Scamp 5th wheel modification - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-04-2006, 09:15 PM   #1
Ed Doe
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Hi:
Had our Scamp for about five years and am considering a new truck to pull it. The scamp has a factory installed bumper hitch on the 5th wheel and can only be pulled a vehicle equipped with a scamp hitch.
Thinking about modifying the Scamp for a goose neck hitch which would be more practical for a new truck.
Anyone out there that has converted a scamp to a goose neck or rv 5th wheel hitch? Appreciate your ideas, comment and experience.
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Old 09-04-2006, 09:38 PM   #2
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Hi Ed. If I understand you correctly, you're looking to replace the factory Scamp 2" hitch coupler with a standard gooseneck or 5th wheel setup?

I had a Scamp 5th wheel for a short time and was initially sort of uneasy with the factory setup, but after I realized how little weight the trailer has (comparitively speaking); how well it works; and how inexpensive it is when compared to the alternatives, I realized how elegant the factory setup really was. It allows for movement in a wide latitude of positions, and is more than strong enough for the job, and is far less expensive than the other options.

The "conventional" hitch setups have limitations that the 2" ball coupler doesn't. I'm not sure I'd see any benefit at all in swapping it out for something heavier and more expensive.

Roger
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Old 09-05-2006, 01:12 PM   #3
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Roger, what limitations do you see that a common 2-5/16" "gooseneck" ball and coupler would have, that the Scamp 2" setup does not have? It would be heavier, of course, than the 2" hardware.

I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with Scamp's setup, but if someone wants to use a hitch would would accommodate other trailers, or wants to re-sell the truck with bed modifications for a hitch which are useful to a future owner, they could not use the Scamp configuration, so I can see Ed's point.
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Old 09-05-2006, 01:42 PM   #4
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Brian, I'm all for interchangeability, and if in fact, that's the motivating factor, then it's certainly appropriate. I don't see any advantages though, to changing from the stock Scamp setup to either the gooseneck or true 5th wheel hitches just for the sake of changing them out. I don't see where the Scamp setup is inherently inferior at all.

Roger
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Old 09-05-2006, 03:04 PM   #5
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Wait- A factory installed BUMPER hitch? Am I missing something?
I am thinking about getting a Scamp 5th wheel but I thought all they had was a hitch that sat in the bed of the truck.
There's some other way? Pictures please....
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:07 PM   #6
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Roger, thanks for the clarification. It was your comment about "limitations" which had me puzzled, but perhaps you were talking about the characteristics of pin-and-plate fifth-wheel hitch systems, which are quite different from ball-and-socket hitches; both the Scamp setup and typical goosenecks are ball-and-socket, with the ball in the truck and socket on the trailer.

If I were to give up the van in favour of a truck in order to accommodate this type of trailer, I would want to be sure I was comfortable with the hitch design, so any limitations of any of the alternatives would be important to me.

Quote:
Wait- A factory installed BUMPER hitch? Am I missing something?...
I assumed that by "[b]bumper hitch" Ed means a 2" coupler, identical to those used in conventional (a.k.a. "tag", a.k.a. "bumper pull") towing applications. Scamp doen't use the type of coupler typical in gooseneck applications, which is a coupler on the end of a post coming down from the trailer and is what I assume Ed means by "[b]goose neck". Finally "[b]RV 5th wheel hitch" would be the pin-and-plate design, in the small size used by RVs (versus the monsterous hardware on big trucks). Ed, please correct me where I might have gone wrong.

Some confusion probably comes from the use of "hitch" to describe the hardware on the trailer, while I suppose it really means the whole system, and the socket part of a ball-and-socket is called the "coupler".
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Old 09-06-2006, 12:30 AM   #7
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I don't believe the part of Scamp's 5W hitch that goes in the truck bed needs to be installed at the factory -- From what I've read on Yahoo Scampers, several have installed their own bed hardware.

I once saw two Scamp 5W's side by side -- One had been modified to an actual 5W hitch -- I didn't really see where the owner gained anything besides added weight to the truck and trailer.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
I don't believe the part of Scamp's 5W hitch that goes in the truck bed needs to be installed at the factory -- From what I've read on Yahoo Scampers, several have installed their own bed hardware.

I once saw two Scamp 5W's side by side -- One had been modified to an actual 5W hitch -- I didn't really see where the owner gained anything besides added weight to the truck and trailer.

Just to clarify, the Scamp 5th wheel ("5th wheel" being a misnomer in this case as it's actually a ball-and-coupler rather than 5th wheel plate and pin) has a slightly modified standard 2" coupler welded to the end of it's "gooseneck" assembly. The "hitch" part in the bed of the truck consists of a couple of large angle-iron plates that bolt to the wheelwells on the sides of the bed, and of course bolt to the bottom of the bed. A piece of 3-sided steel beam spans the brackets and a 2" ball is mounted in the center of the steel beam.

When I sold the 5th wheel I had briefly, the hitch had been installed in a Chevy S10. We removed it and reinstalled it in a Toyota T100. The span beam was nearly a foot too short, and I was unable to get identical steel locally, so we replaced it with a box beam. It was stronger and did the job quite nicely.

The Scamp system is strong, simple, light weight, and more than adequate for it's intended purpose.

Roger
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:32 AM   #9
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Now I'm tryng to pull this from my memory bank ( ), but if I remember right, Scamp went with the gooseneck rather than standard 5th wheel because of the hitch weight. It's something around 950 lbs. With a 5th wheel the weight is truly over the center of the hitch, the gooseneck spreads it along the frame (I think that's what I heard). I would think if you want to really know the reason Scamp has chosen not to manufacture a true 5th wheel...you should contact Scamp Ed. They know there have been several of their trailers changed over the a 5th wheel, but they don't recommend it....maybe they will tell you why? And I'm sure it does't have anything to do with money, why would it if they don't do they work.
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