These things have to be a labor of love (and a small budget) or they wouldn't survive this long.
The alarming clunking sound is likely slack in the hitch where the ball and coupler come together. You should check to make sure both the hitch ball and coupler are of a matching size such as both are 1 7/8" or both are 2" or whatever. Assuming they match then the coupler on the trailer can be adjusted to make a snug connection when coupled and locked down. Also the ball part where it mates with the receiver of the hitch can rattle around a bit. The pin that holds all that together should be a fairly firm fit.
Next you should check the axle
bearings and tires
. If there's any cracking in the tire sidewalls, they should be replaced even if the tread is still good. There should not be any play in the bearings. Generally this is checked by jacking up the wheel so it's free of the ground and grabbing the top of the tire to see if it will wiggle back and forth. If it wiggles even a slight amount, the bearings need to be serviced. Also if you spin the tire by hand and notice any rumbling sound or feel, the bearings need service. The tire should spin effortlessly and very smoothly.
are optional since your Buick likely has sufficient braking power for the combined rig but having brakes
is better than not having them. Electric brakes
work with the vehicle braking system to help prevent the trailer jackknifing in a panic stop. Most brake controllers also have a button or lever that operates the trailer brakes independently of the vehicle brakes. This is used primarily to tune the system but it can be used to slow or stop trailer sway especially when going down steep hills. If you don't have a manual for the system, you may be able to get one online or order one from the manufacturer of the brake controller unit.
system should be leak checked. The best way is to install a pressure gauge at the tank end. You can then open the tank valve such that you get a pressure reading, then shut off the tank noting the pressure reading. Come back in five or ten minutes and read the gauge. If the pressure reading stays the same, the system is tight and doesn't leak. If the pressure reading declines then you have a leak. If you have a leak, it's probably at a fitting where the fuel line connects either to the tank or the appliance. Soapy water sprayed on the fitting is the way to check each fitting. Bubbles indicate a leak. Leaks
are dangerous and need to be fixed.
No, the water is not safe to drink. You should clean the water tank and flush all the water lines with a bleach/water solution before each use. Then I would add a small amount of bleach every time you fill the tank. I also have a water filter that I connect between the city water connection and the source. It charcoal filters all the incoming water to 2 microns. This will take out the chlorine taste and other smallish molecules but not virus sized stuff.
The other thing you should do is to get into all the systems of the camper and make sure that you understand how they all work. Things like the holding tanks, electrical
, jacks, vents, windows
, even how the table folds up can be a challenge until you get in there and mess with it. It's better to find out things don't work when the camper is in your yard than when you're miles from home.
Also it helps to sit back and have a beer or two every once in a while and just think about things ... especially thinking about everything you've learned, fixed or replaced and congratulating yourself on a fine accomplishment.