Lifting the Scamp 13' - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-19-2010, 02:11 PM   #1
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Name: Ken
Trailer: 19' Scamp
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Lifting the Scamp 13'

Since the primary use of my little 13' is for off road use, I am thinking of doing a 4" lift.
Pretty sure the axle is OK as I have well over a fist width of clearance between the top of the tire and the wheel well.

Reason for the lift is to keep from dragging the bumper while negotiating dips and depression.
Plan is to add 4" of steel tubing or "C" iron for the lift, but wondering if putting a coil spring assist on the leading arm would be a good investment of time while I have it down.

I am also thinking of putting some form of skid protection on the rear bumper.

Curious to hear from others who may have had similar needs.

Ken
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:05 AM   #2
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Changing it to a bolt on axle will allow you to install a new axle in the future all by yourself in a very short time.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl E. November View Post
I am also thinking of putting some form of skid protection on the rear bumper.
I put mine just forward of the bumper on the frame, but only because my "bumper" is plastic and only for "Stinky-Slinky" storage, but otherwise decorative. I feel that skid protection is more effective on the frame anyway, unless the bumper is substantial.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:42 PM   #4
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So, are you keeping the stock axle? Does that mean you're also keeping the stock 13" wheels?

If you are replacing the axle, adding square tube to the frame is no problem. (I added 3" to my '88 Scamp to accommodate a new axle and 15" wheels.)

But as all off-roaders know, real ground clearance is defined by the wheel/tire size.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:59 PM   #5
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Hopefully I won't have to replace the axle, however tires are in need of replacing any way.. Wheels is another question but not out of the picture.
I agree bigger boots would help.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:05 PM   #6
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Doesn't matter how big the square tube you add, the trailer is lifted but the axle stays in the same place. And it could scrape the axle in rough terrain. To get the axle to lift, the angle of the axle needs to change and larger tires certainly help too. When I had the axle changed on my Scamp, I went to a 45 degree down (no additional tube added) and now 15" tires fit just fine. It probably raised the trailer a good 8" over the ole low rider it was before. AND, there's alot more distance between the bottom of the axle and the ground.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:51 AM   #7
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So what is the maximum tire size that can be put on a 13' scamp? Probably out of the question, but I have 31x10x15 wheels on the tow rig and it would be great to get compatibility between the two.
Donna- I haven't really started looking into this yet, but is the 45 deg axle different axle or just a different way of mounting it?
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:09 PM   #8
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Archie, I can't answer the wheel size. But my Scamp is running Goodyear Marathon tires ST205/75 R15... there's plenty of "head room." The wheels are custom made, Chevy Rally wheels with a Ford bolt pattern to match the "someday" tug. The axle is a Dexter and I ordered it with the 45 degree down, brakes (obviously!) and EZ-lube bearings. There is an axle manufacturer where the consumer can change the angle... but, a brain drain is keeping me from remembering the manufacturing name. You purchase the Dexter with the angle you want, a consumer can't change the angle after manufacturing.

Hope this helps
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:41 PM   #9
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Donna,, I haven't been to worried about axle clearance where I go, more concerned about the rear bumper. However you bring up good points, and if a guy is going to get dirty, he may as well do everything he can.
From snooping on Dexter's sight, it looks like the 45 down will get about 2", but it looks like you need to go from a forward arm to a rear arm.. I am guessing the forward arm doesn't like that much angle, which is understandable.

While I am in the mood of back yard engineering I to am looking to see if I can't save my axle, turn it around and remount to get the 45 degrees as Archie has mentioned.

Probably have to change out the hubs to put a 5 bolt rim on so a guy can go with the bigger boots, but in theory it should all work.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:53 PM   #10
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I believe all Dexter axles are all now all trailing arm and it's because of a better ride. Instead of jamming into potholes and lumps, they "trail" over. Don't know what age your Scamp is Earl, but axles "typically" only last 15-20 years then the rubber dies. If you flip the axle... flip the hubs from one side to the other too.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:16 PM   #11
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Good evening Donna,

My Scamp is an 88 but probably has less than 1000 miles on it. a couple bought it new back then and after a couple of local runs with it, they were getting ready to go to Canada with it. She was working, he was home loading it.. When she came home she found him dead on the floor..

Two years later her and her sister took it to Co. . It has been setting on blocks ever since, until I bought it out of her estate.

Not sure how much life is left in the rubber, but it has plenty of bump clearance over the 13" tires.

Going with the assumption that it is ok, I'd as soon give it a chance to fail rather than pitch it because it may be bad.

The Dexter sight says both leading and trailing arms, but all of the leading arms are 22 degrees down or less, which makes sense.. The 45 downs in a leading arm situation could want to go pure vertical on a good pot hole.

If I do this I will probably change the hubs to 5 bolt, and the brakes will probably have to switch sides as you suggested, to keep the proper brake shoe placement front to back.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:40 PM   #12
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If I was going to all the trouble to change the axle around (which IMO is a good idea) I'd do it with a new axle. Yours being 20+ yrs old is probably shot, the rubber hard as a rock. Since it was on blocks it froze with room to spare.
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:45 AM   #13
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I'm not going to argue that logic, but for now a new axle would double my investment, and the guys who is going to do the works said it will cost me a box of adult beverage and my help. (And possible future considerations)

What is a good way to test the function? Bounce on the bumper, like testing the shocks on an old car?
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:24 AM   #14
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I was told one can test an axle by having someone inside the trailer bounce the trailer while someone watches to see if the axle "works". It's a little tricky because you have to watch to see if the axle is actually moving because you are going to have tire deflection too which can make it appear that the axle is working.

We went with a 22 degree down angle and added brakes on the Boler. The new axle raised the trailer several inches. At the time we stayed with the 13" wheels but should we ever replace the tires again we will go with bigger wheels.

The biggest issue I see about off roading is sealing the sucker up against trail dust. Our Boler is not at all air tight, I'm sure Scamps have the same problem.

PS. don't bounce on the back bumper...the trailer might rear up, that is always a heart racing experience.
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