How to renovate an old Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-15-2006, 05:07 PM   #1
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Trailer: Scamp 13 ft and Starcraft (10RT)
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Hi, does anyone know of a web site that describes how to renovate a Scamp? Mine is a '77, and needs repair in many ways. The fiberglass has some cracks and the gelcoat's really dull. My dad can patch the one full-thickness tear, but other cracks seem to be hairlines in the gelcoat.

Also, this is the old version with the plastic ensolite-like insulation on the walls, which is horrible for condensation (and it doesn't insulate well, and looks really bad). I'm envisioning ordering the carpet-like stuff that's in the later models, then un-riveting everything, and relining it. But the Scamp factory recently burnt down, so getting the stuff from them is probably unlikely. Has anyone found a good source for this material?

The gelcoat inside is all marred with different scars and colors from my husband stuffing all kinds of gear in there and then driving on very rough roads. Will it need a recoat, or do you suppose there's a way to buff out the marks?

We have already changed the axle, beefed up the frame, replaced the hitch, wheels, tires, & floor, so it has a good foundation. The fridge broke and that's just a hole now. The stove is good. Thanks in advance for any info you can steer me to!
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Old 03-15-2006, 07:37 PM   #2
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first welcom to the site...well your in the wright spot if any one can help you its the members here ask away and watch the responces come in to you...
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Old 03-15-2006, 09:51 PM   #3
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Trailer: 1977 Scamp 13 ft
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I'm in the same boat (or should I say egg ). My wife and I also just acquired a '77 Scamp 13 and are restoring it, so I'm looking forward to some good answers to your question.

The parts department at Scamp is still open if you want to get parts from them. They are very helpful. 1-800-346-4962 or in Canada 218-947-4932.

We are also looking to replace the Ensolite inside. We we're thinnking of Reflectix (for insulation) and then some outdoor carpet (lots of choices of color and texture, resistance to moisture and mildew). I'll let you know how it works out.

We are also planning to have the axle replaced so we can add brakes and get a little better ground clearance. How did your axle replacement go?
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Old 03-16-2006, 07:11 AM   #4
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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Beth welcome to FiberglassRV..we're glad you're here

This is the place to find answers to your questions. We have a really good search engine on this site and you may find your question has been asked more than once. My suggestion is to start a search, based on a specific question. If you can't find the answer you seek...start a new topic (one for each question) in the Problem Solving forum. It may be better to only ask one question at a time, otherwise you're liable to be inundated with responses and wouldn't have time to read everything or absorb the needed information

Also remember, pictures are worth a thousand words. If you need to know how to post pictures to this board, you will find the tutorial here: Photo Upload Tutorials

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Old 03-16-2006, 12:44 PM   #5
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Trailer: Scamp 13 ft and Starcraft (10RT)
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Thanks, everyone! Chris, we paid someone about $800 years ago to put in a new axle in order to get more ground clearance and strength for offroad driving, and added 14" wheels, and more metal to the frame. The axle's been great, but what hasn't held up to all the bumpy roads is the rivets! They will all be replaced after we put in the new insulation. We stopped taking it on 200-mile washboard dirt roads to remote beaches in Mexico!
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Old 03-19-2006, 09:05 PM   #6
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Trailer: 1992 13 ft Scamp
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Hi Beth K.
Don't know of any such web site, but wish we had last July. We embarked on a restoration of a 92S13' with considerable rot and rust. We gathered advice from this forum and Scampers Group on the Yahoo site. We have started an album, Dave & Diane's Project Scamp, on the Yahoo Scampers Group site showing our progress. Our unit has the fuzzy sidewall covering commonly known as "rat fur". You can get it from the Scamp Factory. It is applied over an insulation known as Reflectix. Both are attached with a spray adhesive. On marks and mars, acetone has been very good in getting off surface color marks, except rust. Rubbing compounds, automotive waxes, marine waxes and products come recommended in improving the surfaces and finishes of the "eggs".
Another owner, Faith Rice, on the Yahoo site is doing exactly what you are intenting to do on a similar aged Scamp.
Good luck in your restoration. We will be glad to help. Remember, just be brave, courageous, and bold.
Diane & Dave
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Old 03-20-2006, 07:42 AM   #7
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Trailer: 84 16 ft Scamp
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In the 8 or 9 years we've had our '84 Scamp the finish has never been very good. It is chalked, weather checked and stained.

Giving it a pressure wash takes out most of the grime. Then I apply Clorox with a paint roller to get out the mildew and lighten it up a little.

The worst stains are the rust stains from some hooks a previous owner used along the top for what I assume was to attach a home brew awning. Also the clips at the front window for attaching a shield are steel and have their signature rust streaks below.

Another issue is the two-tone color that has developed over the many miles towing with a diesel Blazer. There is a significant grey cast starting on the lower right front that fades as you look along the side of the trailer.

These stains are so deeply imbedded in the pores of the gel-coat that any reasonable method I am aware of won't touch them. I've tried Clorox, phosphoric acid, oxalic acid, rubbing compound, fine sandpaper, fiberglass cleaners, brushes, scrubbers, sprays, gels, solutions, elixers, essences, applications and applicators.

The truth is gel coat is polyesther resin with color added. It is good stuff for workng with a mold, and combines well with the resin used to support the fiberglass fibers, since it is the same stuff. But it is not very durable over the long run when exposed to sunlight.

So for you fortunate owners of new fiberglass trailers, if you want to delay the deterioration, wax and wax and wax. A coating of wax will block most of the harmful rays. The wax will be what deteriorates. So wax some more.

If you want to pretty much eliminate the deterioration on a new trailer, I would immediately apply a top quality automotive clear coat, if it were mine. That stuff is almost impervious to sunlight, rain, acids, etc. It is also very tough for abrasion and chipping. It is also quite difficult to apply, hazardous to your health, and therefore expensive.
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Old 03-23-2006, 12:04 AM   #8
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Name: Faith
Trailer: Scamp
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We also have an 13S77 under renovation. Actually we had the insulation and rat fur shipped.
Finally got the smell of animal/squirrel nests out. It took picking and scraping every bit of the old insulation out. The sanitizing included clorox, pressure washing and vinegar followed by about three pounds of baking soda generously poured all over every surface and left for days to absorb odors as in the refrigerator. The soft spots in the floor have been routed out and filled. The floors are now sealed with two heavy coats of poly eurathane.(sp?)
We have removed everything from the inside. All cupboards and closets. Removing the frig was an adventure, but there was a soft spot under it. The furnace was the last to go. The cupboard had to be taken out first. For a while we thought we would have a free standing furnace. All connections had been welded and then rusted. So the end result was sawing through the multiple layers of the vent pipe. The closet is also out.
This whole thing has become a major undertaking, but when we get it done it will be our very own baby.
We have windows unlike any others, so if you are looking to replace windows, be sure you can get windows that will fit your holes before you take them out. We will eventually replace the windows, but Scamp windows are now smaller, so they will have to be special ordered.
We need to replace the whole door, but Scamp won't have doors for the 13 ft for a while, so we are working on pulling in the bottom curve which has relaxed.
Have fun, Anything worth doing is worth doing well
Faith
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:52 AM   #9
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Trailer: 84 16 ft Scamp
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Looks like you are into doing it well, whether that was your original intention or not.

A couple of years ago I didn't latch the refrigerator door. After a day of traveling, most of the contents were on the floor. The only problem was a jar of jam opened. This caused a mold problem which makes me wheeze.

In the process of chasing mold I have almost done a complete renovation.

One thing I'm doing to hopefully help prevent a recurrence is painting all surfaces with glossy paint, i.e., polyurethane enamel or polyurethane varnish. For the rough fiberglass surfaces inside the cabinets I use thick latex house paint as an undercoat to full the roughness, then coat with enamel.

The worst place was the plywood box built around the refrigerator. It was permeated with mold, and had to be replaced. The second was in the plywood floor under the vinyl linoleum. Contributing to the problem was several small leaks around rivits and window frames. Organic debris plus dampness at about 40 - 50 degrees equals mold.

For the floor, I stripped out all the vinyl covering. It was extremely well glued. It was at least a day's work with a stiff putty knive and a heat gun to get down to clean plywood. I then applied a heavy coating of Clorox with a paint roller and dried it out with an electric heater over about a week.

After repairing a rotted area next to the door, I applied a surfacing putty, let dry and sanded smooth. This was followed by several coats of floor latex enamel with an additive for mold and mildew. I lust after all those pretty wood floors some of you are installing, but until I'm sure the mold situation is absolutely fixed, the painted floor with some throw rugs will do.

So what started out to be a clean up, turned into a renovation. I'm happy enough, even though we didn't get our trip south this winter. In the process I spent gas money on a new MaxAir fan, a used yacht quality stainless steel range, more cabinets, new doors, new cushions, new curtains, corrected some problems with the composting toilet, simplified the water supply system, completely rewired and added/replaced lighting, new stereo/shortwave set-up, rebuilt all the jalousy windows and I think there is still enough in the budget for that propane fireplace.

I've been so interested in this project that I hardly missed the Arizona sun this winter. It's still a journey, just a different kind.

Best of luck with your renovations. If you start to get discouraged, get yourself over to your local library or book shop and check out the various books/magazines showing yachting interiors. That has helped keep me focused.
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Old 03-23-2006, 07:36 PM   #10
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Trailer: 1981 Scamp 16 ft
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I'm in the process of fully restoring a 1981 16-foot Scamp. Like most others, I'm paranoid about the Ensolite and its tendency to support mold colonies. It's like the stuff was designed specifically for mold cultivation. (Someone should have told Scamp before they put it in so many trailers.) I tore it all out. Scraped it, rather. I snapped an "indestructible" scraper before I was done. It wasn't particularly difficult, but it required a lot of physical force and time. Thankfully, the black batting wasn't dusty, so I didn't need a mask. The trouble I'm having now is deciding how to get the black fuzz (from the Ensolite batting) off the inner hull. I'm not sure I even need to. Will glue stick to it when I put the new insulation on? I just don't know. Wire brushes aren't pulling it off. Maybe sand blasting?

So, all the fiberglass cabinets, closets, counters, and benches are pulled away from the walls. All the rivets are out. All the appliances are out. Even tossed off that old roof air conditioner (I'm putting in a 12v fan). My brother-in-law is a cabinet maker. He did the interior for my parent's 30-foot Pearson sailboat. I'm thinking of having him put in all wood cabinets, etc. for my Scamp. The problem is, he made the cabinets and counters way too heavy on the boat. I'm not sure if I can trust him to keep it super light on my trailer. It really has to be. I'm not putting the refrigerator, air conditioner, furnace, toilet, or hot water heater back in, so I've got some extra weight allowances. Think I can pull it off with all wood? I think if I go with thin (but not too thin) vineer over thin yet structurally sound framing it might stay light. There's no need for all the wood to be solid. Just the counter tops, really.

For new insulation, I'm looking into something similar to the Reflictix, only this stuff is foil-foam-foil (P2000, it's called -- www.p2insulation.com). 1/4" thick. Probably I'll put a few layers on. I'll be living in the camper full time, you see, which includes the sometimes frigid Vermont winters. (I've got an Olympian 6000 catalytic heater.) I'm also putting in a solar electric system, panels and everything. Onboard sealed gell battery (the big'n). Compost toilet. I'll have a cooler (maybe 12v) for food. Gravity fed removable water tank. Thermal insulated water tank for hot water (heat up water on stove in the morning, stays hot all day in the tank). Mixing valves at the faucet.
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:47 PM   #11
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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Quote:
...Think I can pull it off with all wood? I think if I go with thin (but not too thin) vineer over thin yet structurally sound framing it might stay light....
I agree. In a previous comparison of B1700's with fiberglass and wood interiors, there was no noticeable weight difference. It's all about how you use the material.

This sounds to me like an interesting project.
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:55 PM   #12
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Why dont you use the existing fiberglass cabinets and just reface them in wood. This way you can simply rerivet the cabinets back in. I did my boler in cherry hardwood and faced all the fiberglass in it. I am a cabinet maker and that was my best option. You already have the stucture why not use it.
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Old 03-24-2006, 08:28 AM   #13
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Trailer: 1999 Scamp 16 ft
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In the 8 or 9 years we've had our '84 Scamp the finish has never been very good. It is chalked, weather checked and stained.

The worst stains are the rust stains from some hooks a previous owner used along the top for what I assume was to attach a home brew awning. Also the clips at the front window for attaching a shield are steel and have their signature rust streaks below.
I have found that the powdered rust remover found at Lowes and Home Depot (this is the stuff you spread on rust stains in your driveway ect.) does a good job on the rust. Mix the stuff as a paste and apply to the stain. Allow it to sit until dry and rinse. A couple of treatment should take care of the stain.

I found a treatment for weathered fiberglass in the DIY section of Popular Mechanics (the Dec. 05 issue?) that was recommended. I havn't tried it but it may be worth a shot.



[b]Fading Fiberglass
I have an old, crimson-colored fiberglass football stadium bench that is starting to fade. What can I use to protect it from further sunlight damage?
STEVE ELLIS Euless, TXI contacted The Flood Co. (flood .com) to answer your question because it makes a variety of paint additives and liquid surface-treatment products that protect wood, fiberglass and vinyl. The company recommended a two-step process. First, you should clean the bench with Dekswood Deck Cleaner and Brightener and then apply Penetrol Oil-Based Paint Additive.
I was surprised to learn that although Penetrol is used primarily to make oil-based (alkyd) paints easier to apply, it also can be used by itself to restore and improve the luster of fiberglass.
Flood recommends a yearly application of the products when needed to protect fiberglass in harsh environments.
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Old 03-24-2006, 05:13 PM   #14
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Trailer: 1981 Scamp 16 ft
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Why dont you use the existing fiberglass cabinets and just reface them in wood. This way you can simply rerivet the cabinets back in. I did my boler in cherry hardwood and faced all the fiberglass in it. I am a cabinet maker and that was my best option. You already have the stucture why not use it.
That's a good point. Part of the reason I decided to go with wood was because I wanted to redesign the interior. I do, however, want the two center counters (stove at port, sink at starboard) to stay in the same position. If I could reuse the existing fiberglass counters, I'd like to do that. Not sure about the bathroom or the closet. I've cracked some of the pieces and wrecked some of the holes where the rivets go in.

How would you recommend attaching the wood to the fiberglass?
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