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Old 10-20-2019, 10:50 AM   #1
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Auxiliary Battery Switch??

Newbie question, still so much to learn...

What exactly is this switch for?
Is there ever a time this switch should be off?
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:54 AM   #2
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How about filling us in with some more info.
Make Model Year of your RV would help. I can think of a number of possible "aux battery switches" that might apply but could be different with each type, model and year of the RV.

So, fill is in. The more info you provide the better. Sometimes a photo can really help us help you, as well.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:57 AM   #3
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Oh, my bad!! We have a 2005 Itasca Meridian P39k. The aux battery switch is on the dash.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:58 AM   #4
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Just replied ��
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:00 AM   #5
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I looked and see you have a '05 Itasca Meridian P39K. That helps a lot (I'm not sure why your signature is not showing up. I'll check on that for you.

If you mean the soft switch in the footwell of the door of your RV - that's to disconnect everything from your HOUSE batteries. You definitely want to turn that off when the RV is stored and not plugged into any kind of power or the generator is not running.

By that I mean when you store the RV. Not when it's in active use.

Your RV has a number of parasitic electrical draws and if you store it without disconnecting (turning off) the house batteries then you'll run the batteries down to a level that can either destroy them or damage them severely.

If you mean some other battery switch located somewhere else please be more specific. And, we'll do our best to help you.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:04 AM   #6
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The Aux Battery Switch on the dash is probably a momentary switch that you cannot "turn on" or off. You can hold it down but when you remove your hand from the switch it turns back off.

This is to help start your engine when the chassis batteries are too weak to start your RV. When you hold down the Aux Battery switch you connect your house batteries to your start batteries and this will provide enough extra power to start your engine. You may need it to start your generator some times as well. Again, if your chassis battery is weak.

I've never needed to use mine, but if you do need it it's a very handy thing to have.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:17 AM   #7
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This switch is actually right on the dash to the right of the gauges. When I turn it off, almost nothing electrical works. So perhaps it is as you mentioned regarding storage of the rig.
My husband and I disagreed about leaving it on, he thought he'd read somewhere that it should always be off when plugged into shore power, but then nothing electrical will work. Such as lights, etc
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TheArthurs View Post
Newbie question, still so much to learn...

What exactly is this switch for?
Is there ever a time this switch should be off?

When the switch is "on" or "enabled" it connects the 12VDC coach/house batteries with the 12VDC appliances in the coach through the 12V portion of the electrical distribution panel where the little blade fuses are located, like lights, furnace fan, fridge control boards, water pump, ceiling fans, sometimes to the 12V TV or radios, sometimes to the CO and Propane detectors, and so on.
When it's "off" or "disabled" it disconnects those same batteries from the 12V DC draws, and is supposed to prevent them from being drained, typically while the coach is in storage or otherwise not in use.
You can leave it enabled when plugged in to shore power. It will allow the converter/charger to charge the coach batteries while they supply power to the 12VDC stuff in your motorhome and back fill whatever power is used while you're parked and plugged in.

When you're plugged in many other appliances will be "on" like A/C, and microwave ovens, because these higher draw appliances need 120V AC power either from shore power or inverted power off of your generator if you have one. They can sometimes be run on a larger capacity inverter too.

These functions should be described more specifically in your owner's manual.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:51 AM   #9
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Usually those cutoffs are in the door step well making it easy to turn on and off as you enter or leave the coach. I guess on your coach it's on the dash.

Do you have an owners manual?

Here are the steps for storing your coach according to your manual:

Cean and Prep Coach for Storage
1. Turn off the LP gas tank.
2. Turn the furnace thermostat switch on the bottom of the thermostat to OFF.
3. Remove all foods and items that may cause odors from cabinets and refrigera-tor.
4. Clean and defrost the refrigerator. Prop the door open slightly to allow any odors to dis-sipate. Place an open box of baking soda inside the refrigerator to help absorb odors.
5.Fully charge the batteries. Batteries must have at least 80% charge to survive freez-ing temperatures and long period of non-use.We recommend that you connect a battery charger or plug in the shoreline once a month during long-term storage periods to maintain battery charge and to avoid sulfating. If connecting a charger directly to bat-teries, turn the Aux. Battery switch off to avoid electrical arcing when attaching and detaching charger clamps.
6. After charging batteries, turn the Aux. Bat-tery Switch off to disconnect the batteries and avoid parasitic* drain. The inverter/charger must be shut off at the control panel to avoid draining the house batteries when the Aux. Battery switch is turned off. The inverter/charger is directly powered and is not affected by the Aux. Batt. Switch.
7. Have the vehicle chassis completely serviced and lubricated. Be sure radiator antifreeze protection level is sufficient for the lowest anticipated temperatures.
8. Wash and wax the coach.
9. Inspect all seams and seals around doors, windows, vents, and any other joints. Replace or repair any that are damaged. Sealing materials and compounds can be purchased from your dealer. Badly damaged weather seals may need to be replaced by your dealer.
10. Close all windows and roof vents. Protect all appliance vent openings from contamination by animals or insects (e.g. bird nests, wasp nests, etc.)
11. Lubricate all door hinges and locks.
12. Clean the interior of the coach. Dirt and stains are more easily removed when fresh.

NOTE: We do not recommend leaving the shore-line plugged in continuously during storage periods because the batteries can lose electrolytic fluids and become dam-aged from continuous charging without periodic use. We recommend following regular battery inspection and maintenance, especially in cold weather.
See “Battery Storage and Maintenance” in section 9.


*Parasitic battery drain is the gradual drain by items connected directly to battery power such as clocks and radio memory.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:54 AM   #10
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If you don't have an owners manual you can view yours online or even print out it's 130 plus pages:

https://winnebagoind.com/resources/m...05Meridian.pdf

Here's the detail in your Owners Manual:
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Old 10-20-2019, 03:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
When the switch is "on" or "enabled" it connects the 12VDC coach/house batteries with the 12VDC appliances in the coach through the 12V portion of the electrical distribution panel where the little blade fuses are located, like lights, furnace fan, fridge control boards, water pump, ceiling fans, sometimes to the 12V TV or radios, sometimes to the CO and Propane detectors, and so on.
When it's "off" or "disabled" it disconnects those same batteries from the 12V DC draws, and is supposed to prevent them from being drained, typically while the coach is in storage or otherwise not in use.
You can leave it enabled when plugged in to shore power. It will allow the converter/charger to charge the coach batteries while they supply power to the 12VDC stuff in your motorhome and back fill whatever power is used while you're parked and plugged in.

When you're plugged in many other appliances will be "on" like A/C, and microwave ovens, because these higher draw appliances need 120V AC power either from shore power or inverted power off of your generator if you have one. They can sometimes be run on a larger capacity inverter too.

These functions should be described more specifically in your owner's manual.
Thanks for the detailed explanation! The manual which I've referred to many times just didn't go into as much detail. As the coach electrical system is a whole new way of thinking, I needed a bit more explanation. Again, thanks a ton!!!
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:08 AM   #12
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I discovered that switch in the entrance after several frustrating and worrisome hours in the parking lot of Valley Baptist Church, Oswego, IL. Slides wouldn’t come in. I couldn’t find the connect points to use the manual cranks. Couldn’t find any blown fuses. We had a problem.

Then I spotted that switch. “What’s that for?” I turned it off, regained power to the slides.

Dunno how it got turned on.
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