New (Older) Scamp Owner, New Member - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-03-2011, 01:51 PM   #1
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Name: Harvey
Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
Arkansas
Posts: 325
New (Older) Scamp Owner, New Member

Hi y'all, I'm retired USAF (been retired 33yrs) living in Arkansas. Thru 50yrs of wedded bliss wife & I have owned most every kind of RV 'cept motor homes & fiberglass trailers. I've built (& rebuilt) pop-up trailers, cabover campers, & such (we lived in a 32' 5th wheel for nearly 17yrs after we retired for good in 1992). Built a 5x10' teardrop in 2006 & we love it but it's definitely a fair weather camper with the outside galley, & at our age gettin' dressed lying down is a real chore .

We've been looking for a small, lightweight 'standy' trailer for a couple of years. A week ago we found a 1984 13' Scamp on Craigslist for a pretty reasonable price & last Saturday we drove to Memphis, TN area & 'picked' it up. It has definitely been well used, even neglected, but it appears pretty solid, has 2 new tires, & everything works (windows, fridge, A/C, pump, stove, etc). I plan to completely 'gut' the inside, waterproof the floor with CPES, clean, re-tape & paint the interior, install new flooring, & reinstall the cabinets & appliances. Also plan to 'remodel' by making the rear dinette into a permanent bed, & re-do the bunk beds/sofa into a 2-person dinette, with a 'porta-potti' cabinet under one dinette seat (similar to the Scamp that member Jenny W has here on the forum).

There appears to be a wealth of knowledge here & I expect I'll have lotsa questions during this 'rebuild'. Glad I was referred here. Am eager to get started on this project as soon as we get some warmer weather Here's a couple of pix of my new project -


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Old 02-03-2011, 02:10 PM   #2
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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Congratulations on your find, and welcome! If you enjoy a project you'll find a wealth of info here. The search function will find many good older threads, and you can always ask too (some of the members here have amazing brain databases).

Your 'new' trailer looks to be sitting pretty low, and that is no surprise given the age. It looks like you may want to replace the torsion axle while you're rebuilding.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:35 PM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Ditto to Mike's welcome! You've found a great place to find information and lots of help with any molded fiberglass trailer issues. We love pictures, so THANKS for sharing right away. You're very lucky to have found a usable trailer so quickly. We have members that search for weeks/months trying to find that all to allusive trailer.

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Old 02-03-2011, 02:39 PM   #4
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Name: Harvey
Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
Arkansas
Posts: 325
Thanks Mike. Yeah, the trailer does sit low. It has a torflex type axle/suspension with a 'forward' rather than a 'trailing' torsion arm, that right now has an 'upward angle' of 10-15 degrees. Planned to ask ??? about that in another thread in the appropriate section. Saw a thread on axle replacement where a poster referenced adding brakes & having to switch to a trailing arm. My axle is welded on & would have to be moved forward to accommodate the trailing arm. Don't believe there's room to move the axle forward due to the 'drop' floor in forward half of the Scamp. I'd wanted to add brakes if I change the axle but may hafta forgo that?? Not too worried 'bout brakes as the Scamp weighs in neighborhood of 1000-1100lbs, about the same as my teardrop, but would be nice to have. My TV, 2008 Toyota Tacoma, 4dr, 4WD handled it pretty well on the trip home last Saturday. Actually got better fuel mileage than with the TD
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:42 PM   #5
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Indiana
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Good job Harvey, you trusted Craiglist and seem to have done well. You'll love it here, Greg.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:43 PM   #6
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Name: Kevin K
Trailer: 17' Casita
Mpls,Minnesota
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Harvey
Welcome
Many good folks here ready to help you with any question you might have.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:58 PM   #7
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Trailer: 1988 Perris Pacer ('Bean') / 2015 Ford F-150, 2017 Winnebago UltraLite 27BHSS
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WOW sounds like you have lots of experience using your hands already---can't wait to see what you do! WELCOME!
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:04 AM   #8
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvey View Post
My axle is welded on & would have to be moved forward to accommodate the trailing arm. Don't believe there's room to move the axle forward due to the 'drop' floor in forward half of the Scamp. I'd wanted to add brakes if I change the axle but may hafta forgo that?? Not too worried 'bout brakes as the Scamp weighs in neighborhood of 1000-1100lbs, about the same as my teardrop, but would be nice to have. My TV, 2008 Toyota Tacoma, 4dr, 4WD handled it pretty well on the trip home last Saturday. Actually got better fuel mileage than with the TD
Yes, check the other topics on changing from leading to trailing. Others have done it with drop floors. However, I understand Dexter will build a leading arm torflex. That's a fairly recent change. They didn't use to provide leading once they changed over to all trailing. I guess they've received enough interest to provide both.

Brakes. Yes they work on leading as well as trailing. You cannot just merely flip the axle around tho, the hubs have to be swapped or you end up with toe-in problems.

AND, although you CAN safely stop a trailer with your tug... to ME it's a maintenance issue. There's an old saying "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." My tug was built with brakes to stop IT. Constantly towing a trailer (of any size) wears those brakes out faster. I've found it's MUCH cheaper to replace trailer brakes than tug brakes. YMMV
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:47 AM   #9
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Name: james
Trailer: Boler 1984
Ontario
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Welcome Harvey
So now you've become "The Arkansas Traveller". With a drop hitch that trailer would look right at home.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:07 AM   #10
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Name: Harvey
Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
Arkansas
Posts: 325
Thanks Donna. I'm sure that if I do need to change out the axle I'll also add brakes if it's possible with the leading arm configuration.

Main thing right now is I haven't been able to find out what the original 'start' angle was for the torsion arm. Mine appears to currently sit at about 20 degrees or more 'up', (I'd thought it was 10-15 degrees but upon closer examination I see it is MUCH more) leaving me not a lot of space in the wheel well above the tires, & the trailer sits/tows very low. I'd expect the original start angle may have been somewhere around 5-10 degrees 'up'.

I've seen 'trailing' arms with zero start angle but I'm not sure how that'd work with a leading arm?? Most of the Dexter axles I'm familiar with for teardrop trailers usually have a zero or about 10 degrees 'down' start angle for trailing arm, altho Dexter will mfg the axle with any start angle you specify.

Do you know of a source for the 'specs' on the early Scamps? I realize I haven't spent a lot of time yet but haven't had much success getting info from the Scamp folks. Maybe I just haven't talked to the right person yet?? I've already asked about the leading vs trailing thing in the 'Modifications, Alterations and Updates' forum & it appears I have from Michel, Bouchard essentially the same answer that you provided.

Probably not good to take up this much 'space' in the 'Introduction' forum so I'll continue my questions/discussions in the appropriate forum. Thanks for the welcome & good advice. I think I'll like it here.

James Kent wrote
Quote:
Welcome Harvey
So now you've become "The Arkansas Traveller". With a drop hitch that trailer would look right at home.
James, I've been the 'Arkansas Traveler' for a lotta years . I have an adjustable 'ball mount' stub that would tow it level & I like it low enough not to need steps but, we often 'boondock' in some pretty remote places with rough access so I'd like to have it 'ride' at least as high as originally configured. As it sets now, you can't even see the upper couple of inches of the wheel. Too low methinks

Greg H wrote
Quote:
Good job Harvey, you trusted Craiglist and seem to have done well. You'll love it here, Greg.
Actually Greg, I'm kinda leery of much of Craigslist so we checked this ad out pretty thoroughly, & made no commitment 'til we actually met the guy & examined the trailer. Turned out to be an honest listing
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:17 PM   #11
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I haven't owned a Scamp personally, but from what I recall reading I think the axles started with a down angle. I've read that if you can no longer fit your fist vertically between the top of the tire and the wheel well, that is insufficient space.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:49 PM   #12
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Name: Harvey
Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
Arkansas
Posts: 325
You may well be correct Mike. I've just heard from Trent Fisher at Scamp. He said they no longer have records of my trailer as the fire at the factory in 2007 destroyed their old files. He did say that my trailer axle should have had a 'down' start angle of 22.5*. That sounds a little extreme to me as it now appears to have more than 10-15* 'up' angle (after a careful double check)?? A 22.5* down angle would lower my tires by several inches & give me a much higher ride. As soon as our weather cooperates I'll pull the wheels & measure the declination from horizontal for sure. Should be able to use Brian B-P's tutorial to determine the original start angle. That is, unless the corners of the torsion arm inner bar have actually 'slipped' past the rubber bumpers inside the axle tube?? Were that the case, I doubt I'd be able to tow the thing over even a small bump without 'bottoming out'. Appears this project is going to be an education
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:34 PM   #13
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Trailer: Boler 1978 17' 4" Earlton Ont Model
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Two trailers prior to our current unit we had one with that type of suspension and it was about 20%to 25% down. Sound like time for replacement.
Good luck on your project, lots of old posts you can look at with similar problems.
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