Scamp 13 Axle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-21-2013, 07:56 AM   #1
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Scamp 13 Axle

I have a 77 13 Scamp that I am currently restoring. I know I need a new axle as there was barley any clearance in the wheel wells and leading arm is at 22 deg rise. I don't feel that I need brakes as I have a large tow vehicle and plan on keeping the trailers weight very minimal. I have read the other forms regarding axle modifications, alterations, and replacement while these are great at expanding my knowledge they have not given me all the information I need. I am planning to do the replacement myself with help from a welder fabricator friend but neither of us have any experience with trailer axle replacement. I am looking to get my Scamp back to the original condition with no needed increase to its ground clearance over stock. I am trying to find out what has worked for others and what direction I should head.

Thanks,

Nick
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:07 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by N and J in VT View Post
I don't feel that I need brakes as I have a large tow vehicle
2 thoughts Nick.
  • Brakes are used for more than just stopping. They can be used to stop trailer sway.
  • You may not always use the same tow vehicle
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:29 AM   #3
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Where in Vt are you located. We lived in Burlington for about six years before giving up the snow and ice for Florida.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:10 AM   #4
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If you don't add brakes, please add brake mounting flanges. The cost is negligible and you will save any future user (maybe you) a lot of head aches. Personally, I'd never go without brakes.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:56 AM   #5
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Brakes or at least flange are cheap to add when ordering axle, costly later. Even if you don't use I think having brakes, or at least providing for the option with flanges would be a plus on resale. Because of the lite weight a lot of these campers are towed by smaller TV where brakes really matter. Those buyers will pay you back for having brakes available.

For your own use, as mentioned hitting the manual brake switch of controller can stop sway, and in a "some idiot just pulled out in front of me" situation, especially downhill, trailer brakes can be difference between accident involving TV and trailer... or just the one in your shorts.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:12 AM   #6
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Well I can certainly purchase brakes with the new axle even if they are just for use at a later date. What manufactures should I be looking at and what specs do I need to provide them?

Nick
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:13 AM   #7
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Where in Vt are you located. We lived in Burlington for about six years before giving up the snow and ice for Florida.
Killington area
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by N and J in VT View Post
Well I can certainly purchase brakes with the new axle even if they are just for use at a later date. What manufactures should I be looking at and what specs do I need to provide them?
Nick
You might want to check out this thread I started to get feedback on replacing my scamp 13 axle.

Scamp Axle - Leading vs Trailing

There is at least one post there with links to other axle replacement posts. Pictures of different approaches etc.

Dexter Axle, and Al-Ko axle are two major choices. Both Dexter and Al-Ko have documents on their site that describe the measurements.

Your Scamp if stock is probably a "leading arm" axle, that is to say the axle is behind the tires and has arms with the wheels on them that are in front of or "lead" the axle. Most axles today are trailing arm where the axle is in front of the tires and the arm "trails" the axle.

I think Dexter will still take orders for leading arm axles, have heard that Al-Ko does not (unconfirmed). The only real structural difference is brakes have a left and right brake unit, order a trailing arm, then switch brake assmeblies to the other side and turn axle AND the brackets are typically designed long enough to be behind the wheel center (where the load is greatest) and sometimes shorter in the other direction.

Scamp in effect wrapped the axle around the floor to give the trailer a lower profile, welding the axle bracket to both the frame and to the metal structure of the dropped floor. This won't match a stock axle bracket as it is very short going toward the wheel center.

I'll try to sum up the options (as I understand them)
  • Work directly with Axle company to order custom bracket that will be a match for the measurements of yours. Don't forget if you order a trailing arm and turn it around the bracket "long side" will turn around also.
  • Custom cut stock bracket after order to fit Scamp location. Making sure stock bracket dimensions provide material to accomplish this.
Both of the above options will make bolt on bracket kit pretty much a waste of money. Those brackets are great to replace damaged or worn axle next time, makes it a bolt on rather than welding job. But you won't match up with the "stock" bracket kit bolt holes if you custom cut or order the axle bracket.
  • Use what Dexter calls a "Side Mount" bracket kit. This is a bracket welded to frame allowing axle bracket to be attached to it alongside of the frame. It changes the distance required between brackets that are welded on the axle, they will need to be a little further apart than your stock scamp axle.
Doing this allows you to switch to a trailing arm axle and use bolt on mounting kit. But does involve "re-engineering" a bit.

As a starting point for browsing the axle company sites check out a Dexter #9 rated at 2300 lbs as a good choice. Down angles typically 0, 10, or 22.5 degrees down. Each adds about 1 inch of lift from the one before (approx 1 inch per 10 degree)

So if you are at 22 degree up currently then going to 0 gives you 2 inches of lift, 10 degree down adds 3 inches and 22.5 would add 4 inches. Check your step into the trailer (how high is an awkward step) and measure up from ground to wheel well cut out (how much tire is exposed) as an aid to determining what amount of lift works for you.

My order was for a 22.5 down angle 2300 lbs with brakes, no bracket kits. Bracket is going to be made to fit in original scamp location with original axle measurements used to build axle.

I would use the diagram on the axle company sites, measure my axle at those points and give them a call. Both have a reputation for working with customers.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:28 PM   #9
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Igonore the part about leading vs trailing. I see from original post you have that covered. Brain off on own little brain dump mode.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by N and J in VT View Post
Well I can certainly purchase brakes with the new axle even if they are just for use at a later date. What manufactures should I be looking at and what specs do I need to provide them?

Nick
Nick as others have said having breaks is a good thing but you dont need to actually buy them right away just make sure you buy the axle that has the flange on it for mounting them as some do not. If you ever sell the trailer most smaller tow vehicles these days require brakes on anything over 1000lbs so it will be a good selling feature to at least have the flange for adding the brakes.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
As a starting point for browsing the axle company sites check out a Dexter #9 rated at 2300 lbs as a good choice. Down angles typically 0, 10, or 22.5 degrees down. Each adds about 1 inch of lift from the one before (approx 1 inch per 10 degree)

So if you are at 22 degree up currently then going to 0 gives you 2 inches of lift, 10 degree down adds 3 inches and 22.5 would add 4 inches. Check your step into the trailer (how high is an awkward step) and measure up from ground to wheel well cut out (how much tire is exposed) as an aid to determining what amount of lift works for you.
Be careful with these angles. What you order is the start angle, which is the angle of the arm from horizontal with no load on the axle. With the trailer's weight on the suspension, the angle will be further up. A "dead" suspension - with permanently deformed rubber - will sit at a more "up" angle than the start angle even with no load on it.

To match the original configuration, you only need to match (not change from) the original start angle. You can see this angle by removing a wheel and looking at the end of the suspension.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:11 PM   #12
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Scamp in effect wrapped the axle around the floor to give the trailer a lower profile, welding the axle bracket to both the frame and to the metal structure of the dropped floor. This won't match a stock axle bracket as it is very short going toward the wheel center.

I'll try to sum up the options (as I understand them)
  • Work directly with Axle company to order custom bracket that will be a match for the measurements of yours...
  • ...
I can't think of any good reason for non-standard brackets to be used in the leading-arm configuration, but Scamps do sometimes have bizarre fabrication features. I would look to see if a stock axle bracket would work as-is. Posting a photo of what's there now (best viewpoint might be from outside with the wheel removed) would help the discussion.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:37 PM   #13
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I can't think of any good reason for non-standard brackets to be used in the leading-arm configuration, but Scamps do sometimes have bizarre fabrication features. I would look to see if a stock axle bracket would work as-is. Posting a photo of what's there now (best viewpoint might be from outside with the wheel removed) would help the discussion.
Scamp Axle - Leading vs Trailing

Post 21 the last picture is and original axle (not mine but the same). You can see how main frame rail bottoms are covered by framing of the drop floor behind the wheel. And if you look close you can see how weld on bracket runs vertical up that box frame rather than extending forward along the frame rail behind the wheel.

Shop doing the work on mine purchases and builds a lot of axles, said that bracket could only be duplicated if axle company built it that way for you or if a stock bracket was cut down to fit. Stock bracket would normally extend to behind the hub rather than ending a few inches from the axle.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
....

To match the original configuration, you only need to match (not change from) the original start angle. You can see this angle by removing a wheel and looking at the end of the suspension.
How is that original angle determined exactly, have seen references to it being possible but nothing that was a very complete explanation.

Something to do with point of square shaft should have orignially alligned with...
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