Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Horst Tank Sensors

The standard tank and systems monitor installed by Lazy Daze is not a very reliable system, and many LD'ers choose to replace it with a more accurate system, such as SeeLevel or Horst. The See-Level seems to be the most popular, for it provides a much more accurate display of tank contents. The Horst merely replaces the tank sensors, but uses the same imprecise readout display.

The Horst sensors keep the existing LED system intact except for new sensors, which are purported to resist fouling or shorting out. The Horst probes are a low-cost way to make the existing "idiot light" system work the way it was supposed to but seldom does, while the more expensive SeeLevel gauge system is a way to get not only accurate but very precise information on tank levels.

The Horst Miracle Sensors claim to provide accurate readings using in-tank sensors, but they use the Lazy Daze's standard 4-LED display, which is very imprecise--that is, even with perfectly functioning sensors, it can only tell you that your tanks are empty, 33%, 67%, or full. Since the Horst probes work with your current display and don't require rewiring, installation is fairly simple. The Horst sensors are available for black and gray tanks only, at a total cost of about $65.

The potential problem with the Horst probes is that the rubber may break down and then the probe would leak or fall out - not the kind of problem I care to deal with. I do have experience with well nuts that are used on sail boats. When tightened they balloon up and form a water-tight seal. My experience is they last about five years before needing replacement. The Horst probes look like they use the same technique. This makes me wary of them. I put my concern to Horst and got this reply:
"The rubber grommets are identical to the ones every ABS tank is equipped with for 5th wheels and campers. It should last the life of the RV."

If you have LD-installed tank insulation, you'll have to scrape some off to get down to the tank's surface.

Replace the original sensors with the four sensors (including the ground) that you get with the Horst sensors. It should be a direct replacement.

If you can't get the old sensors out of the tank, there are two possible solutions. The first is to drill new holes for the Horst probes and leave the original ones in place; the other is to simply push the original probes into the tank and then insert the new ones. The old probes will most likely flush out the next time you dump the tank. Once the new probes are installed, tighten them up and connect to the existing wires.

Contributors: Larry Wade, Andy Baird, Don Malpas, WxToad
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