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-   -   Checking a Old Scamp Frame for cracks (http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f55/checking-a-old-scamp-frame-for-cracks-72943.html)

Bill Nolen 01-08-2016 07:20 PM

Checking a Old Scamp Frame for cracks
 
i haven't any reasons or clues to think my 1978 Scamp 13 may have a cracked frame, but would like to be sure that it's doesn't, and have it fixed if it does.

Being somewhat well-fed (and short and round in shape) I will need to jack the trailer up to provide room for me to climb underneath.

Where should I place the floor jack to do the least damage? Under the axle or beside the axle, etc.?

And, where are the locations where most cracks appear on the Scamp frames?

Any, and all, information and comments will be appreciated!

Bill

Jon in AZ 01-08-2016 07:31 PM

Jack on the frame near the axle, never on the axle itself. For safety, I'd recommend putting the trailer up on jack stands while you crawl underneath. Like the jack, place the stands on the main frame rails near the axle.

The most likely places to find frame cracks are toward the front, especially where the A-frame bends under the front of the cabin.

Bill Nolen 01-08-2016 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon in AZ (Post 565978)
Jack on the frame near the axle, never on the axle itself. For safety, I'd recommend putting the trailer up on jack stands while you crawl underneath. Like the jack, place the stands on the main frame rails near the axle.

The most likely places to find frame cracks are toward the front, especially where the A-frame bends under the front of the cabin.

Thanks Jon for the information. i will follow you advice.

I have two jack stands, and will lift only one side of the trailer at a time, using the jack stands on that side.

I had a high school friend who jacked up his very old car using one of the old type bumper jacks, and then climbed underneath. The jack slipped sideways, and my friend spent the rest of his short life in a wheelchair!

Bill

Jon in AZ 01-08-2016 07:57 PM

Myself, I'd put both sides up on stands at one time. Then there's no possibility of a wheel rolling while you're underneath. Deploy the rear stabilizers, too.

Very sad about your friend. Something you never forget. I had a close call myself many years ago, so I never take shortcuts.

Bill Nolen 01-08-2016 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon in AZ (Post 565984)
Myself, I'd put both sides up on stands at one time. Then there's no possibility of a wheel rolling while you're underneath. Deploy the rear stabilizers, too.

Very sad about your friend. Something you never forget. I had a close call myself many years ago, so I never take shortcuts.

Jon, I'll tell my dear, long suffering, wife that you recommend that I use four jack stands...as a safety feature! So, I HAVE to buy two more jacks!

Yes, you are right about never forgetting, My friend has been gone for many years, but, I still remember him, and only by the grace of God, or blind luck, more of us guys were not hurt doing stupid things like that.

Bill

Jon in AZ 01-08-2016 08:18 PM

Sorry, Bill, can't help you there… you really only need two. :D

You want them near the axle, one per side, because that's the part of the frame that is designed to support the whole weight of the trailer. Deploying the rear stabilizers keeps the tongue planted.

But you can tell your wife anything you want… ;)

mary and bob 01-08-2016 08:43 PM

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This is what I use when I want to work under my trailers. I leave it hooked up to a vehicle or one of my tractors.

David B. 01-09-2016 02:39 AM

Bill, our 13' Scamp had slight bending where Jon said to check, the "A-frame"
where the tongue starts to go under the front of the trailer. We welded thick supports to this area. Later we found cracks just behind the axle but still under where the axle brackets were welded to the axle. I had a trailer builder remove the axle, weld the cracked areas and add new square tubing and a flexi-ride axle at the same time. I have read where it is also common for the frame to fracture just in front of the door, but ours was fine. Your really have to get up close with a good light, wheels off, and a wire brush to be able to really check out the frame. Best of luck with your PM project.
Dave & Paula

Laughingindian 01-09-2016 02:54 AM

I have done EXTENSIVE repair to the frame of my scamp. I have been in the 'Mechanicing' business for 40 years. I would NEVER jack a Scamp up by the frame. Put the jack under the axle close to the wheels!

Donna D. 01-09-2016 05:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Laughingindian (Post 566014)
I have done EXTENSIVE repair to the frame of my scamp. I have been in the 'Mechanicing' business for 40 years. I would NEVER jack a Scamp up by the frame. Put the jack under the axle close to the wheels!

You had better do some investigation about travel trailers. Everything from the electrics to the axle are different than what you're "Mechanicing" on for 40 years. I'd suggest you check out the manufacturer brand of the axle on your Scamp.

For any newbie, Danny has given the incorrect advice in his post. That's okay, we allow do-overs.

Laughingindian 01-09-2016 07:14 AM

Yep spoken like someone who knows all the answers to all the questions. Sorry, but the frame on one of these things is WEAK. Do you not realize that the Axle carries all of the weight of the trailer and is made of Much Stronger steel. BTW.....screws and nuts work better than rivets! AND Silicone caulk has it's place on a Scamp as well!

Donna D. 01-09-2016 07:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Laughingindian (Post 566024)
Yep spoken like someone who knows all the answers to all the questions. Sorry, but the frame on one of these things is WEAK. Do you not realize that the Axle carries all of the weight of the trailer and is made of Much Stronger steel. BTW.....screws and nuts work better than rivets! AND Silicone caulk has it's place on a Scamp as well!

The axle is also a hollow tube. You know that right? And if lifting on it, it may collapse and deform. If it deforms at the point where the rubber torsion exists you'll pinch the rubber and it won't rotate properly, effectively creating a dead axle.

And silicone is fine on the interior, but on the exterior it will solve a temporary issue and can become a permanent problem.

I don't expect you to believe me. Do some research here on FiberglassRV. There are thousands of posts and just as many members who are of the same inclination as what I've posted. We can't all be wrong...

But Danny, you do what you want to your trailer. After all, it's yours. I just worry about newbies getting incorrect information.

Have a good day! :wave

Donna D. 01-09-2016 07:32 AM

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Danny, here's some information from Dexter Axle. Note what I highlighted in tip #17.

Jon in AZ 01-09-2016 08:09 AM

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I started to say much the same thing as Donna. The axle tube is not a weight-bearing component in a torsion axle set-up. Suffice to say that both Scamp and Dexter agree: jack on the frame near the axle, not the axle itself. Scamp recommends just behind the axle on the large 1"x3" main frame rail.

Scamp's recommendation is here. See the video entitled "Tires and Bearings." Here's a screen shot of the recommended jack point (viewed from rear of trailer):
Attachment 91600

Dexter's recommendation is here. Here is a direct quote related to jacking: "Dexter recommends that you do not jack up the trailer on the suspension components because there is always the potential for damage. Bent hangers, leaf springs, or axle tubes can cause bad axle alignment with bad tire wear resulting. Also, many trailer builders do not use Dexter hangers and we have no idea how strong these hangers may or may not be. Therefore, we take the conservative approach and recommend jacking up only on the trailer frame."

I'd guess it's one of those things where you might do it once and not suffer any consequences; you might do it a hundred times. You are also correct that the Scamp frame is very lightweight. Jacking on the wrong part of the frame, especially the corners, could also do a lot of damage. But if the main frame rail where the axle is mounted is too weak to jack, you probably shouldn't be pulling that trailer down the highway.

Laughingindian 01-09-2016 08:33 AM

Like I said.....I will do and what I recommend others who ask is what I have deduced is the best way to do something. Again, I have done EXTENSIVE frame repair on a Scamp and that frame is unsuitable for lifting. I have seen Toyota frames bend from lifting and they are much stronger. Obviously you would not lift from the axle center, but the outer end of the axle on a Scamp is BY FAR the Strongest point on the entire trailer! To each his own. See y'all in Sebring!

Paul O. 01-09-2016 09:20 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Last summer I painted the frame with Rustoleum. It was getting badly rusted after our second "spring" trip, having towed along salted highways. To get underneath I pulled the Scamp up on my home made ramps. (They are basically solid wood, each has a pound of nails holding them together.)

Sue and Henry 01-09-2016 10:20 AM

I'm want to check mine too and was planning to take it into a Les Schwab to have them check the underside. Is that an okay idea if I don't feel up to doing it myself? Any downside?


Sent from my iPad using Fiberglass RV

Raz 01-09-2016 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mary and bob (Post 565993)
This is what I use when I want to work under my trailers. I leave it hooked up to a vehicle or one of my tractors.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul O. (Post 566048)
Last summer I painted the frame with Rustoleum. It was getting badly rusted after our second "spring" trip, having towed along salted highways. To get underneath I pulled the Scamp up on my home made ramps. (They are basically solid wood, each has a pound of nails holding them together.)

Having been one of those lucky dumb kids many years ago this is how I do it too. Great minds think alike. :thumb Raz

Bullington 01-09-2016 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Laughingindian (Post 566041)
Like I said.....I will do and what I recommend others who ask is what I have deduced is the best way to do something. Again, I have done EXTENSIVE frame repair on a Scamp and that frame is unsuitable for lifting. I have seen Toyota frames bend from lifting and they are much stronger. Obviously you would not lift from the axle center, but the outer end of the axle on a Scamp is BY FAR the Strongest point on the entire trailer! To each his own. See y'all in Sebring!

I'm with you.....if the frame is what's cracking and breaking up, I would jack up where the weight of the trailer is already being supported (near the wheel, on the axle).

Timber Wolf 01-09-2016 11:47 AM

I don't know about a 13 but on my 16 the frame cracked at the front street side. That would have been easy to see by just cranking the front up with the tongue jack without even getting under the trailer.


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