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Old 07-07-2011, 01:26 PM   #1
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Default Monitor Panel questions

the monitor panel on my '94 Funlite is in a funky state. Hoping for some help on this one...

When I press the "test" button, I get the same response almost every time: all holding tanks (fresh, black, grey) show 50% capacity, and the battery shows low.

First off, the battery is new and fully charged, so I know that's incorrect. Additionally, I have seen the fresh water indicator show "full" after filling the tank - other than those two things, that's the extent of my knowledge of the system.

I've popped the panel off, hoping to see a loose wire or something obvious, but don't see anything.

My next step will be to crawl under the trailer and look for signs of loose wiring - but am wondering if I should be testing something specific.

Anyone have any pointers on this one?
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:12 PM   #2
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Check the wire terminals in the battery box, this is a high corrosion area on a HI-LO. Look for bluish green where the wire is crimped onto the terminal. On my 95 I finally got tired of chasing bad connections, I removed and replaced every terminal in the battery box, also cleaned and soldered every one, I also soldered the terminals in the external lights, no more problems.
Check all grounds they are subject to the same problem.
I soldered every terminal as soon as I got my 2009 home.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:32 PM   #3
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Will do, PopRichie77 - I'll check it out pronto.

I'm guessing it would be most prudent to disconnect all power, both 110 as well as the battery, right? That's the way I'll play it, just to be safe.

I can see the wire leads hit the holding tanks at the rear (the black and grey). It LOOKS like it's hot coming into the top pole, is that right?

I'll go snap a quick pic and get right back here...
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:18 PM   #4
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Here's what I'm seeing...

First the panel and what comes up, regardless of true status.

Second and third pics are the wires leading to the actual float monitor in the black tank; from what I can tell, the red wire is hot, and from there the power heads to the highest pole (via orange wire) on the float gauge. Does that sound correct?

Looks like hot comes in as red, then up to orange, green in the middle, and yellow on the bottom pole. Anyone ever seen any of this before?



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Old 07-07-2011, 03:48 PM   #5
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There are 3 sensors in each tank, none are what you call hot, assuming you mean 12 volts plus, there is no float. One is for each 1/3, 2/3 and full. You either have a bad ground at the panel or the 12 volt plus is low due to a corroded terminal.
The sensors on the black and gray water tanks are known not to work correctly. The second trip that I took on my 2009 the black water tank went to full and stayed there. There are replacements that people say work.
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:16 PM   #6
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Hey PopRichie77 -

I have verified that all the battery box terminals are in good shape. I addressed each one to ensure that the connections were tight and functioning as they should be. I THINK that the connections are in good shape - again, THINK. I'll verify that there's a great ground connection (at the panel as well as in the battery box) and move forward from there.

Can/should I pop out each individual sensor, clean them, and reinstall? Is that a bit overkill? Especially if they're known to go bad so quickly?

Perhaps I should just make that investment of new probes and get it over with, huh?
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:24 PM   #7
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With my battery levels reading incorrectly, doesn't that push the "bad ground" idea to the front of the pack?

I just thought of that. Must be where it's faulting, as I KNOW the battery is good. I'm going to check it out now...
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:42 PM   #8
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Default Monitor panel

Our monitor panel never worked correctly when we got the HiLo 10 yrs ago. Our dealer couldn'tfix it. We tried putting in a cleaning product that didn't work either. Our battery voltage lt. works. Not a high priority to replace. As you useyour HiLo you will have an idea of when your grey and black water tanks are full. We try to use the campground for restrooms and showers. Dishes are washed in a pan at the picnic table and water dumped outside. One thing I do is cook as much ahead of time as possible and freeze refrigate. Use paper products the can go in the campfire. If need be you can purchase a "Blue/Gray tank" to empty as needed. Go camping and see how you do with your holding tanks/capacity. Our rule is to only use the toilet in the middle of the night or when it is raining "cats and dogs".With three people we have to empty after a week. Consereve conserve.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:47 AM   #9
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There is a problem with ground somewhere, IMHO, maybe a staple or screw or some add on from previous owner has nicked the wires somewhere?

Another possibility is someone plugged into 220v instead of 30AMP 120 volt somewhere and really messed stuff up in the camper! Like burned out the panel, and other things. Ive seen and read it happens a lot.

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To all, about panels and the sensors/plugs in tank.

the sensors use 4 plugs in tank, bottom is ground or common, the next 3 cause 1/3 2/3 full readings.

Now for those that say panel never worked fron new, A factory employee could put the wrong wire on the wrong plug, say he accidently put the full wire, on the second plug from bottom. the plug more or less senses the resistance of current (like an Ohm meter would).

When water is not up to the plug, it has infinite resistance, no current can flow. when covered with water, there is slightly less than infinite, which signals the panel to light lights according to what wire is seeing less than infinite resistance. so if FULL wire was on nex to very bottom plug, as soon as water hits it (aka is up and above the level to touch it), I am positive it would light the full light. Factory doesent usually fill tanks to test, if lights on panel work on "test" they write down it worked. Hilo could been different, I dont know.

I used to install these at Eldorado campers back in the late 80's. it is more or less freehand... Just so ya know, as they went through assembly builing, ya might guess that the tanks were already in camper. Installer went under camper with drill and plugs, and the electricians had left the 4 leads to where you could connect them. I would carefully try to eyeball were to drill the holes, so tank readings would make sense, some tanks though, were wierd shaped and mostly the full was usually set with a little bit below full, that way you didnt read "full" at what I would call over FULL, or too late.

I dont know if everyone that installed tanks did it this way. I did that on my own, more or less because the guy who showed me also thought it made more sense, and would allow an unlevel parking still reach full indicator more likely...

This is an oversimplified explanation as I understood how the panel works...
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:00 AM   #10
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Thanks, sting32 - I appreciate your description.

How would you go about verifying that the ground is good?

In particular, I can only see inside the little 2" X 3" area behind the panel once I've popped it out. How do I access all the rest of the wiring that's tucked back in behind the frig?

What you're describing makes sense to me; if I KNOW that the battery is good, verified by a digital voltmeter, how do I get the panel to reflect the same? Some current is making it to the panel - but it's an incorrect measurement.

Do the monitor panels ever "go bad"? Like other small circuit boards are known to do? Similar to those found in hot tubs, home stereos, etc...? Could I just need a new monitor panel? And if so, where do I find one? How do I test the one that I have now? I'm a complete rookie when it comes to circuit boards like this. Not even sure where to begin.
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