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Old 07-30-2019, 05:34 PM   #1
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Battery Disconnect Switch relocate

Hi,
Recently purchased an Escape 19, and decided to upgrade and relocate the battery disconnect Switch.

For various reasons the new switch is installed in the Battery storage compartment.
Note: the Factory installed Battery Disconnect Switch was deleted

A result of installing using this method is that the solar charging is also disconnected, when the Battery Disconnect Switch is turned Off.
Depending on your preference, this may be an advantage or a disadvantage.

I’m not an expert ... but I did ask around, before installing it this way.
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:07 PM   #2
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I always thought is was best to keep the solar connected to batteries all the time, stopping the flow from the panels was not healthy for the system and it keeps your batteries charged in the winter, no chance from freezing. This is the way the interior switch is set up, solar still connected but every thing else disconnected.
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:54 PM   #3
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Yes, I set my solar up to be charging at all times, even with the DC switch off. I like that the batteries are always kept topped up. I thought this is what Escape does too, no?

Personally, i like the switch to be convenient, at least for in the past as I shut it off often when not using the camper, though now with solar rarely do that except long storage periods.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:13 PM   #4
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Looks like a nice installation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsbc View Post
A result of installing using this method is that the solar charging is also disconnected, when the Battery Disconnect Switch is turned Off.
Depending on your preference, this may be an advantage or a disadvantage.
I can see the logic of putting the switch with the batteries, but can't see disconnecting solar as being an advantage. Did you want the solar to disconnect, and if so, why?
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I always thought is was best to keep the solar connected to batteries all the time, stopping the flow from the panels was not healthy for the system and it keeps your batteries charged in the winter, no chance from freezing.

This is correct. A solar charger receiving input from a panel but disconnected from the batteries risks frying the controller as it has nowhere to send the amps that it’s receiving.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
This is correct. A solar charger receiving input from a panel but disconnected from the batteries risks frying the controller as it has nowhere to send the amps that it’s receiving.

To amplify on that; my Blue Sky controller manual states to never connect or disconnect the battery from the controller if there is any sunlight at all on the panels. So, if your controller has the same warning, then only use your disconnect at night or after you've covered your solar panels.
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:17 AM   #7
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A solar charge controller does not need to "send" current anywhere, because there does not need to be any current, even in full sun; there isn't any current once the battery is fully charged and the controller shuts off charging. Despite this, at least some charge controllers can apparently be damaged by having panel output connected to the charger's input with no battery connected to the output.

If such a charge controller has a disconnect switch on the output, it should also have a disconnect on the input from the panel(s); if I recall correctly, Jim Bennett's installation includes disconnects on both sides. The procedure would then be to disconnect the panels before disconnecting the battery.
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Old 07-31-2019, 01:02 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies and info.

My original intention was to simply replace the factory installed Battery Disconnect Switch with a better quality switch. I bought a Blue Sea marine Battery Disconnect Switch.

But, there isn't enough space to install it in the factory location. I began looking at the wires and stuff near the switch and at the batteries' wiring.
I've seen other Battery Disconnect Switch installs at the battery location and thought I would do the same.

Upon further investigation ... it appears the solar system uses the same wire as the DC coming from the battery into the trailer. Therefore, using a Battery Disconnect Switch at the battery location would disconnect the solar also.

So, two options I liked:
1. Use the Blue Sea Battery Disconnect Switch at the factory location, but just moved along to the middle of the bench where the Blue Sea unit would fit.
This would require drilling a hole (for mounting the switch) and making a new wire and connectors to fit the Blue Sea 3/8 posts. Solar still connected when Battery Disconnect Switch is Off.

2. Use the Blue Sea Battery Disconnect Switch at the Battery location. Requires a new wire and connectors, and drilling 4 small (3/16) holes in Battery compartment to mount the switch.
Solar is disconnected when Battery Disconnect Switch is Off.

Reasons I like the Battery Disconnect Switch at the Battery location ...
when the Battery Disconnect Switch is Off ... everything is off.
This may be important when there is an electrical fire starting or something bad happening at the batteries.
And when I'm away from home ... there may be times when i don't want anything on in the trailer ... including the solar charging the batteries.

I'm planning to leave the Battery Disconnect Switch "On' most of the time ... so the solar will be charging the batteries. I plan to check on the trailer about once a week during the off season, since its beside the garage.
If I go overseas (or far away) ... I'll turn off the Battery Disconnect Switch and then turn it back on again when i get back in a week or two.

I'm new at RV stuff, so sometime in the future I may decide to have the solar charging the batteries when the Battery Disconnect Switch is Off.
In that case, I'll put in another Blue Sea switch under the bench like the factory Battery Disconnect Switch. Then I'll have options to disconnect two different ways.
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Old 07-31-2019, 01:05 AM   #9
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Also, I talked with several RV techs, a Go Power tech, and an Escape tech ... all said there is no problem disconnecting the batteries from the solar system.

If there was a concern about damaging the controller when disconnected from the battery ... I guess the solar panel could just be covered over with a tarp or something.
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Old 07-31-2019, 07:09 AM   #10
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I installed a breaker on each side of the charge controller and if I wanted, I could disconnect the solar panels switching the breaker to them, and then the one to the battery if needed. In 2 1/2 years there has been no need as everything is working great.
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