Newbie tow question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-11-2012, 01:30 PM   #1
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Name: Duke
Trailer: '95 Scamp 16
Arkansas
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Newbie tow question

I'm in the presses of purchasing a '95 16" Scamp (I have the check, just need to drive an hour to pick it up and haul it home.) I've decided to have brakes installed professionally, and I'm told the the local RV place can do it. Even though they are not a Scamp dealer.

My tow vehicle is a Honda Ridgeline. Manual says it has 5,000 lb towing capacity. However, I've recently learned that's with brakes. Without brakes tow capacity is 1,000. Well over the 1,750 dry weight of the 16" Scamp.

Two part question. Should I be concerned driving it home without brakes? (I'll be driving through some hills as I live in the middle of the Ozarks.)
Secondly, should I be worried that the brakes are not being installed by a Scamp dealer?

I could call in a favor and have it towed by a friend, but I'm afraid I would have to purchase another kind of wiring converter for the Scamp's 6-pin wiring system for my friend's Ford F-150 for one trip. I also feel weird asking someone to haul without brakes when I'm apprehensive about doing it myself.
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:38 PM   #2
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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I'm betting the Scamp already has brakes. Have you looked? You may just need to wire the tug and buy a controller... and of course make sure they and the bearings are in good order. I've towed my Scamp several hundred miles without trailer brakes... also with my F-150. It was fine, no panic stops, etc. It's not something I would want to do all the time however.

Bret, there are no Scamp dealers. Scamp sells factory direct. About the only time you'll see a Scamp on a dealer lot is if it was traded in on something else. If you find that yes, it does need brakes then you just need to make sure the company doing the brakes understand torsion axles and has the tools and proper grease to do the job. Al-ko and Dexter axles are popular with all brands of travel trailers.
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:46 PM   #3
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Name: Duke
Trailer: '95 Scamp 16
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Thanks for the quick reply and the good info. I'm going to make some calls about brakes and controller installation.

Thx, Donna.
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:47 PM   #4
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Plenty of repair shops would be able to install a brake kit, assuming your axle has the mounting plates required for addition of brakes. But Donna is right, a 16 usually would have brakes already, I think. Electric brakes are standard equipment on new Scamp 16s nowadays.

Towing without brakes, with a Ridgeline... if you find that the tongue is reasonably heavy (more than 100 lbs or so, thus if it's hard to lift it's probably ok) and if you take it kind of slow and easy (no speed records) especially down hills & around curves, you should be all right. Something's wrong with my trailer brakes right now, so for the past 3 days I've been towing my 16' cargo trailer hundreds of miles without brakes. The Highlander stops it very well. Next day I can get it in for repair will be President's Day (another week to go), but in the meantime I'm not worried.
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Old 02-11-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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I would suggest to use your gears as well as your brakes to slow your descent and anticipate having to stop a little sooner as the trailer will push you a little. Being aware it is there and extra cautious and you will do fine. Congratulations on your new Scamp and welcome to the forum. Raz
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:06 PM   #6
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Thnx to everyone for the good info. Again I'm glad I found this place. Just a quick update. I called the seller and hade him look under the Scamp and sure enough, there are brakes. He didn't know because he only hauled it short distances and never used them.

I'm excited I only have to a brake controller now. I appreciate the advice. Now if I can get it over the hills and through the hollers, I'll be RVin'
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:50 PM   #7
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Name: Duke
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Well the Scamp is safe at home. The Honda RL handled it quite well. Thanks for the advice about using 2nd gear P.Raz. I use this technique in the hills in the occasional ice and snow we get, but wouldn't have thought about using while towing. It kept me from riding my brakes to slow down during hills.

Before I head out again, I'll be putting a controller box in to utilize the brakes on the trailer, and I'll be able to tow more confidently.

Weird thing happened when using using the 7-pin to 6-pin adaptor I bought at O'Reily's. It connected all the lights up; however, when I pulled forward the brakes on the trailer locked up.

Has anybody ever experienced this? The seller and a friend I brought with me had never seen anything like it. The seller was nice enough to let me borrow his adapter (luckily he had one).

I don't know if it's a faulty adaptor or something else. Kind of stumped. I think I'm going to have the connector changed to 7pin.
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:17 PM   #8
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Some 6 pin round connectors have the +12 volt charging pin and brake pin swapped, it doesn't seem to be a set standard with the 6 pin round connection. If you were sending +12 volts to the brakes that would certainly lock them up. I also switched to a 7 round connector, it's just a lot more widespread.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:58 AM   #9
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Name: george
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Missouri
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Duke,
Well....at least you know the trailer brakes work !

At O'Reilly, the adapter you most likely need is the Hopkins part number 47545. If your O'Reilly is close to home, I would simply tow the camper over there, and ask the parts guys if you can take it out to the lot and try it.

george
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:58 AM   #10
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Name: Russ
Trailer: Scamp 16' side dinette, Airstream Safari 19'
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I had a similar dilemma when picking up my Scamp from another city. I assumed the trailer had the brakes, since it was a 16'. The vehicle I owned which I wanted to use to pick up the trailer was a Jeep wrangler.
Since it is a super short wheelbase high vehicle I had no idea how it would tow. I also didn't want to go to the trouble to wire in a controller in a vehicle that I may not want to use as a permanent tow vehicle. Not wanting to risk the whole rig by towing without brakes either, I researched and found a Tekonsha controller that mounts on the trailer tongue. I purchased that and wired the Jeep with the round RV trailer plug observing the instructions that came with the controller. A few days later when it was time to go pick up the trailer, I took the controller with me and a battery powered drill and bits. I mounted the controller on the tongue in a couple of minutes with just 2 screws. I then plugged the trailers plug into the controller and the controller plug into the jeep and I was good to go. I made a test run down the street at about 20mph and hit the brakes which skidded the trailer wheels. I backed off the interior contol unit sensitivity wheel a little and got it zeroed after a couple of tries. I then felt secure knowing if I had to make a panic stop or kill some death wobble I would have no problem. The controller worked great. That controller costs more than the usual, but is good if you use multiple vehicles to tow your rig, or like me don't know which vehicle you will end up selecting to tow your trailer.
Russ
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:33 PM   #11
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Welcome to Fiberglass, sounds like you have good brakes, now all you need is a controller
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:15 AM   #12
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Name: john
Trailer: scamp 13
Michigan
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you should be fine. just drive like your taking a drivers license test, take off gently, leave a cushion around you at all times, begin stopping early.
watch well ahead of you for potential trouble. you know,,,all the stuff they teach .
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