RV Battery Disconnect Switch Issues [Troubleshooting]

The batteries in recreational vehicles (RVs) are a significant maintenance issue. Battery issues can arise for various causes, such as under- or overcharging, but the most annoying is when your RV’s batteries self-discharge while in storage. 

Even with a battery-powered system, maintaining the batteries might be expensive. Installing a battery disconnect switch is one technique to conserve battery power and reduce charging costs. After a prolonged break, this might ensure that your batteries are always powered.

Even when you use your trailer after months have passed, the RV battery disconnect switch is crucial for maintaining the battery’s health.

What functions does an RV’s battery disconnect switch have?

The battery disconnect switch only performs one function. When activated, it will cut off power to practically all 12-volt-operated items like lights, appliances, and other items from the battery. 

So that you know, battery power is also required by the several module boards that power your appliances. 

The disconnect button needs to be switched on while you are plugged into shore power so that the appliances and other parts can get ability straight from your off RV connection. At this time, you don’t need to run your batteries. 

Never turn the switch off when you need to charge your batteries. The battery is then unplugged from the power source that will replenish it or them.

Tools required for the fix

The Equipment You’ll Need For This Process Is Readily Available And Reasonably Priced. You Can Purchase Them Online Or At Any Nearby Store. Therefore, Let’s Take A Look At Them: 

  • A Switch To Disconnect. 
  • Glasses 
  • The Gloves 
  • Wrench 
  • Cleaner
  • Paper Towels

The Fixing Manual 

Use the fixing guide when you discover that the disconnect switch in your RV isn’t functioning. It can cause you to question whether the fixing process is difficult or expensive, and let me tell you something. 

Buying a new disconnect switch is the best repair for disconnect switches. No, the procedure isn’t complicated at all, nor is it expensive. Consequently, installing a second disconnect switch won’t cost you a fortune.

The procedure to follow for the fixing

1. Remove the Cables out from the Battery:

Make sure you have gloves and glasses on before you begin. It is because exercising caution when working with electrical equipment is vital. 

After that, use a wrench to unplug the cords from the battery. You also want to unplug the positive connections and the negative cables first.

2. Clean the connectors and the battery terminal:

When the wires are unplugged, the cleaner can be used to clean the connectors quickly. At this time, you should also clean the terminals. Use a paper towel to rub it after you’re finished.

3. Inspect the water’s level:

Examine the batteries’ water levels once you’re done cleaning. The water level guarantees the battery receives the proper amount of electricity. 

Problems like the air conditioner compressor not turning on may result from a low power supply. Low battery life can, at worst, prevent you from even starting your ride. You must utilize safety equipment while performing this action.

4. Attach the Battery Disconnect Switch:

Finally, connect the battery disconnect switch to the battery’s negative terminal. Additionally, use the wrench to tighten it to the terminal. However, be careful not to overtighten the switch’s connection to the terminal.

5. Reconnect the cable to the positive terminal:

Ensure the switch’s lever is open before inserting the cable into the positive terminal. 

Don’t over-tighten the cable on the positive terminal. Additionally, apply the wrench to this task.

6. Reconnect the Cable at the Disconnect Switch’s Opposite End:

Connect the cable to the disconnect switch’s opposing end. However, confirm that the switch’s lever is still open. Tighten the cable here with the wrench.

7. Check it by lowering the disconnect switch’s lever:

Lower the disconnect switch’s lever once you’ve finished the above actions. The relationship will be solidified as a result. After that, determine if the RV has a 12 volt DC power source.

Why Do the Disconnect Switches Need to Be Fixed?

You should be familiar with how to repair the disconnect switches by now. Why, then, should you fix them? You can leave them just how they are, after all. 

The disconnect switches in an RV are indeed very valuable. You’re missing out on a lot if they’re not in your battery. Let’s examine why you should correct it, shall we? 

  • Disconnect switches can be used to check the battery health of your RV. 
  • The lack of a disconnect switch causes the battery to discharge more quickly. 
  • The parasitic loads, such as clocks, stereos, and lights, will cause the battery to discharge even more quickly. It also drains due to an appliance circuit board and a gas leak detector.
  • Batteries that have been discharged but haven’t been recharged will break down sooner than they should. 
  • You can use a disconnect switch to remove the battery from the RV if you have one. As a result, operating the RV won’t drain your battery. 
  • The disconnect switches turn the power off. Therefore, electrical fires and theft won’t frequently happen if you’re using your RV. 
  • Short circuit damage has a significant probability without a disconnect switch. You would have to troubleshoot fans and many other electric-based components in your RV.


Can a disconnect switch malfunction? 

Yes, since they are switches, they could malfunction at any time. 

How can a disconnect switch be tested? 

Obtain a 12-volt lamp, then flip the switch to the off position. After that, unplug the batteries’ negative terminals. It would help if you now held both the cable clip and the probe for the post. The light will glow if it is functioning. 

Is it possible to always plug in the RV? 

Yes, you can constantly plug in your RV.

Final Verdict

That’s all for you from our end. Now that you know what to do, maybe the RV battery disconnect switch will always function. 

Additionally, if working with batteries makes you uncomfortable, we strongly advise hiring a professional. Further, even if you have a disconnect switch, ensure your batteries are still in good condition.