Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-09-2014, 03:01 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 2
Question Newbie RVer....

Hi All,

My name is Patty and my husband is Tom. We just purchased a used travel trailer, Forest River 26' Salem, 2003. We are excited but nervous about our purchase. We have camped twice now and have come across some problems with the trailer.

Not sure if this is the time to bring this up but will put it out there and someone can help me direct to the correct forum.

Problem 1:
Our hot water heater will not stay lit. We have a gas pilot hot water heater, SW6P. We turn the knob to pilot, hold down while trying to light and follow directions to a T then turn to on and it will ignite and stay lit for approximately 10 minutes. It goes out and we will not be able to relight until the next day even if we turn off and let sit for the recommended amount of time before trying to light again.

Problem 2:
Blackwater tank not draining?......Our sensors are not working in our black water tank, which we knew when we purchased the trailer. But we figured we could get a handle on it. We follow the directed instructions and started by trying to drain the blackwater tank after using it for 3.5 days. Stuff came out but not much. We have no idea if that is all there was or if there is a blockage now. I poured some water down(several gallons) the toilet after the initial draining but nothing came out the drain. (we do have the clear elbow) We closed the drain and I poured more water, ice and chemical in the tank in hopes that it would know stuff loose as we were driving and maybe drain later. Have not drained it yet but would like some tips from all of you seasoned RVer's.

At the same time, we filled the grey tank so we could rinse the hose etc. We now find out the sensors are not working for the grey tank either because water started coming up through the tub. The sensors were saying empty. The tub water did go down once we drained the grey tank. We just need to be more careful but any suggestions to assist would be greatly appreciated.

Can the sensors be fixed? Is it really expensive? How do we know if there is a blockage in the black water tank. Maybe we should have bought new.

Thank you and looking forward to hearing stories of fun and travel from all of you. Not sure if we did the right thing so good vibes from all of you would be awesome.

Thank you and nice to meet all of you out there in RV land.


pattyd3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2014, 08:54 PM   #2
Senior Member
themounties's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Moundsville Wv
Posts: 1,407
Welcome to the forum, lot of info here, not sure about your problems it have you tried lighting the stove to see if that stays lit, and you may try the wand you connect to hose and stick down thru toilet hole that may clean the sensors off for the black tank somewhere I remember a thread or two on that you can try to search it.

themounties is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2014, 01:25 AM   #3
Site Team
Terier's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 9,723
Hi Patty and welcome to the forum!

I know that sensors can be replaced but I don't know how much work it would be. Based on what I have read here on the forums it's not uncommon to have problems with the black tank with an used RV. There's lots of tips in previous threads on this topic so doing a search could yield lots of information. I'm not very technical so I try to leave these topics to the more experienced members.

Your questions might be better suited in another forum(s) relating to the topic where it could get more attention.
Great choice for "Living within my means" and camping for one...

2011 Salem Cruise Lite 20RBXL & 2011 Toyota Tundra Dbl Cab
Camping History: 45 Trips / 133 Nights / 3736 Miles
FRF Social Group: Campers of the West
Terier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2014, 10:24 AM   #4
Senior Member
DaveSchwartz's Avatar
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Waterloo Region
Posts: 723
Assuming your propane tank is full, if the WH problem isn't that you just need to be more patient to wait until the air purges from the lines from the tank on the front to the WH then it may be the thermocouple (that's an easy fix). Also be sure to check all the push-on connectors on the control module. I had a similar problem keeping ignition (even though mine was spark-ignition) very early on... although the connections looked good, I had to replace some of them until it was reliable and then never again had a problem in 8 years.

The blank tank issue is probably because it was used improperly by the former owner. During our new 5er PDI, the tech had a well rehearsed spiel... "There are only three things that go in the black tank: human waste, water (and lots of it) and TP". He said that if we ever brought it in for draining problems, one of their shop techs would power-flush it into a 5 gallon bucket one at a time, then pour each bucket into the shop toilet through a strainer. If he found anything that was not one of those 3 then it would not be a warranty issue and would be charged at a highly punitive rate.

The tank sensors are just metal studs that go through the tank wall (if you find one of Herk's many pictures of the system, you see only one wire connected to each). The indicator works simply by showing you which ones are leaking minute amounts of current (normally supposed to be just through water, but other moist things can fool it). If the sensors get fouled with TP then thats when you can get false readings. A swizzle stick may help with that.
2015 Rockwood Signature UltraLite 8282WS Platinum, GY Marathon LRD, TST 507RV TPMS
2005 GMC 2500HD CCSB D/A, Curt E16, Prodigy P2, Garmin RV760LMT w/BC-20 b/u cam

Self restraint is for the young. I'm old and want it NOW!
DaveSchwartz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2014, 07:07 PM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 2
Thank you! The stove works just fine. I have cooked on it several times. We have decided to take it in for service. We knew there would be some problems so we will take the good with the bad.

We appreciate your feedback and look forward to many more posts, stories and threads.

pattyd3 is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:57 PM.