Welcome to the fourth entry in March’s Medium Mod Contest. One Medium Mod will be published in every Email Alert in March. At the end of the month, we’ll hold a reader vote to determine March’s winner. Click here for information about the 2021 Mod Contest, including how to enter.
Steven Osburn, Poulsbo, Washington
Backup Camera For Tank Level Monitoring
2019 Ford F350
2020 Lance 1172
The standard RV tank indicators show empty, 1/3, 2/3, and full. When I am dry camping (especially when I take the camper off the truck) I need better information on exactly how much fresh water I have remaining.
When an indicator light shows 1/3, for example, I would like to know if it’s a little under 2/3, or about to show empty (when the water level falls below 1/3).
I bought a backup camera on Amazon. This was an all-in-one system that included the camera, a cheap monitor, all the cables and wires, and a cigarette lighter plug for power. The backup camera has LED lights for night use.
The concept is very simple. Find a way to get visual access to the fresh water tank. To make some marks on the tank to use for reference, I put a line every inch high, as well as a 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 mark.
Then I mounted the camera looking at the tank. I ran wires from the camera to the monitor which I placed in an outside-accessible compartment, just above the water tank.
The hardest part of this mod is finding a path (or making a path) to run the wires. In my case, I was able to fish a wire from the underbelly of my 2020 Lance 1172 into my bathroom. From the bathroom, I was able to fish a wire back out to the water pump access compartment on the outside passenger’s side of the camper.
Since every camper model is different, finding visual access to the tank will be different. I have been able to get access in not just this camper, but a 2015 Adventurer camper as well. In another mod, I already added a USB and 12V outlet in that compartment, so it was simple to just add the monitor and plug in the lighter.
This tank monitor camera mod has been awesome! Truth be told, I’ve done this before. I did the same mod on a Jayco travel trailer I used to own.
The result is that I can see my actual water level and not just an idiot light. I know exactly how much water I have left and whether or not I can finish out a campground before having to load the camper back on the truck.
But wait, there’s more! Another problem this mod solved is knowing when the fresh tank is full during filling. Now I can be outside, filling my water tank, and watch the tank level rise without having to go inside my camper to check the idiot lights.
I bought the LeeKooLuu backup camera and 4.3-inch Monitor on Amazon. I used three pieces of scrap wood to build up a small platform to mount the camera in front of the fresh water tank. I already had a cigarette lighter plug in the compartment I put the monitor in, but this would be an additional cost if someone didn’t already have a plug.
It took me two hours to complete this modification and cost me $28. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is easy.
Disclaimer: The modifications above are submitted by Truck Camper Magazine readers. It is your responsibility to make sure that any do-it-yourself modification project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation.
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