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Author Topic: Tank level indicator - old school abbicus style  (Read 1416 times)
viento1
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« on: November 19, 2011, 10:17:10 AM »

OK, I have only been doing this RV thing for about 10 years and have tore out 3 tank monitoring systems so far. bad luck? lousy install? not sure but this is my new strategy.

my current fresh water tank is quite flat so accurate readings are very difficult.

Is there a device that records the amount of water entering the system, then simply subtracts the water as it is used. Keep in mind I fill my water tank with the same line that feeds my RV system so the water goes both ways in that line.

I can tell how much water to the liter I have left and by simple deduction (add the water used to the volume of empty beer cans) to determine when the combo black/grey tanks are full. Or just use a flashlight... yic!

Thoughts? product suggestions?
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buswarrior
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2011, 10:27:17 AM »

Age old challenge.

Lots and lots of money has been made by vendors, and lost by RV owners.

Inexpensive solution?

When the tap stops running, the fresh is empty.

When the sink won't drain, don't try to flush, the waste tank is full.

A post that is only partially cheeky?

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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Just Dallas
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2011, 11:20:29 AM »

As Ewen said, When it don't drain it's full!

When filling the water tank I have the over flow vent make a U-turn and go out the bottom of the bay. When filling the tank, it's full when the water hits the ground. Then I run a few gallons through the sink to give expansion space.

For Black and Grey tanks, I've never found a sensor system that works consistently over a period of years, except for looking down the chute on the toilet.

There is no end to the number of campers we've had here that swear the tanks are full but plugged up because nothing comes out the hose but their panel still reads full. I've even had some get angry with me when I try to explain what is happening. Some others have actually told us that our sewer was plugged up, although the camper next to them wasn't having any problem and the sites are 'twinned'.

Bottom line? Keep putting money into trying to find a better way. I really hope you can, but so far it seems the flashlight method is the best.
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Seayfam
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2011, 11:33:12 AM »

Quote
Is there a device that records the amount of water entering the system, then simply subtracts the water as it is used. Keep in mind I fill my water tank with the same line that feeds my RV system so the water goes both ways in that line.

Absolutely... I used a water meter in my bus. I have a LED display in the kitchen next to pump switch. Any time you turn the pump on, the display lights up. You can set it to add or subtract the usage. You can get it at many marine supply stores. If you would like, I could go out and take a pic of the meter and the monitor.
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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Seayfam
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2011, 11:39:43 AM »

I should add... You will need two meters, one on your tank fill and one on the pressure side of the pump. I also set up my city water supply after the meter, that way it doesn't count that water. Work great and is very accurate, I love it.
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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more pics and information here     "  www.my69mci-6.blogspot.com  "
jjrbus
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2011, 11:47:28 AM »

First I do not know anything about these!  A weight sensing pad of some kind, like used in scales under the fresh water tank? Don't ask me how to do it! Just an idea/thought.

 My stick and staples had a design flaw (imagine that) The vent pipe extended a few inches into the holding tank. When the tank was almost full the contents of the tank would block the vent pipe. The gas had nowhere to escape so when the potty was flushed the tank would "burp" (cannot think of a better term) up through the water in the bowl. I would know the tank needed dumping.  Don't laugh worked much better than the gauge and Fast Fred had not taught me to use a flash light yet.

                                                               JIm

                                  
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2011, 01:18:49 PM »

www.watercounter.com

I love mine.
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Seayfam
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2011, 02:33:02 PM »



That is the exact one I have. I guess I don't need to take a pic.
The only reason I have a counter on the inlet side, is I have a 250 gal water tank and don't always fill it. The inlet one is just a cheap non electronic one, and I can just reset it there, but you can get the electronic one and tie it to your existing display monitor.

This is a really good meter, but it's going to cost. I think it was around $300.00
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 10:27:57 PM by Seayfam » Logged

Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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more pics and information here     "  www.my69mci-6.blogspot.com  "
Bob Belter
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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2011, 03:00:05 AM »

Ahoy, Viento1

You might consider a Magnehelic gage.  These are a very high quality and accurate low pressure gage, and can be ordered (or found on ebay) calibrated in inches of water.  Just select a gage calibrated for a height greater than the height of your tank.  Run a tube to the absolute bottom of the tank, and hook the tube to the gage.  place a tee in the tube, and apply air pressure, at a slow rate.  The gage will read the depth of the fluid in the tank.  Make sure that you don't have any loops or dips in the tube which can hold water and give errors.  Nothing to go wrong or plug up.  You can also use the method for a fuel gage, with compensation for the relative density of the fluid.

Enjoy   /s/   Bob 
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2011, 06:16:22 AM »


  Many an airplane has crashed from relying on gauges, and they've spent great volumes of cash, mostly ours, buying the best stuff. When it dont work, and even when it does, your taught to stick the tank. Or top it off.

  When we started camping they didnt have monitors, you just looked at the tank. Those monitors came out, everyone thought that was cool, but none of them really worked very well, they work until they dont I guess and your back to eyeballing it. And as posted above, I went crazy trying to empty an empty tank the monitor said was full. I remember when we bought the first "real" motor home, I dont think one RV on the lot had a working monitor system. I made a promise when I got the Bus, that unless there was absolutely no other realistic or sensible option, not one piece of RV grade junk would ever come through the door.

  For your potable water, if you cant see the tank, you could put three or four taps at varying levels on the tank with valves you can reach. If water flows from a tap you will know you have water at least to that level.

  Probably not such a great idea on the black tank, lol.
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prevosman
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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2011, 07:54:10 AM »

On my first bus I put a sight glass up the side of the water tank. By looking in the sight glass I could see the water level in the tank.

The rule of thumb was to never ever use water direct from the campground faucet, and to never ever add water to the tank without dumping the holding tank.

Our current bus uses a HeadHunter tank monitor and so far it works well and has been accurate. So instead of a sight glass I look at the monitor. Should the HeadHunter monitor ever puke, I am putting a sight glass on my tank. Doesn't get any easier.
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Jon Wehrenberg
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1997 Prevost Liberty
viento1
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2011, 08:24:35 AM »


I found and purchased this meter. it is only $19 and the company says it will count both up and down within 2% accuracy.  I will let you know as I really like this concept for boondocking and managing water. They also have an imperial version for my thankful friends South of the border.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Metric-COLD-HOT-WATER-METER-GSD5-1-2-1-5-m-h-80-110mm-/220897277031?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item336e80f467

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Ok, it's time to go on another road trip.
www.randalclark.com
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biff
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2011, 06:28:15 PM »

Have you looked a tank level floats? I bought some off ebay.Allso got one for my coolant level.
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