Scamp 16 air adjustable shocks - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-03-2016, 02:38 PM   #1
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Name: Matt
Trailer: Scamp 16
Iowa
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Scamp 16 air adjustable shocks

I've been considering adding air adjustable shocks instead of replacing my torsion axle. My axle is currently bottomed out but seems quite straight and secure. I was considering adding shock mounts to the axle swing arms and a frame mount. My thoughts for looking into doing it this way is
A couple of reasons.
1, when not in use I could lower the scamp to be closer to the ground and not use a step.
2, the axle looks secure and straight so it might be a good candidate for the retrofit.
3, anyform of air suspension will certainly make it pull smoother.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Experience in air adjustable retrofit?

Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:53 PM   #2
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Name: Steve
Trailer: casita 17 SD
Pennsylvania
Posts: 153
Air shocks

Great idea and if you have an onboard compressor...when you show up at a fiberglass camping get together you could make the camper jump up and down as you drive into the campground.
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Old 10-03-2016, 04:37 PM   #3
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
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I know someone who had a car with leaf springs that were sagging. The left side was worse than the right. New springs were the proper solution. New springs would have cost $600 or more. He purchased air shocks thinking he would have a $200 cure for $600+ problem. The air shocks did not solve his problem. He wound up buying new springs. I would expect the same results with a torsion axle on a trailer.
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Old 10-04-2016, 12:33 AM   #4
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Name: Matt
Trailer: Scamp 16
Iowa
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I have some experience with air suspension. I'm pretty confident that it would work. I was hoping that I wasn't having an original idea and that someone else has completed/attempted this before I attempt it. ��

One of the great things about air adjustable is they don't take a lot of air volume. Cigarette lighter air compressor, gas station compressed air, or even a bicycle hand pump in a pinch can adjust air psi.

The cost of an replacing an axle is not a big deal to me. The possibility of utilizing what is currently there and improving upon it, is much more interesting to me.
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:00 AM   #5
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Uhaul
Tennessee
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Air shocks are a 50 year old BAND AID used to cover up a suspension problem the owner does not want to deal with. They were not good or particularly safe option back then and they are not now. Nothing has changed!

A modern air spring or air strut is totally different product and is used today in modern suspension design. About the only thing they have in common with an old design air shock is that they both use air!

The function of a shock absorber is the dampen the action of the spring as the spring goes through compression and rebound. When adding air to an "air shock" all you are doing is adding lot's of compression as the expense of rebound to add spring rate to support your bad suspension and cover up the problem of bad springs. Air "shocks" have also been used in the past to adjust the ride height of a vehicle. Once again the same problems exist.

Using an "Air Spring" such as those offered by RIDETECH and others is the proper way to use and install air suspension. Ridetech offers a product call the "Shockwave" which incorporates an air "spring" and a fully adjustable shock absorber in the nice package that is engineered to replace the springs and shock absorbers on many modern & older vehicles. While the "Shockwave" may look similar an air shock nothing could be further from the truth.

It's time to replace your axle and fix your trailer's suspension properly!!!

If you truly want your trailer to "Ride on Air" I suggest you look at this revolutionary trailer air suspension option. This is the "Cadillac" of RV and Industrial trailer air ride suspensions!

http://timbren.com/sti-air-ride/
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:40 AM   #6
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Name: Matt
Trailer: Scamp 16
Iowa
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Thanks. Like I said, I'm familiar with air adjustables and air suspension. Really, just looking to see if anyone else has tried this.
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:06 AM   #7
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Name: RB
Trailer: 1992 Casita Spirit Deluxe
Virginia
Posts: 119
I've got factory-installed self-leveling air suspension on the rear of my TV. I love it. It doesn't matter how much weight is in the back of the TV, nor if the tongue weight varies on the trailer - it just figures it out.

Does make adjusting the weight distributing hitch a little more fun - I have to assume that the rear axle is at a constant ride height and just crank down until I get as much weight on the front axle as I want.

As my 1992 Casita has the original 3500# axle, and I know it's both old and has a too high spring rate for my 2500# trailer, I've been thinking about what to do next, whenever 'next' comes around.

Air ride has been on the menu, at least in theory. The ease of doing pneumatic leveling is quite appealing - no more leveling blocks.

Again, the issue I see is that most options are way oversized for my trailer. I might end up engineering something...
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:21 AM   #8
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Name: Tim
Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
North Florida
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No help with the air springs. But you may want to see if you can even move the failed torsion axle ends. Mine had sagged all the way down and seized in that position. Even if I could have moved the ends the rubber inside is beyond toast and I would expect it to continue to break and crumble from repeated movement if forced to do so.
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Old 10-04-2016, 03:05 PM   #9
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
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Originally Posted by Uglywrench View Post
Thanks. Like I said, I'm familiar with air adjustables and air suspension. Really, just looking to see if anyone else has tried this.
As others have said, The shocks do not carry the load. They are intended to take out the bounce. Get a new axle.

I know of one Scamp19 ft that had shocks added, The owner is an excellent machinist and was able to fabricate brackets the clamp to the swing arms - no welding or drilling. The shock mounting bolt was past the end of the arm. The frame mounts were probably welded on.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:57 AM   #10
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Name: Matt
Trailer: Scamp 16
Iowa
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Thank you for the strong opinions! This is all valuable. I will definitively check to see if the axles are frozen in the down position.

👍👍😊
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:02 AM   #11
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Name: RB
Trailer: 1992 Casita Spirit Deluxe
Virginia
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If the idea is just to 'take out the bounce' on a scamp, you might be able to use/adapt the Orbital Machine Works shock kit for Casitas, presuming that the Scamps use similar/identical Dexter Torflex axles, and that the bodywork allows a similar mounting.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:30 AM   #12
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Name: Floyd
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
IllAnnoy
Posts: 5,497
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uglywrench View Post
I've been considering adding air adjustable shocks instead of replacing my torsion axle. My axle is currently bottomed out but seems quite straight and secure. I was considering adding shock mounts to the axle swing arms and a frame mount. My thoughts for looking into doing it this way is
A couple of reasons.
1, when not in use I could lower the scamp to be closer to the ground and not use a step.
2, the axle looks secure and straight so it might be a good candidate for the retrofit.
3, anyform of air suspension will certainly make it pull smoother.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Experience in air adjustable retrofit?

Thanks!
As a torsion axle wears, it gets progressively more negative camber and tow out. These conditions would not be corrected by air shocks, in fact the shocks could exacerbate wear related alignment problems.
You know they say "it only costs twice as much to go first class"...
Buy a new axle if needed with the attitude for the height desired.
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Old 10-08-2016, 01:20 PM   #13
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Name: Matt
Trailer: Scamp 16
Iowa
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
As a torsion axle wears, it gets progressively more negative camber and tow out. These conditions would not be corrected by air shocks, in fact the shocks could exacerbate wear related alignment problemA.
This is great info! I was hoping to avoid replacing what I currently have with a torsion axle or leaf spring arrangement. I now see the prospect of doing the retrofit on my existing axle as foolish if the axle were to continually to wear and become a hazard.

I have retrofitted air springs and air adjustable shocks to things that typically wouldn't have them as an option. Right now, I think I'll have to reassess as to how I could fabricate a completely different suspension. The prospect of adjusting both ride and camping height while having the ride and control of air suspensionstill really appeals to me.
So my next question:

Are there campers (similar in size or weight) that have something like this already that I may scavenge or use as a template?

Are there after market replacement sets available out there?
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