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Old 09-04-2023, 09:21 AM   #1
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Micro pulse tank monitoring system vs sea level

This post seeks to generate a conversation about tank monitoring systems by posing two different questions regarding the micro pulse tank monitoring system (mp) on my 2012 airstream flying cloud, 27FB.

First, can anyone provide guidance on next steps with respect to getting this mp system to work? The control panel lights up appropriately and at the beginning of the recalibration process, as well as at the end, gives the right readings as to the control board being able to see and communicate with the sensors.

However, after performing the recalibration process per AS factory instructions four times (!!!!) and having the panel indicate the process was done correctly (green light at 1/2), the resulting final read out is incorrect (showing red for the black and gray tanks instead of green).

When I turned off the control panel after calibration and then turned it on, it registered all three full tanks as being essentially empty, although they were all full. I then emptied all three tanks, and started using it. Once emptied the system still doesnít work. This includes all three tanks.

Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to try to get this system to work?

Absent that, and sensing that this may be above my pay grade, I am considering whether to repair a system Airstream no longer uses or buy the current sea level system and take it to the mothership for installation.

For those who have used both, is the new sea level system any better, or if so significantly better than the mp system?

Since the control panel is the most expensive part of the system, and it seems to be working, or at least all the lights work, would you opt for a repair to the sensors at the tank and risk, as they say, throwing good money after bad by maintaining a system Airstream has moved on from?

Would you start again with Sea Level?

I have not researched cost but if anyone has made this switch, I would love to hear from you as well.

Iím hopeful that this string can be useful to others with the same issue and was not able to find the discussion elsewhere.

Many thanks for your anticipated collective wisdom.
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Old 09-04-2023, 09:53 AM   #2
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After a year of frustration with the MP, I replaced it with the see level. Much better. 2011 23 FB
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Old 09-05-2023, 10:32 PM   #3
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Thank you!
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Old 09-06-2023, 06:41 AM   #4
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+2

The MP was touted as the holy grail of tank monitoring when it was chosen as the replacement from the prior system they used (that also was an epic fail too). I don't know who at Airstream tests this stuff before they install it in thousands of trailers, but my MP never worked from the get go. The factory re-calibrated it when I was there, I re-calibrated it. The factory replaced the panel and re-calibrated it, I contacted MP directly and they sent me a new panel, I installed it and re-calibrated it and either it was inaccurate, indicator lights would randomly stop and start working or both. I finally just accepted that the MP tank monitoring system was just nowhere near up to the task as advertised.

Talking with Airstream, it was MPs fault. Talking to MP they say their system works and that it's Airstream's issue due to improper installation. So with all the finger pointing, the customer takes the hit. Now I will say with the exhaust hood debacle, it's not inconceivable that Airstream went off script at install. It's been well documented here from what I can tell, but my opinion after having gone through nearly a year on and off with it, if you really need to have a tank monitoring system, MP is simply not worth your time. About the only thing the MP did correctly was the battery capacity....tanks were just a dismal failure time and time again.
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Old 09-06-2023, 10:51 AM   #5
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We bought our 2002 19' new and it came with the electrical contact tank level indicators. They were pretty much useless. We then installed the Micropulse system. It's pressure sensors soon clogged up and quit working in any satisfactory way.

Several years ago we installed the SeeLevel system and have been happy with how it shows the tank levels. It does show the grey tank filling up faster than is correct, but that is because of the wedge shape of the bottom of the tank.

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Old 09-07-2023, 10:16 AM   #6
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changeover to seelevel - mother ship or a dealer

Thanks to all who have contributed! For those who changed systems, did you do so at your local Airstream dealer or should/must one go to the mother ship for a reliable changeover?

Did you buy the parts and hand them to Airstream?

What is a ballpark cost for the new system, installed?

Thx again!
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Old 09-07-2023, 11:07 AM   #7
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i installed both the Micropulse and SeeLevel systems myself, so have no idea what an installation done by somebody else would cost.

The SeeLevel system requires sticking sensors on the outside of each tank and having wire from each sensor back to the control unit. Others have doubled the thin "telephone" wires from the Micropulse sensors, but I chose to run new wires.

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Old 09-09-2023, 04:15 PM   #8
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Thanks, Tim. When can I come over ?
The tip about the wires is a good one. When I get the new system Iíll insist on that. Is it a big job?
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Old 09-09-2023, 09:12 PM   #9
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Having done it on my previous SOB, itís not a small job. On an AS youíd need to pull off the belly pans, attach the sensors to the tanks, and then route wires from them up inside the trailer to wherever the panel is mounted. Thereís insulation in the walls so running new wires is a bit of a trick. If the old wires go where you want them to go, and have enough conductors, Iíd do that.
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Old 09-13-2023, 09:23 PM   #10
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Thank you daleyocum!
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Old 09-13-2023, 10:51 PM   #11
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We had JC install the See Level system on our 2013 25FB. This was done just last year. They re-used the existing wiring, and cut holes in the pans to install the sensors (instead of removing the pans). They charged about $1380 for parts & labor.



The hole they cut for the gray & black tanks was rather crude and irregular. They did not re-install the insulation they removed.


We found that the gray tank reading was bad as the tank neared full: after hitting 88%, it would alternate between the good reading and a value of 6%. Following a tip on the forum, we doubled-up the wiring (the MP system needs more wires than the SL. Those wires are thinner than what SL calls for).


JC send us a new sensor board for us to install, but we haven't installed it yet.


We are glad we have the new system-our MP system was useless from the start, even though JC attempted to fix it once under warranty.
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Old 09-14-2023, 01:10 AM   #12
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Good point. If you know exactly where to cut access holes, which clearly JC would, then the job is a lot easier. Not sure Iíd trust anyone else with that.
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Old 09-14-2023, 06:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquared View Post
We had JC install the See Level system on our 2013 25FB. This was done just last year. They re-used the existing wiring, and cut holes in the pans to install the sensors (instead of removing the pans). They charged about $1380 for parts & labor.



The hole they cut for the gray & black tanks was rather crude and irregular. They did not re-install the insulation they removed.


We found that the gray tank reading was bad as the tank neared full: after hitting 88%, it would alternate between the good reading and a value of 6%. Following a tip on the forum, we doubled-up the wiring (the MP system needs more wires than the SL. Those wires are thinner than what SL calls for).


JC send us a new sensor board for us to install, but we haven't installed it yet.


We are glad we have the new system-our MP system was useless from the start, even though JC attempted to fix it once under warranty.
Thank you, Ssquared! Did doubling up the wires fix your problem, such that the system works properly? If you did it again would you insist on having JC use the wiring dictated by SL? With the MP system when it isnít working one thing that the mfr suggests is recalibration. Iíve done that several times, without success on my MP system. Is that something the SL system also needs done, and is it any less time consuming and greedy for water (since you have to take measurements at what you want to read empty and full in each tank you recalibrate.
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Old 09-14-2023, 09:34 AM   #14
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Your micropulse system is operating normally.[emoji1]

Yes, it's terrible. I replaced it with the Seelevel system myself on my 2013 27FB many years ago and it still works perfectly. It's not a trivial job. You'll have to cut an access hole in the galvanized belly pan to access the black and gray tanks. On the plus side that access hole will come in handy whenever there's a need to replace the tank valves.

Here's a link to a video I made back then on my SeeLevel project.

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Old 09-14-2023, 09:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
Your micropulse system is operating normally.[emoji1]

Yes, it's terrible. I replaced it with the Seelevel system myself on my 2013 27FB many years ago and it still works perfectly. It's not a trivial job. You'll have to cut an access hole in the galvanized belly pan to access the black and gray tanks. On the plus side that access hole will come in handy whenever there's a need to replace the tank valves.

Here's a link to a video I made back then on my SeeLevel project.

Congratulations and thank you! Has the see level system been upgraded since 2013?
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Old 09-14-2023, 10:54 PM   #16
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Doubling the wires did not make a difference.


I don't remember how the SL gets cailbrated.



We did choose to test it ourselves by adding/using water one gallon at a time, so we could mentally calibrate ourselves to it. With the SL system, it is normal for an empty tank to read 0% for the first several gallons, and it can read 100% for a few gallons on the full end of the scale. That is because the SL system has individual sensors spaced out at regular intervals on the sensor board.
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Old 09-15-2023, 09:16 AM   #17
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When placing the sensor sheets on the tanks, discern where you want the most accuracy...full or empty.
Because the sheets are never going to be exactly the same length as the tank height, placement, up or down, is necessary.

I wanted to know, most accurately for fresh water, when I was close to being empty. So, I biased the sheet to the bottom of the tank.

For gray and Black, I want to know when I am very full, so I biased the sheets to the top of the tank.
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Old 09-15-2023, 03:43 PM   #18
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Also, the tanks are never truly empty. The fresh water outlet to the pump is about 3/4" higher than the actual tank bottom. I leveled my trailer as best as possible then taped the SeeLevel sensors on with masking tape then adjusted them as necessary so that 0% (fresh) and 100% (black and gray) readings were accurate. Marked the final positions with a sharpie prior to attaching the sensors permanently.

The SeeLevel system has been working flawlessly since installation.

I forgot to mention it in my earlier post. Airstream factory installed a cutout in the galvanized pan for the fresh tank, so made placing that sensor pretty straightforward. Not sure why they did it, but glad they did.
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Old 09-15-2023, 05:02 PM   #19
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Micro Pulse works-sort of Which we have). See level is apparently better, but not perfect (so it seems, I don't have it).

I have just learned our tanks and usage and dump accordingly. Never had a problem.
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