Classic Scamp Failure - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-22-2014, 03:26 PM   #1
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Florida
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Classic Scamp Failure

Some days you feel blessed. This was one for us.

We moved from the grass overflow area in our Escapee Park to a paved site today. Ginny tried to level the trailer with the front jack and could not.

Examination showed that the A frame section of the trailer had cracked on one side and broken clear through on the other.

The main trailer frame members are a 3-4" deep box beam. This beam travels from the rear bumper forward to where it is bent to form the bottom of the "A". Structurally this creates a weak point. On our 22 year old trailer there is no reinforcement at this point. In my opinion this is definitely a design failure. Minimally there should be a welded gusset, a triangular piece, and side stiffening.

We are fortunate to notice this because if in the road we were moments from the trailer body separating from the "A". A failure like this could be a disaster with no guarantee that the trailer brakes would activate with the "A" section and the brake actuator still attached to the tow vehicle.

We had just returned to our 'home' Escapee park where we are about to reach the top of the purchase list for a site in the park. We could just of well had been on backroad NM, having just left the Chirachua Mountains.

As a side note, before we left NM I had painted a portion of the A frame and was crawling under the trailer and obviously did not any cracks or damage.

Feeling blessed today.
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:37 PM   #2
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WOW! Yeah that was luck, usually people find out at the worst opportune time. Sorry for the expense of it all, but cheaper to repair then if you were towing it and it happened.
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:53 PM   #3
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So glad you two are OK and you were not "not on the road" when this happened. After examining the frame on my own Boler soon after I bought it several years ago I was shocked at the design, thin materials, and workmanship ... the reason I redesigned and fabricated a new frame.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:48 PM   #4
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Name: RogerDat
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Glad you found the problem at a more opportune time than on the road in the middle of nowhere, hope you can get it repaired quickly and at a fair price.

If you have a chance picture might be useful to others on what area to look at.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:41 PM   #5
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I will post pictures in the morning.
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:47 PM   #6
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Norm,
IMHO you have got your money's worth from that 22 year old unit, why not get a newer one, just think of all the mod's you can repeat! I would not temp fate with a weld job, there may be other fatigue points about to expose themselves. Next time your angel may not be looking….
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:26 PM   #7
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Jim,

We're actually very happy with our Scamp. As to the weld job, I expect when he's done it will be stronger than new. In a secondary sense, after Scamp, I blame myself because I've always recognized this to be a design error and I should have done something about it.

The other potential fatigue points are the ball receiver and we've had that replaced 2 years ago and probably the axle. After 22 years an axle job is probably to be expected.

Occasionally we have something break, recently the handles on the dump valves. In some measure the Scamp is like your favorite shoes, maybe not new or shiny any more but very comfortable, taking us where we want to go.

We're about to purchase a site in the Escapee park in FL and Ginny and I walked the park looking at park models (don't tell Floyd), thinking we might get one yet still travel extensively in our Scamp. Ginny says lets get an older one saying she doesn't care about style or newness but rather function.

More directly, if the Scamp gets us there, keeps us warm and dry, it seems to be enough. We plan to return to Newfoundland earlier in May this year to again attend the music festival in Norris Point and to go to Fogo Island. I'm sure the Scamp will handle it comfortably.

My concern about buying a new trailer is finding one that actually fits me. Right now my tendency would be to buy something European.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:33 PM   #8
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You can blame Ginny for this..........LOL

But on a serious note, glad Ginny discovered this when she did.
Glad everything turns out good considering.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:43 PM   #9
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Carl,

As to Ginny, I can see that she is quite proud that her attempts to level the trailer led too the discovery of the problem.

I think things will be OK when we're done and expect to get another decade from the Scamp before the kids take our keys.

Ginny has been wonderful for our 13 years on the road, though she never complains and really loves our travels I'm sure she must time wish she were here or there with old friends or family. I do realize I'm one lucky fellow, if nothing else that she's happy to sleep in our 44" wide bed without a negative murmur ever.

We do love our travels and are always thinking about the next one.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
S In my opinion this is definitely a design failure. Minimally there should be a welded gusset, a triangular piece, and side stiffening.

.
LOL Norm, I was thinking that as your trailer is 22 years old and has gone thousands and thousands of miles more in the just past few years than most peoples trailers will ever go in their lifetime, that it was a testament to how well it was designed not a "designed failure".
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:27 PM   #11
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Design Failure

Carol,

I think most engineers would look at this bend as a design weakness and a likely failure point. If we had owned this Scamp from day one I expect it would have failed at an earlier date because we do travel a lot of miles and many of them rough miles.

That said, I do recognize that 22 years is a long time. I really like our Scamp and believe it has held up very well. I have no intention of replacing it. Unfortunately this failure has the possibility of ending in a true disaster and is an area that should be addressed, at least carefully monitored.

There are many little things, items not incrementally expensive, that could improve the Scamp 16. Hopefully the competition will force gradual improvement. It is still my favorite North American 16 footer.

I am certainly s Scamp fan.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post

There are many little things, items not incrementally expensive, that could improve the Scamp 16. Hopefully the competition will force gradual improvement. It is still my favorite North American 16 footer.
I agree Norm there are indeed a few things that could be improved but I suspect that those little things that in themselves are not all the expensive to fix they do add up and its a bit of juggle for the manufactures who are I suspect attempting to offer a reasonably inexpensive small trailer and still make a profit.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:52 PM   #13
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This problem kinda surprises me. My trailer is older than yours Norm, and it has welded plates at the bend. Since I'm the third owner, I know it came from the factory that way. I was expecting the extra on the frame to be factory spec for years.. Guess not.

Safe travels, ALWAYS!
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:37 AM   #14
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Name: Darrell
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I'm sad to hear about the break down of your trailer... glad that it happened in a safe place mainly. Hope you have it fixed soon.
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