1st question: Yes, you can have the switch either on or off when traveling. That switch is for when the rig is parked and not being used. Sounds like they rewired the radio so that it won't run the battery down when the rig is not being used. This would be a good thing. Most modern radios have displays & clocks that use a tiny bit of power even when off.
Full time boondocker, solar powered, no generator