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Old 07-19-2020, 02:04 PM   #1
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Fresh & Gray Water Gauges

I am having an issue with our new 2020 26DJSE Greywolf. We took it out for its first trip this weekend and we have a family of 5 with 3 younger kids. It has a 40 gallon fresh water tank and knowing that we were very cautious about using the water. The fresh water gauge was full when we parked the camper in the spot. We did some light dish washing while turning off the water in between, showered in the shower house in the campground, and the kids brushed their teeth and maybe used the toilet a couple times. That's about it for water use in the camper. During our first night the fresh water gauge went to 2/3 and we pretty much did nothing that night other than the light dish washing. The next day towards the evening the gauge went to 1/3 and then by Saturday night it was reading empty. It was full when I filled it. I filled it slow and the water started coming out of the over flow so I stopped and that was it.

Fast forward to today. I refilled it when we got home and told the wife to use it. She washed a couple things in the sink and took a quick shower. The fresh water gauge was reading full before she started and the grey tank was empty. After the quick shower and dish washing the fresh water tank was reading full still and the grey tank was reading 2/3 full.

This does not add up so if anyone has any ideas but I go drop it back off for warranty work and lose my new camper for a month let me know. My next step is to measure the water that comes out of the grey tank.

Fresh tank - 40 gallons
Grey tank - 38 gallons

Thank you.
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Old 07-19-2020, 02:27 PM   #2
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A family of 5 can go through the water a lot faster than one realizes.

Biggest uses are running faucets for hand washing/rinsing and showering. Unless you catch all the water used in a large bowl or the sink more water may go down the drain than you realize. A lot of it wasted just waiting for hot water too.

If you are running off your fresh water tank with pump, take into consideration that the average water pump in an RV delivers 3 gallons per minute. Faucet ends may have flow limiters in them (aerators) that limit flow to around 2 gallons per minute.

A minute here and a minute there adds up. Biggest hassle I had when raising kids (and with an ex-wife) was getting them to to wet their hands, turn off water, soap and lather, then rinse as quick as possible. Usually they would turn the water on just like at home and let it run throughout the washing process.

Dish washing can consume a lot of water too if lots of water is run for rinsing. To conserve in my TT I wash from a large bowl with soapy water. Place all washed dishes and utensils in the other sink. They all get rinsed at once and put in the dish drainer.

About half a gallon in the wash side and maybe a gallon to rinse all at once. A far cry from estimates that people use from 8-24 gallons of water when hand washing dishes at home.

In closing remember that tank gauges read in 'thirds". Your gauge may have dropped to 2/3 rapidly but that just means that the water had dropped to just below the full indicator. The tank could well be over 90% full although the gauge indicates 66%.

Same when the gauge shows 1/3. Just means that the tank is just under 66%..

Gauges have a 33% spread from one reading to the next so don't be alarmed. Even Empty can leave you with 1/4 tank or 10 gallons.

Welcome to the wonderful world of RV tank gauges
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Old 07-19-2020, 02:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! I appreciate it. One of the things we stressed to the kids was turning the water on and off while washing hands and I think they did pretty good for that part. The wife also came up with the washing the dishes in the bowl so we did that also. I decided to go ahead and measure the water coming out. I pulled out about 18 gallons out of the gray tank after 2 showers and washing the bowl. I believe if my math is right a 38 gallon tank at 33% would be about 12.54 gallons so if I pulled out 18 I believe I am off about 7 gallons on the gauge. I wish I knew what it was looking for measurement wise. The camper has other issues with outlets that are not working so I may have to take it in anyway but that's where I am at.


Also the fresh water tank is currently reading 2/3 full which would have meant I only used 13.2 gallons. It just doesn't add up since I removed approximately 18 gallons out unless those gauges are just that off
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Old 07-19-2020, 07:13 PM   #4
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This may not apply to your rig but on our TT we'd see the grey tank go from 1/3 to full in the blink of an eye. Did some testing by dumping 5 gal. buckets down the kitchen sink from empty and found that it really was going from 1/3 to full when the 2nd 5 gal bucket was being poured in. Checked the wiring on the sensors for the tank and noticed they were not in the same order as the black tank (which seemed to read properly). I switched the two odd wires and VIOLA! the grey tank started reading properly.

Your results may vary!
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Old 07-20-2020, 11:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mattcrowder View Post
Thanks for the reply! I appreciate it. One of the things we stressed to the kids was turning the water on and off while washing hands and I think they did pretty good for that part. The wife also came up with the washing the dishes in the bowl so we did that also. I decided to go ahead and measure the water coming out. I pulled out about 18 gallons out of the gray tank after 2 showers and washing the bowl. I believe if my math is right a 38 gallon tank at 33% would be about 12.54 gallons so if I pulled out 18 I believe I am off about 7 gallons on the gauge. I wish I knew what it was looking for measurement wise. The camper has other issues with outlets that are not working so I may have to take it in anyway but that's where I am at.


Also the fresh water tank is currently reading 2/3 full which would have meant I only used 13.2 gallons. It just doesn't add up since I removed approximately 18 gallons out unless those gauges are just that off
I don't think they were ever designed to be real accurate in the first place. Readings can be affected by any tilt in the tank either from sag in it's mounts or the RV being slightly off level.

I think that they should have the indicator lights labeled differently. The 1/3 level should be labeled "Still good to go". The 2/3 level should be "Start Planning on Dumping". Full should read "Time to Dump, Add more and your taking your chances".

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Old 07-20-2020, 12:24 PM   #6
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One quick question. Was the Water Heater full before you filled the FW tank ? First time out with our first travel trailer I filled FW tank, turned on pump, then wondered why the pump ran so long and I lost a 1/3 of the FW tank. I dawned on me a minute or two later, when I realized the Water Heater was empty and the first 6 gals of the FW tank went to fill the Water Heater.
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Old 07-21-2020, 12:45 AM   #7
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Trailer leveled?

Camping last weekend, fresh water tank reading 1/3, the pump began to run continuous, I would say my trailer wasn’t level. Normally I can go to empty, and that grey water gauge never counted on that, add dish washer detergent to grey water tank may help to clean the sensors.
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Old 07-21-2020, 10:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattcrowder View Post
Thanks for the reply! I appreciate it. One of the things we stressed to the kids was turning the water on and off while washing hands and I think they did pretty good for that part. The wife also came up with the washing the dishes in the bowl so we did that also. I decided to go ahead and measure the water coming out. I pulled out about 18 gallons out of the gray tank after 2 showers and washing the bowl. I believe if my math is right a 38 gallon tank at 33% would be about 12.54 gallons so if I pulled out 18 I believe I am off about 7 gallons on the gauge. I wish I knew what it was looking for measurement wise. The camper has other issues with outlets that are not working so I may have to take it in anyway but that's where I am at.


Also the fresh water tank is currently reading 2/3 full which would have meant I only used 13.2 gallons. It just doesn't add up since I removed approximately 18 gallons out unless those gauges are just that off
You are using logic and math to work a problem that will baffle the brightest mathematician who ever lived.

Here is the trouble. There are 4 probes mounted in each tank. They are not pre-srilled at the holding tank factory but are drilled at the camper building factory. they do not get them in exact locations to read Empty, 1/3, 2/3 and full. In other words their placement is inexact.
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Old 07-21-2020, 10:59 AM   #9
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be sure to turn on water pump while filling to fill water heater. if you turn pump on later it will fill hot water heater and you are right away loosing capacity. I got a cap for my over flow tube because after filling and turning off water it would continue to siphon water. SO I fill turn off water then add that cap to stop the siphon to carry an extra few gallons
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Old 07-22-2020, 05:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimber45 View Post
be sure to turn on water pump while filling to fill water heater. if you turn pump on later it will fill hot water heater and you are right away loosing capacity. I got a cap for my over flow tube because after filling and turning off water it would continue to siphon water. SO I fill turn off water then add that cap to stop the siphon to carry an extra few gallons
How does your tank vent then to add air to replace the water pumped out of it when you use the water?

If you keep that vent closed the tank will collapse as the water is pumped out.
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