Failure of Axle Brackets on Scamp 5W Trailers - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-29-2007, 05:57 PM   #1
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I haven't checked in about three days, but there is a thread currently going on Yahoo
Scampers regarding failure of axle brackets on Scamp 5W trailers. Last I read, there were about six reported and they seemed to be limited to the Al-Ko axle, not the Dexter.

Find the topic here: Scamp Axle Alert, it's a PDF file.

Anyone with a Scamp 5W should check both sides for stress, cracks or breaks, esp if it's an Al-Ko axle (Scamp- reportedly went to Al-Ko because of alignment problems with the #10 Dexter used on the Scamp 16' and 19'. It's apparently a failure of the bracket itself, not the weld and not the frame. It appears to me that the bracket just isn't adequate for the weight.

Here's a post from Thursday, 9/27/07:

Axle failures on late model D19 Scamps

Steve, shocks are not breaking these axles. Cracks were found on an
07D19 without any shocks.

I spoke with Kent today. This year a few customers reported this
problem. They had not changed any processes so he suspected a change
in the axle. They switched to axles with reversed brackets. I
suggested bolting instead of welding, which he is considering. I also
forwarded pix by email.

Thanks to everyone who had this problem and came forward to raise our
awareness. It seems mainly 2005 and later 19' models are affected, but
the same 3500# AL-KO axle is used on 16' Scamps so a heavy mid-size
egg could also be at risk. Inspecting or these cracks is a very good
idea.

-KB
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Old 09-30-2007, 12:13 PM   #2
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Pete, many thanks for the post above, I have the same problem on our 2002 Scamp 5r. I have pictures and compared them to the Alko picture how the axle should be installed and it is definitely not installed in accordance with the Alko directions.

Scamp welded the axle on and the trailer sets on only a small portion of the bracket flat area and close to a drilled hole in the axle flat area and it ripped the axle bracket in the front and the back of each side.

I sent pictures to Both Scamp and Alko and they will do nothing about it. Said "Bring the trailer in and we will look at it." Couldn't take that thing anywhere in fear of it coming loos and causing a major accident.

If this has happened to others, I think it is now time to take the situation to the National Traffic Safety people to see if they may have a recall of the Scamp units in question. Reason: It would be a major catastrophe should an axle break off while traveling down the road.

I lost the address to yahooscampers. Will you please re-post it for me.
Thanks, DR
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Old 09-30-2007, 06:15 PM   #3
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Scamp Axle problems:

Attached are 3 pictures of a 2002 Scamp 5R with an AL-KO axle and the axle bracket is ripping off the frame.


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chment]

This may need to be a new thread as there have been multiple reports of this problem.
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P1010157.JPG   P1010155.JPG  

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Old 09-30-2007, 09:30 PM   #4
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Wow Darwin you do have some damage there. Outside of mine being the worst yours is a close second.

Blair
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:57 AM   #5
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I had a temp fix done at the greatest welding shop this side of the Mississippi - City Welding in Fredericksburg, VA. Cost right at $300USD.

because we live in the boondocks, there are no dealers within 100 miles that will order or install an axle even though the web sites say they will.

Will have to do it when we are on a trip and work it into the schedule.

NOTE: Was ripped on both sides front and rear, left and right axles.
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Old 10-01-2007, 02:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for an interesting bit of information, Pete.
Quote:
It appears to me that the bracket just isn't adequate for the weight.
I don't think so... I don't think there's any problem with the strength of the bracket...

Quote:
Scamp welded the axle on and the trailer sets on only a small portion of the bracket flat area and close to a drilled hole in the axle flat area and it ripped the axle bracket in the front and the back of each side.
I think that this is an important observation. I don't have an official installation guide for the Al-Ko axles, but a glance at their on-line spec sheet shows a proper installation (the "top mount" bracket shown on the right), with the frame and bracket properly aligned.

I would not expect Al-Ko to fix anything here; if it were my trailer I would expect Scamp to replace the axle with one which is properly specified so that the axle brackets matched the frame spacing. Since the manufacturers without dealers (such as Scamp and Casita) routinely handle problems by reimbursing owners for authorized repairs at local facilities, I would expect that Darwin's clear photos (excellent work, Darwin!) would be enough to have it resolved in this manner. Since this is a safety issue, I would not expect to be constrained by any warranty period.

I would encourage Scamp to take the issue to NHTSA themselves, taking responsibility for the situation. Everyone makes mistakes; those who own up to them and fix them earn respect.
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:44 AM   #7
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Following the whole thread of the original Alert: recent reports of axle failures on 19D Scamps, I noticed that at least in the cases for which photos are provided (Darwin's here, plus tx900s and joejakey in Scampers) the Al-Ko bracket doesn't extend very far in the direction of the arm from the tube; this is most clearly visible in a nice side view. This causes the twisting which you can see in the bracket failure. While the failure (IMHO, of course) is still not Al-Ko's fault due to the incorrect mounting, it emphasizes the importance of intelligent design. This bracket, and most of the "half axle" rubber torsion mounts (rarely if ever used in eggs), are clearly not ideal in this regard.

In two images clipped from Al-Ko's product sheet (unfortunately at different scales), here's the side view showing the short bracket:


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According to this product sheet, the bracket is only 7.9" long (dimension "D"), so it ends 3.95" towards the spindle from the pivot centre; however, the arm is 6.3" long (dimension "B"), so the spindle is well past the end of the bracket.

The hub end of the bracket is still short of the hub centreline, so the other end of the bracket is being pulled down from the frame, while the hub end is being pushed up into the frame with far more force than would exist in a better (longer towards the hub) bracket. The bracket should extend significantly past the hub centreline.

Here's a Dexter Torflex arm and bracket, showing the arm extending a bit past the hub (spindle):

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One Scampers member showed the lifted suspension configuration, with a steel tube matched to the frame width as a spacer. If a wider spacer were used, it could work around the incorrect axle bracket width specification while doing the lift; instead, it just reproduces the problem maybe 2" higher.

Note: Links into Yahoo! Scampers will only work if you have an account and log in. Sorry!
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:18 PM   #8
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I recently bought a new Scamp 5th wheel deluxe and that is the one with the axle problem. I have about 5,000 miles on it and can see no problem with the axle brackets. The one thing that is different about mine is the location of the bracket to the frame has been reversed to allow the support side of the bracket to be directly under the frame. I think that is the problem with the ones that are twisting and cracking. I will try to post pics of the ones that are failing so they can be compared to mine.

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Old 10-02-2007, 07:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
The one thing that is different about mine is the location of the bracket to the frame has been reversed to allow the support side of the bracket to be directly under the frame.
This is a substantial difference, and is presumably the bracket reversal which is mentioned in the Scampers discussion. Thanks for the illustration!

The Al-Ko bracket appears to be substantially wider than the Scamp frame, and is probably matched to some more common frame width, as shown in the spec sheet drawings. Does anyone know the bracket width (side-to-side, not front-to-back), and the width of the Scamp frame rails? According to the Dexter catalog, their Torflex brackets (in the corresponding #10 axle size) are 2.5" wide.
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:05 AM   #10
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Checked out our 2005 Scamp 5er Standard this afternoon. Bad news and good: the axle is the Al-Ko (that's the bad news), but there is no damage visible at this point in time. Pictures of what "normal" looks like as seen from above the axle are attached.


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And from below the axle.



--Peter
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Checked out our 2005 Scamp 5er Standard this afternoon. Bad news and good: the axle is the Al-Ko (that's the bad news), but there is no damage visible at this point in time. Pictures of what "normal" looks like as seen from above the axle are attached.


Attachment 10413


And from below the axle.
--Peter
I think i did read that this is the same axle used in the 16 ft. Have there been any reports of axle problems in the 16 ft series?
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:35 AM   #12
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Peter, although I don't think the Al-Ko bracket is ideal, it is clearly adequate when properly installed. I think the only bad news is that yours is not properly installed, because the bracket spacing is not correct for the frame width. Either the normal or "reversed" bracket would be fine, if properly spaced.

If it were mine, I would insist that Scamp cover the cost of replacing it, or adding bracing to the outside of the frame to adequately bridge the bracket to the frame, before the inevitable failure occurs. Even if I failed to get Scamp to take responsibility, I would fix it, having learned from what has happened to others.

Be happy that at least your trailer manufacturer is still in business, unlike the makers of many of our trailers - Boler, in my case. Also, it appears that your axle can be reused (by adding bracing), reducing the cost substantially; this is not an option if the brackets are already destroyed.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Checked out our 2005 Scamp 5er Standard this afternoon. Bad news and good: the axle is the Al-Ko (that's the bad news), but there is no damage visible at this point in time. Pictures of what "normal" looks like as seen from above the axle are attached.


Attachment 10413


And from below the axle.
--Peter
Peter, axle problems aside, were I you, I would put some chafing protection around the brake wires where they cross the axle bracket, just in case. They may touch when the spindle arm is moving.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
If it were mine, I would insist that Scamp cover the cost of replacing it, or adding bracing to the outside of the frame to adequately bridge the bracket to the frame, before the inevitable failure occurs. Even if I failed to get Scamp to take responsibility, I would fix it, having learned from what has happened to others.
I'm debating how I want to deal with this. Given the number of failures I've heard about it seems likely that Scamp will have to do a safety recall. So my options are:

1) Monitor the axle mounts and wait for a recall. This might be a workable solution for me because all the failed axles to date are on heavier "deluxe" trailers.
2) Take it to Scamp and ask them to fix it. The right thing to do, but they might ask me to bring it to them for repair. A huge hassle.
3) Take it to my father-in-law and have him weld reenforcement supports on before something fails. Something like a 3" (72mm) long x 1.5" (36mm) square box-beam turned 90 degrees and attached at either end of each axle bracket and frame member should provide more than enough support. Simple, cheap, and potentially something that would have to be removed if a recall repair was offered.

--Peter
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