Thursday, March 12, 2020

Day 36 - SeeLevel II Installation - Part 2

Black Tank
This morning, I pulled out the fiberglass panel for the wet bay. Actually, pulled out would be a generous term. I removed the screws and the door supports and was able to pull the panel out around 6". I reached behind the panel and removed the hot and cold water lines to the outdoor shower/faucet. This allowed me to pull the panel out around 6" further. This was enough room to clean the surface of the black tank and mount the sensor. Cleaning was done with Simple Green followed by rubbing alcohol. Enough to get rid of any grease. The 3M adhesive on the sensor strips is supposed to be pretty good. I used the awning rod to pull two wires from the other side of the bay and wired in this sensor. I didn't bother with the Gorilla tape on this sensor as I was confident that the sensor would work in this position. You may notice that the bottom of the sensor is around 2" above the bottom of the tank and about 1" from the top. This is due to the angled and curved corners of the tank but would provide us with the information we need. The level at the bottom doesn't really matter and if we are an inch from the top, that's full enough.

Grey Tank
When I had peeked behind the panel back in December, I had assumed that the black and grey tanks were roughly rectangular tanks sitting next to each other. Completely wrong. The black and grey tanks are some sort of Tetris arrangement which, I guess, is to distribute their weight as much as possible. I was able to find a vertical surface that was at least 12" high to attach the grey tank sensor. Unfortunately, it was in an almost inaccessible location on the passenger side adjacent to the frame rail. I could reach the top of the surface and maybe 6" down but couldn't see it at all. I cleaned the surface using a Swiffer floor cleaning tool then used rubbing alcohol on a couple of paper towels connected to the Swiffer.

After cleaning the surface, I trimmed off the "grey" tab on the sensor and attached a wire to the paper covering the 3M sticky surface. After positioning the sensor near the top of the tank, I used the wire to pull off the paper while pressing the sensor to the tank blindly. At least in the picture, it looks like it's pretty well lined up. And like the black tank, the bottom of the sensor is approximately 2-3" from the bottom of the tank. I then started filling the tank using the shower and the kitchen sink. After about 10 minutes, the display registered 6%. I believe that the bottom couple of inches is the largest part of the tank and probably holds maybe as much as a quarter of its capacity. After tying up the sensor wires, I bolted the access door and tested it one more time. It felt good to get this project done. I'll do a followup review in a couple of months but I think that the SeeLevel II is a worthwhile addition to the RV. No more guessing. I did finish installing the freshwater sensors (no more Gorilla Tape) and after more careful positioning, the display now reads 53%.

Rain is in the forecast for later today so I kind of wrapped things up including covering up the bikes and putting the awning away. It's been nice to be able to sit outside in the shade and spreading out tools and such on the picnic table.

Tomorrow morning, I head back to DFW to pick up Bridget. 

3 comments:

redlegsrides said...

Good writeup, you make it sound easy...even when you couldn't see...

RichardM said...

I had stopped working on it for a while and was buttoning things up until I went in and examined the tanks one more time. Part of that was looking at the location of the tank vents and the black tank flush. This allowed me to visualize the shape of the tanks and determine where I should find a suitable surface. Using the cell phone camera, I examined the location and it looked like it should work.

Lynne Goebeler said...

Very resourceful use of tools for this install! Interesting what you find about the shape and location of each tank when you take on such a project! 😁