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Old 08-29-2010, 01:12 PM   #1
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See Level Gauges: Why the Wide Price Jump?

I'm in the planning stage of my See Level gauge retrofit. I'm looking forward to getting some gauges that will actually have reasonably accurate information. I want to install one unit in the One Place panel and another in the plumbing bay.

I'm a bit confused by the wide jump in prices between the two generations of models. The unit which requires you to push a button to get a particular reading RVUpgradeStore - Model 709 SeeLeveL II

is just under $200... not counting the additional display I'll need for the plumbing bay. The unit which constantly displays the readings of all tanks
RVUpgradeStore - Model 713-CC SeeLeveL II is nearly $500, plus another $417 for the additional display. I can only see where they would use an additional few dollars of material for the continuous display model. Is this price jump just a function of a new product carrying a premium and the older generation being discounted or am I missing something?

Also, I've read that the OEM gauges on my 2007 Winnie use external sensors and my manual seems to show pictures of them mounted on the outside of the tanks. I had been under the impression that these gauges were poor performers because the relied on internal tank sensors which got contaminated. Am I missing something here too?
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:30 PM   #2
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Hi Rick,

We opted for the 713 model that has the always on display. We did opt NOT to have the 2nd display in the water bay, mainly because of the cost. It hasn't been needed actually, so glad we didn't spend that $$.

I do love the always on part of the display as I can look up from across the room and know the gray tank is at 93 percent, so time to dump before the next rinse cycle on the washer. We have a macerator for dumping, and for example when starting to empty the gray tank, we set a timer/alarm to 6 minutes so we don't forget to go back out to turn off the pump.

Our original tank monitor was made by Snake River and the sensors were also mounted on the exterior of the tank, but was rarely accurate and getting more inaccurate as time went on. The SeeLevel is more accurate and of course provides more information.

The only issue we had was that the monitor cabinet was not designed for growth, so the various monitors were not positioned so that we could mount this new one without modification. We took that as an opportunity and redesigned the layout putting the least used items in the upper right and the most used in the lower and toward the left. In addition, we left room for growth in the upper left quadrant. We found a guy good with a jigsaw and gave him a template and got a new layout.

I don't know the answer to your question about the difference in cost. It is probably because it is the most desirable, so most costly
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:45 AM   #3
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Regarding your tank leveling system, Winnebago went standard with the TrueLevel non contact sensor system in 2005. There are three square black sensors glued to the outside of each tank.

The problem with faulty tank readings has always been due to crud build up on the side of the tank that fools the sensors - not dirty sensors.

That problem still exists both with the TrueLevel and SeeLevel system. If the tank wall gets cruddy enough the TrueLevel system will show full or partly full when the tank is empty and the SeeLevel system will stop indicating.
According to the SeeLevel manual "This is your signal to clean the tank".
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:58 PM   #4
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I looked at SeeLevel and other systems several times but could not see the cost. I put Horst Miracle Probes in both my gray and black tanks several months ago. Total cost from RV Parts Plus was $71.06. I did have some problems with them at first ...read empty all the time. But I had also fiddled a lot with the dash pot adjustments on the panel boards in the past. After fiddling with the dash pot adjustments quite a bit, I found if I disconnected the second panel in the water service bay I get accurate readings inside the coach for both Gray and Black tanks. If I plug the second board in, the one inside gives bad readings. One day I may get around to tinkering with the board adjustments again to see if I can get both of them to work together. The Horst Miracle Probes have a hokey name, but I sure can't complain about the price or their performance!
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFChap View Post
I looked at SeeLevel and other systems several times but could not see the cost. I put Horst Miracle Probes in both my gray and black tanks several months ago. Total cost from RV Parts Plus was $71.06. I did have some problems with them at first ...read empty all the time. But I had also fiddled a lot with the dash pot adjustments on the panel boards in the past. After fiddling with the dash pot adjustments quite a bit, I found if I disconnected the second panel in the water service bay I get accurate readings inside the coach for both Gray and Black tanks. If I plug the second board in, the one inside gives bad readings. One day I may get around to tinkering with the board adjustments again to see if I can get both of them to work together. The Horst Miracle Probes have a hokey name, but I sure can't complain about the price or their performance!
I wondered how well they would work. Looking at pictures of them it looked like they would get the probes far enough out from the tank wall to escape the gunk that causes the reading error.

However since the OP has a TrueLevel system it has a different PC board and doesn't have any pots like the regular Ventline boards (except for the LP sensor which is still the old style).
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:34 AM   #6
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I've installed both systems in motorhomes. My current coach uses the 712TT inside the coach with a 711 in the basement water service bay. I pout a 709 system into my brother-in-law's Allegro and asked Don Shapansky at SeeLevel what the differnce were between them. Following is his reply:

Mark:
The 709 is different in the following areas:
1. The common buss system means that the 710ES senders are dedicated to 709 only, they can be double stacked just like the other models.
2. You can have more than one panel just like the other systems, they can't be operated simultaneously, or they will collide. The 713 systems can be operated in a dual set-up all the time because they have anti-collision software.
3.The accuracy is not as good as the 711, 712 & 713. We list the accuracy +/-10% on the 709 technical specs and the others at +/- 5%. The resolution is better on the 711/712 or any system that uses 710US Senders (16 inches), the segments are 1 inch divided by 4 means 1/4 inch resolution vs 1.5 inch segments on the 710ES Senders for approx. 3/8 inch resolution.
4. The 709 was designed for shorter tanks usually under 12 inches, and costs were really shaved to make it affordable on towables. It is used by Pilgrim Industries on the Open Road 5th wheels and in '08 on the Nu Wa Hitch Hiker 5th wheels, also Airstream on all models of motorhomes and trailers in '08.

The sensor strips for the 711/712 series each have an individual wire that runs to the display panel. The sensor strips used on the 709 series are all daisy chained together and one wire runs to the display panel. Each sensor strip is trimmed with a scissors to loop off a tab, giving each strip a uniqie identity.

Both of these systems are running flawlessly and we have had excellent accurate results and no failures. I did document the last installation I did on my Bus at RVcruzer.com - SeeLevel Digital Tank Monitoring System Installation
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:21 PM   #7
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Thanks Cruzer. Good explanation and great write up on your installation!
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