Towing a Scamp 13 on rutted roads? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:30 AM   #21
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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L’air is a nice product, but hardly an off-road/backcountry trailer. Cortes, on the other hand, remains nothing but a vision of what a small, off-road-suitable trailer might be, and it appears highly derivative.

Part of its inspiration exists and has a track record. I met John Oliver, one of the late founders, during a grocery stop in the middle of a hunting trip in AZ and CO. Both his single axle Oliver Elite I and his Nissan Frontier Pro-X showed evidence of having been deep in the backcountry. He was actually more interested in talking about hunting than his beautiful, mud-splattered trailer. Great guy, humble and grounded. Neither truck nor trailer is a true “overlanding” unit, but they clearly did what he needed them to do.

But we’re talking about rutted roads here, not exactly overlanding.
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Old 01-14-2022, 09:12 AM   #22
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Name: Gordon
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Off- roading in the USA is generally against the law. If you are not aware of the cryptobiotic crust, google it.
Nuff said.
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Old 01-16-2022, 04:46 PM   #23
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Name: Michael
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zack sc View Post
Thanks Mike. I feel the same. Bigger tires sounds great! How big can I/ should I go? Can I just get bigger tires for the existing wheels or should I/can I get bigger wheels?

Could you tell me more about your inspections? What do you inspect? What do you look for? I would love to be able to make a jump forward in my understanding by learning from other peoples experience!
Zack, Boondocking often places more physical stress on trailers used for this purpose than they are designed to withstand and over time this takes a toll on the unit. I've made some modifications over the years to facilitate off road use.
My first observation was that the suspension was usually designed for travel on flat surfaces like paved roads. Off road, with dips and uneven surfaces, the hitch and/or the rear bumper of the trailer could scrape on the ground, or worse still, damage the plumbing.
Some units have a height adjustment capacity on the suspension. I've also used spacers to increase the distance between the suspension and the chassis.
Stock tires are suitable for highway travel but may not have the physical size or strength for off road use. Increasing side wall height of the tires and/or the wheel diameter will lift the trailer. I usually go up a size or two with the same wheels although I have also used larger wheels to get a higher lift. I like 6 ply or heavier tires because they are stronger and can withstand harder use. They are more economical over the long term as they last much longer. Maximum tire size is determined by the size of the wheel wells on your unit. Don't forget to allow for suspension travel.
Likewise, the axle is intended for mainly highway use and is usually suitable for this purpose. It will support the trailer and accommodate sway and suspension travel under these conditions. Off road suspension travel is much greater when the trailer bounces and this puts more stress on the axle. In addition to the weight of the unit the axle must also accommodate the inertial force when the suspension flexes. That's why an axle with a higher weight capacity will be more durable.
A higher weight capacity axle WILL NOT make the ride stiffer or the trailer bounce more. These factors are controlled by the stiffness of the suspension and tire pressure.
Lifting your unit will raise its center of gravity and may decrease stability, especially in cross winds.
I usually inspect my unit before each use. I look for things that can go wrong and make sure they haven't. I start with the hitch, tongue, lights. brakes, tire pressure etc. I look at the suspension for damage etc. which can often be indicated by the way the unit sits when parked or towed. It becomes a matter of learning how your unit should look and checking to ensure everything is intact.
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Old 01-19-2022, 12:46 PM   #24
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After each, or during an off pavement adventure, examine the frame for cracks, especially in the area where the tounge transitions to the body area. If a crack begins to develop, have it welded and reinforced ASAP.
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Old 01-19-2022, 02:30 PM   #25
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Name: Stephen
Trailer: Casita
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Good Advice

Thorough inspections are desirable for improved road travel and essential for unimproved road travel. But they don't stop the real problem: flexing of the frame transmitted into the shell which self-destructs the entire unit over time. Unending repairs or throwing your trailer out for a new one every few years gets rather expensive. The permanent solution is a structure designed from the ground up for unimproved road use. Most owners find themselves unexpectedly on unimproved roads disturbingly often. Turning around is distasteful. Pressing on exposes the trailer to stresses it cannot handle and survive.
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Old 01-20-2022, 08:51 AM   #26
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Scamp
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We have also done quite a bit with our Scamp on worse roads. The worst for us has been mentioned- the inside of the camper looks like an egg beater took at it. We have even had the heavy closet door come completely off its hinges! But, we have places we want to go, so we have pushed the limits of the little Scamp. One of these years we will get something more suited to off-road travel but in the meantime I refuse to be confined to pavement!
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Old 01-20-2022, 09:02 AM   #27
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Name: Stephen
Trailer: Casita
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I hear you

Because nearly every small trailer owner will find himself wanting to engage in adventures at least occasionally that exceed existing design limits, a case can be made for designing all trailers stronger than just for routine use, particularly if preservation of value is factored in. ��
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Old 01-20-2022, 11:53 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Stephen_Albers View Post
Because nearly every small trailer owner will find himself wanting to engage in adventures at least occasionally that exceed existing design limits, a case can be made for designing all trailers stronger than just for routine use, particularly if preservation of value is factored in. ��
I have been in pretty much every state in the lower 48.
Towed my Scamp what must clearly now exceed 100,000 miles.
While mostly on good roads it has seen some which barely qualify as roads and are brutal .
The trailer is now approaching 18 years old and is in excellent condition.
A case can be made that fiberglass trailers are already tougher than stick-builts by some margin.
Unfortunately with recent demand and price increases, any further "toughness" which would add to the cost, would drive fiberglass trailers beyond the price range of most buyers who are already strained to the limit to purchase them.


Also, no matter how "tough" you make them, there are still those who will take them beyond their design limits.
As a fleet mechanic, I have often encountered operators who could destroy an anvil with a rubber mallet!


The best solution remains to know the design limits of your equipment and refrain from exceeding them.
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Old 01-20-2022, 01:21 PM   #29
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Old 01-20-2022, 05:06 PM   #30
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Name: Pat
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 19 Deluxe
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
As a fleet mechanic, I have often encountered operators who could destroy an anvil with a rubber mallet!
And "engineers" who have no idea what a fish tail weld is when extending a frame!!!
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Old 01-20-2022, 10:04 PM   #31
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Name: Wyn (wife is Nolene)
Trailer: Scamp
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob & Jackie C View Post
Hi Zack,
I put 14" wheels and better tires on our 13' Scamp a few years ago and found that the way Scamp cuts out the wheel openings it was not easy to R&R wheels unless trailer was jacked up high. So I opened up the radius on the trailer body. Stock axle and still plenty of clearance above tires.
Great for gravel roads, but as others have mentioned this is not an OFF Road trailer.

Nice job! What size tires are those? How wide are the 14" rims? What did you use to cut the fiberglass?
Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2022, 10:18 AM   #32
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Name: P
Trailer: Casita
Washington
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Originally Posted by Gordon in Idaho View Post
No problem, Zach. Go very SLOW, and try not to use the mirrors too often.
While working, I got stuck behind a mule train/short logger on a typical logging road. That's a double trailer log truck. It was snowy and it was scary to watch that trailer and how it tracked and tilted. The road, like most, had quite a drop off to the side.

At the bottom the truck stopped so binders could be tightened and things checked. Talked to the driver and he said that he tried to never look in the mirrors on the way down as it would drive him crazy to see where the trailer was going.
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