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Old 03-13-2016, 04:28 AM   #1
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Battery cut off switch a good idea?

We picked up our 2016 Coachman Clipper today, and on Monday we'll have two Trojan T145 batteries installed. I've heard some people suggest having a battery cut off switch installed by the battery box. Is that a good idea? I can see it being helpful, if you want to not have any drain on the batts while unit is stored, without having to pull the wires on the batteries themselves.

Total rookie here, your recommendations?
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Old 03-13-2016, 06:36 AM   #2
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You can certainly go with a properly rated cutoff switch. There are a number of installation vids and instructions on the net.


You can also go an easier route with a battery quick disconnect. I have used them on old cars for years with success. Cheap and easy install.


The cutoff switch will generally be easier to use. But if getting to your battery post (negative side) is painless, I would go the quick disconnect.
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:19 AM   #3
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Yes you need some sort of disconnect/cut-off switch or the batteries will be dead in short order. There are a lot of things in the camper that draw power even if you think everything is turned off.

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Old 03-13-2016, 09:04 AM   #4
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IMO its a good idea to have the disconnect installed that way you can put a battery tender on the batteries to keep them topped off without having to leave your rig plugged in and using the converter with all the other stuff powered up. I use the battery tender junior on all my equipment.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:26 AM   #5
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IMO its a good idea to have the disconnect installed that way you can put a battery tender on the batteries to keep them topped off without having to leave your rig plugged in and using the converter with all the other stuff powered up. I use the battery tender junior on all my equipment.
If you have power to the rig that is. Otherwise a small solar panel would be the ticket. There are several available that have an integral controller in them and that would keep things charged up.

Or just check them once a month and top them up with a portable generator plugged into the camper for a couple of hours.

Or remove them and take them home when the rig is going to sit.

OR if you just are leaving them for a week or two then the disconnect will be sufficient.

Or or or.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:45 AM   #6
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My signature FW factory-installed cut-off switch does not cut off power to the landing jacks and co2 sensor and maybe some other stuff, and I noticed I've got a low battery situation (2-12v deep cycle) after a few weeks of non-use. I see no reason to power anything while it's sitting, so I'm going to install a knife-switch at the batteries.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by phillyg View Post
My signature FW factory-installed cut-off switch does not cut off power to the landing jacks and co2 sensor and maybe some other stuff, and I noticed I've got a low battery situation (2-12v deep cycle) after a few weeks of non-use. I see no reason to power anything while it's sitting, so I'm going to install a knife-switch at the batteries.
You can do that. Or if yours is set up like mine, you can move the wire to these parasites to the other side of the switch.

Prior to move:
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:55 PM   #8
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I used a good marine battery switch mounted on my A-frame and my battery uses no power now while stored. I recently checked it after being in storage for several months and it was right up there in voltage. If I don't use the switch my battery is dead in about 2 weeks.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:01 PM   #9
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Cut off switch

I too use a cutoff switch. When I am not going to use it for any period of time, I turn the switch off and put the trickle charge on. On my last camper, the battery would be dead in just a couple of weeks. There is in fact several items running even with the main breaker off.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:09 PM   #10
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I used a good marine battery switch mounted on my A-frame and my battery uses no power now while stored. I recently checked it after being in storage for several months and it was right up there in voltage. If I don't use the switch my battery is dead in about 2 weeks.
Same here, first mod I did on the new camper.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:26 PM   #11
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I've installed a disconnect switch on every RV I've owned since the early 70s. Can't figure out how anyone gets along without one.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:34 PM   #12
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Just had one installed on my new Salem cruise lite. It's so nice to know that when I go to check on it in storage about every month, that I can turn on lights,etc. with out worrying whether or not the batteries are dead. Otherwise the batteries would be gone in about 2 weeks sitting in storage. I had the dealer install it on the trailer tongue near the two batteries.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:55 PM   #13
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I don't see why it would NOT be a good idea.:what:
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:22 PM   #14
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Agree with everyone. Best question may be why dont new tt come with them from the factory

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Old 03-13-2016, 11:22 PM   #15
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Battery cut-off switch w/ a solar panel

I installed a solar panel when first buying our new Puma last year. It is not a large panel, but has proved to be quite adequate in doing its job. However, even though charging at full capacity, the battery would go down in a couple of weeks. Had it checked and the solar was working beautifully. There is so much in the new trailers that drain power, however, that I had a cut-off switch installed and how about that! Have not lost power ever since the installation last Fall. It is a seamless installation and my battery is always charged up and ready to go.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:09 AM   #16
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I've installed a disconnect switch on every RV I've owned since the early 70s. Can't figure out how anyone gets along without one.
I agree with everyone, there is a lot that can drain them even when you think things are shut down.

I don't use a cut off though, have another solution. My trailer is next to my house and always plugged in. I lose power a few times every winter. The 5er is a life saver! Just switch the cord over to my generator and I am good to go. My biggest problem is running out of propane if the furnace runs too often. This only happens if the electric heater can't keep up, when it gets real cold, or if the power is off too long.

The converter keeps my batteries at full charge all the time.

Jim
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:54 AM   #17
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Here is mine actually mounted on the battery box.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:06 PM   #18
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Yes, excellent idea!
Since the current flow is usually pretty low (unless you have a significant inverter), the big red knob marine-style switch is fine but overkill. If you want it on the outside of everything, a simple sealed marine or automotive toggle switch, rated at 15 amps or so will do fine.
if it's easy to access, adding one of the green-knob battery disconnect switches that mounts to the battery terminal itself can be a great solution that is easy to add and inexpensive.


Cheers!
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:52 AM   #19
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Do you need to disconnect the battery when on power at a campsite or just when storing. Does it charge the batt when on power at campsite? Sorry newb
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Old 03-20-2016, 04:54 AM   #20
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You only turn it Off when in Storage! It must be On to charge Batt when Plugged In! Youroo!! US flag on 2nd line? There are "2" ways for "Plugged In" Campsite and Tow Vehicle,the Batt Disconnect must be On to allow charge to Batt!
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