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Old 02-12-2013, 09:27 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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Do the Batteries charge if master switch is off?

Battery charging question:

There is a master switch located just inside my steps leading into my Class-C that cuts 12VDC power to all the 12V appliances (lights, pump, TV, etc...).

If this switch is in the off position will these batteries charge when I'm driving? Same question would apply if I am plugged into a AC outlet, will the batteries charge or does the switch have to be in the on position?

Thanks in advance!


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Old 02-12-2013, 02:54 PM   #2
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Generally if the master switch is off, batteries do not charge.

How to find out

Turn on some interior lights,, Turn off master switch (Unpluged from shore power) Lights go off.

Now plug in,, If the lights come back on then switch MUST be on for batteries to charge.

NOTE: Some systems have a red light next to the switch. Most people thing the light on means switch on, IT DOES NOT

The light means the house has power.. Be it from the batteries or from the converter, it does not care, So do not trust that light. OFF is OFF true, but ON, may simply mean "Shore power".

Home is where I park it!
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:50 PM   #3
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Not sure why you would want to drive with that switch off, it won't cost you anything but perhaps your life if your CO, propane, or smoke detectors are also then turned off. If the propane detector is off, then you won't have any refrigeration. In addition to the water pump, or other things useful for living in the camper. I only turn that switch off when I put it in storage or not hooked up to shore power for a period of time.

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:35 AM   #4
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In my class C the engine alternator does charge the battery bank even if the disconnect switch is off.

But, on shore power, if the disconnect switch is off the converter does not charge the "house" battery bank.

I can't see why one would wish to have the disconnect switch "open" while driving. I want my fridge to stay cold and that means 12 volt power must be available.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:14 AM   #5
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Ahoy Greg,

Take a voltmeter (you do have a voltmeter don't you) Turn the switch to the off position. Now go back and check the voltage on the batteries and make a mental note of it. Plug in your motorhome and check the voltage on the batteries again. If the voltage is higher then You batteries are charging with the switch off.
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