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Should I Shut Off My RV's House Batteries When My RV Is Hooked Up To Electric?

by Fred
(Belfair, WA)

Why You Need To Keep Your RV’s House Batteries On When RV Is Connected to Electric

Why You Need To Keep Your RV’s House Batteries On When RV Is Connected to Electric

Hi, I was once told that when I have my RV connected to 110 that I should have my battery switches turned off. Is it ok to keep the battery switches turned on while plugged in to household power?...many thanks,


ANSWER: Hi Fred, I am not sure why someone told you to shut off your house batteries when your RV is plugged into electric. When your RV is plugged into electric, your RV's Converter takes over the job of supplying 12 Volt DC electric to your RV, basically bypassing the house batteries on your RV. This also holds true when you are running the generator on your RV.

You also need to realize that when your RV is plugged into electric the converter also starts to charge your house batteries. The only step I would recommend when you are constantly hooked up to electric is check the electrolyte levels in your house batteries at least once a month. Depending on the type of battery charging system your converter has there is a possibility that your batteries can be boiled out by the charger.

When you check your batteries monthly you should use Distilled Water (not tap water) to top off the batteries. Aside from the routine maintenance, I mentioned above I see no reason to shut off your house batteries, unless your RV is unoccupied and in long-term storage.

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I hope that this information has been helpful to you.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

Comments for Should I Shut Off My RV's House Batteries When My RV Is Hooked Up To Electric?

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by: Anonymous

I have a Tracer Air 231 with the Furrion solar connection. My question is, can I charge my rv batteries using this connection with solar panels with the battery disconnect off?

House battery overcharging
by: Brenda

Battery for the house overcharging Why does my house battery get hot when it's plugged into 110 power? Won't the converter stop charging it when it's fully charged?

Convertor & batterys
by: Jim

I'm having an issue with either the house batteries (which I purchased only 2 months ago on our fifth wheel. I'm plugged into 110 shore power when I leave the battery disconnect switch on eventually the battery rating goes from 4 to 1 in less than a week using basic lighting etc. (we live in our unit fulltime )if I turn the switch off lights get brighter and battery rating shows 4 bars as in charging.

I have the ref in the auto mode with battery switch on within a week it goes to "C" then I turn it off then back on works for a while unless I turn some lights on. Any suggestions?

Leave battery on
by: Nathan

Having found out the expensive way; turning off your batteries can also lead to burning up your inverter/converter. If your plugged in, the converter uses the batteries as a buffer as well as charging them. If your leaving it plugged in, leave the batteries on. Even if you have to leave a bad battery in, it will save replacing the converter. If your not plugged in, than batteries can be off.

by: Robert

When plugged in to AC, check the voltage across the battery terminals. It should be no higher than 13.6 volts. That indicates full charge. I made my converter adjustable so that while plugged in next to house the voltage goes no higher than 12.6. I turn it up to 13.6 volts when I want to fully charge the batteries!

by: Anonymous

I had that question and I called the dealership where we purchased the RV. I was going to plug in and run our ac because my TT was going to be a guest house for a few days. My husband had previously had a knife switch installed to disconnect the batteries more easily when we weren't going to be traveling for a while.

He was out of the country on business so I couldn't ask him. The man at the dealership told me that, yes, I needed to have the batteries connected or I would, most likely burn up the converter, a very expensive thing to replace. I am so glad we have the knife switch now. I sure didn't understand it when my DH decided to do it. Much easier to disconnect and reconnect the batteries now.

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