ThermoKing Tripac APU runs continuously

Discussion in 'Auxiliary Power Units (APU's)' started by cluckster, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. cluckster

    cluckster New Member

    I've got a 2010 Freightliner Cascadia with a Thermoking Tripac APU and it kicks on shortly after shutting off the engine and doesn't shut off on it's own. Does this mean I've got a bad battery? Or is there a setting I'm not adjusting correctly? Appreciate any help cause when I'm on Home Time I don't want to have to go out to start the APU and shut it off manually.
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  2. DubbleD

    DubbleD Color Commentator

    Very good question Cluckster...

    An answer should be soon in coming.
  3. rigjockey

    rigjockey Token Canadian.

    Do you not have switch in-cab that will shut it down. I had a few Tri-Pacs and they had switches in-cab but. Every one was brand new and I had to take it to Thermo King and get the settings set.

    Thermo King asked me a bunch of Questions and based on that they set the Parameters to my needs and liking. it only took an hour or two. The had to switch out a few fuses that the factory should never have put in. A re-call kind of thing.
  4. 8978

    8978 ** Commie Express ** Supporter

    I don't know anything about that model but my friends is set to automatic temp and his comes on right away. Could also be bad batteries or your alternator is shot and not charging the batteries.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. TriPac Man

    TriPac Man New Member

    The TriPac APU may run for 3 reasons:
    1) TriPac is in air conditioning mode.
    2) It is very cold outside and the TriPac APU is trying to keep the truck engine warm.
    3) TriPac APU is trying to charge truck batteries. If truck battery voltage falls below 12.2 volts the TriPac APU will start. Voltage must rise to 13.6 volts. If it remains at or above this level for 45 minutes the TriPac APU engine may stop.
    Power drain from a power inverter along with truck lights and accessories may prevent reaching this charge level. One or more bad truck batteries may also prevent proper charge level and cause continuous TriPac APU operation. Have a Thermo King dealer check it out if reducing power consumption does not help.
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  6. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    One other reason it might start immediately.

    Does your truck have an arctic kit installed. Simple way to tell is it plumbed into the engine coolant. If it is, there will be two sensors close to the engine. One with white and one with blue wires.

    The white wire sensor is your arctic switch. It tells the apu to run when the coolant gets below 35°F and shut off above 100°F.

    If that sensor fails, it will start immediately after coming out of standby mode or being turned on.
  7. 8978

    8978 ** Commie Express ** Supporter

    Good topic!!! I just recently found out about this. I've seen many many many company trucks pull up to the fuel island. They shut their truck off and the Tri-Pak starts up immediately and shuts off when they start the truck. This is a setting inside the Tri-Pak and large companies have realized that running the batteries down to 50% then the Tri-Pak starting up does not cut it and shortens the life of the batteries. The Tri-Pak uses the least amount of fuel out of all the APU's on the market. Mainly because they don't have a generator inside.
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  8. Blood

    Blood Driveler Emeritus Supporter

    Is this not a violation of federal law?

    Just curious, I don't care.
    I don't shut my truck off while fueling because it has a parameter setting that idles it up to mach IV for about 2 minutes after starting no matter the temp, air pressure, etc.

    Extremely annoying...
    And people get pissed when you scratch out leaving the fuel island.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Moonpie

    Moonpie Well-Known Member

    When in air conditioning mode my try-pac starts up when I shut down to fuel and I just flip the toggle switch and shut it down until I finish fueling. The tri-pac engine is right at the passenger fuel tank where you fuel. Doesn't seem safe to me to let it run so I shut mine off.
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  10. 8978

    8978 ** Commie Express ** Supporter

    The Tri-Pak can be password protected so company drivers can't fiddle with the settings so they don't have a choice. My friend who just had a big bunk installed on his truck also had a Tri-Pak put on. He went to change the settings and it wouldn't let him. He called the company and they wanted money to give him the password!!! He got it for free.
  11. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    Not all units have that installed
  12. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    The new tripacs have a different control panel from the old style. It basically locks out the user. For a company driver, probably not a bad thing. I have a couple of control settings I change that reset to factory default any time you unhook the battery. Namely I change the compressor delay time to 60 seconds instead of 8 for the time before the compressor to kick in. It really allows for the engine to start and settle down to run good without dogging it out. I was shown that trick by a tk tech out in Washington.

    If the engine starts shortly after shutting the big engine off, I'd cut a wire to the arctic sensor as a quick test. My guess is its that long before the batteries.

    You'd be having issues with the big alternator and starter as well if it were the main batteries.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  13. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    My "lease" is more of a finance package to satisfy the IRS requirements. His comment..."It's your truck. I don't care what you do with it."
    • Like Like x 1
  14. krelithous

    krelithous Prius hater Supporter

    I was aking questions when I thought about leasing. like can I modify the truck what's the balloon payment once the lease is over with. if I can get bank financing can I buy the truck outright from the company is it a lease purchase or just a lease ect ect ect. the best truck to have is one that's paid for:)
  15. mndriver

    mndriver curmudgeon extraordinare Staff Member Supporter

    I am very leary about doing any mods to the truck. At least until the title is mine.

    I had all those same questions as well. Especially the early buy-out and accelerated payments.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. JunkYardDog5958

    JunkYardDog5958 Well-Known Member

    Mine (tripac) when I was driving (before got put because no SPE) was kicking on immediately when shut off, was pissing me off. Tested batteries and 3 of 4 were no good. I don't know how truck cranked (wouldn't long if needed to or if left cb on it would be dead if had APU off). I put 4 new batteries in and it doesn't do it now. It only kicks on when gets below artic temp settings or battery level but since I am out of truck and its sitting now the fridge is out of truck so don't even have APU switched on. I could switch on but since it's April and in Kansas it isn't cold enough to kick on for artic package, nor would I need to since truck isn't moving currently.
  17. Osito

    Osito Well-Known Member

    the only time I have had that happen is when I have had bad batteries...I would go get your batteries checked out....once you replace the bad batteries should run normally.

    that is how I can tell when my batteries are starting to go bad is because the apu keeps starting more often then it should. also does it seem longer when you turn the key over to start the truck?

    if so then i would have to believe that the batteries are the cause....btw...I run a refridge directly hotwired to batteries, tv, lights, computer, phone, micro, on my inverter.
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