5th wheel tug - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-26-2008, 08:24 AM   #1
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Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
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We're looking for a new truck to tow the 5th wheel.

Questions are:
I've heard some truck beds are not suitable (as in plastic vs metal)? Is this true?

Can you use a short bed truck for Scamp 5th? All the information I can find is for the big 5th wheels.

Where do you go to get the tow-bar thingy installed, since it's totally different from the "usual" 5th wheel hookup?

Any help much appreciated,
Christine

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Old 10-26-2008, 12:46 PM   #2
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I suggest you join Yahoo Scampers (Must be Yahoo member first, but it's free) because there are quite a few very knowledgeable Scamp 5W owners there and the archives have the answers to your questions, including modifications for the plastic beds.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/scampers/

BTW, I find it easiest to read the group by going to the Messages list, like this group, but you also have the options to receive the posts as EMails or as a Daily Digest EMail -- YMMV!
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:02 PM   #3
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Thanks Pete, I did look, but no help yet.
Christine
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:13 PM   #4
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Name: Darwin
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I've heard some truck beds are not suitable (as in plastic vs metal)? Is this true?

Must be metal because it bolts to the truck bed. A bracket on both the right and left bolts to the bottom of the bed and bolts to the wheel well and then a beam with the hitch ball bolts to these brackets.

Can you use a short bed truck for Scamp 5th? All the information I can find is for the big 5th wheels.

Yes U can. I have a hitch installed in a Silverado Crew Cab with a short bed. U just have to customize it to the vehicle.

Where do you go to get the tow-bar thingy installed, since it's totally different from the "usual" 5th wheel hookup?


Comes with the camper or you have a welder make U one. I have a Putnman installed on our Silverado and a Scamp one on the S10.

Be careful of trucks with a high bed such as the Ford and especially the Honda Ridgeline. If your truck bed is 2 high, you wil need to raise the camper so the camper side of the hitch does not come in contact with the truck on tight turns.

Check your private email.
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:23 PM   #5
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I know Isaac M. has owned a couple of Scamp 5th wheels, he tows with a Tacoma, and it has a composite box. See his postings in this topic for his solution (it's inside his ad when he was selling the 1989).
1989 Scamp 5th wheel

On edit: also read Ian's posting at the very bottom... he tows an Escape 5th wheel with a Tundra... same type composite box.
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:41 PM   #6
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Theyíre making rocket ships, airplanes and autos out of composite material, usually woven graphite and a binary cement (Epoxy and polyester type stuff) so I guess if the bed is made out of this strong stuff you could more than likely bolt the hitch to it however if it is plastic, I donít know.

Here is what Isaac he said about his hitch on the Tacoma:

-I had custom brackets made and attached to the frame of the truck under the bed. Then the hitch is bolted through the bed into these brackets. I had the nuts tacked to the brackets under the bed so that I can easily remove / install the hitch without having to get under the truck. When the hitch is out, the bed is completely free.

Where Scamp hitches only bolt to the bed of the truck, he went ahead and bolted to the frame so the composit / plastic must have been an issue for him.

Our old 95 Toyota had an all-mental box as does the 02 Chevy S10 and 07 Silverado.

B4 you purchase a truck it would be best to read the owners manual or get an opinion direct from the manufacture.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:24 PM   #7
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If you are buying new from Scamp, they will give you some advise on trucks. They told me "NO" to plastic beds, such as those in the Tacoma. (They also nixed drop-in bedliners. I have a sprayed in bedliner and that was OK)

Scamp will install the hitch in your truck when you pick up your trailer.

If you buy used, the previous owner will give you his hitch. However, this may not fit your truck, so some fabrication (perhaps at a welding shop) may be necessary.

It is hard to make categorical statements about bed lengths. You may have to measure the truck you are thinking of buying. I wandered around dealerships with a tape measure and got all the dimensions I could off of the internet.

The two critical measurements are tailgate/siderail height , and the distance from the center of the axel to the corner of the bumper.

My tailgate is 54 inches, and that is about as high as you should go. That height requires that my trailer be "lifted" with an additional section of tubing under the frame. Not a problem, if you order it that way from the factory, but a big problem if you buy a used trailer that doesn't fit your truck.

The distance from the center of the bed at the axel to the corner (bumper or tail light) should not exceed 60 inches. This basically means a truck with a short rear overhang, or at least, not a long one.

Another important dimension is the length from the axel to the back of the cab. This determines how much you can "Jack knife" the rig without the two components hitting. Scamp seems to be reluctant to quote a figure on this one, as nobody agrees how much of an angle is necessary with such a short trailer. About 40 inches should enable you to turn 90 degrees. My short bed GMC half ton has about 31 inches, and I have found that sufficient.

But some trucks, such as the Frontier crew cab, have much less distance. Perhaps only 14 inches cab to axel. I'm not sure that is enough.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:54 AM   #8
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If you are buying new from Scamp, they will give you some advise on trucks. They told me "NO" to plastic beds, such as those in the Tacoma. (They also nixed drop-in bedliners. I have a sprayed in bedliner and that was OK)

Scamp will install the hitch in your truck when you pick up your trailer.

If you buy used, the previous owner will give you his hitch. However, this may not fit your truck, so some fabrication (perhaps at a welding shop) may be necessary.

It is hard to make categorical statements about bed lengths. You may have to measure the truck you are thinking of buying. I wandered around dealerships with a tape measure and got all the dimensions I could off of the internet.

The two critical measurements are tailgate/siderail height , and the distance from the center of the axel to the corner of the bumper.

My tailgate is 54 inches, and that is about as high as you should go. That height requires that my trailer be "lifted" with an additional section of tubing under the frame. Not a problem, if you order it that way from the factory, but a big problem if you buy a used trailer that doesn't fit your truck.

The distance from the center of the bed at the axel to the corner (bumper or tail light) should not exceed 60 inches. This basically means a truck with a short rear overhang, or at least, not a long one.

Another important dimension is the length from the axel to the back of the cab. This determines how much you can "Jack knife" the rig without the two components hitting. Scamp seems to be reluctant to quote a figure on this one, as nobody agrees how much of an angle is necessary with such a short trailer. About 40 inches should enable you to turn 90 degrees. My short bed GMC half ton has about 31 inches, and I have found that sufficient.

But some trucks, such as the Frontier crew cab, have much less distance. Perhaps only 14 inches cab to axel. I'm not sure that is enough.
Another reply from Va.
I'm towing my 19 Scamp with a 2007 Nissan Crew Cab (V-6) (4 dr) 4X4 longbed (6 ft). It has a metal bed and I am using the stock Scamp hitch. I did have to make a longer cross bar to fit my truck. I mounted the hitch just slightly behind the center of the Axel. By do this the front bolts catch a support on the truck bed which is bolted to the frame. The two center bolts, I added doublers on both sides of the bed. On the rear I used long bolts and was actually able to catch existing holes on a frame cross member. (Use grade 8 hwd.)
I am able to place two large HD plastic boxes in front of the hitch bar. I also have room to store my Gen. and gas cans in the rear corners of the bed. The truck gets 19-20 mpg empty and 15-17 towing the scamp. The truck has plenty of power for towing in the mountains. I am very pleased with my tow vehicle and it rides great.
One note, even though this is a lower profile 4X4 truck, it is as long as my F-250 and parking can be a challenge for my wife.
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:21 PM   #9
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I believe Scamp says no to plastic because their hitch won't work and they may not want to mess with drilling holes in truck frames to fit a custom hitch. Several Yahoo Scampers are towing S19s with TVs having plastic bed and custom hitch.

Nissan 'longbed' is only six feet? My Dodge D150 had shortbed of six feet and my Ranger has a longbed of seven feet -- Full-sized pickup longbeds are eight feet.
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:55 PM   #10
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Trailer: Scamp 2008 Custom Deluxe 19 ft 5th Wheel
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I looked long and hard at the Nissan Frontier and almost bought one. Although I am very happy with my full size GMC, I revisit that decision every time I go to the gas pump! Frontiers are really nice trucks, and Consumer Reports rated them rather highly.

The Frontier Crew cab long bed has a longer wheel base than the regular crew cab. The extra inches went into the space between the axel and cab, so there should be enough clearance for backing, even though you couldn't jack knife it a full 90 degrees. (Of course, neither can I with my full size short bed) On the other hand, the crew cab long bed Frontiers are heavier than their short bed counter parts, and, as they both have the same GVWR, the long beds have less payload.

Scamp just bolts their hitches to the wheel wells. That's why they want a steel bed, or, more precisely, steel wheel wells! They're afraid plastic would wear or tear. Tacoma owners find a way to bolt the hitch to the frame, or welded frame extentions. That would be sturdier, for sure.
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