First road trip in our 2017 Scamp 16 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-03-2020, 05:55 PM   #1
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Name: Rich
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First road trip in our 2017 Scamp 16

This is not how I planned it, but our daughter gave birth to our first grandchild last week and she would REALLY like us to come visit. My wife asked me what it would take to get out there within the next couple of weeks. We're in St Paul, the baby is in Seattle. I'm figuring 4 days/3 nights to cover the 1600 mile. Stops in Bismark, Bozeman and Spokane. Looks like KOAs are open and have vacancies. I've done the trip a couple of times in our Forester. This will be the first time towing a camper this direction. We upgraded over the winter from a teardrop to the Scamp. I've added a 7 pin harness to our Highlander for brakes and battery. The Highlander is rated 5000 lbs so no worries there. What do I need to know about the Scamp, that's my big unknown. We'll be in Seattle for about a week and I can use the downtime to play with my systems. On the way out, in deference to COVID-19, I want to minimize set up and such - just drive, camp, sleep, repeat.

We live in a condo, the Scamp lives about 10 miles away in a storage yard. I haven't had a chance to connect to shore power, so I have no experience yet with the 120V systems. The propane tank feels about 3/4 full. Water, sewer, etc have never been used, I didn't even winterize. Here are my questions.

Water - no antifreeze to purge but is there a disinfecting procedure I should follow? Can I haul with a limited amount of freshwater without worrying too much about weight, say 4 gallons or so for coffee and such?

A/C - the roof mount A/C shows a heat switch setting. Can I assume this means I have the electric resistance heat option? This would save me having to deal with the furnace while we are on the road.

Refrigerator - do I chill it on the first day out using propane and then switch to shore power the first night, repeat each day until we arrive?

Gray and Black tanks - can we use (minimally) and deal with dumping when we arrive in Seattle?

What else do I need to worry about? I'm in the process now of preparing for the trip and I will continue to read up, but I guess I'm looking for a crash course. I guess this isn't much different than a new owner picking up in Backus and wondering how all this stuff works. The only difference is this damn corona virus. Thanks all in advance.
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Old 05-04-2020, 06:53 AM   #2
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Name: Steve
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First trip

You never mentioned a brake controller. I hope you have one and read the directions for it use. Next, check all your tires for correct pressure, tv and trailer. Check the torque on your trailer wheels. No torque wrench, get one at Harbor freight.
On water, put an ounce of chlorox in the tank and add 10 gallons of water. Donít drink it, flush with it. Take 4 gallon jugs of good water for coffee. 4 fit nicely in a milk crate. The fridge may start. Depends on the condition of the storage area and the temp. Spider webs in the burner possibly and I suspect those Minnesota spiders are cold blooded. I once watched a spider crawling very slowly at 0 deg. F. Load your trailer heavy toward the tongue and donít drive faster than 60 mph. Stay safe and wear your mask!
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:00 AM   #3
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First road trip in our 2017 Scamp 16

The fridge takes a long time to cool down. If youíre going to take food from home without pre-cooling, you might bring an ice chest to start out. You can run on propane while towing, but you must shut it off when refueling.

If your daughter has a sewer clean-out where you can reach it, then wait to dump. Otherwise you might be better off dumping on your last morning at a campground.

Carrying water in the rear tank can make some 16íers tongue light and squirrelly. Load your gear with a forward bias.
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:11 AM   #4
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I'm in the process of wiring my Highlander for brakes now. I'll get them dialed in before we hit the road. Likewise, I'll grease Scamp bearings, check air pressure, etc. Good idea on water, we'll bring some for coffee. We have a good cooler that we'll pack with ice and perishables for the trip. Battery has been on a trickle charger all winter long. The Scamp is very low miles, almost like new inside. I always pack a tool box and I've spent the last several months on this forum making a list for things to check. We did 5 years in the teardrop, so while it's not as complicated as the Scamp, there are some similar best practices. I'm probably overthinking it. We will have a week in Seattle on shore power so I can debug any glitches we find enroute.
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:36 AM   #5
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First road trip in our 2017 Scamp 16

I was the one doing the overthinking! Sounds like youíve got this. Congratulations on the first grandchild!
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Old 05-07-2020, 03:15 PM   #6
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Masks, sanitizing wipes, and hand sanitizer. Plus enough food, TP, etc for the trip so you don't need to go inside a grocery store along the way. Even if you're self-contained and careful, you're going to have to stop for gas. Kids ages 1-20 seem pretty resistant to covid-19, but the same doesn't seem to be true of newborns, so you definitely don't want to pick it up along the way.
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Old 05-07-2020, 03:36 PM   #7
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My list is getting really long, I've been piling up supplies in preparation. Our goal is to bring enough food, beverage, etc plus PPE stuff so that our only contact with the outside world is gas and checking into campgrounds each night. This assumes no mechanical breakdowns en route.

Speaking of campgrounds...We've always been county/state/national park campers. This will be our first experience with KOA. I've identified KOA operations near Bismark, Billings and Spokane that, at last look, had openings for our dates. We're holding off on reservations, pending the latest rules and regs from state governments. We'll probably book everything this weekend. From what I can tell, private campgrounds have closed most of their facilities, except for camping, and are minimizing human contact during check in.

In other news, I completed the installation of my 7 pin wiring harness today and everything checked out. We'll do some test braking this weekend. Battery is good and 12v stuff appears to be working. We're adding a second propane tank in case it turns cold on the way, we'll be able to run our furnace if necessary. Fresh water tank is being cleaned (with bleach) as we speak. I'll grease my bearings next week and get my tires up to 50 PSI.

I'm a little torn about making this trip. Our daughter really wants us to come and once we're there, we can stay as long as they will have us. So it's these 4 days of travel that pose a risk, for now anyway. On the other hand, I'm mostly a rule follower. We've been hunkered down for 6 weeks and I have no interest in getting sick anytime soon, so any risk at all is of little interest to me.
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Old 05-07-2020, 03:48 PM   #8
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Generally with KOA you can make and pay for the reservation online if you do it more than a couple days ahead of time. They may have minimum stay lengths for the online reservations, though.

They usually insist on "guiding" you into your spot, but I'm not sure if they'll continue that now. Probably, since it's fairly easy to maintain distance in that case.

It might be worth planning on trying to self-quarantine for a week or so after you arrive on-site to minimize chances, or at least 3-4 days. Which reminds me.. one more thing to add to your supply list: a thermometer.
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Old 05-08-2020, 05:44 PM   #9
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You might want to consider becoming a KOA member as you'll get a 10% discount on camping price as well as points that can add up to a reduced or free night(s) of camping. I don't remember the membership cost but I think it's very reasonable.
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Old 05-08-2020, 06:30 PM   #10
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I think KOA membership currently runs $30 per year. I considered it but never having stayed in a KOA, I thought we would give them a shot at full price for this trip and see how we like it. I believe they are a franchise model, so the local campground is only as good as the local owner, is that right? We will report on the progress of our trip.

In other news, I hooked up the Scamp today and dialed in the brakes. Or I should say, started to dial in the brakes. I did manage to make them lock up, which from what I've read on this forum isn't necessary a given thing. I'm running a Draw-Tite proportional controller. Seems to work fine. I dialed back to about 4.5 and no boost. I'm going to take it out again tomorrow and try some stops with the manual slider and no brakes on the tow vehicle, see how I like the feel.
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Old 05-08-2020, 06:55 PM   #11
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Agree. locking up the brakes is not necessarily the best test of proper adjustment.
If you can brake fairly hard from about 40 MPH and not feel any push or pull from the trailer, then thats likely a good setting.

As for KOAs.. always seemed over-priced to me. But some may offer what you want, esp for children, and make the cost worth it.
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:03 PM   #12
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The deal with KOA is thatís what's open on our route from St Paul to Seattle. Weíll give the a try.
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:30 PM   #13
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KOA is franchised, yeah. There's a few exceptions (check reviews), but generally I've found them to be slightly above-average most of the time and about 20% more expensive than non-KOAs for the same quality.
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Old 05-13-2020, 11:58 AM   #14
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Take disposable gloves for using to gas up.....pumps are always filthy. We drive from Florida to Minnesota pulling a 16í scamp using a Volvo XC 90 with no problems. Might think of using dry ice instead of cubes cuz they last longer.
Have a sister-in-law in Olympia that we might go see this summer so will be interested In your travels.
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Old 05-13-2020, 12:04 PM   #15
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Better than gloves, wash your hands with soap and water, or use sanitizer. Most people manage to transfer germs from the gloves to their hands by taking them off and disposing of them.
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:01 AM   #16
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I've been sort of that route a lot-- N. Dakota to Seattle. Usually it's hotter than blazes. Speaking of blazes, you might meet some. That means only use your AC, don't open windows, when you're camping in smoke. And be aware if the fire is like, in Canada, or like, 10 miles from you. In that second case, move on to a safer campground. One place I often camp is a little public park about 12-16 miles east of Missoula, called Beaver Hill I believe. The sites on the last 1/2 of the loop are near the river. If it's the middle of the night and you desperately need a site, for an extra fee you can rent a teepee then sleep in your trailer at the teepee site. Saved me a time or two. Just starting to reach into Idaho, you might not want to miss Wallace, Idaho. I usually get gas there & walk around. Don't know about now with Covid, but there's an antique/junk store on the far side of town (which is only about 5 blocks) that I bought a saxophone in once. But a little more claim to fame is that they used the highway onrampss & overpasses in the movie that I believe was called Volcano. Did a great job of building fake on-ramps and having them collapse. Oh, and during my college days Wallace was known the THE place to snag a prostitute!
Further west there's Lake Couer d'Alene and Spokane. In between them, in the Spokane Valley, I stayed at the KOA there maybe 5 years ago. Seemed relatively average for a KOA. The lunch pickin's in the area were thin, but I did find a very interesting sushi bar, the kind where they rotate the sushi past you, in a mini mall near where you leave the main drag for the campground access roads.
1 in 1,000 people aproximately in Washington State has covid. They may feel fine and be infectious. Don't mix with us! and I won't mix with you, except from 6 feet away
Got a super inspirational video from a Nurse Practitioner the other day about how covid19 spread in chicago.
I mean super inspirational to me, an MD trying to avoid getting it. Be sure to pack oodles of rubber gloves very conveniently to use when pumping your own gas.
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Old 05-14-2020, 02:51 PM   #17
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Notice towing a Scamp is very much like a British experience towing with cars, rather than a SUV or a Pickup
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