Towing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-10-2007, 08:40 AM   #1
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Hi,

We are tenters and totally new to all things rv. We are considering purchasing a 1982 16' Scamp. We're going out to look at it tomorrow morning. We have a Ford F350 for a tow vehicle with a 2" ball hitch in the bumper.

If we bought the Scamp and verified what sort of plug we need, what will we have to do to the truck to get the trailer home? Can I do it myself, or will I have to have someone else do it?

Thanks,
Jamie
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:47 AM   #2
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Hi,

We are tenters and totally new to all things rv. We are considering purchasing a 1982 16' Scamp. We're going out to look at it tomorrow morning. We have a Ford F250 for a tow vehicle with a 2" ball hitch in the bumper.

If we bought the Scamp and verified what sort of plug we need, what will we have to do to the truck to get the trailer home? Can I do it myself, or will I have to have someone else do it?

Thanks,
Jamie
The best advice I can give on wiring is if you have to ask if can do it yourself, don't. Have someone else do it that will take responsibility for doing it right.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:58 AM   #3
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I would have a few concerns about moving the trailer (especially over longer distance(s))

Have the wheel bearings been recently inspected and repacked?

Does the trailer in fact need a 2 inch ball (probably it will)?

Does the Ford have a pre-existing trailer wiring package or even an add on one? You did not indicate what year the truck is, but you can go to a well supplied auto parts shop/store and purchase a simple 'plug in' trailer wiring kit. (simply crawl under the truck and locate the wiring harness for the rear end of the truck, find the plug in connection, pull it apart and plug in the new wiring harness and then reconnect the old harness back into the connection made.)
Adapters may also be bought to adapt the end plug to whatever style plug is in the trailer right now....

The tow truck might be a little too high to tow the trailer back home seeing as its (presumably) on a bumper mount?? Short hauls would be o.k. but trailer sway/control might be a concern at highway speeds.... (just my 2 cents worth!! )
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:02 AM   #4
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Trailer: 1982 16 ft Scamp / 1990 F350 (Veggie-Oil Conversion)
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The best advice I can give on wiring is if you have to ask if can do it yourself, don't. Have someone else do it that will take responsibility for doing it right.
Thanks for your advice, Byron. I'm fairly mechanically minded and pretty good at simple wiring as long as I understand the system and know what goes where, but I know nothing about this sort of set up. Is there a basic step by step reference in laymans' terms somewhere? What sort of place would I go to to have someone do it for me? My mechanic? An RV dealer?

Hi Doug,

It's about a 150 miles away; but, if we get it, it will be a week or two before we can pick it up. I understand that a 16' Scamp takes a 2" ball and has a 21" drop from the top of the ball. I'll double check this and ask about the wheel bearings when we look at it tomorrow. Thanks for adding questions to my check list of things to look at and ask about!

I've printed out the buyers' check list to take with me in the morning. I'd welcome any more suggestions for additions to it from those of you with experience.

Cheers,
Jamie
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:15 AM   #5
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http://www.marksrv.com/wiring.htm

This is normal 7 pin wiring
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:47 AM   #6
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Thanks, Chester! This info is just what I need to know!
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:08 AM   #7
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Thanks, Chester! This info is just what I need to know!
I hope it works out OK for you. Good luck
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:42 AM   #8
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We have a Ford F250 for a tow vehicle with a 2" ball hitch in the bumper.
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I understand that a 16' Scamp takes a 2" ball and has a 21" drop from the top of the ball.
I agree with Doug - the truck's bumper may be too high. Is it really a 2" diameter ball bolted directly into the bumper (not so commonly done these days), or is a receiver-type hitch with a 2" square receiver socket? The ball size can be changed if necessary in any case, and if is a receiver-type hitch then a ball mount with the right drop so the top of the ball ends up at the right height is cheap and readily available required part.

If the truck really just uses the bumper as a hitch, I would add a real receiver-type hitch, or at least a receiver box which bolts onto the bumper, so allow the use of a ball mount to get the right height. A Class 4 receiver hitch (or even higher rated, as a newer F-250 could tow up to 12,000 lb) may seem like overkill for the Scamp, but it would suit almost any trailer to be towed in the future by the F-250; most of these trucks come from the dealer already equipped this way.
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:29 PM   #9
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Trailer: 1982 16 ft Scamp / 1990 F350 (Veggie-Oil Conversion)
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Hi Brian,

I suppose I should have mentioned that the truck is a 1990 Ford F350 diesel that has been converted to run on veggie-oil. It came with a hydraulic lift on the back. We had the lift removed and replaced it with a normal tailgate and bumper. The ball really is screwed directly into the bumper. I like the idea of a Class 4 receiver hitch. I'm off to investigate what it will take to have one installed on the truck.

Thanks for the info,
Jamie
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:40 PM   #10
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Brian, being a fellow Canuck, you might already know that DMV rules/regs differ from province to province. IN B.C. now for example it is illegal to tow with a bumper hitch, even the afore mentioned add on bolted to under the bumper kind...you must have a properly installed receiver type hitch. You also cannot haul a (slide in) camper WITHOUT a one ton truck. Those are the rules as I was told them by an RCMP officer at a local R/V show this spring.
That being said, he also indicated that it would take 'just the right officer or highway inspector' to single you out for these infractions. Rules like this are most likely different in the U.S.A!
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Old 08-11-2007, 07:44 AM   #11
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Based on the age of the trailer, it will more than likely require a 1 7/8" ball...my 1988 16 footer does. Also on my trailer, it uses this wiring on the trailer end: 7-Pin_TrailerEnd, fortunately my 2000 Ford F-150 had a tow package, so it was plug and go (after purchasing a Prodigy brake controller !!)

Everyone needs to remember, older Scamps had different requirements. Consequently, we can make all the guesses in the world. But as far as what size ball you need, or what wiring the trailer has.... the seller has the definitive answer. After all, there is no way for us to know if things have be changed since original.

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Old 08-11-2007, 11:31 AM   #12
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You did not indicate what year the truck is, but you can go to a well supplied auto parts shop/store and purchase a simple 'plug in' trailer wiring kit. (simply crawl under the truck and locate the wiring harness for the rear end of the truck, find the plug in connection, pull it apart and plug in the new wiring harness and then reconnect the old harness back into the connection made.)
Adapters may also be bought to adapt the end plug to whatever style plug is in the trailer right now....
The Harness adaptor that Doug is mentioning is typically refered to as a "T-1" Style connector. These are available in many configurations. My recommendation would be to look for the one that provides you with the truckside Bargman 7 pole connector, and then buy an adaptor to convert to the 4 pole when needed. The Bargman will provide you with the capacity for connecting trailer brake hookups later, and will "pre-wire" you for the possibility of towing other trailers you might borrow from a neighbor and such. I've even seen some of the T-1's that provide a Bargman connection, along with a 4 pole.(the last time I saw this was at Wal-Mart)
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Old 08-11-2007, 04:14 PM   #13
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Trailer: 1982 16 ft Scamp / 1990 F350 (Veggie-Oil Conversion)
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We bought it! It's ours! It's a fixer-upper, but the structural integrity is good. Hard sided tent on wheels with great potential at a good price. I am very excited!

Someone rewired the trailer with a four pin connector, but there is about 6 inches of very artfully wrapped electrical tape below the connector, and underneath, it feels as if there are wires turned back and twisted around the whole. The wiring, as it protrudes from the opening in the trailor, looks to be original and in very good shape. It may be naive, but I am making the assumption that all of the original wires are still there. I didn't want to take it apart today, just in case...

"T-1" Style connector, Bargman 7 pole connector, adaptor to convert to the 4 pole when needed. Right. My questions were answered before I even asked them. This is great!

Donna, You are absolutely correct: it has a 1 7/8" ball hitch.

Thanks to all of you!
Jamie
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Old 08-11-2007, 05:12 PM   #14
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I love it when a plan comes together. Now you get to change the info in your profile from "I see a Scamp in our future" to "1982 16' Scamp" (through My Controls)

We're waiting for pictures too
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:54 PM   #15
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Some parts of Scamp trailers use a common harness and I believe that applies to the front part -- My 91S13 was originally ordered with no battery, but all the wiring, including the in-line fuse holder, was taped inside the harness. The only thing that was missing was the blue brake power lead (It took me a long time to fish a blue wire inside that sheath when I installed brakes!!!).
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Old 08-12-2007, 07:45 PM   #16
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...In B.C. now for example it is illegal to tow with a bumper hitch, even the afore mentioned add on bolted to under the bumper kind...you must have a properly installed receiver type hitch. You also cannot haul a (slide in) camper WITHOUT a one ton truck. Those are the rules as I was told them by an RCMP officer at a local R/V show this spring...
I believe that the relevant regulation would be B.C. Reg. 26/58, Motor Vehicle Act Regulations
Quote:
Trailer connections and towed vehicles
7.07 (1) No person shall drive or operate on a highway a motor vehicle and trailer unless
...
( b ) the device which couples the trailer to the motor vehicle is firmly attached to a structurally adequate integral part of the frame of each vehicle, or, where the towed vehicle is of a gross vehicle weight of less than 900 kg, to a structurally adequate part of the towing vehicle and to an integral part of the frame of the towed vehicle,
While I appreciate the challenges facing the cop on the street, and have great respect for the people doing this job, I don't expect them to know all of the regulations, nor to have the technical expertise to interpret them. It is particularly difficult when regulations are outdated or poorly written (such as in this case, the "frame" reference which will be a problem for unibody vehicles, and the lack of guidance for the assessment of "structurally adequate").

I would argue that a receiver box which is designed for towing, bolted to a bumper which rated by the manufacturer for towing, with both within their rated limits, clearly meets the structural adequacy requirement.

The slide-in camper thing would be ridiculous if literally interpreted - I'm sure that the officer is just stating that the load must be within the vehicle's rated capacity, and expressing that as a blanket need for a "one-ton". For many campers, that would be appropriate.

In any case, the possibility that someone wanting to write a ticket might argue about the hitch structure is another reason for installing a proper frame-mounted receiver on the F-350, and an argument for not settling for the add-on receiver box.
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Old 08-12-2007, 08:04 PM   #17
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I think the T-One brand name belongs to Draw-Tite, so under this name the connectors would come from Draw-Tite (who lists part 118316 for a 1990 F-350); other Cequent divisions such as Reese have the same part (118316 at Reese).

The same type of product from other manufacturers, such as Hoppy, will have different names, but they're often generically called "T-connectors".

I agree that a plug-in harness like this is definitely the way to go.
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:05 AM   #18
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Trailer: 1982 16 ft Scamp / 1990 F350 (Veggie-Oil Conversion)
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My husband spoke to U-Haul at length about the trailer and truck hitch and chose to let them solve the hitch/wiring situation. He is taking the truck in to them in a couple of hours. Que sera, sera... but, if all goes well, we'll be able to pick up the trailer next week.

Now, I just have to figure out how to manouver it out of those narrow streets in suburban Boston Thank goodness it is just a mile from the highway!

Donna,

Profile updated, and I cant wait to take pictures. My son and I are going to fix it up nice! :smile
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Old 08-13-2007, 02:44 PM   #19
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I would strongly suspect that the 'bumper hitch' stuf came from the old days where a ball was just bolted to an automotive bumper with a couple of drilled holes. The step bumper on my Dodge and the factory bumper on my Ranger are both beefy, connected directly to the frame with serious metal and rated for their towing capacity. I wouldn't be afraid to defend them.

As regards the truck camper, just like in travel trailers, there are TTs and there are other TTs; for example, at least two companies in Calif make aluminum-framed pop-up truck campers that are designed to go on Rangers, Dakotas, Mazdas, etc. with dry weights of 600-700#. Clearly no need for a one-ton full-sized pickup to carry one.
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:05 AM   #20
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The wiring, as it protrudes from the opening in the trailor, looks to be original and in very good shape. It may be naive, but I am making the assumption that all of the original wires are still there. I didn't want to take it apart today, just in case...
Congratulations on the new (to you) trailer.

As for most of your wiring concerns there is a lot of information in the electrical section Document Center. You will find info on the 7Pin wiring as well as Scamp wiring diagrams.
You can find more info on other areas using the links provided on the bottom left side of your screen under Resources.

If you can wangle that big F350 around the narrow streets you are not going to find it that much more difficult to pull the Scamp behind it. Most campgrounds have relatively narrow roads.
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