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Old 07-10-2014, 02:32 AM   #11
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Since you are considering the model with the pump switch, do you have the right wires from the pump to your proposed mounting location? My research indicates that the tech bulletin on the SeeLevel regarding proper fusing and size of the pump wires is best taken seriously.

I'm planning on having appropriate wires run at build time. Since you are installing in an existing trailer that isn't an option. Unless your joints are going bad, as mine are, leaving the pump on its current switch might be easier. I'm planning for the long term and am trying to get frequently used switches away from the floor so I can reach them as I age.

I think you are correct to pick the Trimetric over another voltage meter so that will reduce the number of wires to the SeeLevel display unit.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:19 AM   #12
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tank monitors

Everyone that has a problem with lights being illuminated when they should be off just as my grey tank was for most of the trip last month may want to try what someone else mentioned on the forum or maybe a u-tube item. I put about a cup of liquid dishwasher soap in the grey tank with a half tank of water and drove the first day about 500 miles and drained it out, next day same thing and now all of the sensors seem to be working. I'll really know by the time we get to Bandon.
Related item, I bought a sewer solution to try and then realized that I don't think it will work on the 21 because of the long black piping. I'll put it on the for sale table in
Bandon.
Jack
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:39 PM   #13
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WestEnder:

Maybe this differs, but my pump switch is built into the existing tank monitor over the stove/sink. I've assumed other 19s have the same configuration, but this could be an error on my part. I'm confident the wires are OK since they now control the water pump. The only problem could be the SeeLevel switch itself not being up to the job. But it should be as it's made to control the pump.


If the pump switch wasn't embedded into the existing controller I'd leave it alone as you suggest.

The existing tank monitor has a light bar battery voltage indicator and the SeeLevel has a much better indicator. The solar controller also has a battery voltage readout. But, I think the Trimetric, in measuring amp-hours to and from the battery, does a much better job of monitoring the battery state. I do like to keep good track of what's going on with those expensive batteries. So, I'll likely install a Trimetric.

I think the SeeLevel pulls battery voltage and its power from the same leads. I'm sure 12v power is already available at the existing read-out. The Trimetric might run from this power and then require only two leads. However, using four lead for it is safest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WestEnder View Post
Since you are considering the model with the pump switch, do you have the right wires from the pump to your proposed mounting location? My research indicates that the tech bulletin on the SeeLevel regarding proper fusing and size of the pump wires is best taken seriously.

I'm planning on having appropriate wires run at build time. Since you are installing in an existing trailer that isn't an option. Unless your joints are going bad, as mine are, leaving the pump on its current switch might be easier. I'm planning for the long term and am trying to get frequently used switches away from the floor so I can reach them as I age.

I think you are correct to pick the Trimetric over another voltage meter so that will reduce the number of wires to the SeeLevel display unit.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:42 PM   #14
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Jack:

We just picked up our "new to us" 19 last week. I think we could keep the tank sensors working, as you have, but I'd still like to upgrade the system. The current readout has a resolution of some 33% while the SeeLevel has about 5%. I'm enough of a geek to like the added information.

We're going to try the GEO Method which involves water softener and detergent. But I do have a lot to learn about care of holding tanks. Thanks for the note.

We'll look for you in Bandon, we'll be in A2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by azjack View Post
Everyone that has a problem with lights being illuminated when they should be off just as my grey tank was for most of the trip last month may want to try what someone else mentioned on the forum or maybe a u-tube item. I put about a cup of liquid dishwasher soap in the grey tank with a half tank of water and drove the first day about 500 miles and drained it out, next day same thing and now all of the sensors seem to be working. I'll really know by the time we get to Bandon.
Related item, I bought a sewer solution to try and then realized that I don't think it will work on the 21 because of the long black piping. I'll put it on the for sale table in
Bandon.
Jack
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:18 AM   #15
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Thanks Hugh, I didn't know that and I sure appreciate the info. I'm still in the planning stage for a 19 of my own and that's very helpful.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:35 PM   #16
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WestEnder:

Our 19' is a 2011 model. I don't know if much has changed since then. I'd suggest you verify details of current models before making decisions. But with ours, the pump switch is included in the tank monitor readout. That is a convenient location.

Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WestEnder View Post
Thanks Hugh, I didn't know that and I sure appreciate the info. I'm still in the planning stage for a 19 of my own and that's very helpful.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:52 PM   #17
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I have made some progress figuring out the black tank configuration. I talked to Reace while at the Oregon Gathering in Bandon. He indicated the black tank sensors are on the curb side of the tank. The only reasonable way to access them is to cut a hole in the bathroom wall. He offered to send me a cover plate to plug the resulting hole. I'll try to avoid this.

Reace also indicated the tank is rectangular, but tilts up somewhat towards the front to better drain. Our 2011 has a 14 gallon black tank while the new 19's have a 19 gallon tank. I looked at a new 19' and it seems like the tank just extends further into the dinette seat area. Our black tank is 5 1/2" in depth.

I tracked down a manual for the existing tank monitor from KIB Enterprises. I figured there would be 12 lines up to the readout (four from each tank). However, I pulled the readout today and found only 5 lines to the circuit board. I think they use two for +12v and ground. Then one line from each tank accounting for the other three. After seeing this I figured they are using a resistor network of some kind and decoding the resistance at the readout. From the manual I gather this is what is happening. The four leads from each tank come together in a small red bulb (resistor network?) with only two leads exiting the bulb. Further confirmation.

So, only three lines and a ground from the tanks to the readout. I could use two of the three for a SeeLevel system. However, my current thinking is to mount the SeeLevel readout on the side of the street side dinette. This would be easier to install and wouldn't disable the existing system. I'll likely mount a battery monitor, Trimetric, here also so it won't get lonely. Hopefully it'll be a few years till I can't make it to my knees to read them.

The black tank is 5 1/2" deep, the grey is 6 1/2" deep while the fresh water tank is 8" deep. The fresh water tank has a lip around the top so is not purely rectangular. This shouldn't change the reads much. SeeLevel sensors work on tanks 6"+ deep. They have a shorter sensor which could be used on the black tank. It might be advantageous to use the shorter sensor on the grey tank also.

All the tanks are readily accessible to mount external sensors on. I believe I can route the sensor wires through the hole for the battery leads (battery in the storage box). And 12v is easily accessible under the street side dinette seat. No reason to move the pump switch, so likely get a SeeLevel Model 709 which has no switches (other than to activate the display). I'll likely order one in the next few weeks.

The current monitor works OK, but I do want the added resolution of the SeeLevel. I am getting miss readings from the existing monitor. I suspect I need to refine the tank additives I use. Currently trying the GEO method with water softener and soap. But the grey and black read other than zero after emptying, just after and hours after. If anyone has suggestions on how much of these additives to put in I'd like to hear. Alternately, any other additive which plays better with the sensors.

Well, that's a long post. If you're still with me thanks. If you have ideas or suggestions please post.

Thanks.
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:06 AM   #18
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Tank monitors

We are in Ukiah, CA today and for this trip my grey monitors have worked as they should after 20 days. Previous trip to Canada and points south of that for several weeks we always would show 1/3 grey. This trip I put in about a 1/2 cup of liquid dish washer soap with a 1/2 tank of water and drove 500 miles and since then all monitors are correct. I'll now make sure I add a little of that soap near the end of any trip.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:49 PM   #19
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I finished installation of a SeeLevel tank monitor on our 19. I decided to mount it above the dinette on the street side. It seemed like a convenient place, more than in the lower dinette. I kept the original tank monitor over the sink. Thus the SeeLevel didn't need a pump switch, it's still with the original monitor.




While I was adding the SeeLevel I also added a Trimetric battery monitor. I ran the wires for both from the readouts, along the front top of the shelf and then down behind the padded corner to the lower dinette. All the wiring for the Trimetric is available under this streetside lower dinette. I finally drilled a hole in the floor for the SeeLevel sensor wires. I needed to feed two leads through here for the fresh and grey tanks. I tied the leads to the propane line back to the grey tank. The sensor was put on the street side next to the electrical probes for the original tank monitor. I joined these grey tank sensor wires to the main leads and exteneded this back to the fresh tank. The SeeLever has two wires from each sensor and all blue sensor leads are tied together (and separately all black leads tied together) and routed to the readout. They went back to the sensor strip on the fresh tank, next to the electrical probes.






The black tank is accessible from the inside of the dinette.




While I was there I installed an EMS (electrical management system). Always handy to have EMS (emergeny medical services) close at hand, or bring EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) in case you forget some needed gear. Here's a picture of the shunt required for the Trimetric system. I used the 100A shunt (instead of the default 500A) to get a little more resolution. You can also see the SeeLevel sensor wire (gray jacketed) going through the floor.




It wasn't difficult but took some time. Seems anytime I deal with solder and shrink tubing it takes me a long time. Well, any project takes me a long time. Also, I try to avoid errors when cutting holes in our expensive new Escape. I still need to spray the new gages with undercoating and seal the lead through the floor.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:57 PM   #20
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Good for you Hugh! Looks like you're having fun making your new-to-you Escape truly your own. NEATO!
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