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Old 05-29-2021, 03:18 PM   #1
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Name: Linda
Trailer: Currently Shopping
VA
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Shopping for Scamp and Ready to Travel

I am new to RV and recently retired. Looking to buy a 13' Scamp trailer and wondering if anyone has one to show so I can see before ordering. I live in the Winchester VA area. - Linda
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Old 05-29-2021, 06:17 PM   #2
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Name: Jane
Trailer: Bigfoot 25B21RB
California
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Linda,
So happy to see another woman solo trailer person.

The best thing you can do is contact Scamp & ask to send you contact info on owners in your area who have volunteered to show their trailers.

One web source you should definately check out: fiberglass-rv-4sale.com

You'll get a great idea of prices and may even find your dream trailer. This site is legitimate. It's owner is on this forum and has an Escape. I believe he once had a 13' Scamp or Casita. If you PM him, I'm sure he will be glad to help you out.

The other thing you should do, assuming you are fully vaccinated, is look into upcoming Rallies in your area. That's how you will see a variety of Fiberglass trailers and converse with owners on the pros and cons of each type.

Regarding your potential trailer. I assume you intend to solo and, as a newby, are concerned about towing. I strongly suggest you be open to a larger, 16-19' trailer with a galley and bath with a shower. A dedicated sleeping area and dinnette are desirable. I suggest this because a decent floor plan with accomodations is so much more enjoyable once you get to your camping spot, and the towing experience is really not that different for a 19' trailer over a 13'. Whatever you get - you need an appropriately sized TV and a good Weight Distribution System.

This is the time of year when trailers are put up for sale. Because of the pandemic, this is a sellers market on steriods: it's hard to find a trailer, and the prices are really inflated. It's important for any buyer to know exactly what they want, how to evaluate a potential trailer, and then be willing to act quickly when something matching their needs comes on the market.

I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 05-29-2021, 06:28 PM   #3
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Name: Linda
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Thank you Jane. It is nice to hear from another solo woman.
I just moved to Winchester VA and have a very small garage (renovating a 1946 Cape Cod), and it looks as though the 13' will not fit. I am also now going to look at an Aliner. Because we have winter and for generally living in city limits I would rather use the garage to store the trailer.
I am limited by the towing capacity of my Subaru Crosstrek and I would like to be as minimalistic as possible. I hope to be on the road quite a bit - and yes I am fully vaccinated.
I looked at my neighbor's 16' which is a very nice size.
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Old 05-30-2021, 07:59 AM   #4
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp 1995 19'
North Carolina
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Welcome

Sorry, not another female solo... .

I have lived in a 16' and a 19' scamp as a camp host in the Raleigh area. Just me.. But I can't imagine living in a 13'. I second thinking about a 16 foot. It is bumper mount and an easy pull. I love my 19 foot but it is much harder to hook up and needs a more powerful tow vehicle which has to be a truck. But what a palace.

Scamp sells 60% 13' trailers but I'm thinking that most are used for weekends.

In any event I'm sure you will enjoy your camper.
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Old 05-30-2021, 08:46 AM   #5
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Name: Linda
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Well, initially I was looking at teardrops and those would be much too small for extended trips. The 13 foot Scamp is most appealing to me but I have to consider if I would be willing to keep a trailer outside in the driveway long-term because my garage door opening is going to be too small to bring it in. For me the limiting factors are poundage under 1500 and having a toilet and shower. But the investigation stuff is fun!
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Old 05-30-2021, 08:58 AM   #6
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Hate to bear bed news, but Scamps with the wet bath option (and even many without it) exceed 1500#. Packing lightly, it will be more like 1800# loaded.

And there's this: the full tow rating assumes the vehicle is empty except for the driver. For extended trips you will almost certainly want to carry stuff in the vehicle, which reduces your trailer towing capacity.

I'm afraid you need to upgrade your tow vehicle or lower your trailer expectations.
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Old 05-30-2021, 09:08 AM   #7
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Name: Linda
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That is what I’m starting to think about now. And I guess it will keep me stalemated for a while.
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Old 05-30-2021, 02:56 PM   #8
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Trailer: Scamp 1995 19'
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yes your tow vehicle is a pretty big (or small?) limit!
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Old 05-30-2021, 03:31 PM   #9
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Name: bill
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I think you will find real weight on an Aliner to be about the same as a Scamp 13.

And in the world of "fitting into a garage", any of the models with a retractable roof like the Hunter Compact will work height wise. Weight wise, not so much. Vehicles purchased before tow rating was a consideration often are short of tow rating. Smaller vehicles tend to be built with one priority in mind: fuel economy.

Google real world weight of the Aliner model of your choosing. Dry weights are misleading for decision making due to the items that are not included in most dry weights (like a battery for example).

As far as full time living, a met a couple that have been full timing in a Trillium 1300 (similar size wise to a Scamp 13). No toilet, no AC, small bed. And it was two of them. They loved it. So its more about attitude than absolute size. Could I do it? No. Can others do it? Sure.
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Old 05-30-2021, 03:37 PM   #10
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Trailer: Scamp 1995 19'
North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
...

As far as full time living, a met a couple that have been full timing in a Trillium 1300 (similar size wise to a Scamp 13). No toilet, no AC, small bed. And it was two of them. They loved it. So its more about attitude than absolute size. Could I do it? No. Can others do it? Sure.
Search Youtube for Nikki Delventhal - living in a Toyota Prius for YEARS.

Terminally cute. And crazy.

Really though, it is becoming common for people to live in cars, vans, step vans, converted ambulances. I briefly considered living in a converted dodge caravan. I will almost certainly retire to my scamp 19' and hit the road.
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Old 05-30-2021, 04:47 PM   #11
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Name: Linda
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Maybe switch to way camper van

Maybe switch to way camper van ... I think this will take a lot more research but maybe the way to go will be to get a Class B RV.
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Old 05-30-2021, 05:51 PM   #12
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Trailer: 2011 Scamp 13'
California
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While I am not a solo camper, I am female and have owned and traveled extensively with my husband in a 13' basic Scamp since we purchased it new in 2011. We are now in our 70s and continue to enjoy our trips whether short or long in distance/time.

There is a LOT to learn when towing for the first times. Do not hesitate to ask forum members, including me, and people who live close to you. There are just some things best learned in person. You'll find lots of videos on the Scamp website as well as on YouTube that address camping with a trailer or RV. The good news is that the "mechanics" of hooking up, driving and maneuvering into your campsite are "old school" and relatively simple, except backing up. However, each step is IMPORTANT for safety's sake!

We, too, chose our trailer AFTER we bought our tow vehicle. At the time it was a Subaru Legacy sedan. While the car towed fine we do wish we had known these things ahead of purchase.
  • the hitch would not be installed by Subaru. We went to UHaul to have our hitch installed. They "forgot" to connect the "pigtail" plug to the trailer lights!
  • The control unit for the electrical plug was installed next to the steering wheel in the cab. I am 5'4" and my driver's seat needs to be close to the steering wheel. My knee touched this control, making for uncomfortable driving.
  • The hitch was too close to the asphalt resulting in scraping/screeching when going over bumps or steep inclines.

Knowing to look out for these issues, three years ago we purchased a new Mazda CX-5, a compact SUV. We did consider staying with Subaru with the Crosstrek (actually a raised up version of the Legacy), which I expected to LOVE, but I just did not like the driving experience. That said, you may love your Crosstrek and it may perform well for you in towing. I do believe that the road clearance issue will not exist as it is higher than the Legacy (check for this). I think Subaru only offers factory-installed bicycle hitches (without all the electrical components). While many say you do not need a separate braking system for a 13' Scamp, I would definitely recommend it. There's no getting around it, non-factory installed hitches are just plain ugly. At least the car manufacturers make an attempt to subdue the visual intrusion of their hitches. I had to learn to "get over it". I suggest you talk to your Subaru dealer/mechanic AND the people who will install the trailer hitch/braking system and grill them before you purchase the trailer.

For the benefit of others reading this posting, the Mazda is great to drive, manages towing way better than the Legacy, is comfortable for we older folks, and has more than adequate room for all the stuff one brings camping. We went to a positively reviewed private company to install the hitch system. When ordering the non-factory installed hitch we were given the choice of a hand-held (when not driving) electronic brake control which plugs into the "cigarette lighter" outlet in the car's dash. This has turned out to be a great option.

As others have said, the BASIC 13' Scamp is the way to go with your Crosstrek as a TV. We were so concerned, at the beginning, about the comfort of our Scamp. As it turns out we are very comfortable with the 13'. If we think of the Scamp as a hard-shelled tent then we can accept the basics of camping. (You'll notice that my "handle" is the "Gleeful Glamper", but that's because I like to decorate my Scamp). You can look up my postings on this forum." When I say "BASIC", we only added the drawer, a heater (very nice), an outdoor plug (we have never used) and the icebox (While lighter it would be nice to have a quiet fridge.)

Dining in a Scamp - When the weather is fair, which it is on most trips, we keep the bed set up as a bed all day/night. We have a simple breakfast while sitting on the "sofa" (use a small cafeteria tray on your lap or a small folding TV tray), a packed lunch in our daypack while on the trail and dinner at the campsite picnic table (use those cafe trays again to bring meals to/fro). We rarely set up the trailer table unless we are facing days of inclement weather.

Potty in a Scamp - The included Porta-Potty is adequate for night-time (number 1 only). Most campgrounds have at least an outhouse or toilet for (daytime use) and you can "sponge bath" easily. You ARE camping after all. You may ask me the finer points of the "toilette" by sending me a PM (private message).

Water Supply in a Scamp -We don't even fill up the on board water tank any more. We keep a 5-gallon insulated water jug with spigot on a small folding table outside the trailer and fill smaller, one liter, bottles to be used inside the trailer for cooking, washing dishes and ourselves.

Hooking Up a Scamp - This is the area that can be a little more difficult if you are not a strong person. You will have to get on the ground at times to look at what you are doing. If your Crosstrek has a backup camera you should be able to back up the car to the hitch without incident. It's always better to have someone spot and direct you from outside. Connecting the trailer hitch to the car receiver ball sometimes requires "muscling" to "jiggle" the two into a secure hitch mode. We put a wheel on the front post of the hitch so that the trailer could be moved a bit from side to side. It's still tricky and we have some difficulty installing/removing the wheel as the post that holds it does not go high enough above the asphalt. Don't believe anyone who says it's easy to push a Scamp into place. To be safe, you should always have your wheel chocks in place so the trailer does not end up moving on it's own! It's rare that your trailer will be on an absolutely level pad.

Maintaining a Scamp We have had our Scamp for 10 years and there has been little in the way of maintenance to do. Be sure to check the Scamp website for the care of a Scamp and follow every bit of advice for safety's sake. Most of the postings on this forum are from people who are either repairing or modifying their trailer. If you purchase new you won't have any big surprises in the repair realm.

Storing Your Scamp - Yes, it's always better to pamper your Scamp by storing it indoors or under a roof. We live in a part of California where the weather is mild. We live in a small house with a one car garage and one car driveway and two cars. The Scamp will not fit in the garage. Renting an RV storage space is expensive where we live. We chose to store our trailer one hour away in outdoor storage as it is reasonably priced and no indoor spaces could be found. Most importantly, the managers live on site and they provide excellent security. Yes, it's a bit of inconvenience to visit our trailer and to comply with the hours of operation but we've made it work. We must admit that we did not keep up with washing and waxing the trailer and the gelcoat did wear off to a point of no return, meaning if we tried to replace the gelcoat the permanent streaks would show. Going forward, we decided to wash the trailer in a self-serve carwash and spray with the wax they include. As a result the resale value will not be as high, but we don't anticipate parting with our dear 13' Scamp anytime soon.

Well, it's time for me to wrap up my comments. I, for one, encourage you to look into the pros and cons of owning a camper trailer. PM me with any questions.
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Old 05-30-2021, 06:10 PM   #13
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Trailer: 2011 Scamp 13'
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If you have the bucks, or just for fun, you might want to look at the Happier Camper trailer. These are made for off-the-grid camping, come with many modern features and have modular interiors when emptied can be a storage trailer! www.happiercamper.com
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Old 05-30-2021, 06:19 PM   #14
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Name: Linda
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Thank you Gilda for your well reasoned out message.
And I did see the Happier Camper advertisement and I am going to look for a time to go to Atlanta to see it.
I am trying to look at all the different aspects of this because I know that one thing that will make using a trailer difficult will be my general strength and I know from towing other things over my lifetime (boats, yard trailers and U-Hauls) that towing has it’s challenges.
If money was no object I should probably be looking at a Class B RV, but they are so very expensive.
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Old 05-30-2021, 07:50 PM   #15
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You are most welcome! My friend just sold her camping van after getting a few years of fun out of it. Sales of used RVs are crazy now and she got a great return on her "investment". Yes, it was crazy expensive! Just so you know, I watched a video on pros and cons of the Happier Camper and two years ago the wait could have been 2 years! Who knows what the wait is now? for the HC or the Scamp?
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Old 05-30-2021, 11:52 PM   #16
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You might want to consider the Meerkat camping trailer. www.meerkattrailers.net
video:
"The MeerKat is for the those who would rather be camping and exploring than preparing an RV and a big tow vehicle for a trip. It may be small, but it’s got it all! It weighs only 920lbs, so it can be towed with almost any 4-cylinder vehicle. We feature stand up headroom; the ability to be stored in a garage; easy set up; port potty; hanging closets; tons of storage; a dinette and a roller system bed that sleeps 2 comfortably. The MeerKat is easily maneuvered by hand. Just unhook it from your car and push it into place. It will fit in a standard garage, so there is no need for expensive monthly storage bills. The interior offer a very comfortable living arrangement, with an attractive wrap around seating area and a small table that converts into a bed. The trailer is fully insulated, and the screen windows on the back and sides open for ventilation as do the vents in the top."
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Old 05-31-2021, 07:13 AM   #17
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I didn’t mention the Meerkat because of the wet bath requirement, but if you let go of that in favor of a porta-potty and sponge baths, supplemented by campground facilities when available, I agree it’s a good choice for a 1500# tow rating. Pricey (like everything these days!). It’s a clone of the vintage Eriba Puck, which you can also find from time to time in the used market for less than a new Meerkat.

You mentioned liking a 16’ Scamp you had seen. For me that would be about the smallest I would consider for extended travel that includes boondocking without facilities. It requires a tow vehicle upgrade to the 3500# class or higher. Given that tow vehicles are easier to come by than trailers, I might continue searching for a 16’ Scamp and leave room in your budget for the tow vehicle upgrade. Lots of options, new and used, in the 3500# class.

One more thought, since you seem to like your Crosstrek (it’s a raised Impreza, BTW). Its big brother the Outback is now tow rated 2700/270 with the base engine and 3500/350 with the turbo upgrade. The former pairs nicely with a 13’ wet bath Scamp and the latter with a 16’ wet bath Scamp. .The upgraded tow ratings came with the 2020 redesign (which now rides on a shortened version of the Ascent chassis).
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Old 05-31-2021, 09:56 AM   #18
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Thanks to Jon for correcting me on the Crosstrek being a raised Impreza.

As long as you might be considering a different TV and you mentioned you might look at a van, you might like to see the van conversions that people have done. Yes, there are many if you search "budget DIY camper van conversion". Many only require simple construction skills and a LOT of time. Harder to find is the estimated cost of the conversions. This might be a route if you are handy and have friends with skills and an interest in assisting you for pizza! Ha, ha!

There are also pre-fab DIY conversion kits! Look here! https://www.curbed.com/article/campe...-for-sale.html
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Old 05-31-2021, 05:55 PM   #19
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Name: Linda
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Yes, the reason I bought the Crosstrek is I knew it was a raised Impreza and I was looking for the smallest Subaru that I could buy that was easy to get in and out of. I’m pretty much a lifelong Subaru person. And I live in town so having a small car is great.
I am starting to think more and more about getting a van and building it out with some help. It’s not like I’m in a rush and it would certainly be a heck of a lot less expensive. I’m going to start to research that idea now, as well as what would be a good van to use.
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