Should I cut here? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-26-2007, 11:35 AM   #15
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Information I found on scamp trailer axle. -----> Older fiberglass trailers (Boler, Casita, Scamp, etc.) used leading arms.(leading means the wheel is in front of the axle, trailing means behind). Dexter used to make axles with leading arms like the scamp trailer axle --BUT NO MORE--Swapping sides affects the alignment of the wheels and tires. So my question is what do I do now to replace my axle. I know you can buy one from Scamp but I would like to purchase one from the dealer for a cheaper price.


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Old 11-26-2007, 12:45 PM   #16
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Kevin,

We're in the process of replacing the axle on our Scamp 5th wheel. Hubby spoke with Kent at Scamp for the specifications and a quote. Then he called Dexter directly. With brakes, brackets, and shipping for the 3500 lb. axle was $381. He ordered through Dexter and everything arrived in 4 days. You can get their contact information from their website.

Good luck on your project.

Nita
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:34 PM   #17
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I just talked to Kent at Scamp . He said they use dexter axle's on the 13' Scamp 2200 lb with 22 1/2 degrees down --Hub to hub 63" and frame to frame 49 3/4" $300.00 for the axle and $475.00 total price installed.
He said I would have to modify the frame on my 1983 scamp to make the axle work because they use the trailing arm dexter axle now.

I would have to modify the axle location to use the trailing arm dexter axle. I also would have to weld a bracket on the retangle lower part of the frame, this would raise the trailer up 1 1/2" taller from the stock location.
I think I can change the trailing arm angle from 22 1/2 (4.38") to 10 degree(3.13") this would lower the axle 1.25" (4.38" - 3.13" = 1.25")which would be the height of the rectangle part of the frame under the trailer now.

-----------------------See photos

Old axle mounting

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New axle mounting (yellow)

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Old axle mounting

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New axle mounting(yellow)

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This might explain it better

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Are their any 13' scamp owners out their that have changed their axles from leading arm to trailing arm ?
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:40 PM   #18
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Kevin, I'm glad that Pete caught that you had a leading arm axle... I certainly didn't!

It looks like you'll just have to do the mods to the frame to use the trailing arm. It shouldn't be too tough tho.

Roger
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:16 PM   #19
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I'm a little uncertain about the arm angles... the quoted specs are for a 22.5 degree down angle stock (which is about as far down as available), with a 10 degree down angle proposed, and the nice illustration shows both setups with down angles, but the original axle in the photo has the arms way up. I realize that the rubber is dead in the original axle, but even fully collapsed they only travel about 45 degrees, and this one must be nearly 45 degrees up, so is probably started up from the horizontal, rather than down. Leading-arm suspensions are normally set at up angles.

The original was setup with the leading arms so the axle cross-tube could be tucked up in the step of the frame, to allow the trailer to sit low. Switching to trailing arms (thus bumping the mounts down that 1.5") and changing from an up angle to a down angle could be a lot of height increase. Some of that is likely deliberate, as the current fashion is to set trailer ride heights much higher than they were in the 1970's, but it would be unfortunate if a confusion of up and down angle made the trailer sit like it was on stilts...

Just to clarify: "up" starting angles have the hub above the point where the arm pivots, while down" means the hub is below the pivot.
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:39 PM   #20
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Brian B-P
My mistake on the illustration for the 1983 axle, it's wrong, it should be at a angled up like in the photo.
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(GOOD CATCH) So you think it might have been at a zero degree angle when new or maybe 10 degrees down angle ? I have 1" clearance from bottoming out on the wheel well as it sits now with the old shot scamp axle. Any other 13' Scamp owners have some information on the angle of there axle?
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:10 PM   #21
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I'm a little uncertain about the arm angles... the quoted specs are for a 22.5 degree down angle stock (which is about as far down as available), with a 10 degree down angle proposed, and the nice illustration shows both setups with down angles, (...clipped)
Axles are available at more down degrees. http://www.championtrailers.com/TORSION%20AXLE.htm

My 2
45 down gives the best reaction to bumps and pot holes. The more up angle the less suspension available. If it was straight up it would have zero suspension. As you move forward and hit an obsruction the axle needs to give way. Being able to swing back and up gives that motion. The front end on old VWs were designed this way and gave a great ride.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:46 PM   #22
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The early trailers may, in fact, have been at a 0* or 10* down angle, and they did ride lower.

I put a 22.5* down angle under my Burro and it brought it up to current height standards without affecting the towability at all. I noticed a total of about 5" gain in frame height, and that included changing from 13" wheels and tires to 14". I wouldn't get too excited about this whole issue. You'll gain about 2" by welding the new axle bracket to the underside of the frame instead of up in the notch where it currently resides. Going from an 11" to a nominal 18" hitch height is a good thing. and puts it at a height where most hitches are today in light trailers. While you've got it in the welding shop, I'd have the 1 7/8ths inch coupler cut off and have a 2" installed as well. They're about $25 at most RV stores, and it's so much more convenient to use a 2" ball like pretty much everything else does today.

Roger
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:13 PM   #23
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From all my measurements I think I will go with the 10 degree down arm. This will give me 7 1/2" clearance from the top of the tire to the top of the wheel well. Should be more than enough room for the arm to travel. The 22 1/2 degree arm down would give me 9" clearance from the top of the tire to the top of the wheel well.I will be doing all the work myself. I have a buzz box welder and a wire feed welder. This will have to be a spring project.
. Thanks everyone I'am a

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Old 11-27-2007, 04:45 PM   #24
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Roger H
From all my measurements I think I will go with the 10 degree down arm. This will give me 7 1/2" clearance from the top of the tire to the top of the wheel well. Should be more than enough room for the arm to travel. The 22 1/2 degree arm down would give me 9" clearance from the top of the tire to the top of the wheel well.

Yep... more than enough room... "bump" room from the top of the tire to the fenderwell should generally be about enough to stick your fist into, or about 3" minimum. The question is what will your hitch height be?

Roger
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:17 PM   #25
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Hitch height should come in at 16"----------Factory height should be 18"-------I don't mind if it's 2" lower, thats why I picked the 10 degree down arm axle over the 22 1/2 degree arm axle. Might have to adjust the hitch on my truck to make the trailer pull level.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:32 PM   #26
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One last note when it comes time to take out the old axle. I think , I will just cut off the axle on both sides of the bracket and just leave the bracket in place .
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New axle is going in a new location so this should not be a problem.
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:25 PM   #27
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...So you think it might have been at a zero degree angle when new or maybe 10 degrees down angle ?
Close... I think it may have even had an up starting angle... but I have not seen enough to really know. I would guess someone at Scamp would know how they built them, but maybe that trivia is lost to time.


I think some people have pretty high expectations of the travel available in these suspensions.

If you start at 45 degrees down, the arm will never even reach horizontal; the hub centre would still be 2.3" below the pivot point resting at full load. (Following the Dexter #9 standard specs, the pivot point is 1.22" below the top of the bracket, and the spindle/hub centre is 3.52" below the top of frame at full load). I agree that swinging back as it goes up is probably good for ride, so you want to operate with the hub a little below the horizontal rather than a little above.

The best travel comes with the arm roughly horizontal in use, or maybe 10 degree down start angle: in that case with a Dexter #9 the hub centre would be 2.26" below the bracket top (1.04" below the pivot) when hanging, 0.08" above the bracket top (1.3" above the pivot) at full 2200 lb load, and 1.08" above it at full bump, for a maximum travel of 3.34". If the trailer doesn't weigh the whole 2200 lb (the axle capacity), it won't be compressed to the "full load" position at rest.

So maybe the best is a compromise between best travel (e.g. 10 degree down start angle) and the "moving back" action of start angles further down (if trailing).

Yes, the Dexter manual says to allow 3" bump clearance from full load... but I don't see how the wheel could ever move up even that far, let alone 7".
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:39 PM   #28
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Actually, Scamp's pricing is not bad, but shipping is high (You're really paying for the axle to be shipped twice, perhaps). Where an axle gets expensive is when a shop orders it from their wholesaler and you are paying two middle-man fees. OTOH, if the shop orders the axle based on their own measurements and screws it up, they have to pay for it -- If you order the wrong axle, you eat it.

There was a guy on Yahoo Scampers in eastern Kansas who routinely does axle replacements in his shop; he may still be doing them.
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