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Old 08-31-2013, 07:08 PM   #1
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Question can any one please help me?

I am totally new to the whole camper life.
I recently purchased a 1986 34 ft Spartan travel trailer.And not one of tge ones tgat looks like an airstream. I can not find any
Information on it on line. Such as the clean tank grey and black tans.
I will be putting the trailer on perminant septic. But until then I'm lost when it comes to almost everything to do with this trailer from where's the hot water tank and how do I light it. To how do if fill and flush all the tanks. What I've read says there a gage to tell you when tanks are full but I cant find one anywhere. I cant even find the actual model name and its not on the title. Is there a book for dummies . Or does any one know where i might find an owners manuel.Lol I will be moving from tn to fl in about a week and a half and would like to camp on the journey can anyone offer me any advice. Thanks in advance
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:19 PM   #2
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i don't know anything about your trailer, but you've come to the right place for help.
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:22 PM   #3
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:26 PM   #4
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I can't help but welcome to the site
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:18 PM   #5
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Lots of questions, but they will have to be broken down into a series of more specific ones to get meaningful answers.

It is possible that an trailer of that vantage has no gauges for the tanks, but it is more likely that you press a button somewhere to light up a display. Sometimes the buttons are on the stove hood, sometimes in a cabinet (maybe over the entry door?), or sometimes in a hallway. RV manufacturers are endlessly creative about that sort of thing.

If the trailer is set up on a permanent site, you will probably hook a water hose to the city water ilet for fresh water and not have to worry about the fresh tank and pump. Park water pressure is all you need. For the gray water waste (sinks and shower), you can leave the gray tank drain valve open and let it drain direct to the septic. The valve will be on a 1.5" water pipe leading to the 3" main drain and is usually a T handle that you pull. For the black (toilet) waste, leave the drain valve closed until the tank is full. Even without a gauge you will know when the toilet starts to get full - the "glug" sound will change noticeably. Then its time to go outside and pull the handle out so the black water can drain into the septic. Do NOT ever leave the black valve open - poop and paper will build up inside the tank and clog it if you do.

The water heater in an 88 vintage trailer is probably propane fired only (no electric heater). It will have a pilot light you must light manually. The procedure depends on the brand and model of heater, so look for a name on it (Suburban, Atwood, American, etc) and a model number. You will probably have to open the outside heater access door to find that.

Hope this gets you started.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:41 AM   #6
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Thanks any way!
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Lots of questions, but they will have to be broken down into a series of more specific ones to get meaningful answers.

It is possible that an trailer of that vantage has no gauges for the tanks, but it is more likely that you press a button somewhere to light up a display. Sometimes the buttons are on the stove hood, sometimes in a cabinet (maybe over the entry door?), or sometimes in a hallway. RV manufacturers are endlessly creative about that sort of thing.

If the trailer is set up on a permanent site, you will probably hook a water hose to the city water ilet for fresh water and not have to worry about the fresh tank and pump. Park water pressure is all you need. For the gray water waste (sinks and shower), you can leave the gray tank drain valve open and let it drain direct to the septic. The valve will be on a 1.5" water pipe leading to the 3" main drain and is usually a T handle that you pull. For the black (toilet) waste, leave the drain valve closed until the tank is full. Even without a gauge you will know when the toilet starts to get full - the "glug" sound will change noticeably. Then its time to go outside and pull the handle out so the black water can drain into the septic. Do NOT ever leave the black valve open - poop and paper will build up inside the tank and clog it if you do.

The water heater in an 88 vintage trailer is probably propane fired only (no electric heater). It will have a pilot light you must light manually. The procedure depends on the brand and model of heater, so look for a name on it (Suburban, Atwood, American, etc) and a model number. You will probably have to open the outside heater access door to find that.

Hope this gets you started.
Thanks a lot for the information it was very helpful. I'll look for the hot water heater model tomorrow. I am female and usually very handy at this kind of stuff. Am great with electrical trouble shooting but gas scares the bejesus out of me. Lol I'm sure its not real different from a gas grill. As for the holding tanks judt want to make sure I don't create any extra problems.
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:50 AM   #8
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You maybe able to get help from these people for manual or just general info.
Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:35 PM   #9
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Get ye to an RV store or Camping world...

Either Camping world or a LARGE RV store (not so much the smaller ones) will have one of two books

One is called, as best i recall "The RV Owners' Handbook" and the other is (Again to my best recoleciton) Simply "The RV Book"

These are generic owner's manuals.. Odds are they will cover most of your systems. And most of mine, And most of Gary's And most of Ted's.... Well you get the idea.

I will say that on a couple of mine they did a better job than the factory manual.


Second: For each "Appliance" (Fridge, Microwave, Water heater, Air conditioner et-al)

If you can find out the make and model of the appliance, you can very likely download the factory manual from the factory cuss-some-more support web site,, or is that customer support.
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:06 PM   #10
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The Spartans stopped production in about the late 1950's. Maybe you can find the model number here. Spartan Aircraft Trailercoaches

Once you've determined your model number (or sorta close to it), somebody on IRV2 will get a better grasp on where various components are located and how they work.

Many good people on this site so don't give up. There is a Vintage section at Vintage RV's - iRV2 Forums in case you didn't notice.
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:24 PM   #11
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In your case, it may be a wise investment hiring a mobile RV tech to come out and have a look at your purchase. He should be able to give your trailer a quick once over, then answer any question you might have regarding any component on it?

This should be able to be done for a nominal fee, and once the tech is familiar with your coach, he'll always be no further than a phone call away?
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:16 AM   #12
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Oh these look like some great sites to check out. Thanks.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:19 AM   #13
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Oh ok awesome info. Camper stores are miles from me but ill try to find one on the first leg of my journey. Thanks so much.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:23 AM   #14
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Hmmm my title says mine is a 1986. Was there another manufacture to pick up the spartan name?
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