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Old 06-27-2017, 04:01 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by oldcircusbread View Post
I'd posted on another thread and a couple piped up but nobody there could definitively compare and contrast a FG egg camper vs a truck camper in terms of being off road.
I've seen some say they wouldn't risk rough unimproved roads and others say they do it. But rough road is so relative. I've read threads where people say they've done hundreds of miles on rough washboard roads and suggested they successfully navigated boulder strewn unimproved forest roads no problem for years.
Specifically, in terms of creek crossing and uphill and downhill, I'm curious if you can compare. Is a vertical jack knife possible with a fifth wheel 19' Scamp? I'm ignorant when it comes to towing altogether. Josh

Hi Josh, I can't give you any info on any rough off roading with a TT. I do travel a lot of off roads with my SD but it's nothing to write home about. I did start out with a '68 F250 camper special, 390 V8 & auto with a 9' cabover on it. Never did any real water crossings but did do some rough dirt roads/trails with it. I will say it's pretty weird as you're going over a high 45* angled ridges/berms to see the cabover thru the windshield leaning one way and the truck cab leaning the other way. That frame was really twisting and ended up breaking the right motor mount. That made it interesting for the rest of the trip cuz as the frame twisted the throttle tightened and ran the rpms up. Funny now but as we were a long way from anything the pucker factor was involved too .
If your tug is 4wd and heavy enough to overcome the TT's dead weight you may be fine going up hill out of a water crossing.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:55 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcircusbread View Post
I'd posted on another thread and a couple piped up but nobody there could definitively compare and contrast a FG egg camper vs a truck camper in terms of being off road.

I've seen some say they wouldn't risk rough unimproved roads and others say they do it. But rough road is so relative. I've read threads where people say they've done hundreds of miles on rough washboard roads and suggested they successfully navigated boulder strewn unimproved forest roads no problem for years.

The manufacturers I've inquired of have suggested it isn't advised (boulder strewn forest roads) in a FG trailer. But others have said you just go slow and make sure stuff is tied down.

I'm curious about when I need to cross a creek (note, not a river) without a bridge. I'm curious about when there's a steep downhill followed by a steep uphill on the road. Already a Scamp's stock ground clearance without mods is equal to my Tacoma so I'm not worried about missing a road boulder as I am with a V at the bottom of a hill or the trailer not handling a stream crossing because it's so light.

Specifically, in terms of creek crossing and uphill and downhill, I'm curious if you can compare. Is a vertical jack knife possible with a fifth wheel 19' Scamp? I'm ignorant when it comes to towing altogether.

I think my family went with truck campers precisely because of where you could get with them you could not with a trailer. But it appears a FG egg can get where any teardrop can and maybe almost just about anywhere a truck camper can.

Can you maybe list the kinds of roads and places a TC can go a FG camper cannot?

What would be advantages and disadvantages of going 16' vs 19' fifth wheel Scamp in terms of hitch type and where you could and could not go with each?

Thanks!

Josh
Josh,

As you say, it's relative, so it's a tough question to answer.

I learned to drive in the 1970's on 15,000 acres of some of the steepest cattle land in California, east of Mount Hamilton. We had a collection of vehicles that included short and long-bed Internationals, a Unimog, a mid-60's CJ-5, a little aluminum-bodied early 70's land rover, a salvaged Oldsmobile rollover sans-body, and I can't remember what-all.

We had an old Alaskan camper on a 1960's long-bed club-cab International. It was wonderful at reducing the top-heavy aspect. Alaskan campers are still made, and there are certainly (several?) other truck camper brands that are built with a canvas pop-up system to reduce the top-heavy aspect.

Thinking about the conditions we had at the ranch, in broad terms I would say that what you are proposing with a Scamp would probably not meet your expectations. In turn I will allow that it is actually difficult to be clear on just what those expectations are. Boulder-strewn and vertical-jackknife make these sound like some pretty challenging requirements; look up a pintle hitch if you really want to accommodate a jackknife.

These fiberglass trailers that are the focus of this forum generally range from 13 to 21 feet or more, and from just under a thousand pounds dry to over 4,000. Some of the vintage units have known frame weaknesses, such as where the frame "bends" under the front end of a Boler. My general impression is that my Casita's frame is quite a bit heavier. However, none of the molded fiberglass trailers that I know of were designed for the sorts of conditions you are describing. Some of the smaller and lighter trailers have correspondingly lighter frames, so going smaller and lighter doesn't necessarily solve the problem.

A couple of things you might consider are some of the four-wheeling forums. I've seen where people have reported their experiences with Casitas and Scamps in that context. Some Australian forums also seem to focus on some pretty rugged conditions and some of their caravans (trailers to us) are pretty well built for fording creeks, high approach angles etc. Some are even what I would basically call military. They have some pretty exotic and expensive units.

My other thought, since you mention limited towing experience, is that you might try renting a trailer and taking out in some of your target conditions. By rental trailer, I mean one of those commonly-available cargo trailers that people use to move their furniture and whatnot. Pick something that has a similar length and dimensions and load it to 3,000 lbs or whatever you have in mind. Take it out and see how it works under the conditions you are contemplating.

But please, don't tell the rental company I sent you!

In all seriousness, I think you are getting into the area of something that would benefit from, or outright require, substantial modification of a factory-built travel trailer. It's been done, to various degrees, by people that had the time, money and inclination. But, it's not baked in.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:02 PM   #43
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Josh, we've done it with a couple 13' Scamps and with or 17' Lil Snoozy. If you go slow enough and bring some ramps along you can go through some very rough places. I had replaced our Scamp axle with a Flexiride (adjustable axle)
to give high ground clearance when needed, and low profile when not needed. We lifted our LS 4" to aid in off road (trail) travel. I don't know how a 19' 5th wheel Scamp would do in off camber and "V" situations. I would think you could make faster travel times in a slide in truck camper, eventhough I have had no experience with one.
Good Luck.
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:06 PM   #44
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"V" situation is not a problem. "A" situation (when you go from a steep climbing to a deep descent) is troublesome. I don't think 5th wheel trailer is suitable for offroading.
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:17 PM   #45
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For a number of years, I used a Chev 1/2 ton with a camper. I used that because of necessity. I didn't have a trailer.

For me the definite preferred system is a 1/2 ton with a canopy and boat rack, with a small camping trailer.

I often like to take a drive around the area, check out different places. It is, for me, a pain to always pack up the camper to drive around. Specially because I tend to spread my stuff out!!

Trailer definitely works well for me.
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:30 PM   #46
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Hi Dave and Paula - Can you elaborate how you used ramps? And how and where you had the axle changed and it lifted and how much it cost?
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:43 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by oldcircusbread View Post
Hi Dave and Paula - Can you elaborate how you used ramps? And how and where you had the axle changed and it lifted and how much it cost?
Josh, I had Spec Trac in Mesa Az install the Flexiride axle, and I think it was around $700.00. Flexiride axles allows you to adjust the lift by removing a pinch bolt, and clocking the dogleg spindle arms to the desired height. I used ramps whenever I came to a bolder that couldn't be moved, and having a ramp with me was easier than stacking rocks as a ramp. I would stop at the top of the rock, then move the ramp to the other side to ease down the other side of the bolder. I only had steel "C" Chanel to use as ramps, but aluminum would be much lighter. I hope this is clearer than mud.
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:47 PM   #48
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Hi Dave - How did you manage rutted roads?
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:54 PM   #49
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A buddy of mine usually carried a couple 10' 2" x 10"s to get his 17' Boler into remote lakes.
I was already on site when I heard him coming from quite a distance. He'd left the boards behind, or chose not to use them.
I figure his 17' Boler was closer to 15' when he finally arrived, with fibreglass trailing behind him.
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:25 AM   #50
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You're joking of course but what I'm hearing you say is when there are ruts you're friend would get out and put 10' x 2's over the ruts. Will a single axle trailer generally follow the tow vehicle's tires? How common would it be for a trailer to slip into ruts the tow vehicle avoided? So I hear you saying avoid ruts. Can you elaborate?
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:29 AM   #51
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Wasn't talking about ruts, as such. Was a boulder strewn "road" leading down to the lake. I drove on the tops of the boulders as best I could and the tent trailer I was towing just had to find its own way down.
If facing ruts, I try to drive on the centre and edge of the road, avoiding the ruts. In my case, if the RAV can manage it, my Escape will follow with no issues.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:02 AM   #52
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Truck Camper vs Egg

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldcircusbread View Post
...Will a single axle trailer generally follow the tow vehicle's tires? How common would it be for a trailer to slip into ruts the tow vehicle avoided?...
It varies, depending on the specific trailer and vehicle. My Scamp is the same overall width as my Pilot, but the wheels are inset a bit more, so it has a narrower track. OTOH, a Lil Snoozy, with outboard wheels, tracks wider than most vehicles. In a turn, of course, a trailer tracks inside a little.

How big a deal that is depends on how much time you spend on bad roads and how bad they are. The worse the road, the more you have to think and plan for two vehicles simultaneously.

Molded fiberglass trailers are not designed for punishing roads. In my opinion, they are best suited to situations where you can take them into the backcountry on semi-improved roads to a central location, set up a base camp, and do the bulk of your serious exploration using an unencumbered tow vehicle.

Think trying to play rugby using an ostrich egg instead of a leather ball... It's hard on the egg and takes the fun out of the game.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:01 PM   #53
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: Trillium
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One of the changes made on my Trillium involved frame/axle.

I cut off the old axle and ordered a new one. A bit heavier and with a full 22.5 degree down angle. It is adjustable by loosening the arm and rotating it on the axle shaft.

I added a three inch by two inch tubing to the rear portion of the frame.

Between the two, I have raised the shell by at least 4 inches.

Another benefit is that I was able to change the attack angle of the axle arms. Originally the axle had a leading angle and now it has the, IMHO, correct trailing angle.

Also allowed me to increase the tire radius a little bit also. Basically the same tire but with a higher profile and stiffer sidewalls.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:12 PM   #54
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Some states, including Oregon, a camper insert has to be licensed. I don't know how the license cost is compared to trailers.
Oregon license cost is based on overall length of both the slide-in and a trailer at the same cost per foot. Done both.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:45 PM   #55
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Trailer: Scamp has Arrived - Layout 7
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Dakota... If you really want to get off the beaten path you might want to consider this trailer. Not molded fiberglass but it sure can do the job.



There are trailers available in Australia and Europe that we can only dream of.

BTW I love my Scamp 16 and I don't go way off road.

Dan
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