New Owner - Chipboard totally rotted. Yikes! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-20-2018, 07:48 PM   #1
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Name: Melanie
Trailer: 1978 Acorn Scamp Camper
Colorado
Posts: 6
Unhappy New Owner - Chipboard totally rotted. Yikes!

As of today I am the owner of a 1978 Acorn Scamp camper. I am/was so excited! But holy mackerel this thing is a project. We are first time camper-owners and way out of our league. The biggest and most immediate concern is the floor of the camper under the water tank (rear passenger side) is totally rotted out. It was parked in a field for a long time. I haven't done a full survey of the state of the rest of the chipboard. What does it take to fix/replace this?

Side note - does the water tank need to be replaced at some point? Cleaned out?

Thanks for any help. I only have about 5,000 more questions.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:04 PM   #2
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Name: Harold
Trailer: 1975 Scamp, 13-foot
California
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I don't know

I don't know if congratulations or sympathy is more appropriate, but you will find plenty of help here... some will suggest putting in a patch in the floor, others will suggest that you jack up the roof vent and replace everything underneath it. Then replace the roof vent just in case.

I hadn't heard of an Acorn scamp before (I have a 1975 Scamp). I did a search and found this from forum member ELongest: "Scamps were built for a period year under Acorn name due to a dispute over the name. I think the Acorns are 1979 models."

Or apparently 1978 as your's is.

As to your floor, I think you will most likely need to jack the trailer up so you can get underneath it with a light and see just how extensive the damage is. That will point you in the correct direction.

Does the water tank leak or smell? A bleach flush can clear up a lot of nastys, and leaks can be repaired. Your path will depend on your financial resources and willingness to spend money. If it's flushed and repaired will you trust it? Although new ones can fail (they's why there are warranties) having a new one will provide confidence that a used one may not.

How are your on-the-road adapting and repair abilities? I once drove 2,500 miles in a 34-year-old car that had a dubious repair history. I had tools, and the confidence that I could probably jury rig a repair enough to get me to a repair shop, or maybe even home. (I had to repair electric fans in a parking lot, wiring in the distributor, and had to change a lower radiator hose on the side of the road.) If I didn't have the confidence to deal with stuff like that I would have had the car shipped on a trailer.

Best of Luck,

Harold
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:42 AM   #3
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Name: stephen
Trailer: casita
Mississippi
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Replace the floor with Coosa fiberglass composite board N epoxy resin and never have another issue.
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Old 06-21-2018, 01:41 PM   #4
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
California
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Originally Posted by MelanieW View Post
As of today I am the owner of a 1978 Acorn Scamp camper. Thanks for any help. I only have about 5,000 more questions.
Welcome to FGRV Melanie. No, tanks aren't replaced for age. Damage or a location change from a mod would call for it though. Just a hint for your next 4,999 questions.....adding pics would be a big help for us to help you .
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Old 06-21-2018, 01:59 PM   #5
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Name: Melanie
Trailer: 1978 Acorn Scamp Camper
Colorado
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Thanks, Dave. I did try to upload a photo, a couple of times. It didn't seem to take. Probably user error!
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:49 PM   #6
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Name: Melanie
Trailer: 1978 Acorn Scamp Camper
Colorado
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A Coosa board like this?

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Originally Posted by sfc007 View Post
Replace the floor with Coosa fiberglass composite board N epoxy resin and never have another issue.
Hey Stephen, do you mean get a board like this and then paint it with an epoxy paint?
https://www.boatoutfitters.com/coosa-composites-board
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:52 PM   #7
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Name: Melanie
Trailer: 1978 Acorn Scamp Camper
Colorado
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Harold, thanks for all the tips. We're definitely not comfortable with on-the-road repairs. But we're willing to learn! The board is pretty soft in places so I'm guessing a full replacement is in order, if we can figure out how to do it. Are there any resources out there for things like this? Or do we just figure it out as we go? Maybe I'll start a new thread and see if anyone else has replaced their floorboard. Thank you!
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:17 PM   #8
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Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Originally Posted by MelanieW View Post
....Maybe I'll start a new thread and see if anyone else has replaced their floorboard. Thank you!
Of course someone else has... lots of people in fact.

If follow this Google Search as well as this one, you will find a number of threads from this site, then you can sift through them to see which apply to your situation.

If you dont find what you need there, try looking at another Scamp (aka Acorn) site. Here is a search for those threads.


If you want to start a new thread I would suggest providing a lot of information and many photos so that people who have done floor repairs have a better idea of what you need.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:23 PM   #9
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
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Welcome, and since you have unfortunately found the floor to have rotted out, I would also suggest a very careful inspection of the frame underneath as well due to it's age, and also due to being in proximity to the rotted wood for many years. That moisture may also have pushed your trailer's frame to the limit as well. But, all is not lost. If you need to replace the floor, it would probably be easier to pull the trailer from the frame to do it. If your frame is also shot, which there's a better than not chance that it is, you may be having a welder duplicate the frame with a whole new one. Yes, it will cost you a few bucks, but, then you'll know what you have. Also, I'd also suggest tearing down the axle/suspension/wheel components for a thorough inspection as well. They may also be shot. Sorry for not being able to offer more encouragement or better news, but you need to know what you're dealing with up front.
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:30 PM   #10
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Trailer: 1975 Scamp, 13-foot
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Melanie,

Search the forums, someone had dealt with this before. If those places are small and isolated, and not in a walking path, there is a something called Minwax Wood Hardener. I would consider it a temporary fix, but temporary can mean a long time if it works.

Where it's totally rotted out, can you cut out the piece and replace it with a piece of marine plywood?

If it's beyond doing that, the best thing would be to raise the fiberglass body and replace the entire floor. I haven't done it, but I imagine it's a bit of a project. Hopefully you have a garage so you can do it indoors.

Others have done it, so search here, and google, and Scamp Owners International for "Scamp trailer floor repair."

Don't get discouraged, it's just like eating an elephant: one bite at a time.

Realize that if you go for repairing the floor you will be subject to "shipwrights disease" and may soon be praying: "Please I don't want the cheese, just let me out of the trap."

Just keep imagining yourself enjoying many proud years of the finished product...

Harold
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Old 06-22-2018, 03:03 PM   #11
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...
Search the forums, someone had dealt with this before. ...

Others have done it, so search here, and google, and Scamp Owners International for "Scamp trailer floor repair."...
Now why didn't I think of that
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Old 06-22-2018, 03:56 PM   #12
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You posted while I was still composing. Sorry if you feel it stepped on your toes.
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Old 06-22-2018, 05:40 PM   #13
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You posted while I was still composing. Sorry if you feel it stepped on your toes.
naa.. just joshin ya.. GMTA you know!

Its so true that knowing how to effectively search the Internet is a very valuable skill. Heck, I even took a class on it years ago, but only got a "C." In the links I posted I used Google with the option to search only this site and another search for only scampowners. For Scamps, it makes sense to go way back in time since things don't change much (esp. floor construction), but I often restrict a search to more recent posts for topics where old information is less helpful.
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:34 PM   #14
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naa.. just joshin ya..


Well, you're one up on me... I never took any classes on searching... although I did take a class once on the web design software: Dreamweaver. My boss paid for it. Otherwise I'm self taught.

I was reminiscing on father's day with my son about how 30-years ago we used to connect with a local BBS using my first computer that had 48 kilobytes of memory and a cassette drive. I spent $505.00 on my first 5-1/4-inch floppy drive and thought I was a pig in clover. When AOL came along we were amazed and you could actually go outside the AOL system using a web crawler. Web browsers were very primitive. Whoa! Now you can buy a wristwatch for throw-away money that has more computing power than the first manned space mission.

We've come a long way, and searching is a hugely valuable skill. You have to wonder where this all will be 30 years from now, (especially with A.I.) and which skills will be obsolete. If museums still exist will people take their grandchildren there and boggle their minds with the Dewey Decimal System?

Cheers!

Harold
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