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Old 08-21-2015, 07:22 PM   #1
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Battery disconnect switch - does not turn everything off

Situation: Battery disconnect in off position with red key pulled on 2015 Silverback RE and not connected to shore power.There is no power to the lights inside, and the Jensen stereo.
Questions:
1. Why do I still have power to the inverter that runs the fridge, and the pumps that run the slide outs.
2. Is this wired right?
In my newbie mind, disconnect means open circuit and no electricity should flow.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:01 PM   #2
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We have a 2013 Cardinal and with our battery switch off we still have power to the LP detector, leveling system and I believe the slides. Also the entry light. Somewhat defeats the purpose. Jerry


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Old 08-21-2015, 09:43 PM   #3
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The intention of the disconnect is to prevent parasitic loads from draining your battery during extended storage periods. Those loads include CO/smoke detectors, refrigerator control boards, radios etc. Typically loads not disconnected are things like slide mechanisms, emergency brake away switch, stabilizer jacks etc. So does your refrigerator run of battery power, or just use the battery for control power and the light inside? If it runs on battery through the inverter you'll need to turn it off to prevent draining the battery.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:19 PM   #4
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The refrigerator runs on battery, and I do turn it off.
It seems I did not understand the intention of the battery disconnect, as pointed out by wbdavey, to prevent parasitic loads from draining my battery. That it does. I took the wording "battery disconnect" too literally. So it seems that the battery disconnect is functioning as intended. Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2015, 11:31 AM   #5
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Our 2005 Cardinal battery disconnect still leaves the gas detector, jacks and front work light operational when turned off. I did reword the gas detector so it's powered after the shutoff switch so it's not using power while on storage.
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Old 08-22-2015, 11:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbdavey View Post
The intention of the disconnect is to prevent parasitic loads from draining your battery during extended storage periods. Those loads include CO/smoke detectors, refrigerator control boards, radios etc. Typically loads not disconnected are things like slide mechanisms, emergency brake away switch, stabilizer jacks etc. So does your refrigerator run of battery power, or just use the battery for control power and the light inside? If it runs on battery through the inverter you'll need to turn it off to prevent draining the battery.
Most battery disconnect switches do not disconnect the LP gas detector. Maybe a safety feature. Also, slides and power tongue Jacks are not on the disconnect swutch.
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Old 08-22-2015, 11:59 AM   #7
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Depends what you want to do. I don't ever recommend bypassing safety features, that's on you. If you want to truly disconnect the power, put a switch between the battery and house. I have this setup on mine along with a solar panel to keep the batteries charged while in storage and it has worked flawlessly.
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Old 08-22-2015, 02:41 PM   #8
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Some items, slides, tongue jack, etc. are connected direct to the battery(ies). They do not go through the converter.
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:00 PM   #9
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The only way to kill total power is to disconnect one of the cables from your battery.
disconnect switches are deceiving and they vary from RV make to RV make as to what they actually shut off.
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Old 08-22-2015, 04:18 PM   #10
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When stowing for any extended period I remove battery cables and clean posts and pull batteries from alarm devices.
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Old 08-22-2015, 04:45 PM   #11
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I had no shut off switch on my rig and every time I went to the storage unit where it was, the battery dead. Aggravating to say the least. If I just wanted to do a quick something then I had to drag out the shore power and plug it in and then I had power. So I fixed that right away. I bought a nice marine battery shut off switch. 100% water proof. Now when I go to the TT I have power!! Amazing, unless I forget to turn the battery switch off when I leave
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Old 08-22-2015, 05:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeNanMinn View Post
The only way to kill total power is to disconnect one of the cables from your battery.
disconnect switches are deceiving and they vary from RV make to RV make as to what they actually shut off.
Yea- calling it a "coach disconnect switch" can be interpreted as "I can turn off everything related to my coach and all else is run off the chassis battery"

There is a nifty battery post switch. It totally kills all current flow from the battery. I believe it goes on the negative post. Do not quote me on that. Best to connect with an expert. I am sure someone on this forum will have experience with the concept.
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Old 08-22-2015, 05:16 PM   #13
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Disconnecting a battery cable is EXACTLY what a battery disconnect does. You can put it on either cable + or - . In its basic form it's like an in line swith....
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:36 PM   #14
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If you put your switch on either cable coming off your battery, that is the same as disconnecting your battery IF, and I say IF there are NO OTHER CONNECTIONS to that SAME BATTERY POST.
Several RVs connect a separate wire directly to the battery to power the tongue jack, slides or electric door locks. Just make sure there are no OTHER wires going to the same terminal that your switch is connected to. If so, disconnect them from the battery and reconnect them past the switch on the coach side. That way everything is disconnected when you turn the switch.
Hope this helps.
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:46 PM   #15
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I installed my own master disconnect , and it virtually leaves the trailer dead.....other than anything running off it's own battery.(smoke detector etc) The whole point is to kill any current that might flow from the batteries. We live in a moderate climate, 10 nights or so of first most years, and my batteries are generally 2/3 full in the spring.
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:07 PM   #16
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I would make certain the propane is shut off if you're disconnecting the propane detector! I've seen videos of campers blowing up from propane leaks! Devastating to say the least!
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:24 PM   #17
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I should have also stated that when storing your RV you should close all propane tank valves prior to activating battery disconnect. Since there is no one in the rig when in storage the propane alarm is useless at that time. Also, if you use a cover or store inside your solar panel won't provide a battery charge.
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:57 PM   #18
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Battery Disconnect doesn't...

I'm really late to this party however, my 2019 XLR 26HFS has an internal battery disconnect that didn't disconnect anything... the lights worked with it disconnected, the fans, pretty much all the 12V worked... After a long day of continuity checks i figured out the the positive 12V buss block on the trailer a-frame (next to the battery) was wired so that the battery powered all 12V loads (including the fuse block inside the unit), and the battery disconnect was wired to the same block with no possibility of interrupting power... Unfortunately i figured this issue out when i was displaced from my normal site due to a hurricane.

In the end, i found there were two posts isolated from the rest of the buss bar, and i routed 12V positive from the battery to one of those, and the second to the disconnect switch with the output of the switch to one of the 10 interconnected posts on the block. Reattached all the downstream loads (convertor, fuse block, tow hitch power attachment point, brakes, etc.) and it all works like it was supposed to when i bought it new. No surprise that i received NOTHING back from the manufacturer when i reached out to them.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:15 AM   #19
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welcome, you're not the only person to discover this issue! we have a 2015 cardinal and i think i found 5 devices that were still powered when the factory disconnect switch was off. when i stored the trailer the batteries would go dead within a week even though i had turned the disconnect to off.

i installed my own disconnect switch right at the battery negative terminal and now i can store the trailer for months with little no loss on the batteries. if you do this make sure you include all cables from the batteries. our inverter and generator and directly wired to the batteries in addition to the main cable battery feed cable.
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