Putting a receiver hitch on the rear bumper of a SCAMP 16 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-01-2015, 01:11 PM   #1
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Name: John
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Putting a receiver hitch on the rear bumper of a SCAMP 16

I suspect this topic has been brought up before and perhaps been beaten up.

I am interested in Pros / Cons for the idea of a receiver hitch on the back bumper of my Scamp 16. I want to put my small cargo rack and a aluminum storage box on it. Total weight may be 100-150 lbs MAX.
I can foresee a lot of variables on this idea , but , it would overhang approx. 2.5 ft with the rack and box.

Will this effect the geometry of the design significantly. I currently have two 5 gal.propane tanks and a group 27 battery on the front hitch. Otherwise it's bone stock weight.

I hate to buy the hitch , then find out that it was a major screwup.
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:40 PM   #2
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Any hitch receiver would have to be connected to the frame itself, not the bumper and adding that much weight to the back of a 16' Scamp may be a bad idea anyway because:
1. Additional stress on the frame itself, especially on bumps and bounces.
2. Any weight behind the axle has to be compensated in front of the axle to maintain hitch weight.
3. It has been my experience that adding weight that far back exacerbates any sway issues you may encounter.


Bicycle Rack? Maybe Yes, Storage Box? Not such a hot idea.
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Old 03-01-2015, 02:09 PM   #3
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I have fabbed and installed rear hitches on every type of Scamp.
On the 16 you will need a rectangular tube crossmember added to the frame. This will of course be welded to the receiver tube.
A foot is sufficient distance from the bumper to the crossmember but a bit more or less is OK.
The receiver will then be welded to rear bumper.
I prefer to attach the tube to a short section of angle iron, then weld the angle iron to the bumper. This allows a more secure and I think a more attractive attachment.

One option would be to notch the bumper and raise the receiver up into the notch. This allows for a greater angle of departure. This is practically necessary for a 13 but is optional for the 16 or the 5er.

For further details or questions feel free to contact me directly.

You might consider a different attachment method for your cargo rack which would include the use of two nesting sized square tubes. The rack would be depth adjustable as well as removable. It would likely be more stable as well.

Whether it is wise to attach a receiver to the rear of any trailer or to what use it is put is a judgement call for the owner. The factory does this as an option and it has proven to be a useful mod to many owners.
Properly done ,it is no threat to the structural integrity of the frame or the stability of the trailer.
I don't have one on my trailer and have no plans to install one.
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Old 03-01-2015, 03:04 PM   #4
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Sooooo.... We again come up with one of the several common FGRV conundrums?


Can I?
vs.
Should I?
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Old 03-01-2015, 03:46 PM   #5
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Bob....No, please don't.
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:07 PM   #6
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John, you're right. This is one of the 'beaten to death' topics on this forum. Be sure to use the 'search' feature and you will find many long running discussions about the pros and cons.
- Is it possible to do it 'right'? Yes, with the correct fabrication and installation techniques, by carefully balancing the trailer load, and limiting the weight on the back bumper.
- Is it possibly to do it 'wrong' ? Absolutely, by reversing the above information.
- Is it possible to ruin a 'good' installation? Yep, happens all the time by overloading the bumper area, unbalancing the trailer with a too-light tongue, and blasting along at highway speeds.
- And of course, remember that any potential problems will be compounded by installing this on a 30 year old frame and torsion axle.

I think that the last paragraph of Floyd’s post (#3) says it all.
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:51 AM   #7
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Thanks

Thanks to all of you for your prompt replies.

Happy Scamping to you all…...
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:18 AM   #8
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We put a receiver on our 17' Burro to use for our bike rack with 2 bikes. We did not like the results after a 2000 mile trip this Fall so have since removed it. The bikes were subjected to a tremendous amount of bouncing and even though well secured on the rack the bouncing was enough for them to rub against each other and ruin their frame paint in several spots. More serious was the trailer sway. Normally our Burro tows like a dream, you can easily forget it's there even in high cross winds. Not so with the bikes on back! We had a couple times on the highway at higher speed (60mph) when the trailer began to sway. Very unnerving. Needless to say we are working on other options for our bikes.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:34 AM   #9
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Most important is all that weight on the other side of the axle will drastically lower your tongue weight on the ball. I did it on my ParkLiner and did have some trailer sway issues. Mine was probably under a 100lbs and I upped my tongue weight to close to 300lbs...an anti sway bar helped solve the problem but I didn't like it. I traded up to a nissan frontier v6 and ditched the box and no more sway problems. (I do still use an anti sway bar for safety but I don't need to use it any longer. We all think it will be a great idea but generally it doesn't work out so well.
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:43 AM   #10
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I put a hitch receiver on the back of a Trillium 4500. Sway was not a problem, even when my tongue weight approached zero, (oops). But I drive a van. The trailer is in the wind shadow of the van, and that is what I attribute my lack of sway to.

When the front of your trailer is exposed to high velocity air from highway travel, swirling vortices are shed on alternating sides of the trailer. This induces sway. Some members have noticed this when they go from a pickup, to a smaller vehicle. Trailers that did not sway, now do.

As said earlier, it is best if your hitch receiver connects to two cross members.
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnanv View Post
I suspect this topic has been brought up before and perhaps been beaten up.

I am interested in Pros / Cons for the idea of a receiver hitch on the back bumper of my Scamp 16. I want to put my small cargo rack and a aluminum storage box on it. Total weight may be 100-150 lbs MAX.
I can foresee a lot of variables on this idea , but , it would overhang approx. 2.5 ft with the rack and box.

Will this effect the geometry of the design significantly. I currently have two 5 gal.propane tanks and a group 27 battery on the front hitch. Otherwise it's bone stock weight.

I hate to buy the hitch , then find out that it was a major screwup.
Your best bet is to not carry so much STUFF that you need a rear box.
ANother issue is visability of the tail/stop lights. A cargo box, or even a bike rack will serve to obscure them.
WE modified our 2000 16 ft SD DLX with a cargo door into the space under the bed/bench on the left side rear. Had to move the electric cord hole, and the side marker light. Bought a bulkhead connector for the electric cable, and added a partition inside to keep the stuff in there from sliding forward into the Fuse/Inverter box.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:53 PM   #12
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Bike rack fiasco.

I put a receiver hitch on the back of my 13' Scamp for a bike rack with two bikes. The receiver tube was inserted into the rear bumper with a support bracket brought forward to a frame cross member. All was welded. The bike rack had a little looseness so I secured it tightly to a spare tire bolt. Sounds simple enough and seems like a great place for them, right? The rack with bikes weighed about 75#. Tongue weight was still more than 100#. All was good until we got onto I93 heading North out of Boston in the dark. I noticed something felt really strange tugging on my truck. I looked in the mirror and saw the Scamp literally dancing back and forth. I slowed down to about 35 mph and got off at the next exit. Checking all showed no issues with the addition to the back of the Scamp. We took the bikes and the rack off, partially disassembled them and squeezed them in the back of the truck. All was fine from there on. Haven't tried it since. This is just an example of one that didn't work.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:52 PM   #13
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Yup... as Bill pointed out, some lessons are learned the hard way, fortunately this time without any further problems. A few tips I have picked up....
1..NO WAY is 100 lbs sufficient tongue weight for a Scamp. I woul d plan on 150-175 for starters.
2. As counter intuitive as it may sound, especially if you don't have trailer brakes you can manually apply, the way to stop that swaying before it gets out of control is to accelerate. That will stop the fishtailing and then it's safe to bring things down to a slower speed. My late wife didn't know that quickly enough when we were towing our Airstream many years ago and between sway induced by a passing triple tow semi, and poorly set trailer brakes, we managed to swap ends in the middle of the freeway at 55 mph.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:31 PM   #14
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I had one on my last Scamp 16. Had a box with pots, pans, dishes, electric cords, etc, etc attached by a cargo carrier thing, My camper swayed and I had to go below 55. I was not happy with what I thought would be a wonderful idea. I only used it once.

If I ever need another I will see Floyd first. lol
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