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Old 11-23-2020, 05:42 PM   #1
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When is "full" really full?

We have a 2020 Coachmen Sportscoach. When the monitors for the gray and black water levels show "full", how much room is left? Supposedly the tanks are 45 gals. The gauge shows empty, 1/3, 2/3 and full. Using old school math the lights show go off at 15, 30 and 45 gals.

So my questions is: when the full light goes off, how full is it really? 45, 40 or no one really knows.

For the black water I can look down the toilet, for the gray water I assume the shower will stop draining. Was hoping for a more refined way to figure this out.
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Old 11-23-2020, 05:55 PM   #2
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When the water comes up into the shower or sink the tanks are full.

The guages are not metered and just there for a best guess. They only usually work when new so don't be surprised when they quit. There are ways to keep the probes some what clean but that is not fool proof either.

Old RVs never had guages and you just learn when the tanks are full by usage.

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Old 11-23-2020, 06:04 PM   #3
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Our black show full at about 50% I think.

We assume when the black begins to belch it is nearly full. Then we empty the grays also..

Who knows! After 7 days with two adults and two loads of laundry there were no issues. Likely 4 don't care showers. Careful on water usage for dishes. Dishes every second or third day.

Cedar Creek Hathaway 34RE. 3 40 gallon tanks I think.
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:48 PM   #4
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Kind of what I figured but I was hoping for a more definitive answer. I am assuming even the manufacturer does not have a clue.
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwestman View Post
Kind of what I figured but I was hoping for a more definitive answer. I am assuming even the manufacturer does not have a clue.
Ever noticed how long the fuel gauge in your car reads full, and youíve been driving for quite awhile? It canít be full ALL that time.

The indicators are just that.....an indication of different levels.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:05 PM   #6
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Kind of what I figured but I was hoping for a more definitive answer. I am assuming even the manufacturer does not have a clue.
RV manufacturers have been well aware of this for many years. That's why no one is surprised by it, as it's been discussed constantly on RV forums.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
For the black water I can look down the toilet, for the gray water I assume the shower will stop draining. Was hoping for a more refined way to figure this out.
That and experience is the answer unless you want to spring for a system like the SeeLevel II.

Depending on your system, you could look at the tank to see where the sensors are. Our fresh tank is translucent so I can shine a flashlight at it and see the actual water level. I can see where the three Precision Plex sensors penetrate the tank. When the water level is about 1/4" below the wire the gauge moves to the next third. "Full" is maybe an inch below the top of the tank but I also can see water coming out the overflow tube when it gets "full".

We also have a Tecma macerator toilet in the half-bath. It has its own level sensor and lights up yellow when the black tank is at 50% and red when it's 90%. By default it gives you eight more flushes once it goes red.

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Old 11-24-2020, 10:25 AM   #8
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This has been explained previously, but from the responses it looks like it could use a refresher.

The system uses 4 metal buttons that are installed by the factory in a convenient side of a more or less rectangular plastic tank. (see photo)

One is located on as close to the bottom as possible without hitting a seam and is connected to the system's ground wire.

Another is located about the same place on the tank vertically and although it is supposed to indicate 1/3 full on the monitor is really a "not empty" light.

The next one up is about 1/2 way up the tank wall and is the 2/3 full light, but indicates about 1/2 full.

The last is located about 7/8 the way up the wall and when the liquid level hits that, the tank indicates full.

Now, having said that, the levels only indicate the above when the tank is LEVEL. Any tilt to the tank will affect how the monitor reads when the button gets submerged.

If the tank is tilted away from the buttons, the tank may be "full" (not able to accept more liquid) while the middle indicator button only shows 2/3.

Conversely, when tilted towards the buttons, the tank may indicate full even though the tank can accept a lot more.

I attached the wiring diagram and troubleshooting guide if you are having issues.
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Attached Files
File Type: pdf KIB Monitor Panel M21 Wireing Diagram.pdf (51.2 KB, 53 views)
File Type: pdf Micro Monitor Panel Troubleshooting.pdf (149.2 KB, 49 views)
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:00 AM   #9
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Thanks, now I have a better idea of what I am dealing with.
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenandterry View Post
Ever noticed how long the fuel gauge in your car reads full, and youíve been driving for quite awhile? It canít be full ALL that time.

The indicators are just that.....an indication of different levels.
Except we had a Volkswagon Rabbit that when the needle hit "E" the engine quit!
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:28 AM   #11
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And recognize that the actual position of each of the sensors probably varies from tank to tank, depending on how accurate the installer is on a given day. So all they can be considered is a general guide. And that also implies that the sensors in the black tank haven't accumulated some gunk to make them read a lot fuller than they actually are. (Have you had yours read "full" right after you dumped?)
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Old 11-24-2020, 12:09 PM   #12
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My late wife had a simple way to explain if the black tank was full or not.

She said that as long as she could close the lid on the toilet it wasn't full yet.
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:23 PM   #13
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Except we had a Volkswagon Rabbit that when the needle hit "E" the engine quit!
That brought back memories. When I was in college, my dad picked up an old Vokswagon beetle for my brothers to drive. Gas gauge didn't work. We kept a grease pencil in the car and wrote down mileage on inside door frame with each fillup.
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:38 PM   #14
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That brought back memories. When I was in college, my dad picked up an old Vokswagon beetle for my brothers to drive. Gas gauge didn't work. We kept a grease pencil in the car and wrote down mileage on inside door frame with each fillup.
I don't remember gas gauges on early 'beetles'. I do remember the lever sticking through the "firewall" just above the accelerator pedal. When you ran out of gas you just pushed the lever to one side and you could suck another gallon of gas out of the tank. That is unless you forgot to put it back to the regular position when you filled the tank

I had a friend in college who had a late 50's model and they had a small spiral notebook kept above the visor. Mileage was logged at fillup and whenever any family member got in the car they checked to see how many mies they could drive before filling up. Was kind of a random game to see who got stuck with filling the tank but what the heck, back then it was only about $0.25 per gallon
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Old 11-24-2020, 02:00 PM   #15
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Except we had a Volkswagon Rabbit that when the needle hit "E" the engine quit!
I got a phone call from my son when he had got his first car telling me there was something wrong with his car. It had stalled going up into a parking lot and then started again and then quit. When I arrived at his car he indicated that there was something wrong with his fuel gauge. I looked at it, poured some gas in and look and behold it started. I said to him that his gauge was working great, it was on E and out of gas.
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Old 11-24-2020, 02:00 PM   #16
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I'm one of the lucky ones when my indicator shows full on BT it's ready to dump . now the fresh water shows full when empty but reflects correctly once i start adding water . go figure that . the greys are pretty spot on also . 6 yrs and still working well
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Old 11-24-2020, 02:23 PM   #17
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BMac

I find my gauges work pretty well but I have to flush the tank after dumping. The built in flushers don't work well because they only point in one direction. They don't hit the entire tank. I have to use a down the bowl wand and move it around until I hit the sensors. I flush until all the lights go out and I am good to go until the next time.
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:49 PM   #18
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I flush until all the lights go out and I am good to go until the next time.
Great idea. Too bad we can't do that with the grey tank.
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Old 11-24-2020, 05:52 PM   #19
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When we got our TT, the size of the tanks were all questionable. My dealer said one size but the FR site said another size for our model. So about the second year, I checked the manufacturer and model number stamped on the grey and black tanks and sent an email to the manuf. They confirmed these were 40 gal tanks. On one trip that summer i marked my water bucket for 3 gallons. After emptying the black tank completely, I began putting 3 gallons at a time into the toilet keeping track of how many gallons it took to trigger each light. Now I know when the full light comes on how many more gallons I still really have available.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:38 AM   #20
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I don't remember gas gauges on early 'beetles'. I do remember the lever sticking through the "firewall" just above the accelerator pedal. When you ran out of gas you just pushed the lever to one side and you could suck another gallon of gas out of the tank. That is unless you forgot to put it back to the regular position when you filled the tank
My Grandparents had several beetles and the very first one I recall had that "reserve" lever. It worked much like the motorcycles I had when I was younger.
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