Leaf spring vs torsion axle: 1998 Scamp 13' - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-27-2014, 04:23 AM   #1
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Leaf spring vs torsion axle: 1998 Scamp 13'

I'm just starting to update my 1998 Scamp and was curious about the differences between the two axle choices. The leaf spring is much cheaper and will be easier to fix, so I guess the real question is whether a torsion axle is worth it and if there are clear advantages over the leaf spring? I'm hoping to increase the clearance by adding 15" tires, but am uncertain about the logistics of this as far as the type of axle, etc. Any information you could provide would be really helpful!! Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2014, 05:21 AM   #2
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I'm just starting to update my 1998 Scamp and was curious about the differences between the two axle choices. The leaf spring is much cheaper and will be easier to fix, so I guess the real question is whether a torsion axle is worth it and if there are clear advantages over the leaf spring? I'm hoping to increase the clearance by adding 15" tires, but am uncertain about the logistics of this as far as the type of axle, etc. Any information you could provide would be really helpful!! Thanks!

Leaf springs on these lite trailers tend to break quite easily if for some reason your brakes are set too high and you stop quick as the lite spring will tend to snap off due to the quick twist
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Old 06-27-2014, 05:27 AM   #3
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Are you referring to trailer brakes? I'm pretty certain the 13' Scamp doesn't have trailer brakes.
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Old 06-27-2014, 05:36 AM   #4
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Are you referring to trailer brakes? I'm pretty certain the 13' Scamp doesn't have trailer brakes.
Yes If applied too hard and quick light spring tends to snap
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:28 PM   #5
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I own a 41 year old Compact Jr and a 34 year old Bigfoot. Both have their original leaf springs and both have been stopped with max braking repeatedly. I've read this forum for 10 years and have read very little about broken leaf springs. This is not the case for worn out rubber torsion axles, which is very frequently discussed.
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:12 PM   #6
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The 13' Scamp originally has a torsion axle. I've read in these forums about some kind of "bounce test" to verify the quality of the current axle but am not quite understanding what this is. As it sits, I may just put the new tires on it for now and save money to invest in another torsion axle to help increase clearance. Another member stated she used the dexter axle with a 45 degree and added 15" tires to get 6-8" on clearance. I definitely need to do more research!! Thanks!!
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:36 PM   #7
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I've read in these forums about some kind of "bounce test" to verify the quality of the current axle but am not quite understanding what this is.
The bounce test is simple. Get someone to stand on the rear bumper and bounce the trailer up and down. At the same time watch your torsion arms. If the arms are moving (i.e. rotating) your axle is doing what it should. If the arms don't move and the only bounce you get is from the tires, you axle is shot.

Alternatively, jack up your trailer, remove the tire and see if you can get the torsion arm to move up and down at the spindle end using a pry bar.
You should get about 3" total movement.

Think of a torsion axle like a MacPherson strut. It is your spring and shock combined.
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