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Old 11-03-2019, 09:32 AM   #1
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Battery Disconnect Switch Function

Hi all,

Our new-to-us 2014 Forest River Georgetown has a battery storage control switch (see pic). When turned off, I hear a solenoid click and the 12 power to the coach is shut off.

I am storing the rig for winter, and have access to shore power. I can leave it connected to allow the charger to maintain house and engine batteries, but am unsure whether this switch needs to be left "on" in order to keep the batteries charged. And of course, the FR manual is way too generic to be helpful.

Would welcome any experienced opinions here.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:52 AM   #2
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Leave the switch on.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:56 AM   #3
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I would verify it through measurement. A voltmeter across the battery and cycling the switch when connected to shore power will show if converter power goes through the disconnect relay or not. On my RV the converter gets disconnected, so if I would want to maintain the charge with shore power, I would need to leave the disconnect 'on'.

The other thing I would independently verify is what if any phantom loads are present if the switch is off. Mine was 30mA when disconnected, which I still haven't tracked down what that is. But since I know it's there I either connect a charger or pull the negative lead, which is good practice even if you trust your disconnect relay.

Mark B.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:57 AM   #4
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When mine is on shore power it will not allow me to turn the switch off. That is how I know my shore power is on and connected. The chassis battery can be disconnected with it connected to shore but then it will not charge.
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:03 PM   #5
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Thanks guys!

I'll take my voltmeter next time I go down. Good idea about checking for non-switched phantom loads too. I'll add that to my checklist of things to figure out.

If I didn't have the shore power option, I would have at least pulled the cables and possibly brought my batteries home for storage. That's what I've done in the past, but on this rig the engine battery will be a pain to remove. Good news is that I was able to test/verify that the engine batt does get power when I'm plugged in. So no need to install a Trick-L-Start like I've done on other rigs.

Getting to know a new rig is always such fun..
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Old 11-03-2019, 05:57 PM   #6
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Sterverino,


Not many guys take my advice-but I'll give it to you anyway. I store our rig (and my daughter's trailer) for 2 months at a time occasionally. I always shut the batteries off. There are no parasitic loads. When we go camping the rig is fine...batteries start the gen and everything else works fine too.


-Just food for thought. Been doing this for years now.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:25 AM   #7
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If you plan to leave your coach connected to shore power (and not engaging the battery disconnect switch) to keep batteries charged, make sure the charger portion of your inverter/charger has the 'float charge' stage. Also check the water level in the cells of any FLA battery monthly, or at least every other month.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:31 AM   #8
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As suggested, a voltmeter will tell the tale and should be done as a matter of good maintenance. Checking water levels if necessary or possible and making sure all connections are clean and tight. Take some pictures for future reference as well.

With a voltmeter you will be able to determine if both battery banks get charged and if that switch makes any difference.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:00 PM   #9
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@puttin - I did think about just disconnecting the batteries and letting them go "cold". But it will be at least 5 months till we use it again, and since I have access to power I thought I'd try that this winter.

@Sandy Swede - Our rig has a Progressive Dynamics 9270 which has four charge modes. There's a storage mode that reduces voltage to 13.2 after 30 hours with no use. There's also an equalize mode that automatically goes to 14.4 volts for 15 minutes every 21 hours during storage mode. Supposedly reduces sulfation. So I guess the answer is "yes" we do have a "float" mode. I do intend to check water monthly.

@YC1- I totally agree about pictures. I think I use my smart phone more for projects where I need a quick picture or extra light on the subject than I do for actual calls
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:24 PM   #10
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If an LP detector is installed in a MH, it is wired separately to the house battery bank. the storage disconnect has no effect on it drawing 12V power.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverino View Post
... since I have access to power I thought I'd try that this winter.
Here's an option. Lift the negative lead which eliminates any issue of phantom loads, then use a battery tender which eliminates any question of converter suitability for long term float charging. That's how I address unattended/unsupervised storage with available power.
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Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
If an LP detector is installed in a MH, it is wired separately to the house battery bank. the storage disconnect has no effect on it drawing 12V power.
Except the CO detector in mine, which does shut off with the disconnect. There's something else that's drawing current though I haven't found yet. For for every "rule" there's an exception, and you'd think with a mature product like a motorhome there'd be some consistency with common functions.

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Old 11-08-2019, 07:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
If an LP detector is installed in a MH, it is wired separately to the house battery bank. the storage disconnect has no effect on it drawing 12V power.
Not all MH's. I removed my house batteries before taking my MH to the storage facility. The lamp was still on for the LP detector. After parking my MH I started removing the chassis battery while my wife was inside opening drawers and cabinets. She stuck her head out the door and said something was beeping. After the battery was fully disconnected the beeping stopped.
Lynn
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