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Old 09-10-2019, 10:22 PM   #1
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Default Battery Switch?

I just bought a 1995 Roadtrek Versatile but I can't find where the Battery Switch is for the house battery. I'm pretty sure it has one, as I found one under the rear dinette seat next to the generator. There is also a battery charging meter, but for the life of me I can't find a switch to turn the batter on/off.

The Roadtrek has normal GFI outlets that the small TV plugs into, shouldn't the house battery be able to run these outlets without the generator running? Or do I need the generator on all the time to use anything in the cabin other than the dome lights? That seems weird to me but this is my first RV ever and I didn't really get much of an explanation on it. It's been a learning experience!

Here are pics of my control panels. There is the battery status next to the tank gauges (which reads fully charged), then there is the battery status next to the generator on/off switch. When the generator is running, the needle goes into the green charging status. When I turn the generator off it drops all the way down to the bottom.

There is also a blue switch next to the auto interior switch that I have no idea what it does.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:53 AM   #2
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I don't think that year has a battery switch. The battery is always connected.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:15 AM   #3
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Ah, ok, that would make sense then. Do you know if this year has an inverter at all? Should the battery be charging to be able to run the TV, or will I always have to be hooked up to shore or running the inverter to do that?
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:43 AM   #4
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Originally it did not have an inverter and the TV worked with 12 volts. No telling what kind of TV it has now but it certainly wouldn't be the original.

Your best bet would be to put in a 12 volt LED TV.

This is what you need and the owner will be more than happy to help you out.
Red Rover Main Page
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by hbn7hj View Post
Originally it did not have an inverter and the TV worked with 12 volts. No telling what kind of TV it has now but it certainly wouldn't be the original.

Your best bet would be to put in a 12 volt LED TV.

This is what you need and the owner will be more than happy to help you out.
Red Rover Main Page
It had an old CRT, but the previous owner had a new Vizio M160MV in the box that came with my RT but they didn't install. I just looked that up and it is a 12V TV! A few days ago I took out the old CRT and installed the Vizio M160MV but plugged it into the normal outlet. Should it be plugged into a cigarette lighter port then instead? I didn't see any kind of adapter to do so though, but it does appear there is a cigarette lighter plug right above where the TV is mounted next to the coax plugs.

Sorry, total newb to this stuff and learning as I go along.
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:31 AM   #6
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You can do it any way you please. Plug the TV into a small inverter and plug the inverter into the 12 volt socket Or you can run the 12 volt power cord through a voltage stabilizer then into the 12 volt socket.

Spend a few days on the Red Rover website and all your questions will be answered.

The Vizio model you mention is probably not available any more so take care of it.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MechaJubei View Post
It had an old CRT, but the previous owner had a new Vizio M160MV in the box that came with my RT but they didn't install. I just looked that up and it is a 12V TV! A few days ago I took out the old CRT and installed the Vizio M160MV but plugged it into the normal outlet. Should it be plugged into a cigarette lighter port then instead? I didn't see any kind of adapter to do so though, but it does appear there is a cigarette lighter plug right above where the TV is mounted next to the coax plugs.

Sorry, total newb to this stuff and learning as I go along.
Welcome to the forum MechaJubei!

I use a 12v TV/DVR combo, but it came with it's own 12v patch cord. It plugs into a combo 12v outlet/signal booster. Even though our rv came with a 750watt inverter, we've never used it in 4 trips and 17,000 miles. So you can travel without an inverter.
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:22 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum MechaJubei!

I use a 12v TV/DVR combo, but it came with it's own 12v patch cord. It plugs into a combo 12v outlet/signal booster. Even though our rv came with a 750watt inverter, we've never used it in 4 trips and 17,000 miles. So you can travel without an inverter.
Gotchya, that makes sense. I'll be working from the road in the RT so I need a place to plug my laptop in, so I'll probably get a small 300w converter that plugs into the 12v and I can probably run the TV off that too. I can use it to charge and run my Nintendo Switch to the TV too!

I spend hours last night reading that Red Rover page - it has a ton of great info! I'll be stealing some of their ideas and implementing them over the next few days because we are going to take a trip down the Oregon coast into the Redwood Forest in California the day after tomorrow. These RT 190s Versatiles are just the perfect size!
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:32 PM   #9
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One more question - if I don't have a switch to turn off the coach battery then should I install one? IS it bad for the battery to not have a switch? Do I need one to run shore power?
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:11 PM   #10
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I think it is foolish not to have a battery switch. Without one, you can never be quite sure that the van is "off". Whether it harms the battery depends entirely on what loads it sees when all the things that DO have switches are turned off. Almost always, though, there are numerous parasitic loads: smoke detectors, propane detectors, indicator lights, vampire loads in A/V devices, etc, etc. Even if you CAN turn everything off (which you probably can't), it is an error-prone process. It is really nice to be able to flip one switch and walk away.

Here's what I did:
(a) I installed a Blue-Sea ML-RBS remote-controlled bi-state battery switch:


It switches everything,except the solar controller, which I want to work while in storage. From there, all circuits are separately switched, either directly (e.g., lights) or through a marine-style switch array on my control panel:
Control Panel lights.JPG
Several of the smaller loads are aggregated into groups with a single switch (e.g. "Media" and "DataComm". This adds greatly to the usability and safety of the rig.

If you have a master switch that removes ALL loads, you can store your rig for many months without harming the battery. If there are parasitic loads, the safe storage interval is measured in weeks.
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