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Westcliffe01 09-23-2013 04:55 PM

Scamp 5th wheel hitch nightmare
 
So it looks like I will shortly be the owner of a 5th wheel style 19' scamp trailer.

Since it is an 8 hour one way drive, I wanted to be sure that I had a hitch system ready to go before I left home, which is MI. After considering several options, I ordered a hitch from the Scamp factory.

It was $495 and shipping ran another $100+ so I am just about at $600 for the parts from the factory.

But here is the problem. My truck (a 2008 F250 SD with the diesel) already has an underbed gooseneck hitch. The hardware for the gooseneck hitch is in the way of the rail system for the scamp hitch. Not to mention that any shop refuses to install it as per the scamp instructions.

So after a lot of research, I am now having the under the bed hitch removed and replaced with the scamp hitch, which happens to include a Reese 30035 universal rail kit. Then if I remove the Scamp ball hitch from the rails, I can substitute it with a gooseneck insert and be able to pull either kind of trailer. The gooseneck insert from Curt CURT 5th Wheel Rail Bent Plate Gooseneck - By Curt Mfg is regularly about $250 but $135 at that source.

For anyone in a similar position, a much better overall price can be accomplished by buying the following Pro Series 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch w/ Rails and Installation Kit - Slide Bar Jaw - 16,000 lbs Pro Series Fifth Wheel PS30130
This is a complete rail kit with a "real" 5th wheel hitch for <$400. I believe it has a cross member that is virtually identical to the scamp unit and will just need a 2" ball added to it, available virtually anywhere. Then if one converts the trailer to a true kingpin coupling, you already have all the needed hardware.

Jared J 09-23-2013 05:30 PM

This is exactly why I made mine a real fifth wheel. B&w hidden gooseneck hitch, fifth wheel hitch that drops in gooseneck hitch. Done, and nothing left in the bed.

Westcliffe01 09-23-2013 05:53 PM

I figure after all the expense, I will make a platform in the bed from plywood that is level with the rails with some small openings to allow the 2 different inserts to be installed. Then I can use the truck with the cap for camping on those occasions I can't be encumbered with a trailer. If I had a way to collect the trailer without going to all this trouble it would be great but don't have a simpler 100% reliable solution.

Brian B-P 09-23-2013 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Westcliffe01 (Post 420255)
My truck (a 2008 F250 SD with the diesel) already has an underbed gooseneck hitch.

It's too late, but another option might have been Andersen's Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection ("gooseneck mount" version), which could be secured to your existing hitch, although it would need a 2" ball for the Scamp... and it is bizarrely expensive at least at the price shown on Andersen's website.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Westcliffe01 (Post 420255)
Not to mention that any shop refuses to install it as per the scamp instructions.

What was strange about Scamp's instructions? That's a normal rail-mount hitch from the rails down, so the frame brackets should be completely normal. They didn't say to just bolt the rails to the box floor, did they? :omy

Quote:

Originally Posted by Westcliffe01 (Post 420255)
For anyone in a similar position, a much better overall price can be accomplished by buying the following Pro Series 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch w/ Rails and Installation Kit - Slide Bar Jaw - 16,000 lbs Pro Series Fifth Wheel PS30130
This is a complete rail kit with a "real" 5th wheel hitch for <$400. I believe it has a cross member that is virtually identical to the scamp unit and will just need a 2" ball added to it, available virtually anywhere.

Yes, this Scamp hitch is just the structure of a common fifth-wheel hitch, without the head and with an adapter plate and ball instead. Some Scamp owners had done this by themselves, and the people at Scamp saw this and adopted the idea (for which I applaud them).

Jared J 09-23-2013 07:00 PM

I talked to Andersen. It uses a special ball. Thy said they would make a 2" one if they were slow, but it was a little costly, and they didn't seem to excited about it.

Westcliffe01 09-23-2013 07:26 PM

Brian, thank you for that info. That certainly looks like a better direction... Guess I will shortly have a 5th wheel Scamp hitch for sale in the classifieds.... The only catch is that there does not seem to be a 2" ball in their parts lineup for that hitch, but I could get someone to lathe turn the 2 5/16 ball down to 2" if there is no alternative.

The Andersen part # 3226 is the base without the kingpin coupler and that drops the price to about $350.

Westcliffe01 09-24-2013 04:51 PM

Their standard 3 position (height adjustable) ball is only $50 3201 - Ultimate Connection Hardball 2-5/16" plated steel single ball I can have one of several machine shops re-machine the diameter of the ball and it will probably not run me much more than $50-75.

Scamp could of course order a custom ball in a batch of 20 or 30 and the cost would be only a buck or 2 higher than the standard ball.

I'm considering making the detour to the factory to return the hitch I bought and show them the option I went with, since I feel it is a substantially better solution.

In my case it is the difference between $1200 worth of work and $350 on a system I can drop in my bed and which removes without any impact on the use of the bed in pickup mode. That is worth a lot to me.

Here is a picture of the Andersen Hitch
http://www.andersenhitches.com/Image...0427054705.jpg

I have been lucky enough to have Andersen give me the contact info for a stocking dealer within an hour of where I live and I am going tomorrow evening to pick it up. Great service of Andersen to help me avoid shipping delays.


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