Adding Brakes - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-23-2016, 08:16 PM   #1
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Name: Lyle
Trailer: Scamp 13
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Adding Brakes

My Scamp 13 does not have brakes, nor brake flanges. It is a 1999 model.

While the axle does not appear to be totally toast yet (the wheel well opening is still riding substantially above the rim of the wheel), I'm wondering about the best course of action for me to pursue.

I want to add brakes, but will need to have flanges added to the existing axles in order to do this. I have a local shop that is actually a fabricating business that works on farm trailers (and some travel trailers) and other farm equipment on a regular basis - experienced welders/fabricators.

My question, would it make any sense to have brakes added to my current axle, or would it be a lot wiser to bite the bullet and have an entire new axle installed?

How much longer can I anticipate that this current axle will last?

I've heard that Scamp factory will change out the axle for a very reasonable amount ($500) and I'm quite certain the local shop would be more expensive, but it would save me a trip to Minnesota.

What would you do? What are your thoughts?
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:23 PM   #2
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Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
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I'd replace the whole assembly with a new axle that has brakes. Look for any identifying numbers (or just ask Scamp for the recommended part number and manufacturer) as any RV shop can order it and change it out. If you're near a trailer shop they certainly could.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:05 PM   #3
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Trailer: Bigfoot 25 ft RQ
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I would not try to add flanges and brakes to the old axle. New ones are not that expensive. If you can come up with a cross reference for axle size, over slung, under slung, etc. from Scamp to Dexter (and Scamp may already use Dexter axles) then you can price shop on the internet. It depends on how mechanical you are but changing out an axle is not rocket science. You do have to jack the trailer up off the ground and block up it well enough that it won't fall on you when you get under it. I smoked a bearing on a Bigfoot trailer and changed it myself. But I took the old axle off and took it to my Dexter supplier, AA Wheel and Truck Supply. They measured it and got the correct one with brakes from their warehouse under $200. You will have to wire the brakes. But you can list the used axle on craigslist and recover part of the cost.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:14 PM   #4
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
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The brake flanges have to be in perfect alignment with the spindles and hubs. I'm sure the factory uses fixtures and jigs to get this correct.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:25 PM   #5
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Name: Lyle
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Ok, thanks everyone.

Consensus seems to be forget about adding brakes to current axle and just bite the bullet for new axle. Pretty much what I thought I would hear. Makes more sense to go ahead and get the new axle now, rather than a couple/three years down the road.

Think I'll call Scamp tomorrow and see what they say for price and scheduling. Can then compare to the local shop.

I have NO welding experience, limited mechanical talents, so I will gladly pay someone else to do the work.
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Old 02-24-2016, 04:37 AM   #6
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Good choice. A trip to the Scamp factory will be fun. You can see how your trailer was built and go to the parts store to stock up for future projects Good luck, Raz
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Old 02-24-2016, 05:36 AM   #7
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Name: Wendy Lee
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On a 99 you've already got just shy of 17 years on that axle. Def agree with others go the new axle route.

Whether to have installed by local shop or Scamp depends on cost differences and your desire to travel to factory. If it's not much different in cost and you desire a road trip, I think it would be fun to travel to factory. I would love to but I'm many miles away.

As P. Raz says, you will probably get inspired for new projects after the visit...but that's so much a part of the fun!

Best wishes,
Wendy


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Old 02-24-2016, 06:25 AM   #8
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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The axle is probably welded to the frame. During this change, have the brackets welded to the frame and then the axle becomes a bolt on. Although you may not care, the next time the axle needs to be changed it can be done in the driveway rather than needed to go to a shop. I think that's a good feature!


Best of luck!
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Old 02-24-2016, 06:42 AM   #9
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Donna makes a good point. While folks with welded axles have gotten along just fine, should there be a warranty issue, removal of a welded axle is on you. Further, Scamp is now using a different axle supplier, Lippert. That may effect your decision to go to the factory. Raz
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Old 02-24-2016, 08:56 AM   #10
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Name: Lyle
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WOW!

Was Scamp ever helpful.

I just got off the phone with them.

Cost of new axle with brakes: $455
Cost of install: $210
Total: $665

Should take about 3-4 hours. They can do it immediately (they have schedule openings), as soon as I can get the trailer to the factory - just make an appointment.

If I choose to have local shop install, they can ship the axle to me for approximately $50-$100, depending on my location. They have the axle in stock and could conceivably ship it today. Told me the waiting time from the axle manufacturer is approximately 6 weeks, so getting from them would save time.

Now I just have to take the Scamp to my local shop and see what they can propose.

If I get it from Scamp, I will probably have them install a fantastic fan as well. Said that would take an extra 2 hours.

By the way, the Scamp folks agreed with all of you - makes little sense not to replace the entire axle at this point.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
WOW!

Was Scamp ever helpful.

I just got off the phone with them.

Cost of new axle with brakes: $455
Cost of install: $210
Total: $665
And that includes the cost to wire, right?
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Old 02-24-2016, 10:11 AM   #12
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Name: Lyle
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I'm assuming so Donna, but will check before making appointment.

I would assume that a quote for adding brakes to a trailer without brakes, would have to include the wiring. I made it clear that that was the purpose for the axle change.
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Old 02-24-2016, 10:39 AM   #13
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It's important to make certain. Between the time you contacted them for a quote and the work is done, much can be lost in the communication. Maybe I'm a worry-wort, but I really like to know what I assume is the same as reality when it involves money. YMMV
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:18 PM   #14
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Name: Marty
Trailer: 1972 Boler American
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brakes

I have a 1972 Boler that has the original axel in place. I see no reason to test or measure just replace with new as I am positive the old axel is shot. I contacted Scamp they will ship the axel to me (Wisconsin) all up for less than $400.00. I have a weld shop and am not afraid of the conversion. I thought about brakes but opted to do them later as I have Mustang 2 ET slotted mags. that I love on a 4 on 4 pattern. I will do what I have to when I convert to brakes. I know it is more expensive but I love the mag look on the old boler. It also matches the future tug wheels and I can't resist. "It's not about the money just the cool factor."

Marty
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