Camper not really movable in current state - what to do? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-31-2014, 12:39 PM   #15
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Trailer: 1984 13' Scamp named "Ramblin Rose"
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Made a quick trip home for lunch and snapped some pics, spindle is definately not okay :P

See what used to be the bearing? Yeah, not so awesome


Harder to see because of the sun, but the underside of the spindle is worn away and metal has been pushed over the crown nut, making removal impossible without some grinding away of material (I didn't even try, obviously).


uneven tire wear - the other side is very similar, but not quite as worn down


I wouldn't say that the PO was upfront about the axle condition, more like blissfully ignorant. They told me that they had it checked when they got it 2 1/2 years before and everything was "great", but then everything they described was basically to the letter of what you'd expect when the axle is worn out (trailer bouncy when towing unless LOTS of weight is put on the tongue, and obvious to me it was sitting VERY low, and the arms are at about a 20˚ up angle). So based on that I expected to replace it the near future, I just didn't really expect the mess that I have on my hands now

I didn't tow this trailer home since my husband's truck was in the shop for an airbag issue, but the PO towed it about 55 miles in this condition - we have only moved it (by hand) a few feet to make access to the side marker lights easier since we had parked it between our house and a shed.. but we discovered when I went to replace two broken side marker lights (the old housings had been smashed) that none of the lights worked as we received it, and only one of the new side marker lights worked (old/corroded wiring was to blame for the other, when tested with a battery it lit up just fine). I decided at that point and a lack of continuity in the wires I checked that I would just replace all of the trailer wiring as well as the other 4 lights, I just haven't gotten around to tackling that job yet.
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:56 PM   #16
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WOW !! I've never seen an axle or bearings that bad. It's just scary that the PO was pulling this thing around in that condition. Maybe the only option now is a rollback truck to move it. May have to put some kind of wood skids or dollys under it to even do that.
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:13 PM   #17
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That was my husbands immediate impression. I think if we put the wheel back on (realizing of course that it's a less than optimal solution) that it could probably be loaded on a flatbed trailer and towed somewhere safely.. but I wouldn't directly tow it behind a vehicle of course
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:24 PM   #18
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Lord have mercy! That is one messed up situation.

One might with a grinder and file get bearings on that mess that would allow you to move it a short distance. But this is coming from someone that once used a welder to build up an axle with a groove cut in it and then grind down the welds to a mostly round shape so bearing would go on. In my defense trailer only had to go a few miles on back roads and then was going to remain on that farm property to move stuff around at low speeds.

Might be time to see about an axle and that neighbor who welds or a shop that offers portable welding service. Norm and Ginny had a frame break in a campground and welder came out with portable rig and made the repair at a good price.

I don't know that without wheels a dolly can move that but I'm no authority on towing and wrecker equipment.

Man what a mess for you to have to deal with!
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:41 PM   #19
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Well I've contacted one local shop about acquiring the axle so we'll see where that goes... It *does* roll with the wheel on, it's just not very secure, so I do think it could be loaded on a flatbed trailer.
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:51 PM   #20
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Flatbed trailer should have a dolly for the wheels. That's how they move wrecked cars.
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:46 PM   #21
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Trailer: Scamp 13
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That puppy's done went down screaming. Time to start anew. That things been dead for along time. Your lucky you didn't loose the whole shebang. In a way its good you get a whole new suspension wheels and tires all at the same time. order the new axle with brakes. Better to have happen now rather than while your on vacation.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:09 PM   #22
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Ugh, this is getting frustrating. Bigtex (my closest Dexter distributor) basically wants me to have the axle removed and taken to them so they can take a look at it before they will order an axle for me - they are requesting a serial number off of it even though I've made it clear it's 30 years old and made by a company that no longer exists, but apparently the specs I have from scamp aren't good enough for them to order an axle. They are trying to tell me that Dexter is insisting they need this information. I don't believe this to be true at all... I feel like they're giving me the runaround so I'll just give up and leave them alone.

I don't really want to remove the axle yet since as it is now the trailer can still be moved around by hand - without the axle that prospect changes significantly.

I'm probably going to make some calls on Monday to the next closest dexter distributor who is about an hour away. Failing that I'd be happy to drive to Redneck Trailer supply in Arlington if they can get me what I want, but I'd prefer to only make the trip once to pick up the axle.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:45 PM   #23
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Will Scamp provide you with the axle part number they would order as a replacement if you took it to them? Part number and specs from Scamp should be enough to order the axle.

There is an advantage to having the trailer or axle at the shop, the shop confirms the measurements and orders the part. If nothing else if THEY get it wrong they eat the cost of the axle. Ordered off of your specifications if it won't fit you have an expensive piece of lawn art.

Just for the record the axle bracket may be welded through bolt holes in the bottom of the U of the bracket. Normally they just cut the arm off then cut through the bracket to get at those buried welds. As you can imagine that means the new axle had better fit.

Took the trailer place an extra couple of hours to grind off those hidden welds without cutting the axle apart so they could preserve the axle in case the new one did not fit. New one was built to their measurements and they ate the extra labor so just saying there can be reason for caution.

The way the Scamp axle tucks into the corner where the dinette riser is means it is a somewhat non-standard bracket. If your axle is leading arm (axle behind tires) then that too is a bit different than the usual installation. Axle get turned around and brake assemblies are swapped from side to side.

I'm pretty sure the 13 ft. Scamp would fit on a 8 x 10 utility trailer, might want some wood under the tires and tongue to spread the weight out. Should be able to pull it up with a pair of come-a-longs. Strap it down well and take it to a shop. Or have it taken there on a flat bed by a wrecker company.

Trick is to pick a good shop to avoid the expense or hassle of transporting more than once because the shop won't do the work after looking over the job or comes up with some reason that your job is going to be way more than they said before it got off the flat bed or trailer.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:55 PM   #24
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If your going through the trouble to get the tag number then you might as well talk to Al-KO they made the axle and they are still in business.

AL-KO
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:04 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahspins View Post
That was my husbands immediate impression. I think if we put the wheel back on (realizing of course that it's a less than optimal solution) that it could probably be loaded on a flatbed trailer and towed somewhere safely.. but I wouldn't directly tow it behind a vehicle of course

Well, I don't there is a concern about damaging anything. Sorry to see your trouble.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:11 PM   #26
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I added some extra jack stands (for my own security) so I could crawl under the trailer and get eaten alive by bugs and I can't find any kind of ID plate on that axle at all... there's just nothing, unless it happened to be mounted on the face against the dropped floor.

We do have a 8x16 utility trailer, so as long as we can load it up we can transport it wherever, and if that ends up having to be done a couple of times, that's okay with me.

I may call around to a few of the local RV repair places and see if I can get anywhere that way. To be honest at this point I am starting to not care what it might potentially cost, I just want to have a solution in sight.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:33 PM   #27
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I ordered my AL-KO axle this year so yes still in business and every bit as reputable as Dexter.

Desperation or frustration does not make for good decisions. I'm betting in central Texas there are a fair number of places that build or repair trailers. Private shops with solid reputations, find one and not only will you have a solutions but probably pretty darn good workmanship and personal service. Anyone can order from Dexter or AL-KO small shops have the same parts books as the "distributors".

Check with equestrian clubs or people that have horses (horse trailers), landscaping places (utility trailers), farmers, even local UHaul or trailer rental. Excavating or electrical line repair companies too. All of these have a regular need for trailer repairs and make trailer purchases so they can tell you who they would use. Place that did excellent work replacing my axle is in a pole barn behind a house and has no sign. Been doing it for 3 generations and have customers from multiple states in all those businesses and organizations I mention.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:37 PM   #28
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Every place I have called so far has basically given me the "we don't work on RV's" line... I know I can order what I need directly from Dexter (as could anyone else) but them I am stuck paying for shipping. If I can get it through a distributor then I am not out that extra cost.
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