1984 Scamp 13 Axle Replacement - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-03-2015, 11:23 PM   #1
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Name: JD
Trailer: 1984 Scamp 13'
Nebraska
Posts: 24
1984 Scamp 13 Axle Replacement

Hello!

I just bought my fist travel trailer today, a 1984 Scamp 13. Woohoo. I have a lot to learn. My first concern is towing safety as this is a family affair. It has become apparent to me that the suspension is extremely low and that an axle replacement may be in order(?). The torsion arms are tilted up, not down at 22.5 degrees, which I believe is how they left the factory. I noticed this while replacing the tires before I towed it home. I have also learned that electric brakes are considered a good idea and I'm inclined to agree.

Here are a few questions:

1. Maybe it's fine just the way it is? Is low riding really a bad thing? What are the consequences? Does it need to be replaced?

2. I believe a Drexel #9 Torflex will work ( I found another post with this specified). I can get it with 4 on 4 hubs with electric brakes and use stock rims and tires. Is that a good idea or should I get new rims and tires. I like the stock moon hubcap look.

3. I have a flat four pin electrical connection on my car. Do I need to replace my car wiring harness to something else? Do I just add something to it. I have no idea how electric brakes work. I have a small utility trailer that works fine with the 4-pin and I want to keep that. Do I need two different connections, one for each trailer? What other equipment is necessary for electric brakes? Controllers?

4. Can this be done by a moderate DIY person like myself? I can assemble and bolt but not weld...Should I take it to a trailer repair place? I assembled and wired my 4x8 Chinese DIY folding utility trailer! So, I know a little.

Any help/advice here would be most appreciated. I love that little thing and want to use the heck out of it, but also want to feel like it's safe to tow 3500 miles next summer. BTW, I'm using a 2003 Honda CRV EX to tow it.

Cheers,
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:39 AM   #2
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD Eben View Post
Hello!

I just bought my fist travel trailer today, a 1984 Scamp 13. Woohoo. I have a lot to learn. My first concern is towing safety as this is a family affair. It has become apparent to me that the suspension is extremely low and that an axle replacement may be in order(?). The torsion arms are tilted up, not down at 22.5 degrees, which I believe is how they left the factory. I noticed this while replacing the tires before I towed it home. I have also learned that electric brakes are considered a good idea and I'm inclined to agree.
Here are a few questions:
1. Maybe it's fine just the way it is? Is low riding really a bad thing? What are the consequences? Does it need to be replaced?
2. I believe a Drexel #9 Torflex will work ( I found another post with this specified). I can get it with 4 on 4 hubs with electric brakes and use stock rims and tires. Is that a good idea or should I get new rims and tires. I like the stock moon hubcap look.
3. I have a flat four pin electrical connection on my car. Do I need to replace my car wiring harness to something else? Do I just add something to it. I have no idea how electric brakes work. I have a small utility trailer that works fine with the 4-pin and I want to keep that. Do I need two different connections, one for each trailer? What other equipment is necessary for electric brakes? Controllers?
4. Can this be done by a moderate DIY person like myself? I can assemble and bolt but not weld...Should I take it to a trailer repair place? I assembled and wired my 4x8 Chinese DIY folding utility trailer! So, I know a little.
Any help/advice here would be most appreciated. I love that little thing and want to use the heck out of it, but also want to feel like it's safe to tow 3500 miles next summer. BTW, I'm using a 2003 Honda CRV EX to tow it.
Cheers,
Welcome to the group JD. Good questions you asked and a few answers for you.
If you do change out the axle I would add brakes even though it's a 13'er as it's a safety item. I really don't like the trailer pushing me and in a swaying condition, hitting the brake controllers manual lever can save you. The Prodigy P2 controller is the best on the market, has very good reviews. The flat 4 will not work for brakes, your need the 7 pin for that. I have 5 different trailers....including the little 4x8 foldup you have . I changed out all the plugs to the round 6 pins on the smaller ones along with 2" balls, no more changing stingers. On my tug I have the 7, 6 and flat four all wired in for which ever trailer I use. Easy job. Go to Etrailer on line and look at the videos for wiring up a controller. Back to the axle, if you do change it I would go with the 5" rims and 14" tires as it seems 13's are getting harder to find. I can't see from the pic how low it's sitting but being an '84 it is probably ready for a new one. Your CRV will be fine too.
Well, there's a start for you, enjoy it, others will be along some with other comments.
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:13 PM   #3
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Name: Jacob
Trailer: Scamp
Michigan
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Borrego Dave, I also have an 05 CRV and the tow limit is 1500. I haven't weighed my Scamp yet (just got it yesterday), but I was under the impression that they typically weight at least that. Do you have experience there or any advice about that. I would love to tow it with my CRV. Thanks.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:27 AM   #4
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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I'd say that the CRV is one of the few vehicles I would trust towing at its limit. My impression is that Honda set the limit fairly conservatively. Quite a few people have towed 13' eggs for many miles without mechanical issues.

However...
IIRC from another thread, Jacob, I believe you will be traveling with five people. If so, I think that may tip the equation. More people and cargo in the vehicle reduces towing capacity accordingly. Your owner's manual may have something to say about that.

We own a 2006 CRV and a 2011 Pilot. With four people and their gear, sometimes bicycles, and mountain/canyon grades to deal with, we stick with the Pilot for towing our 13' Scamp.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:39 AM   #5
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Name: Jacob
Trailer: Scamp
Michigan
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Jon in AZ, Thanks. That's good to know. I'm eventually going to get the Scamp weighed, since I know there can be great variability. The reason I want to be able to use the CRV is more for convenience of picking it up from storage or if I take a solo trip. We can't all really fit in the CRV comfortably for any distance, but I prefer to leave the van at home when I'm not taking the whole family someplace. The CRV just opens more options.

My neighbor and scuba dive buddy already decided to plan a trip for us up north with the trailer. That would be ideal for the CRV.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:43 AM   #6
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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We also towed a 13' Scamp with our CRV (2008?) and two points:


I wouldn't even think of towing one without trailer brakes, especially because it sound like there will also be a fair load of family on board. That may mean a new axle anyway, but trailer brakes are a must and are required in many states if you exceed 1500 lbs (1000lbs in NY state)


I believe that Scamp offers an axle replacement service at the factory, it's usually welded in place and not a DIY job.


Watch your weight very carefully, meaning to actually get it weighed once it's packed and ready to go. It's very easy to get over 1500 lbs. (actually it's hard to stay under 1500 lbs. and there was only two of us). And be sure your tongue weight stays in the 10% plus range.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:49 AM   #7
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Name: Jacob
Trailer: Scamp
Michigan
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Bob Miller, if I end up with a new axle, I'm going to look into adding breaks. As I wrote in an earlier post, the CRV would not be for family trips, but for smaller (lighter) trips, but I still need to figure out the weight -- loaded.

Thanks.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:01 PM   #8
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Name: JD
Trailer: 1984 Scamp 13'
Nebraska
Posts: 24
After more investigation the last and big question for me is leading arm vs. trailing arm axle. I know there are other threads on this topic but the issue still poses a dilemma for me. Using a leading arm requires going against "modern" rules for trailers and requires reversing a trailing arm axle and brakes, etc....no warranty and getting a commercial welder to agree to do it.

While installing a trailing arm axle requires relocating it under the drop floor. The drop floor framing is not structural as is is hung from the frame and is only intended to support the flooring and cargo. Can't really attach to that - spoke to the factory. However, I'm inclined to find a trailing arm solution. If anyone has details on how to retrofit a trailing arm axle and mount it to the frame that would be really helpful.
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:07 PM   #9
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Hmmm it looks like we have two different discussions going at the same time. I think that the thread was inadvertently hijacked....


That said, I was replying to JD Eben in post #1 who will be towing with a CRV.
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:18 PM   #10
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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You can use this socket converter to go from 4 pin to 7 pin and 4 pin. That way you keep a direct connection for your 4 pin trailer. You will still need to attach wiring to this connector for the Brake control signal and the charging wires for the battery.

http://www.amazon.com/Hopkins-Towing.../dp/B0002Q80GS
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