Upgrades to 1988 13' Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-09-2009, 03:52 PM   #1
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Howdy! Just got a 1988 honey of a trailer. Though it's in great shape for its age, I want to do some upgrades.

Axle, brakes and larger tires. Do I need to do any mods to the shell to squeeze 15" wheels under?

Plumbing: larger fresh water tank, water heater, water pressure pump, et al.

Appliances: sink, faucets, new cooktop and refrigerator.

If anybody has done these mods already and can give me some pointers, I'd greatly appreciate it!

RJ
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:23 PM   #2
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Figure out how much the modified trailer will weigh before you order the new axle -- you might need to order it with beefier springs than the original.

You also might need to beef up the frame to carry all the extra weight.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:39 AM   #3
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Scamps typically don't have axles with springs. My 1988 had a tired Al-Ko axle. About five years ago I changed that. Bought a Dexter with a 45 degree down angle... now I've got 15" wheels! Because my 16 footer is a deluxe, it's heavier than the standard. I purchased the 3500# axle with EZ-Lube bearings. Works for me! BUT, it's sits quite a bit higher than 99% of the trailers. The hitch height is about 22 inches. That also allows space for a welded to the frame pull out step (I still need to be careful when pulling into driveways). Best yet, is one of these days I'm going to change the tank plumbing to one gate/valve... no more separate valves for the gray and black water.

If you make the Oregon Gathering you can check out my trailer.
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:03 PM   #4
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The funny thing is that when I wrote "springs" I was thinking about the rubber torsion springs the Scamp uses, but when Donna read my comment she thought "leaf springs". In any case, with the additions you propose and the gear you anticipate carrying in the trailer, make sure that not only the axles, wheels, and tires are properly sized for the anticipated load, but also the frame and springs.

I made the comment because the torsion springs are part of the axle and you mentioned that you were thinking of replacing the axle. When you order the axle you have to specify its expected load, so be sure to calculate what it will be after the mods and not use Scamp's original value.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
The funny thing is that when I wrote "springs" I was thinking about the rubber torsion springs the Scamp uses, but when Donna read my comment she thought "leaf springs".
Yep, that's what I was thinking. But still, a torsion axle doesn't use springs of any kind. This is from the Dexter site:

"Torflex - The Torflex Axle is designed as a completely self-contained axle and suspension system. This trailing arm type torsion axle employs natural rubber cords supporting heat treated inner bars of solid, medium carbon steel. Press-fitted and welded to the ends of these independently floating bars are the high strength steel torsion arm/spindle assemblies. These arms can be specified to a range of starting angles, which allow the designer to tailor the running height of the vehicles."
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:46 PM   #6
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The first definition for "spring" in my dictionary is "an elastic device that regains its original shape after being compressed or extended."

Wikipedia defines "torsion spring" as "A torsion spring is a spring that works by torsion or twisting; that is, a flexible elastic object that stores mechanical energy when it is twisted."

Nothing is said about the material used other than it be elastic, and I think rubber has that reputation.

Regardless of whether it is called a spring or suspension, in Robert's Scamp it is part of the axle and needs to be sized according to the loads he will be carrying on that axle.

So he needs figure that out before he orders the axle!
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:50 PM   #7
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The ironic thing is that Robert last signed on June 9th at 5:58pm, so he hasn't seen any of the replies....
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:58 PM   #8
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The only reason I mentioned the difference Dana, is newbies to this site doesn't understand that a torsion axle doesn't have "springs" in the normal sense. I used the Dexter definition of the axle to educated the masses. I don't think we want to confuse people when they ask about replacing an axle and then start to wonder where to weld the shackles or hangers... since there aren't any.
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:06 AM   #9
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Hello Donna and Dana,

I've been so busy with the resto of my 13' Scamp, that I haven't been able to check this forum...

Thanks to Donna, I was able to do my research about axles/springs, et al, and ordered up a replacement from Dexter--with brakes. And 15" wheels!

Here's more:

My "new" 1988 Scamp, though plenty dirty, was in pretty good shape. My wife insisted on replacing the carpet, so out came all of the interior fiberglass components. While doing so, I discovered how the rivets are used, and found many loose and leaking. I'm replacing ALL rivets with SS bolts, appropriate fittings and sealer.

With the interior gutted, I found that the electrical system was woefully tattered, so I'm upgrading the wiring to include new connectors, an American converter, 110v breaker box, and LEDs wherever possible.

The gas lines were also funky (including the "old style" propane tank), so these too will be straightened out.

I plan to replace the original 10 gal water tank with a 20; add an Atwood 6 gal water heater, and run new PEX to my upgraded "kitchen" module. I'm even adding an outdoor shower to the mix.

I want to get a 3-way Dometic refrigerator (any comments/concerns about this option?), but not yet clear on the final location: I'm thinking of doing something custom with both the kitchen module and the front "bunk" component, to create more storage and functionality for the missus and me.

Biggest bummer: I can't buff out the shell to any high degree of luster. Any comments on painting?

Well, I'm back to work on my little Scamp. Any thopughts from y'all would be greatly appreciated.

I've had to order some parts from Scamp. They were helpful enough. Ironically, I've found some of the same items at my local RV center for less...
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:22 AM   #10
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Robert, I will let the knowledgeable ones continue with their tekie info. But will say be careful where you move your fridge, cause if I am understanding your correctly your saying up front? Think tongue weight!

Ok, as far as getting a luster, might be that your trailers gel coat is gone........... But just wanted to FYI you that you can try several products to a least get a little shine, ( I am not trying to steer you away from painting. Cause I think painted egg's are way cool!!!!!!!) but if you arent ready for a cool paint job you might want to try a product that I tried on an 85 casita that made a amazeing difference. It's New Finish, you buy it a wallie world for like $2.99 a bottle. I was shocked a the difference it made. I did not do the whole trailer, cause we sold it shortly after buying it but passed on my supply of New finish to the new owner. (long story) anyway it really put some luster back on the trailer, I think that product and a buffer might give you a little of the shine your looking for. I also found New Finish to be great at taking off the black streaks without smearing them all over. Robin



Here's some painted eggs that I have saved pics of. Sweeeeeeeet!
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:27 AM   #11
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And a few more!
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:29 AM   #12
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All those pictures, and more are available for viewing in this topic:
Paint Jobs, Real and Imagined. (Not a How To thread)
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:31 AM   #13
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last but not least.............
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:36 AM   #14
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Great link Donna!




Oh and forgot to say Robert that you guys can always just paint it white as well. I like the painted ones cause you have so many color choices. But White or off white is an option.
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