My Scamp Deluxe lacks sitting headroom- solutions? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-12-2023, 11:34 PM   #1
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp 16 Deluxe
Colorado
Posts: 260
My Scamp Deluxe lacks sitting headroom- solutions?

RV owners often get "three-foot-itis," so I've heard. I don't want that much room, but if "three-inch-itis" is a thing, I've got it.

My last Scamp was a 16" standard, built in the '80s. Sometimes I envied the luxuries that came with those deluxe models, like the wood cabinets that lined the ceiling, providing handy places to organize and store your stuff. Last fall, a barely used Scamp 16 Deluxe showed up for sale in my vicinity, and my wife and I bought it. The blonde birchwood cabinetry puts my home kitchen to shape. It warms and reflects the indirect sunlight in a delicious way. The bed was set up when we bought it, the better to show off those precious additional inches of width. It's the dead of winter here, so I hadn't bothered to break down the bed, set up the dinette and have a seat.

Today, I finally did, and discovered a real problem- I don't fit. (Vertically, thank goodness, not width-wise.) Sitting up straight at the table, the top of my bald, tender scalp is a only finger's width beneath the upper cabinet! Less than an inch. If I don't duck my head right, I'll bash the sharp corner of the front cabinet frame when getting up. It's not a matter of if, but when. And there's not even enough room to wear a hard hat. I guess this is the cabinet where I should store the first aid kit!

I had already noticed that the side dinette seat puts me almost eye-level with the bottom of its upper cabinet. I thought Minnesotans were tall Nordic types, unlike me. With short legs but an XL torso, I happen to sit abnormally tall. That's put many sports cars off my wish list, but I never thought lack of headroom would bug me in an eight-foot-tall trailer.

So I'm looking for ideas here, short of removing the cabinets. My ideas include:
- reducing the thickness of the seat cushions, and/or
- cutting away some of the bottom of the cabinet face where it underlaps the cabinet bottom.

The standard Scamp cushions will probably have to be replaced. That's not all bad. Though they're thick, they're also rock-hard - and based on my previous 1980s Scamp, they remain that way. Already I've replaced one side dinette cushion with a 1.5" Purple gel pad, and gave me a lower seat with no loss in comfort. It's hard to get in and out, though, because the front panel of the seat base rises higher than the depth of the cushion. That will require more careful saw work, but it's not a structural panel.

It all seems to add up to a complete reupholstering job. The result would be more comfortable than the OEM cushions, I bet, but I dread the expense. My wife dreads the results If I take a saw to her new trailer, because she's seen too much of my carpentry already. When the bed is made, I plan to top it with an air mattress. This Scamp came with a fine, fitted memory foam mattress topper, but it's so heavy and bulky that the dinette is inaccessible during a trip.

In all my 20 years on this forum, I've read thousands of posts. But I can't remember reading about the particular problem of low-hanging cabinets. Has anybody else butted heads with this issue?
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Old 01-13-2023, 02:23 AM   #2
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John, Until you come up with a permanent fix, put up a couple of pool noodles on the sharp edges. It's easy to forget to duck. Save your noggin.
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Old 01-13-2023, 08:56 AM   #3
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Name: BenjaminL
Trailer: Casita
Maryland
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John, my Scamp 13 deluxe is due for completion in March 2023. Your comments about the headroom (or lack of) when sitting in rear dinette has me intrigued. Would you mind telling us how tall you are? This should put some reference to others.
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Old 01-13-2023, 10:44 AM   #4
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp 16 Deluxe
Colorado
Posts: 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travel Hawk View Post
John, my Scamp 13 deluxe is due for completion in March 2023. Your comments about the headroom (or lack of) when sitting in rear dinette has me intrigued. Would you mind telling us how tall you are? This should put some reference to others.
I'm a mixed-up mutt, with my short mother's legs and my tall father's torso. Sitting up straight, I measure 34.5" from the seat to the top of my head. I always move my car seat as low as possible, and usually wish it would go a little lower. Maybe I need to take slouching lessons?

Just measuring the dinette, it's only 33.5" from cushion up to the lower edge of the upper cabinet. The seat cushions have about an inch of give when I sit on them, allowing me to barely fit.
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Old 01-13-2023, 10:53 AM   #5
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp 16 Deluxe
Colorado
Posts: 260
One easy answer...

...would be to forget I have a rear dinette and keep the bed permanently in place. We do have a side dinette in this B layout, so that's what I'll do on the first trips, until I get a better idea.
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Old 01-13-2023, 01:30 PM   #6
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Name: BenjaminL
Trailer: Casita
Maryland
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Thank you John.
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Old 01-14-2023, 11:41 AM   #7
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Trailer: casita
Washington
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Get yourself a good bike helmet......LOL!!!!
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Old 01-14-2023, 04:54 PM   #8
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Scamp
North Carolina
Posts: 40
I'm 6 feet tall but with a long torso and shorter legs. My dad was too.

We have a 2022 13 standard and haven't had the headroom problem in the dinette. I think the fiberglass upper cabinets are a bit rounder at the edges than the deluxe wooden ones, so wouldn't be likely to cut my noggin. But, we leave it set up as a bed full time, so it wouldn't really matter if it did. We put a memory foam topper on the bed, and it's much more comfortable now.

The biggest issue I've had with height is going out the door--I have bloodied my head more than once by not remembering to duck as I go outside. The AC hanging down from the roof can catch my head, but it's rounded and easy to avoid. But hey, it's a really small camper, and hopefully I'll eventually learn not to hit my head on the door.

We tend to use our Scamp as a bedroom, and do most of our camping/eating/living outdoors. We do have a small folding table we can use with the front sofa for indoor dining when need be if the weather is terrible, and it works fine. I guess if we had to set up the rear dinette we could, but so far we haven't except checking it out in our driveway.

Dave
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Old 01-14-2023, 06:27 PM   #9
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp 16 Deluxe
Colorado
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Originally Posted by theremin View Post

The biggest issue I've had with height is going out the door--I have bloodied my head more than once by not remembering to duck as I go outside. The AC hanging down from the roof can catch my head, but it's rounded and easy to avoid. But hey, it's a really small camper, and hopefully I'll eventually learn not to hit my head on the door.

Dave
My new Scamp, a 2021, has the new flatter door. I have to duck a little, but it seems natural. Scamp actually installed a foam bumper on the top of the door opening!

Does it seem odd that a guy 5'5" tall has headroom problems? But I do. At the other end of the problem, I don't like climbing up into the seats of larger SUVs and pickups. But over on the towing forum, I'm advised to use only these vehicles. Are we headed to a paradox that anyone short enough to use a Scamp won't be tall enough to like the tow vehicles?
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Old 01-14-2023, 07:45 PM   #10
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Scamp
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Mine has the new flat door too, but I never claimed to be anything but clumsy! Mine doesn't have the foam bumper maybe they forgot it on mine! At any rate, I used to clobber my head on the door of my biggest Airstream. Seems to be me more than the camper.

If I were 6'6" like my son, I probably wouldn't be Scampable, but I'm perfectly comfortable in bed length/interior height/etc. at 6' The 13 is pretty much perfect for us. Still doesn't improve my clumsiness though.

Dave
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Old 01-14-2023, 09:51 PM   #11
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Name: Darrell
Trailer: Scamp Deluxe 16ft
Alabama
Posts: 310
Vertical challenge

The vertical challenge was my reason why I got my Scamp Deluxe vs Casita as a 6'1" guy the side dinette became a storage area. But as a single guy it's wasn't a big deal for me. I "planned" and don't stand totally straight up. The tables being removed and replaced due to water condensation then swelling. I understand your pain. When I get around to my updates I plan on trying to use side dinette as a bedding area my self... at least once. As a advantage of now I've got new tow vehicle with R.T.T.too. I do bang my head on A.C. if I don't play attention to it even.
I'd like to have the new flat door on my Scamp it's got to have quite a few advantages over the older generation one.
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Old 01-14-2023, 11:08 PM   #12
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
Posts: 8,450
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I once had a Ford Tempo TRX 4dr.

Right after I bought it I found that I would painfully strike my spine against the "B" pillar every time I got in the car. That and I had to twist my wrist in an uncomfortable manner when shifting into 5th gear.... While I considered possible solutions a couple of weeks went by. I then realized that I had just naturally developed new habits which solved both problems. In spite of these "flaws" this is still one of my favorite cars that I have ever owned.


I have a Prefire 13Scamp Deluxe with cabinets all the way around the dinette area.
I am 6ft tall and my Scamp has +-2-1/2" less interior height than yours.
I have now owned this trailer for almost 19 years and would not trade for anything else on the market.


BTW, I nearly got a concussion from the door opening every time I entered or exited the trailer until I learned to avoid hitting my head. I then soon forgot it was ever a problem....


My advice is to use the trailer for a few days or a few weeks (depending how fast your learning curve). And you will find that you have adapted your behavior to your new environment.

You will then discover that you have bought the most desirable travel trailer on the market and you will soon love it!!


Ask anyone who served on board ship in the navy
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Old 01-15-2023, 12:47 PM   #13
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2019 Escape 21C, NTU April 2022 (was 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17)
Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John McMillin View Post
...would be to forget I have a rear dinette and keep the bed permanently in place. We do have a side dinette in this B layout, so that's what I'll do on the first trips, until I get a better idea.
We never used the big dinette on our 17' Casita; just left the bed up. Worked fine, until we decided we needed more room. Now we have a 21' Escape.
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Old 01-31-2023, 04:59 PM   #14
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Name: James
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
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I always wished I wasn't one of the smallest guys back in school, but when it comes to our Scamp(s) it's probably a blessing to be just under 5' 8". So no issues with the standard cabinets (or the AC) in our 19'. The old 13' didn't have any extra cabinets to begin with. But oh (or should I say, oooh) that doorway. Stepping up into it is where I run into trouble. I have a tendency to bound up into the trailer. Bad idea. Without realizing it I solved the problem when I built a small deck to sit just outside the door. I still have to duck entering or exiting, but the visual of the deck at nearly floor level makes ducking automatic. When traveling, the deck flips upside down and sits in the empty floor space, keeping the coolers and milk crates from sliding around.
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Old 02-06-2023, 10:00 AM   #15
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Name: Darrell
Trailer: Scamp Deluxe 16ft
Alabama
Posts: 310
James
I really got a laugh when I was reading your post, it kinda hit home with me too. As I had late growth spurt, when I joined Army I was only 5'6" at 17 then at 21 I was almost 6'2" so I "found" things shorter after being gone away in Army. Then after years of doing that I've lost some of cartilage in joints though. Lost about a inch and feel it. 🙄
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Old 02-16-2023, 09:54 AM   #16
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Shopping
Maryland
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John, I feel your pain (literally!). I don’t even slip under the deluxe cabinets on our Scamp 16. The first time we used the table, I leaned back and smacked my head against the bottom edge of the upper cabinet. Ouch! At 6’ 2”, I’m also just a little too tall to stand up straight in the camper. I have to say, when we got this camper was the first time in my life that I was truly jealous of people shorter than me. I’ve put the foam noodle over the top of the door after hitting my head on it twice. Just thinking about it makes the top of my head hurt.

We mostly keep the bed made up, and there’s not much room to walk around in the Scamp even if you’re short enough, so it’s not too bad in actual practice. But I’ll be keeping an eye on this thread for ideas.

I may look into getting a shorter cushion. With how much height I need to get back, I may have to start with just the bare wooden bench and add the least cushioning possible, balancing the comfort of my posterior against the pain of my anterior…
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Old 02-16-2023, 11:06 PM   #17
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp 16 Deluxe
Colorado
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I could be comfortable, I think, on half the cushion thickness if it was high quality memory foam. That would gain us two inches, because the stiff stock cushion barely compresses at all. But that stuff's expensive, and unavailable in the stock Scamp dimensions. It's not a job I want to take on before my first campout!
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