Scamp for RV Trekking? How do they do? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-20-2007, 11:36 AM   #1
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I would be very interested to hear from Scamp owners (fifth wheel and tt) who've taken their units off the beaten path. Our voyages will frequently take us down dirt roads that are rutted, washboarded and sometime sandy--what the RV Consumer group calls "RV Trekking." The Escape 17', Casita and most Bigfoot models are rated for RV trekking, but the Scamp is rated for lighter-duty "vacationing" use.

Are there any Scamp owners who've taken their units off the beaten path--if so, would you kindly share your experiences on how well the Scamp holds up? Does it have a chassis heavy duty enough for rough roads?

We take immaculate care of all our vehicles inside and out, but need something that will hold up on our planned adventures!

Is there anyone living in AZ who has a Casita 16-17' Spirit Deluxe, an Escape 17' or fifth wheel, or a Scamp Deluxe 16' or Fifth wheel that we could come and look at? We haven't seen these in person yet and would really love to do so.

Thanks!
Val
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Old 06-20-2007, 04:14 PM   #2
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Update: Heard from a couple in the Yahoo Scamp Owner's Group that they take theirs off-road all the time without any problem.

Called the Scamp company and asked them if it was likely to cause the fifth wheel damage if we took it off-road and spoke with Jim, who said absolutely not, and that they would even put it on a higher hitch if we wanted, so that there is no chance of it hitting the road, ruts or washboards. He hadn't heard of the Escape fifth wheel, which we are also seriously considering, but had heard of Bigfoot (whose 17' G model we are evaluating this Saturday to see if it can be modified to suit our sleeping requirements for a double bed)--he said that he felt that Scamp builds the best quality fifth wheel in the business in that size. Also confirmed that it would tow just fine with our prospective truck, the Nissan V-6 Frontier.

Meanwhile, I got an email from the President of Escape Industries in response to my inquiry that also confirmed that we could safely and easily tow it with the Frontier.

I am impressed that I was able to get questions answered so quickly by both companies. Would very much like to see one of each to compare quality and features in person. The Scamp Fifth it looks as though we will be able to view, the Escape, we are waiting to hear of owner whereabouts for viewing.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:40 PM   #3
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We have a Scamp 13 bought just to take it to the woods. Colorado is the perfect place for them, as there is so much national forest, and you don't have to stay in campgrounds. We have taken it on a lot of forest roads in the three months we have had it. We don't do the really rough roads, as it feels tippy, but it's fine on anything you can do readily in 4WD high. I worry about bottoming the hitch more than the trailer. It's the perfect setup, if you get to a dead end without room to turn, you can always just disconnect it and manhandle it around.

I tow behind a Ranger, and if the clearance for that isn't sufficient I probably don't want to be there anyway. The Scamp 13 also makes an excellent basecamp for when you want to backpack further in. For us it is a serious improvement to car camping. It extends our season, improves our sleep, and makes it more likely that we will just pick up and go of a Friday evening.

We don't really go "off-road," but out here, you can get far enough away "on-road!"
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:37 AM   #4
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We have a Scamp 13 bought just to take it to the woods.
We don't really go "off-road," but out here, you can get far enough away "on-road!"
Thanks for that helpful feedback. I spoke to one Scamp fifth wheel owner who put shock absorbers on his to be able to take it off road and that has worled very well for him, so it sounds as though, with some slight modifications most of these trailers can be taken (carefully) on backroads.
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:20 AM   #5
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Val Zeff,

Just one heads up:

Off roading probably means you'll be away from water and toilet facilities. Check the sizes of Scamps water and holding tanks (they're the same in all three size trailers). They may be too small for serious boondocking.
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:48 AM   #6
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Val Zeff,

Just one heads up:

Off roading probably means you'll be away from water and toilet facilities. Check the sizes of Scamps water and holding tanks (they're the same in all three size trailers). They may be too small for serious boondocking.
The upside of boondocking in the mountains is that there are plenty of trees (to... um... well... "go" behind) and plenty of fresh water streams (just watch out for giardia) to get water from! Who needs tanks? On second thought... boondocking in the desert may be a little more difficult without trees...

Seriously, thought, Val... in the early '80s I had a '78 Scamp 13' that I towed all over the Anza Borrego and Mohave deserts with my '79 CJ-7 Jeep. Ignorance was bliss... I didn't know that the Jeep had too short of a wheelbase and the brakes were too wimpy to tow with, and never considered that there may be a problem off-roading the Scamp. Fortunately both performed beautifully for the entire time I had them.

As long as you're careful and not doing something foolish like rock-crawling, any of these little guys will follow you anywhere you care to take them.

Roger
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:39 AM   #7
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The upside of boondocking in the mountains is that there are plenty of trees (to... um... well... "go" behind) and plenty of fresh water streams (just watch out for giardia) to get water from! Who needs tanks? On second thought... boondocking in the desert may be a little more difficult without trees...

...

Roger
In the desert, one [b]goes behind a cholla, but not a jumping cholla, ouch.
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Old 06-28-2007, 10:28 AM   #8
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In the desert, one [b]goes behind a cholla, but not a jumping cholla, ouch.
Ha! Great info, thank you, all. It does sound as though we have some good options between Bigfoot, Casita, Escape and Scamp, so we are looking forward to checking them out in person.

Right now, we are trying to negotiate tow vehicles... we want the Nissan Frontier NISMO, which has the Bilstein shocks for rough roads and locking rear differential. Much prefer the ride of the 4 x 2, which has a 6300 lb. tow rating and drives like a dream, but not sure how it would do pulling 5,000 lbs. on a sandy or challenging trail--if it could do it, we'd go with that one for sure. Otherwise, the 4 x 4 has a decent ride too, just is heavier because of the 4WD suspension, so has tow rating of 6100 lb. and not quite the same zip as the 2WD, though still very good. The 4 x 4 has an optional (but very hard to find) traction package that helps with ascending and descending hills under slippery conditions and with vehicle stability and control if the driver starts to skid out--since this package is so hard to find, we wonder if it is really necessary and would even be of use to us.

There sure are a lot of details to consider!
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Old 06-28-2007, 10:31 AM   #9
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Old 06-28-2007, 12:11 PM   #10
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Val

"Is there anyone living in AZ who has a Casita 16-17' Spirit Deluxe that we could come and look at? We haven't seen these in person yet and would really love to do so."

I full time in a Casita 17' SD that you could look at if you head north this summer. I presently have a workamper job up in Kanab, UT. When I'm not workamping, I'm out boondocking off dirt roads and the Casita has worked well.

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Old 06-28-2007, 02:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Val

"Is there anyone living in AZ who has a Casita 16-17' Spirit Deluxe that we could come and look at? We haven't seen these in person yet and would really love to do so."

I full time in a Casita 17' SD that you could look at if you head north this summer. I presently have a workamper job up in Kanab, UT. When I'm not workamping, I'm out boondocking off dirt roads and the Casita has worked well.

Sebastian

Thanks for your response, Sebastian. We are very happy to know that the Casita holds up to dirt roads. Our dream is to boondock, workamp and see a lot more of Southern UT! We just spent some time camping and hiking the slot canyons in Escalante and it was just gorgeous--that's when we decided we had to get a truck and TT (my Nissan Altima just doesn't have the clearance for the roads we wanted to take).

Luckily, we finally hooked up with someone here in Phoenix who just bought a 2007 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17' that she is willing to show us, so we should get to see one this Saturday. However, we would much appreciate staying in touch with you to learn more about your experiences with boondocking and workamping.

Val
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