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Old 10-06-2007, 11:21 AM   #1
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I just finished logging 17,000 mi.on the MH. The last 10,000 mi. on a 2 mo. trip to Alaska. I am very happy with the Winnebago quality. The roads in Alaska are punishing to say the least. I also traveled 2 well known dirt roads, Cassiar Hwy., and Top of the world Hwy. These dirt roads are full of pot holes, washboards and heaves. The suspension got a work out but handled well.

My only peeves are with gauges. The first is with the Ford instrument panel. Sometimes in the bright sun I couldn't see the gauges. They are set in a black background with no lighting. To see the gas gauge which is in the lower left hand corner I had to use a flashlight. Very frustrating to say the least. Does anyone know if the panel can be swapped out for a more readable one? Maybe one with a white background and if so is it very hard.

2nd peeve is with the gas gauge readout. Gauge is very inaccurate. When the needle gets to full it doesn't mean you have a half a tank. It really means you have 1/3 of a tank. I've filled the tank when needle marks and its taken almost 50 gallons. Tank size full is 75 gallons. Very misleading but I've gotten used to it. I'm also planning on using my scan gauge options to keep track of gas and MPG. Just have to read on how to do that for my next trip.

3rd peeve is with the readouts for the black and grey water gauges. I wonder why and who designed it, the measures are in increments of empty, 1/3 then jumps to 2/3 and full. What happened to full? Most of the time that isn't a problem when you have hookups, but when you're dry camping and traveling with dump stations far and few in between it becomes a guessing game as to when the black water is going to slush out somewhere. The jump from 2/3 to full is very fast. I wonder how many available gallons I have left once it reaches full. How can I find out? Also is there any way to install a different system that is more accurate. I know I'll have to move the sensors but I'm willing to do it.

Well any comments will be appreciated. I know these are small details but when you travel in the MH for 2 months they can become very annoying. My DW and I usually take one, 2 month trip a year plus many smaller ones. Traveling this great land of ours in a MH is a blessing.

Thanks
Tom
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:21 AM   #2
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I just finished logging 17,000 mi.on the MH. The last 10,000 mi. on a 2 mo. trip to Alaska. I am very happy with the Winnebago quality. The roads in Alaska are punishing to say the least. I also traveled 2 well known dirt roads, Cassiar Hwy., and Top of the world Hwy. These dirt roads are full of pot holes, washboards and heaves. The suspension got a work out but handled well.

My only peeves are with gauges. The first is with the Ford instrument panel. Sometimes in the bright sun I couldn't see the gauges. They are set in a black background with no lighting. To see the gas gauge which is in the lower left hand corner I had to use a flashlight. Very frustrating to say the least. Does anyone know if the panel can be swapped out for a more readable one? Maybe one with a white background and if so is it very hard.

2nd peeve is with the gas gauge readout. Gauge is very inaccurate. When the needle gets to full it doesn't mean you have a half a tank. It really means you have 1/3 of a tank. I've filled the tank when needle marks and its taken almost 50 gallons. Tank size full is 75 gallons. Very misleading but I've gotten used to it. I'm also planning on using my scan gauge options to keep track of gas and MPG. Just have to read on how to do that for my next trip.

3rd peeve is with the readouts for the black and grey water gauges. I wonder why and who designed it, the measures are in increments of empty, 1/3 then jumps to 2/3 and full. What happened to full? Most of the time that isn't a problem when you have hookups, but when you're dry camping and traveling with dump stations far and few in between it becomes a guessing game as to when the black water is going to slush out somewhere. The jump from 2/3 to full is very fast. I wonder how many available gallons I have left once it reaches full. How can I find out? Also is there any way to install a different system that is more accurate. I know I'll have to move the sensors but I'm willing to do it.

Well any comments will be appreciated. I know these are small details but when you travel in the MH for 2 months they can become very annoying. My DW and I usually take one, 2 month trip a year plus many smaller ones. Traveling this great land of ours in a MH is a blessing.

Thanks
Tom
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:15 PM   #3
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Tom - Can't help with the dash, but the SeeLevel digital system seems to be the most popular after-market tank monitor. Here's a thread with lots of good info.
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:37 PM   #4
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Auto manufacturers have historically designed their gas gauges to read 'fuller' in the first half of the gauge, and then it falls quickly to empty. This is a standard practice in the industry, and most likely includes MH chassis's.

The logic is that you feel like your 'car' is consuming less fuel for the first half of the tank.

Don't ever believe that your fuel gauge is linear w.r.t. to fuel consumption. It is not.
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Old 10-06-2007, 04:15 PM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I wonder how many available gallons I have left once it reaches full. How can I find out? Also is there any way to install a different system that is more accurate. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
The best "measure" is to get familiar enough with your tanks & usage that you know about how many days you can go until you have to dump. I know about how many days, and can tell when the black tank is getting close to the top based on how the falling water sounds when I flush.

And has been mentioned, the SeeLevel system is probably the most accurate available now that you could install as a replacement. Not perfect, but more accurate than what you have.
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Old 10-07-2007, 03:53 AM   #6
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Our fuel gauge is only accurate at the full mark. At the gauge's 1/2 mark, we have 60 gallons left. Doesn't matter since we use VMSpc for engine instrumentation. The Freightliner gauges aren't too bad, but VMS is much easier and more comprehensive.

I certainly feel your pain with the tank level gauges. The 1/3 increments are essentially useless. We like to carry 1/3 tank of water when we are on the road, but once you use a few quarts of water, then we're "empty."

Congratulations of having "done" Alaska Kudos are especially in order for you since you did Top of the World and the Cassier. We decided not to beat us and the coach up by going on those. We were extremely pleased at how well our Horizon did up there - we hit a couple of frost heaves too fast and bottomed out the air bags but as far as I know, no damage was done to anything but our nerves
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:33 AM   #7
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I had an early Ford V-10 chassis and the gas gauge was right on at every point. I could actually calculate to a gallon how much gas I would need to put in to fill it up. I believe that the gauge is a Ford part as opposed to a Winnebago part. You might want to have it replaced and see if you don't get one that is much closer to accurate. By the way, my Workhorse (Chevy) chassis is not accurate at all. The top "half" is huge and the bottom "half" is very small. I find that I have to drive by mileage rather than by the gauge. I also like to fill up before I hit the one quarter mark so that I have plenty of opportunity to find a gas station that I will fit in.
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Old 10-07-2007, 06:46 AM   #8
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I know what you mean by the useless holding tank gauges Tom. My big complaint was with the fresh water gauge while dry camping. Being I hold 90 gallons of fresh water, I either had 30 gallons of fresh water, or none. When the level dropped below a third, the gauge was useless. I installed the SeeLevel system (and made a few posts on the boards as a result) and love it. I installed one readout in the sewer bay and can watch as I drain or flush the tanks.

It was fairly easy to do, especially when reviewing all the great info posted on this site complete with pictures.

As far as the other gauges, I see that you have a 07' rig. I would start complaining long and loud. You may get some satisfaction under the warranty. Remember, the squeakly wheel get the grease........

Good luck, Sarge
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:38 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies.

After reading JoeK's write up on seelevel that Tomsm kindly linked for me and AFChap and Sarge's review on it, I think that's the way I'm going to go. It looks like a good system.

The fresh water tank is going to be easy, grey and black water are going to be more difficult. They are underneath; I'll have to find a way to get to them. I sure like to be able to see the gauges when you're emptying the tanks.

My fresh water tank is in the storage right next to the entry steps. Is it possible to move the outside fresh water gauge to the water fill side? Make filling a lot easier.

Tomsm, I have 2 GPS's in the MH. A Magellan and a Co-Pilot live for the MH on my laptop. My hobby is off-roading in a modified 4X4 in the dessert and mountains. I got lost once for a couple of days and my co-pilot got on the roof and yelled......! From then on I was known as Chief Fakrwee.

Thanks John, actually I was surprised that neither road was as bad as I had prepared for. They were easier then the section from Whitehorse to Tok. That was a killer, 186mi. in 9 hours. I have some great pics, as soon as I have some time I'd like to do a little write up.

Tom
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:18 AM   #10
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Tom - I too travel with a stand-alone Garmin and the Co-Pilot, so we never have a problem in the MH. However, in our adventures in the toad, I have occasionally reached the "where the.......?" point too. Guess you noticed I had edited out my earlier comment - was beginning to think either I was the only one that got it or maybe I was totally misinterpreting it...

I can also add my endorsment of the seelevel system. Not perfect, but I've had it for a couple of years and I wouldn't be without it. Like AFChap said, once you get more familiar with your usage, you really don't need gauges - but verification is comforting.
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:10 AM   #11
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I am extremely envious of those of you who have traveled to Alaska. It's on the proverbial list of things to do, but not in the foreseeable future.

I don't know if Winnebago still uses Ventline holding tank sensors, but there is a tip in the Winnebago Service tips section (2003-05) which has a procedure for adjusting sensitivity in the Ventline version. We have that in our 2002, but I'm not sure if they are still used in the 2007s.

You might want to check and if they are Ventline, give that adjustment a try.
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Old 10-22-2007, 03:48 PM   #12
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RE: Fresh Water
My 2000 Winnie 35U which is new to me this year has the notoriously deficiant reading on the inside indicator. The simple solution, for me on this coach, has been to open the compartment that contains the fresh water holding tank and simply look at the level. I am wondering if this is viable for other coaches?
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:48 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by codgerbill:
RE: Fresh Water
My 2000 Winnie 35U which is new to me this year has the notoriously deficiant reading on the inside indicator. The simple solution, for me on this coach, has been to open the compartment that contains the fresh water holding tank and simply look at the level. I am wondering if this is viable for other coaches? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Only about the top 12-14" of our FW tank is visible.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:00 PM   #14
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That works on our coach for the fresh water tank. We can see the full height of the tank when we open the battery compartment ...but you have to realize the tank isn't square (it is larer at the very bottom than higher up), so 1/2 way up on the tank actually is a little over 1/2 full. I just wish the gray & black tanks were so easy to take a look at!!
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