Scamp '13 Rotten Floor and Frame damage. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-12-2009, 12:10 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1986 Scamp 13 ft / 1967 Volkswagen Westfalia
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Hi All. Just got home last night with my new (to me) Scamp. Overall I am very happy with the Scamp but as is the case with all used vehicles it does need some TLC.

As I understand it this Scamp has a lot of miles on it and has even been the length of Alaska.

After giving it a good look over last night I found that the floor under the front seat has rot where it meets the body and has allowed a little too much body movement up front. The tongue has also broken at some point and been repaired.

I think the best way for me to repair this is to pull up the front floor, weld in a new tongue section and then glass the new floor in. But, in looking at the structure up front I am unsure exactly how the Scamp is assembled.

1. What supports on the body on the frame?? Does the body sit on the frame and then the floor is glassed in place?

2. Does the floor have any direct structural relationship with holding the body on the frame?

3. Is there some detail on the body that captures the floor or is the floor basically glassed in place with strips of glass mat?

4. Finally - The subfloor looks to be OSB. What was the original thickness. Has anyone had any success with the modern hybrid flooring replacements (foam core / fiberglass). I am not a fan of OSB at all. At the very least I would like to use a high-strength marine ply for replacement.

Thanks in advance for the help.

-Ollie
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:43 PM   #2
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Hi Ollie,
We are in the process of replacing the subfloor on our 13' Scamp also. The entire bottom part is out right now (water damage) and we're also removing parts of the top where water leaked and sat. I'll let some of the more technical, experienced people answer most of your questions. I got all my advice from folks here! Marine ply was too expensive for me so I went with a high quality exterior ply and resin coated it thoroughly (3 apps each side and sides). We're waiting for our fiberglass biaxial tape to arrive to "tab" it into the frame for extra reinforcement. I thought the original OSB was 3/4" so I've used that same width on the new ply. Haven't installed the new floors yet. Found a lot of rust on the frame so we are sanding and sanding trying to get the rust off, then we'll prime it and put in the new floor. There is a recent thread titled "rotten subfloor" where some folks have given great info (it was my post) so check it out.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:14 PM   #3
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Thanks Karin for the response.

if you do not already have your front floor in place do you think you can snap some pics of the inside where the front of the body rests on the tongue members. I have quite a bit of fiberglass damage up there and am trying to get an idea of how everything started.

I think once the body is releveled and I have the new tongue members in place that the bottom of the floor will sit on top of the tongue members - right?

-Ollie
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:30 AM   #4
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Oliver,
I think I may have misspoke. W've removed the center part of the bottom (I said entire bottom part I think), roughly 4 X 4 piece that rests on the frame. We did not remove the front bench area so we have no view at all of the tongue.
Karin

Quote:
Thanks Karin for the response.

if you do not already have your front floor in place do you think you can snap some pics of the inside where the front of the body rests on the tongue members. I have quite a bit of fiberglass damage up there and am trying to get an idea of how everything started.

I think once the body is releveled and I have the new tongue members in place that the bottom of the floor will sit on top of the tongue members - right?

-Ollie
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:56 PM   #5
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Hi All. Just got home last night with my new (to me) Scamp. Overall I am very happy with the Scamp but as is the case with all used vehicles it does need some TLC.

As I understand it this Scamp has alot of miles on it and has even been the length of Alaska.

After giving it a good look over last night I found that the floor under the front seat has rot where it meets the body and has allowed a little too much body movement up front. The tongue has also broken at some point and been repaired.

I think the best way for me to repair this is to pull up the front floor, weld in a new tongue section and then glass the new floor in. But, in looking at the structure up front I am unsure exacly how the Scamp is assembled.

1. What supports on the body on the frame?? Does the body sit on the frame and then the floor is glassed in place?

2. Does the floor have any direct structural relationship with holding the body on the frame?

3. Is there some detail on the body that captures the floor or is the floor basically glassed in place with strips of glass matt?

4. Finally - The subfloor looks to be OSB. What was the original thickness. Has anyone had any success with the modern hybrid flooring replacements (foam core / fibreglass). I am not a fan of OSB at all. At the very leasy I would like to use a high-strength marine ply for replacement.

Thanks in advance for the help.

-Ollie
With regards to the structural relationship of the body on the frame with respect to the floor, a few years ago I had to replace the rear floor on a Scamp 16 and was dismayed to find that the floor was indeed structural with respect to holding the body to the frame. I called the Scamp factory to verify this. As the floor either rots or otherwise ages and sags, the body drops until fiberglass hits the frame somewhere, creating stress points on the shell. To fix mine, I suspended the shell over the frame, removed the offending rotten OSB and replaced it with double glassed 3/4" exterior plywood, using epoxy resin of course. In retrospect, 5/8" ply might have been better regarding weight. I then glassed it back in all around the edge to the shell, both top and bottom, using a 4" glass tape and epoxy resin. The main lower floor was rotten as well, so that was similarly replaced. This was all a major pain to do and I would not want to have to do it again.

The Scamp design, relying on the strength of OSB as it does seems to assume that the floor will never get or stay wet. If an owner is careful to avoid wetting the floor, it will probably be adequate, but plumbing and outer shell rivet leaks can turn your floor to mush.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:25 AM   #6
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Finally found the time to dive into the repairs. Been at it hard for the last couple of weeks. Here are some progress pictures.

My scamp is an '86. Turns out that Scamp changed from 14 ga tubing to 11 ga tubing for the members sometime after mine was built.

Its is not seen in these pics but I have plated both sides and bottom of the joint where the 11ga meets the 14 ga. I dont think the tongue will break again!

Floor replacement / fibreglass repairs start tomorrow.

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DSCN3290.JPG   DSCN3291.JPG  

DSCN3292.JPG   DSCN3295.JPG  

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Old 08-06-2009, 07:10 PM   #7
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Finally found the time to dive into the repairs. Been at it hard for the last couple of weeks. Here are some progress pictures.

My scamp is an '86. Turns out that Scamp changed from 14 ga tubing to 11 ga tubing for the members sometime after mine was built.

Its is not seen in these pics but I have plated both sides and bottom of the joint where the 11ga meets the 14 ga. I dont think the tongue will break again!

Floor replacement / fibreglass repairs start tomorrow.
That sure is some pretty welding, I wish I could weld like that....
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:10 AM   #8
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That sure is some pretty welding, I wish I could weld like that....
Thanks but there was some uglyness too. Welding the 11 ga to the old 14 ga was more difficult than I expected. Difficult to balance between good penetration and not blowing through on the butt joints.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:19 AM   #9
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Oliver,

Might I suggest going marine ply on the floor and pre-treat with a marine wood restorer/preservative?

I use this.

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userp...Warm+CPES+Epoxy

Its a lot easier than glassing it in, I have never had a failure of the product...its made under several different names.

Harry
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:44 AM   #10
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Just a quick update. As is always the case, once I pulled the "Kitchen" out I found the floor under that damaged also. Things have been moving much slower than expected.
I now expect to have the new floor glassed in and finished by the end of august.

#1. New VIN (actually old VIN on new steel)
#2. Old tongue and new tongue (Gel battery going under rear bed).
#3. Residue cleaned, floor cut out + damaged fiberglass cut out.
#4. More of the floor cut out.
#5. Fiberglass patches epoxied to the shell + riveted in place for curing. Also new edging applied.
#6. Surface patches epoxied in the notch, fitted + blended.

#7. New floor clut and fit check - ready for epoxy!!

Attached Thumbnails
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DSCN3304.JPG   DSCN3305.JPG  

DSCN3308.JPG   DSCN3310.JPG  

DSCN3312.JPG  
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:51 AM   #11
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A couple of pics of the offending metal that caused all this. These are a section of tongue from both sides. You can see that the crack is all the way through 3 of the 4 sides. The crack was just inside the outline of the body (enough to cause significant damage).

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Old 08-22-2009, 05:06 PM   #12
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The frame on our Scamp 16 cracked in exactly the same places going over a railroad crossing in Kansas. I temporarily supported the frame with two most warped landscape timbers at a local hardware store and a bunch of nylon web tiedowns. We were able to complete our trip.

To repair the frame I welded doublers out of 3/16 x 3 inch flat bar since my frame wasn't as rusted as yours. Interestingly I had noted that the door alignment wasn't quite right for some time and thought the hinges needed replacing or repositioning. When I jacked the trailer to get the tongue angle straight, the door alignment became almost perfect again. So the tongue cracks had probably been developing for some time. It just took that railroad crossing to cause it to completely let go.

Another area where cracks may be likely is where the axle welds to the frame. Mine was OK, but I've seen where others have failed there.

It's a big job, but when you are done your Scamp will be better than new!
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Old 08-22-2009, 06:35 PM   #13
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I'd cut that old coupler off and put a 2" Bulldog coupler on while you're at this stage and it will pull like a dream. Cheap upgrade that is worth it....
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