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Old 02-15-2018, 08:23 AM
JackinMichigan's Avatar
JackinMichigan JackinMichigan is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Canton, MI
Posts: 172
Default Calibrate your RV-10 fuel level checking dipstick

I always manually check fuel levels before a flight, and I wanted to get a clear plastic fuel level checking straw for my RV like I have for my club's Cessna 172. Unfortunately I couldn't find one off-the-shelf that was calibrated for an RV-10, so I decided to make my own.

I drained the left tank completely dry and filled it up 5-gallons at a time till full, then marked off the levels on a dipstick. I then bought a universal Fuelhawk brand fuel checking straw and transferred the markings. These are the numbers I came up with:

Gallons, Inches from the bottom
5, 0 (didn't register)
10, 1-3/8"
15, 2-5/8"
20, 3-7/8"
25, 5-5/16"
30, 7-11/16"

If anyone else has done this please share your numbers, I want to see how they compare to mine. Thanks.
Jack and Dave Groat, father and son
RV-10 N1861G
Build #41389, started Oct 2012
Current status: 1st Flight 11/10/17

Last edited by JackinMichigan : 02-15-2018 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:32 AM
Electrogunner Electrogunner is online now
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Quarryville ,pa
Posts: 222
Default Dip stick

+1 on this. I always dip the tanks on the club planes and plan to do so on th -10. I've never trusted fuel indicators, they are only right twice if lucky ( full and empty) floats stick.
Donation Made For 2017
RV10 N620RV
IO540 C4B5
Whirlwind 375RV
Garmin G900X
Finishing and FWF is ongoing
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:42 AM
Auburntsts's Avatar
Auburntsts Auburntsts is online now
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dumfries, VA
Posts: 2,423

I bought a Fuel Stik for the RV-10, at this past OSH, but I keep forgetting about it and it's still sitting on the shelf in my hangar. I just need to remember the next time I'm out there to pull it out and start the validation process.

NOTE: To be honest I rarely depart with less than full tanks, so the need to dip for me is pretty minimal which is likely why I haven't gotten around to trying to use the stiks.
Todd Stovall
RV-10 N728TT - Flying!

Last edited by Auburntsts : 02-15-2018 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:58 AM
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rleffler rleffler is online now
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Delaware, OH (KDLZ)
Posts: 3,778

I did the same about six years ago. I was religious about checking the levels with it for awhile. Then I realized that the floats and fuel sensor are pretty accurate during the last half of tank. I don't fly where my fuel levels ever get critical. I have it if I need it, but I haven't used it quite a while.
Bob Leffler
N410BL - RV10 Flying
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:21 AM
9GT's Avatar
9GT 9GT is online now
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern Michigan
Posts: 1,366

I also made my own "Fuel Hawk" style dipsticks for my RV-10. I just bought some clear acrylic tubing from AS&S, cut it to length, and marked it every 2.5 gallons as I filled the tanks. I measured each mark and wrote it down. When I was done, I remarked the tube with the measurements and chucked it in my lathe and put a shallow V groove at each mark. I made two while I was at it. I then used my small number stamps and heated the tip to melt the gallons at each mark. The melting was just so so,,,, on the second stick I engraved the gallon markings with a vibrating engraver and liked that better. I then filled the groves and gallon markings with some black 2 stage polyurethane paint. The fuel never dissolved that stuff. Make sure you calibrate the stick filling both tanks at the same time, otherwise you can get really off on the calibration as the tank dips down with weight and the wing dihedral messes with the calibration. You should do the same calibrating your fuel senders. I ALWAYS dipped my tanks during pre-flight!
David C.
Howell, MI

RV-9A: Under Construction. N161RV (Reserved)
RV-10: N959RV Completed 12/29/2013 SOLD 08/23/2016

"Donor Exempt" but donated through Dec. 2018
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Old 02-27-2018, 06:40 AM
MauleDriver's Avatar
MauleDriver MauleDriver is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lake Ridge Aero Park - Durham NC
Posts: 162

I’ve never dipped.

The accuracy of my GRT fuel ‘totalizer’ was a revelation. Cross checks using both the tank floats and the totalizer has proved more than sufficient.

However as many others have found, the totalizer needs to located some distance from the boost pump. Otherwise the fuel flow will be inaccurate while the pump is running. I relocated it and find it to be dead nuts accurate (and well cross checked with the Vans floats).
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