Battery Disconnect Switch and Travel - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-26-2015, 12:15 PM   #1
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Battery Disconnect Switch and Travel

I would think the only time one would turn that switch to off is if the unit is going into storage, otherwise it should be on while out of storage.
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:29 PM   #2
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regardless of the switch remaining on/off my expectation would be that a detail like this would be highlighted in the Owner's manual (which I plan to re-read) and emphasized during Orientation. I recall nothing like this and it is a detail I believe we would have noted.

- unless we have something in the fridge - the switch is usually off. I recall Forum conversations about something called - silent drain on batteries by the items in the trailer which over time can drain batteries. hence that is our default mode.

- luckily most times we have towed there has been something in the fridge and the fridge was running on battery

- learning suprize details like this is disconcerting - although, now that I think of it - we are dealing with electric brakes - so it stands to reason that power must be somewhere.

- this issue could be covered in the manual and it could be all on us.

Larry
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:33 PM   #3
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Perhaps somebody with a shutoff switch should call ETI and confirm that this speculation is either true or not true.

For instance: At home I have a hard-wired smoke detector in the kitchen. The power to it doesn't run through the light switch.
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:10 PM   #4
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page 68 in the pre-travel checklist section..

• Position the battery disconnect (if equipped) to the “on” position. This is required to engage the trailer’s brakes in the event of an emergency

But it doesn't say that the brakes in a non emergency will work from the 12v power supplied on pin 4 of the trailer plug. I suspect they do.
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Old 08-26-2015, 01:14 PM   #5
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thanks my bad

maybe it should be highlighted in red.
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:30 PM   #6
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Good information. I had an on/off switch installed at the time of pick-up (2009)(it was not done ordinarily at the time), because in another trailer, the battery would drain between usages and the electric jack wouldn't work. I did not know that the emergency trailer brake would or might not work, but fortunately I turn it to the "on" position to charge the battery anyway when I pick it up from storage.
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:40 PM   #7
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Jim,
I agree that the only time the switch should be off is when in storage. But I might define storage more than over the winter. Some owners, myself included, run 12 volt devices other than the standard propane detector. I have a 12 volt clock and a Trimetric battery monitor, neither have an off switch. My procedure is to turn the master switch off when ever the trailer will be idle for more than a week. Now if you do not have a switch or are fortunate to be able to plug into shore power while stored it is not necessary.

There are also those situations where a light may be left on, very difficult to detect during daylight hours, especially those outside lights. Using the master switch gives me peace of mind that everything will remain fully charged.
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Old 08-26-2015, 03:49 PM   #8
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With a solar panel, I don't worry about the switch being off in storage as the solar panel keeps the battery charged. I would have had to leave a lot of things on to drain more than the solar panel can recharge.
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:03 PM   #9
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The purpose of the shut-off switch is to prevent the battery from going dead when in storage, and there is no source of power (shore or solar) to keep the battery charged. If the trailer is plugged into shore power when stored, there is no reason to turn off the battery switch and it is probably better left on to keep the battery fully charged, as an unused battery will discharge at a slow rate. And yes, the brakes get power from the tow vehicle; that's how they "know" when you step on the brake pedal. The reason the battery cut off switch must be on when towing is in the event of catastrophic uncoupling, the breakaway cable gets pulled, starting the braking process in the uncoupled trailer, which has most likely yanked out the trailer's connection to the TV. Since you now have no braking control over the trailer, the breakaway mechanism applies the electric brakes using the only available power source, the trailer's on-board battery.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:21 PM   #10
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After reading this tread Leaving the battery switch on seems like a good idea. Especially since we have solar and 2 x 6 volts.

Since we test the brake control settings each time we start up and have the controller set aggressively we can be sure our brakes are working. But of course that wouldn't help the breakaway cable.

That being said, we will add checking the inside battery switch as part of our check list.

Thanks for this conversation.

Larry
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