Battery Disconnect Switch On Or Off When On Shore Power

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Rv Battery Disconnect Switch On Or Off

Proper Use Of An RV Battery Disconnect Switch By Thor Motor Coach

Even when you have a battery-operated system, keeping those batteries charged can cost you money. One way to preserve battery power and lower your charging costs is to have a battery disconnect switch installed. This can help make sure your batteries are always powered after a long break.

There are some different opinions on this topic and some people think that the switch should be on when you are traveling. Others think it should be off. When you have connected to shore power, you may want to turn the switch off. Plus, it should be left off when you are storing your RV or trailer.

To learn more about the battery disconnect switch just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so that you can use this switch effectively and without harming your battery or losing power. Take a few moments to see if this information helps you.

Do Rv Batteries Charge When Plugged Into Shore Power

Yes, the house battery inside your camper uses shore power to charge.

The converter will take incoming 120-volt power, lower it to a safe level, and then send it over to charge your RV battery.

If you turn on your battery disconnect switch, youre preventing the battery from charging. A dead or low-power battery will cause issues once you disconnect from shore power and try to use lights or start your furnace.

A quality RV converter with several stages is the best way to keep your house battery at full charge without worry it will boil over during connection to shore power.

How Does An Rv Battery Disconnect Switch Work

If youve ever installed RV batteries, you know that the main cabin receives its power from a negative cable that runs from your deep cycle batteries. Many people actually do the work of disconnecting this negative cable each time they need to work on their RV or prepare it for storage.

A better option is to simply install an RV battery disconnect switch. Rather than your negative cable running directly to your RV, the disconnect switch interrupts this connection. Then, another shorter negative cable runs from your RV disconnect switch to the rest of the electrical system.

With this in place, you can easily shut off the flow of amps coming from your batteries.

A battery disconnect switch can be installed on the negative or positive leads of a battery and it will effectively disconnect the whole circuit. However, installing the switch on the negative lead adds additional safety. When adding or removing batteries its possible that a tool could short between the positive battery lead and the frame of the RV even if the positive is disconnected.

Because of this disconnecting, the negative lead breaks any ground path potential and makes removal safer. In the case that a disconnect switch is on the positive always disconnect the negative lead first. This minimizes the chance of your tool short-circuiting your battery bank.

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Ask Dave: Should The Battery Disconnect Switch Be Off During Storage

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the RV Handbook as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. Today he discusses a battery disconnect switch and whether it should be on or off during the RVs storage.

Dear Dave,My 2021 Entegra Odyssey 30Z has a spring-loaded master power switch on the wall just inside the door. This switch effectively kills all 12v power in the coach. When in storage, and plugged into 20-amp maintainer shore power, should this master switch be on or off to allow the batteries to be charged through the onboard converter? Timothy

Dear Timothy,The battery disconnect switch on your Entegra will shut off access to your house deep cycle batteries by the converter. However, the LP leak detector is typically bypassed and will drain the batteries during storage. With the batteries not being charged/maintained, getting to lower voltage will create sulfation and also they could freeze in low temperatures.

Should I Disconnect My Rv Battery When Plugged Into Shore Power

Blue Sea Systems 9004E Battery Switch e ON/OFF w/AFD

No, because you will need a source of power to recharge your batteries. That power supply is needed when you get ready to move to your next destination. Keeping your batteries powered will prevent your RV from not starting when you are ready to move.

The best time to disconnect your battery from powering your lights etc. is when you are going to be storing the RV, etc., for some time. There are always devices that draw power even when they are not turned on.

When that happens during storage, you may come to your RV the next time you want to use it and find that the batteries are dead. That is not a fun moment as you have to recharge those batteries before you can travel.

Since you do not need those devices running when you are not using your RV, it is best to disconnect the battery and keep the power inside of it. That way you should still have power in the system when you want to use your RV or trailer again.

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Battery Disconnect On Or Off When Connected To Shore Power Or Towing

I own a 2019 Imagine XLS 21BHE. Should my battery disconnect be on or off when I’m connected to shore power or towing? I usually DO NOT have the battery connected when towing or connected to shore power but now I think I’m doing it wrong. Please advise.

  • jkwilson said:06-04-2020 05:07 PM

    The battery doesnt charge when the switch has it disconnected. I almost never set mine to be disconnected.

    John & Kathy

  • gbkims said:06-04-2020 05:38 PM

    Originally Posted by TeachJim7I own a 2019 Imagine XLS 21BHE. Should my battery disconnect be on or off when I’m connected to shore power or towing? I usually DO NOT have the battery connected when towing or connected to shore power but now I think I’m doing it wrong. Please advise.On when connected to shore power, or the converter won’t charge the battery.Towing, probably doesn’t matter.You can look under the front of the TT to see the battery cable connecting to an auto resetting circuit breaker, thru it to the wire to the disconnect switch as well as tow vehicle charge wire and breakaway switch for brakes.

    – GeneKim & Gene2015 Reflection 317RST2017 Ram 3500 CC LB 4×2 6.7 CTD AISIN 3.73 DRW Auto Level Rear Air, BD3, Prodigy P3, Aux Tank

  • Why Do You Need An Rv Battery Disconnect Switch

    An RV battery disconnect switch is so important because it helps to protect both your batteries and your safety. You can easily shut off the power going to your RV appliances anytime you need to work on your RV, ensuring you wont run into live wires.

    It also provides you with a safe option when storing your RV. After all, appliances such as your refrigerator, LP detector, and radio will constantly draw a small amount of power. Over time, this can add up and completely drain your battery.

    Its not good to store any battery without a charge and not fun to come back to dead batteries. Remember that a dead Battle Born Battery is not actually dead, just in a state of electronic sleep and may need to be woken up. Read more about this called Low Voltage Disconnect.

    A disconnect switch also makes installing and removing the batteries much safer. Since batteries themselves cannot be shut off, its important to make the electrical connections to the batteries without any load on them. Disconnecting the RV before adding or removing batteries reduces the risk of a short and sparks when working with the batteries.

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    When Should You Use A Battery Disconnect Switch

    The consensus is that you should use this switch when you are storing your RV or trailer. As just explained, disconnecting your battery will preserve the power. Since technology has added many features to different devices, they always need a source of power even when turned off.

    If you are not charging your battery at this time, then your battery will be drained and you will have to spend time recharging it. The problem is that not all systems are wired to go through the disconnect switch. They are wired directly to the battery on some RV and trailer electrical systems.

    That means you may have to disconnect all the wires from your battery so you preserve that power. If you are traveling and want to run some appliances, then the switch should be turned off. This will help your battery system recharge and be ready for when you set up your RV, etc.

    This is a good move to make when you are planning on boondocking for a night or two.

    What Does The Battery Disconnect Switch Do On An Rv

    Battery Switch on or off When I Leave My Boat at the Dock?

    The battery disconnect switch has one task only. When turned on it will break the power supply between the battery and almost all 12-volt operated devices like lights, appliances, and so on. Just so you know, the many module boards operating your appliances also depend on battery power.

    When you are plugged into shore power, the disconnect switch should be turned on so that the appliances, etc., will receive power directly from your off RV connection. You do not need to run your battery at this time.

    When you need to charge your batteries you should not turn the switch to off. Once you do that you disconnect the battery from the power supply that will recharge it or them. The best advice we have come across is to leave the switch in the on position unless you are not going to be using your RV for long periods of time.

    That long period of time starts at about 1 week or so. What that means is if you are not going to be using your RV or trailer for at least a week, turn the disconnect switch to off.

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    How To Properly Use An Rv Battery Disconnect Switch

    Do you own an RV but dont know what a battery disconnect switch is and when you should use it?

    Youre not alone, as this lesser-known feature on many RVs can lead to confusion about its proper use to cut off power between your campers 12-volt lights and appliances and the battery bank.

    To clear up all the questions you may have about an RV battery disconnect switch, I put all the info right here where I detail:

    • The purpose of a battery disconnect switch
    • The location of the RV battery disconnect switch
    • How and when to use the disconnect switch for best results
    • If your RV needs a battery disconnect switch
    • How to install an RV battery disconnect switch

    When you understand all the aspects of what a disconnect switch does for your camper, youll be able to use it to extend the lifespan of your RVs batteries!

    Why Is The Battery Disconnect Switch Important

    Now that the appearance of the battery disconnect switch has been properly identified and its main function cleared up, its time to understand why you need this particular component on your RV.

    The most obvious benefit of having a functional battery disconnect switch installed on your RV is that it will mitigate potential battery loss that could significantly alter your plans.

    For instance, you may have a trip lined up for this coming weekend. You have everything set up and ready to go, but just as youre packing everything into the RV, you suddenly remember that you forgot to charge it a few days ago.

    At that point, your only options are to move forward with the trip knowing that the amenities inside the RV that are supposed to make traveling easier will remain inaccessible, or you could postpone the trip.

    With a battery disconnect switch installed on your RV correctly and properly, you wont have to deal with that kind of problem.

    As long as you remember to activate the battery disconnect switch the moment the RV is parked in your garage, it will still have a lot of battery life left the next time you decide to take it out for a trip.

    Thats obviously assuming that your RVs battery still had a lot of juice remaining when you parked it in your garage in the first place.

    The battery disconnect switch can act like a kind of fail-safe in that scenario.

    These lead plates are also surrounded by an electrolyte solution that is made up of both water and sulfuric acid.

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    Why Do You Need A Battery Disconnect Switch

    A battery disconnect cuts the power from your RVs batteries and the rest of the RV. Flipping the switch off can help prevent fires or theft when your RV sits in storage or isnt in use. You should also turn the battery disconnect switch to off when doing any maintenance on your RV.

    Another benefit of turning the battery disconnect off is that it prevents draining your batteries. Even when your RV isnt in use, some items will draw power from your battery bank. Whether its a carbon monoxide detector or the LED screen on your entertainment system, they can all work together to drain your battery completely. You dont want to hitch up and discover you have a dead battery.

    Keep in Mind:Knowing how to charge your RV battery is an important part of understanding the electrical system.

    When Should You Use Your Rv Battery Disconnect Switch


    You should use the RV battery disconnect switch anytime you need to disconnect the RVs power completely. This could be to complete maintenance or to store your RV after a trip.

    Some RVers also use their battery disconnect switch when they arrive at a campsite. If the battery is completely charged and youre plugged into shore power, you wont need your batteries. By turning off the switch, you prevent any chance of abuse or risk to your RV batteries.

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    What Is The Function Of An Rv Converter

    As the name implies, the function of an RV converter is to convert power. In the case of an RV, thats converting 120V AC power to 12V DC power. This allows something very important to happen in addition to allowing you to power 12V appliances and devices using 120V AC power.

    Your RV converter allows your 12V RV batteries to be charged when plugged into shore power. Those charged batteries are the reason why youre able to use your RVs 12V electrical system to power your RV when youre NOT connected to shore power.

    So, this is how youre able to boondock. Its why you can run the water pump when youre parked on the beach, run your vent fans when youre in a parking lot, and even turn on the lights late at night when youre camping in the middle of the forest.

    So, your RV converter is needed to recharge your batteries when youre plugged into shore power, and also to power all of the DC components of your RV.

    For more in-depth information, see our post on RV power converters.

    Should I Turn The Battery Disconnect Switch Off When My Rv Is Hooked Up To Shore Power

    I have a 1994 Fleetwood Southwind 35′ Motorhome should I leave the main and Aux battery disconnect switch on or off while hooked up to 110 volt, for charging batteries. The battery is only 1 year old it is a deep cycle marine battery I have been leaving them off and main battery will not start the rig.ANSWER: Thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.Normally you should leave the Battery Disconnect Switch on when your RV is connected to shore power. Most RVers only turn off the battery disconnect switch when they are storing their RVs for longer periods of time and they are not hooked up to shore power to help eliminate drain on their house battery system.As far as your Motorhome’s starting battery is concerned it may very well be a bad battery or the charging system on the Motorhome itself that is not charging the battery. You should have your starting battery checked out, load tested, etc. You may end up having to replace the starting battery.

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    Work On The Terminals And The Switch

    Next up, you have to take out the battery clamp and then clean off the terminals while youre at it.

    With the terminals cleaned, you can now move on to removing the negative cable terminal. Use a Philips screwdriver on the negative cable terminal to unfasten it and then wire the battery disconnect switch to the negative terminal.

    The battery disconnect switch should go in between the terminal and the cable.

    With the switch all wired up, you can focus on reconnecting the terminal you removed earlier.

    Learning More About The Rvs Battery Disconnect Switch And When You Use It Properly

    Straight Talk – Should RV Battery Stay On when Plugged into Shore Power?

    The RV is a magnificent machine.

    If youre planning to go on an extended vacation together with your family, or homeschooling from your RV, renting or buying an RV is not a bad idea. Instead of having to endure the at times uncomfortable confines of the family car, you and everyone onboard can enjoy the luxuries of home if youre traveling in an RV. To be safe you need to know how to properly use a battery disconnect switch.

    Camping is all about roughing it, but if youre trying to ease your kids into it, using an RV for the trip is well worth considering. Its also a good move to use an RV for camping if you simply want to see nature up close but dont want to deal with the inconveniences that typically come with that.

    RVs are also great if youre going to visit your relatives in another state and want to be certain that you will have comfortable beds to stay in at the end of the day.

    The RV is so useful that its hard to picture anyone regretting purchasing one.

    However, owning an RV is not all about fun vacations and camping trips. If you are not completely aware of how to properly maintain an RV, it could wear down way earlier than it should.

    In this article, you will be able to learn more about a crucial component of RV ownership and maintenance. Specifically, you will be able to learn more about what the battery disconnect switch is, and how it can benefit your RV long-term.

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