Your monitor panel is the communication hub of your RV. When it comes to replacing this essential part, it can be a challenge to find the right one for your RV needs. My top picks include in-depth details and some factors to consider before you buy.
Keep an Eye On Your Vitals With These RV Monitor Panels
|Best RV Monitor Panels||Best For:|
|Baylite LCD Display Current Voltage Meter||Battery Monitor|
|DROK AC 80-300V 100A LCD Display||Large RVs|
|SIMARINE Pico Blue Package||Smart Display|
|SeeLevel II Tank Monitor||Tank Monitor|
|KIB M21VW Micro||Small Monitor|
Our Reviews: Pros, Cons & More
Ready? Let’s get into the nitty gritty details for all of our top picks.
Best Battery Monitor
Baylite LCD Display Current Voltage Meter
If you need to keep an eye on your battery levels, this is the best monitor panel for the job. It has an LCD display that gives you all the readouts you’ll want, including battery, fridge, and more, while simultaneously telling you what percentage of battery each of your devices uses.
The LCD display has a nice blue, glowing light, but—even better—this monitor saves your energy data even when it’s turned off until you reset it. Best of all, the monitor measures within a one percent margin of accuracy of energy levels, and it has an overload alarm.
However, I’m not fond of how you have to look at the display screen directly to be able to read it. The light isn’t very bright, and the device as a whole is a bit cumbersome when mounting.
Also be sure to check out all of our top picks for the best RV battery monitors.
- Test range: Voltage: DC 6.5~100V; Current: 0~100A; Power: 0~10kW; Energy: 0~9999kWh
- Store energy data when power off(can be reset to 0). The blue backlight can be turned on/off...
- LCD display
- Good current range
- Light can be turned off manually
- Overload alarm
- Lower power consumption
- The display isn’t bright
- Only one year warranty
- May need to be eye level to read screen display
- Mounting might be tricky
Best for Large RVs
DROK AC 80-300V 100A LCD Display
One feature I like about the DROK monitor panel is that it displays not only active power but also the electric quantity, voltage, and ampere values. It also remembers data even when it loses power and will keep your readings until you reset it. Plus, it works in a wide range of temperatures and measures accuracy within one percent of actual levels.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the sturdiest of all the monitors on this list, and you may damage it while you’re installing it. While the LCD display might be great and bright enough to easily read, the smaller pieces are very delicate, so you’ll need to be careful when you assemble and install it.
- It is a compact, lightweight and functional multi-meter, with large-screen LCD display, can display...
- Voltage test range: AC 80~260v; current test range: 0~100a; power test range: 0~22kw; energy test...
- Accurate readings
- Has a current transformer
- Easy to read
- Holds onto data even without power
- Straightforward installation
- Mounting can be a challenge
- Smaller pieces may break off if not carefully handled during assembly
Best Smart Display
SIMARINE Pico Blue Package
I like SIMARINE for a lot of reasons, but especially because of its smart tech. It’s perfect for monitoring the health of your battery, is easy to use, and gives accurate readings. Even better, you can customize it and add modules onto it, but it also allows you to monitor your data (including lights, refrigerator, solar panel, and other instruments) from your phone via an app.
If you want free help with this unit, you’ll have to use the email support, and getting a timely response is hit or miss. It doesn’t have Bluetooth compatibility, which is odd for smart tech. Further, you can’t turn the screen off completely, only lower the brightness, and the barometer graph will only display up to three days of data at most.
- Precise Battery State of Charge & Health measurements
- Inlcuding 500A SC500 Shunt with 1x Current and 1x Voltage monitoring inputs
- The glass is gorilla glass, so it’s sturdy
- Straightforward installation
- Simply to navigate
- Great smart tech
- Easy to use
- You may have to pay for phone support
- No Bluetooth
- Cannot turn off the screen
- The barometer graph only displays three days at most
Best Tank Monitor
SeeLevel II Tank Monitor
When I need a water tank monitor, this is always my go-to choice. It works on a variety of different RVs and provides accurate tank level readings. Best of all, it’s easy to read, and I can customize it to the specifications that I need. It’s pretty straightforward to assemble, too, but it works best if your RV has three holding tanks: fresh, black, and gray.
One of the drawbacks is that it won’t work on a metal surface, so you need to be sure you have plastic or poly. It sometimes has trouble syncing with certain vehicles, so it’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer to ensure yours will work. And, while assembly may be decently easy, installation is occasionally a challenge.
- Package Dimensions: 4 L x 1 H x 2.8 W (inches)
- Package Weight: 1 pounds
- Fits a wide variety of different vehicles
- Simple, easy to read display
- Tank sensors available in three lengths
- Provides accurate readings
- Doesn’t work on metal surfaces
- May have trouble syncing with some vehicles
- Confusing installation
Best Small Monitor
KIB M21VW Micro
If you’ll forgive the cliche, the KIB Micro is an oldie but a goodie. It does what you need it to do, including manual control of the lights and water pump from the monitor itself. It monitors gray, black, and fresh tanks, as well as your battery. This monitor tells you when it’s full, at two-thirds, one-third, and empty. There’s a reason why it’s called Micro as it fits just about anywhere you want to put it.
However, it doesn’t show a percentage because it’s simply a red light display without any digital elements. Though it does a basic job, its limited design means you may not get accurate readings. Plus, the plastic casing feels lightweight and cheap, which is okay considering its price.
- The package length is 11.938 centimeters
- The package height is 0.508 centimeters
- Fits anywhere in the RV
- One of the easiest to use
- Can turn the water pump and lights on and off with it
- Fantastic price
- Overly simply display
- The instructions may not be clear
- Plastic casing feels cheap
- Readings not as accurate as others
Recap: The Best RV Monitor Panels
- Baylite LCD Display Current Voltage Meter – Best Battery Monitor
- DROK AC 80-300V 100A LCD Display – Best for Large RVs
- SIMARINE Pico Blue Package – Best Smart Display
- SeeLevel II Tank Monitor – Best Tank Monitor
- KIB M21VW Micro – Best Small Monitor
Buying a New RV Monitor Panel: What to Look For
Don’t know where to start when you’re buying a monitor panel for your RV? These factors are important to consider before you buy a new monitor panel.
Mechanical Control Features
Many of the older monitor panels are pretty simple. They monitor the basics, and they may or may not have a control switch for the water pump. Newer models often come with additional control features.
In fact, some allow you to turn the lights on or off while some offer control over any slide room mechanisms or other mechanical features your RV might have. These might include your water heater, furnace, and more.
I know that when I shop for a monitor panel, I make sure it handles more than the basics. Specifically, I look for a monitor panel that will even monitor the temperature of my fridge to ensure I don’t have to deal with food spoilage.
Remember that means your fridge needs to be at 40 degrees at all times. Otherwise, you may end up eating something off and get a foodborne illness. The importance of a monitor panel that gives readouts for the fridge and freezer cannot be overstated.
As I’ve discussed, each model has different displays. At the very least, I’ll want the freshwater tank, black water main, gray water main, any secondary mains, and battery levels all covered by any monitor panel I consider.
I might consider it a bonus to have something that shows me the fuel level for my generator. However, one thing I won’t budge on is a digital display. I find them to be more accurate and allow me a better ability to monitor where things actually stand, rather than a rough estimation.
Having precise readings is a priority. Not only is there the risk of having a tank empty out before you planned for it to, but they may overflow. Overflow is dangerous not only because of the risk of water damage, but because damp can lead to black mold growth. As you may already know, mold is dangerous because it can lead to respiratory illness, asthma-like symptoms, coughs, and throat and lung issues.
Other than the fridge, it’s good to monitor the overall temperature of your RV too. This is not only a convenient way to ensure you’re never uncomfortable, but it may save you a bit of money, too.
If you’re going out for the day, you can program it from one place to make sure you don’t waste energy on heating or AC while you’re not around to enjoy it unless you have pets.
Dogs, cats, and other pets all respond differently to temperature than humans do, especially heat. When it’s hot out, even leaving a fan on won’t be enough to keep your pet cool inside. If you leave for the day, it’s a good idea to program the thermostat to ensure your pet doesn’t overheat while you’re gone.
Many newer models will have a feature that lets you know if there is a temperature spike or sudden drop. This way, you’ll get an alert, which means you can head back and check on Fido to make sure everything is okay.
The Level of Communication
Speaking of text or email alerts, I typically want something that will text or alert me when my tank or energy levels are low, or if there is an emergency.
It’s particularly useful on days when I know I’m going to spend most of my time out of the RV. This way, I don’t have that nagging fear hanging over me that something might be going wrong at home, and I can enjoy my time outside.
And that’s about it for monitoring panels. If you’re having trouble with yours, be sure to read Brian’s guide on RV monitor panel troubleshooting.