SeeLevel II Tank Monitoring System
I installed the 709-4 SeeLevel II system on my 2014 Shasta Phoenix 32RE after becoming so frustrated with the tank monitors. I was a bit intimidated to take on this project knowing I would most likely have to pry up the underbelly of the beast to access my 4 tanks fresh, black, grey, galley. We seldom stay at full hook up sites and with no sewer or water staying for a week or longer can be a challenge when you have no idea of the tank levels.
All in all, it took about 5 hours to install at a very casual pace, I still have to add the second display that I will install in the bay near the controls and freshwater fill. I had some assistance from our camping friends when running the wires, a second set of hands is helpful especially when running fish tape through areas to run wire, but not absolutely necessary.
All of the tanks on the Phoenix needed the included sensors cut to the minimum 6-inch sizing. While the tanks are a bit over 7 inches in height, the sensor is supposed to be cut shorter than the tank and split the difference and to take into account the thickness of the top and bottom of the tank. The black tank rides the furthest forward and is underneath the basement floor, I removed several 10 mm self-tapping screws that hold the underbelly on starting from the front and working back along the street side of the trailer. You will find some insulation and other wiring in this area. I ran 16-gauge wire from the access spot to the area that can be accessed directly behind the removable panel in the basement (area on the Shasta that you would access bypass for the water heater and water pump). The fresh water and grey tank are easily accessed from this location too making that part of the job a piece of cake.
As I did with all of the other sensors I used shrink butt connectors and a heat gun to make what I hope are very solid connections, then pulled the slack out. I rubbed the area on the tank down with acetone saturated rag before applying the sensors.
The galley tank was a bit of a mystery, I used a flashlight and a small mirror and could see the drain tube run towards the curb side of the trailer. Turns out both the grey and galley run the length of the trailer, not across which is what I originally expected. I was never certain since the plumbing in the kitchen is nearly over the front axle. I removed the bolts from the underbelly behind the step and worked forward, this was a more challenging task as the gas line runs right along this area and some of the screws that hold the underbelly retainer also hold the support brackets for this piping. I removed enough under the step area to see the tank but could not move the gas pipe enough, maybe skinny forearms would come in handy here. After debating which way to go about it, I simply cut the underbelly with a razor just behind the gas line that runs across the bottom of the trailer to feed the water heater and furnace on the street side. The gas line that goes across the bottom side of the trailer has a bracket that is screwed to a support member of the frame, the grey and galley are on the side towards the rear of the trailer from this point. I made this opening about 3 inches wide by about 18 inches long which gave me enough room to wire, connect and adhere the sensor to the galley tank. I had 4 inch Eternabond with me and used this to seal the two cuts I made in the under belly. The front side of the Eternabond would be held up by the gas line, which worked well.
With all 4 tanks wiring ending in the same area I combined them with a wiring connector and just made one jumper coming out. This wire will connect with the wire that runs to the display in the trailer. There are two wires for each sensor which can be wired in parallel since the actual display knows what signal it is reading due to the tabs on the sensor and how they are trimmed when you install them. Having this wiring connector behind this area will make it easy to add my second display ($90 option) and use this wiring with the harness that is included.
I then went about installing the display and turned off all power to the rig by turning off the pedestal 30-amp breaker and the 12-volt battery switch just to be safe. The old display pretty much just pops out with a couple of push tabs. The new display is a bit bigger but fits in nicely after drilling pilot holes and using included screws. The SeeLevel display uses a wiring harness with a blue, black and red wire. I just took the red and wired it to one of the positive wires on one of the switches on the backside of the panel. Running the wires back to the jumper was a challenge due to all of the wiring in this area, just takes a little luck and patience to get it to come out of the bottom behind the gas detector which is only held on by two screws.
I turned on both the 120 and 12-volt power to the rig again and was so happy to hit the switches and see the readings which seemed appropriate since we had only been camping two days. All of the gauges seemed to rise as expected and go down when draining tanks on our departure.
As a side note the second display is a nice to have and not really needed. Since I have it I will install it as my water tank is a pain to fill and always burping. Running around to the other side and looking in the entry door at the display is just a pain when all I want to do is fill water when I arrive at the campground. Otherwise the black, grey, and galley can be pressed twice to leave it illuminated for 5 minutes, which was nice when at the dump station as you can stand outside and see the numbers drop.
Overall I felt lucky as everything went well on the install and I had everything on hand I needed. shrink butt connectors, heat gun, 2 x 25 feet of 16 gauge wiring black and blue, wire strippers, fish tape, flashlight (or two when you leave it somewhere and canít find it), drill gun, 10mm socket, ratchet for loosening extra tough screws, wire connectors, and a little patience.
Knowing what is going on in the tanks will be priceless! We tend to keep our trailers for several years and the $265 for the system is well worth it. Why trailers donít come with these simple systems is rather mind boggling when you see all of the options put on trailers today.
I would have added pictures but the lighting was so poor the ones I took did not turn out real well.