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What to replace old style control panel (tanks, battery, and test switches)


trimster
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I would agree with the SeeLevel for your tanks and I believe that it can be connected to your current monitor panel if you wish. For your batteries there are quite a few choices on Amazon, with pretty much all of them better than what you have now, as it is just a cheap volt meter. If you don't plan to add solar then you probably should go with one of the more moderately priced units but I would go with either Renogy or Victron because of their reputations. There are numerous others out there which  cost less and most would probably be an improvement over what you have now. 

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Sea Level makes the best tank monitor in my opinion.  For battery monitoring, you want a Shunt based battery monitor.  My preference is Victron.  Their BMV 712 has a small remote display you can mount somewhere convenient or you can use the VictronConnect app with it via Bluetooth.  The SmartShunt just uses the app via Bluetooth with no physical display.

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1 hour ago, Chad Heiser said:

Sea Level makes the best tank monitor in my opinion.  For battery monitoring, you want a Shunt based battery monitor.  My preference is Victron.  Their BMV 712 has a small remote display you can mount somewhere convenient or you can use the VictronConnect app with it via Bluetooth.  The SmartShunt just uses the app via Bluetooth with no physical display.

Thanks Chad.  

I will be adding solar, so that influences what I get i think.

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3 hours ago, trimster said:

Thanks Chad.  

I will be adding solar, so that influences what I get i think.

I agree with Chad on the BMV 712.  Chad installed my solar with the Victron controller and I added the shunt and display later.  I use the app to monitor my batteries and my solar.  I'm able to see the history of how much solar I have harvested. 

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6 hours ago, trimster said:

I will be adding solar, so that influences what I get i think.

There are a lot of solar users on this and other forums, but of them all I have found Chad to be the most reliable source and and very generous with his help. I do have an extensive electrical background. If you plan to add solar you won't go wrong with his advice. 

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SeeLevel for tank monitoring.  For battery monitoring there are several shunt based options, ranging from the $25 Aili Voltage and Amp-hour meter to the $90 Renogy battery monitor with a graphical "fuel gauge" indication of the battery condition to $300 units by Victron, etc.  The thing I don't like about Victron's wireless Smart Shunt is it requires the phone to stay within Bluetooth range with the app running to use any of the advanced features beyond basic voltage and amp-hour readings.

Edited by Lou Schneider
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Hey there trimster, good questions welcome aboard. I have a Renogy 500 Amp Shunt type Battery Monitor which has performed PERFECT and cost under 100 Bucks !!!!!!!!!  The price of solar panels has decreased drastically since I began as well as the many options, brands and prices of LiFePo4 batteries, charge controllers and Inverter/Chargers, do your homework, shop around and check out DIY Solar by Will Prowse over on You Tube for some expert tests and reviews plus all the fine solar and electrical minded gents on here. 

John T   BSEE,JD  Electrical Engineer and 50 year RV owner

Edited by oldjohnt
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You have to remove the underbelly. The worst part is finding something to put back up, depending on the age of your rig. My 2007 trailer had a plastic cardboard type of material. It was pretty tough, but some of the places where it was "Glued" in place didn't come apart well. Never know what you will find under there too. 

 

Rod

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We installed the See Level II tank monitors on our tanks, but somewhat lucky in that they were exposed from underneath but we did have to coat the sensors, once installed with undercoating per the instructions. We were able to use our existing wiring that went to our original monitor system. Our water pump switch was on our old system so when I used the See Level panel with a switch for the water pump, I had to use a relay as their switch could not handle the amps our pump needed. This is also covered in their instructions. 

Can you get to the side of the tanks thru any of your storage bays? If so you only need access to the side of the tanks to install the sensors. 

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