Maiden Voyage today with Scamp - sure I'm worried - Fiberglass RV
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:20 AM   #1
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
California
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Maiden Voyage today with Scamp - sure I'm worried

Going to take my mom overnight camping today.
I'm a newbie to pulling a travel trailer, but everyone has to start at some point.

I've done as many preparations as I know:
Lights working
Wheel bearings repacked
New Tires & Spare
New propane tank
Insurance with towing purchased
Battery charged
Crawled under to inspect the frame

The Scamp is a 1992 basic model, no restroom, heat or air. Previous owner added a Fantastic Fan.

I think my biggest worry is if I am able to pull into the parking spot. If I have to back it in, I will have to go one inch at a time. My mom and I are probably not strong enough to unhook and roll it, even if it is a 13-foot trailer.
I've been busy prepping it and not practicing driving it.

I'll post pics soon!
Feel free to give me any newbie tips!

The rig:
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:25 AM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Backing will be a little tricky with such a large tow vehicle and small trailer.

If possible, line up so you back up to the left, not the right.

Hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and turn the wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go.

As soon as the trailer begins to turn in the desired direction, start returning the steering wheel to center. A little goes a long way with a short trailer.

Don't hesitate to pull forward and take another run if things go amiss.

If you have time on the way, take 30 minutes in an empty parking lot with no obstructions to practice.

Relax and enjoy!!! This is meant to be fun! You will master it quickly.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:30 AM   #3
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
If possible, line up so you back up to the left, not the right.

Hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and turn the wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go.

As soon as the trailer begins to turn in the desired direction, start returning the steering wheel to center. A little goes a long way with a short trailer.
GREAT tips! Thank you!
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:44 AM   #4
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Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
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+1 on everything Jon said.

This video on the "scoop" for better approach angle is funny and useful. Uses model cars and a model camper to demonstrate. Note the eye hook on roof of camper, probably a hanging decoration. But this technique does work.

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ler-69988.html

I would also add the reason Jon suggests backing toward your left is that is the side the driver can see. This is why the helper if available should be....

A. In front of the vehicle where the driver can easily see them. No further back than the passenger window. Can't see you then you can't advise.

B. Where the helper can see the right side rear of the camper where camper blocks drivers view.

You as a helper want to be in front, and in position to see rear corner of camper where the driver can't see. If you need to go back to see behind the camper stop the driver and go look, then come back in front.

Helper walking behind camper hollering to driver who can't see the helper or understand what they are saying while entertaining (if it's not you driving) is less than effective.

Half the trick is to figure out where the side of the camper you as driver can see should end up at. The helper is to make sure you don't hit anything with the side you can't see as you back in.

Do overs are allowed (thank goodness!)
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:58 AM   #5
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
+1 on everything Jon said.

This video on the "scoop" for better approach angle is funny and useful. Uses model cars and a model camper to demonstrate. Note the eye hook on roof of camper, probably a hanging decoration. But this technique does work.
Thank you, I'm a visual learner, so that video did help!
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
...Half the trick is to figure out where the side of the camper you as driver can see should end up at. The helper is to make sure you don't hit anything with the side you can't see as you back in...
Excellent advice. If you're backing to the left, have your spotter stand exactly where you want the left rear corner of the trailer to end up. If backing to the right (harder, as said), have her stand at the right rear corner.

If you're alone, placing an object- a soft folding chair or a stack of leveling blocks- at that spot gives you a target to aim for and a means to gauge distance.

Always follow the trucker's golden rule: GOAL = Get out and look! Don't forget to look up (low-hanging branches) and down (rocks and stumps) as well as around.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:24 AM   #7
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GOAL, good one to remember, thanks Jon!
Leaving soon, pics to follow!
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:27 AM   #8
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Name: Lisa
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Testing Tapatalk from my phone.
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1992 Scamp 13' Standard, 2017 Casita 17' ID,
2008 Scamp 16' Deluxe Layout 4
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:56 AM   #9
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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If you have a caster wheel for the front jack and you get fed up trying to back it in its space. If the ground is level you can unhitch and just push it in place by hand. It takes allot of practice to get good. The 13 Scamp is very short and when your backing up it moves very quickly. Getting use to how quick it moves with little input to your steering wheel is the key. Adjust your mirrors for backing in before you even try to start backing up. You want to be able to see your trailer wheels. Understand you will get frustrated, You will get frustrated with your spotter. You will get frustrated with campground traffic and you can get really frustrated with camp ground pedestrians. It's ok take your time and breathe we all go through this. You will do it, you will get through it and everyone does get their trailer in its spot. I remember well feeling so embarrassed at my efforts. At times I look like a pro at other times I look like Charlie Brown trying to kick a foot ball. We all do.

Just remember keep an eye on the trailer tire as soon as you see it starting to get out of line stop and pull forward. Easier to make small corrections in baby steps than to let the trailer get too far out of line. You have a very big van so remember to watch the front end so you don't swing it into something as your going backward. YOU CAN DO THIS!
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:01 PM   #10
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebaz View Post
Easier to make small corrections in baby steps than to let the trailer get too far out of line.
Thank you for the vote of confidence, I think the step you outlined above will be the key to my success.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:51 PM   #11
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Name: Terry
Trailer: 1971 Hunter compact Jr, 1979 Terry 19', 2003 Scamp 16'
California
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I'm adding two items I did not notice, but may be here. Always cock the tires before unhooking even if you plan to hand roll into place. Your trailer is not much heavier than my Compact jr. and it will roll on the slightest incline. I can also pick the tongue up and roll it easily.
2sd. While your watching everything else don't forget to watch the front corner of the trailer where it will mate. with tv. You see a lot of trailers with front corner damage. Easy to avoid. I towed my 13' with a 15 passenger van. Easy to loss sight of a small traIler that is narrow.
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:53 PM   #12
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
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Just got turned away. No refund. I needed to be totally self contained. I was supposed to read those instructions on the website. My fault.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:24 PM   #13
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You must be so bummed! I don't know Silver Strand, but I'm guessing there are no rest rooms, only hook-ups?

There are some other CA state beaches that have no hook-ups or restrooms; full self-containment required there, too. We have stayed at both Carlsbad and Pismo. They have restrooms and accommodate non-self-contained rigs.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:58 PM   #14
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Try Santee Lakes or Lake Jennings CG
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:10 PM   #15
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
IllAnnoy
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Why isn't a porta potti and a jug of water not self contained?
My 13 is self contained but I had to prove it once!
That was at the runoffs in Ohio, but they would have allowed me to stay in the tent area if it wasn't self contained.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:49 PM   #16
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I'll write the details when I get home tomorrow. Meanwhile we are at s private park in Oceanside.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:20 AM   #17
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Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
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Maiden Voyage today with Scamp - sure I'm worried

Glad you found a spot for the trip!

Hope you dont feel too alone here?
[ATTACH]110107
Know what I mean?!
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Why isn't a porta potti and a jug of water not self contained?
My 13 is self contained but I had to prove it once!
That was at the runoffs in Ohio, but they would have allowed me to stay in the tent area if it wasn't self contained.
"My campground, my rules." Some places define self-contained as having a toilet with permanently affixed waste tanks. California state park rules seem to vary from place to place depending on local conditions and facilities available. I recall Bob Miller mentioning that at least one place accepted his porta-potty and external, closed grey tank set-up, but, like you, he had to prove it.

By any definition, your rig is complete!
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:41 AM   #19
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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So two different opinions of where the helper/spotter should be, at the front by drivers window, or at the rear corner of the trailer. Generally my wife is at the rear watching for objects I can't see, and she knows that if she can't see my mirrors then I can't see her. I put her where the situation requires extra eyes, and sometimes she doesn't even need to get out of the truck. I've seen big rig owners using walkie talkies to communicate. In one campground we go to where there are lots of trees and small sites I'll go over to be an extra set of eyes to help someone back in, but generally don't give advice unless I see it is needed or asked for.
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:12 PM   #20
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
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Okay, here's the skinny:

I was supposed to be fully self-contained which I'm not at the moment.
They asked do you have a full bath and tanks, I said I have a porta-potty...they approved that that was fine.
They asked if I have a grey tank leaving the sink. I told them I don't have any running water (my water tank is on order from Scamp and in route)...they said well you don't have a drain. If you can hook up a drain into a sealed grey tank you can come in....this is even though I don't have ANY water on board.

I asked if I could have a refund since I don't have the materials to make that happen, they said no because I should have read that RV's need to be fully self-contained.

My mom and I went to a nice park in Oceanside, $99 with her AAA club and full hook up and pull-through (I love pull-through).

We turned our frowns upside-down and had a nice over-night trip after all.
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