LeahT - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-08-2013, 06:39 AM   #1
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Name: Leah
Trailer: Scamp
New Mexico
Posts: 14
Question LeahT

Hi, I am new to this forum having just realized I am a soon-to-be, proud owner of a Scamp. My "Heart" parents are giving me their '92 at the end of May. I am thrilled, but very nervous. I have never owned or pulled a trailer and don't know anything about it. I am driving from Southern New Mexico to Northern Colorado to get the trailer in a few weeks. I had the tow package added to my car. What else do I need to do to get ready for this new adventure? Can anyone help me prepare? I would appreciate any advice and/or encouragement.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:45 AM   #2
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
Posts: 25,168
Hi Leah, to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here!

I too became an owner before I had ever towed a travel trailer. I think you'll find there are bunches of us on this forum that started out with the same lack of experience. So, please don't feel like you're alone.

It's nice, so very nice, you are being gifted an all molded trailer! Lucky, lucky, lucky! Now this is no reflection on the givers, but you'll be towing it home. It's important it's safe to go down the road. So.... ASK, when was the last time the wheel bearings were packed? ASK, how old are the tires? We recommend tires be replaced every five to seven years (closer to five) no matter how many miles the trailer has been towed (short story for a long explanation why). AND, of course you want to make certain all the exterior lights work (and brakes, if installed). There are other things too, but I'll leave that to others to answer.

Again, WELCOME and when you get a chance, please post picture of you and your new-to-you rollin' home and a big ole grin.
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:52 AM   #3
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Name: Leah
Trailer: Scamp
New Mexico
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Thanks Donna! I will post a picture as soon as I get her. I have asked about the tires and they may need to be replaced. I will ask about bearings. I am pretty sure the owners have taken good care of the Scamp. But they haven't used it for a few years so there may need to be some work done. Thanks again for your response! I am so happy to have found this forum. Leah
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:53 AM   #4
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Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
Washington
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Take a practice night before you head home- tow somewhere close by, camp overnight, and make sure you have everything and know what to do with it. (This is after the wheel bearings and likely new tires.) The first night can be an eye-opener. Even though you aren't going far, halfway in the middle could leave you high and dry if there is a problem, so trying a night close by makes sense. My first night was the only time I've EVER needed an adapter for the extension cord- and I'd never heard of one. It's also when I figured out I needed a step.

Don't try to back without a chance to practice. If you can do that before you leave, better, but otherwise, look for pull-through spots. That also means don't pull in somewhere for a stop if you are going to have to back out again. If it is a 13 foot scamp, you can, in a pinch, unhook it and roll it around to turn around. (Assuming you have a tongue wheel jack, and if not, get one.)
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:20 AM   #5
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Name: Patti
Trailer: 1984 UHaul CT13
Colorado
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Welcome Leah,
I agree with the close stay before you head back with your new baby. Tires and bearings are very important to take care of first hand. If you need a respite along the way, send me a PM.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:22 AM   #6
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Name: Terry
Trailer: 1996 Casita Freedom Deluxe 17 ft
Colorado
Posts: 424
Leah, I often set off on camping trips with a group of friends and pulling my 17 foot Casita. Because we're often going long distances, we usually have a rule that everyone takes a turn driving. In a lot of cases, people who have never towed anything before are quite afraid of having to drive with the trailer back there. That is, until they get behind the wheel and start driving and realize that there's absolutely nothing different about towing a trailer. "I forget it's back there until I look in the rearview mirror and think someone is tailgating me!" is the usual comment.

Welcome to the world of fiberglass trailers. You're going to have a blast!
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:10 PM   #7
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Name: Leah
Trailer: Scamp
New Mexico
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
Take a practice night before you head home- tow somewhere close by, camp overnight, and make sure you have everything and know what to do with it. (This is after the wheel bearings and likely new tires.) The first night can be an eye-opener. Even though you aren't going far, halfway in the middle could leave you high and dry if there is a problem, so trying a night close by makes sense. My first night was the only time I've EVER needed an adapter for the extension cord- and I'd never heard of one. It's also when I figured out I needed a step.

Don't try to back without a chance to practice. If you can do that before you leave, better, but otherwise, look for pull-through spots. That also means don't pull in somewhere for a stop if you are going to have to back out again. If it is a 13 foot scamp, you can, in a pinch, unhook it and roll it around to turn around. (Assuming you have a tongue wheel jack, and if not, get one.)
Thanks for the tips Bobbie. I am going to take the scamp to some big parking lot and practice, practice, practice backing up. That's one of the things that scares me the most.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:51 PM   #8
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Just remember, slow, slow, slow and small, small, small movements on the steering wheel. Things happen quickly when backing an all molded towables
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:11 PM   #9
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Trailer: U-Haul 1985
Michigan
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Welcome and congratulations! I also had not towed before getting my camper. You will get more comfortable with practice. Just remember to leave lots of stopping room between you and other cars. Your car brakes will thank you
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:57 PM   #10
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Name: Linda
Trailer: '77 Scamp
California
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Welcome Leah. I'm looking forward to pictures. And whatever issues you may encounter after you get it, can be fixed with the support you'll get from your new forum buddies. Happy Scaping!
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:31 AM   #11
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Name: Leah
Trailer: Scamp
New Mexico
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Thanks to everyone for your advice and encouragment! I feel so good knowing that I have this forum to turn to when I have questions. And I will have lots of them I am sure!
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:10 AM   #12
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Name: Shirley
Trailer: Casita patriot
Colorado
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Leah, PM me if you'd like another contact in Colorado up north. Happy to help in any way.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:59 AM   #13
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
Posts: 1,852
Read your owners manual for your car on towing.
If you have an automatic avoid running in overdrive towing up hill. Steep down hills shift the transmisson down a gear to avoid overusing and cooking your brakes. If your car is smaller than your trailer you may need to buy strap on extension mirrors so you can see around the trailer. If while towing you start feeling overwhelmed you can find a safe place to pull over and take a break. These trailers are easy to tow and in a few trips it will all be second nature.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:26 AM   #14
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
NE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,358
Here's some virtual practice:

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tml#post386054
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:15 AM   #15
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Name: Orlen
Trailer: Eggcamper 2007 ('Wolf's Lair')
Colorado
Posts: 325
Hi Leah

Just a couple of questions:

What is your tow vehicle and what was included in the the tow package you had installed?

In what area of northern Colorado are you picking up the trailer and what route are you planning to take on your return to NM?

Is your new Scamp a 13' or 16' and does it have brakes? Was a brake controller installed as part of your tow package? If you have an automatic transmission do you have a transmission cooler?

Now for the advice:

Take it slow. If you are taking I-25 to NM don't try to do the speed limit. Sixty mph is just fine. Plan your route to avoid any high mountain passes if possible. Save the up down twisty turny trip for later when you have some experience towing the trailer.

Before you get out on the open highway set up the brake controller. It is best to do this in a large empty parking lot.

Check weight/balance. Tongue weight is very important. If it is too light you will have sway issues. Also make sure the trailer is either level or slightly lower at the hitch. Towing with the tongue high can also cause sway at highway speeds and can cause braking issues.

Offer:

I live in the Denver metro area. If you are picking up the Scamp near here I could help you with the initial setup/hookup.

BTW - Congratulations on getting your first fiberglass camper as a gift. I'm sure you will enjoy beginning your camping experience in class with glass.

73
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:59 AM   #16
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Name: Leah
Trailer: Scamp
New Mexico
Posts: 14
Muchas Gracias!

Hi Orlen,

I drive a Honda CRV with automatic transmission. The tow package I had added is the factory Honda package. (Hitch and wiring) I am headed to Rangely, Co. and intend to come back home via Utah to avoid the San Juans in Southern, Co. Thankfully I will get to enjoy them on my way North! I do have to drive over Douglas Pass but itís not too bad. Itís pretty hard to avoid mountains I am afraid. J The trailer is a 13í and I donít think it has brakes and no, as far as I know my transmission does not have a cooler installed unless it is standard on the CRV.

I am pretty comfortable driving in the mountains having grown up in Colorado and having traveled a great deal over the last 50+ years.

The people who are gifting me their trailer have been towing it since 1992 so I know they will be able to help me get it hooked up and on the road the first time.

Thank you so much for your advice, offer, and congratulations! Itís so comforting to know there are so many really nice people out there in the FiberglassRV world!!

Leah
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:15 AM   #17
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Name: Leah
Trailer: Scamp
New Mexico
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by carlkeigley View Post
Oh gosh, If this is what it's really like to back up a trailer, I could be in real trouble! I hope there are a lot of pull-through camp sites out there!
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:16 AM   #18
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Name: george
Trailer: FunFinder
Missouri
Posts: 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlen Wolf View Post
Hi Leah

Just a couple of questions:

What is your tow vehicle and what was included in the the tow package you had installed?

.....snip....

73
Yeah, you guys were slackin' !!!! It took 15 posts before someone asked this question !

Now that the OP has responded with the make and model.....here we go !!!! .....zinnnng ! .....got a live one on this line.... !

...popcorn time.....
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:02 PM   #19
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 2013 Lil Snoozy #161 (SOLD)/2010 Tacoma
NE Oklahoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeahTookey View Post
Oh gosh, If this is what it's really like to back up a trailer, I could be in real trouble! I hope there are a lot of pull-through camp sites out there!
Actually, real life is a bit easier than the game..........LOL

But the game does give a sense of how the trailer reacts
to how you turn your steering wheel. That's why they say
"turn a little at a time."
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:39 PM   #20
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Name: Kinga DeRode
Trailer: For Sale Or Rent
Rooms to Let 50 Cents
Posts: 5,112
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post
...............popcorn time.....
I'll sit this one out. Any bets on how long before that poor imaginary little kid in Colorado surfaces?
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