Questions about Scamp 5th wheel - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-01-2007, 06:05 PM   #1
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Lacking previous RV experience, my wife and I are considering buying a small 5th wheel such as the 19-foot Scamp when she retires. It seem like an unintimidating way to break into towing and RV parking. It also offers more camping options.

We'd likely spend January to early March at one or two sites in the South, then traveling around a month or so before returning. Also, short trips in summer or fall.

Does anyone have any idea what that 19 foot 5th wheel costs new, both in standard and deluxe models? Is the Deluxe model worth it? Are there any options you'd recommend to newbies or that you'd avoid?

As for a tow vehicle, I lean toward a one-ton diesel pickup though I know it's overkill for the Scamp. However, the pin weight and towing capacities would leave us the chance to opt for a bigger 5th wheel later.

We're pretty sure we'd enjoy RVing. Renting can't fully confirm that. Until we've owned and used one for close to a year we can only estimate out needs. I can't rule out that we might grow interested in full-timing or close to it (My wife is against at present).

My guess is 50-50 that the small 5th wheel will satisfy long term. Otherwise we'd need something bigger and with missing features. I'd rate the chances that we won't enjoy RVing at 1 in 10.

In the latter two cases, we'd have to sell the Scamp after a year. How big a hit might we expect to take?

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Old 03-01-2007, 06:22 PM   #2
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Name: Alfred
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0TA / 2010 Nissan Frontier
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Hi: In one of my many parts orders from Scamp I asked for some Brochures and prices...They are 2006 prices and the base 5th Wh. custom was $17,995.+ options!!!
Call Alan Sheley@ 1 800 346 4962 I am sure he will be glad to send you some info.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie

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Old 03-01-2007, 06:31 PM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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Welcome to FiberglassRV Frank! Good questions. And I'm going to provide some links that you can clink on that should help you out. Probably more reading than you care about..but it should help to answer most of your questions:

Escape or Scamp 5er

Prices wanted

Asking for help re: 19 ft. Scamp 5th wheel

Depreciation on investment

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 03-01-2007, 06:53 PM   #4
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Posts: 5,000
Hi Frank! Good questions all. I'll try to answer a few of them. I'm sure others will chime in. First, IMHO, go for the Custom Deluxe loaded. Unless you're a real "minimalist", you won't be sorry you got it loaded. Second, the Scamp fifth wheel loaded will run you around $20k-$21k give or take. Third, a one ton truck is waaaaay to much truck for a Scamp 19, and the side rails are too tall. They are built for for half-ton compact trucks. Further, they use a modified hitch ball type hitch, not a standard pin and plate fifth wheel.

As far as the backing issues go, I find that a fifth wheel backs very differently than a standard travel trailer. After years of backing trailers, I found it difficult to adapt to backing a 5th wheel. They're neither more difficult nor easier to back than a trailer, just different.

Happy hunting!

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Old 03-01-2007, 07:14 PM   #5
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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I haven't backed up a fifth-wheel, but I have backed a conventional trailer with a tractor, which placed the hitch nearly up at the axle (and visible), for nearly the same effect. I agree with Roger that it is just different, and I preferred it, but that's an individual thing.
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
STATUS: No longer active in forum.
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:22 PM   #6
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Trailer: 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel Dlx / 2001 Ford Ranger 4x4
Posts: 1,125
I for one am very backup challenged!! Having both the 13ft Scamp and the 16ft Scamp I now own a 5th wheel scamp ( standard) and its a heck of alot easier to back up and park then the other two I had..

The links Donna gave here are really good info... also call Scamp and send for the brochures and upholstery samples.. Any questions you have they are always glad to help.
Pick what you need for your needs in what extra's you want..
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:35 AM   #7
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Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel Deluxe
Posts: 148

I'll add my 2 cents too. We've owned both a standard and a deluxe Scamp 5th wheel. The deluxe is our preference because you have more storage space. They come in both side bath and front bath models.

The side bath is small, but it allows more open space to the loft bed and a bunk bed/sofa. Depending on your height, you can choose to sleep front to back or sideways. Also the floor space is more open.

The front bath is larger and walls off the loft bed. If you are tall (over 6 ft.) you may not fit on the bed to sleep sideways.

As far as buying a new 5th wheel, why not buy a good used one for now. This will give you a chance to try it out without a huge investment. If you find you and your wife like the used one, you can always sell it and order a new one. If not, then you should get your investment back easily.

If you decide to buy new, order all the cabinets available, top and bottom. Also, get the largest refrigerator if you plan long trips. Definitely add air conditioning if you plan to visit the South, even in winter. We just had 80 degrees this week. Also add a vent fan for those days you don't need A/C but want air movement. We have the Floorplan B model and love the counter space and storage.

Have you looked at any Scamp 5th wheels? If not, the Scamp factory can provide contact information for owners near you. Or check out any fiberglass camping rallys in your area. We all enjoy showing off our campers!

Good luck in your decision.
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:07 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the tips.

I didn't know the 19" Scamp would have trouble with a one-top pickup. Meanwhile, we haven't ruled out going with a used small 5th wheels either, like Nash and Artic Fox.

From all I've read, the milage and towing capacities of gas engine tow vehicles can be disappointing. Interesting changes may be on the way in the next year or so and we don't have to hurry the decision.

Some hybrid SUVs can tow up to 3500 pound I'm told. Buying one would rule out full timing and require a trailer over a 5th wheel but the economic differences is so great the compromise may be worth it. Our concern with regular trailers is high winds and big trucks passing by. Supposedly there are anti-sway trailers that can help. I gather those are expensive (how much?) but sound worth it.

I don't know much about "telescoping" and hybrid trailers but perhaps others have had experience here.

Some online reports say we can expect to see a number of diesel SUVs very soon. Dodge is expected to introduce a smaller diesel engine within the next year or I believe Ford and GM have something similar in mind.

I'd imagine these would interest trailer owners here. As for small fifth wheels, imagine a 1/2 ton pickup with those small diesel engines. Would it help with gas milage and towing uphill?
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:32 PM   #9
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Scamp 5er alternatives:

This is a molded Fiberglass company Stephen, another diesel enthusiast, was investigating. They will custom build for you.

Roamer Fiberglass Truck Camper

Here are specs for the Escape fiberglass 5th wheel, another quality product.

Escape 5.0 Pricing - 2007

If you click the "Search" link at the top of your page and use keywords you will find previous posts on all of these trailers.
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:40 PM   #10
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Frank, do a search here on "sway". You'll find loads of good information. Sway isn't inherent in travel trailers, but is induced. There are several causes, and they're all correctable. Sway control hitches are also available, and are a good safety investment once you understand what causes sway and have taken all of the appropriate steps to eliminate it.

On the gas mileage issue, the question you have to ask is how many miles annually you'll actually be hooked up to your trailer, and how many miles you'll drive unladen. Most of us drive less than 10% of our actual annual mileage towing, so all of our gas savings comes when the tow vehicle is used unladen. If you're going to tow 80% of the time, then get a vehicle whose mileage doesn't change when towing much, but is comfortable and big enough to tow safely. There's no reason to sacrifice comfort and safety if you can get a large tow vehicle that tows without working the drivetrain and gets 15 mpg towing verses a small vehicle that wears itself out towing, is marginal at best and still only gets 15 mpg. BTW, unless you and your wife are in a very special and small circle of full-timers, you probably won't care to full-time in a trailer that weighs less than 3500 lbs loaded. Although there are folks who do it, that's pretty small quarters for two for any extended living time for most folks.

When you're comparing vehicles, rather than comparing gas mileage alone, compare cost-per-mile of operation. That figure includes the cost of fuel, maintenance, insurance, consumables, and depreciation per mile over the expected time you'll own it. That will give you a much truer picture of the actual cost of ownership of the vehicle. You'll find that diesels and gas engine vehicles aren't much different when compared that way.

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Old 03-02-2007, 02:51 PM   #11
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Trailer: Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel 1992
Posts: 18
Hi Frank:

We picked up a 1992 Scamp, last summer, and it came with most of the
options, reffer, AC, but with a side bath. We pull it with a Ford Ranger,
4X4, V6 4.0L, and I was worried about the ball height in the bed, just made it
( I think the number is 48 inches from the ground).

I've put some stuff into the trailer to get it up to speed, new tires, new converter and
after a 5,000 mile trip the grey tank needed replacing , nothing hard to do, and nothing I thought out of the ball park. Grey tank, 15 years old, no problem with the replacement the factory shipped in short order.

If you looking for a used 5 th wheel and need something on the small size, I wouldn't waste my time looking at anything over 5years that wasn't fiberglass, due water leaks and wood rot problems on other units.

One thing, I don't like about the scamp is the floor, should have been made of at least plywood fiberglass coated, instead it's chip board, and as soon as the fiberglass chips and water get's in the floor will rot very quickly.

I would look for a used one, starting know you have a couple of months before the next fall.

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Old 03-02-2007, 05:13 PM   #12
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Trailer: 19 ft Scamp (Egg Salad Annie)
Posts: 260
Glad to see your interest in Fiberglass. I have owned a number of stick framed Trailers, Campers and the like. I belive 6 total. All but one of them leaked and I was constantly fighting the water battle. I bought a used Scamp 5th wheel deluxe and have had 0, Zero problems. No leaks / Plus Scamp has been wonderful about helping me with Parts and service. I tow with a F-150 <Overkill> and I belive the last of the full size Fords that have bed rails low enough with out lifting the trailer.
If a person wants a smaller trailer/ 5th wheel that is resonable in price Fiberglass is the ticket/ Also check out the Escape 5er . It is on the west coast of Canada but another fine product.
The reallly nice thing about Fiberglass new or used is that they hold their value well. I was lucky to find my 5er deluxe and payed just under new price for it .
Good luck take your time. Enjoy the ride
Taylor the Sailor
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:17 PM   #13
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Thanks, folks. You raise some interesting points about the long-term value of fiberglass trailers. The only weakness seems to be in the flooring. Is that true of Escape models also?

The reason my wife is considering retiring earlier than planned (despite penalties) because of arthritic knee problems that have just shown up (As did endometrial cancer but she should be ok there because they caught it early and the cure rate is 90 percent).

Walking two blocks with her tonight, I noticed how slowly she moves. It makes me think I can rule out fulltimiing no matter how enjoyable our RV experience may be. That would help narrow down choices when we start.

I'm eight years older (65 this summer) and have been retired ten years. Four months into retirement, I surprised her by taking up cooking. I didn't say a word...just let her walk in the door and see table settings for a four-course meal, including a pound case in a glass case stand, lighted candles and some roses I bought. Her jaw dropped.

I don't have any physical problems, stay lean and lift weights. However, I've got to add my age to her knee condition in pondering future possibilities.

If full timing appears out, the second best option for us may be to consider one of those other tow vehicles and using small RVs for two or three week regional camping trips, for longer winter getaways with meandering routes home and for scouting warm locations with an eye to picking a place to settle down when travel gets difficult (a place where one can take interesting shorter trips in the future).
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Old 03-02-2007, 11:59 PM   #14
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Trailer: 19 ft Scamp (Egg Salad Annie)
Posts: 260
Frank I too am the head chef in our house, at least when I am not at sea working. You may want to look at a 13ft, 16ft Scamp or Casita, or 17 Casita. They are easy to tow and the side Dinnette model allows you to leave the Bed made up at all time if you want. Escape also has some nice trailers.

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