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Old 04-16-2016, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default Tank/battery monitor panel

My t160 doesn't have a panel to tell the status of the tanks and battery. How do I know when the black/gray water tanks are full? Can I add a monitor panel? Is there sensors in the tanks?
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:06 PM   #2
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My t160 doesn't have a panel to tell the status of the tanks and battery. How do I know when the black/gray water tanks are full? Can I add a monitor panel? Is there sensors in the tanks?
Hi PieGuy,
I have a panel in my FF, but to tell you the truth, the sensors for the gray and black tanks are pretty much a joke... I went through the cleaning process with liquid cleaners and spray nozzle at the end of a hose and they worked for about 5 minutes!!

As for the black tank, if your tank is straight below the the toilet bowl, turn the water switch off (if using the the fresh water tank), open the flush valve and look in the tank with a flashlight... sounds gross, but not that bad and it works!. If using the onboard water tank, you can pretty much judge how much water you use... If your tanks are like mine, the gray tank holds more than the fresh water tank. You crawl underneath the trailer and look at the tanks, if you see electrical sensors in it with wires attached, you have electrical quantity indicators someplace, if not they can be installed, along with a panel... personally, I probably would not go to the expense, except maybe on the fresh water tank. I like to check it periodically, but a volt meter can be used to check the battery voltage...

As for the 12 volt battery condition, you may choose to install a gauge and momentary switch.

I installed dual group 31 batteries and need to convert a few more lamps to LED... your frig is more than likely gas/120 vac, therefore it will be on gas when dry camping. The only big current draw when dry camping, at least for me is the heater, lights, and the water pump. If I try to conserve electricity even a little bit... turn lights off when not in use, try not to run the heater 12 hours a day, and conserve water use a bit, the two group 31 batteries will easily last 4 to 5 days, and if in a campground, use their toilet facilities part of the time...

Good luck to you and I hope you enjoy the trailer lifestyle, it is fun to me....
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by PieGuy View Post
My t160 doesn't have a panel to tell the status of the tanks and battery. How do I know when the black/gray water tanks are full? Can I add a monitor panel? Is there sensors in the tanks?
Hi PieGuy,
I have a panel in my FF, but to tell you the truth, the sensors for the gray and black tanks are pretty much a joke... I went through the cleaning process with liquid cleaners and spray nozzle at the end of a hose and they worked for about 5 minutes!!

As for the black tank, if your tank is straight below the the toilet bowl, turn the water switch off (if using the the fresh water tank), open the flush valve and look in the tank with a flashlight... sounds gross, but not that bad and it works!. If using the onboard water tank, you can pretty much judge how much water you use... If your tanks are like mine, the gray tank holds more than the fresh water tank. You crawl underneath the trailer and look at the tanks, if you see electrical sensors in it with wires attached, you have electrical quantity indicators someplace, if not they can be installed, along with a panel... personally, I probably would not go to the expense, except maybe on the fresh water tank. I like to check it periodically.

As for the 12 volt battery condition, you may choose to install a gauge and momentary switch, but a volt meter can also be used to check the battery voltage...

I installed dual group 31 batteries and need to convert a few more lamps to LED... your frig is more than likely gas/120 vac, therefore it will be on gas when dry camping. The only big current draw when dry camping, at least for me is the heater, lights, and the water pump. If I try to conserve electricity even a little bit... turn lights off when not in use, try not to run the heater 12 hours a day, and conserve water use a bit, the two group 31 batteries will easily last 4 to 5 days, and if in a campground, use their toilet facilities part of the time...

Good luck to you and I hope you enjoy the trailer lifestyle, it is fun to me....
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:46 AM   #4
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The sensors are usually unreliable. We have learned that we can handle about five days worth of gray water, so we dump at least once a week. The black tank is never full, but we dump it at the same time, of course.

We have measured our fresh water usage, so we know that we use about five gallons a day.

For the battery, your best bet is to take a reading of the voltage once a day with an ordinary multi-meter, with all lights off. When the battery gets to 12.1 volts (50% charge), it is time to charge it. We have two group 31 batteries -- one in use, and one as a spare. I swap them out when needed. We also have a 120 watt portable solar panel, which usually keeps the battery topped up.

All of this seems kind of daunting at first, but it is easy after you have been doing it for a while.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:49 PM   #5
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If you know what your original capacity is, that helps, too.

I think I had a 25-gallon fresh tank on my 189, but it had such a saggy belly, and the pickup point was pretty high on the tank, so I'm not sure how much I actually got to use. I just know that if I was taking RV-style showers, I could get 4-5 of them out of it (along with rinsing dishes, brushing teeth, etc.) before I was starting to look for a fresh refill.

Like others have mentioned, the black and gray are smaller than the fresh, but you're always splitting fresh between the two.
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:48 AM   #6
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Great information everyone. My popup only held 10 gallons of water and we could make it last 4 days. We've never had a toilet or shower so we should be able to go a long time on 25 gallons. I'll keep an eye on the fresh water tank. When it gets low it's probably time to dump the black/gray tanks. Thanks everyone.
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