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Old 05-15-2018, 06:30 AM   #1
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Default See Level Gauges??

My 2012 RS Adventurous has the "standard issue" gauges for the fresh, gray and black tanks ... I called Roadtrek and they admitted that they're just estimates..

SO, I have to make an educated guess on how much fresh water is really left in the tank.... Easier to spot the black tank that fills up rather quickly as it's the smallest one at 10 gallons...

This is one of the upgrades I decided to skip.... See Level gauges for now....

While they would be nice... my RV shop said that installing these is extremely difficult on the close quarters of the Roadtrek and it would cost a little more than $1,000...

Have any of you either found a more convenient way to keep an eye on your tank levels or have you installed something like the See Level monitors...

I understand that these See Level gauges read right through the outside panel of the tanks... a completely better system than what came on my 2012.

Would make things easier especially if we had to use it for the shower... that's when you want to make sure you have enough water..
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:28 AM   #2
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Experience. Experience. Experience!

After you use your B for a while, you will know intuitively about how much water you have remaining and how much gray/black tank capacity remains. You can take a gallon bucket into the shower, fill it and time how long it takes and then you can gauge how much water you use in a shower.

Essentially, as far as the "estimate" lights work, when you see two thirds full on the sewage and one third remaining on the water you need to be mindful. Over the years my wife and I have simply learned how to take a shower every day, use the john, was somethings in the sink, wash hands and control our water usage very successfully. Practice doesn't make perfect, but it sure gives you a good level of confidence.

For that $1000 you mentioned, I can buy over four hundred gallons of fuel at the current price and that is a whole lot of enjoyable travel. To each his own.

Paul
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:05 PM   #3
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Through my Silverleaf controller/monitor I can see in 1% increments the levels of fresh water, black and grey tanks and can set a warning alarm at my level discretion for each of them.
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:07 PM   #4
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You will get used to reading the tank level lights, as long as they continue to work. They have a well earned reputation for getting gunked up and quitting working.


We did get tired of the hassle of the in tank sensors, when even the higher quality Horst probes started to read incorrectly. I put the Seelevel gauges into our Roadtrek C190P, and it is a bit challenging. I removed the fresh tank, which was not a big job, to be able to get a bit better sensor coverage, but that wouldn't have been necessary if you weren't super picky on seeing the last little bit of capacity at the top. The wiring is not a big deal as you can use the existing wiring.


Your Sprinter will be different, of course, but I don't think I would write off putting them in until you get a look at the van on a lift to see if there is good enough access to put on the sensors without having to remove a bunch of stuff. RV shops will often generalize and charge more than really needed.



I don't think going to the Seelevel would be justified for us just on accuracy, but it certainly is based on reliability.


Remember that the tanks are oddly shapied so the readings will still not be really accurate because they just read the vertical liquid level. I made a little chart of what the actual amounts of liquid is in the tank vs the % shown on the panel, so we know very closely.
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Old 05-21-2018, 06:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtrek Adventuous RS1 View Post
My 2012 RS Adventurous has the "standard issue" gauges for the fresh, gray and black tanks ... I called Roadtrek and they admitted that they're just estimates..

SO, I have to make an educated guess on how much fresh water is really left in the tank.... Easier to spot the black tank that fills up rather quickly as it's the smallest one at 10 gallons...

This is one of the upgrades I decided to skip.... See Level gauges for now....

While they would be nice... my RV shop said that installing these is extremely difficult on the close quarters of the Roadtrek and it would cost a little more than $1,000...

Have any of you either found a more convenient way to keep an eye on your tank levels or have you installed something like the See Level monitors...

I understand that these See Level gauges read right through the outside panel of the tanks... a completely better system than what came on my 2012.

Would make things easier especially if we had to use it for the shower... that's when you want to make sure you have enough water..
I carry a notepad and learned that I get 30 flushes b4 my blk tank needs emptied. I just use the old "1 mark/flush, (1111/). 4 flushes with a forward slash through the 4 = 5, start again 'till I get to 30.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:06 PM   #6
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I went thru the same frustration a few years ago with the tank sensors in my 2013 RS, and also got a $1000+ quote for installing the See Level sensors. I’ve given up on the black-tank sensor, but the fresh and grey give reliably estimates — good enough now that I’ve learned how to interpret the idiot lights.

By the way, at ARV Fest 2017 I asked how they get such accurate readings for the tanks — “by weight” was the answer. Follow up discussion focused on the difficulty of using that method.


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Old 05-22-2018, 04:23 AM   #7
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I can count on 7 showers when traveling alone, 6 when dw is with. The black tank seems to fill at the same rate, but it does make a different sound when close to full. 37 gallons of allegedly available water helps. Also use tank water for sweet tea and coffee. None of my sensors work. I just mark down the showers at the very top of the next grocery list.

On TDY at Nason Creek CG near Coles Corner Wa.
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Old 05-22-2018, 04:59 AM   #8
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ARV definition by weight is likely not precise enough, it is likely by pressure which is related to liquid height above the sensor. I use WEMA with floater activating electromechanical reed switches, great for my application for grey and fresh water. Tank Level Senders, Fuel Gauges, Marine Gauges, Fuel sending units, Fuel Senders by WEMA USA, Inc. For black tank I would choose a pressure sensor based system.

I am surprise that no one yet came out wit a simple and accurate tanks level measuring system like wireless tire pressure system. Accurate, no wiring, reasonably inexpensive – Aliexpress sells tire pressure systems for $50, just need low PSI/inches of water pressure sensors.

Added - https://www.sensorsone.com/submersib...level-sensors/
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
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ARV definition by weight is likely not precise enough, it is likely by pressure which is related to liquid height above the sensor. I use WEMA with floater activating electromechanical reed switches, great for my application for grey and fresh water. Tank Level Senders, Fuel Gauges, Marine Gauges, Fuel sending units, Fuel Senders by WEMA USA, Inc. For black tank I would choose a pressure sensor based system.

I am surprise that no one yet came out wit a simple and accurate tanks level measuring system like wireless tire pressure system. Accurate, no wiring, reasonably inexpensive – Aliexpress sells tire pressure systems for $50, just need low PSI/inches of water pressure sensors.

Added - https://www.sensorsone.com/submersib...level-sensors/
Yes, I believe the silverleaf system that ARV uses interfaces to a Kavlico pressure sensor in the bottom of the tank to derive the “weight” of the stuff in the tank and the percent full.
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Old 05-24-2018, 05:32 PM   #10
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For something that can be a deal breaker on a vacation, it might be worth the cash to upgrade to the SeeLevel sensors. You can use the guesstimate method, if you are by yourself, but that becomes a lot more complicated with two people.
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