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RV Automatic Transfer Switch: Working and Installation

RV automatic transfer switch with enclosure
RV automatic transfer switch with enclosure
Resource: https://diysolarforum.com

An RV automatic transfer switch is a handy device that allows you to easily and quickly switch between two power sources. You want it installed in your RV’s power system, especially if you plan on doing any dry camping or boondocking. Find out more about the switch in this post.

What is a Transfer Switch for RV?

A transfer switch for RV is a type of electromechanical switch that is installed in an RV to manage the power sources. It connects to both the primary and secondary power sources, and can easily switch loads between them.

The RV auto transfer switch basically comes in two different sizes, 50A or 30A, and may include safety features such as overvoltage protection or surge protection, and a delay circuit to allow a generator to start up.

The RV transfer switch is not different from other transfer switches, only that you install it in a motorhome or any other type of RV.

What Does an RV Transfer Switch Do?

The main purpose of an RV transfer switch is to switch to an alternative source of power when the primary (main) source fails.

For example, if you are plugged into a campground’s electrical system and there is a power outage, the switch will automatically switch to your RV’s generator to power your loads.

You can also use the RV power transfer switch with a solar system. In this case, the switch will automatically swap your loads to shore power or generator when the solar system is not providing enough power.

RV Transfer Switch Location

The RV power transfer switch is usually located near the electrical panel. This makes it easy to access, either during inspection or installation.

That said, the RV transfer switch location (and that of the AC distribution panel) can vary across different RVs. So you might want to find out where yours should be mounted, especially if you’re looking to install one.

Automatic transfer switch for RV
Automatic transfer switch for RV
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21UnSoWxb08

RV Automatic Transfer Switch

Your RV transfer switch is either going to be automatic or manual. An automatic RV transfer switch will sense when there is a change in power and automatically switch to the alternative source.

The automatic RV transfer switch is more convenient. It doesn’t require you to do anything. All you need to do is make sure that the switch is set to the right power source, and it will take care of the rest.

A manual switch, on the other hand, requires you to manually flip the switch when there is an RV shore power outage or when you want to change the power source. This can be a bit more inconvenient, especially if you’re not near the switch when the power goes out.

RV Solar Automatic Transfer Switch

If you have a solar system installed on your RV, then you may want to get a RV solar automatic transfer switch. This type of switch is specifically designed for RVs with solar power systems.

The solar automatic transfer switch will sense when the solar system is not providing enough power and will automatically switch to another power source, such as shore power or the generator.

RV Generator Automatic Transfer Switch

If you have a generator installed on your RV or intend to use one, an automatic transfer switch will, without your intervention, swap power between your other sources and the generator.

The benefit of having an automatic transfer switch for RV generator is that you don’t have to worry about manually flipping the switch when the power goes out. The switch does that for you.

How Does an RV Automatic Transfer Switch Work?

RV automatic transfer switches work by detecting when there is a change in power. For example, if the campground’s power goes out, the switch will automatically switch to your RV’s generator.

The switch does this by constantly monitoring the voltage of the power sources. When it senses a change in voltage, it will quickly transfer your RV’s electrical system to the alternative power source.

RV automatic transfer switch installation
RV automatic transfer switch installation
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An9gdF0WP-k

RV Automatic Transfer Switch Installation

Installing an RV automatic transfer switch is a relatively simple process. However, it’s always best to consult with a professional if you’re unsure about anything.

The first thing you need to do is locate the main and alternate power sources on your RV. These may be shore power cord, an RV generator, or solar batteries. Once you’ve found them, you can start installing the switch.

The RV automatic transfer switch installation involves connecting the switch to the two power sources, the primary and secondary source. Most RV automatic transfer switches come with detailed instructions on how to install them.

Checking RV automatic transfer switch problems
Checking RV automatic transfer switch problems
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47AlsG6HBSI

RV Transfer Switch Problems

Although RV transfer switches are generally very reliable, there are a few problems that you may encounter. The most common RV transfer switch problems are explained below.

  • One of the most common RV transfer switch problems is loose connections. A loose transfer switch connection can cause the device to fail even when your electrical system is working correctly.
  • Another problem that you may encounter with an RV auto transfer switch is the wires burning out at the points of connection. This often happens if they are loose.

RV automatic transfer switch troubleshooting does not need to be difficult. If you suspect a problem, the first thing to do is check if power is reaching the switch.

If you cannot test the circuitry, you may want a qualified person to do it for you. Next, check the wiring to see if there’s anything loose or damaged. Determine, also if the switch is healthy. This is done by testing to see if there is voltage leaving the switch. Replace it if faulty.

What is the Best RV Automatic Transfer Switch?

When choosing an RV automatic transfer switch, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • First, you need to make sure that the switch is compatible with your RV’s electrical system.
  • Second, you need to make sure that the switch is rated for the amount of power you’ll be using.
  • The best RV automatic transfer switch will also be easy to install and easy to use.

Conclusion

An RV automatic transfer switch is a vital part of any RV’s electrical system. It allows you to safely and easily switch between different power sources. Because the switching happens without your intervention, the device provides a convenient means to keep your RV running even if one of the power sources fails.

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