Truck for Scamp 19 & Escape 5th Wheel - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-07-2023, 02:02 PM   #1
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Name: Amy
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 16
Illinois
Posts: 12
Truck for Scamp 19 & Escape 5th Wheel

Hello,
Long time reader… thank you for all the helpful information! Really a great site!

I love my Scamp 16 with bath (traded up from Scamp 13 with no bath ), but I’m interested in upgrading to a fiberglass “fifth wheel”.

Is there possibly a truck make/model that might work for both a Scamp 19 and an Escape 5th wheel?

Thank you!
Amy
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Old 05-08-2023, 06:17 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy PN View Post
Hello,
Long time reader… thank you for all the helpful information! Really a great site!

I love my Scamp 16 with bath (traded up from Scamp 13 with no bath ), but I’m interested in upgrading to a fiberglass “fifth wheel”.

Is there possibly a truck make/model that might work for both a Scamp 19 and an Escape 5th wheel?

Thank you!
Amy
Hi: Amy PN... The trouble with your question is the Escape 5.0 is a true 5th. wheel and the Scamp is not. Scamp chose to make a proprietary style of "Gooseneck" hitch where Escape used a 5th. wheel pin box. The Scamp uses a ball coupler hitch with safety chains. You would have to convert the Escape hitch to an Andersen hitch that uses a ball and coupler w/ safety chains.
A truck that might work in both cases IMHO would be a V6 long bed Nissan Frontier.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 05-08-2023, 08:15 PM   #3
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Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, TV:Tacoma 3.5L 4door, SB
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I am very content pulling my Scamp with the V6 Tacoma. Never compared the Scamp weight to that of Escape 5.0. And, as Alf said, those two are different animals.
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Old 05-08-2023, 08:26 PM   #4
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Name: Amy
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 16
Illinois
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Hi Alf S!
Thank you for this helpful information!

So far, I’ve had good luck with pre-owned campers, so I’m considering either a used Scamp 19 or Escape 5.0. Thanks for suggesting the Nissan Frontier with 6’ bed. I’d like a truck that could be configured for either fiberglass “fifth wheel”, so I might be ready when a good used one becomes available.

Is there much of a difference in towing from a bumper pull trailer?

Thanks again,
Amy
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Old 05-08-2023, 08:41 PM   #5
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I never towed anything with a bumper hitch, so I cannot pass judgement from experience. The consensus is that pulling any kind of 5th wheel is rock solid. No matter of what wind, passing 18-wheelers, or your speed or tongue load. Head wind will reduce your mileage a lot because of increased frontal area.
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Old 05-08-2023, 08:59 PM   #6
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Hi Paul,
That is great to hear about towing! If it can’t tow itself, I’d like it to be as stress free as possible!

I’ll look into the Tacoma as well.

Thanks!
Amy
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Old 05-08-2023, 10:04 PM   #7
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I saw this in a Colorado fiberglass get together
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Old 05-09-2023, 11:57 AM   #8
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I have towed 2 different Scamp 19’ with two different Nissan Frontier's. Both Nissans were five foot beds. Before the first Frontier, I towed the Scamp with a 2003 Tacoma. All worked quite well. The Scamp was designed to be used with small trucks. And I love the combination.
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Old 05-09-2023, 05:20 PM   #9
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Hi Dennis,
That’s a valuable reference knowing that these combos have worked for so long.

Thank you!
Amy
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Old 06-15-2023, 09:10 AM   #10
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Name: Amy
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 16
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Hitch Install Coordination - Scamp 19

I’ve been wondering how you coordinated your hitch install for Scamp 19? Since I’ll likely be purchasing a used Scamp 19, can Scamp in MN install the hitch without having the trailer with me?

Thanks!
Amy
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Old 06-15-2023, 11:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy PN View Post
Hi Alf S!
Thank you for this helpful information!

So far, I’ve had good luck with pre-owned campers, so I’m considering either a used Scamp 19 or Escape 5.0. Thanks for suggesting the Nissan Frontier with 6’ bed. I’d like a truck that could be configured for either fiberglass “fifth wheel”, so I might be ready when a good used one becomes available.

Is there much of a difference in towing from a bumper pull trailer?

Thanks again,
Amy
\Hi: Amy PN... It's like "Night and day"!!! A bit more complicated to hitch, but once mastered the 5th. wh. tows like it's not there!!! We now use a full size Ram EcoDiesel crew cab. It's the 3rd. truck our hitch has been in and the 2nd. 5th. wh. trailer we've towed.
Alf S North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 06-15-2023, 12:00 PM   #12
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I would want a full-size, half-ton truck for the newer Escape 5.0TA due to the combination of weight and frontal area. The older single axle Escape 5.0 and the Scamp 19 are smaller, lighter, and more doable with a mid-sized truck. Even then, the right full-sized truck may well out-perform many mid-sized trucks on fuel economy with and without the trailer.

If you're committed to mid-sized and want to keep the TA on the table, the Colorado/Canyon diesels might be the ticket. I haven't checked specs closely.

We live and tow in a region with mountains and canyons, so that definitely affects my choices.
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Old 06-15-2023, 08:26 PM   #13
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Name: Amy
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 16
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Hi Alf! Thanks for vouching for the ease of towing the 5th wheel! I am sold on making the change.

Thank you!
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Old 06-15-2023, 08:58 PM   #14
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Trailer: 2014 Scamp 16
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Hi Jon,
Interesting point you have about the full size truck outperforming the mid size truck in fuel efficiency. Many years ago I drove an F150 as my daily commuter due to my side business and was hoping to stay smaller, likely a mid-size truck. So, sounds like I should limit my search to a Scamp 19 or older 5.0 single axle.

My old F150 was awful in the snow, ice, etc…. Maybe 4WD this time?

I may be overthinking this, but not sure how people who purchase used 5th wheels (Scamp 19 or Escape 5.0) get the hitch installed correctly. For a Scamp 19, Would it be best to travel to Scamp in Backus for the install?

Thank you!
Amy
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Old 06-15-2023, 09:34 PM   #15
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True fifth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy PN View Post
Hi Alf! Thanks for vouching for the ease of towing the 5th wheel! I am sold on making the change.

Thank you!
Hi: Amy PN... Here in Ontario once you hitch a pin & plate 5th. wh. up its considered part of the truck. I believe its also legal to have a rider in the trailer while under tow. Why... I have no idea?
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 06-16-2023, 07:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy PN View Post
Hi Jon,
Interesting point you have about the full size truck outperforming the mid size truck in fuel efficiency. Many years ago I drove an F150 as my daily commuter due to my side business and was hoping to stay smaller, likely a mid-size truck. So, sounds like I should limit my search to a Scamp 19 or older 5.0 single axle.

My old F150 was awful in the snow, ice, etc…. Maybe 4WD this time?

I may be overthinking this, but not sure how people who purchase used 5th wheels (Scamp 19 or Escape 5.0) get the hitch installed correctly. For a Scamp 19, Would it be best to travel to Scamp in Backus for the install?

Thank you!
Amy
A mid-sized 2WD pickup won’t be any better in the snow. Two things help. One is a locking rear differential. If snow is just an occasional thing, that might be enough, along with good winter tires. The other, of course, is 4WD.

As to the fuel economy, my take is this. Full-size trucks are the biggest sellers, so they have gotten the most attention for improvements in engine and transmission technology. Mid-sized trucks have mostly languished with older, less efficient drivetrains.

There does seem to be a renewal of interest in mid-sized trucks with newer technology, led by the Ford Ranger and Maverick, though. The Ranger is worth a look with a 7500# tow rating. Nissan finally updated the Frontier, and a new Tacoma is due next year.

Beware, though. In the past a lot of mid-sized trucks said specifically no fifth wheel towing in the manual. Small, lightweight, molded fiberglass fifth wheels were probably not on their radar. But if there’s a drivetrain warranty issue and they see a fifth wheel hitch in the bed, you may be in for a fight.
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Old 06-16-2023, 08:52 AM   #17
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I just returned from a 2 day outing with the Nissan and Scamp. The 2021 Nissan has a 3.8 liter di engine coupled to a 9 speed Daimler designed auto transmission. I averaged over 18 mpg with the rig. I believe that Jon's information is a bit outdated.
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Old 06-16-2023, 12:25 PM   #18
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Amy
, The only truck rated by Nissan to tow a fifth wheel of gooseneck trailer as of 2022 is a Titan HD. We pulled a Scamp 19 for years with a Sierra 1500. It pulled nose high . unfortunately that truck was lost. We are raising the suspension on the trailer to fit it to a 2021 Silverado 1500 that is rated to pull a fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer with the rails mounted with B and W brackets to the truck frame. The frame members on the smaller trucks are narrow in cross section and bracket kits are not made to fit the bracket kits to connect the rails to the truck bed. Scamp secures them directly to the bed of the truck with I think 6X6 square plates they are not secured to the frame of the truck except by usually 4 bolts that secure the bed.
If there was an incident related to or involving pulling a trailer with a truck that was not meant to do it I'm not sure of what would happen with insurance and lawsuits. My advise is to buy a truck that meets your needs and is meant to pull the trailer , modify the camper to work with the truck. The 2021 Silverado 1500 got 25 mpg on a recent 600 mile trip without a trailer.
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Old 06-16-2023, 06:03 PM   #19
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Name: Amy
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 16
Illinois
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Thank you all for such excellent information! I was unaware that some mid-size trucks actually specify no 5th wheel towing. …Maybe they consider a Scamp a gooseneck? Hopefully the Ranger is an exception, I’ll have to look into it more. Seems like I may need to rethink my aversion to full size trucks.

The details about the hitch install was very helpful as well, sort of surprising that it’s been a successful installation for so many years.

Thanks again, good to learn all these details pre-purchase.
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Old 06-16-2023, 07:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy PN View Post
Thank you all for such excellent information! I was unaware that some mid-size trucks actually specify no 5th wheel towing. …Maybe they consider a Scamp a gooseneck? Hopefully the Ranger is an exception, I’ll have to look into it more. Seems like I may need to rethink my aversion to full size trucks.

The details about the hitch install was very helpful as well, sort of surprising that it’s been a successful installation for so many years.

Thanks again, good to learn all these details pre-purchase.

Upon request, and some money, Scamps, including the S19, are delivered in the Lower 48 and towed by a little Ranger (or at least used to be). I am now on a second Tacoma pulling mine, and never heard an explanation why no 5th wheel towing. Maybe the presumed weight and size?

Regarding the hitch, I installed the rails in both Tacomas myself. One rail is mounted using two of the six bed mounting bolts plus two to the bed, the other rail is bolted to the bed with four bolts. To put less stress on the bed, I linked the two rails with two steel strips.

And, the 4wheel drive is handy when you need it. I may have used it only a dozen or so times over ten years, but I did not get stuck (in snow in Vermont, or snow or mud in the now rainy Mountain West). I think it was money well spent.
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