1985 Scamp 16 Project - Fiberglass RV
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Old 08-24-2020, 04:50 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: James
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16
Livermore, CA
Posts: 15
1985 Scamp 16 Project

Last week we picked up a 1985 Scamp 16; our first camper.



We're not really into campgrounds, so this is typically how we camp:




But now we have a 5 month old and things are different (at least for now!). When researching trailers I fell in love with the fiberglass variety, mainly due to this site. I was originally being picky and trying to find one of the rarer kinds, but decided to just get something and go with it. The Scamp was local, which is a huge plus right now.

The body and windows are in great shape, the frame is fine, and the inside was also in good shape although not quite our taste:




What started off as "it only needs new curtains and maybe some paint" is now here:



I feel much better now that it's gutted, since 35 years of "upgrades" can be quite horrifying all together. That and the spiders. Although the Nature's Head it came with was a huge bonus.



I'm hoping to use this as a "build thread" to document and try and add a bit more to this already amazing site. The plan is a simple, serviceable, DC-powered boondocker that can survive mild forest roads and keep us warm in the Sierra winter.

Body
3M marine restorer and wax the outside
Keep the ensolite, patch as needed
Strip the paint from walls and cabinets.
Seal floor and paint walls one color
Wax cabinets, paint doors
Keep frame on (although I'm quite tempted to separate) and reinforce as needed.
New 3500lb torsion axle

Appliances
Original stove (assuming it works)
Propex heater (Suburban was garbage)
Cooler, until we find the need for a propane fridge.
Nature's Head at the bow
Freshwater and greywater holding tanks under sink

Electrical
USB/DC outlets
12V lights
Battery(s) out front, fuse panel inside
Ability to charge battery with 120
Upgrade to 7-pin
New wiring throughout trailer


And I know more will come up along the way!
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Old 08-25-2020, 10:07 AM   #2
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Name: Doug
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 16, 2011 RAV4 V6
California
Posts: 132
Exciting project that should keep you busy for a while. My only concern is your counting on ensolite to help keep you “warm in the Sierra winter.” I’d hate to see you end up like the Donner party.
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Old 08-25-2020, 10:44 AM   #3
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Scamp
Florida
Posts: 37
ROOF NEEDS SUPPORTS

Notice you have removed the roof supports in your reconstruction process. The roof *we have an 1982 16 and had to restore it with additional work after the precious owner took them out. Match the curvature if you use solid ones.
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Old 08-25-2020, 03:24 PM   #4
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Name: James
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16
Livermore, CA
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug in Sacramento View Post
Exciting project that should keep you busy for a while. My only concern is your counting on ensolite to help keep you “warm in the Sierra winter.” I’d hate to see you end up like the Donner party.
Haha yeah, and since you're from Sac I know you know. At this point anything beats sleeping in my truck bed in Hope Valley when it's 10F outside. I'm not expecting the ensolite to do much of anything, but having a solid wall and a propane heater will sure be better than a tent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Durrstein View Post
Notice you have removed the roof supports in your reconstruction process. The roof *we have an 1982 16 and had to restore it with additional work after the precious owner took them out. Match the curvature if you use solid ones.
The plan (if I'm understanding your suggestion) is to put all the original fiberglass cabinets and supports back in. The roof is very solid, and unfortunately I had to tow it empty like this already (not ideal). I know these shells can warp a bit without support, so it might be a wrestling match to get everything back in and properly lined up.
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Old 08-30-2020, 11:06 PM   #5
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Name: James
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16
Livermore, CA
Posts: 15
All the old wiring is out


And the cabinets are in the backyard for stripping



The citristrip is working pretty well on the fiberglass. Next I'll test to see if I can just restorer-wax them after or if they'll require another cleaning step before the wax.
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Old 09-01-2020, 01:08 PM   #6
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Name: James
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16
Livermore, CA
Posts: 15
Oops photos didn't upload with previous post

Old crusty wires


Backyard cabinet takeover


Citristrip working well so far
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Old 09-05-2020, 05:28 PM   #7
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Name: James
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16
Livermore, CA
Posts: 15
Ok so I've been noodling the power system and wiring. Like I said earlier, we don't spend a lot of time in areas with hookups, so I'd like the camper to be fairly self-sufficient on 12V. Solar will be added down the road when we get a better idea of power consumption.

Here's my first crack at things that need power and a wiring diagram:


"Battery" will probably be multiple, have to do some amp-hour math
"Battery Charger" I'm looking at the Victron IP67 in the 12/25 amp version for when we do have access to 120V
"Fridge" haven't decided on one yet, but will likely be a Danfoss style

Also still not sure if I want the 7-pin junction box inside or outside of the trailer. Everything outside will be housed in a tongue box.

Any thoughts or concerns? I know the lack of an AC-DC converter won't be popular for resale value, but not sure I care about that quite yet
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:08 PM   #8
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Name: Eric
Trailer: 1987 Casita 16
Illinois
Posts: 501
You might want to put in a 12V plug that can take a small inverter, in case you have computer, phone chargers, or small electronics on 120ac. Just a thought. If it is there you can always carry a car inverter (450 watts) and get use of it also in the camper.
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:11 PM   #9
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Name: Eric
Trailer: 1987 Casita 16
Illinois
Posts: 501
Also noticed when I looked again that you do have outlets -- also noticed you don't have the water pump listed. Looks pretty well thought out.
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:04 PM   #10
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Name: James
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16
Livermore, CA
Posts: 15
Thanks Eric! The two outlets on the bed side will be Blue Sea usb/12V socket combos, and the bunk side just usb. We'll definitely carry a few small inverters - good idea.

Still unsure if we want an electric water pump over a hand pump faucet. It's not that I'm skimping on cost or effort, it's just that we'll only have a small onboard freshwater supply (5-10 gallons), and in the spirit of efficiency the harder it is to get the water out, the less we'll use (hopefully). Growing up around sailboats has me familiar with both hand and foot pump style faucets.
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Old 09-12-2020, 06:56 PM   #11
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Name: James
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16
Livermore, CA
Posts: 15
The ensolite from bench level down was patchy and gross, so I've cut it out strategically to make it easier to patch with large rectangles. The ensolite skin tears off and leaves the black foam still glued on, which I then scraped with a chisel and finished off with a wire wheel.


I requested samples of white 1/4" Volara from FoamMart, which they sent with some of their "L200" as well. The Volara has more of a textured skin similar to the ensolite, and seems more scratch resistant as well. It's got more of a slippery surface than the L200, which feels like you imagine foam would. As long as the the Volara passes the paint test I'll order that.

(Volara on the right)



Also removed the old fridge vents and working on getting the sealant off the FG. I'll probably patch the bottom two with a single piece of aluminum sheet with separate foam inside so that it can theoretically be restored to the original setup with minimal fuss.
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Old 09-12-2020, 07:42 PM   #12
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,145
A heck of a lot of current capability there. I suggest that 100 amps is a little excessive.
I believe you are a little overboard there.
The battery charger/inverter should provide enough output to run your intended loads.
You might have perhaps a few 15 amp loads and the rest 5 - 10 amps.
200 amps from the tow vehicle is excessive by about 80 amps.
I have a Power Dynamics PD4045 that is completely adequate for my 16'Scamp. It has two 30 amp capable fused outputs and 10 20 amp capable outputs off the 12 volt buss.
If you install a large inverter this should come directly off the battery with as short wiring as possible.
30 amps AC is perfectly adequate as well and the PD4045 will handle this as well.
I don't know about a Danfoss compressor refrigerator, but my Norcold runs on 12 or 120 volts and draws less than 5 amps more like 4 amps. The Danfoss does have a starting surge you need to take into account.
The fuses should be sized to protect the wire to prevent overheating the insulation and starting a fire.
Here is a picture of the crude installation I made in my 16' Scamp rebuild.

I later modified this setup to feed the DC buss in the unit from the EPEVER MPPT solar converter that will handle 40 amps. The charger is separated and feeds the battery in parallel with the solar charging.
The ground buss is Square D from Lowe's and the barrier terminal strip from an Amazon supplier.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:09 PM   #13
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Name: James
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16
Livermore, CA
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
A heck of a lot of current capability there.
Thanks for the example! To clarify - the Blue Sea fuse box is rated to 100A, but like you said I shouldn't come close to that. The 100A upstream from that was spec'd to match it. The 200A fuse could be lower, it was more of a placeholder until I narrow down fridge options. I'll use heavy gauge wire appropriate for the load and length up to the fuse box, which will be in the bathroom up front so not far from the battery.

I'd prefer to overbuild the system to handle any future upgrades I haven't accounted for now, and keep everything appropriately fused in the meantime. However, I do need to figure out the fusing for the wiring harness so I know what gauge to run to the brakes / turn signals.
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Old 11-29-2020, 05:03 PM   #14
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Name: James
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16
Livermore, CA
Posts: 15
Been busy with lots of other projects so the Scamp has taken a back seat for a while. I did manage to cut out two rotten sections of floor and patch them. One got a nice piece of cabinet grade baltic birch, the other go some scrap plywood i had hiding behind a workbench. Both glassed in around the edges.



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Old 03-08-2021, 06:35 PM   #15
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Name: James
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16
Livermore, CA
Posts: 15
Slow progress.

Ensolite gaps patched with the aforementioned Volara + 3M90. Seams sealed with DAP ALEX FLEX.







Primed with Killz2 and painted with SW SuperPaint in Cotton White





Floors go in next!
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Old 03-08-2021, 06:44 PM   #16
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,524
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Looking good! I’d install more lights particularly on the rear dinette. I use fixtures that have two LED lights in them. It allows me to have each fixture off, one light and both lights. I’d have some temporary roof supports in there, semi truck load stabilizers work well.

On electrical, I used a PD4135 in my Trillium. Perfect.

Interior lights should all be on one circuit. LEDs draw about 0.2amps. So my 12 ceiling lights are drawing about 2 1/2 amps 12V DC if they are all turned on.

Also need to plan on a ceiling vent fan. You should have four outside marker lights, two on each side. The rear two should be red, the forward two yellow. I’d have an outside light at the door and a second one on the opposite outside wall. Local switch (light with built in switch).

Look at a wiring diagram in the document center for a rough guide.

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...?do=file&id=75

I'd highly, highly, highly recommend you install a traditional RV power center. I'm a big fan of the PD4135. You can buy this unit for $130 on Ebay. It gives you a breaker section for your 120V AC circuits, a fuse section for your 12V DC circuits, a converter that gives you 12V DC when you are hooked to shore power, a smart charger for your battery. A lot of functionality in one box. You put a surface mount 30A 120V plug on the outside of your trailer, put a 30A outlet near where you park the trailer, and buy a traditional 30A RV cord. From the surface mount plug, you run wiring to your PD4135. The DC fuse section is powered off your battery when you are not hooked up to shore power.

Its going to be more compact than what you have drawn above, and it will work well. 30A service is all you need on a Scamp 16, its what I have on my larger Escape 19. 30A is pretty much standard for small to medium sized trailers.
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Old 03-17-2021, 09:21 PM   #17
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Name: James
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16
Livermore, CA
Posts: 15
Thank you! I'll definitely look into the PD4135 and consider that type of power distribution. I keep wavering between doing what I want and doing what will help hold resale value. Just because we won't camp with hookups doesn't mean the next person won't!

Good tip on the lights on one circuit. Since I didn't have specific ones picked out, I had no amp draw to work from. Time to start deciding on specifics I guess.
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Old 03-18-2021, 08:21 AM   #18
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Name: James
Trailer: 1985 Scamp 16
Livermore, CA
Posts: 15
I've also been considering replacing the escape hatch with a Maxxfan. Just need to make an adapter as the existing hole is much bigger.
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Old 03-18-2021, 08:29 AM   #19
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,145
If the camper were laid over on the door side, or if you had a fire how would you escape?
The later Scamps had kick out rear window for getting out when the roof top ACs took up the space for the escape hatch.
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