Watch speed "tables" not bumps - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-12-2015, 06:27 PM   #1
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Watch speed "tables" not bumps

We had our first major ouch with our 16' Scamp as it neared it's first birthday.
We trundled north after teaching a 3 day acoustic bat workshop in far south of Florida (Big Cypress) to Clearwater north of Tampa. The goal; was to visit friends who started the Florida Bat Conservancy. No on board GPS as such, but we used an 8" tablet linked with our Verizon Hot Spot and Google map navigation directions. As we made a right turn onto a street nearby the final destination we were traveling about 20-25 MPH as we scanned the side streets on the right.

I suddenly was nose up in our Ford Freestyle as we hit a "Speed table" not a speed bump. A speed bump is short attention getting hump... a speed table is some 7' wide at the top and perhaps 10' wide at the base AKA road surface.

What happens when you go over one of these at greater than 3-5 MPH?

OMG, Ouch, OS!!!! followed by more potty mouth.



When the TV was over the long hump the trailer was still very high and when it dropped off it dipped low enough that the tongue jack hit the pavement!

Instant stop and the impact even at 20ish MPH bent the jack back and simultaneously ripped the bolted on hitch from the frame of the TV!

The end result was that the hitch was nearly 3" lower and clearly no longer level.


This was a Friday afternoon about 5:10 so most repair facilities were closed. A quick Internet search after our arrival 2 streets later showed a trailer hitch shop only 4 blocks away. Yes they were open Sat. at 08:00.

So after a few glasses of wine and very concerned about the TV and what appeared to be massive hitch damage we went to bed after a lovely dinner with our friends.

One of them followed me to the hitch shop where they indicated easy to replace the tongue jack, however the under part of the TV frame where the hitch was bolted had completely ripped away.

"This vehicle will never tow again, two sections were ripped away like sows ears!" I was told.


I thought Wrong answer... we need to get home eventually and I am not in the market for another TV at the moment. The hitch shop indicated they would and could repair the trailer quickly. So far OK.

So I drove off with our Ford TV in search of a body shop or someplace like that.

As luck had it, there was one within 1.5 blocks. The manager came out and I explained what I needed and the manager and a tech peeked under the car and emerged shaking heads absolutely nothing we will/can/would touch. Your vehicle is now history for towing.


I asked about a serious welding shop and the manger shook his head that he was clueless. The Tech guy said just down the street is a welding place I drive past on the way to work every day.

  1. Off I raced. What I found was a super industrial welding place that had stack of 1/4-3/4" thick steel plates on a rack in the entrance drive.

OK if they can weld that, they can fix this I thought.

So I walked into the metal strewn yard and saw the multiple welding rigs going (one a heliarc doing aluminum!) OK they know what the "He double hockey sticks" they are doing.

I in interrupted one guy who turned out to be the boss/owner of the company. He was welding aluminum struts onto a competition kayak trailer.

I explained my plight and he went over the crawled under the TV and indicated no a problem. He never, ever just has hitches bolted, but always welds them as well.

Told me to call in the afternoon and it should be ready.

Long story short...
DW and I and friends had lunch then I called the trailer place. Yep our Scamp was ready to go. Then with trepidation I called the steel welding shop. The TV had been waiting for 2 hours and it was ready.

So a quick ride to the welding shop and WOW it was all looking good then off to the trailer place and hooked up and puling away in 10 minutes.

The good news was that the replacement jack on the trailer and labor was only $85 and the welding and fixing the hitch for perpetuity was only $60!.

So we continue to be happy Scampers!

Seems the older Ford 2006 had some rust on the frame from Mi. salted roads, even thought 100% garaged, hence the frame failure. Good it has been fixed.

So mind those speed table thy can be a killer.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:45 PM   #2
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Hooray for the happy ending! Yep, I too have seen what the welding shops can do. My old 2000 Mountaineer's receiver mounts were damaged in a low speed rear-ender, and the pro welders had no trouble making things stronger than new. We still have the truck and occasionally tow with it. You found the right sort of place.

As for the jack, I have become a fan of the swing-away jacks. Nothing hanging down to catch.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:08 PM   #3
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Another jack option, discussed in a few threads on this forum:
The Ultimate Jack Trailer A Frame Jack | eBay

The Ultimate Jack | A-Frame Trailer Jack at its FInest!


And shame on our governments for putting these road hazards in our way, there is no telling how much damage and wear and tear they have caused. I hate speed bumps, tables, etc.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:24 PM   #4
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Another lemons to lemonade adventure Bat Dude
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:05 PM   #5
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Our Scamp 16 has a tilting jack that rides parallel to the frame eliminating this class of problem.

Norm
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:41 PM   #6
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I prefer to make my jack removable to avoid that in the future with steep drive way approaches etc. The Ultimate Jack is a good choice and there is also a mounting kit that will make your existing jack easily removable.
The Ultimate Jack | A-Frame Trailer Jack at its FInest!.


Or you can do what I do and just remove the three mounting nuts, pull the jack and put it in the TV. Tales about a minute.
At the very least, always remove the foot and be sure your jack is fully retracted when hitching.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:57 PM   #7
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If you had been going slowly, would damage have still occurred? If so, it might be the sort of hazard that the city could be liable for. Just a thought. You might get help with the repair bill if you pursue the municipality.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Our Scamp 16 has a tilting jack that rides parallel to the frame eliminating this class of problem.

Norm
I actually removed my swing jack and modified my hitch to accept the vertical jack as soon as the high mount vertical jack became available. I would not switch back.

Many campgrounds have speed bumps or tables which are bad for many 13 fiberglass trailers at any speed. We will drive around them on the grass if possible and necessary, otherwise we STOP at every one of them and creep over... sometimes scraping our skid plate but most times with enough clearance. We have a Mustang which is offroad challenged as well, and many of these bumps are a safety hazard to bicyclists or handicap scooters as well.

Any sensible person with what they feel is the need for speed bumps should know that a couple of inches is plenty and that a bump is sufficient while a "table" is wretched excess!

I have yet to see a speed table which was not fraught deep grooves and chunks missing and I am sure that the majority of them were not from excess speed. They should at least accommodate any vehicle or rig at the posted speed limit without damage.
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Old 10-13-2015, 01:33 AM   #9
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Speed bumps out here are a PITA. In my old neighborhood they put them in. 98% of folks drove decent but the young kids sped up to see how much air they could get from them, didn't help a thing. Not sure you could even call them speed bumps, more like solid pillows
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:45 AM   #10
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It appears our trailer came with a swing jack. I believe it's now 24 years old.

The swing jack is a 90 degree rotating jack that is welded to the outside surface of one side of an A frame member. It locks horizontally to the trailer for travel with two locking pins activated by a single handle.

In use it locks in the vertical position using the same pins. Moving it to a vertical position requires virtually zero effort and locking is positive and obvious.

When we travel we add a bungee cord to the end of the jack further holding it in place, wrapping it around the a frame side member and the jack, we call this caution paranoia.

Speed bumps are never an issue.
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Old 10-13-2015, 07:43 AM   #11
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Hmmmm, Here's a thought: (I "think" the info is correct)


Some 16' Scamps came from the factory with swing away tongue jacks on the left (?) frame rail.
Some 16' Scamps have experienced frame cracks/failures on the left frame rail.


Hmmmmmmm........ I've oft thought about that connection.
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Old 10-13-2015, 07:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Another jack option, discussed in a few threads on this forum:
The Ultimate Jack Trailer A Frame Jack | eBay

The Ultimate Jack | A-Frame Trailer Jack at its FInest!


And shame on our governments for putting these road hazards in our way, there is no telling how much damage and wear and tear they have caused. I hate speed bumps, tables, etc.

Speed Bump Shaming?
Speed bumps are usually installed due to a few drivers that are unable to follow speed limits. That's who should be shamed. In residential areas, it's often at the request of residents or due to excessive speed/accidents. I have seen RVer's of all sorts pulling out of campgrounds in the AM at upwards of 35 MPH. I don't like them either, but they are often just a necessary evil to deal with a problem.
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Old 10-13-2015, 08:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Speed Bump Shaming?
Speed bumps are usually installed due to a few drivers that are unable to follow speed limits. That's who should be shamed. In residential areas, it's often at the request of residents or due to excessive speed/accidents. I have seen RVer's of all sorts pulling out of campgrounds in the AM at upwards of 35 MPH. I don't like them either, but they are often just a necessary evil to deal with a problem.
I contend that they do more harm than good, and cause more damage (mostly long term) than they prevent accidents, and as a rule they should not be used.

Even the most careful and speed conscience driver seems to be caught unaware of these sooner or later, with the resulting rough ride, wear and tear on the vehicles suspensions, and in some cases such as the OP's, even acute damage.

Tell me you have never come upon one of these unexpectedly and gone for more of a ride than you would have liked. If you can, you are in the minority.

By the way, I hate speeding even more than speed bumps and I am one of the slowest driver's around, so its not about that.
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:04 AM   #14
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Watch speed "tables" not bumps

Hmmmm. Interesting!
Thanks for sharing the "heads up!" story.
Glad it wasn't disastrously expensive to fix.

Most of the time, for relatively hard surfaces, we make heavy use of a pin-on wheel instead
of the Scamp-supplied foot pad. That allows us to easily push the Scamp13 around on our
driveway or to unhitch and push the Scamp into difficult camping sites ( i.e. narrow sites with
lots of surrounding trees and/or obstacles).

We do still carry the foot pad for use on soft, muddy/sandy camping sites. We made the mistake
of not using the foot pad at the Sebring Scamp Camp and, when the rains came, the wheel
sank into the sandy-muddy soil and became a problem. 😕

When we hitch up to leave, we partially raise the wheel/jack post, remove the wheel, throw
it in the back of the tow, and then fully retract the jack post. (IIRC, doesn't the foot pad add
an extra inch or two that might hang down and catch on a speed table, speed bump, or
driveway?)

Still .... The next time we hitch up, I will now want to take a close look and see if we should
maybe try to find/fabricate some sort of a bolt-on/weld-on skid plate that could be mounted
forward of the post to deflect a blow and protect the jack post.

Thanks again for sharing! 😊

Ray


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