New Scamp 13 owner in OH - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-07-2013, 09:21 AM   #15
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Scamp 13 & TDI tugboat
Ohio
Posts: 99
A little behind schedule, we got the sCamper on the road last month. The big hold up was the PO ordered an axle for it, but it was wrong, compared to the original. It was not reverse orientation, it had hi-rise mount, and the drop angle was 22 instead of 10. On the plus side, it was a 2200#, had brake mounts, and was the correct width.

Because it was custom ordered, we were stuck with it. So I had nothing to lose by chopping it up and making it fit. The mounting brackets were plazzed off the tube so they could be swapped from side to side, and welded back on at a slightly different angle. This corrected the reverse orientation and excessive drop problems. It also changed the 1* of camber into .8* camber and .2* of toe-in. Loaded arm angle wound up at about 7* down. With the leading arm orientation of the suspension, it would be best for ride quality to have the angle about zero, so bump deflection would move the wheel up and back, but that would have made the ride height too low, IMO. The 7* angle, plus hi-mount bracket made it about equal to the original 10* with low mount bracket. Sorry, no pics of all the measuring, chopping & welding. Grinder dust & weld spatter is not a good environment for wifey's nice digicam.

After axle was installed, it was discovered that the bearings and seal would also need to be changed because the stub axle was slightly larger OD. The original bearings looked good, so the timken outer races were left in the drums, and new inners were purchased. The seals were oddball (by automotive standards) and unavailable from local parts stores. They turned out to be fairly common trailer seals, and local trailer repair shop had oodles of them, cheap. The electric brake backing plates were in good shape, so they just got some lube applied to the pivot points, and wiring reassembled with weatherproof crimps, instead of the factory scotch-lok crap. New dustcaps & bearing thrust washers completed the drum installation. A quick test-tow behind a brake controller equipped truck confirmed operation of the electric trailer brakes.

Speaking of electrical, the original 7pin trailer connector was a rusty mess. A new plastic connector was installed, and all the exterior lights were cleaned & put back in operation. After a cleanup of the inside, the trailer was handed over to my wife for cushion recovering, curtain installation and packing for our first outing. To be continued....

Everybody likes pics, so here's one about 40 miles into our trip, visiting a friend's shop on the way out of town.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:06 AM   #16
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Scamp 13 & TDI tugboat
Ohio
Posts: 99
There were other issues that had to be dealt with before the trailer was useable.

We knew we would be seeing chilly temps at our destination (west coast Michigan in April), so the furnace needed to work. The PO had replaced the regulator and flexhose into camper, and the tank was mostly full. The stove and fridge both worked on propane. But the furnace didn't sound right. Disassembly showed it had one big mouse nest in the middle of it, made from the roll of paper towel the PO had been kind enough to leave under the sink. Removing all the flammable paper towel and lubricating the motor got it fully functional.

The next problem with keeping it warm was the door seal, or lack thereof. The door seems to be coming "uncurved", so it no longer fits tightly to the body at the top & bottom edges. The little bit of crumbly old foam was removed and new self stick weatherstrip was applied, graduating from 3/4 tall at the top & bottom, down to almost nothing at the bellyband. Not a perfect solution but kept us pretty warm with air temps of 25*F and winds up to 40kts.

Another leak was the original drain hose fitting out the the hull. It was broken off inside due to age. A new one ordered from scamp and riveted into place. That's when the leaky sink trap became obvious. Disassembling the trap revealed that like the external drain fitting, the plastic was severely degraded and had tiny cracks throughout. The outer trap was junk, but there is an inner part that is sort of funnel shaped. The inner piece was chucked in the lathe, and the bottom spout of the "funnel" was turned down a little so the hose could be shoved on it, and a few grooves were added to give the hose some purchase when the clamp was tightened. Dropping the plug in the sink would prevent air from going in/out, and we had a functional sink drain for disposing of whatever.

Yet another leak was the decayed electric cord port, which was missing the doors and some of the "teeth" inside. Replacing the port assembly with a new one from Scamp was a quick and easy fix to keep the cold outside.

A visit to the local RV shop got us the thread in plug for the citywater connection, closing that hole.

Another thermal leak that concerned me was the roof vent. It is just a thin plastic lid with an R value around 1. Scrounging around in the leftover wood pile turned up a scrap of 3/4" thick foamboard w/ plastic one side and foil on the other. The piece was carefully cut down until it was a snug press fit into the ceiling vent opening. A slit in the center of it allows the thumbscrew handle to poke through, and turning the thumbscrew 90* ensures the insulation board can't fall down.

In other chassis updates, the scamper was not equipped with stabilizer jacks. A pair of gently used jacks were purchased through ebay and bolted inside the rear bumper. Now we could bound in & out of the trailer, loading it up, without having the trailer bouncing down the driveway.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:25 AM   #17
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Scamp 13 & TDI tugboat
Ohio
Posts: 99
Which brings me to the TV. There are few commercially available hitches for the TV in this country, and they are crap. Ordering a good TUV aproved hitch from der vaterland was out of my financial comfort range. So a hitch was fabricated.

A class 2 receiver (1-1/4" sq.) was bought from Amazon for ~$13. Then a simple frame was fabbed to go in the factory provided hitch mounting locations. I was tempted to use a 2" sq receiver, because of the range of accessories (bike racks, hitch haulers, etc) that fit them, but I knew the whole hitch assembly would come out much heavier. The goal was to build a class 1 hitch receiver, which would require consciously choosing lightweight materials that seemed "too flimsy" to my rock-crawling 4WD brain. The finished hitch came out plenty strong, well hidden, and cost about $40 in materials.

I did manage to take a few pics of that project:
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #18
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Wow, lots of work and look at all you accomplished! Thanks for posting the pictures too
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:36 PM   #19
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Name: Stacy
Trailer: "79 Scamp "Tiny Tow"
Texas
Posts: 66
Congrats! I got one about a month ago. "79. Mine was sticky and I read that Tilex and the scrubber (looks like an electric toothbrush, but larger, with a round brush) would work. It works great! Open the windows, major bleach smell. I love it too because I just run it across and so not much elbow grease. Have fun! Got it at Walmart for 20.00.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:17 PM   #20
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Ontario
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Originally Posted by FJ40Jim View Post
So I had nothing to lose by chopping it up and making it fit. The mounting brackets were plazzed off the tube so they could be swapped from side to side, and welded back on at a slightly different angle.
You only lose the integrity of the rubber which provides both the spring and shock component of the axle.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:45 AM   #21
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Scamp 13 & TDI tugboat
Ohio
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Yes, welding directly to the axle tube would be bad. That was a serious concern.

To prevent melting the rubber inside the tube, the bulk of the bracket was cut off about 3/4" away from the actual tube, leaving a flange still welded to the axle tube. Welding was done using the spaced backstep method, allowing cooling between rounds of backstepping. In the end, the axle tube itself never got near the melt point of the rubber inside, or the paint outside. Live testing (wife jumping up & down in trailer) shows that the suspension actually moves now.

By comparison, the original axle was stuck in the fully compressed position. Bouncing the trailer only deflected the tire sidewalls, no movement of the axle was observed.

The operation was a success, but it took all day. In retrospect, I would have been better off ditching the wrong axle on Craigslist and re-order the exact correct axle. Actually cutting off the OE axle and welding on the new axle took less than 2hrs.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:07 PM   #22
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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I'm cheap and proud of it! Sounds like you knew all the stumbling blocks with the axle and how to deal with it, fix it. Good for you!
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:40 AM   #23
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Scamp 13 & TDI tugboat
Ohio
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cheap and proud of it!
Yes, we're both very cheap... err, I mean thrifty!
Yeah, that's it, we're very thrifty, hence the purchase of a used egg.

We had a "cheap" used camper that was traditional stick & aluminum foil construction. It turned out to be no bargain as it rotted apart.
This 'glass egg seems so much better by comparison.
We our egg!
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:16 AM   #24
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Name: Kinga DeRode
Trailer: For Sale Or Rent
Rooms to Let 50 Cents
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Nice job and congratulations.

Congratulations, too, for so far evading the safety police, after posting a photo of your tow vehicle.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:29 AM   #25
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Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Missouri
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Nice job and congratulations.

Congratulations, too, for so far evading the safety police, after posting a photo of your tow vehicle.
Now this is a truly useful post Tom.

I am not sure the others are as eager as you to pick a fight?
You seem to be going out of your way lately to troll up a fight.

Anyway Jim I want to see the FJ Wagon you towed it with in the first place,is it an FJ45?

I loves me some Cruzers

Ed
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:44 PM   #26
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Scamp 13 & TDI tugboat
Ohio
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The Cruiser is an FJ60 wagon with the usual suspension, ARB bullbar, winch, locking diff, etc. It is slow & ponderous on pavement, and pretty much exactly the same towing the little egg. I don't think the dismal 15MPG fuel consumption would change dramatically when towing, since the little trailer fits entirely within the "wind shadow" of the Cruiser.

An FJ45 pickup truck is in the works to act as a cool vintage TV.

On the VW, the owner's manual says 1500# max trailer weight for base model Golf/Jetter.
Trailer allegedly weighs 1100#.
The hitch is attached to the factory hitch mounting points.
Wiring & safety chains are done per standard methods.
Is there something else to it?

Cruiser porn is attached below.
In the patriotic wagon picture, mine is the blue beater on the right.
The second picture is my FJ45 Pickup stored at a friend's warehouse. Parts are being gathered to update all the mechanicals so it will be a safe modern driver, while still looking like 1963.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:14 PM   #27
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Name: Kinga DeRode
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Now this is a truly useful post Tom.

I am not sure the others are as eager as you to pick a fight?
You seem to be going out of your way lately to troll up a fight..................
Ed
Stick around - we will be hearing about that poor kid in Colorado before long, 'cause the posse just can't help themselves.

I did see someone trolling today however - right here: Humor me,Please.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:54 PM   #28
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Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Missouri
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Stick around - we will be hearing about that poor kid in Colorado before long, 'cause the posse just can't help themselves.

I did see someone trolling today however - right here: Humor me,Please.
Yeah

"Pot this is the Kettle calling....Your'e Black!"

Ignore me,Please
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