Newbys beware! - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-01-2014, 03:46 PM   #1
Senior Member
Name: Tonnie
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 162
Newbys beware!

Thank goodness for this site and the input of other generous owners! If I had not taken time to really research and ask questions about our 1979 13 ft. Scamp, I would have just jumped in and ruined it.

I had plans to pull out the fiberglass kitchen. By reading here, I now know that the kitchen with it's wrought iron posts, and the closet opposite, are integral to the strength of the entire camper. That's a can of worms I don't want to open.

I've also found out that I need to balance the weight over the axle. Otherwise, I would have been putting a fridge, microwave, and air conditioner all on the kitchen side.

Additionally, I would have started hanging shelves, etc. without realizing I was making holes in FIBERGLASS! I would have hung blinds to discover they would not work correctly, as is, because of the curvature of the walls.

So, as a Newby who thankfully does not currently have the money to do anything to our precious, new to us, Scamp, I warn other excited impulsive new owners to stop and do their research... Take advantage of the wisdom offered on this site and really think things through.

That's my two cents worth for whatever that's worth nowadays!

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Old 07-01-2014, 04:23 PM   #2
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Posts: 3,129
On the worth of your 2 cents. Since this site has members throughout North America it somewhat depends on the current exchange rate. :-)

I am often amazed at the collection of talents, knowledge and creativity on this forum. From repairs major and minor to decorating to camping tips, all freely offered. I'm +1 on it's a way cool site.

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Old 07-01-2014, 04:51 PM   #3
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,729
Tonnie, you did yourself a big favour to take the time to read up on all the topics before you just went ahead and gutted the trailer. In my time here all to often when someone just jumps in and start ripping things out of the trailer and throwing them away, it does not end well. Not uncommon for the same trailer to be put on the market as a very big project trailer a year or so later, still gutted!
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:13 PM   #4
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Name: Sarah
Trailer: 1984 13' Scamp named "Ramblin Rose"
Posts: 158
Originally Posted by Tonnie View Post
I had plans to pull out the fiberglass kitchen. By reading here, I now know that the kitchen with it's wrought iron posts, and the closet opposite, are integral to the strength of the entire camper. That's a can of worms I don't want to open.
This isn't as big of a deal as you are making it out to be - just support the roof somehow if you do temporarily remove those, and all will be fine. The bigger problem is people not realizing that something as "simple" looking as the iron support is structural, and not just decorative - and they remove it and don't replace it with anything at all. Then the roof will sag, potentially crack to fiberglass, and you can have catastrophic damage that is much more difficult to deal with.

I am in the middle of some minor modifications before my '84 scamp is camp-ready for this summer, but after this summer's camping season I plan on removing and painting ALL of the interior cabinets (they are all in rough shape - if they weren't already covered in dings and extra holes I'd leave them alone) as well replacing the ensolite with something else (probably reflectix and hull liner) so that I can hide most of the 12v wiring that I'm currently adding - most of the wiring is in fact hidden behind cabinets, but there is some (like for the fans I've added to the escape hatch) that will have very visible wiring until I can replace the wall covering. I'm okay with that for now, but I'd like to make it all a little nicer in the future.

My advice for anyone is to do as MUCH research as you can before jumping into any camper related project - and if you must cut something or drill holes to complete the job, plan carefully, and then I would suggest stepping away for a while, and evaluating the situation again before starting to do anything. That way you won't be rushed and make a mistake that will be difficult to fix, or do something and realize after the fact that there was a better way to do it.

This is part of why I am still "thinking" on my closet A/C install - I have all the parts, and I'm 99% ready to cut a hole in my camper for ventilation, but I don't want to rush the job and regret doing something later. In the meantime I've completed a number of other small jobs (plumbing, electrical) that don't require doing anything destructive
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:21 PM   #5
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 24,540
Sarah, GREAT ADVICE. But, the bottom line is no one needs to (re)build an all molded towable (UNLESS it's not safe). Camp in the dang thing, figure out what works for you and what DOESN'T work for you. It's not about US, it's about YOU and your NEEDs.

Make sure your all molded towable is safe to go down the road and clean (YOUR dirt is cleaner than THEIR dirt). Everything else is GRAVY.

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:29 PM   #6
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Name: Lesa
Trailer: 1983 13' Scamp
South Dakota
Posts: 136
Thanks for writing this and reinforcing some things that I too figured out. I'm glad I am researching daily.

I thought Scamp trailers were very expensive. I'm on a fixed and low income. I had been full-timing in my Chevy Van after returning from a number of years living in Costa Rica. After 1 1/2 years of full-timing, I began looking at all kinds of campers. My Scamp found me for an incredible price. And to my surprise, the project is manageable. I will be making some major things right although it will be more time consuming than expensive. I think that my great deal is one of those projects that the elderly PO couldn't finish.

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