american traveler?

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by oncloud9, May 7, 2006.

  1. oncloud9

    oncloud9 New Member

    Hi - I've rented a few times, but I'm new to the full-time lifestyle (and very excited and nervous at the same time - where do I put all my stuff??)

    :question:

    I recently bought an '89 35' American Traveler TT - I think the silver tag reads 'Park Model' - but it sure looks like a TT to me. I'd love to get some info on my new purchase, but can't even find the manufacturer online. I think they may now be called GDL Industries, but can find nothing further than this. This is my first RV and I'm totally in the dark - not sure how anything works and what basic maintenance is needed. I don't know if the fridge is elec or LP, where the fresh water tank is, if grey water drains separately from black/sewage...yikes! I'm looking forward to learning, but could use a little direction. I bought it from a guy who could only tell me that the heat and ac work. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

    :laugh:
     
  2. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    american traveler?

    Yes, in every case I've heard of, there should be a separate tank for black water (toilet) and for gray water (everything else). There should be one discharge pipe (3"), and 2 valves leading into that. One of them is for the black tank (the bigger if they are 2 sizes) and the other for the gray tank.

    Always dump the black tank first, then close that valve and dump the gray tank to flush out the pipe and the hose. It is best to not dump if either tank is less than half full, but of course you can do it if you need to. Just be aware that with insufficient water in the black tank, it may leave solids behind which can make concrete look wimpy :) And without enough gray water, your hose will be messy.

    As far as the fresh water tank goes, you will likely have 1 of 2 systems. More likely, there will be a small door somewhere on the outside of the trailer, and behind that door is a filler port. They make a nozzle which fits into there to make it easier to fill (see Camping World). It is also possible, that the filler will be internal, in which case you should have a valve near where you hook the hose to the trailer which specifies whether the water goes to the fresh water tank or to the trailer plumbing directly.

    You should be able to tell what runs the fridge by looking at its control panel. On mine, there was a button which stated gas/auto. Most are gas/AC.
     
  3. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    american traveler?

    If it is a true park model it may not have fresh water or holding tanks. The fridge may also only be electric.
     
  4. oncloud9

    oncloud9 New Member

    american traveler?

    this info is WONDERFUL!! Thanks so much for your quick and very thorough reply!! When I look underneath, all I see is the big black sewage pipe and a smaller white hose-nozzle thing. The tub is up off the floor a few inches, could there be a tank under that? Fresh/grey/or black?

    I wish I could find a manual for this baby...or maybe a magic 8-ball... :8ball:
     
  5. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    american traveler?

    If you look underneath and you can't see any tanks, and there are no valves (most have a 'T' handle sticking out which you pull to open), then Chelse could be right and the unit may not be a RV at all, but instead a 'mobile' home. These are designed not to be used 'on the road', but towed to a 'permanant' site and hard connected to the sewer, water and electricity. In this case, all the elecricity in it will be 120v AC, with no batteries or 12v DC system.

    Is the 'hoze-nozzle thing' attached to the sewage pipe at all? If not, I'm guessing it might be a drain for the plumbing system. In a RV, it would be for draining the system for the winter. Don't know why they would have it in a mobile home though.

    No, there is unlikely to be any tank under the tub/shower. Every one I've seen is off the ground a few inches. I'll bet that's just the way they are made.
     
  6. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    american traveler?

    quote: I think the silver tag reads 'Park Model'

    What silver tag are you speaking of? If what you have purchased is a park model, then it is not going to be satisfactory as an RV. A park model will have a refrigerator that is the same as the one found in a stick house and only operate from 120V-ac power. It will have no fresh water tank or water pump, no 12V-dc power system or supply, and no internal waste tanks. The lights will all be 120V and the furnace will operate from 120V power and propane, rather than 12V.
     
  7. oncloud9

    oncloud9 New Member

    american traveler?

    Kirk, Hertig, & Chelse - thanks so much for your help - it has given me a lot of insight. :)

    Hmmm...I looked underneath and there are no tanks and I didn't see any t-handles for valves, either. I haven't found an LCD panel or anything about batteries. In addition, the fridge looks like one in a stick house, but smaller.

    I don't believe the hose nozzle thing is attached to the sewer pipe at all - it comes out directly from the floor, underneath the trailer (that area is pretty rotted).

    There is a heater register/vent thing coming out from under the tub, where the tub is raised a few inches. Maybe those inches are for ducting.

    The silver tag is on the (driver) side of the trailer, near the front. It lists the Manufacturer (GDL Industries), date (Feb 1989), model (Trailer - park model), vin, weight (12,000 lbs), tire pressure, and a few other things. It's pretty faded and difficult to read, but I was able to get some info off of it.

    :question: What's the easiest way to tell if everything runs off 120V vs 12V?
     
  8. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    american traveler?

    It is a pretty simple thing to know what the power system is. First, if the power outlets look like those in a stick house, then they are 120V-ac power. No 12V system looks that way. Also, most 12V light bulbs do not look the same as 120V lights. But the best way to be sure is to use a volt meter and check it that way. Just remove a bulb and measure across the connections. I would test for 120V-ac first and if not found, then check for 12V-dc. Do this with the light turned on.

    On the manufacturer, I did find a site that states that American Traveler (G.D.L. Industries) ceased to exist in 1989.
     
  9. oncloud9

    oncloud9 New Member

    american traveler?

    Kirk - thanks for the additional info. If I remember correctly, the outlets do look they look in a stick house, and so do the light switches (except they have the flat, wide kind, not the skinny kind). I can get my hands on a volt meter and will test for voltage, too. Do you mean a regular household type bulb or the bulbs on the outside of the trailer, like the brake lights, etc.?

    Yes, I did also see that (with the orphan reference). I was hoping there was some warehouse somewhere that has manuals, etc for that manufacturer. A girl can dream :blush: I did buy a book by Bill Bryant, "Trailers and Fifth Wheels Made Easy" which has a lot of good general hints and cautions.

    The guy I'm buying from said it was 35' X 8' - do they make PMs that small? Would I still be welcome here if it turns out I have a true park model, instead of an RV?

    PS - you've got a great site - you and your son do a wonderful job keeping it up and there's lots of great info on it! I've never heard of the workamper lifestyle - it looks so interesting and rewarding!! Pam and you did a great job making your place a home - does she sew on the road?
     
  10. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    american traveler?

    The lights inside are the ones to check for 120v. Any brake/running lights will be 12v, run off the tow vehicle most likely.

    You are welcome here if you are interested in RVing, no matter what you have or don't have :)
     
  11. oncloud9

    oncloud9 New Member

    american traveler?

    my instinct was correct - thanks for the confirmation

    and, thanks for welcoming me - such nice people in this lifestyle!!

    now, to the issue of semi-permanent blackwater dumping...or maybe a composting toilet...
     

Share This Page