RV Battery Disconnect Switch Not Working
The battery disconnect switch only needs to be turned off when you store or winterize your RV. While the batteries will still discharge over several weeks, turning the switch off mans the batteries will discharge more slowly. However, if you turn the battery disconnect switch off when you’re plugged into power, that would prevent the batteries from charging, even if the RV is plugged in.
Turning the batteries off while in storage prevents your batteries from becoming completely drained from small things such as propane detectors and TV antenna amplifiers. Likewise, turning your batteries off if your RV is plugged in during storage will keep the batteries from overcharging. This will help prolong the life of your batteries. Therefore, only turn the disconnect switch off if your RV will be unused for a significant amount of time, such as for a week or longer. Otherwise, leave the switch on.
What if the battery disconnect switch doesn’t work?
If your RV doesn’t have a disconnect switch, or if the one you have doesn’t work, you can get a replacement switch and have it installed at an RV shop. You can also install an automotive battery disconnect switch directly onto the batteries.
Installing a battery disconnect switch is an easy job, as long as you have the right tools. Usually, to install the disconnect switch, you would connect the negative battery cable that is coming from the RV to one terminal of the disconnect switch, and then another shorter cable from the disconnect switch to the negative side of the battery. When you flip the switch, it disconnects these two cables.
The tools you’ll need:
- a heavy-duty wire cutter
- a large wire crimper
- an extra battery cable
- the necessary hardware to mount the switch
Splice the switch into the negative cable from the battery somewhere as close as possible to the battery. If you’re not good at electrical work, this should be a relatively inexpensive repair shop job.
Likewise, you can simply use a wrench to take off the negative cable from the battery. When you want to reconnect the power, simply wrench the negative cable back on.
Making use of your battery disconnect switch is a good idea when you winterize or store your RV for several weeks or months. It’s there for a reason, and it can provide a sense of security while your RV is in storage. However, as long as you are living in your RV, there is no reason to turn off the batteries.