Low Clearance - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-08-2012, 06:45 PM   #1
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Low Clearance

Hi all. I am a first time owner of a FGT. We just purchased a 1978 Scamp and I was pretty shocked to see how low to the ground it is! I'm thinking it has something to do with the age, meaning that this has since been changed in the newer models. Does anyone know if #1 this can be modified by simply "flipping" the axel, which I have heard friends do with other non FGT. Or #2 If I have to buy new parts to lift the little guy higher off the ground. #3 if I do have to have a new axel installed, how pricey is this? Here is a pic. Any suggestions would be really appreciated!
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:49 PM   #2
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Your torsion axle could be shot. Do the tires rub on the upper part of the fender well especially when you hit a pothole? Give a good look at your tires and the inside of the fender well. If you jack it up does the wheel come down a really long ways?
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:52 PM   #3
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Welcome Selina! Glad you joined us! Congrat's on your new scamp. Yup it looks low............................. But certainly not the lowest I have ever seen. Your trailer looks like it's in pretty good shape for it's age.


I know people "flip" but I could also say that 30 something axel might be toast and a new one would lift it alot for you. But only way to know is to have the axel check out.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:53 PM   #4
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Hi Darwin. Those are all really good questions that I can't answer! LOL. I don't think anything is rubbing on the fender well, at least I haven't felt it. I honestly didn't even think of something being broke, I just figured this was how this old guys were built, but now I'm a little worried....
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selina187 View Post
Does anyone know if #1 this can be modified by simply "flipping" the axle, which I have heard friends do with other non FGT.
"Flipping the Axle" can only be done with leaf spring suspension that many Non-molded-fiberglass trailers have. Factory installation for them is "Spring Under" and "Flipping" puts it "Spring Over". Your Scamp has a Rubber Torsion Axle, which is totally different so you do not have that option.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:59 PM   #6
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Ok so now I am def thinking I need to get this checked out! I'm so glad I asked, since we were planning on taking it out for it's first trip over Thanksgiving!

Robin, it's in pretty good shape for 35 years old! It does have a 6" crack in the fiberglass top front that we are going to repair, and it's missing a few misc parts, but it has good bones. The interior is in amazing shape....all original upholstery. The lady I bought it from has only had it for a year and she bought it from the original owers who were an older couple and hardly used it. Here is a few interior pics:


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Old 11-08-2012, 07:00 PM   #7
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"Flipping the Axle" can only be done with leaf spring suspension that many Non-molded-fiberglass trailers have. Factory installation for them is "Spring Under" and "Flipping" puts it "Spring Over". Your Scamp has a Rubber Torsion Axle, which is totally different so you do not have that option.
Ah good to know! Thanks Frederick!
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:07 PM   #8
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Selina, just looking at the photo only it looks like as others have suggested the axle needs replacing and sadly that is pretty well the only way your going to get it lifted up a bit. If all is well with the axle you should have about a hand width clearance at the top of the tire.

Having said all that there are lots of people towing around old trailers in need of axles. just take it easy and watch the bumps! So its not something you need to do today. If you post a new thread with a title such as need a new axle in such and such California someone should be able to point you in the right direction. As far a cost goes I am going to guess at around $500.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:09 PM   #9
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Sorry forgot to add - its a real cute trailer so get out and enjoy it for Thanksgiving!!
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:10 PM   #10
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Selina, Not broke, just wore out. The torsion axle has rubber inside it and it compresses and flexes baxk on bumps and compresses when just setting and after years of compression it eventually stays there. Just look up in your fender wells to see if you can spot rubs and look at the tires to see if they look like something is rubbing and if things look OK or not bad, I would go ahead and use it this Thanksgiving. Just don't load it up with lots of weight. Load that stuff in the tow vehicle instead.

Also: Put someone inside and have them bounce over where the axle is and you stay outside and see if it bounces up and down. Bouncing up and down is a good thing, hitting rock bottom or no bounce at all is not.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:13 PM   #11
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Sorry forgot to add - its a real cute trailer so get out and enjoy it for Thanksgiving!!
Thanks so much Carol! I did drive it about 2 hours when I picked it up and it felt fine. While I have to go extremly slow over driveways and such, I didn't feel anything rubbing.

Thanks all for making me feel so welcome here! We are so excited about our first FGT!
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:13 PM   #12
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Check this out.


Basically the rubber rods get smushed over decades of use.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
Selina, Not broke, just wore out. The torsion axle has rubber inside it and it compresses and flexes baxk on bumps and compresses when just setting and after years of compression it eventually stays there. Just look up in your fender wells to see if you can spot rubs and look at the tires to see if they look like something is rubbing and if things look OK or not bad, I would go ahead and use it this Thanksgiving. Just don't load it up with lots of weight. Load that stuff in the tow vehicle instead.

Also: Put someone inside and have them bounce over where the axle is and you stay outside and see if it bounces up and down. Bouncing up and down is a good thing, hitting rock bottom or no bounce at all is not.
Great suggestions, thanks again Darwin!
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:40 PM   #14
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I am working on a 13ft ECO which looks like a Boler. It sits very low. I am going to replace the axle. Axle will be 3500# adding springs 2000#. Replacing 13" wheels going to 14". It will be much higher than it is now.
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