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Old 05-26-2009, 12:24 AM   #1
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no specific manuals

We bought a used 07 Roo 21ss in February. Unfortunately, the dealer had no manual, but said they would get it for us. After 3 weeks and no manual, we called Forest River and found out that the manual was $5, but the expedited shipping would be $18. Since we were planning on travelling to Arches and Bryce Canyon within 2 weeks, we paid the full $23.

Manual came, but it had absolutely nothing specific in it. It is a general manual for all travel trailers and fifth wheels made by Forest River, so it includes no specifics or diagrams. We are new to camping in a travel trailer with multiple tanks and systems, and this manual is not helping us at all.

We cancelled the trip to Arches and Bryce, but have just come back from our maiden voyage weekend...... and have many questions.
Why does our black tank register full even when we know it is empty?
Where is the bypass valve for the hot water heater?
What should we be putting in the black and gray tanks?
Many awning questions!
Are there other manuals that actually include information for our model...... maybe with diagrams? If so......how do we get them?

Morgan
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:16 AM   #2
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Your black water tank gauge may be reading full because the sensor in the tank is dirty. Black water tank is for sewage, and stuff that has been eaten first. Grey water is your dish water, I'd personally avoid getting stuff like grease and too much food in there if possible. The hot water bypass valves are right at the hot water tank under the bench seat, on the red and blue lines.
A full set of manuals from all the trailer component manufacturers usually comes with a new trailer. Not very good if a used unit did not have them as well. There are manuals for such items as the roof, awning, windows, axle/brakes/bearings, stove, etc, etc, etc. Many of the manufacturers have websited that are very informative and, in my case, good at answering any questions.
Hope this helps a little.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:52 AM   #3
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Morgan,
As you now know, the "owners manual" for your trailer and most every other kind
out there, is just general stuff.
Each appliance should have come with a booklet from the appliance manufacturer.
These can be helpful. It's a shame you didn't get them.
Nearly all manufacturers have websites that will allow you to download PDF copies
of their manuals. You'll need make and model numbers to get those.
They are on the appliances somewhere.
The fridge is probably on a sticker that is visible when the door is open.
The hot water heater has a sticker under the outside hatch, where the burner
is located.
The Awning should have a name on it somewhere.

If you have a specific question about a specific function try asking your questions
here in the tech forum one at a time.
We're just human and if someone sends a message with "help" I've got a ton of
questions we often don't take the time to write back.
If you ask one at a time you will get answers!!

Black and gray tank indicators are notoriously in-accurate. I have NEVER put anything
in our black tank but pee and it's flushed and drained every time we go home.
My black indicator still says half when it's empty.
They are nearly useless IMO. (That's short hand for In My Opinion.)

You can open the foot valve on the toilet and look down to see how full it is.
We have learned thru experience that our gray tank will back up into the shower pan
if it's completely full. We know how many days and how many loads of dishes we
can wash to get there. It's all about experience.
You can purchase black and gray tank deodorant at WalMart and most any RV store.
They have liquid and pre-measured packs of powder.
We rather prefer the Lemon scented liquid ones but I have not tried all kinds.
I know if it's hot you want to use more and if it's cold you can get by with none
on a short trip.

What brand awning do you have and what is your question about it???

Welcome to the forum!!!
Now take a deep breath and say to yourself, there's no place like camping,
there's no place like camping.............
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:58 AM   #4
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Hi Morgan, and WELCOME to the FORUM!! I use Calgon water softener liquid in my black water tank, because it makes the surfaces it contacts slippery. It's used in the washing machine for softer clothes. Since it makes the surfaces slippery, "stuff" won't stick to the indicators or the walls of the tank, thereby avoiding almost all of the smell issues, as well. I just add one capfull at the beginning of use, and 1 gallon of water to cover the bottom. Also, you may add a deodorizer, at this time, as well. Randy
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tidbits. As I said, it was our maiden voyage, and I don't even have words for all of the questions. Hopefully we will get our awning questions answered from the manufacturer - dometic. Our biggest concern was the hot water heater by pass. I will look tonight when I get home. The other was concern about the black water tank. As I said, we are new to all of this, and I worry about making costly mistakes. The mistakes are not near as costly when tent camping, or even in our little pop-up.

I am thrilled I found this forum, I think it will prove to be very helpful. I will also normally trust a fellow camper any day over a whole lot of other people. I have yet to ask another camper for help, and been denied.

Morgan
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:01 PM   #6
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What sort of awning questions do you have? My awning is an A&E/Dometic power awning, and most are made by them. I can attempt to answer power awning questions. Also, most are manually retracted, so just ask!! Also, remember when emptying tanks, ALWAYS start with the black tank first, followed by the grey, and if you have one, the galley grey tank. (and remember to CLOSE the valves afterwards!) This helps wash out the hose. Randy
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:45 PM   #7
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We did screw up when emptying tanks - again because we had no manuals - and emptied the grey first. We thought we were emptying the black, but the strong smell as we emptied the "grey" gave it away. We poured several gallons through the black to hopefully clean it out.

As far as awning...we did figure out how to pull it out, and at long last figured how to get it back in. We did not detach the legs from the camper, so it was at an angle, but that worked fine. We were unsure how to set it up fully, so decided to leave it alone and try it after getting information from the company. Ours is not automatic.

There is not by-pass valve under our bench....actually there is nothing but a drawer under each bench. Is it possible ours does not have this valve? To be real honest, we do not even know where the hot water tank is. We have been on the site of the manufacturer of the water heater, but there are no manuals....just a sales pitch on everything they sell.

Does anyone know if we can get a set of original manuals? Since Forest River still makes the 21SS, and there is little change to the floor plan, would they have a set we can buy? I know my questions are redundant, but I guess the bottom line comes down to
How do we get the set of manuals that the original owner did not leave in the camper, or even retrun to the dealer upon request?
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:54 AM   #8
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Like I said earlier---- Each appliance manufacturer will have a web site.
They will have manuals online that you can view and or print.
The Forest River manual is just general stuff like telling you to drain the black tank
first and then the gray in order to flush the heavy stuff out of your dump hose.

Your water heater can be found by walking around the outside of your trailer.
It will be mounted low, near the bottom edge of one side or the other.
The access cover door is nearly always metal.
If you find a metal door with mesh or screen in one corner, that is the water heater
cover.
The bypass valve is probably inside the trailer on the back side of the
water heater. Once you know where the water heater is outside you can pretty
easily find the back side of it inside.
If you find the back side of your water heater inside and take a picture of it and
post the picture we might be able to tell you more about your bypass valve.
If you look at the bottom of this page you can see a picture of a water heater
access door.
http://bigdiscountrv.com/waterheaters_suburban.htm

How far is it to your dealer??? They can show you.
You can try contacting forest river but the appliances come with one set of
manuals each. Those are given out to the original purchaser. They (forest river)
probably don't have an extra set but they might...... give them a call.

No manual is going to tell you how exactly how to operate your bypass valve(s)
because each trailer is different. We can help you if you'll just do a little detective
work yourself!!

Did you ask your dealer if they will contact the original owner and try to get your
manuals???

Good luck!
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan View Post
We have been on the site of the manufacturer of the water heater, but there are no manuals....just a sales pitch on everything they sell.
There are manuals online. When you walk around your trailer and find
the metal hot water heater access door-- open the door and look for
the sticker in there somewhere.
Write down the maker and MODEL number.
It will be Suburban or Atwood.
We can send you a link to their manual if you'll do the detective work first.
We can help you but you'll have to help too

Even the water heater manual won't give specific bypass valve
instructions because the bypass valve(s) is/are installed by the trailer folks
and not the hot water heater folks.

KyDan
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Old 05-30-2009, 03:45 AM   #10
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Morgan, FR doesn't have any specific manual for the Roo and a lot of other trailers. we all got the generic manual you got.
there were a lot of secondary manuals/instructions for the appliances, awning, converter, stab jacks and so on.

i have an '07 Roo 23SS. i did all my reading on this and other forums to learn how to do things. like you, we were former popup owners and this was our first real RV.

you might want to go on RV.net's Hybrid Forum. it's the most active Hybrid forum going. lots of 21SS owners there, too.
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