Newbie Scamper - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-30-2014, 07:54 AM   #1
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 03 Tacoma pulling 83 Scamp 16
Colorado
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Hi Folks, Been watching and learning about Scamps for the last year or so and finally had to jump in when I saw a well preserved '83 Scamp 16 for sale locally (near Colorado Springs). So we're now proud owners of our first Scamp! Woohoo!

My puller is a 03 Tacoma 4X4 stick ...no tow package. Owner's Manual warns, "must use electric brakes if trailer weight exceeds 1000-lbs" I asked the seller if his Ford Ranger manual had any such warning ...we looked and found nothing?

So what is the rule of thumb and/or law regarding when to electric brake or not?

Scamping in Colorado, Steve
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:24 AM   #2
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Welcome to the FGRV world.... it sounds like you are off to a great start.


Now, about those brakes; Rule of thumb, legal requirements and being safe are not always the same.


First, according to the "Real Weights" chart in the general discussion forum, a fully loaded 16' SCAMP will usually weigh between 2400 and 2800 lbs.


Legal Requirements for CO is 3000 lbs or more requires brakes and a breakaway switch. Here's a reference: Trailer Brakes | AAA/CAA Digest of Motor Laws


Rule of Thumb suggests that if a trailer exceeds 50% of the weight of the tow vehicle that trailer brakes are called for.


What's Safe suggests that a much lower weight threshold for requiring trailer brakes should be observed. In California and several other states, it's 1500 lbs, NY is even lower at 1000 lbs.


And Manufacturers Specifications, when lower, trump all of the above. Ignoring manufacturer's specification's for towing is not a good idea. I am sure that Toyota knows a lot about the limitations of their vehicle and, what Ford does doesn't count, unless you have a Ford....


Considering the size of your tow vehicle, the probable weight of the trailer when loaded, Toyota's specifications and the fact that you have a few downgrades in your area I, personally, would get those brakes installed and operating.


Good Luck, and keep asking questions.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:42 AM   #3
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Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
North Florida
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My rule is have the brakes. I have only had my Scamp a few months and have already been in a situation (not 10 miles from home) when I was VERY glad to have the brakes. And I tow with a full size F-150.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:45 AM   #4
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Trailer: (Dark side)Crossroads Now
Glade Valley, North Carolina
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Welcome Steve
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:05 AM   #5
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Welcome, Steve, sounds like you have a great new memory maker.
If you look at the Trailer Weights in the Real World thread (Trailer Weights in the Real World) you wills see that the 16foot Scamps are running in the 2500lb range. This is well over your 1000lb max. I'd put on the brakes.

To quote an oft used phrase in this group "Just because you CAN tow something, doesn't mean you should tow it". Your vehicle CAN tow the Scamp... the question is if it can stop it in an emergency....


IMO I'd do what my manual says to do and install brakes.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:26 AM   #6
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 03 Tacoma pulling 83 Scamp 16
Colorado
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Thanks All! When the brake issue came up just as I was paying the seller ...I hesitated to take a look at the trailer brakes to see if it even had electric brakes as seller hadn't used them with his Ranger.

I found it hard to tell for sure if they were there much less working. Going out to test this AM to see if I get anything when I connect the "blue" wire to 12vdc. Hoping my 16 has 'em. If not will get them ASAP. Plus a controller for my taco! Agree it's all about being able to stop!

Tires and brakes are absolute key! Steve
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:28 AM   #7
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Welcome Steve and congratulations!
My experience mirrors Tims. I believe electric brakes are not a safety feature you might use but rather on you will use. It is just a matter of when.
They are not necessarily for how you drive, they are for how others drive.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:38 AM   #8
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 03 Tacoma pulling 83 Scamp 16
Colorado
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Thanks Again, I failed to mention I did't know if this 16's fridge worked either as seller only used it w/shore power -110ac ...but happy to report I was thrilled when I fired up the Dometic RM211B yesterday and chilled a beverage in it. YES! My tiny house can keep things cold!

These Scamps don't surface that often and one does you have to be ready to accept it on face value alone. I just hope the electric brakes are standard not optional?

Steve
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:52 AM   #9
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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If they haven't been used in a loooog time you might not want to test drive the brakes until they are checked out on the trailer. Things that can happen are: a) They don't work... b) One works but the other doesn't, c) They work real good and lock up and/or d) they get jammed in the on position and you wind up with burned up brake shoes.


Just by connecting the brake wire to 12 VDC in the driveway you should hear a distinct clicking sound from each wheel telling you that the magnets are working. Then, as your first service project is to pull the wheels and repack the bearings, you can inspect the brakes themselves for rusty, damaged or missing parts.


While you are at it, also check the date codes on the tires. Anything over 6 years old, no matter how good they look, is a candidate for replacement.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:52 AM   #10
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Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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Hi Steve, welcome to FGRV. Have a look under the trailer. If the Scamp has brakes, you will see brake drums on the backside of the wheel. If no drums, the next question will be whether you can add drums to your existing axle; if you can, there will be a big square plate with a hole at each corner that the drum would mount to. Worst case, the axle can be swapped for a new one with brakes; but I doubt it will come to that. Brakes on 16s are pretty common. I don't know for sure if they were standard equipment in the '80s, but it's quite possible.

By the way, a trailer with brakes usually will have a round 6- or 7-pin plug going to the tow vehicle, and a traielr without brakes will usually have a flat 4-pin plug. But this is not definitive, since owners sometimes change these plugs for their own reasons.
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Old 12-02-2014, 06:48 PM   #11
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 03 Tacoma pulling 83 Scamp 16
Colorado
Posts: 24
Good news my Scamp 16 has brakes or so it looks. There's brake drums behind the rims but I don't see where the wires go in? Also it has a 7-pin plug so I applied 12v to the pin that supposed to be the electric brakes and heard nothing? When I do this to the horse I hear the brakes go clunk or at least make some noise. I also measured across the blue wire pin on the plug and see 350ohms ...Soo don't know what to think? Guess when it warms up I need to pull a wheel, bearing and then drum to see what I have and how it works?? ...any suggestions?

btw here some pics: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk5TvKMp

Steve
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:27 PM   #12
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Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, Tacoma 4.0L 4door, SB
ex VT, now CO
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The wires leading to the brake solenoids should be visible somewhere near the brake assembly backplate (the stationary part) on both left and right. Not long ago I was testing my brakes and I do not remember hearing any loud clicks either, but I was sitting in the driver seat, not applying 12 volts directly. I did it after the wheels were off the ground for winter, using the Tacoma brake controller. Curious about the braking torque, I propped the manual lever to full and modified the voltage with the adjustment knob and turned the wheels by hand.

If the previous owner never used your brakes at all, they should not be worn out, but I would agree that a good look at them and the bearings is in order.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:22 AM   #13
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Virginia
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Steve
Wow what a relly nice 83 trailer. Just a little brake/axle info on older Scamps. Not sure on an 83 but 82 Scamps 16's only had a 2.2K lb. axle's with 7" brakes and 4x4 lug patterns. The newer Scamps have 3.5K lb. axle's with 10" brakes and 5x4.5 lug patterns. With a +30 YO trailer before investing a lot in brake repair in an under rated load axle. You may be better of investing in a new 3.5K axle. Just for info. purposes I'm not suggesting that your axle is bad. Like I said I'm not sure what year they upgraded the 3.5K axles.
Eddie
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Old 12-03-2014, 03:46 PM   #14
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 03 Tacoma pulling 83 Scamp 16
Colorado
Posts: 24
Thanks, Guys! Yes it has the 4-lug pattern ...so I'm guessing it's 2200 lb axle sad to say. But truthfully I don't see us loading this scamp up with much. It's has no AC, hot water. heater, just the 10-gal water tank, fridge, 3-burner range ...we may thrown in a portapotty, food/water and clothes maybe a few outside lawn chairs/BBQ that'll ride in back of my truck. SO we'll see how it goes with stock axle for now. Weather needs to warm up before I can get out there to work on it. Meanwhile I'm reading up on brake controllers.

Thanks, Steve
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