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Discussion Starter #1
So I built a fancy 20 gallon water tank in the back. Love everything about it, but I realized I can't check the water level right now. I was thinking rather than trying something fancy like an actual tank meter, I would cut a 2 or 3" wide x 12" tall slit in the plywood on the side and put in some fancy plastic cover/thing for the edges to make it look good.

Anyone have an idea what something like this would be called? Basically this, but 12" tall? https://www.amazon.com/Penn-Elcom-D...srs=2530120011&ie=UTF8&qid=1491927686&sr=8-70

Here's the tank, and this is where I was thinking about cutting that slit. Any other ideas for water level monitoring?

 

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Discussion Starter #3
A little more google magic and I found exactly what I needed:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/6-in-x-9-in-Access-Panel-with-Frame-APD69/204352596

6"x9" access panel. $10. Going to put that into the 3/4" plywood and then I can not only peek in and see the water level, but also check on fittings/etc and make myself feel better about them. I'll even spray paint it (and the fill as well as the shower access) gray :)

I'll update the thread (and my build thread of course) when I'm done. Going to be a few weeks as I'm road tripping CA/OR right meow
 

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Or you could attach a small plastic hose with two bulkhead fittings that came out with an elbow and traveled down the side and then reentered the tank on the bottom. Water seeks its own height so the clear tube would show the level. It could be on the end near the other plumbing fittings? Or if that is too many fittings and chance of leaking even one from the hose bib that rose and was terminated with a tiny orifice to allow air pressure to equalize. OR just attach the clear hose to the bib and open the bib when you want to check it? OR how about replacing that door with a clear on on the end?
 

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I'd want the look-see on the rear so I could glance at it from outside without having to remove whatever is stored next to it. What is that panel above the spigot?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'd want the look-see on the rear so I could glance at it from outside without having to remove whatever is stored next to it. What is that panel above the spigot?
Good point on that one. I'll put it as close to the rear as I can. I can't put it exactly on the back, as you won't see the tank. There is about a foot of space between the tank and the end for the plumbing, pump/etc

The panel above the spigot is an outdoor shower: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019F81FQ0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Add to that this: https://www.amazon.com/TMS-Portable...&qid=1491941126&sr=8-2&keywords=pop+up+shower

And you've got awesome outdoor showers. Also used for washing bikes, feet, doge, etc

Or you could attach a small plastic hose with two bulkhead fittings that came out with an elbow and traveled down the side and then reentered the tank on the bottom.
I like this idea, but I definitely don't want more fittings, especially one on the outside where it could get snagged.

I would install a tank level monitor, then a gauge somewhere:
I was thinking that too, but man, it's $200 and I gotta mount the gauge/etc. Just seems overkill here
 

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How about a simple dipstick? Make a hole about half an inch diameter in the top with some sort of screw in plug. Get a 1/4 inch wood dowel to stick in the hole when desired and upon removal you see the wet part to establish the level! Since your tank is rectilinear is is easy to calibrate to gallons with notches in the dowel if desired.

Don't overthink the issue. After a period of use you will develop a sense as to when to check with the dipstick so continuous monitoring via a sight glass will not be needed. A capped hole in the top will never leak.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
I use dipstick made from a piece of wood that is about 3/16 ths by 3/16 ths inch square -- I just store it under the mattress, which is over the tank.
But this does require a top fill tank.

Depending on how clear the plastic the tank is you may find it difficult to see the water level through a narrow opening, but I would think the larger access panel from Home Depot should work.

Gary
 

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You could try a propane stick on gauge. These operate on temperature change of the fluid as to weather there would be enough change with a water tank I don't know this is just a cheap thought.
 

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In a propane tank there is gassing off from the liquid to the gas phase so there is a distinct temperature difference. I don't believe that there is enough temperature difference for water to make a propane tank stick on sensor work.
 

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How about a single high-output 12v LED (blue?) between the water tank and the shell of the vehicle (or perhaps beneath the tank). Wire to a momentary-contact switch. This should provide enough illumination to show the water-line through the proposed narrow slit in the panel.
 

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Or go even lower tech: have a spare 5 gal jug of water in the van. If the main tank goes dry, pour in the water from the jug, and then take steps to get some more. 5 gal should last you until the next watering hole. If 5 gal is not enough "notice", have 2 jugs in the van.

Further, I found having a 5 gal water jug in the van useful because sometimes you might need to fetch water from a distance.

Edit: clarity
 
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