Originally Posted by HartsRving
We have a 1999 Monaco Windsor 34’ that all of a sudden tank monitoring system shows 3/4 full in all tanks when it is actually empty. Checked grounds all connected. Any suggestions before buying a new monitoring system?
I have no idea what is wring with your existing gauge panel, but if you decide to install a newer / better system... here's my cut-and-paste writeup on a replacement panel:
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I was asked by a friend of a friend to help install a SeeLevel II gauge system. I did some Google research in advance so I'd know what I was voluntold for...
Short story: I'm impressed and plan on installing one in my RV when my gauge panel dies.
Depending on the model the SeeLevel panel not only monitors the fresh tank but depending on the monitor panel you chose can monitor up to 3 holding tanks.
It can also keep track of the propane tank and the battery system voltage measurement (of the battery that is feeding the panel) but it is a simple voltmeter and does NOT replace any shunt-based battery monitor system (like a Victron).
The readout panel is self contained and uses made-for-it sensor strips. It only requires +12 volts power, ground, and two dedicated wires to the sensor(s) at each tank. The big advantage of the SeeLevel is that it does not require puncturing the tanks for new sensors, and can reuse the old wiring.
The SeeLevel system does not work on metal holding tanks. But I've not seen any of those in decades.
The only problem with installing SeeLevel system is that on some RVs it is a problem to gain access to a straight, clean and close-to-vertical surface on the side of a tank for the sensor. A separate issue is that you may have to scrub that sensor area free of road grime etc.
A stainless steel potscrubber works well, maybe a plastic putty knife also? Maybe sandpaper? Each installation will be different. We scraped with the plastic putty knife, rubbed with the pot scrubber, sanded the plastic tanks with 200 grit sandpaper, washed our cleaned surfaces with 90% rubbing alcohol, then dried them with a hair dryer, then let them cool until they felt like ambient temperature.
Each SeeLevel sensor has a pair of wires extending from it - each of the sensors we used had a black wire and a blue wire.
The older RV that was our "victim" used 5 wires per tank for the factory system (a common/ground wire, plus one for each of 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full).
Rather than snake new wiring through his RV we reused two of the existing wires on each tank. If you have to run new wires or extend old ones you can use common zip cord or speaker cord - the wire size / diameter does not matter, there is next to no current involved.
You may want to do the installation in a location with tap water and a drain... As a test you will want to fill and drain each tank... Do the fresh tank first then run the kitchen faucet to dump that into the grey then dump that into 5 gallon buckets and and fill the black through the toilet.
The See-Level sensor strips come in a 3 standard lengths, and tank heights come in more sizes than the sensor strips, so the designers of the SeeLevel system made it possible to daisy-chain the sensor strips end-to-end to work on taller tanks. Just be sure you put the end-of-line resistor on / at the last sensor. If not you get an “OPN” reading.
Their short sensor is for tanks that are 4.5 to 7 inches tall and gives 1/4 inch (6mm) increments and can be chained.
The medium sensor is for tanks 5 to 13 inches tall and gives 3/8 inch (10mm) increments and can be chained.
The tall sensor is for tanks 7 to 17 inches tall and two can be chained for tanks up to 34 inches tall. These sensors give 1/2 inch (12.7mm) increments. Other combinations are available.
We chained 2 sensors end to end and didn't need to find out if you could chain 3 sensors.
For sensor photos look here:
https: // www.rvupgradestore.com/searchresults.html?Search=SeeLevel+II+Sensor
Garnet Industries - the manufacturers web site:
https: // www.garnetinstruments.com/rv-shop/products/
You should use blue painters tape or duct tape to temporarily place the sensor on the cleaned area of the tank, then test the display reading. You can move the sensor around and try again until you are happy that you found a good location.
You have to mount the sensor at least 2 to 3 inches from any metal as it will cause a false reading. So tape it in place and check your readings... I used duct tape for the test positioning. If there is a metallic access panel or door then temporarily close it to make sure the reading does not change. This includes empty and full readings.
Once you are happy then mount the sensor permanently.
Another tip on the See Level system... for best usability you will want to offset the sensor strips slightly from the "true" readings.
Ideally you'd offset the black and grey tanks slightly towards the top as the last 5% or 10% that is added is more important than the first 5% or 10%...
On the other hand the fresh tank sensor is ideally offset towards the bottom as the last 5% or 10% is more important than the first 5% or 10% that is used.
Note that the sensor increment is 3% to 5% at a time, depends on the size of the sensor and the size of the tank... i.e. it might jump from 30% to 34% to 38%, etc. Broad or wide but shallow tanks will have less resolution than tall tanks. If you end up with sensors that are slightly too tall just mount them on an angle...
Picture a clock face... the slightly-too-tall sensor could be rotated / positioned at the 1-o'clock-to-7-o'clock angle, or the 2-o'clock-to-8-o'clock angle.
And you could mount the one sensor vertical, the chained (other) sensor tilted.
Another advantage of the offset it that it gives you a little reserve fresh water after the display says zero. Due to the offset the RV installation I helped on had about 7 to 8 gallons of fresh water left after the reading hit zero. And after it read 100% the downward offset of the sensor gave the tank space for about 4 to 7 more gallons before water came out the overflow.
Note that if you park on an angle the readings will be a little different. Gravity does that...
The manufacturer offers multiple monitor / display panels with different feature sets... they can monitor one battery voltage, one propane tank level, and 3 or 4 liquid tanks. They also offer none, one or two switches (labeled "Pump" and "Heater").
One neat feature is that you can use two monitor panels - perhaps one inside and the second located in the wet bay. The installation I helped on was a single panel, if you are going to be doing a dual panel you might want to talk to SeeLevel tech support if your situation will need to mix display model numbers... i.e. your installation might not need a water heater switch in your wet bay. Or maybe you will need a switch in the wet bay but not inside. And your installation might use the switch to control a light....
My one phone call to SeeLevel tech support (about chaining strips and slightly rotating them to make them fit) was handled by a very knowledgeable person.
Youtube Review of the SeeLevel system:
And an associated blog to the above review:
https: // www.loveyourrv.com/seelevel-ii-review/
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