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Old 04-09-2015, 07:12 PM   #1
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A few See Level questions

I am finally about to pull the trigger on converting from Micropulse to See Level after getting the AS out of storage to find ANOTHER calibration is necessary after it's long winter nap.

I have re-read most of the threads but have a couple of questions from those of you who have made the conversion INCLUDING propane gauges from both tanks. I also would like to be able to shut off the entire system to save power while off grid.

All that said, I think I want the 709PH. It has both the pump switch (which I need) as well as a water heater switch. My thought is that I could run the 12V power for the monitor through this switch...in essence making it a Monitor on/off switch.
Any comments on that idea?

I also need to know from those of you who have dual propane tanks with the double bung gauge and sensor leads, how you rigged the monitor to read both tanks independently. I read somewhere else online, that a toggle switch could be used and the monitor could read both of them. Any good looking setups you all used?

Any other suggestions?
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:57 AM   #2
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Bump....I know there are some of you out there.....how are the 2015s switched for propane levels?
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:56 AM   #3
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Rich, I'll be following the responses to your questions as a SeeLevel system is on my wish list.

Questions for you.
1. Will you be doing the conversion yourself or getting JC or another installer to do the work?
2. Will the conversion require the holding tanks to be lowered to attach the sensors.
3. Will you be able to use the existing wires from the Micropulse sensors to the panel? Can't see why not, clip off the RJ11 connectors and select the required wires.
4. How will you run the wiring for the water heater from the SeeLevel panel. My water heater controls are in the bath but my Micropulse panel is on the curbside wall next to the rear kitchen. Will the water heater switch on the SeeLevel panel just control the electric heat vs the gas. Gas also has the warning light when gas ignition fails or does the LED light above the water heater switch perform that function.

Thanks

Kelvin
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:12 AM   #4
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Kelvin,
1) I will be doing the install myself.

2) I believe I can get to the fresh tank wall through the closet floor where the fill and pump lines run through. Won't be easy standing on my head, but probably better than dropping the fresh tank. I believe I will drop the black/gray pan....fearfully. Most everyone says the vent and toilet/drain plumbing will support the empty tanks. I'd love to re-work the insulation in there as well.

3) I'm not sure, the documentation isn't clear on the type of wire used on the SeeLevel. I think the Micropulse uses phone line????? I agree, I believe it shouldn't be a problem to modify/use the RJ11 wires.

4) My thought is to use the water heater switch for a power switch for the SeeLevel...not as its intended heater switch. I'd like to turn off the monitor while boondocking. Don't need a 200mA additional constant drain. I believe I can just run the 12V supply for the panel through the switch and jump to the normal 12V terminal on the panel.

I have a call into Randy at BestConverter, but he hasn't returned it yet to verify my mods and wiring questions.

I also need to ask him about installing an additional toggle switch to cycle between the 2 propane tanks, so I can read their levels independently.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:33 AM   #5
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I've tried to follow my water tank monitor sensor wire down the hole but failed to find the sensor nor is their easy access to remove plumbing fittings. They must disconnect the plumbing up top to lower it down carefully guide the fill tube, air vent hose and water output piping.

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Old 04-10-2015, 09:38 AM   #6
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But the fresh tank sensor wire on mine would be very easy to either patch into or run a new one, as IIRC the wire bundle runs along the floor, inside, behind the stove/drawers and enters the wall at the floor directly below the monitor panel.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:58 AM   #7
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When you "pull the trigger" don't shoot yourself in the foot. 😜
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
When you "pull the trigger" don't shoot yourself in the foot. 😜
Wouldn't be the first time.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:54 AM   #9
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I have taken the gray/black tank down in a 1988 29' Excella. I wasn't sure if the tanks would be held in place so I took the tanks and the tank pan down. The tanks on your trailer are probably similar in shape but the bungs for the toilet, drains and vents in different places.

It was quite a job. I put the trailer up on a couple of blocks, stacked wood blocks under the corners of the pan, used an impact to remove the bolts and one by one pull out the wood blocks until the pan was on the ground.
When reinstalling I lifted each side and stuffed another wood block in place. I then used an assortment of jacks to slowly lift the pan into place a little at a time.

By chance are there any inspection plates for the tanks? It may be possible to put the tank sensors on via the inspection plate if you can use the old wire or fish a new wire.
The sensors need to be in an area with the least amount of steel to interfere with the signal. I put the sensors near the drain on both the black and gray and skewed them toward the top. The fresh water was skewed toward the bottom.
I was never successful in getting the old LP tank sensors to work, I think it had something to do with the newer OPD valves when the LP tanks were upgraded. The regular liquid tank sensors were very accurate with the SeeLevel system!

Tank layout
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Fresh water sensor
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Black water sensor
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:37 AM   #10
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Sounds like a tough job to convert. I'll probably have to have it done at JC. While they are yanking everything down I'll have them put new valves and new fresh water drain. That's a project that will have to wait a few years when I finally retire.

Kelvin
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:42 AM   #11
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Steve, I re-read your original postings. Couple of observations and questions:
1: Were your original sensors/wires on the streetside end of the waste tanks? I assume so, since that is the deepest part of the tank.
2: There are currently no inspection plates on my waste pans...they are factory virgins. I may make a plate in the open area where you show the pipes exit the tanks. I hate to, but that's just a weird quirk of mine, to cut into something. Actually, since service of the valves are a probability at some point, might as well do it now.
3: I'm pretty sure my tank layout will be very similar to yours, as the classic was an evolutionary change from the excellas. But I think my tanks are opposite of yours. Your gray appears to be on the left and black on the right? Mine is reversed of that, but the open area should be very similar between the tanks in the valve area.

Any other help?
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Steve, I re-read your original postings. Couple of observations and questions:
1: Were your original sensors/wires on the streetside end of the waste tanks? I assume so, since that is the deepest part of the tank. The original waste tank sensors were near the output (streetside) of the black and gray tanks.

2: There are currently no inspection plates on my waste pans...they are factory virgins. I may make a plate in the open area where you show the pipes exit the tanks. I hate to, but that's just a weird quirk of mine, to cut into something. Actually, since service of the valves are a probability at some point, might as well do it now. If I had the tank pan down for any reason it would be a perfect time to make and inspection plate in case of future valve or tank sensor issue. Not a weird quirk at all since it will be me doing the future servicing or less money on the hour if I hire someone else to troubleshoot a tank valve. The tanks are made of galvanized metal similar to hvac sheet metal ductwork. Just find a flat over sized piece and install with short stainless steel sheet metal screws.

3: I'm pretty sure my tank layout will be very similar to yours, as the classic was an evolutionary change from the excellas. But I think my tanks are opposite of yours. Your gray appears to be on the left and black on the right? Mine is reversed of that, but the open area should be very similar between the tanks in the valve area. You are correct the tank layout is just the opposite between the models.

Any other help?
It's been a few years since I did the job but I was able to use the existing tank wiring which made the job a snap. I used a multimeter and a long length of wire to verify the wire to tank/sensor locations.
I am not familiar with the Micropulse system and the type of wire it uses but I have a feeling I will be doing this job on my sisters 08 Safari in the future so post up your project please.
I also remember something about the ground plane needed to be the same for the tanks and SeeLevel board. Since I used the existing wiring I was able to connect the grounds together up near the SeeLevel board.

I remember reinstalling the tanks, leveling the trailer, filling all of them with water, and attaching the sensors temporarily with tape and adjusting them up/down as needed. The sensors are not an exact fit. The fresh water skewed toward the bottom and waste towards the top. Make a mark then peel off the sticky side and paste to the tank. I would also make sure the side of the tank is clean where the sensor adhere's (de-natured alcohol, etc..)
Here is a link to my project.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f444...led-78854.html
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:47 PM   #13
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Thanks, Steve that's helpful. I am about 99% sure the sensor wires for the MicroPulse are RJ11 phone cord, so that gives...what...4 wires in each line?

I talked to Randy at BestConverter today and, although he hasn't tried mods I am considering (using the water heater switch as a SeeLevel power switch and adding a toggle switch in order to monitor both propane tanks) he said he knew of no reason why I couldn't...so he said "go for it".

I ordered the 709PH from him today.
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:49 PM   #14
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See Level 2

Pull the trigger, I did and am glad of it. My AS came with a Micropulse 2013 AS 25 FB Flying Cloude. The Micropulse never gave me acurate readings. The See Level 2 is mounted on the outside of the tanks. This makes all the difference in the world. No clogging the internal gauge.
One upgrade to any gauge would be that it signals at a preset degree of fullness.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:43 AM   #15
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I installed a See Level in my old Trade Wind since I was installing new holding tanks anyway. I used two conductor, 18ga "door bell" wire. I did shield the stick on circuits with sheet rubber as I was kinda close to the frame rail with my install.

The only trouble I had was "voltage ripple" while connected to 115v AC. My 1999 converter was too old and caused the ripple in the 12v circuits. Think static in the radio. So I upgraded the converter and the ripple went away. The

See Level techs were very good on the phone helping me solve the problem. One thing I learned was See Level requires a very good ground. They want no more than 50 ohms between the instrument connection and any ground. They prefer the ground directly to the battery negative. My trailer was only 2 ohms resistance to ground as I had cleaned the ground connections when I cleaned up the frame.

I did not buy the propane level option.

I did drop the pan on my 86 Limited to replace the dump valves. I did not drop the tanks, they were held up by their toilet, vent, and drain connections. With the pan and valve cover off, I could have easily installed a See Level circuit and the wiring.

I used my floor jack, and bolted a 2x8 to it, and balanced the pan on that. I was able to get the pan down, out, back in, and back up using this method on my driveway.

Go for it!

David
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:52 PM   #16
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David, I had read your thread. How firm did you feel the connections were between the tank and the pipes? Were you holding your breath?

BTW, I almost made a mistake. The 709PH only has a single pole pump switch. I need a 3 pole, as I also have a pump switch in the bathroom. Got a hold of Randy and he stopped the shipment. I need a 709-HP3W, which Randy doesn't have on his website, but can get for me. He suggested I call Garnet Instruments on Monday to confirm that is what I need.
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:57 PM   #17
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The pipe connections to the tank were not the greatest. I was holding my breath. As I recall it is the ABS pipe dropped in to a molded boss with a hose clamp and sealant. I disturbed the shower and bath sink drain pipe connection and it came apart on me. By the grace of God, I was able to reach it through the heat vent outlet below the shower pan, re-apply some caulk. I could just get my small socket on the head of the hose clamp screw and tighten it. The leak stopped. The tank vent pipes are on the curb side in my trailer. I had access to them through the closet floor if I needed to .

My trouble was rough handling of the tanks as I disassembled and re-assembled the new drain manifold and dump valves to the 3" molded openings in the tanks. I was supporting the tanks with my floor jack and 2x12 while I worked on them.

Your job is just cleaning the surface and applying the See Level circuits. The risk of disturbing the tanks is less.

Good catch on the 3 pole switch. My water pump switch is also 3 pole with one switch on the control panel and the other switch in the bathroom. But I purchased just the base model of the See Level. My old Trade Wind is anything but fancy.

David
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:40 AM   #18
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Called Garnett this morning. Model 709-DLP is the unit for those of us with LPG tank gauges.

It has a 3 pole pump switch- for ASes with an additional pump switch in the bath, monitors 3 tanks and TWO lpg tanks.

In addition, they told me that there is NO parasitic drain when the unit is at rest with no display showing, so my power switch mod is NOT needed.

Have a call into Randy for procurement.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:21 PM   #19
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Come to think of it, my See Level display is only on when I call for the status of the battery or tank levels.

David
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:15 PM   #20
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I got started with the install today. Got the LP tanks calibrated and the fresh water sensor installed and is working correctly; but the voltage readout says 17.2V whilst my multimeter and Tri-Metric read 13.5V. They say the SeeLevel is factory calibrated and shouldn't need re-calibration???? So there must be a way. I sent an email to them.

Now I just have to decide whether to drop the G/B pan or cut an access.......I seem to be having difficulty deciding.
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