Deal breakers for buying a Scamp? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-19-2013, 08:47 PM   #1
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: Looking for Scamp
Oklahoma
Posts: 2
Deal breakers for buying a Scamp?

I'm interested in buying a used 16' scamp. I'm pretty sure I want one with layout #4. A toilet and shower is a must for me and I like the idea of bunk beds for kids (in the future).

I really only want to and can afford to spend around $7000 for one. I've seen several advertised for this price here and there, but they don't usually last very long.

My question is, what things do I need to look for on used a Scamp that would be a deal breaker for purchasing? When I see them priced much cheaper than 7k I start wondering what major thing could be wrong with it.

I'm pretty handy and capable of fixing things but would like to avoid major renovations if possible.

Are there specific issues to check for on Scamp trailers that would be different from other campers?

Any input is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:22 PM   #2
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Name: matt
Trailer: 1995 16' Scamp
Texas
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For $7k you should be able to get a nice scamp. These are some issues I have found with an older scamp that are not simple repairs.

Check for soft spots in the floors. Especially under the sink, water tank, and toilet. These can be hard to find. The current owner may not even know about them, but they will be a major repair headache.

Check for bent angle iron on the trailer. This can cause your floor to be not level and a sign of some serious issues in the past.

If you are a non-smoker, be hyper-sensitive of smokey smells. They can be difficult to get rid of.

Ask the owners to light the frig if it has one that runs on gas. Also, be wary if some of the electrical is not working correctly. Someone may have messed with it and done a bad job.

I'm sure others will chime in with their experiences.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Hi Ryan, welcome to FiberglassRV.. we're glad you're here

Deal breakers? I think that has more to due about YOU than US. Seriously, what are your skills to FIX stuff? Personally, I can't weld (for instance frame problems which add $$ to fix). ALL "older" trailers MAY have issues, it's about you, your budget and expectations. If you're looking to buy used, be sure to download, print and check all trailers with this: Buyer's Check List
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:30 PM   #4
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Name: Logan
Trailer: 1976 Scamp 13'
Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Hi Ryan, welcome to FiberglassRV.. we're glad you're here

Deal breakers? I think that has more to due about YOU than US. Seriously, what are your skills to FIX stuff? Personally, I can't weld (for instance frame problems which add $$ to fix). ALL "older" trailers MAY have issues, it's about you, your budget and expectations. If you're looking to buy used, be sure to download, print and check all trailers with this: Buyer's Check List

It can be done cheaper if you have a friend that accepts adult beverages as payment.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 841K9 View Post
It can be done cheaper if you have a friend that accepts adult beverages as payment.
Been there, done that... Johnny Walker Red Label
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:03 AM   #6
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
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We bought a 1991 Scamp 16 for less than your $7K figure and had no major issues to correct.

I did closely check the floor, particularly under the couch, under the dinette and under the kitchen cabinets, finding nothing significant. There were signs of a little water damage from a front window leak but nothing significant.

Though floors are rarely damaged from below, I crawled under the trailer as well. Took the opportunity to look at the frame.

I as well inspected the fiberglass for damage. Bring a small ladder to look at the roof to make sure there's cracked fiber glass. (I'm not talking about small, shallow stress cracks but real damage to the fiberglass.)

If you're at all handy a Scamp is easy to work on and most issues are easy to fix or improve to make it your own.

I did make sure the fridge was cold. As to the stove they usually work and anything wrong is inxpensive. As to the furnace, we don't care because we would rarely or ever use it.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:51 AM   #7
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Ryan, as Donna indicated the Buyers Check List is a good place to start.

I picked up a gentle used 92 16' for under $6000. As you have noted though they do not tend to sit around for sale for long so you need to be willing to move fast on your decision and in my case I had to make a long drive to get it.

Items I would be most concern with are much as the others have indicated. Fiberglass damage or a damaged floor - Take a flash light and look inside all the hatches and inside cupboards - look on the underside to see if you can see any areas that look stained - if you see any go inside the trailer in that area to have a look. A damaged floor would be a deal breaker for me as I am not as handy as some others here.

Another expensive item is a new axle. Look to see if the trailer seems to be riding low over the tires. You should be able to fit a hand width between the top of the tire and the trailers wheel well. If you cant do that its a good indication it needs a new axle. You can expect to pay about $600 to have it replaced - handy folks who can do it themselves can do it for less.

Also take a look at the trailers frame on the underside. If it has more than a bit of surface rust or shows any signs of cracks that would also be a deal breaker for me.

If its a 3 way fridge have the owner start the fridge up on propane before you get there. It takes several hours for the fridges to cool down. Fridges are one of the pricier items abt $500/$700 to have to replace. Not a deal breaker but I would look for a price reduction.

Have them fill the water tanks before you arrive, so you can make sure they dont leak and light the stove & light the hot water tank while you are there and start the furnace. If it has an awning have them pull it out for you. Depending on the awning type you can expect to pay between $250/$500 to replace it.

Other items such as electrical and water outlets and rivets and caps that may need replacing are all pretty easy items to fix and not expensive. So those would not be a deal breaker for me. Adding or replacing a ceiling fan is another pretty easy fix - even if you need to put one in from scratch.

Its also pretty common for most used trailers, especially if its been sitting unused for awhile, to need new tires, battery and propane tanks. Tires and batteries should be changed out every 4 years or so. Propane tanks are normally only good for about 12 years? So none of those would be a deal breaker. Prior to seeing the trailer ask about the propane system - if they indicate they dont have a tank to show you how things work - take your own along with you.

Have fun looking!
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:57 AM   #8
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If it STINKS I'am GONE.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:38 AM   #9
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: Looking for Scamp
Oklahoma
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Thanks everyone for the pointers. I'll definately look over the buyer's checklist. I appreciate all the other tips as well. I'll keep checking this thread for any other tips.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:14 PM   #10
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Name: Kinga DeRode
Trailer: For Sale Or Rent
Rooms to Let 50 Cents
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Soft floor and sagging door are the biggies.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:51 AM   #11
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Name: Don
Trailer: Bigfoot 25RQ
Michigan
Posts: 19
Had a unit (2001) similar to the one you want to buy and sold it for approximately the amount you referenced. After five years of ownership, I learned a great deal about this manufacturer and the fiberglass culture.

I would buy a Scamp again; however, we wanted more space and went to a Bigfoot 25RQ. I agree with everything the others have said and suggest some other areas for your consideration, which are as much maintenance issues as they might be deal breakers.

Do a search on axle brackets for Scamps and you will find that some were installed incorrectly. I picked this up on the Yahoo Forum and sure enough, mine was one of the units affected. I had it "upgraded" by an RV service, who dealt with Scamp on the repair, expecting it might be a warranty issue. Nope. Cost = $300 for two 1x1 metal strips to be welded to brackets and frame for additional support. I wondered why I was getting abnormal tire wear. Duh.

Secondly, always run your electrical system with the battery hooked up. Cost = $400. for two converter replacements. Double, Duh.

Third, rivets have, are, or will leak. Be prepared. I fell into the SS bolt replacement crowd and had good results with about ten repairs.

Fourth, I also had the front window gasket replaced by an auto repair firm. Still leaked. This problem was my most frustrating one.

Finally, I truly loved that little trailer and we traveled all over with it. That being said, it called for a lot of work and ongoing maintenance. And mine, although used when purchased, was in tip top shape, or so I thought. Good luck in your search.
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