Should I disconnect my RV battery when plugged in?

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Many people ask the question that should I disconnect my RV battery when plugged in? Well, experts are of the opinion that you should not do it.

However, this answer is conditional. Unless you own a solar or smart charger, then you can surely do this. Normally, the RV converters carry batteries that are not as good as these chargers are, so it is advisable to do it.

Do I need a battery if my RV is plugged in?

A total of 12 volts system is brought run by the RV battery. When you provide it with shore power, you are able to run the electronics like air conditioner and microwave. Now, the main question that arises is that do you need a battery if the RV is plugged in? The simple answer to this is ‘No’.

The reason behind it is that the RV converters are using the batteries for this job. Technically, you do not need a battery to run such a system because the RV converter is getting power by plugging in. In RV setups, where there is no converter and the campers are old, then batteries are of use.

Generally, we need to have some sort of outside power when the RV is not plugged in, and then the use of a battery is a must. However, when there is a continuous supply of external power, you do not need it. These two conditions are true as long as the power supply is steady, the connections are correct, and RV is working perfectly fine.

What does the battery disconnect do on an RV?

When you disconnect the battery from the RV, know that the shore power or electricity between the batteries and RV vanishes. Basically, it stops the flow of power through the negative cable of the RV system. Now it starts serving the connection between the battery and fuses. As they are present throughout the RV to provide power for your electronics, amnesties, and outlets.

If you flip the switches a little bit, they can help you protect against electric fires. Also, theft is possible when the RV is not in use, so you can avoid that from happening too. You can also shut down the power supply during the process. This could also be a possible safety measure that you can take during the maintenance.

Where is my battery disconnect on my RV?

Well, if our question is that should I disconnect my RV battery when plugged in? You should first learn where the battery disconnect is on your RV system.

By removing the positive and negative load wires, you can disconnect the RV battery. It is a sure way of removing its connection from campers. However, the process is time takin especially when its connection is with multiple things and when multiple batteries are present.

One way to make it simple is by connecting the RV switch that can immediately do this job for you. Let us explain how it works, its location, and when you can use it.

  • Working

The working of battery disconnect is just like removing the terminals from it. It is also known as the battery isolator for this reason. By creating a gap between the battery and the RV system, it disconnects the power supply. Experts recommend that we should install it on the negative side of the battery because the connection is made from the positive end first.

This process stops the converter from charging as well. So, you can just place it in between and it will automatically work for you just by turning it on or off.

  • Location

It really depends on the type of RV battery where this disconnect switch will be installed. It is definitely near to the battery. Some people put it on the right side of the battery box, while someplace it is in front of storage. However, it could be different in some other cases like the motorhomes.

In motorhomes, a rocker disconnect is made use of. It has a battery solenoid which you will install near the control center or in the campers. This will allow you to see all the tanks and battery levels.

  • Use

Even if the switch disconnection is there, some small appliances will still take power like the fridge, heater, sensors, etc. Therefore, it is essential that you disconnect the batteries completely. It should be the case while you are charging as well. This will help you stop tripping the sensors, and stop sudden malfunctions in the fridge.

If you are planning to work on the power system of RV, in that case too, you can use it for disconnecting the shore power supply.

You can use it if one of the RV batteries malfunctions or some 12 volts appliance connection stops working.

Even if you are not using it all the time, it is advisable to have one installed in your campers.

Battery disconnect switch on or off when on shore power?

Whether you would want to use the battery or charge it, the switch needs to be on. When you turn it off, you know that the charger will disconnect and charging will stop immediately. You definitely do not need to keep the switch on while you do not need to charge it. However, there are people who like to keep it on when they are interested in charging the battery.


We are sure that the answer to the question of that should I disconnect my RV battery when plugged in or not is obvious. It is conditional and varies from one case to another. You have to take a lot of factors into account before deciding the answer to this specific question.

We are sure that the above information is useful enough for you to understand and decide whether you need to disconnect the battery when plugged in or not. Do not decide in hustle because that can damage your RV system. So, take time to learn and figure out the actions you need to take in this regard.

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