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Old 09-19-2019, 09:31 AM   #1
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Where to put battery disconnect switch

I have a 2003 Sunflyer (Gas) with 3 house batteries and an engine/start battery. All located under the entry steps.

I want to install a battery disconnect switch to both my house batteries and start battery. any suggestions on where to put the disconnect switch for either of these??

Also, there is an Aux on/Off switch at the entry door. It chirps when turned on. What is this for??

Thanks for the assistance the past year on this post forum,. A lot of good info. Thanks......
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:00 AM   #2
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The Aux On/Off switch function will be described in your Owner's Manual. It is likely the "battery disconnect" switch for the house batteries. Your CO or propane detector may be or are probably connected to the coach batteries, and they "chirp" when power is enabled.

As for the chassis battery, no opinion. You can put it inline at the negative or positive battery cable under your steps. Others will advise you on this one.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrylogan View Post
I have a 2003 Sunflyer (Gas) with 3 house batteries and an engine/start battery. All located under the entry steps.

I want to install a battery disconnect switch to both my house batteries and start battery. any suggestions on where to put the disconnect switch for either of these??

Also, there is an Aux on/Off switch at the entry door. It chirps when turned on. What is this for??

Thanks for the assistance the past year on this post forum,. A lot of good info. Thanks......
The Aux on/off switch (aka "salesman's switch") disconnects your house batteries, so no need for a separate house battery disconnect switch.

As far as the chassis/start battery, I'd install a simple knife switch on the negative battery terminal. There are other options but this is simple, reliable and doesn't involve any re-cabling: https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Disco...8908606&sr=8-4

If you want something more accessible, you can always install something like this in a convenient location but additional cabling will be necessary: https://www.amazon.com/Ampper-Batter...CY5BQIU&sr=8-5
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:02 PM   #4
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I installed the simple knife switch Bob C mentioned. An easy install (under the hood, that is) and it has been working just fine for several years now. I must have some pretty good-sized parasitic loads on the chassis battery cuz it was down more than I like after just 4 or 5 days .............. so opening the disconnect (and cycling the coach battery disconnect switch to "Off" as well) are the last things I do before leaving the coach at the storage facility.........even for a few days.

FWIW, I'll attach a pic of the installation. The black "stuff" you see at the edges of the brass contacts is JB Weld. Those contacts were a little "wiggly" even with their mounting screws good and tight. Now it is "all better". Engineers just can't leave things alone, right? lol

Good times and safe travels to ya ................ ed s
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:03 PM   #5
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Knife Switch

For those that use a knife switch to disconnect their chassis (engine) battery for storage - any bad effects from doing that? Is all ok with the engine's computer, with the radio security codes, or any other component that expects to always have +12v handy?


I know if I replace the 12v engine battery in my coach, the radio looses power and it won't work until the security code is entered.
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:07 PM   #6
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As others mentioned you already have a disconnect on the house batteries so to keep it simple you just need one to put on the ground cable of the engine start battery. You may hear of some having fires from putting them on the positive battery cable or complaining that the connectors are the wrong size for the positive cable and that is because best practice is to put the disconnect on the ground cable to eliminate the danger of fires from a short circuit to ground.

Here are two examples that require no modification of the motor home and are very simple to install and replace if ever they malfunction. Just release the snap latch on the step that contains the batteries and turn the knob or flip the switch.

Note that when you do this you will likely clear your presets, etc from the in-dash radio and any other device that uses the engine battery to maintain its settings. Some will refer to disconnecting the engine battery as the "Poor Mans Engine Reset" since after 24 to 48 hours without power all stored fuel/transmission shift mappings relevant to how you have been driving will be erased and the computer will have to re-learn and store its fuel, transmission, etc mappings that are based on how you drive. Some people perceive this as a problem occurring when the vehicle behaves differently after its sat with the battery disconnected however thats just life with computerized engine and transmission control systems.


https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Disco...462543&sr=8-74



https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Docto...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:32 PM   #7
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NeilV -- Thanks, your note contained the exact information I was worried about. You mention what could happen if the 12v chassis battery is disconnected for an extended time. Thanks much!
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:48 AM   #8
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I am an certified electrician, so here is some food for thought!!
Charging batteries give off explosive hydrogen gas and putting any kind of open contact disconnect on the battery terminals could cause an explosion. I'm sure we have all heard of these kind of explosions when people are using booster cables, well the same hazard exists. I would put the disconnect away from the battery compartment and preferably use an enclosed disconnect. There are some good ones out there. As far as radio security codes, the radio should have an always on input for this purpose and a wire could be run to the positive side of this disconnect switch.
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:59 AM   #9
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Another option for a disconnect is to install a second disconnect solenoid for the chassis battery and it could be connected to the secondary side of the coach battery solenoid in which case the "salesman's switch" would shut all the batteries off from one switch or alternately install a second switch to turn the chassis battery off independently.
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ArtDeCamper View Post
I am an certified electrician, so here is some food for thought!!
Charging batteries give off explosive hydrogen gas and putting any kind of open contact disconnect on the battery terminals could cause an explosion. I'm sure we have all heard of these kind of explosions when people are using booster cables, well the same hazard exists. I would put the disconnect away from the battery compartment and preferably use an enclosed disconnect. There are some good ones out there. As far as radio security codes, the radio should have an always on input for this purpose and a wire could be run to the positive side of this disconnect switch.
Good point, I didn't, but should've, thought about that.
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