How to Properly Operate a Battery Disconnect Switch in an RV
Should I leave the battery disconnect switch on my fifth wheel in the on or off position while driving on the road? I’ve been turning it to the off position and have noticed that the battery is not fully charged when reaching my destination.
ANSWER: Hi Ron, the way most Battery Disconnect Switches are wired in RVs is that when the battery disconnect switch is in the “batteries off” position the house batteries will not receive a charge from your tow vehicles charging system or in the case of a motorhome the batteries wont receive a charge from the motorhome’s charging system. Also when you are plugged into shore power with the battery disconnect switch in the “batteries off” position in most cases your house batteries will not receive a charge from your RV’s converter/charger.
Furthermore, depending on the age and make of your RV with the Battery Disconnect Switch in the “batteries off” position your RV’s 12 volt lights and accessories may not work even when plugged into shore power.
The only time you should keep the Battery Disconnect Switch in the “batteries off” position is when you are storing and not by means of your RV. Keeping the batteries off during storage helps prevent your house batteries from being completely discharged during storage from constant drains from such items as TV antenna amplifiers, Propane Detectors, etc. Also if you keep your RV plugged in during storage keeping the batteries off will prevent your house batteries from being overcharged by your RV’s converter/charger. This helps prolong the life of your RV’s house batteries.
For those RVers who own an RV without a battery disconnect switch you can purchase and install an after-market battery disconnect switch.
I hope that this information has been helpful to you.
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