1982 Scamp Axle Replacement - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-23-2017, 10:29 AM   #1
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Name: Keri
Trailer: 1982 Scamp 13
North Carolina
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1982 Scamp Axle Replacement

We recently acquired a 1982 Scamp 13, and we don't think the axle has ever been replaced. It basically has no suspension now (according to my husband... I don't know much about these things). We know it needs to be replaced at some point, but we have a trip coming up in 2 weeks and I don't think we'll be able to do it by then. Is it ok to tow the Scamp 1,000 miles with no suspension? It's probably been like this for a while anyway. My husband thinks it will be fine. I worry too much.
Also, approximately how much does it cost to replace the axle and what kind of mechanic will do it?

Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2017, 10:41 AM   #2
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500, 1979 Boler 1700
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After 35 years, the axle needs to be replaced. Its a torsion axle, and it has lost its ability to absorb and dampen shock and vibration. My experience with our 2 vintage campers with torsion axles (we replaced the axles in both campers) is that you can still tow until you get around to replacing the axle, but take steps to minimize problems and damage:

- secure the doors and drawers
- secure loose items in the camper
- slow down

Also, replace the axle sooner rather than later.

Concerning replacement cost and where to get it done, Scamp owners would have a better idea. The Scamp factory does axle replacements, so you could get an estimate from them.
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Old 08-23-2017, 11:31 AM   #3
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Name: Keri
Trailer: 1982 Scamp 13
North Carolina
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Thanks, John! We plan to take it slow anyway because we are towing with a Honda CRV and the Scamp is almost at the tow limit. We are in North Carolina, so the Scamp factory is a bit too far to travel for repairs. We will definitely be replacing the axle as soon as we can, but probably not before this trip.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:02 AM   #4
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Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
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Any competent, careful welder can replace the axle. The hard part for me was getting the old one off. I cut through the old mounts with a torch to quickly get the bulk out of the way and then more carefully ground and cleaned the frame to accept the new axle. One point, the new axle mounted in a slightly different location than the old one. I knew this going in so before cutting the old one loose I carefully marked the centerline of the (old) hubs up on the frame. I simply mounted the new axle so the hub centers were in the same place. The axle was the most difficult and expensive repair/modification I made to my Scamp but also the most worthwhile, bar none. Having new brakes alone makes for a safer, more relaxed and enjoyable experience.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:33 AM   #5
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Name: Darwin
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Me, I would make sure the new axle is bolted ON. It will not cost much more to have the welder convert it to bolt on because they come with the brackets on the axle to do that.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:36 AM   #6
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COST

The cost of the Dexter replacement axle with brakes is $500-$600. Labor is additional. For both of our replacements, a new bolt-on adapter was welded to the frame so that the new axle could be bolted on. This makes it easy to replace the axle in the future.
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:52 PM   #7
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Name: Steve in NY
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I am just having this done to my 16. It is all out the door $1400 ith bigger brakes and a heavier axle (3500) ordered for 2500. That includes new tires and wheels (5 bolt). I wasn't going to do it because she had lots of bounce, but the brakes were needing work and the tires were needing replacement. I went to a local trailer place and they had seen there share of Scamps. There only concern was cutting the old axle off as the weld is pretty close to the floor. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:50 AM   #8
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Pennsylvania
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I hope this isn't a thread hijack -- but how do you know if the axle needs to be replaced? Is there a measurement or test of some sort? Thanks.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:01 AM   #9
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
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Originally Posted by Forward Look View Post
I hope this isn't a thread hijack -- but how do you know if the axle needs to be replaced? Is there a measurement or test of some sort? Thanks.
Boler Rubber Torsion Axle - Boler-Camping
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:09 AM   #10
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Name: Steve in NY
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Mine still had good bounce but the tires are old and the brakes need rebuilding. These items are not that expensive, and I can do the work myself, but since my trailer is almost thirty years old I decided all new would get another 30.

I think that those torsion axles generally settle over time and no bounce is an indication. If you had the trailer as new and you knew exactly what kind of axle degree it originally had it would be easy to tell by the rotation. The fine people at Scamp may be able to tell you. If I wasn't so far from their headquarters I'd have them do it, but I'm in upstate NY.
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