Going to replace or fix my frame. Take the body off? - Fiberglass RV



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Old 03-19-2019, 09:00 PM   #1
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Going to replace or fix my frame. Take the body off?

Since my Scamp frame is broken on both sides,(link below)

Frame is shot

I thought Iíd look to see what it would take to replace it or repair it. I figured I can't make it any worse so might as well just get started and see what happens. I'm also hoping for some guidance along the way as I ask questions.

I removed the front cushion and the top bunk to make it a little easier to work. I left the hinge attached to the bed and unscrewed the screws that hold the hinge to the supporting block under the window. I hate messing with the fabric if you undo the ones that go on the bed. There are several screws on the left and right side of the front bench but none really across the front.

Next, pop off the snap caps in the lower shower and the two right by the door. The ones in the shower go through into the bench as pictured from inside the driver's side storage area. The three on the bottom left do not need to be drilled out because they do not go through into the bench as the picture from inside the storage area shows. The ones by the door go (I think) right through into some frame work. I drilled the top circle off the rivet and used a punch and hammer to pop them out the other side. There were three on the wall closest to the bathroom door that lined up perfectly with the mess of fiberglass used to hold the wall for that little center compartment under the bench. I punched them through but they are still stuck in the tangle of fiberglass somewhere.
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:18 PM   #2
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After you get the rivets and screws removed step inside one of the storage cubby holes and give a good yank up on the front edge. You might hear a screech but a good tug should lift it up. At this point youíll find the hardest part of the project is maneuvering that bench and getting it out the door! There are several screws going through the plywood directly into the frame along the front edge and along the sides of that little sunken center storage compartment. You will not actually be able to see the screw heads as they are driven about halfway into the plywood. Just look for suspicious holes.

If one were to cut the floor out at this point to gain access to the frame from above, how is this accomplished? Is the wood cut all the way to the edge of the fiberglass and then an entire new sheet fiberglassed back to the body? It seems this is the point that I have to decide if I want to do that or continue with the rear and try to lift the entire body off of the frame and do a total replacement.
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:45 PM   #3
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I removed the table and the two benches from the back. It made it easier to find the screws that went through the floor into the frame rails. There are two screws at the very rear of the trailer that are impossible to get at since there is a layer of fiberglass over them. I ended up cutting them with a reciprocating saw and a metal-cutting blade.

I did take a lot of things out of the trailer but I didn't go near as far as I've seen others do. I left the toilet, fridge, etc. I figure if the "shelves" that sit on the frame rails are strong enough to support the entire weight of the camper body, they can certainly hold a fridge, toilet, and the cabinets.

I tried supporting the camper in six places from underneath but gave up on that and jacked it up and stacked blocks under the corners. I figured that was the sturdiest part with the corner and all. I took the wheels off so the frame was hanging from the body by the screws.

I worked from front to back and would place the jack near where I was working and jack up the body just a touch and slide my saw inbetween the frame rail and the floor to cut any screws that I couldn't reach from the inside. I placed jack stands about one inch below the frame so the frame wouldn't just fall to the ground, but rather go down slowly.
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:52 PM   #4
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One of the more difficult parts was cutting these areas under the door on the sides of the step. To be honest, I am not sure if these needed to come out but the had several screws through them that we're buried under fiberglass so I just cut around the edges and pried them out. I found that even though I cut the screws I still had to take and grind the leftovers down a little in that metal plate since they prevented the body from lifting away from the frame.
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:55 PM   #5
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Starting to break loose near the door area. You'll find screws you missed by having your teenage son go inside and hop around. Just cut them.
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:01 PM   #6
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Here it's finally fully seperated. I would lower one side about an inch at a time, adjusting the jack stands each time. Raise one side a touch, lower the jack stands a click and set it back down. Switch sides and repeat.

I'm going to see how much a local place will charge to make a new frame compared to the $2500 Scamp wants. They might be able to make improvements locally so I don't have to do this again.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:40 PM   #7
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Today I went to take the frame out from underneath and realized that it wasn't going to clear the blocks. I jacked it up a touch with a board to spread the load out a bit and slid a post under there. For the back I had to move the blocks out a touch for the bumper ends to clear as it gets pulled forward.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:45 PM   #8
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With the blocks moved I was able to pull the frame forward and out. Now that it's out, Iím going to drag it to a local place and see if they can construct a better one or if Iíll have to make the trip up to Scamp to drag a new frame home. I'm just very leery of purchasing another frame with the same failure points built in.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:47 PM   #9
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For those wondering why I did this, these pictures show why.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:05 PM   #10
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Oh, shiny! Just got this from the Scamp factory. Some surprises as it has a step, beefier wheels (5 lug vs. 4, can't use my old spare!), better leveling jacks, receiver in the bumper, and a better front jack. Couple things it doesn't have are holes to attach the safety chains (how are those hooked up?) and those little tabs in the front that holds the trailer wiring against the front left frame rail.

I can't get my trailer high enough to get it under with the wheels on so had to set the brake plate on magic sliders and push it under. Will put the floor in soon.

(Sorry for the flipped photos.)
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:51 PM   #11
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The new frame looks great. If you got it for the earlier stated quote it was a really fair deal. I just purchased a new utility trailer with leaf springs and angle iron frame and they were going for $1600-$2000. The Scamp frame is built much better with more details. Then figure the step, stabilizer, hitch and Tor-flex axle.

Most trailers use 1/2" EMT wall clamps to hold the harness wire and they are screwed to the frame. I use heavy duty black zip ties around the frame to hold wires. They also use larger EMT clamps to hold the plumbing to the frame.

The chains are usually welded to the frame on most trailers. I have also seen some bolted to the back edge of the coupler.

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Old 05-13-2019, 08:08 AM   #12
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Name: JD
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I noticed two fish plates on either side of the frame that appear to be a new thing.
Unfortunately they are not tapered very much , but they seem to have rounded corners that would help reduce stress risers some.
Unfortunately they do not have plates on the inside or outside of the bends.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:53 PM   #13
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Going to replace or fix my frame. Take the body off?

I wonder if it would be worth taking the pictures or the whole frame to a good welder to see if they have any suggested preemptive reinforcements? Nowís the time...
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
I noticed two fish plates on either side of the frame that appear to be a new thing.
Unfortunately they are not tapered very much , but they seem to have rounded corners that would help reduce stress risers some.
Unfortunately they do not have plates on the inside or outside of the bends.
That's angle iron that covers the side and the bottom right where the front of the shell rests on the frame rails.
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