KISS Modifications - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-26-2013, 02:30 PM   #1
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KISS Modifications

Over the 20 or so years of 'Scamping' I have made a number of mods. Some were to enhance the appearance, some to enhance the livablity and some for comfort reasons. For the most part these added complication and weight.

Now over the past several years I have been going the other direction with simplicity, function and weight reduction as the goal. One of these was to remove the water system and go with gallon milk bottles. Gone were the problems of priming pumps, leaking hose couplings and dragging hoses to fill the water tank through a small fixture on the side of the trailer. Then there was the issue of sediment build-up in the tank.

After doing away with all this and going to a gallon bottle system we are convinced that we drink better, cleaner water now with no loss of function. In fact, for us, we feel gallon bottle system is more functional.

So many mods are to enhance convenience by making things more automatic and more like a 'brick & sticks" home, which add weight and complication. I just wonder if anyone else has considered simplicity as a goal?
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:32 PM   #2
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we carry gallon water containers for drinking, but so far have retained water system for toilet, sink, water heater.....got rid off shower water hoses and city water connection
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:48 PM   #3
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Loren,

What does your Scamp weigh after it's 'diet'?
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:50 PM   #4
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In my remodel I have removed my water tank. The sink and all the waterlines was removed by others. but I was going to put back the sink and set up for rv park hook up. Just a cold water line to the sink. I do want to keep my weight down. but still want the some comforts. A small sink and a few feet of water line can't kill me on the weight.

Just my thoughts.

I have a hammer, nails and duck tape i can fix it.

danny
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:07 PM   #5
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...No matter camping with tents(in the past) or with trailer camper(from now on) we and our group always carry with us each a few 5-gallon bottles of drinking water. IMO, when one possesses a camper trailer, if he/she does the works by himself/herself, there are plenty of rooms for future use, just in case. My very first F.G camper came up with no water tank, no 12VDC source, no furnace, A/C either. But I am on the process of adding all of those. When working on it, why not adding something useful in case of needed? IMO, as long as one doesn't add excessive weights compared to towing vehicle capability as specs.. it's good to do it. My F.G camper is only 13 feet, but somehow I'd manage to sleep with 5 people(2 in double bed, 2 in bunk-bed and one on a stainless steel frame hammock b/t rear and front...Who knows when a heavy storm/rain would come down during camping? It's good to have prevention.....How ab a visit to ...far-away relatives? It's good to have one's own convenience by pulling camper in their driveway/backyard with an extension cord...Just my thought, though...
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:51 AM   #6
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Loren,

What does your Scamp weigh after it's 'diet'?
Unfortunately I have never weighed it. Altogether the empty polyethylene tank, hoses and pump would likely weigh closer to ten pounds than twenty.

Our Scamp was old and well used when we bought it. Many items had been 'cobbled' together by a previous owner who full-timed for several years. It has a 2500 lb axle that was badly bent out of alignment. The gel coat was so oxidized that it appeared to be transparent in several areas.

I have dealt with issues as they have come up and astime and opportunity would allow. Repairs were done in a piecemeal fashion, often on the road, rather than a planned overhaul/upgrade. Now that I'm retired, after reading about the many upgrades you made, I began thinking about what I might do to our Scamp

What would be my purpose? How much time and expense would be reasonable on an old 82 Scamp? Or should we dispose of it and acquire something new or like new. We looked at new Casitas, Bigfoots and Airstreams. While these were certainly newer and nicer, how much more enjoyable and satisfying would our journeys be in on one of them compared to our old Scamp which is entirely functional, despite a few rough edges.

So at this point the question is just hypothetical. Weight reduction is a factor as is complexity, functionality, liveability, and comfort.

I am intrigued with your mods that have struck a nice balance of enhancing the last three without affecting the first two to any extent.

Thanks for posting it!
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:33 AM   #7
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...No matter camping with tents(in the past) or with trailer camper(from now on) we and our group always carry with us each a few 5-gallon bottles of drinking water. IMO, when one possesses a camper trailer, if he/she does the works by himself/herself, there are plenty of rooms for future use, just in case. My very first F.G camper came up with no water tank, no 12VDC source, no furnace, A/C either. But I am on the process of adding all of those. When working on it, why not adding something useful in case of needed? IMO, as long as one doesn't add excessive weights compared to towing vehicle capability as specs.. it's good to do it. My F.G camper is only 13 feet, but somehow I'd manage to sleep with 5 people(2 in double bed, 2 in bunk-bed and one on a stainless steel frame hammock b/t rear and front...Who knows when a heavy storm/rain would come down during camping? It's good to have prevention.....How ab a visit to ...far-away relatives? It's good to have one's own convenience by pulling camper in their driveway/backyard with an extension cord...Just my thought, though...
All good points to consider, Thinh.

In our younger years we did a lot of back-packing, carried a climbing rope often getting into areas not served by the trail system in the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. We were serious but not fanatical

Later we acquired a 13 ft fiberglass Compact Jr. Then there was a succession of trailers each an upgrade that ended with a beautiful 26 ft Avion. Then after our kids left home a older, somewhat decrepit 16 ft Scamp came into our possession. The Avion with all its luxury and comfort seldom got used while the Scamp was the trailer of choice.

We finally sold the Avion, would have no problem also selling the Scamp and purchasing a new 'most-anything'. But why? If we demand all the comforts and luxury of home, why not just stay home?

I suspect I am in the minority, outside of the mainstream thinking on this issue. That's OK and I still enjoy seeing and reading about all the mods different folks are making to their RV's.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:17 AM   #8
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Loren,

With our smaller tow vehicle weight is always on our mind. We weigh our trailer by driving thru the transfer station scales in our town.

We have done some weight reduction by having a single propane tank, no traditional awning, and no roof air conditioner. As well we have replaced the Scamp's heavy pressboard table with a folding lighter pine table. We have also replaced the pressboard cabinet doors.

In addition to being weight conscious, we are also tongue weight conscious and targeting 200 lbs as a maximum. Generally our tongue weight is a little less than 200 lbs, representing between 8-9% of weight on the tongue.

Most of our family don't understand giving up our beach home for most of the year, interestingly when we come home it always feels initially strange to be here, confining in a different way, a way beyond it's dramatically larger space and conveniences than our Scamp.

As to you're older Scamp, ours is now 22 and your's is 31. As they age the difference in years seems less significant; ours son's Scamp is now 36. Though their older glass surface may not shine as well, they are still impervious to weather, an amazing trait that allows us to enjoy our travels.

As to my passion for modifying our Scamp. I think part of it is that when I'm home it keeps me close to the Scamp, making me project our next road trip, trying to make it a little more of what we need on the road.

Like you we had a bigger rig with a lot more things, but found it was not as convenient for travel and love the what our smallness allows.

Wishing you safe travels, we love Washington state and plan to be out there next year.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loren G. Hedahl View Post
I just wonder if anyone else has considered simplicity as a goal?
That was my first thought when I took on My Boomerang 1971 Compact Jr. project. The simplest trailers are also the lightest trailers when the appropriate engineering and materials are utilized. My goal with this project was to see if the proverbial 950 pound trailer was achievable without accounting gimmicks. Plus if it were achievable, would it be desirable? The simplest of all configurations is just a hard-sided tent. Many folks want a lot of amenities within this lightweight package however. Is that achievable? The first time I rebuilt the Compact Jr. I kept it real simple:I learned that a thermoelectric cooler did not perform as well as I expected and it sucked the battery dead within 8 hours. The porta potty was simple, easy to use, and easy to dump. While we didn't miss a stove we did want a coffeemaker which required 110 volt electricity which required camping in KOAs. Robert found changing the big bed into a dinette and back again was a pain so he preferred to leave it as a bed all the time. This made daytime indoor use problematic as it shrunk the available stand-up space for dressing considerably.

We have since been traveling with our Fiber Stream, which has all the amenities, but takes a much longer time to set up and take down. I yearn for the Compact Jr's simplicity at times.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:36 AM   #10
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We have since been traveling with our Fiber Stream, which has all the amenities, but takes a much longer time to set up and take down. I yearn for the Compact Jr's simplicity at times.

It was a similar thought that led me to start this thread.

Over the years we graduated from back-packing and climbing gear to a Compact Jr. It seemed like pure luxury at first. But then a succession of larger, more convenient trailers followed as we started a family and they grew up, culminating with a beautiful 26 ft Avion.

Finally an older 16 ft Scamp sort of fell into our hands. The kids had all grown and were not interested in traveling with us. So, just for fun we took the Scamp on a trip to Southern CA, 'as is' to visit relatives. Even there were a bunch of 'issues', it was so much easier to set up, hook up and tow that the Avion was never used after that time and was finally sold about a year ago.

Now, well into retirement we could easily afford something 'better' -- say a Big Foot, Airstream Bambi or even just a newer Scamp, Casita, Trilium or any of the similar. But would making a change really make our journeys better?
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Loren G. Hedahl View Post
It was a similar thought that led me to start this thread.

Over the years we graduated from back-packing and climbing gear to a Compact Jr. It seemed like pure luxury at first. But then a succession of larger, more convenient trailers followed as we started a family and they grew up, culminating with a beautiful 26 ft Avion.

Finally an older 16 ft Scamp sort of fell into our hands. The kids had all grown and were not interested in traveling with us. So, just for fun we took the Scamp on a trip to Southern CA, 'as is' to visit relatives. Even there were a bunch of 'issues', it was so much easier to set up, hook up and tow that the Avion was never used after that time and was finally sold about a year ago.

Now, well into retirement we could easily afford something 'better' -- say a Big Foot, Airstream Bambi or even just a newer Scamp, Casita, Trilium or any of the similar. But would making a change really make our journeys better?
...A closed friend of mine has a ...sick kid. When the kid was transferred to other hospital 200miles away, the Mom had to travel back and forth to visit the kid. She has her friend in that city, too and she has free time to stay there full time to be closed with her kid and visit the kid everyday. The problem is she and her husband couldn't afford the hotel or staying in their friend's house full time. The solution is...a compact, convenient F.G camper parking in their friend's backyard. My friend doesn't have that, either. I wish when I finish my F.G compact camper, I would let her use it...Now, when I am on the process of rebuilding my camper, that issue always pops up in my mind. So I will try my best to let it as convenient also economic as possible...
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:58 PM   #12
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My mother was in a Montana hospital and I recall they had a section of their parking lot set up for RVs since it was such a long drive for some of their patients.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:59 PM   #13
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I just wonder if anyone else has considered simplicity as a goal?
That's me all over!
The trailer's my hardsided tent, nothing fancy.

I took my water tank out, too- replaced it with a "gravity feed" system:
A set of two gallon flat containers, one of which goes on the wall above the sink, to be replaced as needed. Empties go directly into the car for refilling if out-and-about.

It's not about the trailer for me- it's about gettin' out there with a nice snug place to come back to at the end of a day exploring!

Francesca
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:33 PM   #14
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i'm with francesca! we, too, keep it simple. it's about the experience and the trailer is mostly just a bed.

and i agree, if i wanted to have all of the comforts of home, that's where i'd be!
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