoping to get on the road again. We never know how long we have!

My original post was if you guys think the 1 very bad house battery could cause the problem. Obviously this couldn't be answered without expensive trouble shooting. So...I'm buying all new parts!

Twinboat I'll definately try to figure out if the shore power is charging the chassis battery. This can easily be figured out by your replies. I will just use my trickle charge if the wiring is wrong by the head light. I will look for a loose wire for sure! I'm not about to try and change the wiring.

Thanks again for great information!
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