Body of camper seated off center on frame - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-11-2017, 08:11 PM   #1
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Name: Rebecca
Trailer: Scamp
Kansas
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Body of camper seated off center on frame

Have had my 2012 Scamp 16 for nearly a year, using it mostly parked. Replaced original tires due to tire age related blowout early on. Saw "wear" quickly on entry side new tire. Tire is rubbing against fiberglass well edge and is causing tire damage when in motion, apparently. Protective stripping on the well edge has been abraded by tire and vice versa.

Had axle checked (measurements tire to hitch,) which measures evenly so axle should be ok.

Notice extra space from tire to fiberglass edge on opposite side. Much more clearance between the tire and well edge.

From front and back view of body appears entire body is seated toward the left of the frame (when viewed from rear.)

Technician said no damage appears underneath the camper, at least with quick check... Gray water tank ok. Have had no functional problems. To him, it does not appear as though a shift could or has occured.

Any ideas about what has happened? Could cut fiberglass away to protect tire but would rather solve problem. Seems to tow ok. Don't know if impact from blowout could have caused this?
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:20 PM   #2
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I'm not sure, but I think that's how they're made. I know the clearances are much closer on the entry side of my 13' due to the door cutout in the frame.

The tire shouldn't be contacting the shell, though. Do you have pictures? Are the tires the same size as OEM? Have you called Scamp?
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:32 PM   #3
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Will call them on Monday. Tires were same size as OEM. Will take picture tomorrow.
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:16 PM   #4
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Do your rims have the correct offset? If they have ever been replaced, the might not be correct.

--Dan Meyer
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:09 PM   #5
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On the drivers side wheel well on my Boler there is a inset on the wheel well to allow space for the furnace unit so the clearance from the back of the tire to the back of the wheel well is closer than on the curb side. I think early Scamps were the same way, not sure about the newer models. Has the axle, tires or wheels ever been replaced or are they all OEM? With your wear on the door side, I would check to see if the torsion axle is worn out or bent, if the bearings or spindle are worn. If the torsion arm is worn out it could let the top of the tires tilt inward thus rubbing the wheel well, I know cause I just replace my Boler axle for the same reason, inside shoulders of both tires were wearing excessively and they were brand new tires. A bad bearing, worn or bent spindle could cause a similar effect but it would have to be pretty severe to allow that much movement. Jack up the frame behind the tire and see if it wobbles top to bottom or front to back. As for the torsion axle, on a flat level parking lot, look at both tires from the rear of the trailer and a long distance away (about 150 to 200 feet) and if you see the tires leaning in toward each other you need a new axle and maybe one with a higher weight capacity. You may actually have to kneel or lay down on the ground to see it.

It is also possible that the body could be bowed outwards on that side or both, even if the floor and frame are in good shape, as the fiberglass is flexible somewhat, and could be allowing the wheel well to be leaning in towards the tire. Broken, bent or missing rivets around the closet could allow the body to do this independently of the closet which is for structural support/integrity. Does it have an a/c on top or has it had any heavy snow loads on the roof? This would exasperate the issue.
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Old 03-12-2017, 12:17 AM   #6
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What size wheel and tire? Is it a purpose made trailer wheel?
Original was 13X4.5X O offset
Tire size was 175/80-13

Also, because of the design with the curbside door opening onto a lowered floor section, the curbside skirt is lower than the street side, and rolls under a little more as a result.
Trimming the wheelwell a little won't harm the integrity of the trailer.
In fact there is a remodeled 13 which we see often which has the wheelwells "squared off" like a '49 Mercury or a late nineties Mercury Sable.( in both cases the Ford version had round wheelwells)
The mod actually looks really nice, and while it was done for cosmetic purposes, it did add a little tire clearance.
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Old 03-12-2017, 05:49 AM   #7
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Name: Lyle
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I have a similar situation, though no rubbing, on my 1999 13 ft Scamp. I thought it was due to a mistake when the new axle was installed last spring.

The curb side wheel/tire is much closer to the outer edge of the shell than the driver side wheel/tire. It does appear that the axle had been installed a couple of inches off center, towards the curb side. Also, I notice that I can see more of the driver side of the trailer in my side mirrors than I can see of the curb side, which also indicates that the shell is sitting more to the driver side on the axle.

As I said, I thought this was an error in how the axle was installed, though the installer got all the proper dimensions direct from the Scamp factory technicians at the time of the install. Now, after reading this, I am inclined to believe that this may be a design quirk. I'm feeling better about it. The installers, who are experienced general trailer mechanics were unconcerned about this.

I will say, that I've towed the trailer for many thousands of miles since I noticed this, in fact, I just got home yesterday evening from a 6 week trip to Florida (I'm in Michigan), and last fall I towed it to North Dakota and back, and I have had zero problems in towing, even on some very rough roads (Michigan roads are generally rated to be the worst in the country, and I believe it).

I will continue to follow this thread, and will do a more detailed inspection of my tires and the wheel wells a little later today. I'll let you know if I find any questionable issues, but I do not believe there is any problem.
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Old 03-12-2017, 12:07 PM   #8
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I can't help but wonder whether a wheel(s) with some offset might provide the cure? I also wonder whether some washers could safely be used as spacers between the wheel & hub? I bet someone here either knows, or has an opinion.
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Old 03-12-2017, 12:17 PM   #9
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Name: BARNEY
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There are 5 bolt wheel spacers available at auto parts stores. They fit btw hub and wheel and are typically 5/16" thick, may require longer studs.there maybe others.
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Old 03-12-2017, 12:52 PM   #10
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Hard to diagnose without pictures. Wheel spacers may help or rims with a different offset. Do you have any side to side adjustment on your axle? Was there the same problem before the axle was replaced?
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Old 03-12-2017, 01:09 PM   #11
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I know the 13' Boler body is offset on the frame by 1" towards the street side. The reason I understand was to make the kitchen counter 1" wider. The axle is centred under the frame which makes the difference in tire sidewall clearance noticeable. Ideally the axle should have been offset on the frame which would have had it align to the body.

Wouldn't surprise me other models and sizes also have the offset body on frame.
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Old 03-12-2017, 01:56 PM   #12
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Name: Rebecca
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I did replace the tire rim on the entry side. Had not notice abnormal wear on original tires.

Will check size of newer rim. I now think that the trailer is offset by design. Will call Scamp to confirm. All looks ok underneath it to me.

Attached photos of tire and back bumper. Angle of photo makes tire look big.
Attached Thumbnails
0312171502b.jpg   0312171503b.jpg  

0312171503a.jpg  
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:50 AM   #13
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I want to continue hearing replies . PS . Illinois roads are just as bad .
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:18 PM   #14
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Name: Debora
Trailer: 16' Scamp
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I just had a new axle installed on my 2015 Scamp to replace the bent one. The RV facility doing the work noted the differences between the spacing on tires, as noted in this thread. They measured three times to make sure they hadn't installed the axle incorrectly. He was thinking that the trailer itself was sitting crooked on the frame and that the fix would be monumental, requiring pulling up the floor. He also indicated that the position of the body as is shouldn't affect CG or towing capabilities. Their suggested solution is to cut into the fiberglass wheel well and trim to make more space.

After reading through this thread, it appears this is probably inherent in the initial design of these little gals/guys and not due to "hitting a bunch of bumps and jarring the trailer loose off its moorings". The mechanics did check underneath for any obvious damage to bolts, evidence of anything sheered off, and wiggled the trailer body and didn't find anything amiss.

I would be interested in knowing what response Scamp has provided to anyone.
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