welcome to the wonderful world of camping. 16 foot is small to be fulltiming in but, you are young. Good to see you are taking up camping but, I hate to see you leave college even though I assume you will be returning. I can honestly say I have never owned a camper that I did not enjoy. Most of us cannot afford what we want when starting out. We have camped in tents, converted 1949 ford bus powered by 350 chevy engine(went to Disney world), 70s 14 ft Scotty(cozy), 78 Starcraft pop-up(great at the time), 58 18 ft airstream (wish we still had), 28 ft airstream(bought wrecked and repaired), 64 31 ft airstream (loved the room), 78 30 ft HR(a beauty), 92 28ft HR alumalite(loads of good times) but, unconfortable trailer, 2000 278 cougar fifth wheel(great little trailer but had problem with fiberglass bubbling) to our present 33 ft HR Vacationer MH with two slides(no comments yet)and forgot the one that gave us the most trouble a 78 22 ft Brougham. Think I replaced every piece of wood in that thing. Something fell off every time we used it but, guess what, enjoyed every minute of it, well most. But getting to your question Brakes, Is the problem electric or brake shoes? The gray tank should have another valve to empty it. Follow the drain pipe. it should be close to your dumping hose hook up. Above all expect trouble, laugh at your mistakes, don't worry about the other persons dishonesty, he/she will pay for that. Check my spelling and its only 8:30 pm!! Keep asking questions. Ask around and find ,if you cannot perform the brake work, a reputable mechanic. He may be a little higher than the jack leg but, cheaper in the long run.
Hello Sophia!!! I would get the brakes taken care of first; do you know what is wrong with them? Check the brake drums, brake pads, wheel cylinders, brake lines, and Master cylinder; also check the brake fluid. You should change it, by all means!(probably never has been done). As for your tanks, I would think that there is a valve you have missed seeing. Look at EVERYTHING closely. Take every day as it comes, and figure it to be a learning experience. You have a complete house and car there with all of their respective systems, and remember: Murphy's Law always applies!
Don't get discouraged, have fun; these memories you are making will last a lifetime.
I got my first camper in 1970 when I was about the same age that you are now. It was an 8' slide in camper that heavily overloaded my little pickup. I bought it from a young couple who had given the table to some friends who had no table. The wife had made dresses for herself and their 2 year old daughter from the curtains. Another set of their deprived freinds had received gifts of all the dinette cushions.
Needless to say that before I could use it I had to do MUCH work. Soon after I had everything working well I drove too close to a post at the bank and ripped the back off the camper. So I added camper structural repair to my newly developed curtain/cushion sewing skills.
Be sure that RV'ing on the cheap takes a LOT of work and ingenuity. Bad things WILL happen. A house on wheels has lots to go wrong and shaken' it around all the time helps assure that things will go wrong. Work hard to make these things part of the adventure.
I've had an RV (sometimes 2) ever since that first little slide in. All of them have made life exciting because of their failures and personalities and because of the places they've taken us and the intimacy that is shared by co-existing in such a small space.
Through 32 years and 2 kids, several dogs and cats we keep on 'n and truckin'. It is a great diversion from real life. Turn the problems to puzzles and through finding the solutions.