Adding brakes to Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-18-2006, 10:12 AM   #1
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Thank you for all the great information you've given me. I have checked with the owner of the 13' Scamp I'm buying and it does not have brakes. If I want to add them how much is a general figure including a brake controller? Is an RV repair shop the best place to have this done or would an automobile brake shop be able to do it? What about a place that rents trailers do they generally do this kind of work?
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:32 AM   #2
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Depending on the age of the trailer...it MAY be cheaper and better to replace the entire axle (with brakes). I paid right at $300 for a 3500# Dexter axle with brakes with E-Z lube bearings. It cost me an additional $200 to have the old axle removed and new one welded up. I paid around $100 for a Prodigy brake controller with wiring (online), my truck was prewired (tow package), so the brake controller was plug 'n play.

I can't help with the "who should do the work." Mine was done by a friend who's a journeyman welder.
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Old 01-18-2006, 12:53 PM   #3
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Best bet is to have it done by a RV shop. They know how to align the axels and make the connections if you replace the axel. Most axels have the flanges to add brakes, but it is almost as expensive as a new axel with all the additional labor involved. An auto brake shop or a trailer rental place could probably fumble thru it if they tried hard. Better to go with a shop that knows the ins and outs of RV trailers. If you can, shop around with different RV places. Get a feel for which dealer you might like to return to for other work or purchases.

Curtis
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Old 01-19-2006, 06:26 AM   #4
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Quint, you don't say how old this Scamp is, but I'm with Donna. I put an axle under my Burro 17' last year for about the same dollars she did. A #9 Dexter with brakes will run you even less. Any competent welding or trailer shop can replace the axle. I had a local welder do mine. We're also fortunate to have an excellent auto-electric shop here in town, and I had him wire up the brakes into the harness and install my Prodigy for me (in two trucks now). Replacing the axle isn't difficult for someone with the proper equipment, and it isn't rocket science. Wiring a brake controller is pretty simple as well and an easy do-it-yourself job if you have the time and patience. I'm just at the point that I'd rather pay someone else to do it.

You'll be OK pulling your Scamp home without brakes. Then you can research your options. Just recognize that your Quest will take a lot longer to stop so give yourself plenty of room.

Good luck!

Roger
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Old 01-20-2006, 12:43 AM   #5
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I was surprised at how much more quickly (and safely) I could stop my 4,000+ 82 D150 pickup adn and 1,700 lb 91S13 with the trailer brakes.
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Old 01-20-2006, 09:05 AM   #6
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You probably only need the trailer brakes for "one" stop out of 100,000.

The problem is you can never predict whether that "one" stop will be number 56,794 or number 13 or . . . . . .
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Old 01-21-2006, 10:05 AM   #7
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Quint,

I don't have a Scamp but after reading this forum for several years, I feel 99% sure that your Scamp came with a Dexter Torflex axle. Complete break kits are available from Dexter for approximately $300 and the installation is a two-hour job for anyone with some mechanical aptitude. I would think that unless the axle on your Scamp has other problems, it would be less expensive to just install the brake kits. Replacing the axle is not a bad idea but it will be at least twice as expensive.
I live a few miles from Dexter's Carrollton, Missouri axle plant and will stop in to get what information that I can. If you let me know where you live, I can probably get the name of a supplier/installer in your area.
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Old 01-21-2006, 10:30 AM   #8
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Craig, my Scamp has an Al-Ko axle under it, so I guess what each trailer has may differ depending on year of manufacture. FWIW, you can buy an entire new #9 axle and brake assembly for about $265 from Dexter rubbered to the weight you want. It takes about three hours labor to swap the old off and put the new on, depending on whether or not the old one was welded on or bolted on with brackets.

It really is almost as easy and actually less expensive to replace the whole axle than to add brakes to an existing one.

Roger
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Old 01-22-2006, 09:58 AM   #9
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Roger,
I was just going by what other forum participants have reported on 13" foot Scamps over the years. Some had Dexter axles as far back as the 1987 model year.
I like the idea of the adjustable splines on the Al-Ko Flexiride axle and have considered it as a replacement on my Casita should the need arise. Southwest Wheel sells the 3,500 lb. Flexiride rubber torsion axle with electric brakes for $373.95. One member reported, back in November, that the price for a Dexter axle from Casita was $800. I have no doubt that it is less expensive to replace the Dexter axle, complete with breaks. I just haven't found a supplier willing to post a price list and Dexter doesn't list them on the web.
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Old 01-22-2006, 10:05 AM   #10
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Craig, I certainly don't doubt the $800 quote reported on the Casita forums. My guess is that's installed. The axles themselves can be bought from many sources; I bought mine from Midwest Wheel in Cedar Rapids, IA who is a Dexter dealer. As I recall my #10 axle, special ordered spec'd to my application, and rubbered at 3500 lbs with brakes and five lug drums was $295 fob Cedar Rapids. The #9 axles were significantly less money. I had other welding work done at the same time I had the axle installed, but the welding along with the axle install was (as I recall now) about $250.

There are huge variations in shop rates for labor across the country as well.

Roger
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Old 01-22-2006, 01:59 PM   #11
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...I like the idea of the adjustable splines on the Al-Ko Flexiride axle ...
Craig, I think you're confusing two suppliers. Flexiride does have those nice splined arm-to-cartridge connections which allow height adjustment; Al Ko is an unrelated company, and although they have a unique 6-sided cross-tube, I believe that their assemblies are welded together and non-adjustable just like the many variations on Dexter hardware. Links to both companies are found in the Axles & Running Gear page in the Helpful-Links section under Resources.

I don't have either brand of axle - my Boler has a leaf-spring setup and I am just researching alternatives.

By the way, I found that the UCF page for Flexiride wasn't very useful, but an e-mail request for dealer information brought an immediate and helpful reference to our local distributor (the Edmonton branch of Standen's).
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Old 01-22-2006, 08:26 PM   #12
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Craig, several years ago I was in the middle of a problematic axle replacement (problematic because the shop doing the work didn't really know what they were doing and wouldn't own up to it). I happened to check the prices with Dexter for a new axle with brakes and for just the brake hardware (drum/hub and equipment plate with shoes, magnets, etc.) and discovered that (shipping excluded) I could buy an equipped axle from Dexter, strip the brake parts off the axle, DISCARD the axle, and be money ahead over buying just the brake parts from Dexter -- The Dexter lady and I had quite a laugh over it.

In the end, I just ordered the Dexter brake parts from Scamp.

Likewise, if one is replacing the moving parts on the brakes, it is less expensive to buy the entire plate assembled than it is just some of the components.

Prior to the fire, Scamp was using Dexter #9 axles on the 13 and Al-Ko axles on the 16/19 -- Apparently they had been having problems with alignment on the Dexter #10 axle.

Al-Ko apparently uses Dexter brakes parts on at least some of their axles.
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Old 01-23-2006, 08:50 AM   #13
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No Quint, the $800 price from Casita did not include installation but may have included shipping to a Florida address.
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:13 AM   #14
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Wow... I'm in the wrong business! That's a HEALTHY markup, even WITH shipping!

Roger
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