Concerns about Scamps - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-21-2010, 08:29 PM   #1
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I'm just starting to look at the Fiberglass RV world. I have 2 little boys and have been thinking about a 13 ft Scamp, probably used. I have a Toyota RAV 4 '97 and will probably get a larger SUV/Minivan in a few years. Saw some very negative comments about poor construction, workmanship and lots of things breaking and leaking with the Scamps. Can anyone address these on this site. Definitely gives me pause although they look good in the pics and the 13 ft would be an OK tow wt.
Lauri P

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Old 03-21-2010, 08:35 PM   #2
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Humm, I've read just about every post on every forum and although there have been some issues with every single brand, I don't remember reading anything that sounded as derogatory as what you're describing. If you're expecting to find a perfect brand, I don't think it's made. There will always be maintenance issues that must be attended to and that goes for EVERY brand of trailer/car/home/lawnmower.

I have a 1988 Scamp and have only dealt with common maintenance issues. It's been well worth the money I paid because the memories are priceless.

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:37 PM   #3
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Name: William
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There are a few manufacturers of 13' fiberglass trailers other than Scamp, although I haven't heard of the problems your talking about. The other makers are: Casita, Boler, Trillium, and Bigfoot that I can think of offhand. Others will chime in.
Love being Inneggsile
heading sloowly up the eastcoast to our next 2 month (Aug and Sept) camp hosting gig at Camden Hills State Park in Maine
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:43 PM   #4
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Hey Laurel
Can't go wrong with the Scamp (or any of the fiberglass trailers). Ours has been great and the only problems have been from previous owner "patch jobs gone wrong" There is a buyers checklist on this site that I recommend using - definitely check out your buy. The good news is that, with the help of the lovely folks on this website - who know quite a lot - you can figure out how to repair almost anything on your own.
Happy camping!
Diane D

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Old 03-21-2010, 09:21 PM   #5
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We have a 1982 Scamp 13' and have had no issues with leaks unless we left the roof vent open & it rained! We do routine maintenance & have done lots of updating of the interior, but that's all. As far as workmanship is concerned, the inside of our cabinets could have been finished to look more attractive, but that's not a big deal. Try to look at a few in person & see what you think. People ask to see our little campers everywhere we go & we've had several try to buy it, but it's not for sale!
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:45 PM   #6
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I have a 77 scamp so I can only speak for mine. Its a 32 year old trailer that was well loved and well used prior to my purchase. I've had to fix some leaks, do maintenace here and there, but overall nothing I couldn't do myself. I like the challenge it has provided. Its an older trailer so I didn't expect "mint" but I didn't pay mint either....and everytime I go camping I can't help but fall in love all over again....I would buy another scamp in a heartbeat....I camp with a young child or several children depending on how generous I'm feeling to take other kids along.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:07 AM   #7
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Laurel, I retired 6 years ago and became bored.
I bought a 78 13' Scamp and personalized it to my needs.
The third time I went camping I was offered a deal I couldn't refuse so I sold it and my new hobby started. Since then I have had several Scamps, 2 Trilliums, one U-haul and 2 Bolers that I have refurbished and sold.
In every case the repairs I made were from a lack of routine maintenance, nothing structural. The most expensive thing I did to any of them was to add complete new brake systems to 3, one stove top and replace a Mickey Mouse sky lite in the roof of a Boler with an emergency escape hatch. The rest was elbow grease a little carpentry and miscellaneous minor parts.
The stories you were told or heard sound like something a stick built trailer salesman would tell you. They are not true.
If you buy a 32 year old Scamp like Brandies and take care of it chances are your children will enjoy it when they are grown.
Use the buyer's check list on this site before you buy and don't hesitate to ask questions.
I can tell you from from experience, there is nothing more enjoyable than camping with your kids or grand kids.
Good luck,
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:08 AM   #8
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Laurel, since 1980 I've had three Scamp 13s of various years, a Scamp 16, and a Scamp 19. I've also had a Love Bug II, a Burro 17' widebody, a Trillium 4500, a UHaul CT13, a Bigfoot 17CB, a Bigfoot 25RQ, and a half-dozen Airstream trailers of varying ages and sizes.

Of all of the small, lightweight trailers I've had, I think the Scamp 16 I had was my favorite. I'd buy another Scamp without hesitation. I don't know what you've read that was negative, but I can't agree with it. All trailers need maintenance. Each brand is built a little differently and each manufacturer uses different sealants, windows, and mounts cabinets etc. differently. Each requires their own kinds of maintenance, but they all need it.

You really can't go wrong with any of the fiberglass trailers you might find.

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Old 03-22-2010, 06:25 AM   #9
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Scamps are really good trailers ..........along with all the other fiberglass trailers but you have to remember that most of the posts on these forums are of very old trailers. try buying a "stickie" and compare the same age trailer and you will see that the fiberglass trailers last much longer.
Joe and Linda
2013 Casita SD
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:59 AM   #10
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Hi: Laurel P... I'm in the midst of a 1973 Boler rebuild. It really needs everything replaced/rebuilt. There is nothing that can't be replaced/resealed/repainted or cleaned up. Basically I got it for the flatbed ride here so I expected the project status!!! The first one we had was in campin/towaway condition and the prices reflected the condition. Main thing with these little "EGGS" is having fun with them!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:23 AM   #11
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Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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On the other hand, one thing to know (and this holds true many/all trailer brands in varying degrees, not specifically just Scamp) is that there are two factors that can result in some less-than-ultimate construction methods:

1) Cost

2) Weight

Let's face it, most of our trailers were built to be lightweight and affordable. Usually, super-heavy-duty things are not also super lightweight (or of they are, e.g. carbon fiber, they are not economical).

If our trailers were not lightweight and affordable, I, for one, would not be able to have one.

On the "affordable" end, these were made in a production setting (and again, this is not just Scamp). Generally, it's not easy to keep (and pay) an expert, artisan crew in a fiberglass factory. Things that take large amounts of dollars, skill, or time (also = money), are a bit of a problem.

Take rivets, for example. Are they the ultimate best way to assemble the cabinetry to the shell? No, not in my opinion. But they are fast, only require one person to install, and do not require a great amount of skill. And, they do the job.

I'd rather see cabinets tabbed in with fiberglass. Well, Trillium did this. So the Trillium is the overall better trailer, right? Well, they attached their belly band with mild steel plates embedded in the trailer, and vintage Trillium owners have to deal with that.

Scamp uses a wafer type board for their floors, and it's not fiberglassed (as I understand, it is resin coated, but correct me if I'm wrong). That's a weak point, as it can rot (from above, due to leaks). Okay, so Perris Pacer made their shell a complete "egg," so maybe that's the way to go. Well, then any leaks into a PP completely rot the floor, because it holds water like a bathtub.

I could go on and on, listing pros and cons of all trailers, but you probably get the idea. In almost all cases (with used trailers) it comes down to how well it was maintained.

Note that there are manufacturers who build a premium product, such as Oliver, to name just one. But they are in a different league, really, and cost double or triple that of a Scamp. Most people can't compare regardless of price, but do have to consider price. Still, I'm sure even they have some flaws.

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Old 03-23-2010, 04:50 PM   #12
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Two years ago this month I purchased a 1977 13' Scamp. I bought it cheap, and it was in a heap! Here is what sold me on Fiberglass. And I have to agree with Raya... When I got this thing off craigslist sight unseen. I drove 100 miles that night to pick it up. The owner said it had rubber that would hold air. That was about it. I knew without any doubt that no matter what the condition... it could be rebuilt good as new. The thing about this breed of trailers is that they are basically two boats banded together. When we pulled up it was just as described. Gutted, deer blood spatters everywhere (Inside). The only appliance left in it was the cook top. My Wife and I spent about 4 days cleaning and painting, fixing gobs of holes, put in some carpet and some flooring. We took it out for our first camping trip a week later. Now here is the part that sold me. Prior to that day I had been searching for over 6 months for a trailer I could both afford and pull behind my 4Runner. Every other trailer I could afford was wooden or such, had extensive damage and weighed way too much. I got to thinking... you look out in the harbor on any given day and you see hundreds of boats pushing 30-50 years old. Being used daily in the harshest environments around. And they keep on floating, those in the worst shape get restored, and live again. And true to the math... Our little 32 year old horribly neglected trailer is just as good as new, with allot of elbow grease and some help from the Group of patrons of this site. Like the other posters ours was a sorry mess when we bought it. But I was looking for a project. I see ones a lot older than ours, sell, that look and use just as a brand new one off the line. I have two kids and we love our Scamp. But I can say you would be just as happy with any of the Fiberglass RV's.

For a new owner I would recommend putting a list of requirements together (What you want in an RV). Ask questions here, about different breeds of the chickens that lay glass eggs. And then make your purchase based on a model that fits your needs. Because Scamps come in 3 sizes, but the configurations are endless. And that can be said for all of the major brands. I can only vouch for Scamp specifically.

Happy Camping to you!!!
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:11 PM   #13
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Name: Darnelle
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp
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I agree! We purchased our 13' Scamp 5 years ago or so and we're hooked on fiberglass.

Our egg is a 1974 and was an extensive renovation project -- HOWEVER, no structural repairs were needed. The ONLY leak in our 5 years is the ceiling vent frame is now leaking. I think this type of repair is to be expected on all campers, but the work will be minimal in our egg. I've seen plenty of leaking ceiling vents in stick-built campers and it seems the damage is usually extensive because the leak is undetected until there is major damage. Our fiberglass camper has no place for leaks to hide and extremely few items could be damaged in such an event! I noticed water on the fiberglass cabinet and a bit on the floor after a rain (vent closed) and there was only one place it could be coming from. (I found no water damage and no leaks during the restore.)

The only negative for us is we are now a family of four (including the 95-pound dog) so we are thinking we would be more comfortable in a 16' -- but we can't bear the thought of selling the 13-footer!

My opinion is you will never regret buying a fiberglass camper. Just don't buy a project egg if that isn't your thing. And if you became the first person I've known with an egg who didn't like it -- it would always sell.

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Old 03-23-2010, 09:59 PM   #14
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Gee, I don't know.
My aunt and uncle only towed their little Scamp around for 15 years or so without any major problems, so who's to know????


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