How much is in there?
The new vehicle has gauges to track fluid levels in several
areas. Unlike the Version 1 vehicle, this one has a functional gas gauge.
Small thing, but nice; some would take it for granted. Additionally, there
are sensors for:
These sensors and the control panels that monitor them are from
Snake River Electronics. This is
a semi-custom product. The control panel was programmed at the factory for
the various sensor types and alarms associated with each tank. We chose
this system because it did not require drilling through the tank to mount
sensors that could potentially leak or foul up with debris internally.
There are two panels displaying the data from the sensors.
The Ultra-8 model in mounted in the grooming area and has full
functionality. A smaller unit, the Smart 3, with three tank display, is mounted in
the cab and monitors LP Gas, gray water and the top fresh water sensor.
The Ultra-8 panel is programmed at the factory for the type of sensor on
each input, and how to respond to the low level condition; whether or not to
sound an alarm. Calibration of each sensor for the full/empty
levels is semi-automatic, and is done after installation.
For water tanks, the system uses a pair of foil strips
attached to the exterior of each tank. The tanks must be non-metallic.
The maximum length of the sensor tape is 30" which was not long enough for
the large fresh water tank, so two sensor inputs are used. When the
top sensor reads empty, the tank will be half full/empty and the balance
will be read on the lower sensor. Because of our tank configuration,
two-thirds of the fresh water volume is in the upper half of the tank array, so the
lower sensor will read only the last third of the total volume.
Here is a picture of an installed sensor assembly.
This is the one on the toilet holding tank. This photo was taken prior
to applying the 3M spray adhesive that acts as a sealant over the
installation. The final appearance looks like milk dried over the
( Click to enlarge )
The LP tank is monitored using a sensor provided by
Manchester Tank, the supplier of the LP tank. This tank has an
internal float with magnet attached. An external device senses the
position of the magnet and calculates the fluid level. This is
displayed on a gauge mounted on the tank, and output as a variable
resistance, which the Snake River panel reads and interprets.
There is another type of sensor, on the
fresh water tank array, that controls the fresh water filling system.
Details of that are here.