See Level Sensors for Bigfoot ? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-10-2019, 05:56 PM   #1
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See Level Sensors for Bigfoot ?

We have an Escape 19 on which I've installed SeeLevel tank sensors. Not too difficult as the tanks are not enclosed, ours has no foam under insulation. The wires can be run behind the corner moldings. I really like the SeeLevel system.

We're considering moving to a Bigfoot trailer, 21rb or 25rq. Can anyone tell me how the tanks are enclosed? How hard would it be to mount SeeLevel sensors to the Bigfoot tanks. Well, the mounting would be easy but I'm wondering about access to a clean side of the tanks for mounting. Also, any suggestions for bring wiring to the upper cabinets?

Thank you for your help.
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:05 AM   #2
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I replaced the factory sensors with See Level on a 21'. The freshwater tank is easy to access and hook into the existing wiring. For the other 2 tanks, you have to drop the fiberglass shroud. That took a few hours to remove the many screws and cut some mounting stuff around the tank valves. It wasn't hard to remove or put back together, just time consuming.
I did not like the original sensors, not very accurate or good resolution so, to me, very worth the effort.

Ben
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:48 PM   #3
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Ben:

Thanks for the reply. Good to hear it is possible and not too difficult.

We looked at a 2020 25RQ Bigfoot yesterday. It looked like a galvanized sheetmetal piece at the front and rear of the tank enclosure. A lot of screws and some caulk, but it looked like this would come off without trouble. Wouldn't know for sure till it was done though.

What year is your 21?

Thanks again.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:00 AM   #4
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I have a 2018 21' trailer.
Have you looked at bigfootowners.com? It is the semi-official forum for Bigfoot. You can get a subscription for a short time and a while back, someone posted about removing the cover on a 25'er.

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Old 08-23-2019, 08:07 PM   #5
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Ben:


2018 is like new so I suspect the tank enclosure is the same. Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by btroxell View Post
I have a 2018 21' trailer.
I've looked at bigfootowners.com but didn't find much information. I suspect you need to be an owner/member to get access to the forums. Are these under the "Forum" heading? I'll see about getting a temporary subscription.

Quote:
Originally Posted by btroxell View Post
I have a 2018 21' trailer.
Have you looked at bigfootowners.com? It is the semi-official forum for Bigfoot. You can get a subscription for a short time and a while back, someone posted about removing the cover on a 25'er.
Thanks.
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:33 AM   #6
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Sea Level Sensors

These are the only sensors that Grant @ Bigfoot is using now.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:55 PM   #7
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We decided to get a 25RQ Bigfoot. We were also lucky enough to find a 2018 25RQ for sale in Los Angeles. Went over for a look and came back with a new to us trailer.

Our 25RQ has a built up enclosure (basement) for the tanks. Galvanized sheet metal on front and back with flat sheets, I think plywood/fiberglass, on the bottom. Lots of screws. It would be a pain to take it off and I think you'd have to take it all apart to put sensors on all three tanks. Possible but not trivial.

Thanks for all your insight.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:26 PM   #8
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Russ:

So the newer Bigfoots have a SeeLevel system? The readout on our new to us 2018 25RQ doesn't look like a SeeLevel. The readouts are E - 1/3 - 2/3 - F via rows of lights. The SeeLevels I've used before have a readout in % in about 7-8% gradation. I don't see any manufacturer's name on the existing readout.

Some non-probe (like capacitive) sensors would be great, and I hope it's true. Hoping this I'll likely use what's there at least till we start having trouble.

Thanks for the input. Can anyone confirm or deny what Bigfoot uses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ Foster View Post
These are the only sensors that Grant @ Bigfoot is using now.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:28 AM   #9
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My 2018 21RB was defiantly NOT SeeLevel. I believe they are Sensatank II, a discrete (reads in thirds) capacitive sensor. Attached is a picture of 2 of the original sensors installed on a tank.
They were placed close to where they belonged, not exactly , so there was some error in the reading. Also, I had problem with them a few times with them not reading correctly. So being an engineer and liking precision, I replaced the original sensors with SeeLevel sensors and have been very happy.

Ben
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btroxell View Post
I replaced the factory sensors with See Level on a 21'. The freshwater tank is easy to access and hook into the existing wiring. For the other 2 tanks, you have to drop the fiberglass shroud. That took a few hours to remove the many screws and cut some mounting stuff around the tank valves. It wasn't hard to remove or put back together, just time consuming.
I did not like the original sensors, not very accurate or good resolution so, to me, very worth the effort.

Ben

Quote:
Originally Posted by btroxell View Post
My 2018 21RB was defiantly NOT SeeLevel. I believe they are Sensatank II, a discrete (reads in thirds) capacitive sensor. Attached is a picture of 2 of the original sensors installed on a tank.
They were placed close to where they belonged, not exactly , so there was some error in the reading. Also, I had problem with them a few times with them not reading correctly. So being an engineer and liking precision, I replaced the original sensors with SeeLevel sensors and have been very happy.

Ben

My '18 21RB is not SeeLevel either. But, I would love to get a better, more accurate reading of what my water levels are. Can you just replace the freshwater? Or do you have to replace all 3 at the same time? Which IS the freshwater tank? I looked for something like your picture but I don't see it. Is that inside the fiberglass cover?
Thanks in advance,
Jon
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:11 PM   #11
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Yes, the picture is of the tank and sensor inside the fiberglass shroud. I pulled the shroud off so that I could add a grey tank sprayer and the new tank sensors.
Theoretically you could just replace one tank but you would have to keep each sensor's panel since the readout is completely different and use different electronics to read the sensors.
In the 21RB, the grey and black tanks are slung under and housed in the 'basement' and the fresh water tank is in the hidden 'bump' in the storage compartment under the bed.

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Old 09-14-2019, 02:26 PM   #12
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Sea Level Sensors for Bigfoot

I own a 2019 Bigfoot 25RT and it does not have Sea Level sensors.
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:40 PM   #13
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Ben:

Does the readout look like this:


This is the readout in our 25RQ. I don't see any manufacturer or markings of any kind. It doesn't look like any Sensatank readout I could find. Did yours look like this?

I've used SeeLevel sensors on two previous trailers. No complaints. If I didn't have to pull the basement apart I'd have a unit on order.

Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by btroxell View Post
My 2018 21RB was defiantly NOT SeeLevel. I believe they are Sensatank II, a discrete (reads in thirds) capacitive sensor. Attached is a picture of 2 of the original sensors installed on a tank.
They were placed close to where they belonged, not exactly , so there was some error in the reading. Also, I had problem with them a few times with them not reading correctly. So being an engineer and liking precision, I replaced the original sensors with SeeLevel sensors and have been very happy.

Ben
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:44 PM   #14
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Ben:

I think in our 2018 25RQ all three tanks are mounted in the basement. I think they go side to side, the black furthest back, gray in the middle and fresh furthest forward. Not sure how much room there is to get at the middle tank to apply a SeeLevel sensor.

Can anyone confirm this layout on a 25RQ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by btroxell View Post
Yes, the picture is of the tank and sensor inside the fiberglass shroud. I pulled the shroud off so that I could add a grey tank sprayer and the new tank sensors.
Theoretically you could just replace one tank but you would have to keep each sensor's panel since the readout is completely different and use different electronics to read the sensors.
In the 21RB, the grey and black tanks are slung under and housed in the 'basement' and the fresh water tank is in the hidden 'bump' in the storage compartment under the bed.

Ben
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:58 PM   #15
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I think the stock sensors in our 25RQ are working. Gray and black go to zero when emptied and the fresh goes to full when filled. Each tank is 45 gal. However, I have a strange reading currently. We dumped and have been without hookup for 6 days. The gray tank reads full, the fresh tank 1/3, and the black 1/3. Now the only water going into the gray tank is coming from the fresh tank. If the fresh tank is down 2/3 then the gray physically can't be over the same 2/3. Would be even less accounting for some fresh going into the black. Unless the sensors are lying we're generating water.

I think we'll find a hook up and test the sensors. i.e. Fill the fresh and dump gray and black. Then fill a gallon container from fresh faucet and dump it down the sink to gray. Count one gallon and check the sensors. Repeat noting at how many gallons the fresh and gray sensors indicate a change. Then fill up the black a gallon at a time down the toilet noting when indicator changes. Should tell us something.

I'll let you all know what we find. Thanks.
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:00 PM   #16
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Yes,, my display looked like that and I agree, it doesn't look like any pictures that I could find. But the sensors looked like ones from Sensatank.
On my 21RB, it looks like there is room to put another tank along with the grey and black.

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Old 09-14-2019, 11:17 PM   #17
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I added water to all my tanks 1 gallon at a time to calibrate the SeeLevel display and validate where I placed the sensors. To say the least, it was enlightening; the tanks were not the size Bigfoot advertised. When I contacted the factory, they validated the tanks were not as was advertised. I wrote all this up and it's on the Bigfoot forum (need a membership to read though).

Ben
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:01 AM   #18
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Ben:

The sensors in your picture sure look like Sensatank. If they are I'd have thought Bigfoot would tout this in their descriptions. Should be more reliable than the probes other RVs use.

Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by btroxell View Post
Yes,, my display looked like that and I agree, it doesn't look like any pictures that I could find. But the sensors looked like ones from Sensatank.
On my 21RB, it looks like there is room to put another tank along with the grey and black.

Ben
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:06 AM   #19
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Ben:

I looked through the Bigfoot Owners forum but didn't find your post. Different trailer so wouldn't help a lot anyway.

I'll certainly test the tanks via the gallon jug method. Even more reason if the tanks may not be as advertised. More deffinative than contacting Bigfoot, and will point out how accurately the sensors were place on our trailer.

Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by btroxell View Post
I added water to all my tanks 1 gallon at a time to calibrate the SeeLevel display and validate where I placed the sensors. To say the least, it was enlightening; the tanks were not the size Bigfoot advertised. When I contacted the factory, they validated the tanks were not as was advertised. I wrote all this up and it's on the Bigfoot forum (need a membership to read though).

Ben
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:06 AM   #20
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Sorry, it was late and I was being lazy. Here is the post I made on the Bigfoot forum:

Quote:
Post: Tank sizes for 21RB
on: October 31, 2018, 10:22

I have been ‘playing’ around with my tanks on my 21RB trailer. I had some issues with the tanks not reading correctly and didn’t like the coarseness of the factory installed indicators so I replaced them with SeeLevel (https://www.garnetinstruments.com/pr...-tank-monitor/) indicators. After installing the new indicators, I wanted to see how accurate they were so I filled each tank 1 gallon (US) at a time. To my surprise, the tanks were much smaller that what is published on the Bigfoot site. What I read was:

Measured (US gal) Published (US gal)
Fresh 25 34
Grey 19 27
Black 17 22
I had the trailer level and filled the tanks to maximum

When I contacted Grant at Bigfoot, he said that the manufacture says that the fresh water tanks is 29 US gallons, the grey and black are 22 US gallons. The fresh water tank is in the storage compartment below the bed which means the connection to the pump is from the side. This prevents about ¾” of water from being used (pump starts sucking air before all is gone). Also, due to the way the fill connection is connected, I couldn’t put in the last ¾” -1” of water. This is why I only got 25 gallons usable from the fresh water tank. Looking at the both the grey and black, I would have thought that I got more usable space from those tanks due to the piping so I’m not sure why it is less.

This is just a heads up to those who rely on their tanks for boon-docking. ‘Fixing’ the fresh water tank is easy by carrying extra jugs in the truck. I guess that I will be buying a portable waste water tank so that I can dump when at campgrounds without breaking down and moving the trailer.

Ben
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