How to disconnect an RV battery?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How to disconnect an RV battery?” We will discuss how to disconnect an RV battery without an RV battery switch. We will look at the process of installing an RV battery disconnect switch and discuss a few tips for a long-lasting RV battery. Additionally, we will list the advantages of disconnecting the RV battery when not in use.

How to disconnect an RV battery?

  • An RV battery can be disconnected by using the disconnect switch. If there is no disconnect switch, you will need to unscrew the negative connection by using a wrench. 
  • Most of the latest RV batteries come with a battery switch. This switch can also be installed even if your RV does not have one. RV batteries that have a switch make it easier to disconnect the battery.
  • The previous RV models had no switch connected to the battery. The latest models have a preinstalled switch and all you need to do is flip the switch to disconnect the battery. 
  • The RV battery switch can be found near the battery that is usually under the hood. In some cases, the switch can be located inside the RV in some of the compartments.
  • Check the RV manual to know exactly where the switch is located or if you have an RV battery switch or not. 

These switches come in three types, turning switches, pushbuttons, or battery switches that have keys. Either one of these types is going to be the RV battery switch. If your RV does not have a battery disconnect switch, here is what you need to follow. These steps are easy to follow and they can be done on your own. 

Disconnecting an RV battery without an RV battery switch

An RV battery can be disconnected even if you have no switch. However, there are a few simple steps that need to be followed for this process. One of the best things to do to avoid such confusion is to get an RV battery switch installed. This is not a costly affair and it can be installed fast with the help of a professional.

  • The first thing you need to do is to get under the hood. 
  • Make sure that you carry a wrench along with you to start. 
  • Be sure to wear some gloves on so that you don’t’ get your fingers hurt or dirty.
  • Open the hood of the RV and find where the battery is located.
  • Do not touch the positive connection on the battery.
  • Locate the negative wire and unscrew the bolt connecting the negative terminal.
  • Your battery is not disconnected, be sure to keep the wire in a safe place and prevent it from falling.
  • Re-establish the connection again and make sure to take the bolts with you.

Those are one of the easiest ways to disconnect an RV battery without an RV battery switch. The process is simple and is only about five steps to follow. Working with RV batteries can be a little dangerous so be sure to wear gloves and do not touch the positive connection or any other wires that are situated on the battery.

How to install an RV battery disconnect switch

For those RVs that come without an RV battery disconnect switch, there are ways to install one on your own. Contacting an RV mechanic is an easy way out, but you can do this with ease since it is not hard to install a switch. Installing an RV battery switch consists of only two steps. Here are the steps and the process listed below.

Finding the right switch

You will need to do a little research to find the right switch according to the battery and the model. Not all switches are the same as every switch can handle the right amount of power. The first thing to do is to get a disconnect switch. This switch will need to work with the voltage of the RV battery. The easy way to name the model of the battery while purchasing.

The installation process

The only product you need here is a switch and these switches are not expensive. The second step will be to install the switch. You will need to disconnect the negative terminal in the battery to get started. After which, you will need to connect the switch between the negative terminal and the wire. Finally, you will need to clamp the switch near the battery.

Make sure that the switch is clamped tight and there is no shake. Once you are done with this process, you will have an RV battery disconnect switch. This is an easy process and there is nothing difficult in installing a switch. Having an RV battery disconnect switch is sure to make the entire process of disconnecting the RV easy.

Tips for a long-lasting battery

  • The battery of an RV is one of the most important components. Without the battery, the RV cannot function normally. 
  • It is advised to disconnect the RV battery when not in use. Disconnect the RV battery when you come home from a trip. Disconnecting the battery will not drain the battery any further and can help it last longer.
  • The propane leak detector and other safety equipment will always keep running if there is power. 
  • Leaving the battery empty will also shorten the life of a battery. 
  • Most batteries are the same and the process of disconnecting is pretty simple. A few RV batteries might vary accordingly.

Recharging the battery

Some people make the mistake of just keeping their batteries inside and recharging them only on the next trip. Even if you are not going to make a trip, it is recommended to recharge the battery promptly. The RV battery must always have the power to help prevent sulfating. A low-charged battery is easy to get sulfated at the bottom.

Do not overcharge

Recharging the battery must be done in the right manner as mentioned above. Overcharging the battery will only cause damage and reduce the overall performance of the battery itself. Be sure to check the water levels in the battery cells frequently. Adding distilled water whenever required will also help the batteries to last long.

Do not let a battery discharge below 12 V

A 12-volt battery should never let to be discharged below 12 volts. While this might seem to be funny at first, there is a logic behind it. A battery when fully charged is 12.7 volts. If it falls below 12 volts, it means that the charge is below 50 percent. The voltage system can be measured by using a digital voltmeter.

  • It is also advised not to add water to a battery after charging. This can cause more trouble later on. 
  • Add enough water to cover the plates only if they are exposed. 
  • Fill every cell to the bottom of the vent when the battery is fully charged. It is also good to leave the vent caps on the battering during the charging process. This will help prevent water loss from bubbling.
  • Usually, a deep cycle lead battery is bound to last for six years or more. The important part is to prevent your battery from sulfating and that can only be done with timely recharging. 
  • Try using a digital voltmeter to check the level of charge in the battery. Recharge the battery when the charge has dropped down.

The battery must be maintained as one of the most important components in a vehicle. An RV battery disconnect switch is a must and is way easier to get the job done. This RV battery disconnect switch can cost anywhere from $10 to $50. Once the switch is installed, you can effortlessly turn the power off and on.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How to disconnect an RV battery?” We have discussed how to disconnect an RV battery without an RV battery switch. We looked at the process of installing an RV battery disconnect switch and discussed a few tips for a long-lasting RV battery. 

Citations

https://www.mkbattery.com/blog/why-behind-rv-battery-disconnect-switch
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f258/correct-procedure-for-disconnecting-batteries-267354.html
https://koa.com/blog/extend-the-life-of-rv-batteries/

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