Gaining Experience. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-03-2016, 05:34 PM   #1
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Name: Sands
Trailer: 2003 Scamp 16'
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Gaining Experience.

My wife and I have now been living full time in our Scamp 16' FGRV for 3 full months; an exciting anniversary. We've pulled our little home a bit over 2,000 miles. We have (that would be 'I', since my wife wasn't driving at the time) taken it down a road we shouldn't have (lesson learned!), backed it into camping spots and into range of gas station pumps and air hoses (objects in mirror really ARE closer than they look!), spent some nights that went down into the teens and some days that were in the mid-eighty's, pulled over mountain passes and across deserts, sped down interstates and crawled along rutted dirt roads. It has been glorious!! To anyone hesitating because they lack experience I would say Go for it!; the accumulation of experience is half the fun.

While not the experts that many of you are, we have learned a lot of lessons in the last 90 days, but one thing that seemingly defeats my learning curve is ducking. If a phrenologist were to take a feel of my noggin they would think I was the most interestingly unique individual they ever examined! I've got lumps on my bumps! It also seems that the on-going battering my poor brain is experiencing is retarding my ability to learn from past mistakes, because I just keep doing it. About every 10th time I come in the front door I hit the top of my head. If I'm exiting Guppy (our trailer) it's the front of my head that takes the injury. I finally thought I had the amount of duck needed to clear the door figured out, then came in today while still wearing my hat...WHAMO, another lump, just a little bit behind where I usually hit. I routinely clock my own cranium on the cabinets when bending forward to do dishes in the sink. I whack the sides, top, and front on the cabinets over the bed, depending on whether I'm getting in to bed, getting out, or simply adjusting my position while reading. Speaking of; those little square cornered reading lights are the bees knees for reading, but don't feel so good when struck sharply with one's skull. Any cabinet door left open is a magnet for another bump causing collision. The bathroom ceiling is nicely padded, and that is a good thing for the top and back of my head. In spite of it being claustrophobic in size, the bathroom has become a favorite place for respite from the battering.

Today was a kind of record: I was looking for a tool that I knew was in one of the lower cabinets, but I wasn't sure which one. I'm down on my hands and knees pulling open the cabinet door under the forward bench, which is a bit tight. I'm pulling on it pretty hard when it suddenly ceases all resistance and shoots open, impacting my forehead at roughly the speed of light. My wife hears the cracking impact and me uttering a bad word (or two) and emerges from the side bath in haste to asses the damage, clonking me mid-head with the bath door in the process. While not exactly a product of a failure to duck, still: TWO new lumps in a manner of seconds. Call Guinness, I may have made the book!

I'm not a huge guy, topping out at 6' even. I have a brother who is 6'9" and a nephew who is 6'11", both have spent a lifetime ducking through doors and struggling to maneuver in areas built for smaller people. I can now sympathize. While I have always had very good eye-hand coordination, obviously my eye-head coordination is sadly lacking. Anyone have any guesses as to how long it will be before I cease seeing stars inside the trailer, and only see them when outside at night? Anyone else suffer from this embarrassing lack of learning ability? Maybe we could form a support group!
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:48 PM   #2
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Name: Jack L
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Washington
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I've done it a few times myself. The good news is I've never once hurt the trailer . I wear a baseball style hat a lot. It keeps the pain to a minimum.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:11 PM   #3
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Name: Michael
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For exiting the door, a soft item like a red pool noodle just over the door might help soften the blow.

Maybe you could get some bright yellow stickers depicting ducklings, and stick them on the places where your head generally impacts. The message, "Duck," might sink into your subconscious.

Just tryin' to help.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:27 PM   #4
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Name: Charlie Y
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Oregon
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Hang a ribbon over the doorway that extends down a foot or so to get your attention prior to entry/exit. Cheap learning tool - and I'm over 6 ft
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:31 PM   #5
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Sands, I think you need a bigger trailer, or start wearing a hardhat.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:40 PM   #6
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Sands, I would very much like to join your support group, as I also suffer from your affliction. Your writings were as if you were copying a page out of my daily life. I'm 63, and still waiting to only see the stars outdoors. I no longer hit my head leaving or entering our trailer because we sold our 13' Scamp and bought a Lil Snoozy with a very large entry door.
Dave & Paula
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:22 AM   #7
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I'm 6'5" tall and have survived camping in five different Scamp trailers (and several others) since 1979. I finally, last year, figured out how to stop clocking myself at every turn... I bought a motorhome that has 7' headroom clearance inside, enough room to walk through the passageway unimpeded, and a full-sized entry/exit door!

Good luck with your own journey seeking a head-injury-free Nirvana. it only took me 35 years to figure it out. I hope you're smarter and a faster learner than I am.
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Old 03-04-2016, 05:59 AM   #8
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Hi: Sands... Instead of "Guppy" you should have named your trailer "Impact zone".
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 03-04-2016, 07:03 AM   #9
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Trailer: 2014 16 scamp side dinette/Rav4 V6 Tow pkg.
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I learned to duck years ago when i was in the army.!!!!! Carl
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:18 AM   #10
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Some great ideas...thanks to all for the input! I love our new lifestyle, and we haven't even traveled out of the low deserts of AZ yet. We are soooooo looking forward to heading north in the next month, spending the next 7 or 8 months exploring. Every lifestyle change requires some adjustments, ducking is one that is just taking a little longer than others. Guppy (a.k.a. 'Impact Zone') already feels like home. FGRV is a great group; hope to see you all on the road!
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:30 PM   #11
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Your original post betrays a sense of humor, so there is a glimmer of hope! Cannot help with hitting the door, but the overhead cabinets is something I had to work on myself. When half way open, they would ding my noggin regularly.

I saw a number of ideas here where people installed various supports to keep those doors fully open. I found that the hinges can be modified so that they stay open and if it is done carefully, they stay flat against the ceiling. Those hinges have a flat part on the pin and a spring loaded piece, which is pushed against the flat to help keep them closed. I hand filed a second flat on the pin, about 90 degrees from the first, to create the second preferred angle of rotation. All you need is a bench top vise and a file and careful figuring where to file the flat. I do not have pictures of this mod, hopefully some day I'll document it.
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:15 PM   #12
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I'm 6'1" and rarely have a problem. Early on Ginny read a suggestion that really helps me. She hangs a piece of red yarn in danger areas, the door, the rear overhead cabinet.,,,

I rarely consciously see the yarn but apparently do subconsciously and hardly ever hit my head. The most dangerous time is when I'm wearing a cap and can't see 'up'.
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Old 03-05-2016, 06:16 PM   #13
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Name: Sands
Trailer: 2003 Scamp 16'
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I'll give the yarn or bright ribbon thing a try, at least on the entry door. On the cabinets: Paul, that is genius. You really need to document your solution! I went with the springs, which do a good job of holding the upper cabinets open and have reduced the danger of sharp corner strikes considerably. I think all manufacturers of trailers with upper cabinets should make the doors lock open in one way or another, it is a HUGE improvement in ease of use and wouldn't cost a lot.
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Old 03-06-2016, 03:53 PM   #14
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Hinge mod, keep doors open

Well, Sands, you got me motivated. I have been spending time with the Scamp anyway, getting ready for our spring escapade. I took one of the doors that has not been modified yet, and did it today. It all takes maybe 20 minutes per door, once set up. I gave this post a title, maybe that way it can be found by means of the search function on this site.
The first pic shows the compartment doors open, nicely against the ceiling. Note my replacement knobs. The old, original ones were lousy, they hurt my fingers when they got stuck behind them.
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The other two pictures show the door, clamped in the vise, with the hinge turned so the flat can be filed on the central part. In this orientation the flat should be filed as close to horizontal as possible, and can be slightly larger than what I have done here. That blue-gray plastic block in the hinge fixed part is the spring loaded friction and detent part.
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