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Old 03-11-2018, 01:14 PM   #1
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Battery disconnect switch

I have a 2017 Rockwood A214HW and Iím planning on adding a battery disconnect switch. When Iím out boonedocking and want to run my generator for ac, I donít want to run the risk of over charging my battery. Has anyone else added a switch or have any thoughts one way or the other?
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:24 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by RobBlakeley View Post
I have a 2017 Rockwood A214HW and Iím planning on adding a battery disconnect switch. When Iím out boonedocking and want to run my generator for ac, I donít want to run the risk of over charging my battery. Has anyone else added a switch or have any thoughts one way or the other?
Rob, your converter is what charges your battery. It depends on what type converter you have, as to how well it recharges your battery. I am assuming you are simply just going to plug your RV into a generator as opposed to shore power.

I don't really see where you would have any problem connecting to a generator vs say leaving it connected to shore power most of the time...as the converter is what is going to be sending the battery charge either way. Do you know what brand/type converter you have in your RV?

These links may help:

Basic RV Electricity - RV Information (RV Maintenance)

RV Converters and Amp Draw - RV Information (RV Maintenance)

Converter technology has come along ways and there are several now that are smart chargers and have different recharging capabilities depending on what the battery needs. But we would need to know what brand/type you have to know for sure.
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Old 03-11-2018, 02:10 PM   #3
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Rob, your converter is what charges your battery. It depends on what type converter you have, as to how well it recharges your battery. I am assuming you are simply just going to plug your RV into a generator as opposed to shore power.

I don't really see where you would have any problem connecting to a generator vs say leaving it connected to shore power most of the time...as the converter is what is going to be sending the battery charge either way. Do you know what brand/type converter you have in your RV?

These links may help:

Basic RV Electricity - RV Information (RV Maintenance)

RV Converters and Amp Draw - RV Information (RV Maintenance)

Converter technology has come along ways and there are several now that are smart chargers and have different recharging capabilities depending on what the battery needs. But we would need to know what brand/type you have to know for sure.

Thanks for the info,I have the WFCO/WF-8735, your right I donít worry about it when Iím on shore power. Perhaps Iím just over thinking it.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:24 PM   #4
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Adding a disconnect switch is a good idea for when your A-frame is not in use. The disconnect prevents the battery from being discharged by the constantly on stuff (propane/CO detector, stereo (preset and settings backup), and fridge control board.

I added a Marinco marine disconnect switch on the outside of the battery box, which is set up for 2 12V batteries (I now have 2 6V GC-2 Interstate batteries). There are simpler and cheaper automobile disconnect switches that fit directly on the battery post. But with the Marinco on the outside, I don't have to lift the cover to disconnect the batteries.

Your WFCO is not a good converter for keeping up your battery with a generator while boondocking or dry camping. The WFCO recharges too slowly, which increases generator run time to recharge the battery. If you do much boondocking or dry camping, you will want to replace the WFCO with the Progressive Dynamics 4135 replacement (I have done this, covered in another thread in the A-frame section).

Neither converter will overcharge the battery if operating correctly. Both have trickle charge modes (13.2V) that engage after being plugged in for about 44 hours.

just my experiences
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:29 PM   #5
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Thanks Iíll have to do some more homework.
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:22 PM   #6
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First thing I do with any new rig is to install a battery disconnect on the negative side between the battery and the frame. Even if the unit came with one.
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:39 PM   #7
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I am going to be putting mine on the positive. The standard practice is the positive side. Either will work however.

When you have your rig worked on in the future or sell it, the next person working on it will assume the disconnect is on the positive. It's the 99% norm.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:01 PM   #8
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I am going to be putting mine on the positive. The standard practice is the positive side. Either will work however.

When you have your rig worked on in the future or sell it, the next person working on it will assume the disconnect is on the positive. It's the 99% norm.
Ummmm, I wouldn't say that's necessarily the norm, but as you stated, either side will work.

Mark Polk says negative:



and so does RV Four Seasons

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Old 03-12-2018, 08:14 PM   #9
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If weíre taking a vote....

Remove or disconnect the negative lead first, therefore, put the disconnect switch on the negative side.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:17 AM   #10
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If weíre taking a vote....

Remove or disconnect the negative lead first, therefore, put the disconnect switch on the negative side.
That's when you remove a negative battery cable so you don't short your wrench to the chassis. That doesn't happen with a disconnect switch.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:21 AM   #11
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Ummmm, I wouldn't say that's necessarily the norm, but as you stated, either side will work.

Mark Polk says negative:


and so does RV Four Seasons
Only because he is showing an uninsulated disconnect switch. I wouldn't use those types of switches at all, even on the negative side.
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:07 AM   #12
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First thing I did to my new camper was to install a disconnect switch. I used a Marine grade switch with sufficient load capacity.
I would never install one with exposed contacts. Installed on the Negative side.
Mule
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:55 AM   #13
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I would never install one with exposed contacts. Installed on the Negative side.
Mule
If the cheaper exposed contacts switch is on the ground side........ It doesn't matter. Kinda like that exposed bolt/screw for the ground cable on your frame
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:45 AM   #14
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Out of curiosity, why would anyone buy one of those cheap knife switches when a BluSea switch is rated for more and a couple extra dollars?
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:33 AM   #15
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I'd be interested in buying one of those blue sea switches. By chance does anyone have a link where one could be purchased? Thanks
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Old 03-13-2018, 11:00 AM   #16
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I'd be interested in buying one of those blue sea switches. By chance does anyone have a link where one could be purchased? Thanks
Blue Sea Systems Mini Battery Switch with knob p/n 6006

https://www.bluesea.com/products/600...ob_-_Black/FAQ
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Old 09-11-2018, 04:23 AM   #17
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I have a 2019 Wildwood 30KQBSS. I have dual batteries connected in parallel with each other. Does anyone have a diagram or pictures showing me how to hookup a battery disconnect switch. I have seen videos of hooking one up with a single battery but just want to see pictures or video of dual batteries. I want a good safe switch and one that is not hooked to the battery post. I donít want to take the battery cover off each time I need to shut it off. Thanks.
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Old 09-11-2018, 06:46 AM   #18
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i don't have a picture but can explain how to connect a switch to two batteries in parallel. first you have the two batteries with the jumpers between them (positive to positive, negative to negative). these must be left alone and they are not involved with the disconnect switch.

the desired configuration of the battery cables (not the jumper cables) is positive cable to the positive terminal of battery 1 and negative cable to the negative terminal of battery 2. if you have this simply remove one of these cables from the battery terminal and connect it to one of the terminals of the switch. buy a new battery cable and connect it to the other terminal of the switch and to the battery terminal that you removed the cable from. you can use either the positive cable or negative cable to do this. i'd use the one that reaches to where you want to mount the switch.

now that was the ideal. but many trailers are wired in less than the ideal manner. in our case we had a negative battery cable connected to each of the two negative battery terminals and also had two positive cables connected to each of the positive terminals. i took both the negatives off the two batteries and connected them to the same terminal of the switch. then ran a new cable from the other terminal of the switch to a single negative battery cable. i would have liked to relocate the two positive cables to a single battery post but they were not long enough to allow that. (it's one my list of things to do - someday).

much of what you decide will be based upon where you want to mount the switch and which battery cable can reach the switch when it is disconnected from the battery.

there may also be some smaller wires connected to the battery terminals for things like break away switches or other things that bypass the main 12 volt fuse panel. you have to figure out how you want to handle these. the break away switch does not draw any power if not activated so it won't drain the batteries while in storage. yet it needs to be connected to power when towing. you need to ensure that it has power when towing. either leave it directly connected to the batteries or if you have something like an electric jack that you use to hook-up you will be forced to connect the batteries in order to use the jack. this will ensure the break away switch has power.
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:16 AM   #19
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Thanks so much. Iím going to try and take a look at it this weekend and will update you.
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:29 AM   #20
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Dual 12 volt batteries connected in parallel should look like the photo.

That way the current path (both charge and discharge) is balanced between the batteries so one will not work harder than the other (and thereby fail earlier).

My disconnect switch is on the red (positive) wire, but as stated it is a matter of convenience.
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