In over my head - Fiberglass RV

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Old 11-03-2014, 12:48 PM   #1
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In over my head

My name is Sean. I just bought a 1974 scamp yesterday after a 900 mile one way journey. My car towed it back safely the other 900 miles so that's a plus. I hope I didn't make a mistake by getting in over my head. I think it is going to quite a project to make it "livable". My first concern is the smell. It not horrible but it doesn't smell good. I just feel kinda gross when I'm in it. It has this old insulation stuff that is sticky. I want to start gutting it out but I'm scared that i will mess something up and I won't know what to afterwards. I appreciate any feedback on trying to renovate this 40 year old "bomber". I have a lot of good ideas and I hope my vision will be realized.


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Old 11-03-2014, 12:59 PM   #2
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:49 PM   #3
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Does anyone know why there is a big X support on the top of my roof. Is that standard for a 74 scamp or some weird add on?
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:51 PM   #4
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Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Posts: 3,561
Hello Sean and welcome to the forum. First, congratulations on your new Scamp. This site is a wealth of information for folks in your situation. Not sure where you are but if it's cold where you live, winterize the plumbing. Hold off gutting things until you have done your homework. I don't think Scamp ever put external bracing on the roof so why that is there might be a place to start. Also floors and the condition of the axle should be checked. As you work on your project please share. We all love to watch folks restore their trailers. Raz
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:25 PM   #5
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Name: Tim
Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
North Florida
Posts: 1,394
Welcome Sean. Step back and take a breath. Many of us have felt a little overwhelmed with our egg projects. My advice is to clean it up and prioritize what you have to do so you can use it and enjoy it while you do the rest later. I have never seen bracing like that and doubt it is original to the trailer. Nor have I ever seen an offset roof vent like that but if this is really a 1974 it would be a very, very early Scamp. Good luck and let us know how it progresses.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:05 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I'm cleaning it up with with some bleach and elbow grease. Hopefully I will figure the rest out later. I would like to try dry camping near a ski resort this winter if possible. P. Raz; I don't think I need to winterized the plumbing because it is dry as a bone. It hasn't been used according to the previous owner for 5 years. There is only a sink pump that empties to the ground and a ice box that goes to the ground as well. All the tubes are dry. I just hope they will still work next spring when I try them out. The plumbing is pretty minimal at this point. I just hope no unexpected water comes into the picture. I will post pictures as I go so please stay in contact I will keep your advice and clean before drastic measures. After all;?! my trailer has had 40 years without many changes. A couple more years won't hurt any while I'm getting acquainted to her
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:13 PM   #7
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Posts: 5,281
The cross brace is likely to deal with a sagging roof.

The interior insulation is Ensolite. It would be a shame to tear it out. The exterior white coating is vinyl. It should not be sticky. It might have a sticky coating on it. Try cleaning it. It is quite tough. I have used 50% bleach, and 50% water sprayed directly on it.
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:01 PM   #8
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Trailer: Trillium 2010
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In looking at your pictures I'm not seeing the bracing that goes from the counter to the kitchen cabinets in a typical Scamp 13'. Perhaps they didn't use them back then or perhaps that is why the previous owner put on the roof brace? Also in my opinion, of all the fiberglass manufacturers, Scamp is the best for supporting their product. They have a parts store that provides hard to find Scamp items. Enjoy.
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:27 PM   #9
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Name: kevin
Trailer: 13' Scamp
Posts: 170
Never seen that bracing before. Somebody decided to fix a sagging roof hard core style. Are those steel or alumnimum braces? I wouldn't bother with the water tank. I just fill up a Camelback bladder and put it in the top cabinet above the sink. It works very well and uses WAY less water with much better pressure than any electric or hand pump out there. Also it works in the winter. At night I just tuck the tube into the Camel back sleeve. It takes some pretty frigid temperatures quite a while to freeze three liters of water in a neoprene sleeve.

I recommend a Wave 3 catalytic heater if you want to use it for ski weekends. It won't drain the battery and you can leave it on all night when its really cold. I'd also convert the closet to shelves, much more useful.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:00 PM   #10
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Name: Cindy
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Posts: 2,405
Someone went to some trouble to make it look nice at one time with the black cabinet doors, black flooring, and black cushions. Were it me, I would put some elbow grease into cleaning and see what I could do with what I had. Set the cushions outside to air out.

Old campers can have unique smells. Ours does. After cleaning, add some air fresheners. Or get a pet and build your own smells.


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Old 11-03-2014, 07:09 PM   #11
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,916
Neato for you! That exterior bracing is not factory original. Maybe snow load problems and needed to pop the roof back up? Whatever, as long as it's leak free no one really cares about the roof.

My suggestion would be to make certain it's safe to go down the road, clean well... your dirt is cleaner than their dirt... then USE it.

Don't start tearing into it, until you know precisely the changes you need to make for your camping style. FHS, don't tear out the ensolite. It may be sticky, it can be cleaned or as a last resort painted. You tear it out and you'll need to replace it with something ($$$, time, effort) No ensolite (insulation) means heat loss (or HEAT) condensation and noise.

If need be, treat it like a hard sided tent, you sleep dry... and maybe warm.

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:45 AM   #12
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,914
After that long tow you may just be one lucky guy to have gotten it home without problems.
Before that next trip be sure to check the dates on the tires, they MUST be less than 7 years old, and also pull the wheels to repack the wheel bearings. One wouldn't want to do any (more?) damage due to aged tires or neglected wheel bearing service.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:30 AM   #13
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Name: Kevin
Trailer: 28' Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Oak Park, IL
Posts: 1,016
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When CindyL said that old campers have unique smells, I thought she was talking about me (the hubby)!

Congrats on the new trailer and have fun. Clean it and use it!

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