Brainstorm Scamp update / alternative - Fiberglass RV
RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-09-2018, 06:56 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Kirk
Trailer: 2013 Scamp 16'
South Dakota
Posts: 16
Question Brainstorm Scamp update / alternative

We've had a 2013 16' Scamp (layout 4, with side bathroom) for a few seasons now. We bought it lightly used, so it wasn't necessarily our choices of options. Now that we know how we do (and don't) use the various features, I'd like some help brainstorming whether we should keep this one and make some changes, or look for something different.

We live and camp in a climate that is hot and humid in the summer and freezes overnight in the spring and fall shoulder seasons. Therefore, we are usually camping in places with shore power - in the summer, for the air conditioner; in the winter, for running some kind of heater / furnace.

Here's the things in the camper we use regularly:
  • Rear table. We use it for every meal, and some other times too.
  • Rear bed and both bunks. We set up the bunks once we arrive and leave them set up, unless we need more places to sit.
  • Stove and counters. We make most of the meals from scratch.
  • Refrigerator. It is the smallest one and typically full. (See previous.) It is almost always on 120V, or 12V when towing. I used it on propane once or twice, mostly out of curiosity.
  • Sink. For the most part, we use it to wash hands or wash dishes.
  • Toilet. Convenient especially for a family.
  • Air conditioner. We use for both cooling and heat (heat strip).
Here's what we sometimes use but could do without:
  • Fresh water tank / plumbing. For the shoulder seasons, especially, we bring in jugs of water (or antifreeze to flush the toilet, depending on the time of year). I'm always hesitant about leaving water in the tank for a few weeks, due to microbes - maybe I shouldn't be? It never drains completely. And winterizing has been a real chore. But maybe I'm doing something wrong.
  • Water pump. The pump seems to make it harder to winterize. And since we often use jugs of water, it seems unnecessary.
  • Black holding tank. A cassette or portable toilet would be okay with us.
Here's what we definitely don't use:
  • Hot water heater. We boil water on the stove, if needed. The water seems to get a smell if it is in the heater for more than a day, and it isn't convenient to drain it that frequently.
  • Shower. We tried it once. We will use the shower facilities at a campground, if we want to shower.
  • Furnace. I put the heat strip into the air conditioner, and we use that. Or we have an electric oil-filled radiator that we use at night, if we don't want the noise.
  • Propane. The only thing we use propane for is cooking, and at that point it seems we could use either a camp stove or an induction burner.
  • City water. We rarely stay at places that have a connection, and when we did use it, the gray tank filled up quickly.
Given the above, would it be best to start retrofitting with the things we want (i.e. larger refrigerator) and just not using the things we don't (i.e. just leave the plumbing winterized)? Or is there something Scamp could do at the factory to update it more to our liking?

Or is there a different camper that would be more suitable for us? Something all-electric seems like it could be suitable, like Lil Snoozy - although it has no insulation for these cold and humid seasons. Are there other options that would fit well?

I'm mainly just looking for some ideas and discussion to see if there's things we've overlooked. Thank you in advance.
isotherm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2018, 08:12 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 4,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by isotherm View Post
We've had a 2013 16' Scamp (layout 4, with side bathroom) for a few seasons now. ...
Here's what we definitely don't use:
[LIST][*]Hot water heater. We boil water on the stove, if needed. The water seems to get a smell if it is in the heater for more than a day, and it isn't convenient to drain it that frequently.[*]Shower. We tried it once. We will use the shower facilities at a campground, if we want to shower.

....

Given the above, would it be best to start retrofitting with the things we want (i.e. larger refrigerator) and just not using the things we don't (i.e. just leave the plumbing winterized)? Or is there something Scamp could do at the factory to update it more to our liking?..

You make some great points and I feel that I have traveled a parallel path.

I have a 2015 year, 16 foot, Layout 4. Bought it without a furnace (and was leaning toward installing a Propex heater instead of the cheaper one Scamp uses).

As for shower and water heater I agree 100%. In fact I removed my water heater last month, capped off the pipes and made a temporary patch to the body / shell. I hope to be able to travel to Backus soon to have the big hole repaired to near original. The estimate from Scamp is $500. So buying the water heater was an expensive mistake for me. The alt plan is a custom made marine hatch that would require no further cutting of the fiberglass for about $220.

I also plan to have a furnace installed then. I agree with you that if you camp with shore power then a furnace is not needed, but I want to boondock in slightly more extreme conditions than I do now.. And I had a heat strip in an A/C before, its not much heat, there is no temp control, and the fan is loud. Take a pass on it if you ask me, but if you like it then enjoy.

City water.. I prefer using the on board tank. That way I know how much water I am using and can make a good guess on how full the waste tanks are.

Larger fridge... I have it and like it. It has a roof vent that I think works better than the side vent models. And the freezer actually freezes. I have some doubts that it can be added post-production. Iit does not run on 12 volts, and does not seem to keep temp very long. So I have used it on propane while traveling quite a bit, and I prefer not to. Therefore I just bought Indel B TB31A portable fridge that I can run in the tow vehicle, and then on shore power at camp. (And of course the price dropped after I bought it) It does not have much room but I think for one or two people it will be big enough for use while traveling (maybe with a cooler also for drinks, etc.). Then, when setting up for 5-7 days or more, then big fridge in the Scamp will be nice. I am getting familiar with the Indel fridge now so I can talk more about that later.

You can call Jerrod in the Scamp service dept to discuss any work you might want done. I understand they are pretty busy with service work now so it might be a few months until they can work you in.
gordon2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2018, 11:17 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
David B.'s Avatar
 
Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Arizona
Posts: 2,223
Registry
Kirk, the Lil Snoozy’s fiberglass matting has insulation built into it, although not much, I believe something like 6 or 7 R factor, which I thing is all that you are getting out of your Scamp’s reflectix/headliner material. If you are a do it yourselfer, you could order a Lil Hauley (the utility model of a LS) and finish it out as you wish. The shell does not require any structural support, so you can finish it any way that works for you.
Dave & Paula
David B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2018, 04:32 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Carl Pa's Avatar
 
Name: Carl
Trailer: 2014 16 scamp side dinette/Rav4 V6 Tow pkg.
Pennsylvania
Posts: 578
To go through all the changes you want, might be somewhat costly. I would keep it as you have it and just don't use what you don't want. I too don't use the HW or shower, fridge has never been on propane. Gas heater just tried it once, easier with a electric space heater. Being older the toilet comes in handy, for overnight. I am always in a state park or a commercial campground, with hookups. However, you never know when you might have to boon-dock. Sooo, if you have it, you might as well keep it, b/c it is very costly to add it and a lot of work. Carl
Carl Pa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2018, 10:46 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 1,228
Also think resale value. Perhaps better to have it available and not use it, than to not have it and want or need it later.

Our Casita is or first and only. We bought it loaded. We have used everything at least once, and some things only once. But I have had people come in just to look and say they like a feature we seldom or never use. In other words your market will be greater if or when you decide to sell.

For instance we use the bathroom for storage. But most people that we have given a tour say it is important to them.

Chances are even if you now think you will never sell, you prob will at some point.
Rzrbrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2018, 12:19 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Name: Kirk
Trailer: 2013 Scamp 16'
South Dakota
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
In fact I removed my water heater last month, capped off the pipes and made a temporary patch to the body / shell. I hope to be able to travel to Backus soon to have the big hole repaired to near original.
Wow, I never considered actually removing it. But it does take a lot of cabinet space...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
And I had a heat strip in an A/C before, its not much heat, there is no temp control, and the fan is loud.
I wonder if you have a different AC? Ours is Coleman Mach and it can get the inside to 80 degrees when it's 40 out, and has temp control (at the AC). But yes, the fan is loud. If I stick with this camper I might look at wiring a remote thermostat to control the fan too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Therefore I just bought Indel B TB31A portable fridge that I can run in the tow vehicle, and then on shore power at camp.
I have been looking at this too. Although at some point, if you move enough things to the TV, you begin to wonder if you need to be towing anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
You can call Jerrod in the Scamp service dept to discuss any work you might want done.
Thanks for that info! I might look into that, mainly to see about options for upgrading the refrigerator.
isotherm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2018, 12:24 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Name: Kirk
Trailer: 2013 Scamp 16'
South Dakota
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by David B. View Post
Kirk, the Lil Snoozy’s fiberglass matting has insulation built into it, although not much, I believe something like 6 or 7 R factor, which I thing is all that you are getting out of your Scamp’s reflectix/headliner material. If you are a do it yourselfer, you could order a Lil Hauley (the utility model of a LS) and finish it out as you wish. The shell does not require any structural support, so you can finish it any way that works for you.
Dave & Paula
Dave, do you ever have trouble with condensation in the queen bed area? I had read about some problems with that - but maybe that was a problem with no headliner as opposed to no insulation?

Lil Snoozy does look interesting, but we have yet to see one, and the factory is very far away for us!
isotherm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2018, 12:31 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Name: Kirk
Trailer: 2013 Scamp 16'
South Dakota
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Pa View Post
However, you never know when you might have to boon-dock. Sooo, if you have it, you might as well keep it, b/c it is very costly to add it and a lot of work.
We've had chances to boondock, but for some reason I just shy away from using the propane. Maybe if I had auto-switch auto-ignition appliances I would use it more? That's part of what I'm trying to sort out - if I were to upgrade anything (water heater, refrigerator) what exactly I would want - or if I just still wouldn't use the propane.
isotherm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2018, 12:36 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Name: Kirk
Trailer: 2013 Scamp 16'
South Dakota
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
Our Casita is or first and only. We bought it loaded. . . .
That's very true. I think part of the problem, since we didn't pick the features from the factory, is that it's loaded in some ways that we don't use, but not in other ways (i.e. refrigerator) that we discovered we would like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
. . . In other words your market will be greater if or when you decide to sell.
I don't really plan to remove anything, but moreso deciding whether we want to upgrade some things on this trailer, or best to sell to someone who appreciates these features while we get something more suited to us. So we could sell soon... and it did enter my mind that, if we go all-electric with a new trailer, it might be that much harder to resell someday.
isotherm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2018, 01:52 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 1,228
I have thought about the all electric trailer also. I have a 3k gen which would probably be enough. Many people are using a solar panel and batteries...there is a new Lithium battery/power pack on the market.

We were a bit concerned about using propane at first, but after having it for 3 long camping seasons it really is nice to have and works well. I suppose it comes down to having options. We can use propane, electric and even have a wood stove (for outside use, specifically cooking. It is a Volcano), what ever best fits the situation. But then we like to boondock, or dry camp as some people call it. Not a lot mind you, but enough so that it all comes into play at some time or the other.
Rzrbrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2018, 08:47 PM   #11
Member
 
nancyrnfit's Avatar
 
Name: nancy
Trailer: 19' Scamp Deluxe
Tennessee
Posts: 44
Registry
You bring up some interesting points. We have a 2004 16 foot Scamp, layout 4, going on our 5th year of ownership.

Only my husband and I use it. We are essentially tent campers, but wanted something leak proof and more comfortable.
We have NEVER used the hot water heater, or the shower,or the air conditioner, for that matter--actually, we just turned it on over the weekend, since we will be heading to FLA in a few weeks.


On occasion, we have used the propane for heating and for cooking, if weather bad outside, and we have no electrical hookup. Otherwise, we have a small electric heater that works well.
Also, we have used the water tank a couple of times, when going to a place without water connection.


I subscribe to the daily emails, and am always looking at other options.


After looking at some other trailers, and after getting ours ready to travel the last few days, I have concluded that this is our best option.


The only other trailer that appeals to me is the Happier camper, with its easily configured interior. (Though I don't like crawling over my husband for the middle of the night bathroom visit, I don't want anything much larger)

But, then, when I look at what they want for a new HC1, and very few used ones are for sale, that has essentially none of what our Scamp has, I am happy to stay with what we've got.


For me, bottom line, there is no PERFECT trailer out there, so "love the one you're with" or trade to something closer to what you want.
nancyrnfit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2018, 09:13 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,344
Registry
Just shows how everyone is different. We use our propane every day, we use the hot water heater every day, anytime its cold we use the furnace if we don't have shore power, we use city water whenever it is available, when its not available, we use the pump and our water tank. We use the black tank daily. We use the AC when we need it (a lot) if we have shore power. We use the awning every day.

We love a permanent bed.

The only features of our trailer we never use are the sink in the bathroom (its 18 inches from the kitchen sink) and the shower.

If we have shore power, we use a small box electric heater. (very efficient and very quiet).
thrifty bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2018, 09:34 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,384
If you're not going to use those conveniences, you might be better off with a tent.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2018, 04:55 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 1,228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
If you're not going to use those conveniences, you might be better off with a tent.
Unless you are camping in Grizzly country...

I find our 17' Casita SD a bit small to live in, but the only alternative is an Airstream, at least 25' long. The problem with that is maneuvering in the back country on two rut roads. So we have not made the jump.

And no I don't want an Oliver, not big enough. If we step out of the Casita it will be into something big enough to handle our complete needs.

Been to the Oliver and Escape factories, and considered the Big Foot. Don't mean to hijack this thread, so won't get into this conversation any further here.
Rzrbrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2018, 07:13 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 9,711
Registry
Couldn't disagree more, Glenn. Even if it's just for sleeping, a trailer is so much more convenient, weather-proof, and comfortable than a tent!

I have done my share of tent camping and the vicissitudes of age are catching up with me. My wife, on the other hand, was never a camper, has endured a tent with me a few times, but loves the Scamp. For us it's the common ground that allows us to enjoy the outdoors together.

I have thought much about a 16', layout 4, and I would want it pretty simple, too, minimal plumbing (but I do want propane).

I have seen several for sale that don't have the full bath package. It might make more sense to buy something closer to what you want rather than rip apart a perfectly functional trailer. You can take your time looking as you have a trailer to use in the meantime.
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2018, 07:59 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
trainman's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: 2019 Oliver Elite II
Texas
Posts: 367
Never really been a tent camper except for the boy scouts back some 60 years ago, I did enjoy it them, but what did I know at the time. One thing it did do was set the future for nature and the joy of being outdoors, which I think most of us on this forum enjoy, or we wouldn't be here. For today at age 73 the wife and I think the 17' Casita is about as small of a trailer that we care to have for our camping needs, it lets us get away somewhat and still we can get that boondock feeling without getting too far off the beaten path. One thing the Casita has done for us is let us be minimalist campers and not take everything we own with us when camping, this way we still retain some of the freedoms that camping offers. Do what works for you and enjoy life.

trainman
trainman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2018, 05:55 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
Name: Kirk
Trailer: 2013 Scamp 16'
South Dakota
Posts: 16
Thanks for the discussion!

We very seriously considered whether we could just get an "instant" tent, plus some disc-o-bed bunk cots, and then we'd use the tailgate of the minivan like a teardrop trailer: have a kitchen with slide-out range, truck fridge, etc. But that is really a lot of time to set up and break camp each day.

We realized the camper really is convenient for a hard-sided, instant shelter with beds ready (or almost ready) to go. And having the facilities always with, with some kind of plumbing to make it easier to dump, are great for a traveling family. We do like the idea of the camper but maybe just not this specific setup.

I think part of our problem is that there are some annoyances that keep us from using the camper as much as we would like, and it just snowballs from there. For example, not having enough room in the refrigerator makes us take shorter trips, which means we can't just keep using the water in the tanks, which makes them begin to smell as they sit unused between trips, need flushing / bleach solution, etc.

We will be passing by the Scamp factory in the near future in case they could upgrade some things, but I am also really looking at different used models: Escape 17 Plan B w/ gaucho bunk, Parkliner w/ bunk, Lil Snoozy, and EggCamper. Kind of an odd round-up, perhaps. Is there anything I should know about that bunch vis-a-vis my original list of uses and non-uses?
isotherm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2018, 10:10 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
David B.'s Avatar
 
Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Arizona
Posts: 2,223
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by isotherm View Post
Dave, do you ever have trouble with condensation in the queen bed area? I had read about some problems with that - but maybe that was a problem with no headliner as opposed to no insulation?

Lil Snoozy does look interesting, but we have yet to see one, and the factory is very far away for us!
We did have some condensation issues around the mattress, because I do not like opening a window when it is cold outside to let our moist air escape, but fixed it by adding reflectix covered by marine headliner in the bed area only.
Dave & Paula
David B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
scamp


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.