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Old 07-07-2014, 10:58 PM   #1
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New Tank Monitor

We have a brand new (to us) Escape 19. I'm thinking of changing the stock tank monitor with a retrofit SeeLevel system. This will require new sensors which are strips that stick to the outside of the tanks and a new monitoring panel. The new system can use the same wiring as the original.

I've located the existing sensors and wiring for the fresh and grey tanks. It looks possible to put new sensors beside the original taps and use the existing wires. However, I can't locate the sensors for the black tank. Does anyone know where these are located on a 19? Is this area accessible?

If anyone has installed a SeeLevel system I'd sure like to hear of your experience. I saw a thread discussing the system on here but it didn't sound like anyone had taken the plunge. I've used their system on another trailer and it has worked flawlessly (but that only for fresh water).

Thank you for any help.
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Old 07-09-2014, 02:19 AM   #2
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I don't know where the sensors are, but I think I remember mention of their location in one of the threads on black tank cleaning. I don't recall seeing them on photos of the front of the tank so they may be on the back or sides. That would make them inaccessible. Have you tried emailing ETI and asking?

Since you can access the black tank from the front to attach a new sensor, finding the existing wire or running a new wire would be the hardest part of a system upgrade. You might want to see if the wire is someplace you can tap into it. I'm thinking of the same mod so if you find the answer, please post it.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:47 AM   #3
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WestEnder:

Thank you for the response. I read the thread I think you refer to. That mentions the sensors are on the curb (towards door) side but that wasn't for a 19. It's likely the same but thought someone might know. If so it would be real hard to access. ETI has been so helpful I hate to bother them with questions the forum can answer, I'll save the hard questions for them.

The front of the black tank is visible and I see no sensors. A new sensor could be put on there with no problem. I've heard rumors that the black tank isn't square, so it may not be full depth under the dinette. If so, the new sensor would read zero till the level reached it. That's not a real problem, I'm most interested in readings as it approaches full. Not optimum but better info than the existing system.

As I read the SeeLevel documents, the sensors have two wires. These are ganged together with only the resulting two wires going to the readout. If we can't get to the black water sensors I'm thinking of threading two wires from under the dinette, though the battery lead hole, and back to the grey water tank. Then gang the black and grey tank wires into two existing leads from the grey tank. Likely gang these with the fresh sensor leads at the readout. Hope this makes some sense.

So, does anyone know where the black tank sensors are and how to access them? Or where those sensor wires run? Also, what shape is the black tank and how is it oriented? It's really buried into the bowels of the trailer.

Someone here must have done this mod?

Thanks.

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Originally Posted by WestEnder View Post
I don't know where the sensors are, but I think I remember mention of their location in one of the threads on black tank cleaning. I don't recall seeing them on photos of the front of the tank so they may be on the back or sides. That would make them inaccessible. Have you tried emailing ETI and asking?

Since you can access the black tank from the front to attach a new sensor, finding the existing wire or running a new wire would be the hardest part of a system upgrade. You might want to see if the wire is someplace you can tap into it. I'm thinking of the same mod so if you find the answer, please post it.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:54 AM   #4
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Hugh,
You are in dark territory, where no man has gone before!!
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:04 PM   #5
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Jim:

How quickly I stumble into dark corners, and on my first project too. Somebody hand me a flashlight, it IS dark in this black tank.

Thanks.

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Old 07-09-2014, 12:12 PM   #6
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View inside the tank:
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by currinh View Post
As I read the SeeLevel documents, the sensors have two wires. These are ganged together with only the resulting two wires going to the readout.
Garnet has a few models of SeeLevel; which model are you considering?

I'm not sure how many sensors you're expecting to install. The SeeLevel system uses a single sensor per tank - the sensor is a strip, and can be up to 17" long so any Escape tank can be covered in a single sensor. The only combining of sensors for a single tank is lining up two of them if the tank is too tall to cover in one strip.

I agree that you only need one pair of wires for each tank; the black tank will currently have four wires, and you only need two of them.

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Originally Posted by currinh View Post
If we can't get to the black water sensors I'm thinking of threading two wires from under the dinette, though the battery lead hole, and back to the grey water tank. Then gang the black and grey tank wires into two existing leads from the grey tank. Likely gang these with the fresh sensor leads at the readout. Hope this makes some sense.
This is how Garnet's "common bus" models work, so it makes sense to me if you are using one of those models. That would be models 705 and 709.

With Garnet's "multibus" products (such as the 707, 711, 712, and 713), this won't quite work. Although the sensors (one or two) on the same tank share a pair of wires, the separate tanks need separate wire pairs; the black and grey tank sensors could not be combined (although they can share just the ground wire). This still doesn't matter if you are replacing all of the sensors and display with the See Level system, since you could use two of the original four wires at the grey tank for the grey tank level sensor, and the other two wires at the grey tank for the black tank sensor - no wiring together, just using wires in the same bundle.

Running wires from the black tank location to the grey tank location is looking to me like a brilliant solution if the original black tank wires are not accessible.
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:55 PM   #8
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Brian:

I was considering the Garnet 709-P3. It covers three tanks (fresh, grey & black) and has a pump switch, as well as battery voltage. The included sensors are 12" which should be fine for all the Escape tanks. But the exposed portion of the black tank may be less than 6". In this case a shorter sensor is required, but available. The tank levels and pump switch are the only ones I need. It's the 709-P3 manual where I got the idea only one pair of wires would need be run to the read-out.

I only saw the 709 and 714 series models. They mention the 707, 711, 712, and 713 but these aren't listed as products. Maybe discontinued? The 714 looks way too fancy for our uses, so it's the 709 for me.

I think we can get by using two leads to the read-out with the 709. You seemed to confirm this? But if more leads are needed, the grey and fresh have four leads each as you mention. I hadn't thought of using these.

Might be able to use the extra leads for a Trimetric (TM-2025-A) battery monitor? However, the leads go from a shunt to the read-out. As a low level signal they may need to be short or heavier gage. The tank leads may not work. I'll have to ask the Trimetric manufacturer about leads. But that'll be a whole different, but equally exciting, thread.

Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Garnet has a few models of SeeLevel; which model are you considering?

I'm not sure how many sensors you're expecting to install. The SeeLevel system uses a single sensor per tank - the sensor is a strip, and can be up to 17" long so any Escape tank can be covered in a single sensor. The only combining of sensors for a single tank is lining up two of them if the tank is too tall to cover in one strip.

I agree that you only need one pair of wires for each tank; the black tank will currently have four wires, and you only need two of them.


This is how Garnet's "common bus" models work, so it makes sense to me if you are using one of those models. That would be models 705 and 709.

With Garnet's "multibus" products (such as the 707, 711, 712, and 713), this won't quite work. Although the sensors (one or two) on the same tank share a pair of wires, the separate tanks need separate wire pairs; the black and grey tank sensors could not be combined (although they can share just the ground wire). This still doesn't matter if you are replacing all of the sensors and display with the See Level system, since you could use two of the original four wires at the grey tank for the grey tank level sensor, and the other two wires at the grey tank for the black tank sensor - no wiring together, just using wires in the same bundle.

Running wires from the black tank location to the grey tank location is looking to me like a brilliant solution if the original black tank wires are not accessible.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by currinh View Post
I was considering the Garnet 709-P3. It covers three tanks (fresh, grey & black) and has a pump switch, as well as battery voltage. The included sensors are 12" which should be fine for all the Escape tanks. But the exposed portion of the black tank may be less than 6". In this case a shorter sensor is required, but available. The tank levels and pump switch are the only ones I need. It's the 709-P3 manual where I got the idea only one pair of wires would need be run to the read-out.
That all sounds good to me.

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Originally Posted by currinh View Post
I only saw the 709 and 714 series models. They mention the 707, 711, 712, and 713 but these aren't listed as products. Maybe discontinued?
Because I was looking for sensor wiring information, I was actually getting everything from technical support page, rather than the product info page. Maybe the other models are discontinued (but Garnet still supports them), or they're not sold at retail (only OEM), or some combination of factors like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by currinh View Post
I think we can get by using two leads to the read-out with the 709. You seemed to confirm this?
Yes, we have the same interpretation of the model 709 wiring requirements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by currinh View Post
Might be able to use the extra leads for a Trimetric (TM-2025-A) battery monitor? However, the leads go from a shunt to the read-out. As a low level signal they may need to be short or heavier gage.
The shunt signal is low voltage, but also very low current/high impedance. Small-gauge wire may be fine, but I agree that's a question for the Trimetric people or their manuals.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:38 PM   #10
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Parker:

That is the view I see, and I still don't have a flashlight! People are talking to me, saying very useful things, but I can't see them. I haven't bumped into anyone who's in here with me, who can direct my black tank search. Someone must have been here before. Build pictures maybe?

Brian:

I agree, not on the books but still supported.

So, for the 709, we need two leads from the sensors to the read-out. Or some combination ganged together at some point.

I looked at the Trimetric installation manual. I was thinking about a voltage drop between the shunt and read-out, but you're right with no current there will be no drop. There are four leads between the shunt and read-out. Two of these carry juice to power the read-out, and two are very high impedance for shunt voltage sensing. They indicate wiring runs can be quite long, 100'+ so the tank sensor leads should work.

Could route the new tank sensors back to the fresh tank and use two of its wires for the SeeLevel. Then use all four wires from the grey tank to remotely locate the Trimetric above the sink where the tank read-out will be. Or just put the Trimetric in the side of the dinette. It's all possible and a matter of choice. I'll have to see how the read-outs would fit in each location.

Lots of thinking without much data though. I haven't looked at the current tank readout to verity there are 12 leads involved.

But, can anyone confirm the black tank sensors are on the curb side of the tank? Has anyone dug into a 19' far enough to find them? If so, how difficult is it to access the correct side of the tank. And what shape is the tank?

Inquiring minds and all. Thank you all for your help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Maybe the other models are discontinued (but Garnet still supports them), or they're not sold at retail (only OEM), or some combination of factors like that.

Yes, we have the same interpretation of the model 709 wiring requirements.

The shunt signal is low voltage, but also very low current/high impedance. Small-gauge wire may be fine, but I agree that's a question for the Trimetric people or their manuals.
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