Ground-up rebuild --- thoughts? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-27-2014, 02:26 PM   #1
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Name: Bevan
Trailer: Scamp
Colorado
Posts: 2
Ground-up rebuild --- thoughts?

Hello Forum Members,

I have taken charge of the effort to restore what I take to be a '70s era 13' scamp to camping condition for the occasional use of the family. I have a lot of skills and tools, and I intend to:

- install a new electrical system(this is the BIG one, everything must be installed new, it's all too far gone to use)
- install new floor
- remove all the cabinets and repaint them
- perhaps paint the inside walls
- install new LP system for fridge and heater
- install new water tanks and Hoses
- Repair door (lower hinge area is a separate continent, slowly drifting apart from the main door)

We have already had the frame welded back together and new upholstery put on the cushions. The trailer has new hubs and bearings, too. I've reviewed the wiring diagram on this forum, and here are my basic questions:

Which refrigerator is recommended by folks?

Which Power converter? (I only intend to run a fridge and perhaps a small
stereo)

Which Batteries?

Which wire for which runs?


is there anything you would do to your trailer if you had it broken down to this point? (what should I know that I don't)

Thanks in advance for your advice

Bevan in Colorado
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:57 PM   #2
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Arizona
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Bevan, I think it really depends on the type of camping that you have in mind. Do you stay where there is electric available? How many people at any one time will be using it? Do you feel the need for a shower/toilet enclosed in the Scamp? We use our Scamp almost entirely off the grid (no electricity), so I have installed a 100 watt solar panel combined with a group 27 battery, no convertor, a "smart" battery charger, and a 12 volt only compressor refrigerator/freezer, and a power inverter to charge up laptop, cell phones, etc.
I also installed a water heater with a shower head at the kitchen sink to be used inside or through the window to use in an outside shower enclosure. If you "click" on our Avatar and go to our album of changes, you might find some thing that you could use. We enjoy camping every summer in Colorado, mostly in the San Jaun mountains (off grid) and are only limited by water, but we just carry a 5 gal. jug in our Jeep, to refill whenever/wherever we can get it.
Good luck on your remodel.
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:38 PM   #3
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Name: Bevan
Trailer: Scamp
Colorado
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Hi Dave & Paula,
Thanks for the reply
Our interests in camping run parallel to yours, we are/were backcountry people, canoeists and backpackers, who now have a young son. Our ideal spot is at the end of a two track road with a view of treeline or the river. My mother-in-law will probably use it at developed areas, but if it works in the backcountry, then no need for shore power.

Max occupancy is probably 3 adults and one child

On the toilet question, I really don't know, my first instinct is no, as it seems like it could be the source of many potential problems. Are there well designed units that are relatively easy to empty and maintain? Are they worth the cost and hassle?
If so, I might consider it.

The shower just sounds delightful!

It sounds like your system might be the way to go.
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:29 PM   #4
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Bevan, if you looked at our album you noticed that our floor-plan only sleeps 2, but our 1st 13' Scamp had the couch/bunk bed layout, with a port-a-potty underneath, and it slept us and our 2 adult teenaged children tight, but just fine. We never did have a "portable outhouse tent or shower tent", but it was always on the list of things that would be neat to have. When we started camping when our kids were small, we borrowed a very tiny Apache tent trailer, which was really nothing but an aluminum box trailer that had bed slide-outs in each side covered by a tent. There was nothing else. We had an "add-a-room" tent that zippered onto the rear entrance of the tent trailer, in which we set up a cooking area and table & chairs, and storage for every thing such as clothes, cooking utensils, lantern, etc. Many people on this forum utilize an ez-up style canopy (some with sides) in this manor.
Happy Camping
Dave & Paula
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:05 PM   #5
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Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
Posts: 3,081
On the electrical two points that come up often.
  • Install LED lights inside, either using LED replacement bulbs or LED fixtures. Battery will last a whole lot longer.
  • The 12 volt feed wire from the tow vehicle charging to the rear plug needs to be heavy wire 10 gauge min. and 8 gauge is better. Otherwise the voltage drop from front of car to rear plug really reduces the ability to charge your camper battery while you drive.
People do a lot of different things for cold food storage. An RV fridge that uses propane gives the longest off grid use, 12 volt compressor types can be an option if you have sufficient solar panel amp hours to keep your battery charged. With most of these also having a built in transformer that switches them to using shore power when hooked to park electric.

A member (or two) have installed the Scamp Ice box and added insulation around it that improve it to the point that an ice block will last 4 days.

A three way (12 volt, 110 volt, propane) RV fridge uses heat to compress/circulate refrigerant so it won't run long off of the battery but does well using propane off grid or park power for 110. Possibly the single biggest expense you will have is this fridge.

Porta Pottie can be dumped directly into a toilet or outhouse. Making them an excellent option for providing toilet with minimum of hassle. People store them under the couch for slide out use, also some put them in a closet if one exists sufficient to use as a bath room. or as mentioned by others put them in one of those phone booth sized tents outside.

Many of those little changing room tents have mesh floors making them work very well as a shower room. But several have reported the hook in the center cannot take the weight of hanging a solar shower bag from them. Heck I generally used a coffee pot and plastic cup for boondock showers.

If your going to be doing the wiring anyway you might want to add a 12 volt fantastic fan to the roof vent, good cooling, low power consumption. It is a little bit of work but most consider it well worth it. At least add the wires so you can add the fan later.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:44 PM   #6
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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I bought my Scamp about 15 months ago. It was a clean little Scamp. In that time I rewired the electrical system and added a PD4045 panel. Added a heater. Changed the light bulbs out for LED's, added a portable solar system and upgraded the battery to a group 27 size. Checked the brakes and redid the axle bearings. I added the Fantastic fan and resealed my windows with Butyl calking. I also replaced the regulator and rubber hoses for my propane bottle. My trailer came with a 3 way fridge that I had to clean out the propane lines and burner to make them work properly. I also added cooling fan to the exterior coils for hot weather operation I date checked my tires and replaced the 30 year old spare. I also replaced my water lines and added an electric pump and new faucet. I scrubbed off the outside and Zep waxed the outside to a new looking appearance.
There is still allot I want to accomplish. The biggie was the electrical system and accommodating present and future needs. Having plugs for stuff and toys, players and phones. You only want to run the electrical stuff once and you want to do it early in the refurbishment game plan. Have fun with your project.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:13 PM   #7
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Trailer: Scamp
Michigan
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Bevan, I would recommend

1. one of the progressive dynamics converters. I love mine! http://www.progressivedyn.com/power_converters.html

2. Are you going w a 7 pin power scheme? I upgraded mine to 7 pin so that in the future I can get a new axle with electric breaks. To this end I bought a 27 ft new 7 pin "umbilical cord ( amazon). This gave me plenty of length to get in my 13 ft scamp and then tap in where I want, and split off to the other destinations. And it was a great cable with quality wire.

3. I sealed the floor when I had the carpet up.

Hope that helps.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:03 PM   #8
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A lot of folks redo the floor with Allure or that general type of vinyl plank flooring, it looks pretty good from what I have seen. And has to be easier than vinyl sheet flooring.

Depends on if you want vinyl or carpet but my own preference is for hard surface that is easy to sweep up and clean, but then I have a dog and tend to track in a fair amount of dirt my own self.
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:16 PM   #9
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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Did you inspect the axle for sag. Most, if not all Scamps of that age have collapsed suspension and are in need of a new axle due to deterioration of the rubber torsion insert. Look at newer SCAMPS pics and compare how far the wheels are in the wheelwells.

I second the choice of a PD-4045 Converter, but the refrigerator doesn't run off the converter, usually only AC or LP gas. The converter supplies DC when plugged into shore power and charges tha coach battery, usually a Type 24 or 27 deep cell battery.


A new 2 or 3 way refrigerator will run about $1000, used ones are usually available in the $150-200 range, but keep in mind that recharging is not in the list of things than can be done to fix one that doen't work.

When rewiring I never use anything smaller than #12 wire and #8 for primary leads to and from the battery.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:01 PM   #10
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Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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Those 12V-only fridges with the Danfoss compressors are very efficient. They cool so much better than the LP-capable models. 100 or 150 watts of solar should keep you in power. And yes to the vent fan, it is so very helpful in keeping comfortable when no AC is available. Put a Maxx Air cover over the vent so it can be left open 24/7 if desired... even in rain storms.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:21 PM   #11
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Just don't get so involved in mods and improvements that you forget why you bought it in the first place! Lots of folks purchase (with good intentions) to make a classic trailer into a 100% cherry, turn key, everyone in the campground will be impressed.... and then they lose steam. It DOESN'T need to be perfect, just perfect for you... clean and safe to go down the road. Some are very happy with a "hard-sided tent" and have a lot more fun than someone who attempts to replace everything and the trailer very seldom leaves the driveway. Just saying...
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