New Scamp owner here - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-15-2014, 11:56 AM   #1
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Name: Tim
Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
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New Scamp owner here

Howdy, I am a single Dad with young daughter (10) and we have been truck-camping out of a camper shell on the back of my F-150 for a while. I have wanted a light travel trailer (to pull behind my small V8 ½ ton truck) for some time but never found anything that spoke to me enough to get off my wallet, or at least the Bank’s wallet. I was introduced to the FG camper idea when somebody local posted a 13” U-Haul for sale a while back. I researched it but the time was just not right so I never did anything about it.

My daughter and I have really enjoyed camping and I am finally in a position financially (post divorce) that I could afford to do something so I began looking around in earnest for a light trailer. An ad for a 13’ Scamp showed up on the local Craig’s List that I researched but it turned out to be a “scam” of a Scamp. At least it reintroduced me to the idea of small trailers in general and Scamp trailers specifically. I asked a good friend of mine who I knew got around quite a bit and knew everybody in the area and sure enough he knew of somebody who had a “bubble top” (his description) trailer just sitting in his backyard.

I went by the fellow’s place of business and introduced myself and he admitted to having a 16’ Scamp that he had bought 3-4 years ago, brought home, and never done anything with. It was not for sale but the more we talked the more he warmed to the idea of getting his money out of it and he talked himself into selling. I went by and looked at it yesterday and left a deposit on a sale price of $3500 for a 1980, 16’ Scamp layout 4. It is filthy outside from sitting under Oak trees but inside it dry and clean as a pin. The only modification I can tell is a small “window shaker” air conditioner mounted in the closet.

I think the little Scamp will be perfect for my daughter and I and I am really looking forward to using it this summer after a through cleaning and some light maintenance. I am going to keep it simple to start with and just look at it as a “hard shell tent” until I can get stuff sorted out. In the near term we will be going to State Parks so will have 120V, water, and bath-houses so the refrigerator & AC are the only two systems I am really worried about. With a little girl and a Dad that might need to “go” in the middle of the night the little bathroom of the 16 footer will be very nice.

I plan to clean and repack the wheel bearings, remove the propane tanks and dead battery off the tongue to lighten things up, check out the wiring and get the A/C & refrigerator going, and flush the water systems. Longer term I want to install new door weather stripping, some LED tail lights and LED inside lights and maybe add more 120V receptacles inside and out. Also new upholstery, wire brush & paint the frame and paint water seal on the underside.

I know that is a pretty long first post but I am excited about the Scamp and the use my daughter and I will get out it in the next few years. I have enjoyed reading other peoples posts about their FG trailers and hope I can contribute in the future. Happy Scamping!
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:02 PM   #2
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Name: Richard
Trailer: Casita
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Welcome, Tim!

Sounds like you and your daughter will have a wonderful time in the Scamp.

Please keep us posted on your excursions and good luck with your new rig.

Rick and Jessica
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:16 PM   #3
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Welcome Tim! Sounds like a find.

The air conditioner in the bottom of the closet may not have been a DIY - Scamp for many years put their AC's in that location rather than the roof, much more recent times that they started to put them up on the roof.
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:35 PM   #4
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How neat and exciting for you and your daughter!

Happy hard shelled tent camping!
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:47 PM   #5
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Sounds like you found a great start for those Father/Daughter outing's.

A few up-front tips.

Check the tire dates, if it has been sitting a long time and the tires are over 4 years old, they might be prone to sidewall failure in the near future. If they are over 6 years old it's time for new ones regardless.

And, at the same time, plan on a bearing repack, this oft overlooked maint feature is essential on long parked units to prevent early bearing failure and/or spindle damage.

As soon as you get it home, write back and tell us what you found and ask lots of questions about how to make things work.

AND... Before you start trying to bring back it's shine, be sure to read the many posts on how to make an older Scamp shine like a new one with minimal work..... Ask about ZEP Wet Look
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:59 PM   #6
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Glad to have you onboard!

Most definitely take photos now, so you can show some 'before' and 'after' shots. You will be amazed at how well it cleans up.

And of course, please post the photos on this site,
... because we love to LK at Egg Photos!!
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:11 AM   #7
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Hi Tim. Good for you! Making life long camping memories with your daughter is priceless.

There's a good possibility your 16' has electric brakes. Check that out when you have the wheel bearings packed. If so, I strongly suggest getting a brake controller mounted in the truck. Save the brakes on your tug! Trailer brakes are a LOT cheaper to replace than Ford F-150 brakes... I speak from personal experience
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:05 PM   #8
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Not to usurp concerns about F-150 brakes, but in as much as a 16' Scamp is going to weigh close to 2300+ lbs going down the road, I don't know of anywhere you can legally tow it in the US without trailer brakes of some sort.

And, beyond that, as Donna sez, you wouldn't want to tow without trailer brakes.
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:25 PM   #9
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Welcome Tim. Congrats on the purchase. Make sure you really check the tires. If they show signs of cracking. Depending on how long it has been sitting. A purchase of new tires might save a hardship down the road. I'm sure you and your daughter will make lots of great memories. At least until the teen years kick in. LOL. Anyway, any part for your unit can be purchased from scamp. I suggest to make a list and order all in one to save on shipping. Because if you forget something and have to order one small part; shipping can be........ well as much or more than the part. Good luck and post pictures.
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:45 PM   #10
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Aside from external tire cracking, tire cords can also break down inside the carcass. Check the age dates on the tires, they all have them, and if you don't know how to read them there is a primer on that here: <<<tirerack.com>>>

If it was parked for a loooong time, just get new ones.....
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:09 PM   #11
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Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
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Thanks for the replies and tips, they are appreciated. I do not have the Scamp home yet and one of the stops next week before I go get it is at the trailer place for a 6 pin connector and brake controller. Several people mentioned old tires, I have lived this first hand. I got my Mom’s car when she inherited a newer one. She never drove her old car and it would sit in the garage till the battery died, several times. When I got it, among other issues, the tires looked fine but were coming apart inside, I could not hardly keep the car on the road. Small tires are cheap for the piece of mind. I am looking at the Scamp as a long term project, and one that holds it value well. I certainly don't mind spending money on maintanance and "upgrades" that make sense and make using it more enjoyable and trouble free.
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:30 PM   #12
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You didn't mention what year the F150 is, but you might want to check with a Ford dealer to see if your truck can be retrofitted with Ford's brake controller. If it can, it will mount in the dash and it is one of the best brake controllers available. Essentially, it works with and monitors the truck brakes, and applies braking power to the trailer brakes as determined by its electronics. Theoretically, the trailer brakes are neither over- or under applied.
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:33 PM   #13
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Just a quick note... Unless the trailer already has the now obsolete 6 pin connector, you want to get a "7-Pin" connector on your TV. If the trailer does have the 6 pin, there are adaptors available for 7 pin to 6 pin.
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timber Wolf View Post
one of the stops next week before I go get it is at the trailer place for a 6 pin connector and brake controller.
Consider a 7 pin connector, I feel they are more of a "standard" than a 6 pin. Hopkins makes a nice 4:7 pin combo for your truck. Proportional brake controllers are preferred and worth the few extra $$$. You may end up towing something else sooner or later.
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