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Old 01-10-2006, 07:41 PM   #1
Montana_5161
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Tank Gauges

I am going to replace all my tank guages with one of the newer types that sense tank fill level by outside sensors. Does anyone have advice as to which manufacturer/model would be best and any installation advice would be welcomed. I have a 2004 3255RL Montana.

Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2006, 04:37 AM   #2
OntMont
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I can't really answer your question, but I am also interested in the topic. One I have come across that sounds interesting is this one: http://www.rvgauge.com/about_us.shtml, I know that there are others, so please keep us up to date on what you find.
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Old 01-11-2006, 04:43 AM   #3
ols1932
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Why go to that expense? We never use the sensors. We use common sense. After using your rig for a while you will get a feel for when your septics are full or near full. As far as the frresh water tank goes, I just keep it full while traveling and always refill before we leave the last place at which we park.
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Old 01-11-2006, 05:15 AM   #4
OntMont
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ols1932

Why go to that expense? We never use the sensors. We use common sense. After using your rig for a while you will get a feel for when your septics are full or near full. As far as the frresh water tank goes, I just keep it full while traveling and always refill before we leave the last place at which we park.
Actually, I agree with you, and that is what we do; but it just bugs me when things don't work right, and I want to fix them. I would not spend a lot of money to to replace the sensors, but if I come across a reasonable fix, I would go ahead.
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Old 01-11-2006, 07:23 AM   #5
Montana_5161
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There was an article in the September, '05 Trailer Life magazine. They gave 3 sources: Catcon Products @ catconproducts.com; Garnet Tech @ rvgauge.com; and Material Sciences @ matsci.com. There is a 4th that I see in the magazine, Vena. I don't have their address with me. If you'd like it, let me know and I'll get it.

I had hoped someone out there had some experience with one or more of these.
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:32 PM   #6
Montana_4221
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Gordon,
I don't have problems with sensors on all the tanks but I do from time to time have a problem with the black tank levels. Out of three Rv's that I've owned not one of them was trouble free in that area. With that in mind you may not want to focus to much energy on that particular problem

I will say that I have had fewer problems with our Montana. I feel that the reason for that has more to do with the black tank flush than the sensors.

We also use water softner and detergent in that tank and many on this forum will advise you to do that.

Having said all that I will also add to please keep us informed. There are many here who would love to know a remedy for the problem.
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Old 01-11-2006, 05:29 PM   #7
sreigle
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I have no idea what sensors to use so I'm not much help there. But I wanted to say that like the others mentioned we learned to tell when the tanks are full. The gray tanks are easy. They're full when they back up into the shower and kitchen sink. But we don't want the black tank getting to the point it backs up into the bowl. Usually when it's about full we can see it in the downpipe. But we know we're within a day of that point when you flush and the water to go down the pipe kind of pops before going down. I guess the tank contents must have reached the vent at that point or something. About the only thing I use the gauges for anymore is the fresh water tank and that one seems to remain accurate.

You might check the Trailer Life site to see if they have any articles on the sensors in their archives. I believe they had an article on this a year or two ago.

Good luck. I would like to hear how it works out for you if you go ahead with it.
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Old 01-13-2006, 09:01 AM   #8
Montana_5161
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I would like to be able to use the gauges. Once in awhile we'll boondock, and the tank level(s) can drive some decisions. We bought the trailer used and the prior owners didn't take that good of care. Even the fresh water guage is not anywhere close.

The address for Vena, the one I didn't have the other day is: vena.com.

There was an article in Trailer Life last year - September. It doesn't say much as to which is better or the ease of installation.

One side note. I've found that I wasn't happy with most of what info was available at those web sites, so I ended up calling them and requesting literature with prices.

Thanks for the input, I'll keep you posted when I finally put one in.
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Old 01-13-2006, 09:32 AM   #9
315RLS
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Gordon Farr

I am going to replace all my tank guages with one of the newer types that sense tank fill level by outside sensors. Does anyone have advice as to which manufacturer/model would be best and any installation advice would be welcomed. I have a 2004 3255RL Montana.

Thanks.
Gordon,
I'm curious if you or others have problems with the accruacy of all your guages or just the black water? After a few times out the black water hasn't given us a good read since but we haven't had any problems with either the gray(s) or fresh. TIA
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Old 01-13-2006, 12:08 PM   #10
richfaa
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We have never had a problem with the Guages in ANY of the campers that we have owned..we DO keep the tanks really cleaned out ..the Black tank in particular..My thought is that MOST of the guage problems are due to "stuff" blocking the sensors. Use calgon or a water softener in the black tank and flush really good..We have the advantage of having a dump station here at the house and are able to flush really good..your would be surprised at how much "stuff" is left in the black tank after you have dumped at the campground /We will dump at a campground then come home a dump again and it will take 1/2 hour of flushing and back flushing and using the Wand down the commode before we see clear water.
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Old 01-14-2006, 03:09 PM   #11
Montana_1892
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hi, thought about different sensors on our last monte and talked with a dealer whose unit use the other system ... that dealer said they have the same problem. So i came up with a solution which worked well on my '02 model 3670RL. Where the last sanitary drain point was, i removed the last 16 inch of pipe and installed a T-fitting, then secondary drain valve and a new hub for connection to the flex hose.
Off the T-fitting I installed a water fill connection parrallel to a section of flexible clear tubing (1 inch diameter). I installed a 6" x 8" standard power access door in the aluminum section of the siding at that point and a fixed the open end of the flexible tubing in front of the door.
Now, by shutting the last sanitary drain valve that i installed and opening a tank valve, water will seek it's own level tells you what that tank level is. Shut the tank valve and open another and you get that tank level. After I installed this thing, i added water to a tank and determined where on the clear tube corresponded to what level. This only works when the unit is exactly level.
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Old 01-18-2006, 09:41 AM   #12
Montana_5161
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Great suggestion Grey Ghost. Never thought of that. I bought a quick connect/disconnect valve to fit my outlet fitting and the flex pipe connects to that - got it at Camping World in Phoenix, first time I've seen them and I've been looing. Useing that valve and putting a small "tee" upstream a little ought to work. I bought the valve for making back flush simpler.

For 315RLS - our black tank gauge is the worst, followed by the grey tank, then the galley and finally the fresh. The fresh isn't accurate at all, very non-linear. On the other tanks,I've tried several times cleaning with hot water and detergent and then driving. It seems to help a little, but not for long. I try to flush deligently the black tank after each dump, but it doesn't seem to help. I haven't tried the water softener as has been suggested. I'll try it, but would guess with the gauges in such bad shape it probably won't help.
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Old 01-22-2006, 05:12 PM   #13
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I gave a little mis-information earlier. The article on tank sensors is in the Trailer Life January, '05 issue. Sorry about that.
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