1985 scamp 16 Foot Help - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-02-2016, 09:11 PM   #1
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1985 scamp 16 Foot Help

I think I finally found a TT I want to look at but I have a few question. Does anyone know the ceiling height of the 1985 Scamp 16 ft? The owner was unsure. Also is there issues or concerns with this year and model?

The listing
1985 scamp 16 foot has a restroom and a shower sleep 4 has air-conditioner 3 burner stove sink original screen door fridge dinette Hot water heater camper only weighs 1400 pounds tires are in decent condition everything works the way it should this is a must see camper it's like going back in 1985 all original upholstery no leaks no soft spots in excellent condition for being 30 years old we are asking $5900 OBO

Is this a fair price?

Thank for the help!
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:14 PM   #2
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2016-02-02_2207 - summerloves's library 2016-02-02_2208 - summerloves's library 2016-02-02_2209 - summerloves's library 2016-02-02_2213 - summerloves's library
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:51 PM   #3
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1985 scamp 16 Foot Help

At that age, Alissa, anything is possible. One red flag is that the seller appears to be significantly understating the weight of the trailer. This trailer likely weighs between 1800-2000 pounds empty.

It looks like it still has the original axle with 4-bolt wheels. That means it may not have trailer brakes. Almost any modern tow vehicle for this size trailer is going to require trailer brakes.

If you proceed, do so cautiously. Take along a second pair of eyes and a copy of the Buyer's Checklist. At that price, some cosmetic or minor mechanical issues would be expected, but it should have a solid floor, frame, and shell, and major appliances should work.

I believe the ceiling height should be little over 6'.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:06 PM   #4
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It looks like it still has the original axle with 4-bolt wheels. That means it may not have trailer brakes. Almost any modern tow vehicle for this size trailer is going to require trailer brakes.
So I would have to buy trailer brakes? Do you know what they run?

I just noticed this too. http://screencast.com/t/SqfVxQFWUQw I'm a woman and don't know too much about vehicles, but I don't think painting over the rim bolts is a good idea?
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:55 AM   #5
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Alissa, folks can do some strange things to make quick cosmetic corrections. It's entirely possible those rims were rust buckets and the seller zapped the wheels with $1 worth of paint to improve the looks. I'd ask the seller! The screen shot isn't very clear, I wonder if it's possible we're just seeing center cap covers?
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:30 AM   #6
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I was thinking possibly the same. Flippers, especially, are notorious for covering up, rather than fixing up, problems. The frame has been painted, too, so I'd give it a very close look. The older 16'ers are prone to frame cracks in the front street side corner where the tongue bends under the cabin. Around the door is another weak area.

The other thing I'd watch for is brand new flooring. It would make me question what's underneath. In any case, check inside all the cabinetry where the subfloor is exposed, especially front and rear benches, and tap around listening for soft spots and looking for water stains. You can also look under the trailer, since Scamp leaves the wood subfloor exposed.

As for brakes, look behind the wheel. If it has brakes, good, or if it has a square mounting flange on the axle, brakes can be added. If not a new axle is required ($600-800 installed). And speaking of axles, you can do two quick tests: (1) check for at least a fist of clearance between the top of the tire and the wheel well, and (2) have an adult jump inside the trailer while you look behind the wheel- the axle arms should flex up and down. If bouncing only flexes the tire sidewalls, but the axle arms don't move, that's a possible indication of a bad axle.

If the axle is bad, but everything else checks out, I'd try to negotiate the price down. Same for non-working appliances. But if the frame is cracked or the floor is rotten, I'd walk away.
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:04 AM   #7
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My 1986 had 7" brakes and 4 lug hubs so it is likely that the trailer does have (weak) brakes installed.
Mine had a four pin plug so they were not hooked up when I bought it.
I replaced the axle with a Flexiride with larger brakes and 5 lug 14" tires.
All of the stock Scamps had 13" tires AFAIK.
The bounce test is not as good if the trailer has been stripped out as the trailer is not into the suspension weight range, but if it is the original axle it is probably toast now.
If the frame is cracked (almost a certainty) and the floor is rotten (ditto) the buy it very cheap as there is a LOT of work involved there.
If you can't do it yourself then it will be too expensive to fix right.
I fixed mine, but I spent more time and money than I planned, However I now have a pretty good trailer.
I will have about $8000 in it when done. Plus a lot of labor at no cost.
As with most things you are better off buying what you what ready to go, but sometimes you don't understand what is involved at the start.
Basically I bought a kit shell and 1/2 frame with an axle to get it home with.
Everything else is new or refurbished, but I have it laid out the way She Who Must Be Obeyed wants it!
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Alissa View Post
So I would have to buy trailer brakes? Do you know what they run?

I just noticed this too. 2016-02-02_2343 - summerloves's library I'm a woman and don't know too much about vehicles, but I don't think painting over the rim bolts is a good idea?
Just plan on replacing the axle at $1,000 installed... if you don't have to, that's $1000 you won't have to spend. Plan on buying new wheels and tires, and having a brake controller installed in your vehicle as well. If the trailer doesn't currently have brakes and you install an axle with brakes, it'll need to be wired to a seven-pole Bargman connector on the pigtail at the tongue as well.

Each of those little dots on this photo are plastic rivet covers that will likely need to be replaced as they degrade with time. If they're missing, or only partially there, the rivet can leak. If you're lucky, the plastic retainer under each the cap is still good... if it's degraded too, then you'll need to drill out and replace the rivet, retainer and the cap. It's not difficult, but it's a nuisance. The parts are available from the Scamp parts department.

Have the owner be prepared to demo each system, including the fridge. A new fridge for that unit will run you $700 installed if the one in it doesn't cool. It takes 8 to 12 hours for an ammonia absorption refrigerator (like this has) to cool down, so it needs to be plugged in at least 12 hours before you see it. Have him light the gas burner on the fridge, the stove, and the furnace as well. A gas regulator isn't expensive or hard to install, and they seem to have a lifespan of less than ten years now. Demo all of the plumbing. Inspect and light the water heater if it has one. Water heaters are about $400 (without installation.) Charge the system both with City pressure, and the pump for fifteen minutes and then check everywhere you can see for leaks.

Poke and prod under each of the windows near the wall for rot. If the window tracks and drains fill up with gunk, the water has nowhere to drain except inside the trailer, onto the floor and that causes rot. Look in the compartments under the couch cushions and crawl under the table and check the floor at the back window.

The rest of the advice given in this thread is sound. Good luck and let us know what you figure out.
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:32 AM   #9
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Based on my experience with my 1988 I would say if the axle has not been replaced it has certainly failed and needs to be replaced. This does have a bright side though as it allows one to get new brakes, tires, and rims in the bargain. Well, it may not be a bargain but is worth doing. If you can do it yourself or if you "know a guy".
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:24 PM   #10
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My luck I would be the one jumping to test the axle and the wood would be rotten.lol

Thank y'all so much for all the good advice! I have learned a lot. One thing I didn't realize that since Scamp leaves the wood sub-floor exposed :/. I wonder if Casita .

I contacted the seller and the TT doesn't have brakes and the axle along with everything else is the original. So seems like this one might be a sinking ship.
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:32 PM   #11
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I believe that all of the 16 footers had brakes.
The owner may not know what it has.
Look under at the back of the opposite hub for the backing plate and drun.

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Old 02-03-2016, 10:01 PM   #12
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1985 scamp 16 Foot Help

Alissa, I wouldn't worry about the exposed subfloor in a Scamp. It is costed with a layer of resin, and in any case almost all floor rot is caused by water from above, not below- usually neglected leaks from windows, vents, or plumbing.

Casita does have a fiberglass underbelly below the wood subfloor. It adds weight and could actually trap water. Looks cleaner, but no real functional advantage I can see.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:47 AM   #13
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Sorry to hear it may not work out. I don't mean to put a damper on anybody's enthusiasm to own an FGRV but they should certainly go in with eyes wide open. These are great trailers, but some are getting pretty old and need a lot of TLC. Most are absolutely worth putting the effort into and will return not only a lot of satisfying camping experiences but a decent return if you sell. But you have to get into the unit at the right price to start with, and keep your costs manageable on the rehab.


I paid $3500 for my 1988 two years ago in much the same condition and features you describe. In hindsight, I honestly feel this was $1000 too much given all the work just to get it up to (my) minimum safe and comfortable towing and camping standards (new axle, tires/rims, A/C, refrigerator, roof hatch cover, front bunk seat upholstery, converter & battery, cracked frame repair, rivets, washers & caps, rear stabilizers, side marker lights, etc., etc.). I am fortunate to have the money, skills, tools, time, and interest to do all of the work myself.


To be fair, some of the things I did are probably actually “upgrades” from the original and their cost might be exaggerated as a result. But since the effort and labor to swap is the same it would seem foolish not to spend a little more and go with new technology or materials where prudent. To sum: A particular unit may be worth it at the right price, but be very realistic about condition and cost to refurbish. Good luck with your search!

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Old 02-04-2016, 09:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alissa View Post
My luck I would be the one jumping to test the axle and the wood would be rotten.lol

Thank y'all so much for all the good advice! I have learned a lot. One thing I didn't realize that since Scamp leaves the wood sub-floor exposed :/. I wonder if Casita .

I contacted the seller and the TT doesn't have brakes and the axle along with everything else is the original. So seems like this one might be a sinking ship.
It's worth going to look at... and might be worth buying if it's been maintained in good repair. If all it needs is an axle/wheels/tires and maybe a frame repair and you buy it right, you'll have done well.

And to echo the post above... the Casitas can be even more problematic if their plywood rots (and it does...) it's much more difficult to get to to repair.

Good luck and happy hunting!
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