Forest River Battery Disconnect Switch (Location and Uses)

Hide and seek is a kid’s game. Yet, for some reason, RV manufacturers have taken that game, used it, and then brought it to a whole new level. Trying to find key parts in your RV is not a lot of fun. Some people have taken up to a year or two before finding a part they didn’t know they had on their RV.

The purpose of the battery disconnect switch is to disconnect the power supply from the house battery to your RV appliances while your rig is in storage. Its location on Forest River RVs is usually behind the propane tanks but it can be underneath your trailer’s tongue.

To learn more about the battery disconnect switch on Forest River RVs just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about so you can find the switch faster and use it more efficiently.

The Forest River Battery Disconnect Switch


This is an interesting puzzle because many Forest River RV owners do not know that they have one. The reason for that is that this company does not include it in many of its owner’s manuals even if it is installed by the factory.

The purpose of the battery disconnect switch is to cut the power going from the house battery to the RV’s appliances and lights that work on the 12-volt system. But many owners do not need the switch as they just disconnect the battery and remove it from the unit.

What is the Purpose of a Battery Disconnect Switch?


We kind of let the cat out of the bag on this topic already but the battery disconnect switch is a safety device that keeps the power in the battery when you are not using your RV or trailer.

Once the disconnect switch is turned on, it stops any power that originates with the battery from traveling through the system. This option protects your battery and other RV equipment from any accidents that could happen while in storage.

It seems like a great idea but most RV owners are very handy and have alternative strategies that they use instead of engaging this switch, that is if they can find it. This switch is not easy to find as some owners have reported never finding it and others saying it has taken them over a year to discover where it is.

Forest River Battery Disconnect Switch Location


This is one of the great mysteries surrounding Forest River and other brands of motor homes and trailers. Sometimes, the manufacturer will mention there is a switch in the owner’s manual, and other times it won’t, even though you have one.

Why this takes place is anyone’s guess seeing that it could be a vital part of any owner’s RV life especially when they are traveling or storing their RV. Some people have found the Forest River disconnect switch behind their propane tanks.

Others have found it hidden underneath the tongue on their trailer. They have also found a minimum of 3 wires attached to the negative side of the disconnect system. It is hard to say if your model of RV has one as owners of the same model have reported different results.

Just do not rely on your owner’s manual to tell you where it is. It may not have that information and one day you may discover you actually have one.

Should Battery Disconnect Be On Or Off?


The position of the switch will depend on your situation. If you are on vacation and using your RV, the switch should be turned on. That disengages the switch and allows the power transfer.

If you are moving down the road and not wanting to use anything in the trailer or RV, the switch should be moved to the off position. That engages the switch and cuts the power from the house battery to your 12-volt system.

The same goes for when you are going to store your trailer, etc., The switch should be turned off to make sure that the battery does not get drained when you accidentally forget to turn a light switch or some other switch off.

Basically, the battery disconnect switch is there to protect you from unauthorized power usage. It keeps the power in the battery until you need to use it again.

Do Battery Disconnect Switches Work?


In theory and practice, yes battery disconnect switches do work. The design of these switches is to make life a little easier for you. Instead of hunting down the right size of wrench to disconnect the battery, you just flip the switch.

On Forest River RVs, that switch is usually a key with a little tab on one end. You just turn the key and the power is cut or turned on. Some RVs have a little button that they need to push.

Most people don’t even worry about using their battery disconnect system, if they have one, because they do not mind the extra work of getting a wrench and disconnecting the battery wires.

They also have a different way of cutting the power to their RV or trailer. They simply remove the house battery and store it in a safe and secure spot. That makes sure there is no power being sent to the RV when it is not in use.

Some Final Words

The kid’s game of hide and seek is a lot of fun because it is simple and uncomplicated. The RV adult version is neither as it can take a long time to find those vital parts that help the owners conserve power.

Then while it does come in handy, you really do not need a battery disconnect system. You just need a wrench and enough strength to lift the battery out of its place.

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