Classic Scamp Failure - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-23-2014, 10:16 AM   #29
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Steve,
There was not a screw in the bend. If you could see the other side of the tube you would see why. On the other side the bend causes a sever crimp in the pipe, in a sense turning it into a crimped I beam at that point. Of course bending the beam stresses it from day one. The outside of the curve has to stretch to make the bend while the inside of the box is severely distorted.

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Old 01-23-2014, 10:52 AM   #30
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Wow, that's scary. Thank goodness it happened when it did. After an internet search of metal fatigue I think this type of failure is only a matter of time for any of our trailers if they don't rust out first. Making the metal thick in one place seems to move the failure point to a different location. The cumulative effect of loading and unloading seems to be the cause. I would be inclined to replace the frame. Raz
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:10 AM   #31
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Raz, I just did some "internet" research and I think you nailed it. Age, rust, PLUS reckless points of drilling into the frame seem to be the culprits. I will monitor my frame from this point on (Norm and Ginny are my traveling heroes, lol) and perhaps have it professionally inspected every few years if that's recommended. Of course it caught my eye as I, too, have a Scamp 16, but my baby is a youngster built in 2011.

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Old 01-23-2014, 11:20 AM   #32
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I guess its one of those inevitables that the frame will eventually need to be replaced/upgraded. But hey, its over 20 years old with a lot of heavy use.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:35 AM   #33
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Over my years here I have seen photos posted of broken frames on almost all the different brands of trailers that have been on the road for 20 plus years. Age fatigue and rust most probable causes. So its not just a Scamp problem.

The sun is up so I took some photos of my 92 Scamp frame (unbroken) for reference. Don't believe mine has ever been changed since leaving the factory. The beam is inclosed and it has an L shape plate welded to the side and bottom at the section where it goes from the tongue to under the trailer on both sides of the trailer.

At the point that Norm's broke the tube is bent in as he says and its also just ahead of the axle and beside the side bathroom on mine ( and Norms). Wonder if towing with water in the head might add to the fatigue factor at that point.

The first photo is the top of passenger side on the tongue at the point the frame enters under the trailer showing the plate welded on.

The second photo is the drivers side - taken from a side view. Showing the additional plate welded to the frame.

The third photo is the underside of the drivers side showing the beam running to the rear of the trailer and includes the small bend in the beam that Norm is referring to.

The fourth photo is also of the drivers side beam taken from under the trailer and it shows the bend point where Norms trailer beam broke.
Attached Thumbnails
photo.JPG   photo1.JPG  

photo3.jpg   photo4.JPG  

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Old 01-23-2014, 11:45 AM   #34
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Carol, your pictures are good. Your picture shows how the beam is narrower at the bend.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:51 AM   #35
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Carol. ty so very much for those pics. BTW, the tiny bit of trailer showing in pics looks immaculate. I can see where the bend looks like there's no way to do anything to reinforce it, per se, just gotta watch it closely. I wonder if shock absorbers are capable of destressing the whole frame situation. I mention this here because I noticed on the Casita forum earlier today that Larry, at little house, is prototyping some shocks for Casitas.

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Old 01-23-2014, 12:19 PM   #36
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Quote:
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Carol. ty so very much for those pics. BTW, the tiny bit of trailer showing in pics looks immaculate.

Sharon
Thanks Sharon. It was 16 years old when I purchased it 6 years ago and had two previous owners both who used it only to visit grandchildren in the south twice a year. So very gentle used and all maintenance records from date of purchase and manuals came with it. Nothing had been modified. Feel lucky to have found it so have done my best to keep up with the maintenance standard set by its previous owners.
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:21 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Carol, your pictures are good. Your picture shows how the beam is narrower at the bend.
Thanks Norm, thought it might help for folks to see a photo of an unbroken one to get a better idea as to the issues you mentioned.
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:42 PM   #38
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Norm do you know if the previous owners used a weight distribution hitch on this trailer. I dont think you use one right?
My thought is maybe an overloaded weight distribution hitch overcorrecting a side to side motion and the load forced into that section of the frame with a twisting fatigue load instead of mearly rocking on the ball. Those side rails are stiff from the hitch to the cross pieces at the battery mount then run free from the added stiffners to where the side rails are attached to the boxed in drop floor which stiffens that frame again all the way to the axle. If you resist side motion at the coupling ball with and overloaded weight distribution hitch then the side to side rocking force is pushed back to that area of the frame. It is a very interesting failure in an area one would not expected to fail. If it did rust out from the inside out that would be an area of suspect since it is bent steel. Stressed steel rusts much easier than non stressed steel due to the micro fractures in the metal. Rust would penetrate much deeper much quicker in that area.
Now I have to get on my back tomorrow morning and check my frame before my trip this weekend.
Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:50 PM   #39
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Norm do you know if the previous owners used a weight distribution hitch on this trailer. I dont think you use one right?
My thought is maybe an overloaded weight distribution hitch overcorrecting a side to side motion and the load forced into that section of the frame with a twisting fatigue load instead of mearly rocking on the ball.
Thanks for the heads up.
Steve could a anti sway bar being called into action to often, create the same situation/stress on the beam as you describe with an overloaded WDH?
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:56 PM   #40
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To my knowledge a w/d hitch was not used. I 'll get a picture of the inside bend. It is a stressed bend.

In a previous trailer with a similar construct they added a welded in place triangular reinforcement.
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:00 PM   #41
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We do use an anti-sway bar but it 's never too tight. It' s meant to be a sliding member.
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:04 PM   #42
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Steve could a anti sway bar being called into action to often, create the same situation/stress on the beam as you describe with an overloaded WDH?
An anti sway bar is mounted on 2 balls and allowed to rock so I doubt it would induce a twisting failure. If you locked the bar up and backed into a curb then I could see stress being forced into that area. But you as a driver would know it and be well aware you did something bad.
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