Buying a Scamp—Questions - Fiberglass RV
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Old 12-08-2020, 11:50 AM   #1
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Name: Loulou
Trailer: Shopping
California
Posts: 5
Buying a Scamp—Questions

Hi all, I’ve been researching campers for several years and finally decided that a SCAMP 13’ will best meet my needs. I’ve learned so much from this community, so I first just want to shout out a huge Thank You! to all who generously offer their experience, wisdom and suggestions.

I have a few questions.

I want to buy a Deluxe with those beautiful birch cabinets. Will More fussing be required to maintain their condition? One reviewer discouraged getting wooden cabinets because they are more likely to be damaged by moisture. Really??? Are there other downsides I should be aware of aside from cost and a little more weight?

I’m deciding between front dinette and bunk beds. I’ll be leaving the back dinette area set up as a bed, so want the functionality of dinette in front for the occasional inside meal and regular evening workspace. I want a choice that will give me most functional flexibility in the front. If I got the front dinette, can it be modified (either factory or after the fact) to a temporary bed in the rare cases I might have my niece with me? If I got the bunk option (I wouldn’t use top bunk), is there a solution for installing a functional and stable flip up table? Or maybe I just get a lightweight aluminum table to put in front of couch? What would you do?

I expect most of my journeys will be on Forest Service, or like, roads. Do I need to be concerned about clearance without making modifications? I’ve heard conflicting reports about wether or not 14” tires can be put on a 13’ Scamp. I’ll ask the Scamp factory but appreciate your input as well. Finally, is it worth having the risers, or whatever they’re called, installed on the axle to give a bit more clearance? Any downsides to doing that?

And a final question for the gals out there: if you were on a narrow road and needed to unhitch your lightly outfitted Scamp to turn it around, could you?

I appreciate any input anyone wants to offer.
Gratefully,
Lou
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Old 12-08-2020, 12:04 PM   #2
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Name: Ron
Trailer: 13' Scamp Deluxe 2007
Iowa
Posts: 206
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I'm afraid I can only answer your first question. We own a 2007 13' deluxe with oak interior. We bought this Scamp new and have enjoyed it for many years. IF you take care of your new Scamp, the wood cabinets will be beautiful and stay that way for many years without a lot of fuss and bother! Go with wood, you will enjoy that beautiful interior and will never regret it!
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Old 12-08-2020, 12:36 PM   #3
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 4,505
It looks like if you get a 13 with front dinette you do NOT get a bathroom. So bathroom or not is the deciding factor. With a bathroom and full time bed in the back I see no area left for even a small table and sitting position. However if you go to a 16 your options increase. 16 Layout four has a small side bath and a sofa bench as one example. And if going off road much at all I think that personally I would not choose a molded fiberglass camper but instead get something better suited to off paved road use.
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Old 12-08-2020, 12:40 PM   #4
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Name: Loulou
Trailer: Shopping
California
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Thank you for your input RS, I feel confident with the Wood cabinets!
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Old 12-08-2020, 12:47 PM   #5
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Name: Loulou
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California
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Hi Gordon,

Perhaps I should have specifed that I am not interested in a bathroom, which is why I have the dilemma of front dinette vs. bunk beds.

As for scamping off road, Let me clarify that I’m not planning to go four wheeling. Plenty of Scamp owners travel Forest Service roads without incident. I’m deciding what mods I can do to have the best experience.

Thank you for your reply!
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Old 12-08-2020, 07:22 PM   #6
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 4,505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluemorpho View Post
Hi Gordon,

Perhaps I should have specifed that I am not interested in a bathroom, which is why I have the dilemma of front dinette vs. bunk beds.

As for scamping off road, Let me clarify that I’m not planning to go four wheeling. Plenty of Scamp owners travel Forest Service roads without incident. I’m deciding what mods I can do to have the best experience.

Thank you for your reply!
That clears up things.. if you dont want a bathroom then a 13 might be fine. With a sofa you will want to add a table, which I did (on a 16) and it works fine. But it works best for one person. I would consider the dinette if no one is going to use the bunks for a bed.
As for the roads. my concern is more with gravel roads, kicking up stones and chipping the gelcoat.
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Old 12-08-2020, 08:08 PM   #7
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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Dinette is much more useful if you are just one or two in the trailer. Front gaucho gives you bunks, so if you have one or two kids, that is a plus.


Suggest you click on the manufacturers section, select Scamp, and read some of the threads there. Pay attention to repair threads, you will see what to watch out for. Realize a lot of the repairs are on 30 or even 40 year old trailers!

I use my 13 foot Trillium, similar layout to the Scamp 13, for solo trips. I wish it had a front dinette versus the gaucho. But it doesn't. I'll probably remove the top bunk and just use the front as a bed, and leave the dinette table up in back.

I like having a dedicated place to sit inside; bad weather, reading a book, eating, etc. With these small trailers, you spend a lot of time outside, but sometimes outside is not the best place to be.

Realize a 13 foot trailer has a 10 foot body on it, overall, end to end its 13 feet. So with only a 10 foot trailer section, space is at a premium. Doing without a bathroom allows you to have that second area: gaucho or dinette, which is a huge plus.

On the Trilliums that have a front dinette, it does convert to a small bed.

While these trailers are small, its all about perspective. I come from a tent background, so any of these trailers are HUGE. But my friends with the 42 foot motor coach cannot fathom having such a small trailer. I call their motor coach a mobile condominium. For what they use it for, its perfect.
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Old 12-08-2020, 10:29 PM   #8
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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In your first post you repeatedly used the singular pronoun “I”. If this is just for one person, I’d get the front dinette but delete the front corner cabinet to allow a full width bed when the dinette is lowered.

That would give you two ways to use the trailer: bed in front (it’s plenty roomy for a small-to-average adult) and rear dinette for eating, working, longing, or vice versa. Personally I don’t need a lot of room to sleep, but I like having room to spread out during the day.

The front dinette would likely be a plus for resale down the road.

The new units (2019+) have a higher axle angle for better clearance. We’ve taken our older, low-clearance unit on some rough roads, and with careful driving, we’ve had no issues. The new stock axle should be fine on most graded secondary roads. A higher lift would only be warranted for ungraded two-track type roads. Consider a bed liner coating for the lower front shell.

One person might swing the trailer if the spot is fairly level, hard packed, and smooth. A come-along might be useful in a tough spot.

I see no compelling reason for larger tires now that 13” tires are available in load range D. Not sure if the factory supplies C or D. I don’t think larger tires will fit anyway. Clearance is tight on the door side.

On rough roads you may find some of the screws and bolts tend to work loose. Pay close attention in the first years of ownership and tighten connections regularly, adding a bit of non-permanent Loctite. It’ll take a few trips to get the trailer hardened for backroad use. Scamp is not really an off-road trailer.
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:13 PM   #9
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Name: Ed
Trailer: Casita 17 ft SD
Colorado
Posts: 136
Scamp on Forest Service Roads

We do a lot of camping in Forest Service and BLM land here in Colorado. In Forest Service camp grounds the roads are usually graded but there are times when the rain has done its thing and the road gets pretty bad.

BLM camping is an other issue. I raised my Casita SD 17ft four inches to get the clearance I need.
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:21 PM   #10
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Name: Ray
Trailer: 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe
Missouri
Posts: 672
Because we wanted the option to sleep a couple of grandkids or one adult in our 2017 Scamp 16 Deluxe (oak) Layout A, we substituted the front sofa/bunks for the usual front dinette.

We use some lemon oil furniture polish to help preserve the oak interior finish.

To accommodate some indoor dining capability, we added a Lagun Table to the front sofa/bunks.



When not in use for dining, the Lagun Table (you would have to buy/make your own table top) could be "parked" in the space in front of the sink/stove cabinet that is fairly unusable for sitting.

Pix of our installation can be found here:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...dm?usp=sharing

Good luck with your decision(s)!

Ray
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Old 12-09-2020, 02:43 PM   #11
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Name: Peg
Trailer: 2016 -13' Scamp
Massachusetts
Posts: 205
"And a final question for the gals out there: if you were on a narrow road and needed to unhitch your lightly outfitted Scamp to turn it around, could you?"

In a word, No. The trailer is too heavy for one person to maneuver. I bought the jack heel, thinking I might use it for "reversals", but my 13' Scamp front bath is way too heavy for me (I'm 70, BTW).

However, we once took a wrong turn out of Yellowstone one year and ended up on a forest service road, unpaved, single width, with ditches on each side. After a lot of back and forth, I got the camper turned around while still hitched. Call it a 16-point turn, but it worked out just fine.
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Old 12-09-2020, 03:00 PM   #12
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Name: Brad
Trailer: In the market
New York
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Go with birch

I too am considering a Scamp with the birch cabinets. I interested in the ‘19 goose neck.

My current camper is 15 years old. The wood is perfect because I take care of it. The Scamp deluxe interior is beautiful. It is why I want a Scamp over Casita or other small campers.

I would look at your hitch height in making your decision on lifting your Scamp. You want the camper to ride level with your tow vehicle. Drive slow, as in seriously slow when the road gets rough and you will be fine. I did not lift my camper and it has never been an issue. Treat it like it will be the last camper you will ever buy, and it will last a seriously long time.
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Old 12-10-2020, 10:55 PM   #13
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Name: Jo
Trailer: In the market
California
Posts: 8
Finally questions I can respond to! This is my first post but I have been learning much here and so appreciate the sharing of info and knowledge.
We bought our 2002 13 ft Scamp Deluxe a year ago and were total newbies. The wood cabinets are in great shape. They give a warm and cozy atmosphere. A few needed reinforcement but there is no water damage. We have the front dinette and love it. We also have the tall cabinet next to front dinette but someone had modified it so that when you make it into a bench, it extends to be full sized. I just added a pillow in the space that was cut out for my feet, a second bed. Perfect. Even more perfect for a little person.
Neither my husband or I can pick the Scamp up and move it. But we’re 60-70 somethings. During our tree planting days in our 20 somethings we maybe could have.
We took it on one very rough road and it did surprisingly well. It did scrap bottom a few times though, which I think means we need to check the axle.
Good luck! I’m super happy with our Scamp and can’t wait to get out again.
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Old 12-11-2020, 07:13 AM   #14
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 9,713
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Just to clarify regarding moving the Scamp manually... We’re talking about putting a wheel on the tongue jack and pushing or pulling it, not lifting the tongue and dragging the trailer. It’s pretty easy for one person on level pavement or concrete, but quickly becomes difficult to impossible on rough surfaces because the small tongue wheel gets stuck. You wouldn’t want to attempt it at all on a slope because the trailer can easily roll away from you when unhitched and unchocked.

To avoid scraping the tongue or bumper on a rough road, cross obstacles at an angle rather than straight on. The same is true for dips, speed bumps, and steep driveway entrances in highway towing.

Regarding the hitch height... The trailer coupler does not have to match the receiver hitch on the vehicle, but it does need to sit level. They make ball mounts with various amounts of rise or drop to make up the difference.

The axle Scamp uses now is about 2-3” taller than the one they used on pre-2019 units. Given my experience with the old axle, I think that might be enough for most reasonable back road use. If not you can swap for a taller axle for around $600, a straightforward bolt-on job. You’d have to do that yourself.after you get it home. You can recover some of the cost by selling the factory axle.

Scamp might install a riser, giving another 3” .They offer it as an option on the fifth wheel model. I’ve never heard of them doing it on a 13’er, but you could ask. A riser only raises the body,, so the axle tube is still low. It does help with tongue and bumper strikes, but you still have to be careful of protruding rocks and high centering.

Remember there’s a trade-off in wind resistance, fuel mileage, and stability as you raise the trailer.
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