New Scamp Owner Has Questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-08-2016, 09:50 PM   #1
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Name: William
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 16
Washington
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New Scamp Owner Has Questions

I just towed my 1992 Scamp 16 home yesterday and my wife and I spent today doing basic cleaning. Lots of it cause it was dirty. The Scamp displayed good manners on the road. My 08 Ford Escape V6 towed the trailer but I'm sure not going to win any drag races with the trailer attached. There is so much to do it is a little daunting but I've got the winter to get it ready for next spring. The Scamp smelled musty and I know there is an area of floor rot under the table/bed area that I am going to have to replace. (Any good advice on fixing it?) The previous owner has spread lots of clear caulk around everything outside. Around many of the white plastic buttons (Do they cover rivets and what do they hold? What's the best fix for these?) A bead was run all they way around trailer above the aluminum trim that covers the joining point of the upper/lower halves. (Is this an area that can leak or was the caulker being overzealous? Should I drill out the rivets, remove the trim, and reseal the area?) I want to fix everything right, not just caulk it all up and hope for the best. I know this is a long post but if I can get a few questions answered I can start fixing it up. I think I've got a new full time hobby.
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Old 10-09-2016, 08:21 AM   #2
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Name: Lyle
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I am a relatively new member, and certainly no expert, but I will chime in with my thoughts.

First, regarding the floor repair. At the top of the page, in the blue bar, find the "Search" menu. Click on this, then go to the bottom of the pop-up box, where it says "Search Site/Google". Enter the term "Floor Replacement/repair Scamp", then hit "Go". You will come up with an extensive list of options (scroll down a bit to avoid the advertisement posts). Read through some of these for some great ideas.

Second, if you need some specific help, folks will want to see photos of what you are dealing with.

Third, regarding the caulk. Conventional wisdom on this site is that silicon caulk should NOT be used on our fiberglass eggs - use some type of non-silicon, marine caulk. It will be easier to clean up down the line, and will bond to the fiberglass better.

Fourth, the little white "buttons" are called Snap Caps. They are actually a two part device used to cover the rivet heads. They are composed of a washer that is placed under the rivet head when the rivet is installed. The second part is the actual cap that you see. It should just snap onto the washer. These exposed caps deteriorate over time and should be replaced every few years. If you do this, it is a very easy process, just snap the old cap off and snap a new one on. If allowed to deteriorate completely, the washer will also deteriorate, then a new one needs to be riveted in place. Some folks add a dab of caulk to the rivet head before snapping the cap on. This helps seal the center of the rivet, and adds some extra security so the cap does not snap off as easily. Perhaps what you see was just the caulk that oozed out. It is not necessary to caulk around these caps. No need to replace rivets with good washers unless they are leaking. If you find leaks, do a search as described above but use appropriate search terms.

Fifth, the aluminum belly band is normally caulked. if the caulk is in good shape, I would just leave it. If it looks rough, you will need to remove as much of the old caulk as possible, then re-caulk. New caulk will not adhere to old caulk.

Well, others will chime in soon to add to and/or correct what I have said. Have fun and good luck with your new Scamp.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:12 AM   #3
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
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Originally Posted by Bill Ryan View Post
The previous owner has spread lots of clear caulk around everything outside. Around many of the white plastic buttons (Do they cover rivets and what do they hold? What's the best fix for these?) A bead was run all they way around trailer above the aluminum trim that covers the joining point of the upper/lower halves. (Is this an area that can leak or was the caulker being overzealous? Should I drill out the rivets, remove the trim, and reseal the area?) .
Welcome. I had a 92 Scamp and it had little to no caulking on it which is the goal.

The snap caps on the outside are only covers for the rivets and should not be what is keeping water out if the rivets are good and set correctly. Boler's for example had no snap caps over any of their rivets. Many Bolers still have their original 35 + year old rivets without any issues.

Sometimes the retaining ring that holds the rivet cover in place brakes off - rubbed up against something or simple fell apart with age (weather damage) and people take the easy road and use a bunch of caulking to stick them back on. Or there was a leak and someone got lazy and simply covered it up with caulking. Or they lost a snap cap and went to buy one at Home Depot and it did not fit the retaining ring on the trailer well and it needed some help to stay on. Best to buy the retaining rings and caps together from the same place. If you buy them from different manufactures they do not always work well together.

Your best to remove the covers that have caulking on them and check to see if the cap retaining ring is still good and rivet is secure. If you go inside and can spin or move the acorn nut that is attached to the rivet thats a sure sign the rivet needs to be drilled out and replaced.

You can BTW purchase from the Scamp on line parts store a package of all sizes of snap caps and retaining rings that they use or you can purchase them from places such as Home Depot. Same with rivets - they have a package of all the sizes they use on the trailer. Sometimes its hard to find the right sizes in the local stores and often you need to buy a big box of them that you probable will not use up in a hundred years. ;-)

When replacing retaining rings and caps many folks put just a little tiny bit of butyl tape or a marine grade caulking under the retaining ring before shooting in the rivet.

If they have silicon around windows then it would be a good idea to remove it and do a water test on the window. If its leaking pull it and reinstall using only butyl tape. Sometimes people put caulking all around the windows simple because they thought it a really good idea.

The belly bands are not all that common of a leak point on Scamps and really should not need any caulking as the two parts of the trailer are fibreglassed together under the trim. So unless you have some evidence that it is leaking I would not bother to remove the trim. Lots of folks just to be safe do run a tiny bit of marine grade caulking between the upper side of the belly band trim and the trailer - if you tape it off well when caulking you should hardly notice it. If i am not mistaken Scamp themselves may also do that.

If it was me fixing up the belly band caulking mess would go to near the bottom of my list of things to do on a new to me trailer. Once I dealt with any obvious loose or broken rivets I would go up to the roof and pull out all the vents etc and reset them using butyl tape. Removing the load of caulking from around the escape hatch that is undoubtable there is a good 2 day job.

Locating water leaks in Scamps with insulation and rat fur on the walls can be a bit frustrating as the water will take the path of least resistance & run behind the foil insulation and may not be coming from anywhere near where you think it is. Which is why I always when purchasing a new to me trailer start with sealing up the roof so I know that it is not the source.

The other thing you will want to do is replace the door seal if it is still the old foam type. The Scamp store sells the new rubber type of door seal that works MUCH better and will last a lot longer than the old foam type they used.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:30 AM   #4
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New Scamp Owner Has Questions

One correction... Scamp only uses one size of snap cap now. They no longer sell the smaller size used for curtain rod rivets on older units. When I asked, they said to stick the larger cap over the smaller bases using a dab of adhesive caulk.

Trying to decide what to do... I am not about to redo all 24 of them just because I can't get snap caps that are an exact fit on the old retaining washers (anybody know a source?). I'm not thrilled about Scamp's solution, either.

I'm guessing caulk around the top of the belly band is to keep water from getting between the aluminum trim and the fiberglass, or even into the outer end of the joint, where it might freeze, expand, and pull things apart over time. It is normal in a Scamp build. If it is failing, I'd strip the old, clean, and replace (non-silicone).
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
One correction... Scamp only uses one size of snap cap now. They no longer sell the smaller size used for curtain rod rivets on older units. When I asked, they said to stick the larger cap over the smaller bases using a dab of adhesive caulk.

Trying to decide what to do... I am not about to redo all 24 of them just because I can't get snap caps that are an exact fit on the old retaining washers (anybody know a source?). I'm not thrilled about Scamp's solution, either.

I'm guessing caulk around the top of the belly band is to keep water from getting between the aluminum trim and the fiberglass, or even into the outer end of the joint, where it might freeze, expand, and pull things apart over time. It is normal in a Scamp build. If it is failing, I'd strip the old, clean, and replace (non-silicone).
The small snap caps are available at most hardware stores.
The belly band caulk is to prevent black streaking on the bottom half of the outer shell by keeping water out from under the aluminum band where it could run down.
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
One correction... Scamp only uses one size of snap cap now. They no longer sell the smaller size used for curtain rod rivets on older units. When I asked, they said to stick the larger cap over the smaller bases using a dab of adhesive caulk.

Trying to decide what to do... I am not about to redo all 24 of them just because I can't get snap caps that are an exact fit on the old retaining washers (anybody know a source?). I'm not thrilled about Scamp's solution, either.

).
Jon have you checked your local Home Depot or other hardware stores. Most in this area even the small ones carry a selection of snap caps and holders in various sizes.
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:13 PM   #7
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I didn't see any, but I'll take another look next time I'm there. Thx, Carol and Floyd.
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:23 PM   #8
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We had a Casita that had wet floor that got moldy. We sanded some after it was dry and painted it with KILZ primer sealer to stop the smell and kill the mold. It worked and we used it for 2 years with never a smell again. So if you have wood that is still usable that is a solution to the moldy part.
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:40 PM   #9
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All the above assumes the water is coming from above.

We had water on the floor, that if left uncorrected would have resulted in rot in that area also. Investigating, it was found that the bypass valve on the hot water heater was leaky. Fixed that, no more water.

Check for an interior leak before too much surgery is done to the top of the Scamp!

John
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Old 10-09-2016, 10:00 PM   #10
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Name: Sandy
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I found small packages of snap caps at Menards ($1.69) and Home Depot ($2.69). Each pkg contains 4 large snap caps with bases, and 4 small snap,caps with bases, along with a bunch of short and long screws. They are in the closet shelving department, right by white wire shelving.
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:21 PM   #11
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I found small packages of snap caps at Menards ($1.69) and Home Depot ($2.69). Each pkg contains 4 large snap caps with bases, and 4 small snap,caps with bases, along with a bunch of short and long screws. They are in the closet shelving department, right by white wire shelving.
Most of the hardware stores will have them in the area were they have the small bins that you can pick out how many you want and put them in a bag.
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:32 PM   #12
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All the above assumes the water is coming from above.

We had water on the floor, that if left uncorrected would have resulted in rot in that area also. Investigating, it was found that the bypass valve on the hot water heater was leaky. Fixed that, no more water.

Check for an interior leak before too much surgery is done to the top of the Scamp!

John
John you raise a good point but there were no assumptions made on my part at least as to where water may be coming from. In the OPs case its pretty common for there to be floor rot under the table/bed area due to a rear window leak and or a leak in the fresh water tank plumbing.

As the OP has a 25 year old trailer so its a real good bet any roof vents are do for a re and re as well, even if they are not currently leaking - they soon will be.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:50 AM   #13
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Hi: Bill Ryan... As Carol H mentions another source of water infiltration is the black rubber seal around the rear window. It dries as it ages and shrinks back causing a slow dribble down the rear wall. It is available at most glass shops and from Scamp parts store. R&R of the window requires special tools and skill set. Daunting but not impossible!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 10-12-2016, 02:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
I didn't see any, but I'll take another look next time I'm there. Thx, Carol and Floyd.
You may have to go to a real hardware store instead of a bigbox store . I.E... Ace, True Value
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