Hitching up Scamp 5th wheel - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-23-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
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Name: ken
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Question Hitching up Scamp 5th wheel

I'm having problems unhitching my Scamp 5th wheel and befor I assume it's equipement problems I would like for some experienced trailer person to spell it out for me.
Should the brakes be set on the tow vehicle befor I attempt to jack the trailer up and off the ball? I'm thinking yes for safety reasons, but not sure.
For some reason I'm having to employ a crow bar to get the hitch to release its grip on the ball! The hammer comes into play when I'm hooking up! I have to use the hammer to move the hitch lever to the locked and safe position.
This is the stock Scamp hitch and ball assembly. The ball and socket are well lubed. The Scamp is a 1997 model, not sure of the milage. Do these ball and socket hitchs wear out over time? Is it possible that the hitch has been stressed or torqued out of shape? Or is operator error on my part?
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:57 PM   #2
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5er hitch

I'm sure you have had this happen, When backing under to hitch up you have to get the ball exactly under the hitch. If not the hitch will not swallow the ball. I have centered the ball just right only to have the truck drift as I set it in park. Well the same is true when un-hitching a Scamp gooseneck. When you park the truck, if there is any pressure back or forward on the ball it will not pop loose very easy. The way I do it is to crank it up to the point you think it should be letting loose, get in the truck and carefully move it one direction or the other and it will pop off the ball. Try to determine first which way it looks that the truck should go. After a while you'll get used to it. Be sure to leave the safety chains on and have the wheels chocked. As far as the hitch being torqued out of shape is pretty slim, the trailer would show some form of damage from that type of stress.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:24 PM   #3
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It's a normal trailer coupler, not one specifically intended for hitches in the bed of a truck, so it should work exactly like a conventional (hitch under the truck's bumper) trailer. Of course, sometimes they're difficult to couple and uncouple, too.

I know that's not very helpful, but think "trailer coupler", not "fifth wheel". The Scamp 19' (as it comes from the factory) is not actually a fifth-wheel trailer.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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As mentioned, if you have any kind of a fore-aft force, the coupler will not want to release. Sometimes it is hard to tell if the trailer or the TV is slightly rolling and generating that fore-aft force. You might chock the trailer tires to assure it is not rolling.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:40 PM   #5
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I understand your frustration. Been there, done that... a couple of times. But I thought about it a bit... I didn't need a crowbar or hammer to hookup, why would I need it to unhook? Nothing was rusted or "welded." So, something else had to be going on.

The only time I use the parking brake in my tug is when I HOOK up. Because I'm directly over the ball and don't want the tug to move. Unhooking, I chock the trailer wheels, then unhook the coupler.... hummm, that doesn't always work because there's something binding. I've found if I get back in the tug and release the transmission (with my foot on the brake), the tug moves just a "hair." And that allows the coupler to come loose. EXACTLY as Kenny described.

(I also have been known to STOMP on the stinger which wouldn't apply since you've got a gooseneck)
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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Around here if it's not a fifth wheel,
we call it a goose-neck.........
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:45 PM   #7
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Carl is kinda right. We describe that particular trailer AS a Scamp 5th wheel (based on shape), but the mechanical portion for "hooking" is a modified gooseneck (that might help you with Search)
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
(I also have been known to STOMP on the stinger which wouldn't apply since you've got a gooseneck)
The equivalent in this case would be to jump in the truck box to bounce the truck up and down (one would need to stand in front of the trailer).

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlkeigley View Post
Around here if it's not a fifth wheel,
we call it a goose-neck.........
I won't start the whole terminology discussion, but just note that couplers which are intended for this configuration of trailer usually have a wide mouth which tolerates a lot of misalignment when coupling, and I think they have latches that release easily (or at least have a big lever so you can apply a lot of force without a hammer or prybar).

Once the latch is open, even if the ball hangs up in the coupler, jacking it up has to either lift the truck off the ground or release the ball from the coupler.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlkeigley View Post
Around here if it's not a fifth wheel,
we call it a goose-neck.........
The 19' scamp is neither. It's not like hooking up any fifth wheel, unlike most gooseneck and slightly like a few of them, but still different hooking/unhooking.

As Brian said, jack it up to where your truck normally sits unloaded (roughly), then gently rock the vehicle (usually reverse), and it should pop up.

The same applies to hooking up. Or, make it a real fifth wheel and live in bliss, from getting in the pickup to back up to my 19' scamp to being fully hooked up is 1.5 minutes.

If I had left the goofy setup, I would have put a quickbite coupler on, I think.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
... the mechanical portion for "hooking" is a modified gooseneck (that might help you with Search)
No, there's nothing "gooseneck" about the hardware, it's just a regular coupler as would be used on the the tongue of a conventional trailer (with a straight tongue, not an A-frame). It's not mounted as intended by the coupler's manufacturer, but it is an ordinary coupler.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:08 AM   #11
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Fine Brian, fine... but "coupler" doesn't help with Search as there are a gazillion posts about couplers. Modified gooseneck which a lot of owners of the Scamper 5er have used in their threads will narrow the Search and that's what I mentioned in my post.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Fine Brian, fine... but "coupler" doesn't help with Search as there are a gazillion posts about couplers. Modified gooseneck which a lot of owners of the Scamper 5er have used in their threads will narrow the Search and that's what I mentioned in my post.
Okay for FiberglassRV (although "Scamp 19" seems more useful to me), but if you're looking in the real world for that piece of hardware, you will want to look for it by it's actual name.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:48 PM   #13
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Try jacking the trailer up and lifting the TV slightly, now release the coupler with the weight of the TV pulling away from the hitch TV should fall away. Could be a bad cupler and may need replaceing.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:31 PM   #14
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This thread shows an actual setup at post #63

19' scamp fifth wheel camper restore - The Garage Journal Board

Modification post #69
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