New (to us) Scamp... with some issues to work out - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-20-2009, 12:03 AM   #1
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Trailer: 2005 13 ft Scamp
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Angry

Hi everyone!

We finally have our new (to us) Scamp home after our first outing. Overall we had a good week camping and enjoyed the benefits of the scamp (it sure was cold and windy there and we were glad to have shelter)! We camped for a total of 5 nights (at Sunset State Beach outside of Watsonville, CA) and relocated from site to site for 4 of the 5 nights. It was more difficult to set up and break down camp than we had expected any helpful hints in this area would be appreciated (although I am sure that everyone organizes their campers differently based on their needs). We have a family of 4 (plus 2 dogs) camping in a 13' trailer, and while the size is perfect once we are set up, the loading and unloading was a bit much more than we were hoping.

Anyway, we had some more specific questions. Please

1. Our battery died after the first night. We went to OSH and bought a solar trickle charger, but it didn't charge the battery so we used flashlights for the remainder of the trip...just like in the tent! How long should a trailer battery last when all you are using are a light or two for an hour or so? Does anyone know what kind (size?) of solar system is appropriate for charging the battery? Has anyone here used a wind generator for charging a trailer battery?

2. We couldn't get the 3-way fridge to work on propane. Several very helpful campers in the cg tried to help us, but to no avail. We followed the instructions inside the panel but we could never see a pilot actually light and the fridge didn't get cold! We had to use a cooler with ice... Anyone have any ideas? We KNOW we had propane in the tank because we filled it before we started, and we used the propane stove with great success.

3. My husband and I were sharing the "double" bed in the scamp. The cushions are wider than the table beneath (not to mention the dog-eared edges) so my DH felt like he was going over the edge all night long. He was very uncomfortable and said that if he had his camp pad he would have been sleeping outside. Has anyone run into this problem? Does anyone have suggestions to provide support under the cushions without ruining the table?

for any help!

Sincerely,
Crystal

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Old 04-20-2009, 06:35 AM   #2
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Hi everyone!
3. My husband and I were sharing the "double" bed in the scamp. The cushions are wider than the table beneath (not to mention the dog-eared edges) so my DH felt like he was going over the edge all night long. He was very uncomfortable and said that if he had his camp pad he would have been sleeping outside. Has anyone run into this problem? Does anyone have suggestions to provide support under the cushions without ruining the table?

for any help!

Sincerely,
Crystal
Try pulling the table away from the wall enough to support the cushions at the kitchen edge of the bed. The gap is not as noticeable when at the window edge (you CAN'T roll off from that edge) You could also carry a piece of wood to fill that gap for future trips.

I sleep at "his" side and I agree; when the cushions are not supported I do feel like I am rolling off the bed.
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:52 AM   #3
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Hi: Crystal B... I simply pulled out the table 4"s. then made a cardboard template of the space and cut a piece of board to fit the curved back wall. All well and good if your scamp doesn't have the hinge style table mount!!! Our former Boler table came off the wall completely.
Living on the edge is one thing...sleeping on it's another!!!
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:57 AM   #4
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First times out camping with my trailer it did seem to take quite a bit of time to setup or strike camp. Now I've got it down to a science. Involve everyone in the effort. I don't know how old your children are, but get them involved in setup and cleanup as well. Lawn chairs placed, door map in it's spot. Wood placed for campfire, etc. And, of course it depends upon how much "stuff" I take as to how long it takes. But, I'd rather it take whatever time it takes, than stay home and clean house!
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:19 AM   #5
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hi there, I'm sorry you didn't have more fun on your first outing.

for your 3 way fridge, i'd recommend having it serviced at an RV center, let the pros have the headache, especially when safety is concerned.

and for your battery, have a look at it, is it just a car battery, or is it a deep cycle marine type? the difference is a deep cycle is meant to be depleted and charged, whereas a car battery is not as forgiving. for a solar setup i'd think you wouldn't want any less than a 30 watt system to top up a battery during the day. 30 watts will deliver about 4 amps, enough to put a little life back in. that's what i have, and along with a new group 27 marine battery, i can run my lights at night, and my furnace when it's cold and have the panel charge it back up.

you also may want to consider replacing your lights with l.e.d. lights, as they use about 1/10th the draw. think about it, 1 light on for 1 hour is the same as 1 light on for 10 hours, or 10 lights on for 1 hour. way worth the investment.

have fun and stay dry
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:11 AM   #6
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I'm a bit of an organizer....each trip I've taken I find something that might work out better "next time". Ie the placement of pots and pans, where to hide the chairs ect. The fridge needs to be LEVEL LEVEL LEVEL......I got a $2.00 bubble level and for my trailer, I level the trailer according to the fridge. So as I set up I peek in the fridge 3 or 4 times to check the that the level placed in the middle of the fridge is "just so" anything less and my fridge is a stuborn beast and refuses to get cold....also a day or 2 BEFOR my trips I plug it in and get it cold via electricity. The first time trying to lite it took me and a fellow camper oh about 3 beers and much curssing. When I got it home after that trip I leveled it babied it and it still took some time (the trailer is a 77)....nowdays that I've run it a couple of times with success it starts like a champ.

Get those rubbermaid containers and have a place for everything and everything in its place. I have one for food, one for clotes ect and so on. Each time I use something I put it back in its original spot that so next time I go looking for it, its where I expect it to be. You'll get the hang or it and find a system that works for you. Less is more IMO and either send the kids and dogs away from the campsite or set them to task....I find it easier to "do it myself" becasue I know where everything is and the trailer gets to cramped with people mulling about inside while I get set up. Have fun and remember...your camping while everyone else is working.....
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:05 AM   #7
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I'm wondering if you frig. problem is associated with the battery. I would fix the battery problem first.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:22 AM   #8
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HOLY COW, family of 4 w/2 dogs in a 13'er???? You folks have got guts. I can suggest a few things about setting up, but can't help with more space. One of the things you can do is to make reservations before you get there to lighten up on the moves from site to site if your staying in one park for any length of time The first thing I do is get the trailer into the site like momma wants it, somtimes that takes more tries and time than anything else, then level from side to side with different thickness boards, I then lower the stab jacks on the back to make sure they have room come down, then chock wheels, unhook from tow vehicle and level from front to back, then adjust stab jacks, hook up water, electric, start water heater, crank out awning, unpack lawn chairs etc. Meanwhile momma is inside doing here thing and we're set up in 20 minutes. We do use the plastic containers to pack everything, they work well pack n stack for travel. It just takes a times to get the rythem of things and then it becomes easier, good luck
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:08 AM   #9
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1. Our battery died after the first night. We went to OSH and bought a solar trickle charger, but it didn't charge the battery so we used flashlights for the remainder of the trip...just like in the tent! How long should a trailer battery last when all you are using are a light or two for an hour or so? Does anyone know what kind (size?) of solar system is appropriate for charging the battery? Has anyone here used a wind generator for charging a trailer battery?

2. We couldn't get the 3-way fridge to work on propane. Several very helpful campers in the cg tried to help us, but to no avail. We followed the instructions inside the panel but we could never see a pilot actually light and the fridge didn't get cold! We had to use a cooler with ice... Anyone have any ideas? We KNOW we had propane in the tank because we filled it before we started, and we used the propane stove with great success.

3. My husband and I were sharing the "double" bed in the scamp. The cushions are wider than the table beneath (not to mention the dog-eared edges) so my DH felt like he was going over the edge all night long. He was very uncomfortable and said that if he had his camp pad he would have been sleeping outside. Has anyone run into this problem? Does anyone have suggestions to provide support under the cushions without ruining the table?

Crystal
Crystal,

We have a 2004 Scamp 13.

1. There are a lot of variables on the battery, and others here will surely chime in. Solar charging will take a pretty serious investment if you want to recharge in just a few hours. The conventional bulbs, small as they are, use a lot of power, so they could be the culprit. Or, your battery could just be at the end of its life. Look for discussions here about converting to LED lights if you plan to go without 120V for extended periods. I think I've seen some discussion about wind generators as well, but I don't think that's very practical or worth the cost. For us, we usually camp where electricity is available, and the tow vehicle charges the battery reasonably well while we drive. We have stayed overnight without AC power, though, and did fine even with the orginal bulb setup..... but we have LEDs now.

2. The propane fridge works really well, even though it may seem hard to light. The flame is really tiny, so if the ambient light is very bright, you won't see it. Often, you can hear a little pop as the propane lights if you listen carefully. Be sure to hold the knob down for 30 seconds or so to give the thermocouple a chance to heat up. Otherwise, when you let up, it extinguished the flame. After a minute or so, you can feel heat around the chimney area just above where the little peep-hole is located. Oh, and if you haven' used the propane for some time, light the stove first to help get air out of the system. Trailer leveling is important for the fridge to work well, but it doesn't impact your ability to light the propane. If you really can't get it to light, better go for service.

3. Early on, I cut a 1/4" piece of plywood, about 12-14" wide, to put across that edge of the bed. It's long enough to overlap the closet and sink area at either end. When the dinette is set up, the plywood goes under the front bunk. I rounded the corners and sanded all the edges, so it doesn't snag the cushion fabric. Totally solves the problem. It really doesn't take much, but without it, the bed really is uncomfortable.

I hope this helps. It takes time to sort these things out, but overall it's a lot of fun.

Parker



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Old 04-20-2009, 12:11 PM   #10
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Cut a piece of 1x6 pine to fit from side to side resting on the ledges, sand and urethane. Pull the table out from the wall and place the board between the table and the wall. When you make up the bed leave the board there as a handy shelf for kleenex and deck of cards etc.
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:48 PM   #11
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Try pulling the table away from the wall enough to support the cushions at the kitchen edge of the bed. The gap is not as noticeable when at the window edge (you CAN'T roll off from that edge) You could also carry a piece of wood to fill that gap for future trips.

I sleep at "his" side and I agree; when the cushions are not supported I do feel like I am rolling off the bed.

Thank you Carol Ann! I didn't think to try to pull the table away from the wall. That would have been easy!



Crystal
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:49 PM   #12
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Trailer: 2005 13 ft Scamp
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Hi everyone!

We finally have our new (to us) Scamp home after our first outing. Overall we had a good week camping and enjoyed the benefits of the scamp (it sure was cold and windy there and we were glad to have shelter)! We camped for a total of 5 nights (at Sunset State Beach outside of Watsonville, CA) and relocated from site to site for 4 of the 5 nights. It was more difficult to set up and break down camp than we had expected any helpful hints in this area would be appreciated (although I am sure that everyone organizes their campers differently based on their needs). We have a family of 4 (plus 2 dogs) camping in a 13' trailer, and while the size is perfect once we are set up, the loading and unloading was a bit much more than we were hoping.

Anyway, we had some more specific questions. Please

1. Our battery died after the first night. We went to OSH and bought a solar trickle charger, but it didn't charge the battery so we used flashlights for the remainder of the trip...just like in the tent! How long should a trailer battery last when all you are using are a light or two for an hour or so? Does anyone know what kind (size?) of solar system is appropriate for charging the battery? Has anyone here used a wind generator for charging a trailer battery?

2. We couldn't get the 3-way fridge to work on propane. Several very helpful campers in the cg tried to help us, but to no avail. We followed the instructions inside the panel but we could never see a pilot actually light and the fridge didn't get cold! We had to use a cooler with ice... Anyone have any ideas? We KNOW we had propane in the tank because we filled it before we started, and we used the propane stove with great success.

3. My husband and I were sharing the "double" bed in the scamp. The cushions are wider than the table beneath (not to mention the dog-eared edges) so my DH felt like he was going over the edge all night long. He was very uncomfortable and said that if he had his camp pad he would have been sleeping outside. Has anyone run into this problem? Does anyone have suggestions to provide support under the cushions without ruining the table?

for any help!

Sincerely,
Crystal

Thank you all so much for the helpful tips and suggestions. I will try them next weekend and hope for the best!

Crystal

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Old 04-20-2009, 05:51 PM   #13
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Crystal,

We have a 2004 Scamp 13.

1. There are a lot of variables on the battery, and others here will surely chime in. Solar charging will take a pretty serious investment if you want to recharge in just a few hours. The conventional bulbs, small as they are, use a lot of power, so they could be the culprit. Or, your battery could just be at the end of its life. Look for discussions here about converting to LED lights if you plan to go without 120V for extended periods. I think I've seen some discussion about wind generators as well, but I don't think that's very practical or worth the cost. For us, we usually camp where electricity is available, and the tow vehicle charges the battery reasonably well while we drive. We have stayed overnight without AC power, though, and did fine even with the orginal bulb setup..... but we have LEDs now.

2. The propane fridge works really well, even though it may seem hard to light. The flame is really tiny, so if the ambient light is very bright, you won't see it. Often, you can hear a little pop as the propane lights if you listen carefully. Be sure to hold the knob down for 30 seconds or so to give the thermocouple a chance to heat up. Otherwise, when you let up, it extinguished the flame. After a minute or so, you can feel heat around the chimney area just above where the little peep-hole is located. Oh, and if you haven' used the propane for some time, light the stove first to help get air out of the system. Trailer leveling is important for the fridge to work well, but it doesn't impact your ability to light the propane. If you really can't get it to light, better go for service.

3. Early on, I cut a 1/4" piece of plywood, about 12-14" wide, to put across that edge of the bed. It's long enough to overlap the closet and sink area at either end. When the dinette is set up, the plywood goes under the front bunk. I rounded the corners and sanded all the edges, so it doesn't snag the cushion fabric. Totally solves the problem. It really doesn't take much, but without it, the bed really is uncomfortable.

I hope this helps. It takes time to sort these things out, but overall it's a lot of fun.

Parker

Hi Parker,

We did hear a "pop" so I wonder if it was lit and we just couldn't tell. We left it "on" for a while and it didn't feel appreciably cold...but then it was a cold environment so our hands were chilly before we started.

Thank you for the good ideas.
Smiles,
Crystal
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:52 PM   #14
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HOLY COW, family of 4 w/2 dogs in a 13'er???? You folks have got guts. I can suggest a few things about setting up, but can't help with more space. One of the things you can do is to make reservations before you get there to lighten up on the moves from site to site if your staying in one park for any length of time The first thing I do is get the trailer into the site like momma wants it, somtimes that takes more tries and time than anything else, then level from side to side with different thickness boards, I then lower the stab jacks on the back to make sure they have room come down, then chock wheels, unhook from tow vehicle and level from front to back, then adjust stab jacks, hook up water, electric, start water heater, crank out awning, unpack lawn chairs etc. Meanwhile momma is inside doing here thing and we're set up in 20 minutes. We do use the plastic containers to pack everything, they work well pack n stack for travel. It just takes a times to get the rythem of things and then it becomes easier, good luck

Hi Bill,

Well, we figure that the 13' trailer is a LOT bigger than the tent we used to all crowd into!
We will be investing in some containers for storage very soon.

Thank you.
Crystal
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