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Old 06-16-2016, 05:58 PM   #1
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100% RV Virgin - Lots of Questions & Need LOTS of Help!

Hello Everyone!

My wife and I recently just bought our very first RV, a 2005 Forest River Surveyor Lite Travel Trailer, and we're 100% RV virgins who have absolutely NO idea what we're doing. I can't even stress this enough; we've ever even been inside of a camper until we bought this one!

That being said, we have more questions than one could imagine and really need the guidance and suggestions of RV'ers much more experienced than we are (that shouldn't be hard to find, ha!)

As we're just trying to familiarize ourselves with the camper and learn what everything is, we've put together a starter list of things along with some photos. Your input would be so greatly appreciated!

Best Wishes,
Bear

------

1) Inside of the bathroom is a "Micro Monitor" panel for the battery and the tanks. The indicator light lights up fine for the grey and fresh tanks, as well as the battery, but doesn't light up at all for the black tank. What does this mean and what can I do about it?

2) On the ceiling above the largest bunk, there's a small silver outlet type thing on the light. It's the only light in the camper that has it. What is it?

Photo:https://www.dropbox.com/s/uimfm8oqu4...Light.JPG?dl=0

3) The freezer door in the fridge automatically opens whenever you open the fridge door. I can't be sure, but it doesn't look like there was ever a latch of any type there to keep that from happening in the first place. Is that normal? If not, any suggestions on what to do about it?

Photo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ud2a6u4ex6...-Door.jpg?dl=0

4) What is in this "under the bench" compartment? Is it the water heater? What is the clear little tank full of water? Why does it have a green ring of algae in it?

Photo 1: https://www.dropbox.com/s/q3ywpb1pit...eater.JPG?dl=0

Photo 2: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0j6mbmu5ky...Water.JPG?dl=0

Photo 3: https://www.dropbox.com/s/a006qvk0h8...ater2.JPG?dl=0

5) The screen door handle doesn't latch very well to the door frame. Just the slightest push opens it right up. The little "tab" on the latch doesn't extend far enough past the lip on the door frame. It seems, however, that the door handle is already moved as close to the frame as possible so I don't think I can move it any further towards the door frame. Any ideas for making the screen door more secure? We have dogs so can't risk them pushing the door right open.

Photo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/21svdeo7u8...Latch.JPG?dl=0

6) The bunk door has some water damage near the hinges that spans the entire width of the door and is about 8" high. In this photo, I drew a red line to show where the delamination begins. A red arrow shows where the outer layer of fiberglass (?) has popped out of the seam. The bunk is solid and is safe to use, I believe. However, I'm worried about the outer layer that's popped out of the seam and am not sure how to fix this. Should I use a utility knife to score off the length that has popped out of the seam and then seal along the entire seam?

Photo 1: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kcuslskqhe...Door2.jpg?dl=0

Photo 2: https://www.dropbox.com/s/akcwfj7xzn...lose2.JPG?dl=0

7) Some of the baggage/storage compartment doors have damage to their black foam/rubber seals. What do I do about this? I'm assuming I can buy new seals but where do I get them and how do I know what kind I need? Any references on how to install new seals?

Photo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hhzye2whbn...rage3.JPG?dl=0

8) Which lever is for the grey tank and which lever is for the black tank? The lever handle to the left has been broken. Can this be replaced? Is it a DIY job? The sign above says that the sewage cap must always be in place when in motion but it looks to me like there is no cap to be found. Can a replacement be ordered?

Photo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/oq4uuj2tda...rains.JPG?dl=0

9) What are these dark brown water streaks running from the window? Looks like they're coming from the weep hole but I'm not sure why. What does that mean and what do I do about it?

Photo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/v27bcgqx1l...treak.JPG?dl=0

10) Can anyone explain to me how to read and understand the electrical panel here? I understand the 15 amp fuses and how they're listed. But what are the two 30 amp fuses for? And what do the circuits mean on the left?

Photo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/j3jgdzhlkj...Panel.JPG?dl=0

11) In the front of the trailer, right underneath of the "fender" area, there's a black fabric membrane type thing that is split/torn along the front. You can slip your fingers inside of it and it's just soaking wet in there; a lot of dirt, debris, tiny bits of rotten wood, etc. come out. What do I do about this, if anything?

Photo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e5py82106o...abric.JPG?dl=0
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:02 PM   #2
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Welcome the forum. Enjoy your camper. Lots of folks here to give ya insight to your questions. Enjoy Later RJD
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:34 PM   #3
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The thing on the light looks like the headphone jack.
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:36 PM   #4
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The little clear tank is a water filter housing. They should have a filter in it. If it has a green ring in there it must have been sitting for a long time.
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Old 06-16-2016, 07:07 PM   #5
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Congratulations on becoming a RVr. It looks like you have a lot of issues to remedy. My biggest concern would be any water damage you see. Water can destroy a TT or any RV for that matter. As for the photo of dump valves it appears the handle to the right of the photo is the black tank valve and it appear there is a valve on a smaller tube that would be the grey tank dump. It looks like the handle is broken off. You can purchase a valve cover to fix that can probably find a replacement handle. You have identified the hot water heater. The thing you say looks like a little tank is the water filter. If you look on the outside of the water heater you will find a very small rocker switch to turn on/off the electric heating element. I would guess the water heater has never been cleaned out so locate the drain plug and remove it. If you have a plastic plug the water heater MFR is Atwood and it has no anode. If you have a metal plug it most likely is a Suburban water heater and will have an anode rod attached to the plug, if so I will guess the anode is completely gone and will need to be replaced. While you have the drain plug out rinse out the tank thoroughly. Just make sure you refill the water tank before you turn on the switch or you will destroy the heating element.

The area where you say the fabric is soggy wet and you see what looks like rotten wood, that is just what it is, a rotted floor. If you look in the inside of the trailer I think you find the floor is about to collapse. You need to find out where the water is entering the trailer. The floor can be repaired but if you don't fix the leak first it will be destroyed again.

I hope you didn't spend a lot of money on this RV and I looks like you have a lot of repair work ahead of you. It appears this TT has been rode hard and put up wet and is still wet.

For the freezer door just purchase some strip magnets from the local Hobby Lobby or Michaels and glue them to the door and to the face of the freezer opening.

The light not indicating for the black tank may be just a wire off of the sensor on the tank.

Good luck, if you have more questions don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:47 PM   #6
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The thing on the light is a power source for a fan
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:17 PM   #7
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For your fuse question, that is your converter to convert the 110v to 12v. Get the name of the manufacturer and model number off of the converter and do a google search to locate a owners manual. If you have no manuals I would suggest you locate manuals for the various appliances (stove, microwave if you have one, refrigerator and water heater) on the internet. You can download generic owners manuals from the Forest River website that may help you understand general operation (winterizing, towing etc.)but that manual will not help with the appliances.

Note: if you need a specific manual, just ask on the forum and many times someone can send or post a pdf of a manual.

I see you are located in PA, I hope the TT has been winterized for the past winter. If not you may have some plumbing issues to fix also with broken pipes or fixtures. If it was winterized you need to flush the system before you use it. A special RV antifreeze is used that is safe for human use to do that. Depending on the MFR of the RV antifreeze it my be pink, light yellow or blue in color, radiator antifreeze is usually a green color. And learn how to winterize the TT for this coming winter. Also the HW tank may be already empty but needs to be checked for any contaminates from an anode rod.
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:43 PM   #8
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:51 PM   #9
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When I was new to RV'ing, I purchased this book and it has proven to be a lifesaver many times over. Best of Luck!


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Old 06-17-2016, 03:25 PM   #10
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well, it would have helped if you had mentioned that your Surveyor is a HYBRID travel trailer.

regarding the plug outlet, hybrids come with light/fan combos that hang in the tent end, from the shepherd's hook that supports the tent roof.

suggest you start posting questions, in the Hybrids/Expandables section's Surveyor sub-forum.
Hybrid TTs are unique RVs and it will help you to get info and suggestions from other hybrid owners.

your issue #6 is unique to hybrids. delam usually means replacing the bunk door.
you may also have water damage to the hinge sill.
this is usually caused by bad door seals, warped bunk door or owners allowing canvas to be trapped in the seals when closing up.
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Old 06-17-2016, 03:54 PM   #11
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Just remember one major point, we all started new and the only dum question is the one you never ask. If it helps in any way to make your RV experience easier and better, ASK
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:33 PM   #12
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I use a baby gate across the door to keep my big game hunter from rocketing out after a squirrel. Or a bird. Or a black fly.
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:54 PM   #13
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Unhappy Drop Box Problem

Don't know if it was a fluke, but I tried earlier (11 a.m.) to look at one of the photos posted with this thread; I was directed to Drop Box but never actually saw any photos. About an hour ago, several of my contacts in email got messages from Drop Box saying I am sharing photos!! Did this happen to anyone else? I don't use Drop Box.
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Old 06-18-2016, 07:08 AM   #14
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The outlet on the light is for plugging in a fan or an extra light we had a light/fan combo that we used when we had our pop up
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Old 06-18-2016, 07:39 AM   #15
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Here's a site designed for folks like you!

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