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Old 11-10-2014, 02:10 PM   #1
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Battery Disconnect Switch

My MH has no battery disconnect switches for the house or engine batteries. I store my RV at home while plugged into shore power, so I never saw the need to add any until recently. I replaced my Xantrex inverter/charger with a Magnum. The Magnum has a battery equalization mode, which my house battery manufacturer (Interstate) recommends performing every 6-8 weeks. The problem is, the inverter/charger also charges the engine batteries, so placing the charger in equalizing mode will send high voltage to the engine batteries as well as the house batteries. The engine batteries are maintenance free sealed batteries, so I definitely want to isolate them from an equalization process.

Now to my question (sorry for being so long winded), is there a specific disconnect switch some of you can recommend? Right now, I'm looking at the Marinco 701 switch sold on Amazon.

Thanks!

Craig
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Man View Post
My MH has no battery disconnect switches for the house or engine batteries. I store my RV at home while plugged into shore power, so I never saw the need to add any until recently. I replaced my Xantrex inverter/charger with a Magnum. The Magnum has a battery equalization mode, which my house battery manufacturer (Interstate) recommends performing every 6-8 weeks.
Thanks!
Craig
My original Interstate batteries, (both house and chassis). lasted 11 years ...(the current batteries are 7 years old).
I have never "equalized" my batteries, (athough my inverter/charger has that capability), nor have I had "disconnect switches".

Methinks you worry to much.

Mel
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:50 PM   #3
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Search Results | Cole Hersee - Littelfuse

Here is what is used on my Monaco Windsor M-750, you will probably have to source through an RV supplier.
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:54 PM   #4
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Craig.....The Marinco switch should be fine. I would put one on both battery banks just for future piece of mind.

I don't know much about equalizing batteries. I know what the process is and what it's suppose to achieve, but just don't see the value of doing as recommended. My understanding is that you have to remove all caps and let the batteries cook, creating off gassing and acid. I do all my own maintenance, but this is just too much of a hassle and a nasty/dangerous job.

I have Interstate batteries in my current coach and my last coach. The batteries in my previous coach lasted more than six years and were only replaced because we were headed out on a long trip. I would spend my time and energy installing a battery watering system than doing equalizing. The battery watering system, to me, is one of the best products you can add to an RV both in ease of use and enhanced care of your batteries.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:32 PM   #5
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Once again I feel the need to post this to enlighten the members on battery maintenance. I equalize my house bats and my yacht bats on a regular basis and find I get great service out of them by doing so.

Battery Maintenance | Trojan Battery Company
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:42 PM   #6
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Battery Disconnect Switch

Thanks guys. I installed a Pro-Fill watering system a long time ago and love it. There are no caps to remove and the valves allow the battery cells to vent gas without creating corrosion.

If the battery manufacturer recommends equalizing and I have the capability, why not do it? I'm retired, I have plenty of time on my hands.

I have never heard of a set of house batteries giving good performance for 11 years. While that is awesome, it is definitely not the norm. I just switched from Trojan batteries to Interstate, when my last set of Trojan batteries didn't last any longer than my previous set of Interstate's (5 years).

Anyway, I guess I talk too much, as I didn't intend this to be a discussion about battery brand or whether to equalize or not, I'm just looking for battery disconnect recommendations.

Thanks again.

Craig
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:14 PM   #7
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Craig....I know you got your answer, but I have a question for "Mentor"

Do you really do all of this every few months?

Step-By-Step Equalizing
  1. Verify the battery(s) are flooded type.
  2. Remove all loads from the batteries.
  3. Connect battery charger.
  4. Set charger for the equalizing voltage (See Table 2 in the Charging section). If your charger doesn’t have an equalization mode, you can unplug the charger and re-plug it back in. This also will conduct the equalization charge.
  5. Start charging batteries.
  6. Batteries will begin gassing and bubbling vigorously.
  7. Take specific gravity readings every hour.
  8. Equalization is complete when specific gravity values no longer rise during the gassing stage.
I believe this procedure is primarily for companies using large stationary battery banks, especially since RV's do a lot of moving/jostling around, doing some of the equalizing work. Every time you do this procedure, you have a VERY GOOD risk of explosion unless you remove the batteries from the motor home, and that becomes a whole other set of issues.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:10 AM   #8
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You have a 2005 MH, have you been equalizing your batteries since new? Are you having problems with your batteries? Are they 9 years old?

Just because you can equalize your batteries, does not mean you have to.

If it ain't broke don't fix it.
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:37 PM   #9
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If you are driving your unit the alternator usually is putting out enough of a charge to do the job.

Never equalize any AGM/VRLA
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:14 AM   #10
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I'm another who never equalizes and gets good service from my deep cycle batteries. Reasonable care and a quality 3-stage charger seems sufficient.

I'm very surprised your Providence doesn't have at least a house disconnect - I don't recall ever seeing a Fleetwood coach without them. I suggest you call Fleetwood customer service and ask. You may have a manual switch in the engine compartment for the chassis batteries - that's where mine is.

An easy alternative is to simply disconnect the ground wire from the chassis battery terminal. That isolates them nicely.
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:53 AM   #11
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We used this battery disconnect switch for the chassis battery on our 2001 Winnebago.

The Big Switch - FR1003 - 584 - 5465

It's rated for 250 amps continuous service and 2,500 amps for 5 second intervals. It was a bit of overkill for a single battery, but it worked flawlessly for the entire 12+ years we had the motorhome. Ours had the lockout feature we never used. It was the only version available at that time. Now there are about a dozen choices from this manufacturer.
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Old 11-14-2014, 09:00 AM   #12
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I have a battery disconnect switch connected to the chassis battery under the hood. It comes with a removable battery key. I don't need a battery disconnect for the house battery. The breaker switches on the inverter act as battery disconnect when turned off.


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