Originally Posted by trudyw
Thank you!! I did find a battery shut off. I thought it would be in the battery box but it wasn't. Next question. When I'm plugged into electric, should the battery be shut off? Or can it be left in the on position in case of electric outage? When I got my 5th wheel, they wasn't able to explain a lot of things to me. I told them my inverter light wasn't working and they said that it wouldn't work unless I was unplugged from electric. So, when I got ready to leave, unplugged from electric and had no inverter. They didn't explain the battery on/off switch. Your help is greatly appreciated.
Usually the battery disconnect is there for when you are storing the RV. Even with everything turned off, you still have parasitic draws on the battery from things like your CO detector, radio standby, etc. When you use the disconnect this stops these parasitic drains.
However, when you are connected to shore power, it's good to have the battery disconnect off, so the battery is connected to the electrical system. This is where the converter I mentioned above comes into play. Although the converter takes 120 volt AC shore power and converts it to 12 volt DC to power all of your 12 volt things, so they don't draw from the battery, it has one more function. It also recharges your battery as it has a battery charger built in to it. If your battery is disconnected from the electrical system using the switch, then the converter cannot recharge your battery when connected to shore power....but this is dependent on how your RV is wired exactly.
These links may help in the understanding of that:
Basic RV Electricity - RV Information (RV Maintenance)
RV Converters and Amp Draw - RV Information (RV Maintenance)