13' axle replacement - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-10-2015, 08:36 AM   #1
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Name: Gary
Trailer: 1976 13' Scamp
Michigan
Posts: 98
13' axle replacement

I got my 1976 13' Scamp home and tucked into the garage after a less than pleasant experience with a "New" tire ply seperation and some violent shaking bouncing that followed...
Some of the wiser senior members have suggested that part of the issue could be the torsion axle.
After a little research I see Scamp upped the size of the axle rating to 2200lbs at some point, changed the spindle size in the 80's and recommends running the tires at 10 lbs lower pressure...
What is my present axle rated at?
If I replace my axle should I bump it up to 2200lbs? It seems that if I need to lower tire pressure to smooth out the ride of the larger capacity axle I might rather stay with a lower rating. (I don't plan to use my Scamp to haul concrete)
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:30 AM   #2
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Name: Gary
Trailer: 1976 13' Scamp
Michigan
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I have found a 2000 lb rated bolt on axle on line. The angle from the torsion axle to the spindle is upward. The website has 10deg as the only upward choice. Is that the correct angle for the 13' Scamp? Has anyone here used through-bolts to secure a new axle? The original axle appears to have holes for through bolts but is welded.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:31 AM   #3
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Name: Harvey
Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
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Hi Boats - You probably have an Al-Ko brand, leading arm axle as original equipment on your Scamp. That's what I had on my '84 13' Scamp. I've gotten different info on what the original 'start' angle was on the Scamp but mine had deteriorated to the point it was at least 10degrees up, probably more. I went with a new Dexter, 2K#, leading arm w/brakes. If you go with trailing arm your frame & axle mounts have to be modified. Here are links to several 'conversations' on replacing axle on 13' Scamps. There may be other links in the threads as well. Lots of good info there...

Torsion suspension

Need to replace axle on 81 13' Scamp

Shopping for a new axle

Scamp Axle - Leading vs Trailing
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:40 AM   #4
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
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If this was my project I would put load my gear, food and water, then weigh the trailer. I would not be able to make a decision regarding a new axle until I had this information.


Your existing axle should have a tag welded to the axle stating the what the current specification is.


you also need to measure hub face to hub face to get the correct size.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:09 PM   #5
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Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
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Sounds like you do indeed need a new axle - not surprising on a 1976 trailer ;-)

As others have suggested best you load the trailer up and weigh it before deciding on what axle you need - but as Scamp did change their axle then it probable would not hurt to do the same as there was a good reason for it. There trailers loaded are not as light as they once advertised them to be ;-)

If you take a look at the thread Trailer Weights in the Real World you will see that there are a few loaded up 13' Scamps that weighed in with weight ranging from 1620lbs to 1950lbs - there are also a few other brands of 13' fiberglass trailers that weighed in at over 2000lbs loaded up.
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Old 02-16-2015, 04:46 PM   #6
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Trailer: 1976 13' Scamp
Michigan
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I'm pretty sure I do! The second thread HARVEY posted has a before/after of a 13' Scamp of Kevin K's... His before pic has more clearance than mine! The following link answered my next question... Is the present upward angle of the arm due to bad rubber and if so, what angle was the original? I find it pleasing to know, though hard to believe a 22.5 downward angle came stock! I'll be boondocking more than in RV parks, So I'm happy to go with a downward angle.
The real world only had two 13' scamps that I could see and they both came in under 2000 lbs. I'm used to packing light too. Heck, with the Emerald Ash Borer you can't even haul firewood in Michigan! I'll have to keep reading, but I'd like to stay with the leading arm because it looks like less work to keep it the same.
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Old 02-16-2015, 07:06 PM   #7
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Washington
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Order a axle with springs to get a higher ride height. A axle with springs is much less expensive than a torsion type.
Chuck
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:10 AM   #8
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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If I lived where you live I would make an appointment with Scamp and tow it there and let them replace it. Their experts and have done this for other customers. You cant beat their price. By the time you pull out all your hair figuring out what axle you need, what angle how much it ships for and then who's going to swap it you might as well take some vacation and get it done right. Your going to pay less and get some R&R to boot.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:40 AM   #9
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Steve,
I've been thinking of making a trip to Bakus with my Scamp! But I already shook the rivets loose traveling with this axle and even though I'm In-the-neighborhood, it's still 750 miles! I love the research and the tinkering. I can get the Axle at a decent price and I have a nephew who can do the install with me. I'll get better aquainted with my Scamp, then I can enjoy a worry free trip to Minnisota.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:50 AM   #10
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If it was me & I did not feel good about towing the trailer, I would call Scamp and find out what the brand and part number of the axle they are now using is and find out the name of the distributer they use. Call the distributer and find out where the closest place is you can purchase one directly or have it shipped to you are a reasonable price. Scamp is not known for begin overly creative in their shipping options so the cost of shipping directly from them may be very steep.

You should also know that Scamp use to weld their axles on. They do not do that anymore, now they are correctly bolted on per the axle manufactures instructions.
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:05 AM   #11
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Carol'
I did send Scamp an email two weeks ago requesting all of that...Still waiting
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boats19 View Post
Carol'
I did send Scamp an email two weeks ago requesting all of that...Still waiting
Well.... lets just say the electronic communication is not one of Scamps strong points. Not been all that long since they actually had email. If you had seen their webpage of just a few years ago you would understand.

You are best to call them.
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:34 PM   #13
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Trailer: Scamp 13
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If you can get under your trailer and can clean the makers tag and read the numbers on the factory tag then you can get a hold of AL/KO and have them make you a replacement axle to the original spec. The tag is in the center of the axle right on the front. The numbers are stamped in not printed. Supposedly they have all of their build records. If your trailer still has good brakes you can keep them and avoid buying new wheels which is something you have to replace if you go Dexter. This will save some costs and shipping weight. It just depends on what your starting with. An original axle with or without brakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boats19 View Post
Steve,
I've been thinking of making a trip to Bakus with my Scamp! But I already shook the rivets loose traveling with this axle and even though I'm In-the-neighborhood, it's still 750 miles! I love the research and the tinkering. I can get the Axle at a decent price and I have a nephew who can do the install with me. I'll get better aquainted with my Scamp, then I can enjoy a worry free trip to Minnisota.
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:48 PM   #14
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Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
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Problem is I think Scamp changed axle from leading to trailing and that involved some modifications. The leading arm axle attachment on a old one such as the 76 is nothing like the new ones.

Bracket is offset on the axle in the opposite direction of "normal", short flat side of bracket welds into the where the dance floor frame and main frame make a 90 angle for it to snug into. Axle cross bar is actually under the dance floor, arm is what positions the wheel forward (leading).

I think most who have used "current" axle attachment have had to add metal to the frame to attach the more common bracket. Just turning a trailing arm around can be done but I don't think it is as simple as that on the older ones.

Upside of additional framing for new bracket is it ends up potentially allowing for bigger tires. Down side is entry is sort of a tall step and probably more of a wind catcher. No additional axle to ground clearance beyond what the taller tires provide, does raise the leading and trailing edges which can help dealing with steep terrain.

When ordering if going with stock location with leading axle I don't think the standard bolt on bracket will fit, and holes won't line up after you cut it to fit.
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