Help with Scamp 13 options - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-15-2011, 03:56 AM   #1
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Name: Gary & Kan-Mui
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Help with Scamp 13 options

We intend to order a Scamp 13 Layout 2 with most options in Jan for delivery in Jul, when we return to central WI after 3 decades in China. We plan to use the Scamp to see the USA (48 states & Alaska) in 2-3 years, traveling annually from Sep to May. Before we place our order, we would like to hear from fellow travelers with similar experience about several of the options we are considering.

Air-conditioner If we travel in northern & central states Sep-Nov / Apr-May and southern states Dec-Mar, how essential is A/C? If used only sparingly, would a small portable unit vented through window work satisfactorily? Has anyone used this alternative?

Awning If we stay in places only 1-2 days and focus on “sight-seeing”, how essential is an awning? If we ever were to opt for extended camping, would a portable screen house be satisfactory? Again, has anyone used this alternative?

TV antenna We may not have a TV in the trailer, but if we do, how good is reception with this option? Are there other alternatives?

Thanks...and we look forward to hearing from you.

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Old 12-15-2011, 04:44 AM   #2
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Name: Chris
Trailer: 2010 Scamp 16 ft
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I have a 16 footer with all those options and only my opinion:
Air Conditioner - its nice to have on those hot days, but if you get the fantastic fan it's so powerful that it will draw a hurricane with the windows open. Plus it works off the battery so you don't need AC power hookup.
Awning - again nice to have but not necessary. It will not sheald you from the bugs. I like it because it only takes a few minuets to pull out but you have to be careful with it. You don't want to use it if its more than 5-10 knot wind.
Antenna - if we are in a location that provides TV signal (which tends to not be the case with us because we are way in the boonies most of the time) then yes it works good. We live in Albany ny and we receive about 20 digital TV channels.
Good luck!
Chris
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:11 AM   #3
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Hi folks and welcome to the forum. Sounds like the end of one adventure and the start of another. Good for you.

Air conditioning- obviously requires shore power or a generator. We skipped it and use a small window fan instead.

Awning- very nice to have especially if you camp where there is no shade, i.e. the south west, or near the shore. We made our own from a piece of ripstop and some Velcro. Some folks have a screen/sun room instead.

TV Antenna- the best TV antennas are directional. I would buy an aftermarket antenna.

Enjoy your trailer shopping. Raz
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:44 AM   #4
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I don't fulltime, but I would not be without the air conditioner. Ours has a heater built in. We are leaving for FL in a few days, so we will be using the heater until it warms up and then switch to the air conditioner. We just make sure we find campgrounds with electricity.

We also have a FirstUp screen house that we use rather than an awning. As was previously stated, awnings don't keep out bugs, and I would not be camping if we did not use this. We set it up against the camper with the camper side screens tied up. It leaves gaps between the trailer and the screen house, but the bugs don't seem to find it, at least not too many. Ours has held up for 3 years now and does a nice job against all the storms we have encountered. Walmart has them online for 69.00. Ours is like an additional room for living. Kevin cooks in it when it is raining. In fact, since we got the Coleman stove and the FirstUp, we have not used the inside stove.



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Old 12-15-2011, 05:59 AM   #5
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Hi Gary,
We don't have a Scamp, but have A/C, TV, and an awning. We live in NH and the A/C has only been turned on once. If all your camping is in northern states, skip it. If you plan to go south in the warmer months, you'll probably use it. Most of the campgrounds in southern states have power hookups. Up here in NH, a good furnace is a must.

TV is nice, but reception depends on where you camp. Remote areas have little or no reception. Ours is a Sensar antenna on a painter's pole. The antenna feeds a wallplate with an built-in amplifier ( Winegard Co - Winegard® Wallplate Amplifier with 12V Receptacle - RV Supplies - Camping World ). The pole telescopes and allows rotating the antenna manually. The TV has a built in DVD, which does get used.

I like having an awning, since we don't cook inside the camper. We use folding tables to set up a kitchen area under the awning. However, wind is a problem and when the wind picks up, we retract the awning. Spring and summer camping in the northeast means bugs (black flies and mosquitos). We pack a screen room and set it up when bugs are a problem. It's also more wind-resistant and serves for cooking on occasion.
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:55 AM   #6
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Scamp TV, Awning and AC

Air Conditioning. We generally time our travel to the weather and are in the south in the Winter and rarely need AC. Last winter we only used the Casita's air two or three times and probably not for more than an hour or two.

In our Scamp we have added a traditional, small AC to the bottom of the closet because we'll be traveling across the midwest in the summer. I think that for a continuous traveler like you plan to be that putting AC into and out of a window may become a drag.

Awning. We do not have an awning. We find that you often have to take your awning down if you're leaving your site, particularly in the windy states. In 10 years I've seen many awnings ruined by wind and occasionally by rain. I think they are more useful for weekend campers who tend to be around their rigs most of the time. I think long distance campers tend to be away from their rig exploring during the day.

We also don't carry a screen room. Generally bugs have not been an issue for us. As well, we don't cook meals outside. We usually cook breakfast and supper inside.

Television. We started off thinking we didn't need TV and were happy with the antenna TV. After the second year we added Satellite TV because we're gone so much, 7-11 months.

I do see the technology for TV changing rapidly and soon TV will be coming to will be on demand, over hi speed wireless. Already Netflex consumes over 50% of the Internet bandwidth between 6 and 10PM.

Obviously there are a lot of different RV styles. I think that when you're traveling all the time you need a defined place for everything (probably like in airliner) and don't want to unload or move a lot of stuff each night to make your bed or cook a meal. We try to be as organized as possible and minimize the effort of setting up and simply living.

Welcome to the adventure
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:41 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum! I'm glad to hear of your plans. Makes me itchy to get going too!

I don't have AC because I rarely stay where I have shore power. Sometimes I suffer for that . I'm out during all the hottest months. If you plan your travels to follow the better weather, you can probably do without one. It's really a personal choice though. If you are traveling Sept to May, I would say you really don't need it. You should have very good cooler conditions most of the time. Think about good heat though. Even Arizona gets cold at night in winter.

Awnings are a nice idea, but haven't worked for me. The reason is wind. When you need it most (heavy rain and wind), you have to roll it up or risk losing it.

If you travel to many areas, especially Alaska, you will need a screen room or some similar structure. The mosquitos in some areas can be overwhelming. I carry a separate tent that is heavy duty enough to stand the weather. It has enough screened windows for hot use too. Most of the screen rooms and similar structures are too fragile for my use. YMMV. My tent is a Black Pine 6 person. They also make a screen house that is a little tougher than most:

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Old 12-15-2011, 10:22 AM   #8
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Although I have an Escape 17, I can comment on the options you are considering. I have a roof top AC, and have to admit there were a couple of days throughout last summer that I was glad I had it. Still, I often found I was in a "no hook up" site (I don't carry a generator) when I wanted it. The Fantastic fan provided plenty of air movement & as long as it was under 100°F, I really didn't need the AC. It would probably be quite different if I was in the humid south...

I did use the awning quite a bit - it provided shade & a bit of protection from light rain or mist. I was nervous about leaving it open - in some locations the wind could go from dead calm to 15 - 20 mph in no time. I never left it open when I was away from the trailer.

As to the TV antenna - I did have one installed, but mostly for resale value - I rarely watch TV. I don't take one with me, but have a USB tuner for my laptop. The only time over the 111 days I tried to use it was when one of my former students was receiving a Tony Award (for sound design for the Book of Mormon), and I couldn't get a signal where I was camped.

For me, the most appreciated options include the front storage box, LED lighting & a 95 Watt Solar system.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:43 AM   #9
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Ditto on Jon's comments. Our 80 watt solar and LEDs are truly positive. Instead of a front storage box, we have a rear storage box. Of all my mods Ginny also appreciates the rear cloths line, great for towel drying and swim suits.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:58 AM   #10
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I think you should get all three. You'll be living in your Scamp for extended periods so for the times they would be helpful it pays off.

A/C - in the south you never know when it's going to be 90 with 100% humidity. When we had the 13 ft Scamp the A/C could freeze us out under those conditions. We mostly winter camped, it's just the way it is down here.

Awning - The way ours was attached water ran under it down the front of the Scamp so we still got wet but not as much as no awning. You could fashion a gutter to help alleviate that. As stated they should be stowed in heavy wind/rain. We mostly use ours as a sun shade and not an umbrella.

TV Antenna - We didn't have one in the Scamp but do/did on our last two campers. Getting the local weather forecast is invaluable. I know you should also have a weather radio but in a area that's new it's nice to see an in motion map with the weather pattern. Laptop could substitute but no signal no dice, same for TV... add the weather radio and with all three your covered (not counting smartphone etc...).

Get the Brakes. They were not standard on ours so we added them. If they are still not standard get them. If you ever need to manually engage them from the brake controller...

-John
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:02 AM   #11
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it Depends

It all depends on you and what you want to do. If you want camp in RV resorts and place with electricity hookups in hot and humid weather, then A/C might used. If you're one that watches a lot of television you might be able to use the TV antenna some. Awning??? Usage might be limited.

All of these things require another hole in shell, meaning another leak point.

If you're going to be camping in National Parks or National Forests these options won't be much good to you.

What's the difference between RV resorts, many state parks, and National Park, National Forest campground. Two big differences... The National Parks and National Forests typically don't have any hookup and cost is less than $20 per night, unless you're over 62 then the cost is 1/2 that.
Places with hookups typically run from $26 to $50+ per night.

Now it's up to you and what ever makes you happy.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:30 PM   #12
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If I were going to travel full time I would buy the 16' Scamp with the side dinette.
With the SD you can leave your bed set up all the time
I can't imagine full timing in a 13 with 2 people.
You're going to become very tired of setting up your bed every night and there is no other seating when the bed is made.
Order every storage cabinet available as storage is very limited.
I've had both and my Toyota Tacoma tows both easily.
Welcome home and enjoy your travels in our wonderful country.
John
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry J View Post
If I were going to travel full time I would buy the 16' Scamp with the side dinette.
With the SD you can leave your bed set up all the time
I can't imagine full timing in a 13 with 2 people.
You're going to become very tired of setting up your bed every night and there is no other seating when the bed is made.
Order every storage cabinet available as storage is very limited.
I've had both and my Toyota Tacoma tows both easily.
Welcome home and enjoy your travels in our wonderful country.
John
There have been a few couples full timing in a 13' trailer, at least one was about 4 years. My wife and simi-fulltime. We take off in the winter for a few months. Last winter it was almost 100 days, and we expect to be longer this year. Our choice of trailer is the 13' Scamp. No A/C, No Television, No toilet, Nothing requiring 120 volt stuff. We wouldn't trade it for anything.
The bed seems to be a huge issue to many, to us it's not a problem. Changing from bed to dinette and back is less than a 5 minute job, if you set up to make fast changes.
For almost every issue there's a solution that doesn't include towing a larger trailer. We haven't found one yet that hasn't be resolvable.
It does take some learning on how to manage in small spaces. We learned a long before purchasing our trailer, but anybody can learn if they wish. If want to learn how to manage is small spaces read as many "how to" backpacking books as you can get your hands on. Then apply many of thing present to your trailer. You'll be surprised at how easy it is the live for extended periods of time in a 10' cabin.

I do acknowledge that it's not for everybody. For us it's an unburdening experience.
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:12 PM   #14
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I agree with a number of statments in John's and Byron's posts. The primary advantage of our 16 over a 13 is the bathroom. I feel there is little towing difference between towing a 16 or 13 and certainly not an issue with your tow vehicle. I also agree with the earlier post that you should get brakes if you get a 13.

I've never bought a new trailer but I suspect the difference in price between a 13 and 16 is not proportional to their size, personally I'd go with a 16 but I'm sure one can be happy in a 13, I know our son is happy in his 13.

We've had trailers where we've left the bed set up and now, one we take apart each day. I make the bed and find that taking it apart is just as fast as having to make a perfect bed each day. It does take about 5 minutes.

We stay in all kinds campgrounds and average about $20 a day. There are lots of ways to reduce your camping bill, a whole different thread. This month it's $15 a day for camping.

I agree with get as much storage space as possible. So much of the space is not conveniently accessible or is simply inaccessible, the reason we modified our rig so much.

One thing we did before we hit the road was to move into the trailer and lived in it to figure out what we need and how we would live without hitting the road.

Another thing you could do is to make an appraisal of what you'd think you take in on paper figure out where that stuff would fit within the confines of a 13. I started with a list of each compartment and it's size and figured out where everything would go. It adds a little realism to the process before you plunk your money down.

It's great to read about people getting started. We've done all kinds of things in our lives but nothing beats RVing.... maybe there's something .....
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