Adding Brakes to Scamp 13 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-09-2015, 04:00 PM   #1
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Name: jon
Trailer: Scamp 13
Washington
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Adding Brakes to Scamp 13

hi fgrv'ers,
i have decided to add brakes to my 2004 scamp 13. i worked on cars when i was young so i have a general idea of what to do. however, i would really appreciate some tips on the process. since this is not a new idea, i wouldn't be surprised if there were a tips file on this somewhere. some of my questions are;

1 are the 7 inch brakes required to be of a specific manufacturer and model?

2 where and how is the brake wire to be routed from the front of the scamp? i have already got wiring from the front of the scamp to the brake controller area. since i have gorilla hair, what are the suggestions for pulling it free and re-sticking it?

3 any other tips regarding pulling the wheels, securing the backing plates, handling the drums, etc. ?

i believe that i can work my way through this, but your advice would likely make the job a lot easier.

thanks,
jon of sequim
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:38 PM   #2
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Trailer: Scamp 13
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First off does you current axle have the 4 bolt mounting plate already welded to the axle? If it does then you can get the rest of the parts from a trailer supply. if not then you would have to replace the axle and get one with brakes or have a brake mounting plate fabbed up and welded on.
Its possible that Scamp could sell you everything from the backing plates out.
You will just have to pull the wheel and see what you have to start with.

Maybe one of these will work for you.

https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Acc...ng_Flange.aspx
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:40 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
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Originally Posted by jondsw View Post
hi fgrv'ers,
i have decided to add brakes to my 2004 scamp 13. i worked on cars when i was young so i have a general idea of what to do. however, i would really appreciate some tips on the process. since this is not a new idea, i wouldn't be surprised if there were a tips file on this somewhere. some of my questions are;

1 are the 7 inch brakes required to be of a specific manufacturer and model?

2 where and how is the brake wire to be routed from the front of the scamp? i have already got wiring from the front of the scamp to the brake controller area. since i have gorilla hair, what are the suggestions for pulling it free and re-sticking it?

3 any other tips regarding pulling the wheels, securing the backing plates, handling the drums, etc. ?

i believe that i can work my way through this, but your advice would likely make the job a lot easier.

thanks,
jon of sequim
1] You can buy a complete seven inch brake kit for around $150. the modern ones are all the same.

2] I don't know what Gorilla hair is ,but the OEM brake wiring is routed under the trailer along the frame and each side separately grounded to the frame.
Power is supplied by one wire from the harness to one brake then across to the other.

3] Your axle spindle should have a square plate with four holes in it designed to accept the brake backing plate attached with four bolts with nuts and lock washers.
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:32 AM   #4
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definitely check with etrailer! they are the most knowledgeable, helpful folks in the biz, and carry everything you will need at decent prices
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:47 AM   #5
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You should also consider a complete axle replacement.

You can buy a complete NEW axle with brakes, drums, springs, bearing etc for less than $300. Easy to install as your just unbolting the springs at the shackles and all you then need to do is run the wiring.

Yes you can buy the complete brake assembly backing plates for $50.00 or less each. You then must buy brake drums that can run anywhere from $35.00 to $60.00 each. Bearings and grease are next. All this assumes your current axle has the flanges for the backing plates (probably does).

It does not take long or much money on parts for a complete axle replacement to make a lotta sense since you have none of the brakes parts to begin with and you current axle, springs, bearings and parts already may have a lot miles on them.

Something to consider.
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:45 AM   #6
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Name: Roamin
Trailer: Scamp 13'
New Hampshire
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I did this exact thing two years ago on a 2005 13' Scamp. We had problems from the gitgo and ended up deciding that we were unable to do it ourselves. Our mechanic was very unhappy having to work with parts that we had already bought. If you decide to do it yourself I suggest you buy everything from eTrailer and watch their instructional videos on how to install it. Everything works now, but it took a while to get them right.
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:43 AM   #7
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You should also consider a complete axle replacement. You can buy a complete NEW axle with brakes, drums, springs, bearing etc for less than $300. Easy to install as your just unbolting the springs at the shackles and all you then need to do is run the wiring...
Mike, Scamps of that era used a welded-on rubber torsion axle, not a leaf spring set-up. Changing it is not a DIY job unless you are a welder, and I think a new torsion axle runs more like $300-400. I've heard prices reported of $600+ for a new axle with labor.

Since this axle likely has a number of years of useful life remaining, and assuming it does have the brake mounting flange, I see no reason to change it now.
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:16 AM   #8
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
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Since you live in Washington, there are some other places to get axles and brakes. Nothing wrong with Etrailer but local stock can be found at Six Roblees. They have warehouses all over the Northwest and if you are close to Portland, there is Potter Webster. Both places have large inventories.


When I put new brakes on my Bigfoot I purchased self adjusting brake assemblies. The additional cost was $10 per wheel, and they are great. If self adjusting brakes are available for your scamp ( I know 10" are available but your Scamp might be 7 ") it's a great upgrade.
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Old 11-21-2015, 08:15 AM   #9
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1993 Scamp 16' reno

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Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
You should also consider a complete axle replacement.

You can buy a complete NEW axle with brakes, drums, springs, bearing etc for less than $300. Easy to install as your just unbolting the springs at the shackles and all you then need to do is run the wiring.

Yes you can buy the complete brake assembly backing plates for $50.00 or less each. You then must buy brake drums that can run anywhere from $35.00 to $60.00 each. Bearings and grease are next. All this assumes your current axle has the flanges for the backing plates (probably does).

It does not take long or much money on parts for a complete axle replacement to make a lotta sense since you have none of the brakes parts to begin with and you current axle, springs, bearings and parts already may have a lot miles on them.

Something to consider.
This is what I'm thinking about. I can't know the age or condition of the Scamp we're going to pick up in Michigan but I'm anticipating some restoration or "reno"vation and am thinking that it'd be a lot easier and provide the peace of mind to simply replace the axle so we have new wheel bearings etc. I like this idea. Thanks for this advice.
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Old 11-21-2015, 08:28 AM   #10
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Just know that he is describing a leaf spring axle. Scamp uses a rubber torsion axle welded, not bolted, to the frame. Assuming you have to pay someone to cut off the old one and install the new one, I've heard prices ranging from $600 and up for an axle replacement.

You can weld on the replacement as before, or you can weld on mounting brackets and bolt on the axle so the next replacement will be easier. Of course, that will likely be someone else's problem, as rubber torsion axles have a useful lifespan of 15-20 years.
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Old 11-21-2015, 12:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Just know that he is describing a leaf spring axle. Scamp uses a rubber torsion axle welded, not bolted, to the frame. Assuming you have to pay someone to cut off the old one and install the new one, I've heard prices ranging from $600 and up for an axle replacement.

You can weld on the replacement as before, or you can weld on mounting brackets and bolt on the axle so the next replacement will be easier. Of course, that will likely be someone else's problem, as rubber torsion axles have a useful lifespan of 15-20 years.
Jon:

If I understand the concept of the torsion axle correctly they function much differently than the leaf spring and worry what that might to the frame of a Scamp that wasn't originally designed for that type of flexing.

I'd also wonder if it wouldn't be possible to cut the old mount point for the torsion axle off and weld on a new mount point that could be bolted like the leaf shackle for easier maintenance. However, considering the life of the axle when compared to my age, it would probably fall to the next owner to determine how to repair the axle next time, as previously mentioned.

It may be as simple as welding the replacement axle with brakes in place and forget about it.
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Old 11-21-2015, 12:22 PM   #12
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Does anyone have much experience of replacing axles in side-mount brackets?

I just wonder if they are a theoretical advantage that wouldn't be that much use in reality. It does assume that a new axle of exactly the right width can be obtained - I would guess that it would only take a 1/8" error to prevent a new axle from fitting in old brackets. But then with bolted side mount brackets I guess it would be fairly easy to drop out the old axle to be able to measure it accurately before ordering a new one.
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Old 11-21-2015, 12:22 PM   #13
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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You should also consider a complete axle replacement.

You can buy a complete NEW axle with brakes, drums, springs, bearing etc for less than $300. Easy to install as your just unbolting the springs at the shackles and all you then need to do is run the wiring.

Yes you can buy the complete brake assembly backing plates for $50.00 or less each. You then must buy brake drums that can run anywhere from $35.00 to $60.00 each. Bearings and grease are next. All this assumes your current axle has the flanges for the backing plates (probably does).

It does not take long or much money on parts for a complete axle replacement to make a lotta sense since you have none of the brakes parts to begin with and you current axle, springs, bearings and parts already may have a lot miles on them.

Something to consider.
WOW... Let us all know where you do your shopping. Those prices are well below what I have found for axles, with brakes, for smaller trailers. BTW: Unlike Scamp torsion axles, my Hunter has a beam axle and I would love to replace the current drop axle with a straight beam axle w/brakes.
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Old 11-21-2015, 12:29 PM   #14
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Adding Brakes to Scamp 13

Wanderer, I wasn't suggesting changing to a leaf spring axle on a Scamp. In fact, I don't think converting to a leaf spring axle is either practical or desirable. For one thing, the frame wasn't designed for it.

Stick with a torsion axle. A trailer shop (the kind that does utility trailers, not an RV shop) is often the best bet. They can help you assess the condition of the axle you have. Symptoms of a bad axle include unusual tire wear, hard ride (cabinets spilling contents and cushions all over), low ride height (should be at least a fist of clearance inside the wheel well), and frozen axle arms (wheel doesn't drop when you jack the trailer).

If you do need a new axle, they will help you order the right one and install it. You can either do a welded or bolt-on installation of a replacement torsion axle with brakes.

If your axle is good and has the brake mounting flange, just add the brakes.
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