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Old 01-08-2018, 11:39 PM   #1
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Alternate Ways to Determine Tank Levels

This is really a two parter. First, we emptied the gray tank yesterday and it read E. This morning it was at 1/3 and this evening at 2/3. We haven't been showering in the rig. I know they aren't reliable but will resetting the monitor help. We've got the Precision Circuits Digi Level

Second, is there any way to check visually or otherwise? I can see my FW tank so I got that one. I guess for the black I can just look down the toilet with a flashlight, though it's not super precise. How about the gray tank?

Something tells me there isn't a way but I have to ask.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:48 PM   #2
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Only suggestion I can give is go with a SeeLevel (sp?) system, uses the same wires as what you have.. pretty much just a plug & play me thinks.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:03 AM   #3
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It may be different for others, but when I first got my Diplomat 15 years ago, I added an expensive tank monitor, but soon found that I pretty much new what was full and what was empty by the time I owned the coach for a couple of years.

With the Dutch Star, it only took a few trips before I knew where my tanks were at. I haven't looked at gauge in over three years.

I know this isn't for everyone, but before you spend a bunch of money on new gauges, see if you really need them.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:59 AM   #4
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I haven't even checked the monitor for tank levels since 2008

After a few trips WE knew what our usage was and how the waste was distributed between grey/black

Having a 5th wheel with 1 common drain for all three tanks (Black/Grey/Galley) I just added an add'l dump valve on the horizontal section of common drain header.
With it closed I can open both grey/galley, open black/grey, open black/grey/galley

It is ALL waste and is NOT terrible like some posters will chime in.
RVs use to only come with ONE waste tank.


Black Tank........when toilet 'burps' (high level)---time to dump
Grey Tank.........when bathroom sink/shower starts draining slower---time to dump
Galley Tank.......when kitchen sink starts draining slower -----time to dump

Fresh water tank....when pump goes 'burrrrrrrrrr'---should have already refilled it
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:11 AM   #5
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Pretty much what I figured. I doubt we'll get new sensors. We'll just learn our tanks. As I said, we can visually check the FW tank. Since we have a straight shot into the black from the toilet, that's easy enough to check. It's just the gray tank. We made it five days, showers and all, before the sensor said full so I doubt a little dish and hand washing this time filled it in a day and a half.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:29 AM   #6
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We have the stock 1/3, 2/3 system. This is okay for us. In my mind, 1/3 means that the fluid level is equal to or greater than 1/3 full but less than 2/3 full. If hovering just below the 2/3 mark you still show 1/3 full. But, simply washing the dishes (I n the grey tank), or a day's worth of flushes (in the black tank) could nudge you into the 2/3 full category.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:47 AM   #7
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Yeah, there's no incremental measurements Even full isn't full. If you see the sensor location, full is more like 3/4 full.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:03 PM   #8
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I found this, but haven't figured out how to make it useful. According to the review they got it to work through PVC pipe.

https://www.amazon.com/SODIAL-12-24V...ack+tank+level
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:27 AM   #9
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See my thread on the Tech-Edge iSeries sensors..........

Tank Monitors - the Edge of Tech

Dave
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:54 AM   #10
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I can see my freshwater tank and see the water level through it.
I find the grey and black tank sensors aren't very accurate even when thet do work.
Since both grey and black tanks are accessible through a baggage door, and the walls of the tanks are quite thick, I drilled holes and tapped them for 1/2" pipe thread and screwed PVC elbows into them and added a 1/2" clear plastic hose as a sight glass. I used some JB Weld on the threads for good measure.
When boondocking, I thought this might help me get an extra day or two before I have to start looking for a dump station.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan McMartin View Post
This is really a two parter. First, we emptied the gray tank yesterday and it read E. This morning it was at 1/3 and this evening at 2/3. We haven't been showering in the rig. I know they aren't reliable but will resetting the monitor help. We've got the Precision Circuits Digi Level

Second, is there any way to check visually or otherwise? I can see my FW tank so I got that one. I guess for the black I can just look down the toilet with a flashlight, though it's not super precise. How about the gray tank?

Something tells me there isn't a way but I have to ask.
Some prefer the SeeLevelII as a replacement to the digi-level. I preferred ours as a stand-alone. This past year they introduced the Bluetooth enabled panel. So, I mounted it in the water bay, ran the wires across to the pegboard side to mount the sensors.

Our digilevl is still reading in thirds.,,but I like being able to see the house and chassis battery voltages on the same screen.

Our SeeLevelII can be viewed on itís Panel in the wetbay,,,or on any of our smartphones or iPADs. If my wife jumps in the shower first...I can lay here in bed and decide if I need to go dump grey before I take my shower...

It reads in percentages...but you have to factor a bit for tank slope. Zero percent may or may not be zero tank contents... I much prefer the BT eneabled version to mounting multiple display panels.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:15 AM   #12
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I use the factory installed sensors to detect my levels. I also use the visual clues like Old-Biscuit explained except I don't have a galley tank. When we are boondocking for a few days I connect the 2 tanks together at the dump port as the grey fills up faster than black. With the valve installed they even out, we do not notice any odors, and can hold more before needing to dump. I use the gages mostly when I flush the black tank so I know when it is full of fresh water and ready for me to pull the handle.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:44 AM   #13
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When the coach is connected to a shore water supply, I install an inexpensive water meter (link here) in the hose before the regulator. I've used it to get a feel for total usage. I can tell about 20 percent goes to black tank, and the rest to grey. I can also see about how many gallons typical uses incur, e.g., clothes-washing, shower, dish-washing, flushing, etc. This info has helped me develop the rules-of-thumb a bit faster than I may otherwise have done.

I also used the meter to determine indicator readings versus actual tank capacities. My findings there:

1) Despite the Monaco level indicator board having an adjustment, there's no way of getting the tank levels to indicate correctly over the entire range. The KIB technician with whom I spoke told me so before I went on a mission to see for myself. [Note: The adjustable Monaco board is/was shipped only in Monaco KIB systems.] [Digression: The KIB system documentation implies that the level indicator circuit is a simple voltage-divider circuit. If so, I would assume it might be possible to develop an adjustable replacement circuit that would work better. Is there an interested circuit designer among us?]

2) Unlike the black tank, our coach's grey tank holds 10 gallons more than advertised in the brochure. A drawing from REV group (sent on request) confirms the tank capacity is the larger value.

Finally, I use a second water meter to put a fixed amount of water in the black tank after draining, via the flush system.

I'd rather have a SeeLevel system, though. I put one on the former coach. Tank access on this coach makes installing new sensors difficult.

One last tidbit: Our coach's tanks are shallow and wide. This means how the coach is leveled affects level indication, draining and "burping." I wish the tanks had more slope to the bottom, and on occasion use the leveling system to assist drainage.
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:46 PM   #14
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Over time you just get to know your usage & levels. My black tank says it is full of it after one use after dumping. The grey tank is not much better. The freshwater tank seems to work but that does not matter. I know we can go 5 days easy from full.
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