Public Opinion Sought on Vintage 1972 13í Scamp Restoration - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-07-2021, 07:38 AM   #1
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
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Public Opinion Sought on Vintage 1972 13í Scamp Restoration

Good morning and good day to everyone. Iím looking for opinions on a concept Iím trying to determine the best ďbusinessĒ decision.

Iím working on a Ď72 Scamp 13í camper that is in really decent shape for its age. It will be sold when Iím done, but being ďdoneĒ is the portion of the build Iím working towards in that I need to get an idea of the best route of finishing. I own the camper and unless I was contracted/commissioned to finish it out by a new owner, I am curious of the following-

1. renovate/restore to basically stock appearance? (Leaving the original refrigerator and design intact for the cool vintage vibe).
2. Update electronics such as lighting, appliances (fridge, heater)
3. Repair all the necessary items to essentially create a blank slate for the new buyer leaving cabinet faces and the basic ďappearanceĒ to be personalized.

Those are the general routes Iím toying with in my mind. I will not be painting or refinishing the gel coat as itís in fairly decent ďagedĒ condition and colors are obviously a huge selling point.

If anyone cares to submit their opinions-keep an open mind as I am in considering the market. This is potentially a new ďjobĒ for me transforming my hobbies into my basis of financial welfare.

Thanks-and Iím adding some pics here as I go. Youíll see it was a pretty ugly starting point-but it wonít be as I progress over the next couple weeks. The windows are all re-sealed with butyl and the original aluminum roof vent has been repaired and resealed. The front and rear floors are getting removed today and will be properly glassed back in. The wheels have so far been sand blasted and painted, bearings cleaned/inspected and repacked and new trailer tires installed after the brakes were checked (yes-this little guy has brakes). The axle still seems to have some decent spring in it, so it wonít be replaced unless a buyer needs some extra lift and that would add to the cost. The frame has no damage and only bears surface rust, which I will not be hiding. I will likely not be putting AC in this camper as Iím leaning towards efficiency and simplicity in design-unless large opinions suggest otherwise. I will install a battery for 12V operation and a propane cylinder will go up front. I know solar systems are appreciated, but would just add cost (unless desired) to the final product when I let it go.

I found original Pathfinder 7Ē round lights that look far better and Iíll be retrofitting LED lights into them and putting LED side markers that look appropriate..

You can see my general ďleanĒ is simple and stock-this is the reason for this post-I will build it towards the overall market feelings if such an understanding can be gathered here on the forum. (For anyone wondering-Iím building this in Union Grove, Wi.)

If anyone has thoughts, comments or interest in this project becoming theirs, fee free to contact me.

Thanks for any constructive replies-

John
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Old 10-07-2021, 08:13 AM   #2
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Theyre selling for big dollars now.
Put the labour in to make it the best it can be and let it go.
Every dollar you put in is one more you'll want to get out and
will narrow your market,,, IMO.
Fred
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Old 10-07-2021, 08:50 AM   #3
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Name: Kenneth
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Sell as is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jparello View Post
Good morning and good day to everyone. Iím looking for opinions on a concept Iím trying to determine the best ďbusinessĒ decision. John
Did you buy it to resell? Was it an old one setting around? Much like a restored classic car, you never get your money back. Most do the work to use the unit.
It will need an axle and that one is welded in. Updating things is good and it will still look like a classic and be worth more money but may still not be a profit. What ever you do, (if not already) get the unit registered into you name before you spend money on it. yes it will sell with out one but it will never be legal for the road.
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Old 10-07-2021, 09:18 AM   #4
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FRED SMAILES View Post
Theyre selling for big dollars now.
Put the labour in to make it the best it can be and let it go.
Every dollar you put in is one more you'll want to get out and
will narrow your market,,, IMO.
Fred
Thanks Fred.. I am putting quality work in as itís absolutely necessary. I canít stand poorly performed craftsmanship-or a shoddy product. What Iíve always enjoyed doing is maintaining the ďoldĒ character of cars and other items I own. I however seem to notice that so many people want ďnewĒ even in some vintage arenas. In one case with this Scamp-The original refrigerator works, and has cleaned up nicely. I really like the ďcharacterĒ of old items and just like an older person-when you try to make them look young-they just arenít.

So-Iím sorta trying to feel where the potential liesÖ
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Old 10-07-2021, 09:24 AM   #5
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp
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Originally Posted by AC0GV View Post
Did you buy it to resell? Was it an old one setting around? Much like a restored classic car, you never get your money back. Most do the work to use the unit.
It will need an axle and that one is welded in. Updating things is good and it will still look like a classic and be worth more money but may still not be a profit. What ever you do, (if not already) get the unit registered into you name before you spend money on it. yes it will sell with out one but it will never be legal for the road.
Oh no-selling only as a finished or near finished product is the only option here..

Yes-I bought to purposely refurbish and put money on the family table-which I have no doubt that it will. It does not need an axle-however a different level of ride height may be desired for a boondocking camping style, upsized wheels/tires (requiring fiberglass modifications) or the type of vehicle it will live behind.

I donít value my time in the hundreds of dollars per hour category, so that is where my benefit lies. Nor do I get the bitterness that people have when theyíre running a large business and only paying their bottom line. This ďbusinessĒ is my hobby and I believe it can be profitable and enjoyable when done smartly.. I appreciate your reply-as I do with all commentary.
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Old 10-07-2021, 11:17 AM   #6
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I agree with Kenneth. Unless it's a rare and sought after item, like a 70's VW Samba, restoration is rarely a money-maker. But Scamps are not that rare.

I have a 72 Scamp 13, and I was glad to have a blank slate to start with. Nothing is original now but the closet. I was glad to have a solid axle and floor. Yours looks like it needs a new axle. The wacky door is typical of old Scamps and I'm happy to hear they're not making them that way now.
I would get it safe and clean, then move on.


Best of luck.
Gordon
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Old 10-07-2021, 11:33 AM   #7
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No matter how far you go at the restore, it will be in better shape than when it left the factory.
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Old 10-07-2021, 12:49 PM   #8
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Wash it, wax it, sell it.
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Old 10-07-2021, 08:16 PM   #9
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Name: John
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Originally Posted by Gordon in Idaho View Post
I agree with Kenneth. Unless it's a rare and sought after item, like a 70's VW Samba, restoration is rarely a money-maker. But Scamps are not that rare.

I have a 72 Scamp 13, and I was glad to have a blank slate to start with. Nothing is original now but the closet. I was glad to have a solid axle and floor. Yours looks like it needs a new axle. The wacky door is typical of old Scamps and I'm happy to hear they're not making them that way now.
I would get it safe and clean, then move on.


Best of luck.
Gordon
I think Iíll be keeping it pretty close to original as the replies come in.. I really canít stand the design of the new doors on the scamps-itís a piece of character with the old style doors-even if not as ďairtightĒ or weatherproof as the newer style.

I still will make money on this little guy-Iím quite certain.. Iím doing all the work myself-and I donít put a dollar sign on my time at this point in my venture..

And-you mentioned VWís, my other favorite as this would be great behind a split window bus! 👍
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Old 10-07-2021, 08:17 PM   #10
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
No matter how far you go at the restore, it will be in better shape than when it left the factory.
Thatís right!!! And after years of use itís time for a refresh and fixing some of the haphazard work.. 👍
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Old 10-07-2021, 08:19 PM   #11
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Wash it, wax it, sell it.
Gonna take more than that.. 😂

Floor came out today in front-even thought the floor was solid and the shell connection was solid.. Iíll make it new. 👍
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Old 10-07-2021, 10:27 PM   #12
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Name: Gordon
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Good for you, John.
I accept the door for what it is, but I wish it were better. Just a quirk of the breed.
Be forewarned! It's like fostering a rescue dog from a shelter, most fail , in spectacular fashion. The more you put in, the more it becomes You, and you might just fall in love.
Carry on
Gordon
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Old 10-08-2021, 06:00 AM   #13
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon in Idaho View Post
Good for you, John.
I accept the door for what it is, but I wish it were better. Just a quirk of the breed.
Be forewarned! It's like fostering a rescue dog from a shelter, most fail , in spectacular fashion. The more you put in, the more it becomes You, and you might just fall in love.
Carry on
Gordon
Yes sir.. every thing has a quirk Iím itís character-thankfully..
and-Iím on task to be the short term owner for this one as it does not suit the family size needs..
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Old 10-08-2021, 07:32 AM   #14
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California
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I like your style but out of curiosity at what price point are you looking at for a return when you’re all completed?
Yes it definitely needs an axle, that one is low riding and will bounce all over the road which in return could damage the already old under built frame.
So I just bought a scamp to rehab myself, I thought it was going to be an upgrade for us but after seeing it in person we decided to just resell it. I couldn’t say no to a deal as we really wanted it and there were people in line if I passed, the pressure was on so we purchased it even though we were disappointed after seeing it in person. I’m going to put about $500 into it and around 40 hours worth of labor to reseal and beautify it and then sell it. It’s already a great solid platform, could be considered a classic in age. I’ve been a finish carpenter for 25 years, have a large home based wood shop and some metal working, have lots of experience restoring boats and trailers. This is my third egg in 14 months. So far our keeper is a clean 13’ scamp with bunk but we would eventually like to upgrade to another casita 16 foot Spirit deluxe.
The first Egg I had needed everything including a frame, axle, windows, the door was messed up, roof vent ect, but it was complete and was deluxe. I was going to restore it my self as a keeper but I end up selling it last year for a healthy profit with zero hours of labor invested.
I love these egg trailers so much but they are very hard to find in the price point I’m comfortable with.
The trailer I mentioned that I am working on now we may just end up keeping so we can have two eggs to go camping in with family.
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Old 10-08-2021, 08:13 AM   #15
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As someone who has restored vintage bicycles as a HOBBY for over 20 years, I can tell you, the money is made on selling them in as found, but clean condition. Every hour I put into them beyond that, I make almost nothing. And parts are worth more as parts, than as installed into my restoration.

Do the bare minimum, clean it thoroughly, put good tires on it, and send it to a new home. If making money is your objective, then a regular J O B will yield you a lot more!

My "knowledge" on vintage bicycles gives me a decided edge. I know a great deal when I see one, and I pounce, while others ponder. Once I start turning a wrench, the profit goes down. I can make $100 to $200 an hour picking, turning a wrench might make me $3/hour... My time would be MUCH better spent finding more "deals", than working on deals.

The main difference between vintage trailers and vintage bicycles is that on bicycles, the parts are interchangeable between brands, parts are easy to ship, and bring serious $$$. A completely restored vintage bicycle is worth about half of what the parts alone are worth. So restoring one is a labor of love, but a money loser financially.

Now one big exception is doing restorations for others. I've done this on vintage bikes, and there is a market for it on vintage egg trailers. Someone with more money than free time, or short on skills, will gladly pay you to do the work. Each completed commission will build your resume for future projects. Come up with a realistic labor rate and people will pay it.

As I am retired, its not about income in my case. But my skills have grown as a picker, and while I focus on vintage bicycles, I find other stuff that yields me more return. Most of the "competition" out there are other pickers, and a lot of them are lazy and refuse to put the time in to learn. So someone open to learn can pretty easily find stuff. Over time, the easiest part of picking is finding deals. The harder part is selling those deals, keeping things moving, making room for more deals.
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Old 10-08-2021, 08:43 AM   #16
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in SoCal View Post
I like your style but out of curiosity at what price point are you looking at for a return when youíre all completed?
Yes it definitely needs an axle, that one is low riding and will bounce all over the road which in return could damage the already old under built frame.
So I just bought a scamp to rehab myself, I thought it was going to be an upgrade for us but after seeing it in person we decided to just resell it. I couldnít say no to a deal as we really wanted it and there were people in line if I passed, the pressure was on so we purchased it even though we were disappointed after seeing it in person. Iím going to put about $500 into it and around 40 hours worth of labor to reseal and beautify it and then sell it. Itís already a great solid platform, could be considered a classic in age. Iíve been a finish carpenter for 25 years, have a large home based wood shop and some metal working, have lots of experience restoring boats and trailers. This is my third egg in 14 months. So far our keeper is a clean 13í scamp with bunk but we would eventually like to upgrade to another casita 16 foot Spirit deluxe.
The first Egg I had needed everything including a frame, axle, windows, the door was messed up, roof vent ect, but it was complete and was deluxe. I was going to restore it my self as a keeper but I end up selling it last year for a healthy profit with zero hours of labor invested.
I love these egg trailers so much but they are very hard to find in the price point Iím comfortable with.
The trailer I mentioned that I am working on now we may just end up keeping so we can have two eggs to go camping in with family.
Thanks for the detailed reply.. I expect to be in the $10k range when done. Thatís a determination I can happily make after doing similar sales as youíve done. This is my 6th Scamp in 6 years as we find them, fix them, use them, then put them out for adoption. I enjoy the fixing and repairing and keeping my own skills sharp and learning new ones. Iíve got a similar setup to you with full metal shop fabrication capacity as well as a wood shop at home, so Iím all ďself-containedĒ and I donít have to farm anything out.

These ďeggsĒ are well appreciated in the small camper world and Iíd fully enjoy working on them as a living wage earning method.

13ís are great small campers and when they can be found as projects-Iím glad to adopt them and make them ďrightĒ. But ďrightĒ isnít the same for everyone-this is the basis of the post as I wanted to see if I could gather a generalized feeling of what ďwantsĒ are in a modern but vintage Scamp.
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Old 10-08-2021, 08:54 AM   #17
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
As someone who has restored vintage bicycles as a HOBBY for over 20 years, I can tell you, the money is made on selling them in as found, but clean condition. Every hour I put into them beyond that, I make almost nothing. And parts are worth more as parts, than as installed into my restoration.

Do the bare minimum, clean it thoroughly, put good tires on it, and send it to a new home. If making money is your objective, then a regular J O B will yield you a lot more!

My "knowledge" on vintage bicycles gives me a decided edge. I know a great deal when I see one, and I pounce, while others ponder. Once I start turning a wrench, the profit goes down. I can make $100 to $200 an hour picking, turning a wrench might make me $3/hour... My time would be MUCH better spent finding more "deals", than working on deals.

The main difference between vintage trailers and vintage bicycles is that on bicycles, the parts are interchangeable between brands, parts are easy to ship, and bring serious $$$. A completely restored vintage bicycle is worth about half of what the parts alone are worth. So restoring one is a labor of love, but a money loser financially.

Now one big exception is doing restorations for others. I've done this on vintage bikes, and there is a market for it on vintage egg trailers. Someone with more money than free time, or short on skills, will gladly pay you to do the work. Each completed commission will build your resume for future projects. Come up with a realistic labor rate and people will pay it.

As I am retired, its not about income in my case. But my skills have grown as a picker, and while I focus on vintage bicycles, I find other stuff that yields me more return. Most of the "competition" out there are other pickers, and a lot of them are lazy and refuse to put the time in to learn. So someone open to learn can pretty easily find stuff. Over time, the easiest part of picking is finding deals. The harder part is selling those deals, keeping things moving, making room for more deals.
Thanks for your response!

But-we all have different experiences and some the same. Between my pile of old cars and vintage bicycles-I fully appreciate the ďvalueĒ of a find and flip-but thatís taking time away from actually doing things. I am not fully committed to just chasing deals and then selling. As much as the ďflipĒ can be useful at times-itís not at my core to just buy and resell without installing some care and my craft abilities. Have I bought and resold things for a ridiculous profit, you bet. But-I enjoy working with my hands-not just my wallet.

I am not retired-but recently quit my job and Iím going to pursue my hobby for $$$ for a bit until I put my life back on a set of tracks so to say.

Your last paragraph is right on point.. one other point is where Iím at regionally allows me to be somewhat centralized to what Iím usually hunting for. Whatís funny is that people who want a vintage camper for travel and camping-often arenít willing to travel in the first place-while I am glad to. I enjoy the meeting with people, story telling, saving of the camper or car or whatever-and the return home with the prize. And yes-getting the next deal is all about timing and the hunting effort is constant.

Ending this Iíll refer back to having a ďjobĒ which Iíve had for the past 22 years.. I am now doing something I love and enjoy-and the hourly pay isnít a concern. The sale of this camper is absolutely not a concern and will put more money in my pocket than my regular job-albeit without some benefits. Thereís a huge bit of satisfaction on what I am doing because I enjoy it-and you canít put a dollar sign on enjoyment.
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Old 10-08-2021, 09:13 AM   #18
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 4,014
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I've done over 600 bikes. Reluctantly, I have found few buyers appreciate the time and effort I put into a restoration. I do have a small group of buyers, which helps. Unless I can find more buyers that appreciate my work, I am better off FINANCIALLY just selling parts and projects. I still do complete restorations, I tend to lose money on those.
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Old 10-08-2021, 09:18 AM   #19
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
I've done over 600 bikes. Reluctantly, I have found few buyers appreciate the time and effort I put into a restoration. I do have a small group of buyers, which helps. Unless I can find more buyers that appreciate my work, I am better off FINANCIALLY just selling parts and projects. I still do complete restorations, I tend to lose money on those.
I can understand that position. What it comes down to nowadays is that ďrestoredĒ examples of many things arenít nearly as appreciated as surviving examples of the same. Like with anything-getting over involved financially will make any project not worthwhile if a return on your effort is desired. Like you said-if someone else is footing the bill from the beginning-then they are more than welcome to pay for our meals.
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Old 10-08-2021, 09:20 AM   #20
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Name: Mike
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Originally Posted by jparello View Post

Ending this Iíll refer back to having a ďjobĒ which Iíve had for the past 22 years.. I am now doing something I love and enjoy-and the hourly pay isnít a concern. The sale of this camper is absolutely not a concern and will put more money in my pocket than my regular job-albeit without some benefits. Thereís a huge bit of satisfaction on what I am doing because I enjoy it-and you canít put a dollar sign on enjoyment.

Well said
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