1986 Scamp 16' rebuild - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-17-2014, 09:44 AM   #1
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 1,024
1986 Scamp 16' rebuild

Recently I purchased a 1986 16' Scamp and upon inspection (of course) I found a few problems.
I the floor had rot in the front and rear and the frame had numerous poorly repaired cracks.
I was aware of the repairs, but not quite aware of how poorly they were repaired and the inherent weakness of the original design.
There were cracks where the holse were drilled to attache the floor to the frams and where the frame was bent to form the tongue.Click image for larger version

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As you can see I cut this off and built a new lengthened tougue.
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My goal is to reduce the tougue load on my VW TDI wagon and improve stability (Which has not been a problem).
Part of the moficfcation is to move teh side bath to the front and towards this end I found a used bathroom pan for a Sprinter van.Click image for larger version

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Another weakness is the tie in to the under door tubes to the right side frame forward.
These tubes are not fully engaged to pass the loads for the entire tube to the frame rails since the top and bottom of the tubes ate not closed.
I added the braces ahown on both sides along with reinforcements and closed the tubes so that the tension on the bottom of the underfloor tubes would also carry the loads.
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I have the left side floor out and I am planning on adding support from the frame to the fiberglass hull to transfer the loads for it to the frame along it's entire length instead of focusing it all at the front and rear.
I have also added a 1 1/2" X 3" 11 Gauge tube under the existing top tube on the left. This extends like the right side to reinforce the tongue towards the front.
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A part of the reinforcement was removing the sheetmetal bulkhead across the front and replacein it with two 11 gauge tubes to help stiffen the right structure at the door. This beam was moved the the rear slightly to allow room for the floor pan addition. I also continued this beam over to pick up the bottom of the fiberglass shell at the bottom of the door replacing the rotten wood piece.
In my opinion almost any of the early 14 gauge frames would be prone to failures at these points and should be inspected carefully from time to time.
I am adding a little weight, but it is at a low GC and will add to the life ot the rebuilt trailer.
Part of the problem with the new addition is the addition of the black water tank under the floor and I am planning on gaining clearance at the front and adding a Macerating pump and valves from the gray system for a single point pumped discharge system.
Any thoughts on what I have done so far?
I plan to use the sides of the original side bath too form the ends of the wall at the junction with the hull. My plans are to cut off the Rhinohide and rough up the fiberglass and attach with epoxy and a few pop rivets.
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:07 AM   #2
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Name: Tim
Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
North Florida
Posts: 1,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
In my opinion almost any of the early 14 gauge frames would be prone to failures at these points and should be inspected carefully from time to time.
Absolutely. The frame (at least the front section) on my 1988 was plumb rotten. And from the inside out. My theory is the frame flexes and sags back just under the body. Then water collects there and the flex/soaking continues until there is not much but paint left. I have seen this on my own Scamp on the bottom just back under the body and on top up front where the dual propane tank rack screws went into the frame. As part of my nose cone mod I welded up all the old screw holes in the frame and blew out a couple just trying to weld them the metal was so thin/rusted/rotten.

I have reinforced the left (street side) frame where it cracked and “someday” when I do the front dinette modification I will remove the floor and see what more can be done. Keep the pictures coming, your project is very interesting/educational.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:00 AM   #3
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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Just an update.
Yesterday I finished glassing and reinstalling the new front floor with the cutouts for the shower pan and toilet .
I have added 1 1/2" side braces to the left side to reinforce the floor and attachnent to the shell. I plan to add these all around to reinforce the floor where it atteches to help keep the "floor" from sagging and increasing the stress on the front and rear.
Next I am going to remove the closet behind the door and redo the floor under there and add the reinforcements.
Some prior owner cut away the indide flanfe on the fron wall and this caused the wall to buckle outwards and this needs to be repaired and re-reinforced to carry the roof loads.
Currently I have a temporary brace installed in the front to raise the shell in the front to glass in the front floor at the correct level.
My plan involves adding twin berths to satisfy SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED so that climbing over another for midnight bathroom access is not necessary.
Space is tight and this involves getting rid of everything that is unnecessary.
One problem is bracing the ceiling in the area that the old cabinets had the ornamental iron braces (that have hammered out screw holes). I have lookes at some of the braces made for the front side dinette to see about adding a brace along the wall.
Any ideas?

Thanks,

JDB.
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Old 06-06-2015, 02:16 PM   #4
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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Cabinets and A/C fitted:







Ithink that the more or less solid cainets bonded to the fiberglass shell and screwed with countersunk washers and flat head SS screws are stiff enough to do without the braces from the lower cabinets to the upper.
I could feel the entire trailer stiffen up as I installed the interior, bonded and screwed to the fiberglasss. The screws are really just along for the ride once the glue cures anyway.
The ends of the cabinets are sanded and glued together to make basically an oak beam from one end to the other!
The A/C is mounted to the cabinets directly on the street side and I added a filler on the driver's side to make up the different length. Later a bottom will be added for more storage. The cutouts will be storage cubbies for whatever.
Anyone have any suggestions while I am working on the thing?
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:12 PM   #5
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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As stated in the thread on the trailer weighting unit that uses a piston and cylinder with a pressure gauge I bought one. As a test while building with the A/C located on the fron I was concerned about the balance of the trailer while I am building it.
The tongue weighs 220 lbs as it sits with the empty propane tank and condenser unit placed on the tongue temporarily (after the picture I moved the board from below to sitting on top.)
At that time I had not yet mounted the inside unit at the back. Since it only weighs 16 lbs I doubt it make a great deal of difference. There are still the utilities, battery gray tanks and fresh water tanks to mount under the twin beds along each side.
I intend to use the scale to weigh each wheel along the way to help calculate the CG of the trailer and tongue weight (gross weight too.)
My goal is under 2800 lbs and 180 - 200 lbs tongue weight when ready to camp.
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:07 AM   #6
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Name: Tim
Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
North Florida
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Looking good JD, keep it coming. I am especially interested in hearing how the mini-split works out. How does it dump condensate? As to the removal of the roof supports and the effectiveness of the cabinets to stiffen the roof, time will tell. I would say take lots of measurements and keep and eye on it over time. If it starts to sag you may have to take measures.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:05 AM   #7
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Name: Emily
Trailer: Scamp
Michigan
Posts: 24
Thanks!

Awesome, Just Awesome!! So, I have been loosing sleep because my husband bought a 1983 Scamp 16' for $2800. Not, tons of money, but know a lot more costs are coming. It makes be feel better knowing it is a project. Seeing all the work you guys have been doing is great and scary at the same time. Love the potential of fiberglass campers. We are not afraid to get our hands dirty, but so afraid this is all foreign to me. Please keep posting, and thank you for posting. Learning Learning Learning!!!
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:24 PM   #8
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Name: John
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16, 2013 VW Tiguan SEL
Colorado
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Are you keeping track of the weight you're adding to this trailer? With a rear-mounted air conditioner and a bathroom water supply? My '85 Scamp 16 hits the scales at 2000-2100 lbs without these features. My Tiguan seems to pull it with ease, and so might your TDI, but still...

You seem to be thinking things through. What's the target weight for your project?
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:45 PM   #9
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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Actually the air conditioner is a mini split with a 16 lb air handler in the back

and the 68 lb compressor in the front on the extended tongue.


I weighed the tongue Friday before installing the rear A/C and the wood frame work.
The tongue weighed 220 lbs and my target is 180 - 200 lbs. I am looking to keep the weight under 2800 lbs if possible. I am working on a bracket to hook in the wheel cutouts and brace to the tire to pick up the assembly to weigh it with the Sherline scale.


We tried the Tiguan before we bought another VW TDI Wagen and the TDI had better power and the lower center of gravity we thought handled better.
In my opinion a vehicle that handles well will tow well as long as the rear end is not overloaded and a poor handling car does not get any better towing a trailer!
We would have bought the Tiguan since She Who Must Be Obeyed liked the higher seating, but the dealer liked the thing better than I did.
I gave him a very nice Pentel mechanical pencil to recalculate the price (A nice 0.9 mm lead so when he bore down on the paper in earnest it would not break.) Since he wouldn't match the web price for the very car I let him keep it. He calls and emails regularly with lower prices.
Instead we bought a lightly used 2013 TDI JSW and I bought the O.E.M Westfalia hitch and electronics package so the trailer electronic stabilization would work.
The Tiguan is rated higher than the JSW in Europe, but the JSW is only slightly lower since its gross weight is lower. The 2.0 Tiguan TDI is rated to tow a bunch in the UK!
The 2009 JSW we have been using gets about 25 mpg towing at 62 - 65 mpg. and we have been very happy with it.
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Old 09-20-2015, 04:09 PM   #10
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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Just some pictures for an update. I am getting a little progress made. I have the plumbing done and the electrical is almost finished.
Now to build the bed frames and the storage underneath figured out









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Old 10-14-2015, 06:32 PM   #11
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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A few more update pictures









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Old 10-28-2015, 04:56 PM   #12
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Name: Doug
Trailer: Scamp 16, 1983
Maryland
Posts: 17
Curious about how you treated the elephant skin? My '83 Scamp 16 has some mildew issues and the seams are ugly. Looks like you may have caulked the seams and painted it? Can you shed some light on your process? This is a truly beautiful job so far!
Thanks
Doug Griggs
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Old 10-28-2015, 05:08 PM   #13
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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I scrubbed the elephant skin with a dilute bleach solution and then used simple green detergent. This will not remove the stains, however.
The intent here is to kill the mold spores.
After scrubbing the heck out of it I primed it with mildew resistant Bullseye 123+
After priming it I then put on a finish coat of a Big Box interior mildew resistant paint.
I also replaced the entire floor with 3/4" exterior plywood covered with 6 oz. fiberglass fabric and epoxy resin. I used the same epoxy and the cloth cut into multiole strips to bond the floor to the shell.
If you look at my other pictures I also added peripheral frame extensions etc to reinforce the whole thing as well.
I used acrylic / latex caulk to finish the seams and the edging. I finished the surface with a cheap sponge wetted a little to give it a texture similar the elephant skin.
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:53 PM   #14
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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Bunks about finished. 8" Walmart memory foam Spa mattress. Queen size cut down to two 28" wide twins.







Pretty comfy from test nap this afternoon.

I carved the 8" foam with an electric carving knife using the plywood bunk top ad a template.
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