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Old 04-09-2013, 02:30 PM   #1
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Battery disconnect

I'm now storing my MH in a more secure area, but no longer have shore power to plug into. To keep my batteries from running down I want to install disconnects at the negative terminals. Did the chassis battery--no problem. But for the coach, I have two 12v batteries in parallel. One is grounded to the chassis, the other has a jumper to the first battery's neg. terminal and two other cables that are grounded somewhere in the bowels of the coach. If I disconnect just one of the batteries (either one), there is still juice going to the coach. The only way I can completely shut off power to the coach is to disconnect the negatives on both batteries. Does this mean, then, that I have to install disconnects on both batteries, or is there some way to install just a single disconnect? Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:31 PM   #2
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If you disconnect the ground circuit thus preventing current flow from your batteries to the house systems, you will acheive your objective. I would not be concerned about the parallel connection between the batteries. They should be at the same potential reference point.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:34 PM   #3
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I'm a bit confused. If the 2 12v house batteries are wired in parallel, as they should be, a single disconnect switch in either the pos or neg lead going to the chassis should do the trick. Easy peasy.

I put mine on the pos lead.

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Old 04-09-2013, 05:09 PM   #4
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Is it common for newer DP's to come without battery disconnect switches.

Rick

On edit: Oops. The picture threw me but I just realized it's a gasser.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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Hi,

If it is longer term storage and out doors it would be best to install a modest solar system.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
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Shouldn't you have a main power switch and an auxillary power switch inside your coach that turns everything off .(both battery systems) My 98 Fleetwood has this. Bet yours does too.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:44 PM   #7
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Hi,

If it is longer term storage and out doors it would be best to install a modest solar system.
Oh, and by the way. To keep batteries up for a long storage time I agree that you could get an inexpensive solar system.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:18 PM   #8
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Shouldn't you have a main power switch and an auxillary power switch inside your coach that turns everything off .(both battery systems) My 98 Fleetwood has this. Bet yours does too.
^^ This.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bama Fan
Shouldn't you have a main power switch and an auxillary power switch inside your coach that turns everything off .(both battery systems) My 98 Fleetwood has this. Bet yours does too.
My '08 has the inside salesman switches but left alone for a month or so the batteries will run down. There are mystery ghosts on both sets of batteries. While I do have a solar charge under the parking awning - no help. Have been running up ever weekend or two - running the generator and keeping her charged up. Next storage will have have power. In the mean time real battery disconnect switches go in this weekend. On the positive side.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by flaggship1

My '08 has the inside salesman switches but left alone for a month or so the batteries will run down. There are mystery ghosts on both sets of batteries. While I do have a solar charge under the parking awning - no help. Have been running up ever weekend or two - running the generator and keeping her charged up. Next storage will have have power. In the mean time real battery disconnect switches go in this weekend. On the positive side.
Help me out as I'm getting confused:

1) Does the disconnect switch go on the positive or negative side.....or does it matter?

2) Forget the inside salesmen switches which still allow parasitic draw(s).... What about the main engine power on/off switch located in the engine compartment.....is this just as good as a battery disconnect switch for the chassis battery?

3) if not plugged-in .....Is it better to disconnect the batteries or is it actually better to run the engine and charge-up both the chassis & house batteries by taking the MH for a drive once a month......or

4) If you don't want to move the MH, can you charge both the chassis & house batteries by running the generator?

5) Would the best option be to have a disconnect switch on both the chassis & the house batteries and Still visit the MH monthly to charge both batteries via the generator? In other words.....even when disconnected via a direct switch is it not better that the batteries get charged regularly rather than left for months to slowly discharge?

What is the best possible protocol for properly maintaining your chassis & house batteries if you are unplugged and stored for a long period of time?
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:58 PM   #11
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I'm not an electrician and don't stay at Holiday Inn so just my opinion.

1 positive or negative - seen and heard both. Either will disconnect. May be nonsense but will go positive. If somehow, something is seeking a ground, it will find one and not keep looking until it finds me. Others will say different.

2 if you have a cutoff in engine compartment, that should do it. But I can't get to mine after I back into my storage site.

3 Driving is always good and fun too - but not always possible.

4 & 5 etc. I can charge both banks with generator and it should be run monthly anyway. If you can't go monthly disconnect or always disconnect - your option. For long periods of time without plug in disconnect. Best bet is a power connection and trickle charge for long periods but not always possible.

Others may have different ideas on this.

In truth, it takes longer to charge batteries properly than one might think. The final stage of charge in my EMS is 4 hours. Bulk, Float, etc is a process that works but a trickle charge is better than a short drive and running the generator a couple hours is cheaper than driving a couple hours and probably just as effective.

Edit: disconnected battery will not run down all that fast. Can't say how long they will stay charged but a good while longer than a couple of months me thinks.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:19 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by RetiredBob View Post
I'm now storing my MH in a more secure area, but no longer have shore power to plug into. To keep my batteries from running down I want to install disconnects at the negative terminals. Did the chassis battery--no problem. But for the coach, I have two 12v batteries in parallel. One is grounded to the chassis, the other has a jumper to the first battery's neg. terminal and two other cables that are grounded somewhere in the bowels of the coach. If I disconnect just one of the batteries (either one), there is still juice going to the coach. The only way I can completely shut off power to the coach is to disconnect the negatives on both batteries. Does this mean, then, that I have to install disconnects on both batteries, or is there some way to install just a single disconnect? Thanks for your help.
The kill switch gets installed using the positive wires.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:31 AM   #13
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Okay, back to my original question. Even though my coach batteries are connected in parallel, each is grounded and each supplies power to different systems. For example, if I disconnect the ground on one, my interior lights still work. If I disconnect the other, my steps still work. When I disconnect both, all 12v power to coach is off. Thus my question, do I have to install disconnects on both, or is there a way I can get by with only one?
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:35 AM   #14
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Hi,

For deep cycle batteries self discharge can be as high as 1% per day or as low as 7% per month. The older they are the greater the rateof self discharge. They will sulphate if not charged on a regular basis. That is why a modest solar system would be a good plan.
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