Storing 13' Scamp...I'm so confused!! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-20-2014, 05:35 PM   #1
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Name: Dennis
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Storing 13' Scamp...I'm so confused!!

This is great....Read Owner's Manual and talked to 2 people at Scamp in Backus, MN and got 3 different methods for long term storage with regard to suspension.

The manual says jack up axel. The service mgr says put down the stabilizers on back bumper and jack up front tongue jack, but leave wheels on ground, and reduce tire pressure. I specifically asked him if I should jack up axel and he said no. An experienced salesman said put down rear stabilizers, and lower tongue jack until wheels just clear the ground.

Maybe I should just use a sky hook. Any suggestions and rationale welcome. Thanks.
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:42 PM   #2
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Only because torsion axle are known to sag as they age, I'd try to take the pressure off of the suspension by lifting and blocking under the axle and/or frame.

Sadly we don't get to worry about that out here in year around RV country, AKA, the Golden State.



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Old 09-20-2014, 07:35 PM   #3
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Jacking up the axle is no different than jacking up the tires, as far as suspension is concerned, right? To take pressure off suspension you need to jack up frame and let the axle & wheels loose. Am I missing something?


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Old 09-20-2014, 07:44 PM   #4
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I put mine up on jack stands between trips. I place two jack stands on the frame near the axles. I also deploy the stabilizers. Takes 5 minutes using a small floor jack. In addition to allowing the rubber in the axle to relax, it serves as an extra layer of theft-deterrent (combined with a coupler lock).
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:01 PM   #5
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The Scamp uses a Torsion Axle. A long tube with the suspension components runs across the trailer. At each end are leading or trailing arms and, at the end of each are the wheel spindles. I think that the suggestion to support it on the axle refers to the large tube that runs across the frame. It doesn't have an axle in the usual sense.



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Old 09-21-2014, 12:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
The Scamp uses a Torsion Axle. A long tube with the suspension components runs across the trailer. At each end are leading or trailing arms and, at the end of each are the wheel spindles. I think that the suggestion to support it on the axle refers to the large tube that runs across the frame. It doesn't have an axle in the usual sense.
I believe Dexter says DO NOT JACK or BLOCK the trailer on the axle. You can bend the tube and damage the axle.

I have never worried about taking pressure off the axle. I'm not sure how much difference it makes. An axle generally needs to be replaced between 15 and 30 years. Dose storing the trailer for 6 months with pressure removed change that by a lot? Hmmm.. Probable not worth the fuss and bother.

I noticed the OP was from Oregon. There's not a single month that we haven't used our Scamp in Oregon. That's one of the great things about our state, there's always someplace to camp.
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Old 09-21-2014, 02:13 AM   #7
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Dennis, I don't do that as mine doesn't sit long enough to cause any undue stress...I think. I wouldn't use the stabilizers for that though as they are a friction catch and can slip over time. Just run the tongue jack down till the rear end is up an inch or two, put a couple jack stands under the frame rail just behind the axle and jack up the front till it's level. Less than five minutes and you're done. All you are looking for is taking the full weight off the axle.
On a side thought, it seems from comments here that axles need replacing around 25 - 30 years of age. Wonder how many of them sat for years with no use at all. I would think that by at least some kind of regular use that that would increase the lifetime of the axle as it's moving up and down and not static. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:10 AM   #8
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Storing 13' Scamp...I'm so confused!!

I always understood the point of storing on jacks was preserving the height of the axle, not so much extending its lifespan. Seems like the rubber will eventually harden and lose its resiliency regardless of whether it is blocked or not. As it ages, storing on jacks keeps it from becoming "set" in a flexed (ie, lowered) position.

If that's correct, the practice could actually mask a shot axle, since it wouldn't have the "low-rider" look. I make a point to notice movement of the down arms when I jack it up to put it on the stands.

Not sure if regular use makes a difference in axle life or not. Seems like environmental factors might also come into play. But for most of us, those are not variables over which we have much control. Wouldn't we all like to use our trailers more and have access to indoor, climate-controlled storage!!

Am I missing something?
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:42 AM   #9
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For the first two or three winters, I jacked up the trailer for winter storage. I've not done it since, and after 14 years the trailer seems to be sitting on the suspension just as high as it did on day one.

Whatever you do, do not do as the salesman suggests. The stabilizer jacks are not designed to carry the weight of the trailer. If you choose to take the weight off the axle for the winter, use a jack to lift the frame near the axle, and then place a jack stand under the frame.

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Old 09-21-2014, 12:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
I believe Dexter says DO NOT JACK or BLOCK the trailer on the axle. You can bend the tube and damage the axle.

My Scamp's old paper manual says the same
I am with the others - there is no way the rear jacks are designed to jack up the trailer to the point the tires are off the ground either. I think my manual may address that as well.

I did notice though in the newer manuals or on the on line video one last year - don't remember which, that Scamp does say you can use the rear stands and jack up the front jack just enough to take a bit of pressure off the axle for storage.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:58 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the good information. Definitely won't be jacking up axle or hanging unit from back stablilzers.
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Slim View Post


The manual says jack up axel.
Does your manual actually say jack up axel? or does it say something like mine does under Service and Maintenance:
" Jacking up the trailer: On the trailer there are two min beams made out of 3 inch by 1 Ĺ inch tubing, one on each side. Either of these can be used as a point to jack up the trailer. Jack should be placed close to the axle or toward the rear of the trailer, so that the whole weight of the trailer is not on one point. WARNING: The rear bumper jacks are not intended to be used as a jack for changing tires. A scissor jack, hydraulic jack, or a floor jack should be used."

Under Winterizing it does though reads in part: "Running gear: Jack up the axle and block it up to take the weight off the suspension. Leaving the weight of the trailer on the suspension for extended periods while stored is extremely hard on the torsion axle. The rubber tends to compress and not relax as fully as before. Relive tire pressure to 10-15 pounds while stored. This extends tire life."

I don't believe under the winterizing section that they meant the "Jack up the axle" statement to be taken literally and that people would follow the instructions under service and maintenance as to how to jack up the trailer.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:33 PM   #13
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Mine says what yours says.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:42 AM   #14
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Yuppers on not jacking the axle like others have stated and definitely not utilizing the rear-stabilizers to lift/take weight off.

On a friendly ramble...as Byron hinted...
since i'm in Oregon also i'll say take it out to somewhere fun once a month if at all possible... there are plenty of nice spots in our _neighborhood_ year round to have a night or two away from the hustle of daily life. We do not block up our TT or winterize it in any way and it's always just a hitch away from adventure. We typically do our best to plan a Monday>Friday adventure every 5 to 6 weeks with only November/December (our crazy "Holiday" season at work) as down time. Even then we'll take the van-alone out for a night or two.

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Old 09-24-2014, 12:18 PM   #15
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I too put jack stands on the tubing near my Scamp axle. As said previously, DO NOT jack it up nor store it on jack stands on the axle! Putting the trailer on jack stands just "relieves" the torsion on the rubber in the axle. Makes sense to me! But another thing, it keeps the tires off the ground! When it's parked for a period of time, I will go out and spin the wheels....not a suggestion, just what I do.

I also reduce air pressure to 20 lbs on my 13" tires. (Including the spare)

I DO drop at least one "stabilizer" to keep it from ever thinking about "popping a wheelie".

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Old 10-01-2014, 10:11 AM   #16
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Thanks all for suggestions.

Decided to block-up frame behind axles to relieve pressure off of suspension, and reduce tire pressure.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:33 AM   #17
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So many comments! Here is mine. I ALWAYS use the rear support stands, camping as well as long term storage. They should have come with 2 long steel rods that you may insert so that they will not slip and fall but I have never had this happen. It takes all of 4 minutes to lower the tounge all the way down, flip out the two rear supports and then crank the tounge back up to level. It usually will not pull the tires off the ground but does take almost all of the stress off the torsion axel. I have never had an issue being in the trailer with the stands down in this way, its fast and easy and works. If the rear supprts are correctly locked it wont slip, simply crank down the front the tounge and fold up the stands when done, sometimes I need to step on them to release. The more you keep the axel relaxed the longer it will last. If you want to use standard scew type stands then make sure they are only mounting on the frame and not the axel or part of it. That is the best method fir sure, but I do not carry them with me and the three points that my method gives me works well enough.
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Old 10-07-2014, 01:26 PM   #18
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Here's just some food for thought. The trailer frame is designed/engineered to be suspended at the axle. The rear stabilizers are merely for that- to "stabilize" the trailer when it's parked...not suspend it. You're putting alot of strain on the entire framework because the front jack and rear stabilizers are so far apart. I would personally be concerned about fatigue with the fiberglass shell in addition to the frame.

For camping for a weekend, maybe; but I just would not let it set on the stabilizers and front jack for months at a time as I do mine on the jack stands. It may not hurt a thing, but I just feel better about jacking it up and storing it suspended as close as I can to the axle.

[QUOTE=shawn bertagnole;486202]So many comments! Here is mine. I ALWAYS use the rear support stands, camping as well as long term storage.
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:46 PM   #19
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Good point, I would certainly be concerned on a longer frame but feel the box steel frame on the 13' is plenty stout. I have not felt any flexing but will look into it. I support mine by the rear because its fast and very easy. If there are issues with flexing I would buy a set of screw jacks and mount inboard. I just dont want to carry them. I have done this for many years and know others who have as well, but only on a 13'. On the inverse of this I would expect far greater stress to be placed on the center of the frame by the axel, considering how it travels down the road. All the weight of the trailer would be placed in one spot, minus maybe 200 lbs on the tounge, but a big bump in the center would worry me more than the trailers and my weight disctibuted over three points in a triangle. The best would be 4 screw jacks placed around the 4 courners of the frame before the tounge I would expect. Mine in an 05 that has already sagged from lots of driving around so I am careful to relieve the axel at every chance I get. .
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:52 PM   #20
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I too agree with the 13' vs 16' vs 19'ers. And, we do agree on taking the weight off the axle. It HAS to help in keeping the rubber's natural shape longer. You've used your method a long time and it's proven. I always say you cant argue with experience.
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