How To Calibrate RV Tank Monitors

TheRVgeeks Maintenance, Plumbing 4 Comments

Since we’re sometimes pretty serious boondockers (that’s camping without hook-ups for you RV newbies), we want to know the exact levels in all of our holding tanks – fresh water, gray water and black water – and our propane level too.

We have a fresh water capacity of 105 gallons, 65 gray and 45 black. The limiting factor for boondocking is always the gray tank. We can easily spend 7 days out in the desert, with both of us showering every day, cooking every meal on board, doing dishes etc. If we know we’re going to want to stay in one spot longer, we can make it up to 10 days by being REALLY frugal with water. When the gray tank is full, we always have about 1/4 tank of fresh water left, and the black tank usually takes about two weeks to fill.

A key part of knowing how long you can stay in one place without hook-ups is knowing the levels in your fresh, black and gray tanks. This video will show you how we calibrate our tank monitors so we always know where the levels are. Tank monitors vary by make and model, but this will give you an idea about how we calibrate our Newmar monitors.

This is not something that needs to be done on a regular basis. We calibrated our tank monitors shortly after purchasing our motorhome, and have never needed to touch them since.

We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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Comments 4

  1. Ok, thanks I’ll try the dishwasher soap. Would that work as well for the black tank, assuming it was empty to start with?

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  2. What if there are no small screws for calibrating the indicator lights for tank levels. I have a Salem 23 foot TT and the indicator lights change levels all by themselves. I can empty my black and grey water tanks at the campground and have the lights show “full”. And then when I get home, the lights show empty. Any ideas about that?

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      Hi Tim. Not every system has those handy little adjustments screws, but if you’re leaving the campground with one level showing, and then arriving home with another level showing, it isn’t likely a calibration issue anyway. A more likely problem is that the sensors might need cleaning. You can try this method and see if it works:

      If not, you might consider stepping up to a higher-end monitor system like See-Level, but of course that involves some cost and installation.

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