Scamp 13’ alterations - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-10-2018, 10:04 AM   #1
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Name: Kate
Trailer: In the Market
Iowa
Posts: 8
Scamp 13’ alterations

Hi everyone, my husband and I are the new owners of a 13’ Scamp! We are about to make some changes to the floorplan and I wanted to check to see if there are any reasons some of our ideas are literally impossible to accomplish. Best to know now before we rip into the trailer!
We have a baby and plan for more kids and want a private bathroom that will someday have a shower, so we need to adjust multiple elements to make it work. Here are the changes. Warning: these will completely change the floor-plan:
1. Remove the front bunks, placing a small bathroom on right side (not driver’s side as is usual). No closet. Currently we plan to use the room mostly for nighttime feeding the baby, but will turn it into a shower/bathroom down the road. Measurements will be exactly like a deluxe Scamp’s front bathroom, but just a mirror image, since ours would be on the right and not left side.
2. Remove the kitchenette on driver’s side and build bunks to fit from the end of the double bed to the front wall of the camper (driver’s side).
3. Remove storage closet next to camper door and place 20”x24” self-built/designed kitchenette (yup, we know it’s tiny). This will have a skinny bar sink and 12”-wide 2-burner cooktop on the counter. A small countertop will be able to fold up just over the double bed to give a bit of counter space. Set inside the lower portion of the new kitchenette will be the AC unit, since it is currently in the storage closet in that area.
4. We plan to build ceiling storage above the kitchenette and under-mount a small toaster oven (we may not put the toaster oven, I haven’t found a unit yet that works for the space). We also want to create ceiling shelves around all three walls above the double bed/dining area.
5. We’d like to design a small fridge into the side bunks so that the lower bed rests above the fridge.
6. Since we are removing or moving so much, we will place the following supports: 26”-wide wall floor-to-ceiling between double bed and end of bunk. Floor-to-ceiling wall from camper door to side of bunk to close off the bathroom (this isn’t running the entire width of the camper, but 2/3. The bunk will extend back farther than the wall behind driver’s side. 24”-wide Floor-to-ceiling wall between new kitchenette and camper door. This will be attached to the kitchenette and the upper storage. If needed, we may also put a small square metal tube on the other side of the kitchenette if the weight of the toaster oven needs it.
7. We will remove the floor carpet and replace with vinyl planks.

There you have it!
We do not plan to remove the “rat fur”, but will we need to in order to move wiring/propane/plumbing for the kitchenette?
Is there anything with the frame that makes it impossible to put a bathroom on the right-front side of the camper instead of the usual left-front side?
Is it not possible to have the AC near the cooktop (it would sit in the cabinet below so wouldn’t be in contact with the cooktop but probably the propane line could run nearby in the cabinet?). Any issue with having upper storage above the double bed area? We don’t plan to store anything heavy.
Also, there’s a lot of electrical under the current bunks/sofa on driver’s’s side, so we plan to keep that there, since the end of the new bunks would sit over that area. Any potential problem with that?

Thanks, feel free to send your thoughts! If the design is good, it will stand up to criticism, and if not, then we’ll need to improve it, and criticism will be valuable for that! We are trying something I haven’t been able to find on any forums, but if any of you have done these changes before, please share any tips/advice! And pictures! Thanks so much!!
P.S. I will try to show a pic of the floorplan soon.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:14 AM   #2
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Name: Doug
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 16, 2011 RAV4 V6
California
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Kate,

Sounds like an ambitious project. I wondered about the feasibility of the front bathroom on the right side so I just measured the width of our bathroom (Scamp 16, layout 4 with side bath) and the width between the door and front of the trailer. The bathroom was only about two inches wider, so a front bath might work.

If you’re considering a future shower, you will need to think about a hot water heater. Perhaps that could replace the AC when the time comes.

Good luck and Happy Trails
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:40 AM   #3
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Scamp 13’ alterations

Interesting plan. Should have plenty of upper shell support. You may end up heavy on the curb side, especially if you keep the OEM water tank and add a toilet & black tank, galley, and A/C all on that side.

I'm also wondering if both sink and cooktop are possible in the footprint of the original closet- it's only about 20" wide. You may have to choose one or the other. Perhaps a butane burner or a portable induction plate on the fold-out counter (depending on whether you're plugged in or not)? You might also consider a pull-out counter extension toward the center aisle instead of, or in addition to, the one over the dinette bench.

What will you do about refrigeration?

I do understand your desire to sacrifice galley space for sleeping and a bathroom. We cook outside most of the time anyway.

I'll definitely enjoy watching how this plays out. If this is your first RV renovation, make sure the weight doesn't get away from you. Karin's Campster Renovation thread has some good information about building lightweight and thin but strong RV cabinetry. And as I suggested earlier, pay attention to weight distribution for a stable-towing trailer: both left/right and fore/aft.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:39 PM   #4
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Name: Nick
Trailer: scamp
California
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Scamp mods

BE CAREFUL, the weakest part of the Scamp chassis is the area where the door is located and the cabinet provides or is integrated into structural support for this weakness. If you look at a photo of the chassis you will see the lowered floor is a pretty big compromise in design, from a structural point of view but improves the interior headroom a lot.

Have fun, tearing into these things is a ball.

Nick Juran
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:48 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
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I think your general plan is feasible.
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Old 09-11-2018, 06:23 AM   #6
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Name: Ray
Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
Missouri
Posts: 562
Another idea for ultra light and strong interior cabinets can be found here:

https://youtu.be/ucf2FVIdr1Q

EPS/XPS Foam, fiberglass screening, Glidden Gripper paint.
Easy to work with and strong.
No power tools required.

Good luck with your project!

Ray
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Old 09-11-2018, 06:51 AM   #7
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Scamp 13’ alterations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick J View Post
BE CAREFUL, the weakest part of the Scamp chassis is the area where the door is located and the cabinet provides or is integrated into structural support for this weakness...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceBtwnWords View Post
...6. Since we are removing or moving so much, we will place the following supports: 26”-wide wall floor-to-ceiling between double bed and end of bunk. Floor-to-ceiling wall from camper door to side of bunk to close off the bathroom (this isn’t running the entire width of the camper, but 2/3. The bunk will extend back farther than the wall behind driver’s side. 24”-wide floor-to-ceiling wall between new kitchenette and camper door. This will be attached to the kitchenette and the upper storage. If needed, we may also put a small square metal tube on the other side of the kitchenette if the weight of the toaster oven needs it....
That was my first thought as well. I was reassured when I read the OP's plans for a number of reinforcing bulkheads, including one between the small galley unit and the door. That's exactly what Scamp does on some of their deluxe builds, and along with the other reinforcements, should provide adequate support.

I don't think it needs to be the full 24" wide- that will give the Scamp a closed-in feeling and add unnecessary weight. It should be bonded to the shell or (as Scamp does) screwed from the outside.

This stock Scamp 16D-A photo shows the bulkhead next to the entry door (looking forward).
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Old 09-11-2018, 02:44 PM   #8
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Name: Marilyn
Trailer: 13 ft 2005 Scamp Deluxe; 2002 Subaru V6 Outback
Oregon
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Hi, Kate;
Congrats on your Scamp 13. You didn't mention it's condition or agem so I'm wondering why so much remodeling.

After traveling 5 years in my 13 Scamp with a dog, and my grandkids, I think the 13 is fine for 1-2 people, and a baby. But it's cramped even for me and a dog, especially in inclement weather.

But if you cost out your proposed remodel expenses + construction time, you might be ahead just getting some travel experience in the 13 ft with the baby, before attempting any remodel. You're really going to need something larger with more kids. Then sell the trailer and invest the sales money and what you saved by not doing such an ambitious remodel into a larger FRG.,,,just my 2 cents.

Good travels whatever you decide.
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Old 09-15-2018, 04:14 PM   #9
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Name: Kate
Trailer: In the Market
Iowa
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Thank you, everyone, for your replies. So many great suggestions and tips! Currently we plan to wait on the cooktop, instead we’re going to mount a small toaster oven and use a portable induction burner we have. For a sink, we’re actually using a repurposed bar sink that used to be our main kitchen sink. The previous home owners thought it a brilliant idea to install a 6”x19” sink and we’ll never know why. We finally replaced it after 3 years so now have a better use for it!
As for refrigeration, we aren’t sure yet. We plan to use the Scamp without one for a bit so we can really get a sense of what we’ll need and where the best placement will be.
I definitely understand why many might wonder why we’d want to do so much work to this trailer so quickly. The answer is that my husband and I are designers and basically we love the design/build challenges of this almost as much as we’ll enjoy camping in it. Having a space that is aesthetically rejuvenating for us is also key to a good vacation so it’s worth the effort. We are excited to get started!
Also, I love the lightweight cabinet video! Such a cool way to solve that challenge!
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:15 PM   #10
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Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
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There are other videos about the foam cabinets (paper bag technique, etc.)
Also, this one:

https://youtu.be/IJv0pEjvC34

Ray
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:58 AM   #11
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Name: bill
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I would ask Scamp owners about the frame under the door area. It may need to be reinforced (not a deal killer).

I would not want to give up any lower space for an AC. I would do whatever is needed (reinforce roof if yours is not built for optional roof air) to have roof air.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:28 AM   #12
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Name: Kate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
I would ask Scamp owners about the frame under the door area. It may need to be reinforced (not a deal killer).

I would not want to give up any lower space for an AC. I would do whatever is needed (reinforce roof if yours is not built for optional roof air) to have roof air.
Thanks for your suggestions! Is that possible to have the roof reinforced for AC? I had thought it couldn’t be done.
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:26 AM   #13
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Scamp hand lays a large section of fiberglass cloth in the A/C area after spraying the upper shell. That's it for reinforcement.

You would have to remove a fairly large section of the rat fur and insulation to do that, but it's certainly possible, as you're pretty much gutting the front of the trailer anyway.
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:56 PM   #14
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Name: Kate
Trailer: In the Market
Iowa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Scamp hand lays a large section of fiberglass cloth in the A/C area after spraying the upper shell. That's it for reinforcement.

You would have to remove a fairly large section of the rat fur and insulation to do that, but it's certainly possible, as you're pretty much gutting the front of the trailer anyway.
Where would I find fiberglass cloth? And what should I spray it with? Also, how difficult is it to remove rat fur, will it destroy the rat fur? I’d like to remove all rat fur in the trailer to make sure there aren’t any leaks behind , but then after a good cleaning we will probably want to reattach the fur to the walls/ceilings. Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:25 PM   #15
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Name: Al
Trailer: Casita
Louisiana
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Casita 13

I acquired a nasty Casita 13 that someone was throwing away. Gutted the whole thing because the roof was crushed and cracked. Removed everything, frame off restoration. After talking with other owners decided not to add the bathroom at all because it would be so small and you would have to add a hot water heater plus tanks. We plan on only going to a campground so it has no holding tanks and no hot water heater just a porta potty under the front dinette. I made it for 2 people with a full size bed in back, front dinette all 120 volts. Other owners advised not to cook inside because of the smell.
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:51 PM   #16
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceBtwnWords View Post
Thank you, everyone, for your replies. So many great suggestions and tips! Currently we plan to wait on the cooktop, instead we’re going to mount a small toaster oven and use a portable induction burner we have. For a sink, we’re actually using a repurposed bar sink that used to be our main kitchen sink. The previous home owners thought it a brilliant idea to install a 6”x19” sink and we’ll never know why. We finally replaced it after 3 years so now have a better use for it!
As for refrigeration, we aren’t sure yet. We plan to use the Scamp without one for a bit so we can really get a sense of what we’ll need and where the best placement will be.
I definitely understand why many might wonder why we’d want to do so much work to this trailer so quickly. The answer is that my husband and I are designers and basically we love the design/build challenges of this almost as much as we’ll enjoy camping in it. Having a space that is aesthetically rejuvenating for us is also key to a good vacation so it’s worth the effort. We are excited to get started!
Also, I love the lightweight cabinet video! Such a cool way to solve that challenge!
What a lot of work that method is and the resulting cabinet is too heavy. If he had framed it with a,minimum angle the cabinet weight would have been no more than 5 lbs when using lightweight 1/4" or even 1/8" plywood for the side panel. Poplar and balsa core plywood is strong enough for cabinet sides as the aluminum frame is taking all the loads. It is much faster to build using that method than laminating up foam and plywood panels.
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