RV Battery Disconnect Switch On Or Off When Plugged InAnthony Day
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- Using the battery disconnect switch to disconnect your battery on shore power can be helpful
- An already charged battery can be drained when left connected to your RV as a power source
- The battery disconnect switch makes it easy to rely on shore power with the push of a button
- Leaving the battery connected can eventually reduce the battery power within your RV battery.
- The disconnect switch is also beneficial for safety purposes and is useful for lithium batteries too.
The battery disconnect switch is a unique feature on an RV. Some RV owners might be confused - do you disconnect the battery when the RV is plugged in?
You should use the battery disconnect switch to turn off the power to your battery when it is fully charged and plugged in. The process of disconnecting the battery at this time could slightly increase your battery life. The switch is also very useful for safety and ease of use purposes.
As an RV rider and driver for many years, I understand the ins and outs of owning an RV. We’ve done the research and have some practical experience when it comes to having the RV battery disconnect switch on or off when plugged in.
When to Turn the RV Battery Disconnect Switch On
Shore power literally means when you are plugged into the electrical grid at home or at an RV park -basically referring to any kind of electrical besides solar or generator based power. We recommend you turn your battery disconnect switch on for your RV battery when the RV is connected to shore power.
This will ensure that your appliances and other electrical devices receive power directly from your RV connection, instead of draining your battery unnecessarily.
Additionally, turning on your RV battery disconnect switch while plugged into shore power will help to keep your battery charged and ready for use when you are not plugged in. This is especially important if you plan to use your RV battery for extended periods of time, such as when boondocking or dry camping.
When to Turn Your RV Battery Disconnect Switch Off
It is important to turn off your RV battery disconnect switch when you store your RV for extended periods of time. This will help to prevent your battery from discharging too quickly and potentially causing damage to the battery.
According to RV Travel, turning off your switch while storing your RV can help to extend the life of your battery. While your battery will still discharge over time, turning off the disconnect switch can help to slow down the process and keep your battery in good condition for longer periods of time.
It is also important to turn off your switch when you are doing maintenance on your RV's electrical system. This will help to ensure your safety and prevent any potential electrical hazards while you are maintaining your RV.
On versus Off with a battery disconnect switch
Let’s also be clear about what on versus off means for a battery disconnect switch. To have the battery disconnect switch “On” literally means that the battery disconnect switch has disconnected your RV battery from the power on the RV via a switch. In the word of disconnect switches, “Off” actually means that the battery is still connected to the power supply of the RV so the battery can be used to both start the RV and power appliances.
How to Turn Your RV Battery Disconnect Switch On or Off to Disconnect my RV Battery
Step-by-Step Guide to Turning Your RV Battery Disconnect Switch On
When you are ready to turn on your RV battery disconnect switch, follow these simple steps:
- Locate the switch. It is usually found near the battery compartment or inside the RV.
- Make sure that your RV is connected to shore power.
- Turn the disconnect switch to the "on" position. This will allow your RV appliances to take advantage of the shore power electrical connection rather than from your battery.
- Check that your RV appliances are working correctly.
Step-by-Step Guide to Turning Your RV Battery Disconnect Switch Off
When you are ready to turn off your switch, follow these simple steps:
- Make sure that all of your RV appliances are turned off.
- Turn off the switch. This will begin to use your battery power to power your appliances.
- Check that the switch is in the "off" position.
Remember that you do not need to turn off the RV battery disconnect switch when plugged into shore power. Doing so will prevent your battery from charging and could cause damage to your RV's electrical system. Only turn off the switch when not using your RV for an extended period or when boondocking without access to shore power.
Why You Need a Good RV Battery Disconnect Switch
Benefits of Using a Switch
As an RV owner, I know the importance of having a battery disconnect switch installed in my vehicle. The switch is a small device that can make a big difference in the safety and functionality of your RV. Here are some benefits of using an RV battery disconnect switch:
- Prevents battery drain: When you're not using your RV, it's important to disconnect the battery to prevent it from draining. A battery disconnect switch makes it easy to turn off the electrical flow to your RV's electrical system, which can help extend the life of your battery and reduce the risk of a dead battery.
- Protects against electrical fires: An RV battery disconnect switch can help prevent electrical fires by cutting off the power to your RV's electrical system. This is especially important when you're doing maintenance on your RV or storing it for long periods of time.
- Increases security: By disconnecting the battery, you can prevent thieves from stealing your RV or its contents. This is because the battery powers the RV's alarm system and other security features.
- Easy to use: People who are disabled or otherwise do not feel like having to go to their RV trunk or hood every time to completely disconnect their battery can appreciate that the battery disconnect switch can sometimes be installed in the cabin of the RV. This requires the one time use of tools and little effort after that. In some cases, the rv battery disconnect switches are placed in an easy to reach bay near the battery.
A few other RV battery tips
- Use a battery tender to maintain a consistently high charge with your house batteries and your main RV battery
- Get a separate smart charger that knows when you stop sending power to your electrical systems. The RV batteries might last longer this way.
- Inspect your RV battery cables on a regular basis to ensure that the whole system including your disconnect switch works.