The people at Garnet Instruments Ltd provide a solution for this with their SeeLevel II Tank Monitor. Using the SLII, you can read your fluid levels in increments of 5% or less - much better than the default using thirds.
Garnet offers a good variety of monitoring systems, including some that continually show levels and several that show propane levels.
When you install the SLII, you can usually use the existing wiring already in your coach to replace your old monitoring system with the new one; there are no additional wires to run. Each of your three tanks (fresh, gray and black) has sensors installed with two wires that run back to the monitor inside of your coach. Twelve volt power is usually supplied to the monitor, which in turn "feeds" the power to the sensors. When connecting the SLII, you use those same wires that run from the sensors on the tanks back up to the monitor.
Having read a lot about this system over the past few years and seeing many recommendations for it, I knew that I had to have one. One of the things I really wanted was to not only replace my existing monitor, but to add another one in the wet bay. The SeeLevel system easily supports this, and in many cases you still don't have to add additional wiring.
Norm MacLeod - Expert SeeLevel Installer
Norm & Ellen's Miss Adventure blog), told me that he had installed the SLII in his coach and would be happy to help me install mine. Knowing that Norm is great with details and is quite the handyman, I eagerly accepted the offer and we set up a time to do it shortly before the 2017 Tampa RV Show.
The morning we were going to do the install, Norm rolls up to our site in his golf cart looking like the Home Depot tool department on wheels. He had chosen all of the tools needed for the job, brought quite a collection of wire connectors, and had even made a bezel for the new inside monitor because it was smaller than the old one and he wanted it to be perfect - which it was. When he laid everything out on the table he brought over, I noticed a styrofoam lid (one of those you use for takeout food) that had a bunch of screws with their tips screwed into it. The screws had all been spray painted black. At first, I thought it was some sort of "device" he had made to string wire or something. Nope. Norm had painted the heads of the screws so that they would match the monitor plates!
Needless to say, Norm had already (when he installed the SLII on his own coach) gone through most of the research and wiring diagrams to the point where my installation would go much smoother. And it did. For the next six hours, I became the occasional operating room nurse - handing Norm a few tools and fetching pencils - while he whipped around from one bay to the next pulling wire and completing the installation. Whenever he pulled out a connector with multiple wires, or simply pulled a single wire from behind a panel, he took the time to prepare a wire label with his label maker and ensure that nothing would get messed up. We didn't want to "get our wires crossed".
At the very end, Norm attached the two displays - one in the wet bay and the other in the coach - and we took readings...and it worked the first time.
Many thanks to Norm for all of the work he did! Such a nice thing to do.
Installation Steps for the SeeLevel II
My coach is a 2015 Newmar Dutch Star 4369, so the things I mention here particularly apply to that rig. However, my understanding is that the installation procedure is the same for just about all coaches. The only difference is where things are located.
My rig is all-electric, so I didn't need to monitor propane. I wanted two displays instead of one because I wanted to add one to the wet bay. And I wanted to monitor three tanks: fresh, gray and black. Accordingly, I ordered two of the Model 709-P3 display units. These show levels for the battery and the three tanks at the press of a button. One press of a button displays the level in percent for about five seconds. Two presses of a button keeps the percent display up for about five minutes so that you can monitor it as it changes.
Part of the order is for the sensor strips that attach to the sides of the tanks. These strips kind of work like sonar in that they look "through" the tank and can see where there's liquid vs. air. The strips are mounted vertically on the tanks and have two wires coming out of the top of them that will be connected to the remote monitors.
The display panel also includes a button that allows you to turn on your water pump. The button that does this is a rocker switch (up is on, down is off). However, my coach's water pump requires a momentary switch. That is, you just apply power for a second and the pump "toggles" either on or off. I had to order these momentary switches to replace the ones that Garnet installs on the SLII display board. I bought the ones Norm recommended: JR Products 12815 Black SPST Mini Mom-On/Off Switch.
Here's a photo of everything that was installed. All but the two switches were ordered from Garnet (or anyplace else that sells them). The switches were ordered from the link above.
|Switches (topLeft) Displays (bottomLeft), Sensors, Monitor screws, and Manual|