I am newbie to the forum and would appreciate your wise opinion and suggestions on my decision to buy a Scamp
for modification. I want to buy a trailer but I am a nervous!
This is my situation: I am deployed to Iraq and my wife is unemployed for next three months. Not only do I need to keep her busy with a project at home but we want to go on a road trip and possible fulltime for a couple of months at a time when I get back. I have never actually been in a fiberglass trailer let alone a Scamp
5th wheel. Yet, I fell in love with the 5th wheel by reading and looking at the pictures on this awesome forum. My wife and I are very confident this will be a good match.
My wife wants a trailer that she can design and modify the coloring, curtains/fabric, floor, and cabinets to her liking.
My dilemma: Buy a newer Scamp
(2000-2005) which is more expensive and then pay to remodel it to my wife's desire. I assume, a newer trailer will come with better plumbing, air conditioner, stove, all around necessary gadgets, and most importantly the outer shell will look new and not dingy. My other option, which I think is the best for my situation, is to buy an older Scamp and remodel it...funner and save money!
The talent at our disposal: Father-in-law is a master carpenter and has been hired to refurbish Airstreams, etc and my brother Electrical
Engineer and installed wiring in houses, etc. I am mechanically oriented and can change the axle
, etc. if needed when I get home. I am confident in these areas and I am sure we will be OK with anything unexpected issues.
My questions cover issues I am not confident with:
1. Old Airstreams can be polished to look very beautiful and almost new. If I buy an older Scamp will it be possible make the shell look original and semi new again at a reasonable price? I read on the forum that the answer is yes but it was not direct and I want to make sure. I understand that decals, etc. can be purchased from Scamp which is nice. I have read the post about polishing and understand polishing, painting
, etc. it makes the body look better but how much better on an old fiberglass shell? Old cars are very difficult and costly to restore.
2. Does the shell quality deteriorate significantly with age? If I buy a 20 year old, will it last another 20?
3. I have seen photos of old Scamps and the tail lights
are different from newer models. I am sure there are other things that are different. Will I need to modify the body to make these upgrades or do you just have to replace and done?
4. On the older units is the old plumbing, gas pipes, shower, toilet an issue? How difficult and expensive are they to find and replace?
5. If the frame is bent how difficult is it to pull the shell off the frame for repair? I have pulled bodies off cars...I assume this is much easier.
6. AC, toilet, shower, shower, water pump, stove and other gadgets start giving out and need to be replaced on older units. Is this very expensive and how compatible are the new replacements? Is there a place where one can buy used?
7. My reading tells me that the shower is one of the only options that can't easily be add to a Scamp after the unit has been built. The shower is very important to my wife. Are there any other options that can't be added which I need to review when reading Scamp 5th wheel adds? Like the AC, is that easy to install if a unit is note already on the trailer?
8. Scamps 5th wheels seem to be hard to find close to my house in CA or AZ. How do you buy “a good deal” long distance...me in Iraq my wife (has brother and dad to help) in AZ or CA and unit in Texas? Everything seems to be states away.
9. I don’t really need each question answered. I am sure answers will keep coming up in the next couple of weeks as I read through old posts…what I need to know is if I am making a judgment mistake. Is it cost efficient to refurbish trailer? Or should I just buy newer units? Am I missing any important piece of the pie?
In short, I want to buy an old unit but I want to make sure I am not making a mistake and get nickel and dime'd at the end of the project or end up with an ugly trailer shell that is not worth what I put in to it. I have the man power and the skill to refurbish and I am confident in the difficult tasks...the unknown which I stated is bothering me! Thank you for taking the time to read!...and extra thanks if you respond with a short response giving me direction!
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