Ever since we purchased our new camper (two years ago) I have consistently had to use a battery charger prior to each trip to recharge the dead battery. While I am not exactly sure what keeps draining the battery, I have my suspicions that the CO2 detector is the culprit.
This year I had to purchase a new Deep Cycle Marine/RV battery for the camper and after only a week the battery was dead again. While deep cycle batteries are designed to handle this type of abuse, repeatedly draining a battery will shorten its life span. So, I decided to install a camper battery disconnect switch. This was an easy install that only took about 30 minutes and should help to extend the life of our camper battery (as well as save me from having to recharge the battery on a regular basis).
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Items needed for install:
- Marnico 701 Battery Disconnect Switch
- 24″ 4 Gauge Switch-to-Starter battery cable
- Drill and metal drill bit
- Screws or bolts depending upon your mounting configuration (these are not included with the disconnect switch)
Step 1: I disconnected the battery and set it aside.
Step 2: Determine where you want your switch to be located and mark where to drill the four holes. A few tips:
- Make sure that both the positive terminal of your camper AND the switch-to-starter cable will reach this location.
- Try to install it in a location that is somewhat protected from the elements. While the switch is weatherproof, I mounted it to the frame of the camper behind the battery box.
Step 2: Pre-drill holes that are the right size for the screws or bolts that you plan to use. I was using screws so I drilled holes that were slightly smaller than the screws I was using.
Step 3: Connect your camper’s positive* battery cable to one of the battery disconnect switch posts and the switch-to-starter cable to the other post. (My power jack also has its own positive wire that I attached to the same post as the camper positive.)
*See discussion below in the comments about the pros and cons of using the positive versus negative terminal. Before installation, always check with the manufacturer about proper placement of the cables for your unit.
Step 4: Use the screws or bolts to attach the rear plate and switch to the camper.
Step 5: Put the battery back into the proper location and connect the switch-to-starter cable to the positive battery terminal and your camper’s negative wire to the battery’s negative terminal.
You can now test your connections, but you should be good to go!
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