What would it take to swap a frame? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-08-2012, 07:55 AM   #1
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What would it take to swap a frame?

My '83 Scamp has some road cancer in it's frame from a prior life traveling Pennsylvania's roadsalt encrusted roads. Since an axle swap would be a good idea anyway, why don't I go the distance and give it a whole new frame? While I could still simply beef up the existing frame with some fresh steel, wouldn't it be smarter to just remove the old frame with new? Anyone gone that route? What are some of the hurdles to leap over to roll out the old and roll in the new?
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:01 AM   #2
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Because the condition of my restoration projects is so poor to start, I frequently have all new frames built. My welder matches the dimensions and layout, and adds any customizations that I wish to include, such as axle mounting brackets, expanded metal mesh to the front, and spare tire carrier on the rear bumper, etc. These use better, stronger materials and welding techniques than original. About $1500.00. Powder coating, $300.00. And new axle with brakes, about $350.00. Perhaps pricey for some, but pretty bullet-proof... Good for another 50 years.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:25 AM   #3
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can you buy a new one from scamp, and have it sent freight?
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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I think my biggest stumbling block would be hoisting the body off the frame. I suppose I'd need some special gear. How do you do it?
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:06 PM   #5
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Try calling Scamp and asking them what they would want to do a switch. They do it every day. Anyway that would be my first option to check on. If you do let us know the answer. Casita for one would be about the same I would think.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:35 PM   #6
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I'm sorry Gene, taking the Scamp to Minnesota from South Carolina to change the frame is not a viable option. The cost will be sizable enough, but adding the cost of traveling the distance is too far over the top.
I think ordering one from Scamp would cost more than having one fabricated locally. There are several welding shops that do that very thing right here, and like Robert mentioned, would be able to offer customizing on site. I guess what I'm scratching my head about is just what it takes to pop the body off from the frame, and is it something that can be done as a backyard project?
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:39 PM   #7
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Or you could do it redneck style - flip the trailer over onto its back, remove the fame, put new frame on!

Just don't forget to flip it back before hitching on and taking it out for a test drive!
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BCDave View Post
Or you could do it redneck style - flip the trailer over onto its back, remove the fame, put new frame on!

Just don't forget to flip it back before hitching on and taking it out for a test drive!
Hmmm...I do have a sloping backyard...problem is it could roll all the way down into the pond...OK, it'll become a houseboat fer sure!
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:06 PM   #9
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I didn't know where you were, it isn't listed on you profile hence I just made a possible suggestion. Still it would be interesting to know with so many doing restoration on older units.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gene Masse
I didn't know where you were, it isn't listed on you profile hence I just made a possible suggestion. Still it would be interesting to know with so many doing restoration on older units.
No problem Gene, it's a worthwhile suggestion all the same, I wish I lived close enough to get it "factory" made. That'd be great!
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:14 PM   #11
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I am curious about this, my frame is in good shape, won't be swapping it out anytime soon. I dream of a full frame up custom restoration maybe in 10 years (I'll have to start a Robert Johans restoration savings plan!!) But as I dig below my carpets and look at the floors and lower construction in detail for the first time I just wonder how it all goes together. Can you remove the frame and have the floor stay with the body? The floor on my 2001 looks well glassed in on the edges, but I haven't seen any big obvious bolts, is it just held on with a whole lot of screws?

Just out of curiosity? How do these things get held together?
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:38 PM   #12
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Bob H...
Lifting the body from the frame by yourself is not that hard if you have a decent floor jack and some jack stands (or some other stabilizers.) Obviously, you need to first locate the hold down fasteners and pull them out. Contact Scamp to learn where and how many...

Then locate your jack under a corner and start slowly easing things up a couple inches. Throw a jack stand under that corner and move to another. Repeat this process, as needed, adding bricks, blocks of wood, paint cans, whatever can manage the weight, until the shell is high enough to get some sawhorses in place and the frame can be moved out.

This is just what I do for my re-dos, and I'm a, ahem, professional.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dylanear View Post
I am curious about this, my frame is in good shape, won't be swapping it out anytime soon. I dream of a full frame up custom restoration maybe in 10 years (I'll have to start a Robert Johans restoration savings plan!!) But as I dig below my carpets and look at the floors and lower construction in detail for the first time I just wonder how it all goes together. Can you remove the frame and have the floor stay with the body? The floor on my 2001 looks well glassed in on the edges, but I haven't seen any big obvious bolts, is it just held on with a whole lot of screws?

Just out of curiosity? How do these things get held together?

They get HELD together? Is this something new?
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:08 PM   #14
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They get HELD together? Is this something new?
And boy are my arm tired!
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