Checking a Old Scamp Frame for cracks - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-09-2016, 01:18 PM   #21
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Name: Dano
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I recommend lots of support - I know a person who was found dead in his garage with a car on top of him.
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:00 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Bullington View Post
I'm with you.....if the frame is what's cracking and breaking up, I would jack up where the weight of the trailer is already being supported (near the wheel, on the axle).
It's not the entire frame that is "cracking and breaking up." There are documented weak areas mentioned in earlier posts, but they do not include the main longitudinal frame rails to which the axle is attached.

That is not to say there isn't some long-neglected 40-year-old trailer out there somewhere with a frame that is completely shot, including the main frame rails around the axle attachment. But if the frame is that far gone, (1) it can't be safely towed; it must be flat bedded, (2) your problem is not how to jack it up but how to separate the cabin from the frame so you can fabricate a new frame from scratch, and (3) the axle is probably shot, too, so there is no further harm to be done there.

For newbies considering Scamps, know that newer ones have stronger frames than the older ones. I don't know when the changes were made, possibly when they upgraded to a 2" ball and 5-lug wheels. In any case, the reasons given to disregard the manufacturers' recommendations regarding jacking are overblown.
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:20 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Laughingindian View Post
Put the jack under the axle close to the wheels!
Sorry but this needs a "Do not try this at home" warning!

From my Scamps manual:

"Jacking up the trailer: On the trailer there are two min beams made out of 3 inch by 1 inch tubing, one on each side. Either of these can be used as a point to jack up the trailer. Jack should be placed close to the axle or toward the rear of the trailer, so that the whole weight of the trailer is not on one point. "
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Old 01-09-2016, 04:55 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
From my Scamps manual: so that the whole weight of the trailer is not on one point. "
There you have it! The Frame is not strong enough to jack the trailer by! However the axle carries the WHOLE weight over any terrain, for thousands of miles. If the Factory were perfect then half of the threads on this forum would not exist Obviously you would not lift the trailer by the Center of the axle, but out at the end, near the wheel. You can do whatever you want with your Scamp. I gave my opinion and stick by it. I feel that after this I am pretty good judge of how to Safely jack MY Scamp up!


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Old 01-09-2016, 05:35 PM   #25
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On my Scamp I have installed a Flexiride axle and I removed an ALKO.
Both of these axles have thicker wall tubing than the frame.
The old Scamp had 14 gauge steel tubing (0.0782") and the new is 12 gauge (0.1094")
I used 1/8" wall thickness on my front end rebuild (0.125").
The axles I have seen are closer to the 1/8" wall thickness.
The 2500 lb axles are 0.149" and the 3500 lb are 0.187"
The axles are quite a bit stronger than the frames.
One question would be if you were talking abut leaf spring axles where the axle is free to move in relation to the frame and could let things more and slip.



expect the junction of the axle and mounting bracket would be strongest in any case.

The axle is the strongest thing under the trailer as it should be.
For safety if the jack is behind the axle it is less likely to shift than under the axle since it is further behind the center of gravity.

I don't hesitate to jack the axle near the frame, but I make sure the trailer will not tip back.

The weak frame is why the caution to not jack up the trailer from the rear bumper.

Also the shell is mostly supported where the frame passes under the front and rear of the shell in four places.
The fiberglassed floor with no other support add little if any stiffness to the system. No my trailer I have added steel 14 gauge square tubing along the sides and to the frame to support the shell all the way around.
IN this manner the shell and frame both reinforce each other and share the load. Thsiss will add stress to the tongue and is the reason for the 1/8" steel tubing with reinforcing.

As always all advise is worth price charged and standard disclaimers apply.
Any reader should study and and decide for themselves, but following the factory suggestions might always be a good idea. In my case since I have rebuilt most of the trailer and have a different axle I will make up my own mind.
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:16 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Laughingindian View Post
There you have it! The Frame is not strong enough to jack the trailer by! However the axle carries the WHOLE weight over any terrain, for thousands of miles. If the Factory were perfect then half of the threads on this forum would not exist Obviously you would not lift the trailer by the Center of the axle, but out at the end, near the wheel. You can do whatever you want with your Scamp. I gave my opinion and stick by it. I feel that after this I am pretty good judge of how to Safely jack MY Scamp up!


You are once again correct !
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:05 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
This is what I use when I want to work under my trailers. I leave it hooked up to a vehicle or one of my tractors.
Mary and Bob, Thanks for the photo. It reminded me that I have a set of two stamped metal ramps, something like those. in my pile junk back of my little barn!

What material is your ramps made of?

Bill
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:13 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Paul O. View Post
Last summer I painted the frame with Rustoleum. It was getting badly rusted after our second "spring" trip, having towed along salted highways. To get underneath I pulled the Scamp up on my home made ramps. (They are basically solid wood, each has a pound of nails holding them together.)
Thanks Paul! Many years ago I made wood ramps like yours out of 2" by 12", three levels high for a old class motor home.

Very heavy, but worked great for years. I still have one of them in my junk pile!

Bill
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:32 PM   #29
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[QUOTE=Laughingindian;566108You can do whatever you want with your Scamp. I gave my opinion and stick by it. I feel that after this I am pretty good judge of how to Safely jack MY Scamp up!
[/QUOTE]

LOL no need to get in a snit.

I was simple giving the Op the opinion of the manufacture of the trailer by quoting directly from Scamp's Owner's manual as to what they believe are the best practises for jacking up the Scamps they build.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:36 PM   #30
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I'd like to thank everyone who submitted a comment: David, Danny, Donna D., Jon, Paul, Rez, Dana, Carol H, and anyone who's name I missed!

While I certainly didn't mean to start a sprited discussion about the subject, I do believe I did learn something from all the messages.

I wanted to check for cracks in the frame before the Scamp is towed to a Horse Trailer Mfg. Co. for the axle replacement. Naturally, I'm hoping that my friend there will tell me the axle is in great shape...but, that is doubtful on a 39 year old Scamp!

Like my old pappy used to say..if all else fails...read the directions! So I will follow the recommendations of Scamp when placing the floor jack..

Thanks again,

Bill
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:40 PM   #31
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That's the way it works Bill! We ask for Opinions and make our decisions based on what we Learn and Feel! No harm...No Foul! And again, we look forward to meeting as many of y'all as possible at Sebring. We will have the Rolling V Berth in site 31!!!
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:06 PM   #32
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[QUOTE=Bill Nolen;566125]Mary and Bob, Thanks for the photo. It reminded me that I have a set of two stamped metal ramps, something like those. in my pile junk back of my little barn!

What material is your ramps made of?

Solid wood, a sawmill custom cut several sets for use in truck shops. I don't like the metal ramps so much as they only contact the ground on the ends. If on dirt they can sink in. The wood ramps have full length contact.
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:11 AM   #33
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Those stamped, formed metal ramps can either damage your blacktop driveway, or sink in the ground, as noted, making them more dangerous than the "solid" wood ramps that distribute the pressure over a large area. Mine are made of scraps of wood. I have been in the reusing (and money saving) business ever since. I inherited a pair of metal jackstands from a late friend of mine. They support the Scamp in my Scamport, and are placed on pieces of 2x12 pressure treated (also construction scraps).
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:12 AM   #34
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cracks in frame

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Jack on the frame near the axle, never on the axle itself. For safety, I'd recommend putting the trailer up on jack stands while you crawl underneath. Like the jack, place the stands on the main frame rails near the axle.

The most likely places to find frame cracks are toward the front, especially where the A-frame bends under the front of the cabin.
Bill what Jon said is exactly what I found on my Burro frame. There was a slight bend upwards right near where the frame came out from under the shell. The problem I found was that I could not tell there were two 1.5" cracks in the 3" "frame rails" right at the intersection of the cross piece from side to side. I had wire brushed the whole frame with an angle grinder but could not get into the corners. I had to use a sand blaster to reveal the cracks hidden under the surface rust.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:51 PM   #35
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The great jacking question of aught 16

I for one prefer to take the manufacturer's advice. I asked Bigfoot which is what my trailer is since the owner's manual is silent on the topic. Their response is

"It is best to jack under the axle at the spring pack. This also lifts the trailer quicker as the springs do not unload to lift tire."

I realize it's not a Scamp, just sayin' that one answer does not fit all.

Dang but I want to go camping!
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:11 PM   #36
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I wonder if some RV shops use lifts and whether a trailer can be taken to one to see the frame.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:27 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Deadhead517 View Post
I for one prefer to take the manufacturer's advice. I asked Bigfoot which is what my trailer is since the owner's manual is silent on the topic. Their response is

"It is best to jack under the axle at the spring pack. This also lifts the trailer quicker as the springs do not unload to lift tire."

I realize it's not a Scamp, just sayin' that one answer does not fit all.

......
AND your trailer is probably a spring axle and not a Torsion axle?
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