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


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Old 10-21-2012, 04:52 PM   #1
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Name: Jared
Trailer: 1984 19' scamp
Kansas
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New to campers 19' scamp "fifth wheel"

Disclaimer: I've posted this on another forum, so I just copied/pasted/edited if you see something odd...

I just bought a 1984 19' scamp fifth wheel camper.

Here's some pictures (I used the panoramic feature on my iphone, if something seems curved, that's why. It's hard to keep the camera steady in a rocking camper.):











I towed it home 450 miles @ 80 mph, no sweat. The previous owner made a receiver adapter to use on it. The 28 year old trailer brakes work like you wouldn't believe, shocked me.

The 28 year old torsion axle is shot, it rides way low. No biggie, I need to raise it more to fit over the pickup bed, anyway. New axle and suspension will be coming. I already have two 15" spares for the car trailer, so I'm going to see if I can get 15" tires under it when I do this. One way or the other, those ugly wheels have got to go.

The goofy proprietary hitch is getting replaced with either a gooseneck or fifth wheel coupler. I have to look at the frame more to see which one. I have a gooseneck hitch in the truck, so that's the easy route, but I think the trailer frame might warrant putting a fifth wheel kinpin on it (not sure it will take the added stress of a gooseneck), and getting the b&w companion fifth wheel for my hitch. No biggie, either way.


The outside needs cleaned up. That's the first step. Thanks to this forum, I'm going to clean it with scotchbrite and barkeepers friend, then TSP. After that....zep floor polish. I thought it was nuts. 40 page thread, hundreds of people doing it, almost no problems, though. Who can argue? I already tried to polish it...didn't work well.

Carpet needs to go. Who wants carpet in a camper? Deciding between laminate or vinyl, mostly hinges on how clean I can get the floor (carpet is glued well).

Paint all the fake wood crap inside the trailer (not sure on color, we'll see what I get for floor first).

Replace rear window with a hinged egress window so I can throw my kayaks inside the trailer.

Everything works, with the possible exception of the furnace. It has never been used that they can remember. So, it's "new" but 28 years old.

Oh, then there's this unintentional mod...You know that rare '57 chevy pickup rear bumper you keep, just in case you ever get another project one? Yeah...well, I moved it and set it on the spare tire of the camper to get at some things in the garage...see what I see?



This forum has already been great for ideas. One thing I didn't find, has anybody successfully primed/painted over the fake wood vinyl on the cabinet doors? I cant imagine ever getting it off and cleaning the glue off, it would be easier to make new ones at that point, I think.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:57 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Jared,
Now sit down and listen for your first bit of advice.
Why would you tow @80 mph a 28 year old trailer you have never towed before?
You have no idea what may have broken or failed on this used unit. We want you to hang around here for awhile so take it easy. Cool double rear bumper set up, maybe turn the bumper over for the curve to encompass the spare.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:25 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2010 Scamp D19
Mesa AZ
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Jared -

Welcome to the forum. Take the time to wander through the photos on the Scampers_Modifications group (a sibling to this group). There have been a couple axle mods to fit 15" wheels & tires. There has also been at least one adaptation to a fifth wheel pin.

Fixing up the cabinet doors is easy if you have access to a table saw to cut new doors - you can finish them with clear varnish or paint them - in either case, I'd advocate for starting fresh on the doors.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:32 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1984 19' scamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Welcome to the forum Jared,
Now sit down and listen for your first bit of advice.
Why would you tow @80 mph a 28 year old trailer you have never towed before?
You have no idea what may have broken or failed on this used unit. We want you to hang around here for awhile so take it easy. Cool double rear bumper set up, maybe turn the bumper over for the curve to encompass the spare.
I was under it and checked the frame/tires/bearings/ body attach points/etc., before I ever hooked up to it. I'm no stranger to towing, from semis, to goosenecks, to car trailers and this little guy. The only thing I didn't like was not having spare parts for it, but I had no problems. I usually travel with spare bearings/dust seals/hub/wiring/lights/etc. It helps to keep Murphy away.

I wasn't going to do a double setup, just replace the existing bumper with the chevy one. That curve will fit around the spare tire great. No good reason, just for looks (I have problems leaving things alone). I'll also probably be welding a rear receiver on the bumper for my bike rack. It looks like I'll need to add a second crossmember to tie the receiver tube into, no biggie. It would probably work fine without, but with all the bouncing and stuff, a second crossmember is a sure thing to keep it from possibly twisting and cracking the frame.

I got a little cleaning done with the barkeeper's friend. It's much better, but needs much more before it's ready for the floor polish. I'm thinking it's going to take my buffer now. I'm hoping that and the barkeepers friend will do it, if not, I have some very fine polishin compound that I tried and will do the job of cleaning it well. I'm hoping to avoid that, not knowing how thick this gelcoat is.

I also decided the decals have to go. I'm going to hate myself for that part of the way through removing them, but if I have this much time in cleaning it already, I can't do it half baked. I'm not sure if I'll go back with factory decals or something else...to be continued.

Top half done


All done


Top half of right side done from the door back:


Right side all done:


Left side before starting:


I need to remove the propane tanks and spare to get behind them still. It's getting too dark, though. Time to eat and then start ripping out carpet.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:34 PM   #5
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Trailer: Bigfoot, Trillium, Scamp 5th Wheel
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Is your spare 4 bolt? Are all your wheels 4 bolt?
That bumper would make a nice replacement and the spare would fit perfectly.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by John & BJ S. View Post
Jared -

Welcome to the forum. Take the time to wander through the photos on the Scampers_Modifications group (a sibling to this group). There have been a couple axle mods to fit 15" wheels & tires. There has also been at least one adaptation to a fifth wheel pin.

Fixing up the cabinet doors is easy if you have access to a table saw to cut new doors - you can finish them with clear varnish or paint them - in either case, I'd advocate for starting fresh on the doors.
Thanks, will definitely look at that. I like it when people work my problems out for me.

I kind of figured that on the doors. I saw where somebody on here went and did all three top kitchen ones as one big door and hinged it up. I think I might go that route myself. Looks clean, easy, and out of the way.

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Is your spare 4 bolt? Are all your wheels 4 bolt?
That bumper would make a nice replacement and the spare would fit perfectly.
Yes, and yes. For now, at least. When I replace the axle I'll be going to 5 lug 15" if I can fit them. I wasn't too impressed with how the 13" tires would flatten the sidewall on a bump. I always liked maxxis trailer tires and was surprised by this. today I noticed they're p's, not st's. Doh! That explains that.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:08 PM   #7
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Ok, I'm an idiot. Where do I found the scamper modifications group?
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Ok, I'm an idiot. Where do I found the scamper modifications group?
Nope - it was my fault. I was reading the Scampers list just before I started catching up on Fiberglassrv and as a result led you astray. Scampers_Modifications is a Yahoo group - Scampers_Modifications : Scampers_Modifications
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:36 PM   #9
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Jared
Looks like you have the plastic frame vents. Order the larger metal frame escape hatches, you will be better off in the long run. When you cut the larger hole you will be able to cut out all the old rivet holes. Just like starting from scratch.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:35 PM   #10
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Well, I got the carpet ripped out. If I glue vinyl down, it will need sanding. If I do laminate or vinyl plank, it's good to go as is. Unfortunately, there's a little bit of rot by the rear window. Oh well, not a huge deal to fix, it's a pretty small area.



I'm also going to replace all the water lines, as long as I'm right there. Has anybody used pex for this? I might do the wiring, too.

I got the bunk setup, just to see how it works. It seems like the poles are too long, they tilt the top bunk towards the hinge. Am I missing something, or do they just need to be cut down



Also, what does the loop on the poles do?

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Old 10-21-2012, 11:50 PM   #11
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New factory plumbing is PEX
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:12 AM   #12
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Welcome -
Bunk bed poles - flip them the other way up and the loop is hooked on to a protruding nail on the underneath of the top bunk. That should make the bunk more level.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by John & BJ S. View Post
New factory plumbing is PEX
Thanks, seems a better choice.

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Originally Posted by kootenaigirl View Post
Welcome -
Bunk bed poles - flip them the other way up and the loop is hooked on to a protruding nail on the underneath of the top bunk. That should make the bunk more level.
Oh good grief. Yeah, I just set the open end over the screw. I thought it was weird they would do it like that and angle the poles in... I get it, the poles hold the cushion in place.

Thanks!

One more thing...any tips on the search function? I put "floor repair" in, and got everything but...
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:44 AM   #14
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I'm going to love watching this. I have a 1984 that I'm about to start tearing into and making major mods. Right now I'm collecting all the new parts, converter/charger, solar system, sink. Gonna redo the floor, new cabinet doors etc. I'm also making the bed mod moving it lengthwise instead of sideways. I'm looking for a bigger, nicer fridge and I'm toying with the idea of making it either a rear kitchen or rear bathroom (major mods). This is the luxury/curse of buying a cheap older trailer. I also need to change out my axle, let me know if you come up with a good one at a great price. Somebody put a leaf spring axle in mine and did a butcher job of doing it.
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