RV Systems Monitor Panel: Monitors Tank Sensors

RV systems panel 1

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The RV Systems Monitor panel is a great tool to keep an eye on the status and condition of your RV Systems. This article will introduce the RV Monitor Panel, discuss the different sensors, cover misreading sensors, and introduce you to upgraded monitor panels.

The best overall RV tank sensor monitor panel is the RecPro RV Tank Sensor Monitor Panel M25. This is a reliable product that comes as a complete kit and can replace KIB monitor panels. This unit has sensors for the batters, freshwater tank, black tank, and two gray tanks. In addition to the tank sensors, this unit has switches for the water pump, LP Gas water heater, and Electric water heater.

What are RV Monitor Panels?

RV monitor panels play a crucial role in providing information about the status of the different systems in your RV. These small, monitor panels display readings collected by sensors that determine tank levels, battery levels, and other readings depending on the model.

What are the Different Sensors?

RVs have sensors that monitor different aspects of your travel trailer vehicle’s systems. Depending on which model you have in your RV, your sensor type may show you tank levels, battery levels, propane levels, and electrical fault warnings.

Battery Sensor: Your battery provides your RV with 12V power. This sensor will show you the battery power level. Most panels indicate basic readings for this. More advanced panels will actually show the active battery voltage.

Holding Tanks Sensors: The holding tank sensors will display the liquid levels in the tanks. Each tank will have it’s own grouping of sensors so you can determine which tanks are full and which are not. Most panels indicate fill level in thirds, however, some panels show the percentage in 10ths.

Holding tanks are notorious for false readings due to debris from wastewater in the black and gray tanks.

Propane Sensor: If your monitor has a propane sensor, you will be able to avoid running your rig out of propane during cold weather, showers, or while cooking dinner. RVers can add individual standalone propane fuel tank sensors.

What are the Different Control Switches?

Some RV monitor panels also have control switches. These switches include controls for the awning, slide outs, water pump, water heater, and tank heaters.

  • Awning Switch: The awning control switch manages the extension and retraction of the RV’s awning. This switch is a convenience factor, as awnings also have manual overrides to operate this equipment.
  • Slide Outs Switch: The slide-out switch manages the extension and retraction of the RV’s slideouts. This is also a convenience factor; you can manually override most slideouts.
  • Water Pump Switch: When you rely on your freshwater tank instead of a city water connection, you need a water pump to provide water pressure. The water pump switch activates the pump.
  • Water Heater Ignitor Switch: Many RVs have gas/electric water heaters. This switch can turn on the water heater. It is important to note that some panels have two switches for the water heater: propane and electricity. Having both switches allows the RVer to choose which energy source to utilize for the water heater.
  • Tank Heaters Switch: Freezing temperatures can result in freezing RV holding tanks. This can create a lot of problems for RVers. Incorporating tank heaters is a way to ensure your plumbing works even when it’s cold. The tank heaters switch will turn on the heaters from inside the RV.

Which RV Systems Monitor Control Panel is Best?

The following panels are some of the best and most reliable on the market. These options are great if you are installing a system where there was none or updating an existing system. If you are getting a replacement panel, attempt to choose a panel that has enough sensors to match what you currently need.

Best Overall RV tank sensor monitor panel: RecPro KIB RV Tank Sensor Monitor Panel M25

Recpro KIB M25

The RecPro M25 is the best tank monitor panel on the market for RVs. This product includes 3 tank switches and the ability to apply tank sensors to the fresh tank, gray 1 and 2 tank, and black tanks. RecPro is a highly trusted brand in the RV world and their products are reliable.

This Panel comes as a complete kit with multiple sensors and the wiring harness. This panel is easy to read and can be installed by the RVer, or a certified technician. Always seek help if you are uncomfortable doing upgrades to your RV yourself.

The Best Bluetooth RV Monitor Panel: Garnet 709-BTP3 SeeLevel II Tank Monitoring System with Bluetooth

SeeLevel II RV Systems Monitor Panel

The SeeLevel II Tank Monitoring system is a pricier option that uses exterior sensors for your propane tanks. This Monitoring system can be connected and monitored through Bluetooth. This product requires no drilling holes into the tanks and each exterior sensor strip can be installed by the RVer, or a certified technician.

Top Basic RV Tank Sensor Monitor Panel: KIB Tank Sensor Monitor Panel M23

RecPro KIB M23

The M23 is another great option from RecPro. The M23 has one less switch option and one less tank sensor than the M25, but the performance meets the same standards. 

This KIB Tank sensor monitor panel is a little cheaper than the M25 but offers much of the same coverage. This kit comes with sensors, wiring, and installation instructions. The installation process can be completed by the RVer, or a certified technician.

Best Advanced Tech RV Monitor Display Panel: Standard iSeries Tank Systems Monitor

iSeries Standard RV Tank Systems Monitor

The iSeries is a fantastic upgrade for basic RV tank monitors. The standard system can monitor up to 6 regular tanks and 2 LP tanks. There is an Integrity system that can monitor up to 8 tanks as well. This panel is customizable and can have switches added and also includes exterior tank sensors. This can be installed by the RVer, or a certified technician.

Use caution when installing a new RV systems monitor. Always take precaution when drilling into rv tanks. Refer to the wiring diagram for the product when wiring. Always hire a certified technician when the work is above your skill set.

Different Types of Tanks

There are several different types of tanks in your RV. Understanding what each one does allows for proper maintenance and use. The tanks include the freshwater tank, grey tank, galley water tank, auxiliary water tank, and black water tank.

  • Fresh water tank: This is the tank that should only be filled with potable drinking water. This tank is sanitized to prevent bacteria growth in your water supply. The freshwater tank rarely is at risk of having debris that can interrupt the sensors.
  • Gray Water Tank: Grey water tanks are the waste tanks that your sink and shower water drain to. This water is considered waste, but a lesser level than sewage. It is important to familiarize yourself with which sensor reads which gray tank.
  • Galley Tank: The galley tank is sometimes the name used for the grey tank attached to the kitchen sink. Some RVs with multiple grey tanks will label one as the galley tank to help with identifying which tank is which. These tank sensors can misread due to food debris from washing dishes.
  • Auxiliary Tank: The Auxiliary tank is another name used for a grey tank as well. This tank is commonly found where there are manufacturer installed washer/dryer hookups. If you do not install a washer/dryer, then nothing will drain to this tank.
  • Black Water Tanks: The black water tank is the holding tank that collects sewage from your toilet. This tank has a high likelihood of debris, like waste and toilet paper, interfering with sensors. The black tank should be flushed after dumping to help reduce odors, rinse the sensors, and clear out solid waste in the sewer hose. The black tank may have a garden hose inlet labeled “Black tank flush” nearby.

How Sensors Work and Causes of Misreading

Different RV tank sensors

The most common type of tank sensor is either button or rod sensors that protrude into the inside of the tank walls. Various sensors are installed at different levels for a more accurate reading.

rv tank sensor positions

A ground sensor is installed at the bottom of the tank and connected to the chassis. When water hits a sensor, the circuit between the sensor and the ground sensor closes. This sends a signal indicating which sensor was triggered. Debris in the tank can cause the sensors to misread.

rv tank sensor ground

How to Fix Misreading Sensors

Misreading Sensors In RV Black Tanks:

  • Fill up the tank with fresh water without overflowing
  • Add a sensor cleaner like Unique Restore-It RV Sensor Cleaner.
  • Leave the sensor cleaner in the full tank for 12-72 hours.
  • Dump the tank and check for proper sensor function.
  • Repeat the process until the black tank sensors work.
  • Add a black tank treatment to the black tank each time after dumping.

Misreading Sensors in RV Grey Tanks:

  • Before going to bed, fill the grey tank with water.
  • Pour at least 20 oz of Dawn Ultra dish soap down the kitchen sink.
  • Let the solution sit in the tank over night.
  • In the morning, dump the grey tank and check for proper sensor function.
  • Repeat the process until the sensor works.

Different Types of Holding Tank Sensors

There are various holding tank sensor types, including button style, rod style, and external sensors. All types of sensors can be misread when debris is built up on the inside of the tank.

RV Sensor Misreading Prevention

  • Use the black tank flush (or wand) after dumping the black tank.
  • Every now and then, fill the black tank with water after dumping and dump again.
  • Always wait to dump tank until they are at least 2/3 full.
  • Use plenty of water when flushing waste into the black tank.
  • Use tank treatments every time you dump your holding tanks.
  • Use a deep cleaning solution twice a year.

Best Holding Tank treatments

The two best products for tank treatments are Unique Digest-it and Happy Camper. Calgon and dish soap can be added to one of these products, and this is by far the best way to treat your tanks. A video explaining the process is below.

Maintaining your RV is an essential process that helps ensure that your investment has a long and healthy life. It is easy to forget to complete vital maintenance, but it’s a good idea to review our RV maintenance checklist to keep your RV in good working condition. This list is very comprehensive and includes things like electrical functions like surge protector and more.

Moisture and humidity can wreak havoc on your RV. Protect your RV from PREVENTABLE moisture damage by investing in an appropriate RV dehumidifier

There are more ways to monitor your RV environment! Many RVers and weather enthusiasts swear by having an RV weather station on site in addition to their RV systems Monitor Panel.

This post may contain affiliate links. Check out our disclosure for more information.

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