Replacing fiberglass interior parts with wood? (Scamp) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-27-2017, 11:36 PM   #1
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Replacing fiberglass interior parts with wood? (Scamp)

Howdy folks. I've got an '83 16' scamp with fiberglass interior parts. (Cabinets, bathroom walls, etc) and I'm thinking about rebuilding some or all of those parts in wood. All the fiberglass parts are riveted to the shell. I think the deluxe scamp models come with wood interiors, is the wood fastened to the shell? If so, how? It's my impression that the interior parts are adding to the structural strength of the shell so I don't want to undermine that. Forgive me if this has been covered. I've been searching for a couple hours but couldn't find a thread about this. My search skills may be lousy though. Thanks.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:28 AM   #2
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Howdy folks. I've got an '83 16' scamp with fiberglass interior parts. (Cabinets, bathroom walls, etc) and I'm thinking about rebuilding some or all of those parts in wood. All the fiberglass parts are riveted to the shell. I think the deluxe scamp models come with wood interiors, is the wood fastened to the shell? If so, how? It's my impression that the interior parts are adding to the structural strength of the shell so I don't want to undermine that. Forgive me if this has been covered. I've been searching for a couple hours but couldn't find a thread about this. My search skills may be lousy though. Thanks.
Howdy back at you Greg. You are correct, the interior cabinets and such all contribute to the shell strength and need to be there. With out them it's said the TT looks like a bowl of Jello on the road. No problem with rebuilding them to your liking. I don't know how the DLX cabinets are attached, a call to Scamp for info and I'm sure Floyd will have your answer too. Iffen' it was me, I think I would be pulling some of the wall covering back inside and out of view, after the new things are built, and fiberglassing some tabbing to the shell to eliminate the rivets to the outside. My search skills aren't great either but my memory hasn't left me all the way yet .
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Old 07-28-2017, 06:12 AM   #3
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My understanding is that the Scamp Deluxe wood interiors are only the cabinet doors, not the whole interior structure. Replacing the whole interior with wood is going to significantly change the weight of the trailer. Sounds like a bad idea to me. Floyd will know more.
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Old 07-28-2017, 06:42 AM   #4
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The Scamp deluxe is all wood, consisting of solid wood doors, veneered plywood cases, and veneered MDF bulkheads. They are attached to the shell with through-hull screws. Scamp claims it adds around 200 pounds, IIRC.

There are ways to built cabinetry to save weight. You would do well to research that. See K Corbin's Campster renovation thread, for one. If you build them just like in a house, your trailer will get really heavy! I agree that tabbing would be a better way to attach them to the shell.

Maintaining all-around support of the shell is important. Most critical is around the door. That is the weakest area of both shell and frame. Some have fiberglassed in ribs to provide support and allow for a more open floor plan. See Ian G's Boler renovation thread regarding ribs and other design and fabrication ideas.

Make sure you have a solid frame underneath and an axle of sufficient capacity to carry whatever you build. Some early years had a pretty light gauge frame and low capacity axle.
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Old 07-28-2017, 08:59 AM   #5
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On the Deluxe, Scamp tabs in ribs to the shell. The main cabinets are attached to these ribs for shell support. The upper cabinets are screwed through the shell with bases and caps covering the screws like they cover the rivets. I have pictures somewhere I will try to find and post.
Eddie
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by GrregP View Post
Howdy folks. I've got an '83 16' scamp with fiberglass interior parts. (Cabinets, bathroom walls, etc) and I'm thinking about rebuilding some or all of those parts in wood. All the fiberglass parts are riveted to the shell. I think the deluxe scamp models come with wood interiors, is the wood fastened to the shell? If so, how? It's my impression that the interior parts are adding to the structural strength of the shell so I don't want to undermine that. Forgive me if this has been covered. I've been searching for a couple hours but couldn't find a thread about this. My search skills may be lousy though. Thanks.
They are indeed all wood cabinets. They are fastened to wood cleats that have been fiberglassed to the body. Much better design as you don't get the leaks from outside through rivets. I have a 1984 Scamp 19' that I just listed for sale. I liked the look of the DLX all wood and was intending to change it over. It was so daunting that I instead found doors that covered most of the fiberglass surface and put 3/8 oak ply on the countertops with stain and 8 coats of gym coat to make it water proof. Pictures in for sale section "project 1984 Scamp 19'".
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:59 AM   #7
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Wow! So many replies and so much great information! Thank you!
I was thinking about 'glassing in tabs or something along those lines. Using ribs sounds even better. I definitely would be using extra lightweight building methods. But I put a brand new axle from scamp on it about 2-3 years ago and the frame from under the front bench forward is new and stronger than original. (Darn thing broke in the middle of nowhere) Those factors combined with the fact that we are lightweight long-weekend campers only means I don't think weight is a big issue.
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Old 07-28-2017, 05:01 PM   #8
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Jon, thanks for the links to those threads. That's some great information and inspiration!
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Old 07-28-2017, 05:30 PM   #9
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There is a decent amount of info on some of your ideas starting on post 88 in my build thread. I glassed in mounts for several different items, ideas you could use and or abuse,, lol
Fred

There's a hole in my Boler my Boler my Boler
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:46 PM   #10
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I suspect this is part "nesting" making it your own and part preference for a traditional wood look.

Take it in stages. Start with the doors being wood faced and see if that is a sufficient fix to make you feel more at home. You can even try it out by color printing some wood grain onto paper and stick that image to the doors.

If it works then you might even consider purchasing some "flexible real wood veneer" <---keywords for seach. Apply it to the fronts of the doors. That will keep the weight and the labor cost down but give you that warm cozy feel of beautiful, traditional wood grain.

Personally I think all wood cabinets in a small travel trailer are a bad idea for weight and for the fact that all that movement and bouncing will pull them apart at the joints.
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Old 07-29-2017, 12:34 AM   #11
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K. - I'm not really committed to the idea. It's just that I want to make some changes to the cabinets and I'm so much more comfortable working in wood than fiberglass. And I'm not fond of resin. I already replaced the wood floor under the front bench/bunks when the frame was being repaired and I had to cut the old 'glass and re-'glass the new wood to the shell. I think I did a fairly robust job but I didn't enjoy it and I worry about my own ignorance getting me in trouble. At that time I'd never heard of thickening the resin as you mentioned in your pop-up trailer renovation. However I did stuff loose fiber in the gaps and was careful to saturate everything and not leave air bubbles. And then I laid layers of mesh top and bottom along the seams. So I think it's strong. OK, it's late and I'm officially rambling. However I may just ramble a bit more. I plan to remove the dometic propane fridge since it's dead and too expensive to replace. That whole cabinet is sort of designed around the fridge, which means it's completely disfunctional without it. So I need to re-construct it somehow to be useful. Doing that in fiberglass is daunting to me. And on the other side the PO cut in an AC unit which I am removing and that also will need to be reconstructed. I liked your skin and frame cabinet with the food service trays and thought something like that would be easier to build than restructuring the fiberglass cabinet with the AC hole in it. Ok, time to stop rambling and pass out.
Fred - thanks for the link, I'm excited to look at it tomorrow after some sleep!
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Old 07-29-2017, 03:14 AM   #12
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Hey Greg, I understand your like of woodworking. I've been at it since I around 8 or 9 and have pretty much a wood shop now. The biggest thing about fiberglassing and woodworking is the FG is much more forgiving for any mistakes. FG you grind it out/down and do it again, with wood it's a trip to the lumber yard .
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Old 07-29-2017, 09:14 AM   #13
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Anyone have any "small" projects that build up confidence in working in FG before trying the big stuff. I always wanted to try a canoe but never felt confident. I too am a woodworker and have a good shop, just would like to try some smaller things to get started.
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Old 07-29-2017, 09:25 AM   #14
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One of my concerns about fiberglass, besides feeling like I need a full hazmat suite every time I work with it, is that all the interior surfaces of the scamp are unpainted white fiberglass. The moment I patch or make a change I have to start painting to cover it up. Then I pretty much have to paint everything if I want it all to match, don't I?
Dave - from a purely theoretical point of view I love the idea of fiberglass and all you can do with it. It's the practical application that turns me off. I'll take wood sawdust over fiberglass dust any day.
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