RVhometown is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

The Best RV Transfer Switches for 2020

RV transfer switches are an undervalued part of the motorhome lifestyle. But finding the best RV transfer switch for your needs can be difficult from time to time. After all, there are a lot of options available and sorting through them all can be confusing.

I intend to free buyers of this confusion by offering a guide through the entire process. This guide will cover every relevant topic about these devices. These topics include determining factors, how to use them, how to install them, and the benefits they provide to a rig owner.

best rv transfer switch

This article will also offer 10 product reviews of the top-rated RV transfer switches available. As a result, a buyer will have everything needed to make a responsible buying decision. You’ll soon be an expert on all things about these useful devices.

Given this info, I don’t think we should waste any more time. Let’s jump right into the process and find your perfect RV transfer switch. I promise this entire buying experience won’t be as stressful as you imagine.

Best RV Transfer Switch Reviews

This section will contain 10 product reviews of my favorite transfer switches. Each of these reviews should provide a better handle on what these products look like and offer. One of them could even be the perfect choice for your situation.

1. Go Power! 30-Amp Transfer Switch

Go Power!’s 30-Amp Automatic Transfer Switch should be considered for anyone looking for a 30-amp RV transfer switch. In fact, this model has become a favorite among rig owners due to its easy installation process.

This easy install process comes from it, including knockouts, making the entire task much more manageable. Multiple customers reported it to be much simpler than they expected when compared with their past experiences.

As someone who isn’t the best with tasks, these reviews were thrilling to come across. I would likely still pay a professional to do it, but more experienced RVers shouldn’t have a problem. This benefit alone makes it a more cost-effective option than a lot of others available.

Buyers will also love this 3-way RV transfer switch’s performance. It shouldn’t have any problem handling both shore and generator power sources with its automatic design. You should have no issues with it switching back and forth between the two whenever it’s needed.

The product’s impressive durability is another pivotal advantage it has over other models. It was built with heavy-duty materials, which will extend its lifespan by a large margin. This RV automatic transfer switch 30 amp component even has a UCL certification.

It’s a vital certification because it indicates the product passed rigorous safety tests before being put onto the market. As a result, buyers can sit back and relax without worrying about its usage causing any dangerous circumstance.

I was rather intrigued by this product’s price tag, as well. This device may have many appealing features, but its price never reached into what I call the expensive range. Bargain buyers would be more than happy to pay this rate, considering its excellent performance.

However, there isn’t a single product that doesn’t have at least one fault. This device fails when it comes to having a compact design, which is vital for rig owners with little storage space. It was mentioned more than once within the customer reviews. But even with this bulky design, it more than meets most aspects RVers are looking for in an automatic transfer switch.

2. Xantrex 8080915 Transfer Switch

If you’re looking for an affordable option, Xantrex’s 8080915 PROwatt SW Automatic Transfer Switch needs to be on your list. It easily features one of the least expensive price tags among any device on our list.

But its price isn’t the only thing worth mentioning about this RV power transfer switch. One of my favorite features would have to be its easy mourning process. This aspect makes the entire installation process a breeze for rig owners.

The product’s compact and lightweight design helps make this installation easy, as well. It shouldn’t take up much room and every rig owner knows how much space matters on an RV. This aspect alone ensures it’s a rather convenient device to have on your rig.

You don’t have to worry about its performance, either. It won’t have any issues switching back and forth between your power sources when an outage occurs. I was expecting some problems here given the lower price, but there wasn’t a single customer who had a complaint about this area.

This device was provided a heap of praise for its manufacturer’s overall service. Several reviews made a point to acknowledge how easy it was to contact them and how helpful they were when answering questions. Honestly, you don’t come across praise like this often when doing product research.

It’s always nice to buy from a company that cares about the people buying their product. This belief is only further confirmed with the product being ETL listed, which means it met safety regulations before being put on the market.

But even with all these positives, the main attraction remains its price tag. It’s not often you find a quality device like this one for such a small price. However, I did have one concern with this model that can’t go unmentioned.

This concern is its only 15-amp RV transfer switch. As a result, I would have to install a breaker or fuse for it to work with my 30-amp RV. I’d much rather spend a little extra and buy a 30-amp transfer switch. But a person who’s in a bind and looking for something cheap isn’t going to find many options better than this one.

3. Progressive Dynamics PD52V RV Transfer Switch

Rig owners who want to purchase a 50 amp model could do a lot worse than Progressive Dynamics’ PD52V 5200 Series 50 amp RV Automatic Transfer Switch. In fact, I find it hard to believe they could do much better.

This product employs an impressive construction, featuring heavy-duty wiring terminals to ensure long term performance. You can rely on these wiring terminals to ensure the wiring process remains easy and helps prevent errors from occurring.

I was also intrigued by this device’s time delay circuit board, which ensures the generator’s voltage is stable before entering your rig. This circuit board will help prevent issues like surges and keep your onboard devices from getting damaged.

This time delay feature makes it a perfect fit for being a boondocker automatic transfer switch. After all, power sources can get a little sketchy the further you get from civilization. It would protect your rig from ever encountering a surge from a faulty campground ground power source.

If you plan on doing the installation yourself, this product’s removable protective cover will help immensely. You remove this cover to access the wiring diagram within it, which should make the process rather straightforward.

You should also love the protective cover because it does an excellent job keeping the transfer switch from getting damaged. In other words, this feature should help ensure the device lasts way longer than its 1-year warranty.

But I’m not too happy with this product’s price tag, which is above what I’d spend on an RV transfer switch. I’d be much more comfortable spending a little less on a solid 30 amp model than dishing extra money just on more amps, which I don’t need.

Even with my particular price issues, 50 amp RVers would be smart to consider getting this model seriously. It does its primary job better than almost any other models. In their case, the increased price would be more than worth paying.

4. Surge Guard 40100 RV Transfer Switch

Surge Guard’s 40100 Basic RV Automatic Transfer Switch is another straightforward option capable of being a godsend for any boondockers. This model happens to be generator dominant, which would be more convenient for these types of RVers.

What does generator dominant mean? It means this RV generator transfer switch identifies the generator power as the main rather than shore power when both are connected. In other words, this model will only automatically switch over to shore power when the generator shuts down.

As with our previous product, this 50 amp transfer switch has a time delay feature to ensure no surge issues. It’ll switch automatically from shore power to generator power after 30-seconds and generator to shore power after 3-4 seconds.

Both these processes will make sure your onboard devices get reliable and safe power. It’ll keep things safe during your travels regardless of what campground energy source you use. Plus, this model’s another with UL/CUL certifications to convey its overall safety further.

Surge Guard did an excellent job crafting a compact, durable transfer switch capable of making any rig owner happy. I mean, the product’s instructions were even easy-to-read, which is a considerable rarity when dealing with equipment.

In most cases, manual instructions end up being gibberish and have several complaints about them in customer reviews. But Surge Guard took the time to make them readable, which shows they care about their customer’s sanity.

The price tag being affordable was another thing to point out as a positive. Most 50 amp options will cost a lot more than this one and barely improve when it comes to features. This item instead keeps things simple without mucking up the works with unnecessary additions. I’ll sign up for this type of product every time.

But some customers did report shipping issues with this product. It seems the transfer switch has a habit of arriving a bit later or in damaged packaging. Both these concerns shouldn’t stop someone from buying it, but it’s worth knowing to prepare for them.

5. Technology Research 41300 RV Transfer Switch

Surge Guard Technology Research 41300 30 Amp RV Transfer Switch shouldn’t have any trouble monitoring your electricity inside your 30-amp rig. It’s capable of providing this great benefit due to various excellent features.

One of these features would be its proven ability to stop two power sources from entering your rig at once. This job is the main priority for all transfer switches, but you’d be surprised to learn how many other options are failing at it.

It leads to an RV transfer switch failure, which can cause excessive electrical damage onboard your rig. Thankfully, this product is a proven commodity and has kept numerous rigs free of these potential issues.

You should also love the product’s mounting method, which makes this RV transfer switch installation process a breeze. Numerous customers were over-the-moon about it within their product reviews. I’m confident even I wouldn’t have much trouble getting it done.

I should note that this model has several familiar features mentioned in our previous reviews, as well. These aspects include time delay circuit board, being generator dominant, affordable price, and a sturdy design. Each of these will be monumental in making this model a much more convenient addition to your life.

Surge Guard seems to hit out of the park with this 30 amp RV transfer switch in every aspect. They have an excessive amount of confidence about it, considering the product has a limited lifetime warranty. No brand offers this length without knowing their device is top-tier and ready to meet the customers’ needs.

I was a little bummed to see a few buyers reported the product’s terminals being a little loose. You can compensate for this issue by tightening them regularly. But it’s a maintenance task that I would rather not do as a rig owner.

If you’re more than okay with doing this maintenance, I don’t see how you could pass up on this option. Every other aspect of this product makes it a perfect fit for anyone who wants a 30 amp model like myself.

6. WFCO T30 RV Transfer Switch

An easy contender for the best RV automatic transfer switch is WFCO’s T30 30 Amp RV Transfer Switch. It’s among the top echelon for many reasons, but one that stands out is the product’s “break before make” configuration.

This configuration prevents accidental coupling of power from/to shore power and generator, promoting better performance. It’s an effective way to ensure two electricity sources aren’t entering your rig at the same time.

I was thrilled with this product’s metal casing, as well. Most other models within this price range tend to have plastic cases, which aren’t durable at all. But the heavy-duty metal case will ensure this product is protecting your rig’s electrical system for years.

This shore power transfer switch features a compact design, which allows placement into limited space. It’s an aspect that makes the product ideal for rig owners who can’t afford to sacrifice much space on their RVs.

It also makes installing it into the right RV transfer switch location absolute breeze. For instance, a person who may be replacing an older model won’t have to worry about this one not fitting into the old one’s location.

As for its performance, this product has proven time and time again to excel in various types of rigs. It shouldn’t have trouble ensuring trouble-free power changeover in any 30-amp rig out there. WFCO did an excellent job cultivating a device with some impressive adaptability.

Buyers won’t need to fret over its price tag, which falls right into the average range for 30-amp RV transfer switches. Overall, this WFCO model will provide adequate performance at an acceptable cost. What more could a rig owner want?

The only thing I could find was some customers felt it was a little difficult to mount. It’s not a deal-breaker by any stretch, but it’s something to consider before making a decision. I might recommend even experienced RVers take out a little extra money and hire an electrician with this model.

7. Arterra Distribution T-57 RV Transfer Switch

One of the most versatile options on our list has to be Arterra Distribution’s T-57 50 Amp RV Automatic Transfer Switch. It was designed to work well with both 30-amp and 50-amp due to its own 50 amperage rating.

As a result, I don’t envision a single rig owner reading this article who couldn’t benefit from its excellent performance. It should adapt and provide power changeover from two power sources without any issues or hassles.

This product ends up doing its job without adding any significant bells and whistles. It doesn’t have any unnecessary features, but rather a practical design that can make a rig owner comfortable with it controlling their rig’s electrical sources.

I was also thrilled to see this product can mount easily on any flat surface. As you might expect, this aspect makes installing and maneuvering the device much easier than several other options on today’s market.

This benefit is only helped by its compact design, which our previous reviews have made clear is an essential feature for RV automatic transfer switches to possess. You can rely on the convenient terminal bar access to make it simple, as well. It makes accessing the wiring during the product’s installation much more straightforward.

Aside from these aspects, there are several other old favorites mentioned in previous reviews that can’t go unnoticed. These include the product’s time delay, “break before make” configuration, readable manual, and multiple safety certifications.

Each of these aspects should make anyone reading this review more comfortable with this product being their next RV transfer switch. I mean, this model seems to have everything with its top-tier overall construction, convenience, and performance.

But buyers will have to pay a little extra for these desirable features. This model has one of the most expensive price tags on our entire list. However, paying for top-tier quality like this product isn’t always a bad thing in the end. It could turn into a more cost-effective choice as you won’t be replacing this transfer switch anytime soon.

8. Technology Research 40100 RV Transfer Switch

The Surge Guard’s Technology Research 40100 50 Amp Automatic RV Transfer Switch has received great admiration from rig owners thanks to its excellent features. It’s a no-nonsense 50 amp model, which will have no trouble meeting your needs.

One of the reasons behind its excellent performance has to be its mechanical interlocking contactors. These contactors will offer protection against issues, such as short circuits and surges, by ensuring two power sources don’t enter the rig at once.

I was also impressed by this product’s ability to deal with faulty power sources. On more than one occasion, buyers were shocked by how well they could utilize even the most sketchy campground’s shore power.

You can attribute this benefit to the product’s time delay feature, which ensures the voltage from the power source is stable before entering your rig. As a result, your rig’s device won’t encounter unreliable electricity and end up getting damaged.

The manufacturer’s shipping process was another aspect that received a lot of praise among customer reviews. It seems this product has a habit of arriving earlier than expected, which is always a welcomed trait. Appreciation for this aspect is rather rare in these discussions and should be noted anytime it’s mentioned positively.

As with most of our options, this product’s another one that’s known for having an easy installation process. Many first-time rig owners seemed even to have no issues getting this transfer set up correctly thanks to its incredible manual.

But I wasn’t thrilled about this product’s durability as it has a plastic exterior construction. This aspect could reduce the device’s lifespan by a considerable amount. If you’re looking for a long-term option, it might be wise to look elsewhere.

However, it’s worth noting more than a few customers considered it quite durable in their customer reviews. But I’m always going to be wary of plastic case designs for these products. I’d instead go with a device with a metal case protecting it.

9. Progressive Dynamics PD5110010QV RV Transfer Switch

Progressive Dynamics’ PD5110010QV 5100 Series 30 Amp RV Transfer Switch has numerous features, which make it an ideal fit for rig owners. One of these features is the product’s built-in strain reliefs that are a delightful inclusion by this brand.

These built-in strain reliefs allow a user to simply push the branch circuit wires inside this model for connection purposes. In other words, buyers won’t have to buy separate ones for each circuit, which is a problem with other subpar units.

I was pleased with this product’s quick-change circuit board, as well. This part’s known for being easy-to-replace when it fails, which it doesn’t do often. As a result, you won’t have to disconnect and reinstall the entire unit during the replacement process.

This aspect ends up being another advantage, which highlights the product’s overall convenience. You aren’t going to find many other models capable of matching this one when it comes to user-friendliness. Multiple customers made it a point to note how much easier this model was to install and use than their previous models.

Its performance isn’t too shabby, either, as it has the always essential time delay feature to ensure stable voltage level before any transfer. This feature will ensure that issues, such as surges and short-circuits, don’t cause damage to your rig’s devices.

You can also expect a bit of protection when it comes to the product’s warranty. It features a one-year limited policy that should provide enough time to determine whether this model is working out.

It’s worth mentioning that this brand has a reputation for honoring this warranty, which isn’t always the case. Some brands only use warranties as selling points, but Progressive Dynamics is a brand rig owners can trust completely.

However, I was a little disappointed to see a few customers complain about the product coming without any installation directions. This issue would make the install harder than it needs to be for mechanically challenged people like myself. Overall, it still represents an excellent option for people who are comfortable doing the job themselves or hiring an electrician.

10. Surge Guard 41260 RV Transfer Switch

Our last product happens to be the most expensive option on this entire list, but for a good reason. In fact, Surge Guard’s 41260 Automatic RV 50 Amp Transfer Switch has everything a person could want in a 50-amp transfer switch.

It even comes with built-in protections against open neutral and reverse polarity, which most of our options don’t provide. These protections offer a level of safe usage that could make even the weariest user feel comfortable with using a transfer switch.

The product’s multi-mode surge suppression was another feature to catch my attention. It’s an additional safeguard to ensure your onboard devices don’t become damaged by surges. It should have no trouble keeping your rig’s electrical system safe from even the most unreliable campground power sources.

Buyers will benefit from the device’s mechanical interlocking contractors, too, which helps make issues like short circuits or burnouts are unlikely. It’s another design feature to ensure this entire process goes smoothly and doesn’t result in some dangerous circumstances.

You can expect to have this product around for a long time, as well. It has gained a reputation among rig owners for having an excellent, rugged construction. This design should be able to handle whatever situation may arise that could affect its lifespan.

Honestly, I can’t see a situation where this model isn’t running your rig’s electrical sources for several years, barring unforeseen complications. Its overall durability is something most brands strive for but can’t seem ever to duplicate.

It’s worth noting that this model is another generator-dominant device that could appeal to quite a few rig owners. This particular aspect could make the entire process much more convenient for people who intend to use their generators regularly.

But multiple customers felt the installation was a bit too difficult for a non-professional to complete. Rig owners who aren’t looking to spend money on hiring an electrician will need to look elsewhere. However, people who don’t mind paying a little extra for an expert to install should be lining up to purchase this model.

Best RV Transfer Switch Buyer’s Guide

50-amp-rv-transfer-switch

As most rig owners know, buying a top-tier transfer switch happens to be the safest way of getting your essential devices’ power during an outage. This ability alone and some other benefits make them valuable, useful items to own.

But buying one can be rather tricky due to the many options available. These many options may even make experienced rig owners a little overwhelmed about what one to choose. However, I’m going to help quiet those concerns by discussing some key factors within this section.

These discussions should provide much-needed insight into what transfer switch suits your needs. With this in mind, keep reading our buying guide and get the info needed to make a responsible buying decision.

Wattage and Amps

The first thing to understand is RV transfer switches come in a variety of sizes. But there’s no need to worry about all these different options. Finding the one capable of meeting your situation isn’t as difficult as you might expect.

In the simplest terms, a rig owner should buy an equal or higher wattage option than your generator’s running watts. For instance, RVers planning on using a 4,000-watt generator will need to purchase a switch capable of handling such power.

Buying a switch rated for less wattage than your generator’s capable of providing is asking for trouble. It can cause severe consequences and several dangerous situations, which nobody wants to experience.

As for the appropriate amp ratings, RV transfer switches usually come in two variations: 30-amp and 50-amp. Choose the amp size that corresponds with both your rig and generator’s respective amp rating.

Configuration Status

The best transfer switches will come pre-wired, but some options don’t have this feature. I’d suggest making sure your chosen option is configured correctly and pre-wired before purchasing it. In fact, these aspects are a necessity for anyone looking to install the transfer switch themselves.

You should know pre-wired transfer switches cost less to install, as well. Honestly, there’s no reason not to buy a pre-wired model when looking for one of these devices.

Safety

Safety is another huge factor when buying an RV transfer switch. After all, these devices are electrical equipment, which can cause some terrible accidents when they malfunction. It’s best to ensure your chosen option has the necessary safety certifications.

As a result, I would suggest only considering a motorhome transfer switch with UL/CUL certifications. These are proof that the device is up to code specifications and capable of operating safely without causing dangerous situations.

I’d suggest reading through various customer reviews, as well. These reviews should provide some insight into whether the device’s usage caused certain issues. If a device has safety issues, these discussions will be full of previous customers complaining about it.

Installation Factors

Rig owners will consider what they need and should know about the installation before buying their chosen RV transfer switch. You’ll need to account for whether you have to purchase items like extension cords and where they’re going to put the inlet box.

Buyers will also need to think about their mount preferences. In other words, you should figure out whether your ideal transfer switch will have a flush or surface mount. Another thing to consider would be the cost of hiring an electrician before installing the selected device.

Price

RV transfer switches aren’t a cheap thing to purchase. These products can have significant price tags, which can put quite a hole into your bank account. Due to this, I’d recommend constructing a budget based on what your perfect transfer switch requires.

But this budget needs to remain realistic and account for certain features coming with heightened costs. For instance, a person looking for a 50 amp RV transfer switch will need to have higher budget ranges than someone purchasing a 30 amp model.

If you keep this budget realistic, it’ll make the entire buying process more comfortable. The budget will provide this fantastic benefit because it’ll lessen your choices down to devices capable of fitting your exact needs. Therefore, the massive sea of transfer switches will become a lot easier to navigate.

Construction

Rig owners are going to want a transfer switch with durable construction. This aspect will ensure you aren’t replacing the device anytime soon, which is always a hassle. A great way to make sure you’re getting a durable one is by examining its design materials.

You would want an option made from ‘heavy-duty” materials, which guarantee long-lasting results. But most brands will advertise their transfer switches as being made from these types of elements in the product’s description even when they aren’t.

As you’d expect, this situation creates some issues for prospective customers. It’s why you must do serious research into each product’s construction before making a final decision. This action should consist of reading customer reviews, which assist you to make a clear-headed determination.

It’s the only way to make sure you’re buying a durable transfer switch before actually using it. After all, people get outraged when a product doesn’t last as long as they expect. Use their anger to your advantage as a way of ensuring you don’t become them.

RV Transfer Switch FAQs

Our FAQ section will attempt to answer any lingering concerns or questions that weren’t covered in the previous discussions. These answers should provide insight into anything that might confuse your search.

Who is this for?

RV transfer switches happen to be one of the most important purchases a rig owner could ever invest their money into buying. Why do these devices gain such a distinction? A transfer switch represents the safest way to operate your onboard devices during an outage.

These products become necessary for any RVer who’s looking to run onboard devices without access to shore power. In other words, everyone who’s ever had to deal with the unreliable power sources at campgrounds around the country.

What are the different types of transfer switches for RV?

Rig owners have two options for picking out a transfer switch: manual transfer switch and automatic transfer switches. As you might expect, both types have their respective pros and cons. I’ll go over both in detail to ensure you know which fits your preferences.

Manual RV Transfer Switches

Manual transfer switches are a bit less technologically advanced than automatic models. These devices require the user to physically change your rig’s electrical power source from shore power to generator. Rig owners accomplish this task by flipping a switch, hence the name.

You’ll also need to flip the switch back when shore power comes back. It can represent a slight hassle, which lazy people like myself don’t find very convenient. But there is some good news as these devices tend to be the cheaper option than the more popular automatic options.

Automatic RV Transfer Switches

As I mentioned earlier, automatic transfer switches are more efficient and advanced than manual models. These benefits come from their ability to automatically change your primary energy source whenever they sense a power outage.

The transfer switch provides this by examining the energy flow and identifying when a disturbance occurs. Once the disruption is sensed, the device automatically switches your rig’s power source from shore power to generator power.

It’ll then switch it back when the shore power’s outage has ended. This ability makes switches in power supply onboard your rig seamless. As a result, these devices tend to be picked more often by rig owners than manual ones.

But they’re a bit more expensive and require additional maintenance than you’d see with manual options. These are the only drawbacks, which could even make a rig owner consider a manual RV transfer switch.

How does an RV automatic transfer switch work?

The process of how an automatic transfer switch works can be a little complex. But the main thing to know is these switches serve as the brain behind your rig’s electrical supply. In other words, it’ll automatically control the electricity’s flow from your generator or leading electrical utility.

If there’s a power outage, an automatic transfer switch will switch from shore power to your generator. This same device then turns it back to shore power when the disruption runs its course, and your electricity comes back.

Of course, there’s a lot more electrical jargon involved in this process. But this represents the simplest way to break down how these useful devices work. Overall, it ends up being the safest way to manage the electricity coming into your rig.

Advantages and disadvantages of using an RV automatic transfer switch

As with any product, an RV automatic transfer switch provides benefits and disadvantages to users. This section will look at both to ensure everyone reading our article knows what they’re getting with these devices.

Advantages

  • Power reliability: Power outages are such a nuisance to encounter during your RVing trips. Having a generator can mitigate this issue, but owners who don’t have a transfer switch will have to connect their generator to their desired devices manually. It ends up being a chore, which eats loads of time that could be avoided with a transfer switch.
  • Safer: Handling a power source of any kind can be dangerous. You would want safety measures in place to avoid these situations, especially during outages. An automatic transfer switch will handle all your needs on its own and remove your participation almost entirely.
  • Simple to use: Automatic transfer switches make restoring power a simple task and even improve your generator’s performance.

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive: Automatic transfer switches tend to be larger and feature more complex components than manual models. As a result, these devices end up costing more. But the cost will vary based on what switch you buy, which means bargains are still out there.
  • Require more maintenance: Manual transfer switches tend to require less maintenance because their designs aren’t as intricate.

Where is the transfer switch in an RV?

A transfer switch’s placement in a rig can vary based on your RV’s make and model. Due to this, I can’t provide an exact location for readers to find it on their motorhomes. But I can advise reading your owner’s manual, which will usually have a diagram pointing to its location.

If you can’t find it there, I’m willing to bet the manufacturer’s website will have a similar diagram of your rig.

How big of an RV transfer switch do I need?

The best way to size an RV transfer switch is to match it to your generator’s largest outlet. For example, if your generator’s largest outlet has a 30 amp rating, you should buy a 30-amp transfer switch to get the full power load.

How to install?

Installing an RV transfer switch is a rather complicated process. It should only be done by people with experience setting up electrical devices. But if you do have the experience, the installation process will consist of the following four steps:

Step 1

Read your RV manufacturer’s manual to determine what color-coded wire serves which purpose. You should then consult your transfer switch’s manual and learn the correct color-coded wire to terminal combo.

Step 2

Look at the RV transfer switch wiring diagram for any install directions that are specific to your device. You can usually find this fixed to the inside of your transfer box. The shore power cord, generator cord, and circuit breaker board inside your RV are connected to terminals, which will be “downstream” of the transfer switch. You’ll likely find the wires of all three circuits are colored black, red, and white. The wires from each circuit will have labeled connection terminals.

Step 3

Take out a screwdriver or wrench and use it to connect the wires from the generator to the generator’s connection terminals.

Step 4

Use the same screwdriver or wrench to connect the shore power cord’s wires to its terminals.

How to use?

The using process will depend on what type of transfer switch you’ve bought. I’ll go over what both look like below to provide a better idea of what to expect. But please, look at your product’s manual before attempting to do anything.

Automatic RV Transfer Switches

After an automatic transfer switch gets installed, using it will be a breeze. It’s a simple matter of connecting your generator to it whenever a power outage occurs. The device will proceed to do its job automatically without you having to do a thing.

The using process ends up being non-existent and rig owners can sit back. You’ll be able to enjoy your generator’s power without breaking a sweat.

Manual RV Transfer Switches

Using manual transfer switches are a bit more complicated than automatic models. There are a few steps to follow when using them during a power outage:

When The Shore Power Goes Out:

  1. Connect your generator’s cord to the transfer switch or inlet box.
  2. Make sure to turn all the circuit breakers inside the transfer switch to the off position.
  3. Start your generator and let it get warmed up.
  4. Flip those main breakers in the transfer switch to the Generator position.
  5. Turn on the circuits that you intend on powering one at a time. It should ensure the generator doesn’t overload.

When the Shore Power Returns:

  1. Turn those main breakers inside your transfer switch back to Shore Power.
  2. Proceed to turn on any other circuits, which were turned off.
  3. Turn off your generator.
  4. Ensure to disconnect any cords.

Any care and maintenance tips?

Transfer switches aren’t these high maintenance devices that require a lot of care to remain in good shape. But it’s a good idea to check whether the device is working and in good condition routinely by following these steps:

  • Do exterior visual inspection: Check for any damage or wear that might be visible to your eyes. If there are breaks in a line, cuts, or any damages present, ensure they’re replaced or repaired immediately.
  • Examine for signs of moisture: Moisture build-ups from contact with an external source or high humidity can be a severe risk. It’s crucial never to operate a damp or wet transfer switch. You must locate this source of moisture and handle it before use.
  • Check for excessive heat signs: Damage to contacts, deformities, cracking, and discoloration can all be signs that your transfer switch generates extreme heat during usage. If you find evidence of overheating, make sure to contact a professional right away. This issue isn’t something to try and handle yourself.
  • Remove dust: The presence of dust can hamper your transfer switch’s effectiveness and connections. I’d suggest using a vacuum or some similar device to remove the dust. Never use compressed air for this process. It’ll likely force dust into the transfer switch’s major components where it could end up getting logged and cause some complications.
  • Clean the transfer switch: The cleaning process should never be done using wet products. As with any electrical component, transfer switches don’t react well to water and could create a dangerous outcome. You should instead use an approved industrial solvent. Make sure to remove all build-ups of grime, junk, and other foreign substances during this task.
  • Examine contacts: It’s essential to realize limited signs of corrosion are normal. But once erosion enters the picture, it might be time to replace the contacts or the transfer switch itself.
  • Set up an appointment with a professional: These checks are necessary, but they’re pretty barebones to what a professional can offer. You need to seek professional assistance to get your transfer switch the care it needs. A professional would also advise you about the rv transfer switch troubleshooting process, which equips you with self-help knowledge. It’s the only way to ensure your device remains usable for a long time.

Conclusion

After reading our article, finding the best RV transfer switch shouldn’t be much of a hassle. You just need to take what you’ve learned and use it during your search. This information should make the right choice readily apparent for any RV owner.

But sometimes, questions and concerns can haunt even the most well-informed buyer. Our comment section below is always open to anyone looking for help. I’ll make sure to answer whatever issue has come up and get your search back on track. Thanks for reading.1

Leave a Comment