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A lot of RVers like the “all in one” monitor panels. These panels are typically touch-screen, have cute graphics, and attempt to integrate all the monitoring and control functions in your RV into one screen. Those that like them say it reduces control clutter and provides a cleaner look. I’m not one of those people.
Call me a retro-grouch, but I like single-function controls and tactile feedback. When I want to turn something on, I want to turn it on NOW. I don’t want to wake up displays and navigate through several layers of menus. And when I’m done with it, I don’t want a screen that remains lit up.
And now you know the real reason behind this project.
To properly replace the monitor panel, I had to replace all of the functions of the panel. In this case, that meant:
- Adding a new pump switch to the galley.
- Replacing the tank level monitors on the fresh and grey tanks.
- Coach and Chassis battery monitoring.
- And temperature monitoring for the fresh and grey tanks – which I decided we could do without.
I was able to replace all of these functions with a switch, and a SeeLevel 709-4 panel. The pump switch was actually pretty easy to do, and I explain that in the first 4 minutes of the video. Since I was able to run that wire pretty quickly, it suckered me in to thinking that running the wires for the SeeLevel control panel would be similarly easy.
It wasn’t. We had to pull the fridge and the microwave to run the wire, and that burned up most of the first day on this project. The other thing that took quite a bit of time was actually finding suitable and accessible locations on the tanks in which to mount the SeeLevel sending units.
A Word About SeeLevel Sensors
For those of you who might not be familiar with them, SeeLevel sensors work differently than the regular RV probe type sensors. The SeeLevel system is mounted on the outside of the tank, and uses electrical capacitance to measure the level of liquid in the tank. The system consists of sending units (which are strips of repeating circuitry that are stuck to the outside of your tank) and a display panel which gives tank level readings in fairly precise percentages.
Over ten years and several rigs, we’ve found the SeeLevel system to be accurate and much better than the “guess gauges” that come standard on many RVs. Since the sensors are mounted outside the tanks, it’s a fairly easy retrofit if you can access the tanks. Often, folks are able to re-use the wiring from their old sensors when adding SeeLevel. (Sadly, that wasn’t the case with this install…)
Stuff I Used That Folks Might Ask About
As far as the switch I used for the water pump… I actually had that in my boxes of spare RV parts that I’ve accumulated over the years. But if you had to buy a new switch, this lighted momentary switch should work out.
The SeeLevel 709-4 system is what I used, directly out of the box. No extra long or extra short sending units were required.
The Inline Fuse Holder I used is actually this one. There are a lot of fuse holders you can get on Amazon, but I’d think twice about a fuse holder that comes with 14 gauge wiring and a 30 amp fuse… Go with a name brand.
This is the 14/4 wire that I used for the pump switch.
And this is the 18/4 wire that I used for the SeeLevel panel.
Well, that’s it for now, but I am ready to answer any questions you might have about this project, so sound off in the comments below!