Leaving tomorrow for Backus to pick up new 16' Scamp - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-20-2017, 11:27 AM   #1
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Leaving tomorrow for Backus to pick up new 16' Scamp

I've been waiting many long months and tomorrow a friend and I are driving out from CA to MN to pick up our newly made Scamp 16 standard and then embark on the 2000 mile drive home. My new (to me) 2000 Toyota 4Runner will be getting the test of a lifetime. We plan to do a few days hiking and boondocking in the Tetons on the way by, so will actually be using the new systems. Wish us luck everybody! I will see if I can get some good wifi to upload pictures before actually getting back to CA Bay Area with my new baby by Aug 1.

Thanks for all the prep advice. Hopefully I will have everything I need thanks to all the tool lists etc you gave me.

Up up and away!!
Alice
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Old 07-20-2017, 12:11 PM   #2
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Well, it sounds like you've already gotten the advice, so here's the best wishes!
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Old 07-20-2017, 12:42 PM   #3
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I'd love a followup post in August Alice! I'm in the South Bay (down in Mtn View), and have a 13' on order that I plan to road trip to pick up. I'd love to know what you'd change after the journey.

Have a great adventure!
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Old 07-20-2017, 12:47 PM   #4
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What a great way to break in your new trailer. July will be busy at Yellowstone/Teton NP. Senior pass? If not, if you travel through Yellowstone you have to pay for both parks. Lots of NFS campgrounds along the way to the parks. In Teton, Colter Bay is a first come first serve campground with over 300 sites. But do get there early. The view of the mountains from the parking lot will take your breath away. Safe travels, Raz
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:01 PM   #5
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Yup, senior pass in hand and ready to roll...

I hear the senior passes are going up soon from $10 to $80!! I've got mine in hand fortunately.

I will consider Coulter Bay but I have my eye on "Upper Teton View" for boondocking. Still at that time of year I'd better not dawdle on either one. I like the boondocking idea because if 300 people at Coulter Bay all have a campfire, the smoke just kills my nose. Those big campgrounds have forced me into trying boondocking, which was a little bit of the motivation for graduating up to a Scamp from tenting. The other motivation is the possibility of a comfy bed at night and no more vile campground shower stalls. Can't wait.

Next step will be solar...

So excited.
Alice
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:11 AM   #6
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I would suggest a night or two nearby Backus as you check out your new Scamp. Any questions or issues you are close by for answers or adjustments. When we picked up ours they ran through all the systems for us so quick we really didn't feel prepared for that first night. Our second visit to Backus a different guy actually made us a little video on my phone showing the details that we needed to know.
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:07 PM   #7
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Welcome to the club, ... even though we have gone over the "SOB" side.
Your 4 Runner should just play with the 16 Scamp. It has the tow package as standard equipment. I don't know what engine it has but I'm sure it will work fine. If you don't already know, learn how to downshift on the uphill grades, and long downhill grades to avoid overheating the transmission.
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Old 07-21-2017, 02:26 PM   #8
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Best of luck and have fun!
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Old 07-21-2017, 02:43 PM   #9
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There are also some very nice state parks in Wyoming. We stayed at Sinks Canyon SP, in May this year on our trip to the west coast. It was empty in May, will probably not be empty in July/August.


Sinks Canyon State Park : Home
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Old 07-21-2017, 06:25 PM   #10
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Congrats on the new acquisition! May you have miles of memories!
What a GREAT maiden voyage! There are many of us in the sb. We should plan a meet up!
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Old 07-21-2017, 07:33 PM   #11
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When you get water into the tank and lines for the first time, have a look around inside cabinets and such to make sure there are no drips. Smell for gas leaks. Just out of caution. Easy for a connection to get missed and be loose.

Freecampsites.net shows several boondock spots in the vicinity of Tetons. Enjoy the beauty!
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Old 07-22-2017, 10:01 PM   #12
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Congratulations! I still have that "goosebumps" feeling from picking up our new 13' Scamp in Backus in 2011. It's one of the best purchases we ever made. Do bring assorted bungee cords to keep the cabinets closed while in route. I found that the latches alone were not sturdy enough to hold the doors closed. We found the bed to be way too hard, and I'm a person who can, pretty much sleep anywhere! Since you won't be able to fully address this while on your first trip, (unless you are willing to stop, purchase a foam mattress topper and cut it to size with a large serrated knife) you might want to put a comforter or two under you for cushioning while you sleep. We found the interior "sweated" and sometimes dripped from the emergency hatch. We solved that issue when we realized we needed to keep a window or two open a crack for better ventilation. Be sure to check your "take off" and "landing" lists on this maiden voyage so you remember to do things "just so". After awhile they will become second hand. Don't be afraid to ask fellow campers who tow trailers for advice.
Most of all, be ready to answer questions at every gas station! Such a sparkling beauty will turn heads and inspire "Lookie Loos"!
P.S. I live in Marin County, CA. See my avatar for a photo of our maiden voyage!
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:43 PM   #13
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Picked up my newly hatched egg early this morning in Backus & heading back west. Factory was cool, people were great. It pulls really nice, even in the wind out here in North Dakota.
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:28 PM   #14
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You might want to look into some weight distribution...that truck looks awfully saggy in the back.



I wouldn't have thought a little 16 footer would be so brutal on the rear of a 4Runner, especially a 2000 model. Those are real trucks with a frame.

How much tongue weight do you have? I wouldn't think that trailer would hardly even affect such a truck's rear suspension...at least not THAT much.

If you've never towed with a properly set up hitch before...the difference and comfort level of towing is AMAZING with a good hitch set-up. It's not a slight difference; a properly set up hitch can make the truck/trailer combo feel as one unit nearly unaffected by bumps and wind, with much less feeling of the tow vehicle straining as it doesn't pitch and moan with every highway irregularity and side wind. The trailer is no longer "fighting" the tow vehicle with a properly set up hitch. The difference is astounding.
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Old 07-25-2017, 05:03 AM   #15
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Congratulations - don't they look great, so shiny under the factory lights?

That rear end sag of the truck might just be the perspective of the photograph. A side view would tell better.
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Old 08-04-2017, 10:24 AM   #16
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Another pic of the car/trailer lineup

I am now home safe. Yay!

Here is another pic of the 4Runner and trailer straight from the side. I think it was just the angle of that other shot. However, when loaded with more weight in the rear it tends to fishtail at 56 or 58 instead of at 62 mph. I think I should get a sway bar. Is there a best kind that folks recommend? Also maybe check my tire pressure?

Also, I put a back-end cargo carrier, which was pretty heavy even empty on the back of the trailer to take it up to where I am parking it the other day and man oh man I felt every bump in the road on the way up. Maybe can't do that. Any advice?

Thanks everybody!
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Old 08-04-2017, 10:39 AM   #17
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Leaving tomorrow for Backus to pick up new 16' Scamp

Best of luck on your new adventure know you will enjoy. I know you have probably received more info than you can remember but let me add one more thing. NEVER disconnect without putting chocks on both sides of wheels. Embarrassing to chase camper down a
Hill or trap you between camper and TV
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliceGardner View Post
I am now home safe. Yay!

Here is another pic of the 4Runner and trailer straight from the side. I think it was just the angle of that other shot. However, when loaded with more weight in the rear it tends to fishtail at 56 or 58 instead of at 62 mph. I think I should get a sway bar. Is there a best kind that folks recommend? Also maybe check my tire pressure?

Also, I put a back-end cargo carrier, which was pretty heavy even empty on the back of the trailer to take it up to where I am parking it the other day and man oh man I felt every bump in the road on the way up. Maybe can't do that. Any advice?

Thanks everybody!
Alice,

It sounds like you should adjust the loading to reduce the fishtail (also known as sway and snaking). In my opinion, a sway bar will help resist the sway, but it is best to cure the basic cause of the instability by keeping your tongue weight up in the proper range. While you may want to add a sway bar for additional peace of mind, the loading should be addressed first.

Here's a video which illustrates the issue.



I finally bought a a Sherline scale so I could more easily measure the tongue weight on our trailer and manage the loading. The scale is about $135. I use it on top of a jack stand, about $20 a pair.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:29 AM   #19
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Your picture looks like front of trailer is higher than the rear. (It's really hard to tell for sure). This means minimal tongue weight, not good. Trailer needs to be level or slightly tipped down on the front.

More weight in the rear makes it worse. There is a learning curve on towing. Google tongue weight and sway.
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Old 08-04-2017, 03:40 PM   #20
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Fishtailing at normal towing speeds is an indication of an unstable towing set-up and should be corrected before adding any auxiliary devices, such as an anti-sway bar.

From your pictures and description, I'd say likely causes include: (1) low tongue weight exacerbated by (2) cargo box on rear, (3) tongue-high attitude, and (4) tow vehicle geometry (short wheelbase and long rear overhang). Tire pressure could also be a factor and (very rarely) a defective axle with improper wheel alignment.

Some suggested changes:
(1) Make sure your draw bar has the trailer sitting level or slightly nose-down when hitched and loaded. Get a drawbar with more drop if necessary.
(2) Add a device to remove play from the drawbar connection (Roadmaster Quiet Hitch, for one). That can explain "feeling every bump."
(3) Weigh your trailer as currently loaded- total weight, axle weight, and tongue weight (any two yields the third). Determine tongue weight as a percentage of total weight. It should be 10-12%. If the tongue weight is low, adjust loading to move weight forward. Remove the rear cargo box. Carry no more than a half-tank of fresh water and no grey water when towing. Load heavy items over the axle or forward of the axle. Reweigh.
(4) Check tire pressure.
(5) There's not a lot you can do about the tow vehicle geometry. Older 4Runners are not ideal as tow vehicles for the reasons mentioned. You may be able to slide the drawbar further into the receiver and drill a new hole for the pin to move the ball closer to the rear axle.

I suspect the one change that will make the most difference is losing the rear cargo box. That, combined with a brand new, lightly loaded trailer, resulted in a too-light tongue. As an alternative to a rear cargo box, consider a box on a tray over the LP tank(s) on the tongue.

When you think you have the set-up correct- level with 10-12% tongue weight- take it out and test it. It should track straight without fishtailing at all normal towing speeds and beyond. Start slowly and gradually increase speed. Try a little steering wiggle and make sure the trailer comes right back in line. Know how to use the manual brake lever at the first sign of trouble. I tested mine up to 70 mph, but I never tow over 65, usually 60-62 mph. Never a hint of fishtailing.

Once you are confident the set-up is stable, then add an anti-sway bar as an extra measure of safety.

Let us know how it goes!
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