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Old 08-11-2009, 07:32 PM   #1
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1)Black holding tank sensors 2)TP brand

1)We have a 2008 Sightseer. I expected with the out side tank sensors that false readings would be reduced. Wrong, it's worse than the in tank ones. We've taken to using more water and that has not helped. I drained and flushed the tank 3 times and used a sprayer that I stuck down. Result, instead of a full tank reading, it was 1/3 and then went back to full when we drove. I usually add 2 or three toilet bowls full of water after emptying to " prime the system". Am I doing something wrong? This is not our first motor home so, we're no strangers to the care and use of the tank. I'm considering a Flush King.

I've talked to a few other Sightseer owners who also have similar issues. One never even uses the gauge any more.

2) I notice that Costco toilet paper says safe for septic systems. Can it be used in the motor home? We use the Happy Camper tank treatment.

Thanks to all who share their knowledge.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:48 PM   #2
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Siteseers,
I'll only reply to the #2 question.

We use Angel Soft off the shelf at Walmart or any other store. Here is a test you can do. fill a clear glass with water. Take a sheet of TP and place it in the water. Use the handle of a spoon and just give it a gentle swirl. I have a clear elbow on my black tank and when I dump there is no residue of paper visible anywhere during the dump. And using lots of water and less paper is definitely a plus.

I will not say how not to test TP, but if you use Angel Soft, be sure to fold it a few times on itself before use.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:50 PM   #3
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sightseers;

Sorry I can't help you with your tank monitor problem. I have the old system in our Chieftain. It works very well. We have a dump in our garage. When we get home in the garage I drain and flush the tank and get false readings. I than fill the tank nearly full with clear water and let it sit for an hour. I than drain the tank and the false readings are gone.

In regard to your question on toilet paper I suspect you will get several different answers. We use Angel Soft tissue and my DW swears by it.

Don
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:19 PM   #4
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I wonder if it might be a calibration problem with the sensors. I recall a post from some time back (can't find it right now) about small rheostat adjusters that control the sensitivity of the sensors. As I recall they are located in / under the One Place tank capacity display.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:44 PM   #5
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I'm sorry to say I cannot help with the sensor problem either. I have the outside tank sensors but have not had a problem with them.

For TP for over 30 years I have used any type that says safe for all septic systems. I have never had a problem. I use the Angel Soft mentioned as well as several other brands when on sale or I have a coupon.

Also for the last 10 years or so I do not use any chemicals of any type in the tank. I am a full timer and have been sitting for almost 2 weeks without sewer hookup and do not have any odor from the tank. I do use plenty of water.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:46 AM   #6
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I have the TrueLevel non-contact sensors and the same issue. There are no adjustments on the tank sensors/circuitry. There is one on the LP circuit. There were adjustments on many (most?) of the old style through the wall sensor circuit boards.

The tank walls get dirty enough to fool the sensors and cleaning the tank walls is the only solution as far as I know. A couple of times I have put a tee on a pressure washer, gone through the toilet opening, washed the sides of the black tank and got the system to work for a few weeks, but then it starts reading full all the time.
I don't have a built in flusher though. If you get the tank clean and then flush it each time you empty, the sensors might continue to work properly.

My gray tank shows 1/3 full all the time, but the 2/3 and full LEDs work properly.

As far as toilet paper goes I am not sure that it really matters which brand you use as long as you use enough water, but info on dissolve times is below.

From a Good House Keeping web site (gone now)
Brand...........................................Di ssolving Time in Seconds
(lowest is best)
Charmin Plus 1-Ply..................................9
MD 2-Ply............................................... ....9
Coronet 2-Ply..........................................12
Angel Soft 2-Ply......................................12
Scott 1-Ply..............................................1 7
Soft 'N Gentle 1-Ply ...............................18
Soft Weve 1-Ply.....................................20
Marcal 1-Ply...........................................20
Soft 'N Gentle 2-Ply...............................21
Seventh Generation 2-Ply.....................21
Quilted Northern Super 2-Ply ...............69
Charmin Ultra 2-Ply ..............................77
Cottonelle 1-Ply ....................................96
Charmin 1-Ply .....................................180

The TPs with an Excellent disintegration rating from a Aug 2000 Consumer Report article are:

Albertson's Soft Choice Ultra
Safeway Select Softly Ultra
Quilted Northern Ultra Soft
Quilted Nothern Soft Prints
Target
Kroger
Angel Soft
Charmin Plus with Unscented Natural Aloe
SoftWeve
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:02 PM   #7
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Can't help myself from joining in! My sensors work fine - - - when the leveling jacks are up. When down, as at a campground, they show 2/3 to full ALL the time. Go figure!
Also, to prevent "skid marks" someone suggested a couple of sheets of TP laid N-S and a couple laid E-W prevent the skid marks totally. Someone else suggested RainEx in the bowl. Anyone done that? And the results?
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Old 08-13-2009, 02:18 AM   #8
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If you are going to keep your RV then install a good system that will read correct. I installed the SeeLevel 2 system, one of the best modifications I've done.

The original system is poor at best to gauge how much waste is in your tanks.

http://www.rvgauge.com/
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Old 08-13-2009, 08:02 AM   #9
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We have the sprayer attachment which takes care of the "skid marks" problem quite well.
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:34 PM   #10
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cleaning the inside of the tank ...

A few years ago we went to GNR ... Paul from TTT's told about how he kept the inside of his tanks clean ...

When he wants to clean his tanks he does not dump before he leaves a campground (matter of fact he wants the holding tanks to be at least 1/3 full) ... he pours liquid Calgon water softner and some liquid laundry soap into his holding tanks ( both gray and black) ... he drives to the next campground ... and dumps upon arrival ... I generally do this about once a month ... it seems to help.
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Old 08-14-2009, 01:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustamiata View Post
Can't help myself from joining in! My sensors work fine - - - when the leveling jacks are up. When down, as at a campground, they show 2/3 to full ALL the time. Go figure!
Also, to prevent "skid marks" someone suggested a couple of sheets of TP laid N-S and a couple laid E-W prevent the skid marks totally. Someone else suggested RainEx in the bowl. Anyone done that? And the results?
i tried "no touch" windshield stuff. no help. i also line the bowl with 3 squares of tp ne and nw, covering the ball valve.
i save the cold water in a wide mouthed bottle when drawing water from the sink while waiting for hot water and use about 12 oz of this to flush the toilet.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:52 AM   #12
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As for TP brands.. There have been several studies as to how fast they break down in water.. Fact is I don't think it much matters, In most of the tests (All the ones I know about) all brands had broken up within 5-7 minutes.

So if I sit and stink a while, do the paper work, flush, pull up my trousers, wash my hands, get out side and put on gloves and pull the handle

It's broken up no matter what brand I used.


As to sensors: The standard sensor, which is nothing more than a rod or nail or screw extending into the tank, will never make you happy

SEE-LEVEL sensors, which peal and stick on the otside of the tank...... Might. I've only seen them once and did not ask the owner how well they worked. but others who post in forums I visit speak highly of them
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:13 PM   #13
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Sightseers, we've got a 2008 Sunova (Sightseer sister)... same problem. Our black tank is always screwed up. Our E light is always on, our 1/3rd is always off and our 2/3rd is always on... never gets full (aren't I lucky to never have a full tank).

Our grey water, fresh water and LP lights always work correctly though.

I've flushed it with water until it rank completely clear, let clean water sit in it for several days, used Calgon, geo method... nothing works to correct the situation. I've always disconnected the sensors at the tank and also at the panel and that didn't do any good either. I called Winnebago and they said that sometimes it is because of kinks in the wiring, something being too close to the back of the sensor, or many other possibilities... kind of worthless information that didn't help at all.

I may go ahead and order new sensors...
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:39 PM   #14
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Sightseers, we've got a 2008 Sunova (Sightseer sister)... same problem. Our black tank is always screwed up. Our E light is always on, our 1/3rd is always off and our 2/3rd is always on... never gets full (aren't I lucky to never have a full tank).

Our grey water, fresh water and LP lights always work correctly though.

I've flushed it with water until it rank completely clear, let clean water sit in it for several days, used Calgon, geo method... nothing works to correct the situation. I've always disconnected the sensors at the tank and also at the panel and that didn't do any good either. I called Winnebago and they said that sometimes it is because of kinks in the wiring, something being too close to the back of the sensor, or many other possibilities... kind of worthless information that didn't help at all.

I may go ahead and order new sensors...
have you tried ice yet? with about 1/3 to 1/2 black tank, i put a 5 gallon bucket of ice cubes down the toilet and drove it around for a couple of days. it scoured the tank and sensors clean. i use a capful of calgon at every dump to keep the sensors working.
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:44 PM   #15
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If you have a clear view of your tank you can use a laser device such as the Raytek MiniTemp. This device gives and accurate temperature on anything you point it on. Just point it to the tank, start at the top or bottom, and when you see a marked change in temp, that is the level of liquid in the tank. This device can also tell you the temp of your tires, brakes, or anything you are concerned about. It can even tell you the temperature of your grill!
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sightseers View Post
1)We have a 2008 Sightseer. I expected with the out side tank sensors that false readings would be reduced. Wrong, it's worse than the in tank ones. We've taken to using more water and that has not helped. I drained and flushed the tank 3 times and used a sprayer that I stuck down. Result, instead of a full tank reading, it was 1/3 and then went back to full when we drove.
I modifed my previous rig (03 JourneyDL) by changing to outside sensors. They were better than the thru-the-wall type. Still had problems with the grey tank showing 1/3 when empty as it had no external flush while the black did have it and would show empty after a good flushing.

I found if not using the motorhome for a week or more, to empty the tanks, flush the black good, then leave both dump valves open, cap off and bay door open to allow air to circulate and dry the inside of the tanks. This method has worked great for the past three years.

By the way, we use Angel Soft.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:53 AM   #17
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It seems to me that you (and others) have sufficiently cleansed your tank, so it must be an issue with the sensors, either in terms of positioning or wiring or defective pads. I have the outside sensors on my '07 Sunrise, and for 2 1/2 yrs they work perfectly. Not the case with my previous unit, a '99 Pace, that also had outside sensors. I got good results by pulling the sensors off and reattaching them in a staggered configuration up the end wall of the tank, which created more equal distance between them all. I also eliminated a bunch of extra wiring that was wadded up and taped right next to a couple of them. I just clipped the excess wires several inches from the sensors (don't clip them too close, as you'll need some working end for reattachment) and hooked them back together with small wire nuts. And I taped down all the wires completely apart from one another. The reason it occurred to me to do this, was that two of the four sensor pads looked like they were too close to each other, in fact almost touching, and I thought that might be the cause of the false readings. Well, it worked for me, maybe it will work for you. Who knows, maybe the planets were lined up just right that day...
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAN L View Post
have you tried ice yet? with about 1/3 to 1/2 black tank, i put a 5 gallon bucket of ice cubes down the toilet and drove it around for a couple of days. it scoured the tank and sensors clean. i use a capful of calgon at every dump to keep the sensors working.
I can't believe even in the winter the ice cubes would last more than 15 to 30 minutes of driving time let alone a couple days.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:03 PM   #19
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I can't believe even in the winter the ice cubes would last more than 15 to 30 minutes of driving time let alone a couple days.
zippo,
i don't know or care how long the ice cubes took to melt.
the point is that i dumped the black tank a couple of days later after it was full and the ice cubes did clean the tank sensors. 2 years later, with a capful of calgon liquid water softener added (from wally world) at every dump, my sensors are still working fine. that is what's important.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:16 AM   #20
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We had our coach into Forest City earlier this year for some service. One of the items on the list was inaccurate tank sensors. I asked about installing the new style outside sensors. The technician talked me out of the new system saying they were starting to see accuracy problems when a layer of film develops on the inner walls of the tanks. He recommended cleaning the tanks at least once a year saying you could buy a cleaner specifically for that purpose at any RV supply store.

Fortunately the sensors in our tanks are accessible without removing any parts or panels. He was able to replace all the sensors in a matter of minutes. The best part was each new sensor only cost $2.00 ea. He showed me where they were located and how to replace them if it needed to be done in the future.
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