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Old 08-10-2015, 01:16 PM   #1
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Black tanks / Gray tank

My fifth wheel has a control that checks the levels in the tanks...why would there be two level buttons for what I guess is two black tanks? I have only one toilet, shower, bathroom sink and kitchen sink...I thought only toilet goes to black tank....the master control panel has level indicators for "Black 1," "Black 2," "Gray 1," and Freash water tank.... This is a Coachmen Brookstone.
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:25 PM   #2
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They use the control panels for many models. The second black tank sensor is most likely for a second restroom on a different floor plan
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:28 PM   #3
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We have a Coachmen Chaparral 360IBL and the control panel shows two black tanks. After doing some online research and talking to others on this forum, I found out that a lot of units have a generic control panel. The two black tanks would most likely be for a unit with two separate bathrooms. We just ignore black tank #2
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Old 08-10-2015, 02:49 PM   #4
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Does Black #1 and #2 both register contents when being used?


Based on the specs of a 395RL, it appears it probably has 2 gray tanks.
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Old 08-10-2015, 02:57 PM   #5
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Right now, both register with red light at 1/3 full, however we have only been using it for one week.....(both blacks that is)
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Old 08-10-2015, 03:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jacks395RL View Post
Right now, both register with red light at 1/3 full, however we have only been using it for one week.....(both blacks that is)

My guess is that Black #1 is for the black tank, and Black #2 is actually for one of the grays. Do you have 3 handles to pull for dumping (1 is for black, the other 2 for each gray)? They may not be marked.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:16 AM   #7
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On this subject while I was dumping my tanks at the weekend I noticed that there was a second black water valve handle near the rear of the trailer. My panel shows 2 black tank sensors, but I do not know where the second tank is as I only have 1 3" line and 1 bathroom.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:24 AM   #8
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On my model I have two valve handles. The rear one is for the kitchen gray tank (mine has rear kitchen). Then I have two valves near the front. Forward valve is shower sink gray tank. The middle valve is black tank. If you only have two valves. One is black and one is gray.
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Old 08-11-2015, 12:27 PM   #9
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We also have a Coachmen Brookstone, and as mentioned they use a generic panel for all units. We also have two black tanks showing, but only one sensor is hooked up to the one black tank on the rig.
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:20 PM   #10
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Dang I just seen my post. Meant to say I have three valve handles
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Old 08-11-2015, 05:44 PM   #11
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Brookstone tanks

My 2010 Brookstone 360RL has Black, Gray 1 and Gray 2. Took me several sessions to figure out which gray tank was kitchen and which was bathroom. I used to watch the lights on the control panel (my first year as an rv owner) but soon gave up as they never indicated correctly. We have been pretty much full time since July 1 and I dump about every third day. No sewer hookup in our Ohio River campground so I usually get 2 to 3 trips per session with my 45 gallon tote. The good thing is I am less than 50 yards from the dump station so not a lot of effort, even easier now that I have a golf cart to pull my tote.
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Old 08-11-2015, 09:48 PM   #12
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We have a Coachmen Chaparral 336 TSIK, our panel shows 2 black and 2 grey tanks. It only has one black tank. Once I figured out which one was the "real" black tank, I use a piece of electrical tape to cover the "Black 2" label to end some of the confusion. Hope this helps some because Coachmen has the most worthless Owner's Manual I've ever seen!
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scootingranny View Post
We have a Coachmen Chaparral 360IBL and the control panel shows two black tanks. After doing some online research and talking to others on this forum, I found out that a lot of units have a generic control panel. The two black tanks would most likely be for a unit with two separate bathrooms. We just ignore black tank #2
Scootingranny, how accurate do you feel your 360IBL is on the gauges. I have the 2015 model and for the life of me I just don't seem to trust it. My fresh water will drop from full to 1/3, completely skips 2/3. When I fill it up it registers every level fine, just when in use. Also we just came from an extended stay and used every drop of the fresh water. Various amounts in both greys and black. With all the water I used I only showed 1/3 in black and 1/3 in 1 grey. Any thougts on this. Thanks a bunch.
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Old 08-18-2015, 03:20 PM   #14
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Cheap level indicators

RV tank level indicators are a cheap/poor substitute for good tank level measuring electronics. Even cheaper than the Chinese tires provided by the OEM's. I've owner three fifth wheels and learned with my first one that the indicator lights are a relative indicator only and are rarely correct.

When we are living full time in the camper (over 40 nights this year) I empty about every 3 days except during really hot weather, then every other day. We rarely use the fresh water tank so it stays empty 90% of the time.

I'm sure the RV manufacturers could add quality tank level measuring devices but that adds $cost$ to the unit that most people would rather pass over to get prettier cosmetics. Just my humble opinion though.....
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Old 08-18-2015, 03:32 PM   #15
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just a thought. do you have washer / dryer prep? I have a 5th wheel that has this prep and it includes a separate tank and dump valve just for it. my monitor panel is also generic so the names on the panel do not match up with the function of the various tanks / valves.
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Old 08-18-2015, 05:14 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Nick M View Post
I'm sure the RV manufacturers could add quality tank level measuring devices but that adds $cost$ to the unit that most people would rather pass over to get prettier cosmetics. Just my humble opinion though.....

I think you are right on.

I do have to say though, that except for my black tank monitor, my monitors have always worked just fine.

I can get the black tank down to empty, if I use the built in flusher, and then it works showing increasing contents. Then empty and time to flush again.

I thought I saw somewhere external sensor systems. If they work, seems we would have much less problems with them.
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