Looking at 1983 Scamp 19. What issues should i look for? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-09-2015, 10:54 AM   #1
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Name: nicholas
Trailer: in the market
Oklahoma
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Looking at 1983 Scamp 19. What issues should i look for?

There is a Scamp 19 5th wheel local to me i am going to look at. Listed at $4200. Nada lists fair condition at $3300, and from the pics i have seen, i would say this is less than fair condition.

I am hoping to do a full restoration on it, upgrade it to current specs, and use it for my wife and 1, plus our twin girls ( currently 2 years old).

As far a background, i did commercial cabinet work for 10 years, and currently have a small business building wood and fiberglass speaker enclosures., so i am familiar with fiberglass repairs. I also have a CNC router in my shop so building new parts should not be hard.

However, I am not familiar with travel trailers. Are there any structural issues, or anything that should make me just walk away? Any advice would be very helpful.

I will be spending most of this summer working on it, as my truck will probably just barely tow it ( it has a 4000 lbs towing capacity). Hopefully i will upgrade to a 4 door truck next year like a tacoma.
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Old 06-09-2015, 03:56 PM   #2
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Name: Dennis
Trailer: Scamp
Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikbrewer View Post
There is a Scamp 19 5th wheel local to me i am going to look at. Listed at $4200. Nada lists fair condition at $3300, and from the pics i have seen, i would say this is less than fair condition.

I am hoping to do a full restoration on it, upgrade it to current specs, and use it for my wife and 1, plus our twin girls ( currently 2 years old).

As far a background, i did commercial cabinet work for 10 years, and currently have a small business building wood and fiberglass speaker enclosures., so i am familiar with fiberglass repairs. I also have a CNC router in my shop so building new parts should not be hard.

However, I am not familiar with travel trailers. Are there any structural issues, or anything that should make me just walk away? Any advice would be very helpful.

I will be spending most of this summer working on it, as my truck will probably just barely tow it ( it has a 4000 lbs towing capacity). Hopefully i will upgrade to a 4 door truck next year like a tacoma.
Sounds like you should be able to handle anything that comes up.

I pulled my fiver for eleven years with a truck rated at 3500# tow cap and had no issues.
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:08 PM   #3
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Name: nicholas
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yeah, its a 2007 regular cab 4 cylinder colorado 2.9L It would only tow it about 100 miles each wax max in good ole flat oklahoma.

I just did not know if there were any know issues i should look for, any areas of the frames know to bend or crack, stuff like that
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:51 PM   #4
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The only issue I have had with mine was a rusting of the straps that hold the grey water tank. At least on my trailer, they were redundant. Bolts actually hold the tank to the frame.

The best advice I can give is to crawl under the trailer and give it a good visual. There is nothing that can't be fixed, it's a matter of getting the price right.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:57 PM   #5
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikbrewer View Post
There is a Scamp 19 5th wheel local to me i am going to look at. Listed at $4200. Nada lists fair condition at $3300, and from the pics i have seen, i would say this is less than fair condition.

I am hoping to do a full restoration on it, upgrade it to current specs, and use it for my wife and 1, plus our twin girls ( currently 2 years old).
Be warned NADA is not something that anyone with a moulded fiberglass trailer uses to determine price. Few are sold through dealers so NADA is not a good tool. Also NADA, banks and insurance companies routinely devalue trailers by X% each year - again a practise that is not common to fiberglass trailers such as the ones owned my most here. So don't be surprised if the seller has a good chuckle should you mention your offer is based on NADA.

Take a look through Fiberglass-rv-4sale.com for current listing and past listings for price comparisons.
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Old 06-10-2015, 03:02 PM   #6
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Name: Tim
Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
North Florida
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Biggies that come to mind are floor rot, frame rust, and axle (torsion suspension) sag. I don't know about the 5er 19 but on my old 16 the frame was thin and had almost rusted through in a couple of places over the years leading to cracks. Not a big deal if you weld and some scrap angle and I was in business.

Some have reported the side bathroom window leaking and water running down the exterior bathroom wall un-noticed behind the waterproof paneling and rotting the floor underneath. On my 16 the front window rubber had shrank and leaked rotting the upper bunk board and the floor below is a little "punky" (Southern term for wood softened by rot) along the front. I don't know what the corresponding condition might be on a 19.

Axle sag is the big costly item. The old axles were too light (2,000 pounders) to begin with and age has taken a toll. Not terrible to do, again if you weld or "have people" that do. I figured it was all good to spend the coin and trouble to have new running gear with all new BRAKES (notice I shouted the brakes part).

Can't say about the price until you see it but that may not be bad for one if the exterior is tight. You already know you are getting into a project anyway, and it sounds like you are a very handy fellow with some directly applicable skills. Good luck!
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:06 PM   #7
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Name: Rich
Trailer: 1987 Bigfoot Fifth Wheel
Texas
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I can add a few things as a newbee owner of a 87 Bigfoot 5er...

My trailer was in tip top condition and I paid $7,500 in December. I had to drive from Texas to Oregon to get it, but the price was right. Not only was it in excellent condition, but it's a Bigfoot, which is a premium brand. It's a foot wider and longer than a Scamp 19 and therefore more spacious. It also has more frontal area and takes more gas to pull.

I've seen other 5ers listed for what I considered to be low prices, especially compared to pull behinds. My conclusion is that more people want pull behinds because they can use more types of tow vehicles. If a buyer doesn't own a truck or doesn't want to buy one, they won't consider a 5er.

Having said all this, I think you could make a case for either price. If you have to replace the floor, that's a BIG project. (My BF has a molded fiberglass floor.)

No one mentioned appliances, which can be very costly to replace. Mine work great except for the oven. (Burners are fine, only the oven is bad.)

I love my BF! A 5er is the best configuration for my wife and I. It tows easily, is very stable, and is space efficient. But since the TV must be a truck, you can't store as much stuff in the TV.

With twins in car seats, your carrying capacity is even more constrained.

But they can sleep in the "loft" while you and your wife stay up later and get up earlier. A pull behind doesn't have this natural segregation of space.

One thing often omitted in purchase decisions are all the extras: hitch, drain hose, water hose, chocks, etc. The list goes on and on. This adds up fast.

You can make this trailer exactly what you want it to be. Just watch out for the total loaded weight. For everything you change, consider how it changes the weight. If you build heavy cabinets, you can't just take them off.

So much to think about.

Sounds like a fun project!
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:35 PM   #8
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Whatever brand of used all molded towable you're looking to purchase, download, print and take a copy of the Buyer's Checklist with you. It will remind you of items to check: Fiberglass RV - Document Center - Buyers Check List

Best of luck
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:08 PM   #9
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Name: John
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16, 2013 VW Tiguan SEL
Colorado
Posts: 153
WHEEL BEARINGS! They're some of very few moving parts in a TT, but certainly the most important. This week I took my '85 Scamp 16 in for new tires, and as an afterthought, I asked them to check and see if the bearings needed a service. When they injected some fresh grease into one bearing, several of the roller bearings fell out of the race! Apparently I was close to a major bearing failure that would have stranded me, at best, or led to the loss of a wheel at speed at the worst.

With a similarly old trailer, you ought to assume that if bearing service hasn't been done, it needs to be done.
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