New to campers 19' scamp "fifth wheel" - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-06-2012, 04:06 AM   #57
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Name: Steve
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The underneath looks like mine. Imagine someone welding shackle mounts and installing a leaf spring axle that hangs down a good 3 inches below all the cross members. Plus on mine I'd assumed someone had taken a plasma cutter and notched out the members to allow for the axle to travel up and down. Now it looks like, YIKES, that is a stock configuration. I have come to terms with the fact that the axle isn't stock and after checking it out more closely I think it is actually sound so I'm not messing with it. Plus while I was towing it all over last summer I was thrilled with how it towed. It rode very well and the height was great.

Your wheels look very nice. I actually bought the basic 5 star aluminum. I did buy them in 14" (my new tires are 14") and now after reading on the Casita forum and on here I wish I'd went with 15". Oh well 14" or 15" have to be a lot better than the 13".
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:15 PM   #58
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The underneath looks like mine. Imagine someone welding shackle mounts and installing a leaf spring axle that hangs down a good 3 inches below all the cross members. Plus on mine I'd assumed someone had taken a plasma cutter and notched out the members to allow for the axle to travel up and down. Now it looks like, YIKES, that is a stock configuration. I have come to terms with the fact that the axle isn't stock and after checking it out more closely I think it is actually sound so I'm not messing with it. Plus while I was towing it all over last summer I was thrilled with how it towed. It rode very well and the height was great.

Your wheels look very nice. I actually bought the basic 5 star aluminum. I did buy them in 14" (my new tires are 14") and now after reading on the Casita forum and on here I wish I'd went with 15". Oh well 14" or 15" have to be a lot better than the 13".
Torsions ride better, but as long as the leaf sprung one is installed well, I wouldn't mess with it, either.

The crossmembers could probably be left alone, I doubt it would sag more, but it just makes my redneck engineering sense twitch when I look at it. It won't take long to make them go away, anyway. half a day shoudl get that all replaced.

I was planning on the wheels you have, until I stumbled upon the ones that matched my truck. I'm glad I did.

Well, the torch promptly ran out of acetylene, just as I finished the two cuts that the plasma cutter didn't have clearance for.

I was almost done plasma cutting the axle out, when the regulator blew on my compressor, luckily I had just enough air left to finish.

Talk about lucking out.

The arms are far from being 25* down.

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Old 11-07-2012, 06:37 AM   #59
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The arms actually look negative. Should ride a whole lot better when the new axle is on.

I've just about got my house tiled, at least to a point where my mean gal will let me do some work on the camper, lol!(as I quickly glance over my shoulder)!!! I ordered a new 100 watt solar panel on Monday. It is 40" X 22" so I'm gonna have to get creative in installing it. I'd like to get a second one but at $200 and still needing several other costly "items" I'll start off with just one. I need to get over to Sam's Club or Costco and pick up a couple of golf cart 6v batteries. After having Solar I don't know if I could live without it again. It is so nice to never be without power.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:32 AM   #60
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...I ordered a new 100 watt solar panel on Monday. It is 40" X 22" so I'm gonna have to get creative in installing it. I'd like to get a second one but at $200 and still needing several other costly "items" I'll start off with just one.
Steve - I've documented power draw on a number of items in our Scamp 19. If you convert to LED lights, I doubt you'll need a second module unless you're planning to run the heater all night. We can go eight days comfortably on the pair of Interstate GC-2 batteries without any charge.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:39 PM   #61
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I just did cleanup work on it today. I cut off the remaining axle bracket pieces, and have about 2/3 of the floor crossmember structure cut out.

Here's what I found when I looked at the old axle bracket, I guess it's not just new ones cracking out.



If you look 1/2" right from the left side of the torch cut, you can it's starting to crack down from there, as well.

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Old 11-07-2012, 03:35 PM   #62
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"Steve - I've documented power draw on a number of items in our Scamp 19. If you convert to LED lights, I doubt you'll need a second module unless you're planning to run the heater all night. We can go eight days comfortably on the pair of Interstate GC-2 batteries without any charge."

I'm assuming you mean no plug in charge, just the solar. How much solar capacity do you have? I still haven't bought my fridge yet and I've been toying with the idea of a 12v fridge. If I do that I might need a bit more power as it will draw about 30 amps per day. The 12v fridge is currently down to at least 3rd place in my order of fridges at the moment so probably won't get done.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:01 PM   #63
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"Steve - I've documented power draw on a number of items in our Scamp 19. If you convert to LED lights, I doubt you'll need a second module unless you're planning to run the heater all night. We can go eight days comfortably on the pair of Interstate GC-2 batteries without any charge."

I'm assuming you mean no plug in charge, just the solar. How much solar capacity do you have? I still haven't bought my fridge yet and I've been toying with the idea of a 12v fridge. If I do that I might need a bit more power as it will draw about 30 amps per day. The 12v fridge is currently down to at least 3rd place in my order of fridges at the moment so probably won't get done.
No - I don't mean using solar to charge the batteries. I mean the pair of GC-2 6 volt golf cart batteries will last us 8 days without any charging, assuming our normal usage patterns for lights, fans, water pumps, cell phone chargers, etc.

We don't have a solar installation yet - it's on my dream list. We do have a Honda 2000 generator that has been used once in the past two years to top up the original battery after 4 days of dry camping.

KamperBob has a 12 volt fridge and is now using solar to meet nearly all his needs with a single module. Check his blog entries around late June for more info.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:08 AM   #64
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12v fridges are great, I had one and loved it. The only downside was the size, I like more space. Mine was, I believe, the 2.4 cu ft size and it was okay for weekend trips. However, I take very few weekend trips most of my RV'ing is jumping in the rig when school gets out in June and not returning until school starts in the fall. I teach semi incarcerated inner city gang kids. Very bad behavior problems to say it nicely. By summer the stress of the job and heat of Las Vegas are overwhelming. Just waiting for the day when I don't have to come back.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:11 PM   #65
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Well, the flooring cross members are out, and the frame is fully cleaned up.



I also found some frame cracks, in addition to the ones on the axle bracket.

Look at the dark spot in the ground area, you can see a crack running around the left side of it:



This one is several inches long:



Tomorrow I need to weld up the cracks, and a few grind marks, then finally start installing the axle lift. I'll do the floor cross members afterwards.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:47 PM   #66
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Well, it was one of those days.

It was windy, and I had to switch to flux-core wire (never used it). I could NOT get my welder to work. I messed with it for several hours, it was undercutting 1/8" steel on the lowest heat setting, sizzled like bacon, and the welds cracked as they cooled.

I finally gave up and went to the weld shop and asked them if I was a complete idiot, or what. The guy just started laughing when I told him what was going on. "Flux core is reverse polarity, you didn't reverse your leads. We have 2-3 people a week coming in here wondering what's wrong with themselves, because they can't weld with flux core." @(*&*$@!()!!!

So, I got the lift frame rails welded in, put the spare tires from my car trailer on the new axle, got it aligned, and tacked the axle brackets on, then set it on the ground to check everything out, including the height. I decided not to install the additional 1.5" spacers.

I went to the tire shop to get some LT235/75/15 tires installed, and they swore up and down they've had no problems with their new ST225/75/15 tires. I decided to try them, against my better judgement. My car trailer blows 1-2 tires every long trip, I hope these do better. We'll see.



It took 3 jacks to get the crossmember for the lift frame rails in place, due to the sagging floor. I finally got it in and tack welded, and promptly ran out of flux core. By the time I got home, it was too dark.

So, I put together the B&W companion fifth wheel hitch instead, and mounted it in the truck. I know it's not aligned quite right, I just chucked it in so I know the height to set the king pin at for the trailer tongue when I get done installing the axle and floor cross members.



I'm hoping I can finish burning the axle parts in, get that in and the tires on, and get the floor cross members in tomorrow. We'll see, hopefully things play nice.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:46 AM   #67
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I had 13 inch car tires on my Trillium for 3 years and many thousands of miles. Never had a problem other than it fluttered like a balloon behind my rig when I went over 55 mph. A friction bar solved that. Not sure if it was the skimpy sidewall or what.

Fortunately I've never had a blowout on a single axle trailer, doesn't sound like fun.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:51 AM   #68
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The axle is in. I'll get pictures of it later, when I finish the floor crossmembers.

Before:



After (with full weight on the pickup):



I could've used the 1.5" spacers to level it, but I really didn't want it higher. I can do that when I install the king pin. It has 11.5" of bed clearance, plenty of room to drop it a bit. The fifth wheel hitch in the truck can also go down 2", but I figured if I fit the trailer with the fifth wheel hitch all the way up, it gives more clearance for a taller pickup later.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:25 PM   #69
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Wow! Not a whole lot of clearance from your tailgate to the front of the trailer is there? Maybe the pic makes it look closer than it is.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:28 PM   #70
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The cross members are done now. They were a royal pain with the sagging floor. Oh well, I'll never have that problem again.

Ignore the booger welds between the angle iron and first cross member. I forgot to clean them there, and didn't care much. There wasn't much reason to weld them together in the first place, so I just scabbed a few beads on them.

Old cross members:



New cross members:





I still want to add two cross members under the dinette, but I'm going to wait until the floor is repaired, so I don't have to work around them.

If the weather somewhat cooperates, I'll be starting on the hitch tomorrow. Right now it's 30 mph wind, gusting to 45mph, makes welding great fun.

The wind was making a few embers glow on the wood for the floor, so I soaked the entire bottom of the camper, and surrounding ground.
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