Mounting 5th wheel hitch question for Scamp? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-26-2016, 05:36 PM   #1
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Name: James
Trailer: Scamp 5th wheel 1994/Ram 1500 2004 2 wheel drive
South Dakota
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Mounting 5th wheel hitch question for Scamp?

I bought a Scamp 5th wheel camper and had the hitch installed by a trailer dealer. He mounted it with brackets to the frame. A video I found from this forum shows the 5th wheel hitch mounted just to the box with bolts with no brackets on the frame. In case I have to move the hitch to another truck is that a Ok way to mount the hitch and what does the Scamp company recommend for mounting the 5th wheel hitch? Since this is a non-standard 5th wheel hitch and the trailer is so light if that method works I would like to try it on my next truck. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:46 PM   #2
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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If you're towing an all-molded-towable 5er of any brand, that's more than a ton of weight PLUS and then there's the hitch weight of (typically) more than 500 lbs. Do you really want to trust the sheet metal to hold the hitch and trailer and not the frame? I don't and I'm glad the hitch in my truck is bolted to the truck frame.


Be sure to check out this, you'll be surprised at the weight of a Scamp 5er: Trailer Weights in the Real World
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Old 04-28-2016, 03:47 PM   #3
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It worked out well for me to mount the hitch in the Sheet Molding Compound of the 2013 Tacoma. Here is a link:Scamp 5er Hitch Mod w/Photo Link
It describes it in excruciating detail, somebody wanted to the same at that time.
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:50 PM   #4
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What Donna D. said......

And, might I suggest you ask your insurance company? I suspect they'll have an opinion.

Good luck!
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:56 PM   #5
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From what I can see in Paul's link, it shows an additional small strip of metal bolted to each of the four corners of the 5th wheel hitch which are then secured by original factory bolts that normally hold the bed to the frame. If that's right, then the 5th wheel hitch IS bolted to the frame, just indirectly. Another setup I saw in a Tacoma was similar, but on each side they used longer, heavier lengths of metal, long enough to reach all the way from a front bed bolt to a rear bed bolt, and the hitch was welded to those two strips of metal. Same idea, just stronger build with a more direct connection to the frame, and the weight of the hitch was distributed over more of the bed surface. When it comes to controlling a heavy object (3,000 lb?) traveling at a high rate of speed (60 mph?) with people's lives potentially in the balance (you, on-coming traffic?), stronger is always better. Safe travels....
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:52 AM   #6
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Good observation, Dale. My hitch is mounted to both the bed and the frame by means of the bed mounting bolts. Those bolts go to what are basically "hard points" on the frame by design. Bolting anywhere else on the frame may not be the strongest point and drilling holes is difficult and may compromise the frame if done badly. Welding some brackets to the frame is absolutely out of the question in my opinion. That is the worst way to invite steel changes (tempering), weakening and corrosion.

Those narrow front to back strips in my installation are intended to distribute the loads from the hitch more evenly to the bed and frame, since the hitch fits to the rails with a lot of play.

The mount you mentioned, that uses the long pieces attached to all three bed mounts in probably what I would do if I had to do it again. All new hardware is in the bed that way, no new bolts through the bed. It may be heavier, but not by much.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:15 AM   #7
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Name: James
Trailer: Scamp 5th wheel 1994/Ram 1500 2004 2 wheel drive
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This is what I ended up with on 1500 Ram 2004 4.7L

I drove home about 232 miles, no sway but the trailer is at an angle. Pic from IPad, how to invert?
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:23 AM   #8
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James, With no extra clearance between the trailer and the pickup's bed rails, I think your best bet is to have a trailer shop lift the camper shell/frame higher off the axle. There are probably formulas out there to calculate just how much of what needs to be done (I think Escape adjusts their 5th wheel campers to fit their tow vehicle before they leave the factory). Owners on this forum who have faced similar situations will join in with their experience and suggestions. From what I hear, it's not a big deal. Pretty routine adjustment for 5th wheel campers. Or so I hear....
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:30 AM   #9
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Name: James
Trailer: Scamp 5th wheel 1994/Ram 1500 2004 2 wheel drive
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Torsion axle is welded to the frame

The axle is a torsion bar and is welded to the frame, if it was bolted with u bolts like a normal axle I would try it myself, but it looks like it may be expensive to fix.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesbucklin View Post
The axle is a torsion bar and is welded to the frame, if it was bolted with u bolts like a normal axle I would try it myself, but it looks like it may be expensive to fix.
Then I foresee a low-rider Chevy El Camino tow vehicle in your future! (Just kidding!) Once again, I'm speaking beyond my knowledge base, and on the outset it sounds pretty drastic, but I don't think it is that out-of-the-ordinary to have a welded-on axle cut away from the frame for purposes like this or simply to replace the old torsion bar axle with a new one. (A good welding shop should be able to do this as "out-patient surgery" provided you have all the replacement stuff ready for them to mount back under the trailer.) Others on this forum in the past have mentioned cutting the old welded axle off the frame, fortifying or modifying the frame if needed, then bolting on the new axle so it will be easier to replace in the future. Just something to think about while waiting for others with more first-person knowledge about situations like this to reply. Also, I believe some brands of torsion axles are adjustable, but I don't think they can be adjusted as much as you appear to need. Dale
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:17 AM   #11
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Name: Paul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesbucklin View Post
I drove home about 232 miles, no sway but the trailer is at an angle. Pic from IPad, how to invert?
Inverting that iPad picture may turn out to be more difficult than raising the Scamp! This definitely needs the 3" raise option.

I also see some wire loop hanging down in front of the axle. I would go after that asap.

The previous owners(s) of my Scamp used bungee cords to hang the trailer power cable, which never worked right and I hated it. Now I use a six foot trailer power extension, take it from the TV plug over the tailgate to the bed and the trailer gets plugged into it there. A bungee cord keeps it in its place in the bed. Other people have wired a new trailer plug right in the bed, but I did not want to go that far.
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