My 13' Scamp remodel - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-11-2009, 07:11 PM   #1
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Name: Robert
Trailer: Nest Caravans
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Just got back from my first NOG, which commenced at Stub Stewart State Park, Oregon. Had a great time meeting folks from this forum and showing off my work on my Scamp.

I picked up this 1988 this past June. It was in relatively good shape, but I wanted to make it uniquely mine. Here are a few pics of the upgrades and changes I've made. Please feel free to comment or ask questions, if you have any. Cheers!

Attached Thumbnails
Bronco_Scamper.jpg   ExtRtSide.jpg  

MeInsInDoor.jpg   OpenDoor.jpg  

Shower.jpg   FrntBench1.jpg  

Potty2.jpg   Galley1.jpg  


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Old 10-11-2009, 07:44 PM   #2
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Interesting design! Really sharp looking!


1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud, "The Egg Carton"
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:48 PM   #3
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Very Nice! Thanks for posting pic's......................
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:08 PM   #4
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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Wow, neato! Wish I could have seen your Scamp in person (oops, on the wrong coast).

Now I'm full of questions

1) [Edit on this first one: Oopsie, I see you did have a photo of the whole front; I missed it in the excitement of oohing and aahing over your Scamp] Could you post a photo looking towards the front of the trailer from the dinette, if you get a chance? I'd love to see the big picture of what you've done at the front and, and how it looks over in the left corner too. [I still would love to see that corner where the kitchen meets the front cabinets. How do you use the space in that corner?

2) What is the material you used for the backsplash (aluminum? stainless?) and where did you get it. I'd like to add a backsplash, and had been thinking along those lines, but got a bit bogged down when Internet shopping for it.

3) For the upper front end cupboard, did you add a thin wood veneer to an existing fiberglass cupboard? It looks neat. What wood did you use and how did you attach it? Same for the dinette bench fronts.

Nifty, nifty

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Old 10-11-2009, 09:58 PM   #5
Fred Bell's Avatar
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The outdoor shower head is very cool. Does it get hot water, as well?
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:07 PM   #6
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Trailer: 1988 Perris Pacer ('Bean') / 2015 Ford F-150, 2017 Winnebago UltraLite 27BHSS
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I think I'm in LOVE!
1988 Perris Pacer
2010 Honda Ridgeline
2013 Winnebago Minnie 2101FBS
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:28 PM   #7
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Trailer: 13 ft Compact II
Posts: 392
Very nice, Robert! Like that porta potty cabinet, with the hinged cover.
I had a few of the same questions Raya had, so I'll see what you say.

Like the woodworking!!
Great job!

74 Compact II
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:19 AM   #8
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You have a geeat tug too!
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:26 AM   #9
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Name: james
Trailer: Boler 1984
Posts: 2,908
Great re-do! It's got to give you a satisfied feeling.
How much extra weight is on the door? Sure gives it a finished look along with the new cabinetry. How did you hinge those long doors over the kitchen to keep them from sagging? Or do they open vertically
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:21 AM   #10
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Trailer: Scamp 2005 13 ft Front Bath
Posts: 11
Very nice! How much weight did your remodel add or do you know? Nice ideas, especially the door. How tough was it to install the window with the bulge? Scamp window or after market? I have an '06 with the front toilet only option so I'm not sure where I could put a hotwater heater. Pull mine with an 03 Honda Element with add ons for the chore so need to seriously watch the weight.
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:21 PM   #11
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Trailer: Nest Caravans
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Thanks all for the replies. This is my first attempt at any of this work on a trailer, so I'm sure to have made more than a few mistakes. So, in response to some queries, here are a few more details about my upgrades I thought would work best for us.

About the exterior:

1) Evidently, the previous owner used the trailer as a "guest room" of sorts, leaving it parked fully exposed to twenty years of, well, exposure. When I got it, the gel coat was beyond re-polishing, so I opted to have it professionally painted to match my Bronco. I yanked out all of the windows, and removed all the trim and running lights, etc. I replaced all of the external water and electrical hardware connectors with new.

2) Upgraded the axle in order to get brakes, nifty 15" wheels, and a better looking stance. (Tows great!)

3) Replaced the original receiver hitch with a beefier 2" set-up. This required an upgrade to the tongue jack.

4) The PO had cut a big hole into the curbside and stuffed in a household A/C unit. Looked terrible and not what I wanted. I yanked it out, and, with some fiberglass customizing to the wheel well, replaced it with an Atwood 6-gallon hot water heater. (You've seen the new outside shower which is directly above the water heater and just below my porch light.)

5) Just in case they might come in handy, I added both 120v and 12v power "plugs" towards the rear of the curbside shell.

6) The new Dometic refrigerator has an access panel and "breather" vent (with two small fans behind for added circulation) on the roadside.

7) Maybe my proudest accomplishment was repairing the warp to my entry door. After stripping off the original "rat fur", a few kerf cuts with a Skil saw to the lower half, some straps and new fiberglass, I was able to snug up a 1.5" gap at the bottom of the door. Fits perfectly now. And to continue my wood-panel theme on the interior, I added a thin veneer, dressing things up. (Jeff: the door window is the stock/original window. No big deal to remove and re-install.)

I'll talk about the interior in my next post.
Attached Thumbnails
ExtRtSide.jpg   HtrClosed.jpg  

HtrOpen.jpg   OutsidePower.jpg  

OutReefer.jpg   Doordetail.jpg  

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Old 10-12-2009, 03:25 PM   #12
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As I said in my previous post, when I found this Scamp, it looked like it hadn't been moved in years. But remarkably, the interior was in pretty good shape. The "rat fur" walls were decent, and the cushions and upholstery were great. All just needed a thorough cleaning.

Not so good were the fiberglass furniture modules. The aft benches were fine, but all three overhead cabinets, the galley unit, and the front bench had each been badly/carelessly modified by screw-in "additions" (fans, cassette player, paper plate holder, etc.) or extra cut-outs of one kind or another. I thought I could cover the damage with thin panels of relatively inexpensive plywood (3/8" "Euro" or Baltic Birch 7-ply).

But as I got into it, I realized that the galley and front bench were beyond repair and I would have to remake them completely. This presented the opportunity to redesign and reconfigure the front half—to create more storage and better use of the space by my wife and me.

So, here are some details about the work on the interior.

1) I drilled out all of the hold-down rivets and removed all of the furniture modules from the inside.

2) I removed the existing carpeting, the 10-gallon water tank, and trashed all of the original plumbing.

3) I cleaned and prepped the existing subfloor, then painted it with a quality two-part epoxy paint. I wanted a good and dependable waterproof seal on the subfloor just in case I had any water issues later on.

4) I next inspected, repaired, rewired, and wired anew for all of my electrical needs—both 120v and 12v—and including a new converter. Likewise, I ran new PEX water lines to accommodate all my future hot and cold plumbing. (More on all of the mechanical details in a following post.)

5) My aft benches, and front and back overhead cabinets were dressed up with plywood panels—hiding the damage and scars made by the PO. New doors, hinged horizontally with piano hinges, went onto the uppers. (The idea to use "holes" instead of cabinet pulls came from my brother's sailboat!)

6) The single floor-to-ceiling vertical cabinet (fairly standard with most 13-footers) on the curbside came next. Inside this cabinet is where the new hot water heater, outside shower plumbing, and "Wave-3" radiant space heater would be housed. I had to do some customizing here to keep everything tidy.

7) The new Dometic 1.9 fridge required that I cut openings in the shell for access and ventilation. Just as important, was designing and building a thermal "shroud" which keeps the ambient room temperature from affecting the cooling function of the fridge. Sheesh!

8) Now came the really hard part: what to do with the galley and front bench area? I considered trying to design a front dinette, but decided I'd rather have the space for storage. Since switching the original table set-up in back into the bed is easy (and I'm not tired of it yet) the front dinette was not imperative.

In front, the Scamp is built with two sturdy, wooden, side-to-side horizontal "braces," glassed permanently right into the shell. These provide wall-side support to the front bench and an optional upper bunk. But in my case, they were just in the way. I had to design and build around them. The lower brace I could hide behind the cabinets and use as a shelf bracket. For the upper brace, I built a box to shape that surrounds the brace, and creates a nice shelf under the front window. This also provides anchoring points for the new cabinetry below. My wife sewed the cowhide cushion that covers the potty hideout...

9) The galley countertop is 3/4" Birch ply, laminated with white Formica. (As is the fold-down table in back.) I found (thanks to someone on this Forum) a SMEV stainless steel cooktop/sink combo pretty cheap on EBay. The swiveling faucet is a bathroom fixture from IKEA.

10) Many have asked about the stainless steel backsplash. This was a functional choice for two reasons: besides working as any backsplash does, the metal panel also hides the one area of original "rat fur" that was in dismal condition. I found a fabricator here in my town to cut it to size as well as the window opening. I got a second piece to use for my fridge door. Simple. Looks great.

IMHO, the dark wood doors that typically come stock with many of these trailers are all wrong. Keeping the wood color on the light side works better with the white gelcoat/fiberglass modules, and keeps everything inside looking brighter. Also, you can see that I prefer to keep the design of the wood work very straightforward and simple. Such a small space demands clean lines and a minimum amount of ornamentation.

Here are a few more pics to illustrate some of my notes above.

Attached Thumbnails
FrtStorage.jpg   Galley1.jpg  

Galley3.jpg   InsideBenches.jpg  

VertCab.jpg   Galley4.jpg  

CabOpen.jpg   UpperGalley.jpg  

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Old 10-12-2009, 04:59 PM   #13
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Trailer: Nest Caravans
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And finally, a few words and pictures about the mechanicals...

1) As I wrote previously, I've upgraded the receiver hitch to a 2" and replaced the tongue jack. I've beefed up the ride with a Dexter Torflex to accommodate 15" wheels and electric brakes. Upgraded to a 7-pin tug-to-tow wiring harness. Standard deep-cycle 12V battery power and 20# propane tank.

2) I've installed a 6-gallon Atwood water heater; an outside shower; new hot and cold PEX lines; and a Shure-Flo water pump. I'm using the original 10-gallon water tank, but I've replaced the filler port, plus both city water hose and sink drain coupling hardware.

3) I've added an American 20 amp converter, and rewired everything. Installed three marine-grade, low-voltage overhead lamps, plus 120V and 12V adapter power plugs (CLAs) inside and out.

4) Installed new "Wave-3" gas heater; ran new propane lines to that, the water heater, stovetop and 3-way fridge.

5) Dometic 3-way refrigerator in custom insulated shroud, with 2 small computer fans to help circulate cooling air around heat transfer components.

6) Italian SMEV stainless steel cooktop/sink combo, with stainless faucet fixture from IKEA.

7) Potty.

I have to admit that, though I kept it in mind, I was not too concerned about the extra weight I've added with the new appliances and cabinetry. At least not for the moment. Also, I know my customization limits the trailer's use to one or two people. Though I was careful with the design and fabrication of the new cabinetry, I purposely chose not to use exotic materials or elaborate designs. I've tried to keep things utilitarian, but tasteful. Truly an exercise in form following function. And maybe hot water, an outdoor shower, or a stainless steel backsplash may seem extravagant, I'm confident that my wife and I will enjoy having them sooner or later.

Thank you for letting me share my Scamp "GetAway" project with you. I look forward to participating further online, as well as in person at the Fiberglass RV Gatherings yet to come. I'd be more than happy to offer what little I've learned with anyone else interested in doing what I have done. See you online.
Attached Thumbnails
Tongue.jpg   Converter.jpg  

Wave3.jpg   PowrPorts.jpg  

Fridge.jpg   SMEV.jpg  

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Old 10-12-2009, 05:13 PM   #14
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Very nice work Robert Johans. Looks SUPER.

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