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Old 04-18-2012, 09:42 PM   #1
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Battery disconnect

This may be a silly question. What is the use of the battery disconnect ?

I ask because the recent testdrive experience made me unsure.

The salesmen were using the disconnect as a lazy way of shutting off the coach after showing it to customers. The parts manager said that since it was connected to shore power, it was not letting it charge the coach batteries. In my mind and also the salesmen, the disconnect should have disconnected the batteries from all electrical parts but not the battery charger.

From what the parts manager said, it only disconnects the charger. The electrical parts still pull from the batteries and drain them to empty.

Please explain so I will have a better knowledge as to not make this mistake on the road.

Thanks

Todd
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:36 PM   #2
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I dont now what you have but on my 5th W there is a switch that turns everything off. There is no battery drain when it is off.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:39 PM   #3
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I think the parts manager is correct.
I think the most common hook up people do, is to wire the disconnect right at the battery. This would mean the battery would be disconnected from everything, such as the converter, the appliances, and maybe even a trailer break-away device. Myself, I will never have a disconnect switch, because most of the time, I want my battery to be on a float charge. Either using the converter on shore power or a separate battery tender. A battery left disconnected (idle) for as little a one month, will begin to suphate. Too many months of suphating, and you've killed the battery. As far as I know, Jayco product built in the last few years have 3-stage converters which include the float charge stage. I think it would be wise to check with Jayco directly to find out for sure for both the disconnect and type of converter on the specific model you're considering.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:42 PM   #4
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Sorry. This was on a Greyhawk 31DS. I've read the owners manual (pdf) and as all owners manuals are known for, it is still a blur of UNformation. :-P
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:47 PM   #5
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I also have the 3 stage converter. I think there are a couple threads here where there were shorts and they could smell burning wires. It might come in handy to be able to turn the batteries off with a switch till you locate the problem.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:50 AM   #6
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I use a battery disconnect only when I am storing it. As rwilley was saying, it keeps the batteries from draining.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:38 AM   #7
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There's lots of mis-information, even among salesmen, on how battery systems and disconnect switches work.

There is only a hot and a ground from the battery to the converter. A battery disconnect switch, usually factory installed on the positive side, completely disconnects battery power from the converter and all of the loads, sensors, etc., the purpose being to prevent parasitic loads from draining that battery(s) over a period of time. If the trailer is plugged into shore power, the converter, at least modern ones, are maintaining the battery on a float charge, even though the sensors and electronic memory on TVs and stereos, are still on,as long as the battery switch is on. So, there's no reason to turn off the battery if it's being stored with shore power plugged in.
The items that are usually wired directly to the battery are the breakaway switch, a power tongue jack and slideouts.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:59 AM   #8
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Thanks Bob for the Battery Disconnect system 101.

I like your signature.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:52 PM   #9
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Clear, concise and accurate based on my understanding of this stuff.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:55 PM   #10
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Any benefit of the battery disconnect switch vs simply having a fuse on the negative or positive cable that can be pulled?

My 26BH came with a simple blade fuse that I pull if I am storing for a couple of weeks or so. If its longer than 2-3 weeks I pull the battery and place it on the tender.
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