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Old 07-15-2018, 09:36 PM   #1
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Just bought our first Travel Trailer - 2009 Viewfinder V21FB. Looks like it was never used or slept in. Looking forward to some fun weekends in the mountains and maybe some autumn on the beach (Assateague Island). Just done a couple of local overnights so far - still learning how to use everything. (Havenít mastered the water heater and havenít used the onboard water tank yet...)

Iím sure weíll have lots of questions! Any thing to look out for on a 10 year old trailer? Leaks in pipes or things that might have problems from disuse?

Thanks!
Tim and Ning
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:35 PM   #2
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Is this your first trailer? If so, ask lots of questions!! Be sure there is water in the water heater before firing it up.

And on a ten year old trailer, two big issues: you MUST get new tires, and check the roof carefully. Tires deteriorate over time. Ten year old tires are ancient. Check the DOT codes on the tires -- they give the date, but in code. Google tire codes to figure it out.

Good luck, and enjoy!!
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:52 AM   #3
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Congrats and welcome to the forum.

If you live in a place where there are HARD winters with freezes, make sure you empty the water heater completely using the main drain that is on the outside of the water heater. Open the access door and use a socket wrench to remove it. I busted a tank once because I forgot to do this and it froze.

If you are using the fresh water tank and pump, Always turn your electric water pump OFF when you are not actually IN the trailer.... that way if you have a leak, it will not go full bore.


We recently had a BIG leak. A pipe joint just came loose. I noticed it while filling up the hot water tank....fortunately the leak was under the sink and easy to fix. Just be alert. I noticed this because the pump just kept running and running. Fortunately open pots and pans, and towels caught most of the water. If I had left the pump running and just walked away to do something else, it would have been a disaster.

The floors are made of plywood not particle board so one leak does not destroy the floor.

On our 08, the water heater is gas operated but ignites electrically. If yours is the same: make sure it is full of water by running the hot water at the sink. Make sure the gas is flowing my testing it at the stove burner. Then just flip the hot water heater switch located somewhere in the kitchen and wait. You should hear it ignite...but its not very loud.

We never hook up to a water hose....we always use the fresh water tank and pump and just fill up when need. We do this even if water is available. No particular reason. On a previous trailer, we hooked up to city water that happens to be 60 PSI and did not use a pressure reducer.... it totally blew the plumbing and flooded the trailer with 2 inches of water before be noticed....ruined the particle board flooring. (old trailer...a Prowler). ALWAYS use a pressure reducer if you are hooking up to a water supply...otherwise just fill the tank and use the pump... no big risk in that.

Well, there is the risk of having a dirty tank with mold etc. We clean our out once a year with 1 cup of bleach and a full tank.... then flush it real good.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:14 AM   #4
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This is our first trailer - and new tires was the one thing I insisted on (purchased off Craigslist from a pseudo-dealer - probably a story to tell around a campfire over a few beers...) Far from my first vehicle purchase, I consider myself mechanically handy, and I've borrowed my brother's TT, so didn't feel entirely uninformed...but I'm waiting to be proven wrong.

The trailer was winterized - first water use poured the pink out - and the water heater was drained (the sacrificial anode was removed). I have witnessed the gas fire up for the water heater - just discovered the electric at the end of inauguration trip 2. Seems like we get hot water for and instant, then its gone. I read something about a bypass valve (on first fill, the pressure valve at the tank was open)...if I'm running water from the hot tap and its coming out, is it safe to assume its coming through the hot water tank? I bought a new anode and electric heating element since they are inexpensive enough...haven't installed it yet.

We have only run from city water so far - I need to fill the tank and test the pump and clean the system. I confess I did turn the pump on when trying to get hot water - I hope I didn't burn it up running on and empty tank. It was on for perhaps 15 minutes or so...

Sure appreciate the feedback - already getting the impression that (just like everything else) there are as many opinions as there are trailers!
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:06 PM   #5
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Water heaters come is 3 basic varieties I think. Gas Only, Electric Only, and Gas/Electric.

My old trailer had a Gas only and I replaced it with a Gas/Electric.

My 2008 FF trailer has a Gas Only.... but it uses an electric igniter. Flip the switch, the gas turns on and it lights. Works off the battery, no plug in necessary. My old heater in my old trailer you had to go outside and light it with a match...ha.

On the FF, there are 3 water management valves located inconveniently under the bed. Hard to get too. I think their purpose it to shut off the flow of water to and from the water heater so that you don't have to have it fill up and therefor have to worry about draining it in the winter. I just leave mine all open all the time. Then I don't have to worry about whether they are closed or open.

The pumps are pretty tough... I doubt you hurt it any. I just have this paranoia about leaks and pumps so I leave mine off unless we are in the trailer. If you have the pump ON and your hook up to a water supply, the pressure in the line should keep the pump OFF anyway. It has a pressure sensitive switch in it. That is why it when you are NOT hooked up to a water supply, the pump with pump up pressure and then stop running even though the switch is ON.

Yer right about opinions... you will figure it all out for yourself as you use it. Forums are very helpful to avoid rookie moves. I've gleaned a lot of helpful info here.
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