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Discussion Starter #1
So I want to order a new 13 ft. Scamp from the factory in MN to tow with my '05 AWD manual E. The main question I have is whether or not to order the electric breaks? I'd love some feedback from Scamp & Element owners on the breaks and any issues you may have had towing a Scamp with an Element! From the other threads I've read, it seems like they're a good fit. Thanks!
 

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I opted to go with a 'pre factory fire' model for a couple of reasons. 1) there are a lot of really nice older units out there for a lot less money than new, they've been building these things for decades now 2) the 'post fire' models are larger and 250 lbs heavier (before adding any accessories).

My 1976 model (and those pre-dating the factory fire a number of years ago... after which they made a new, larger fiberglass mold) weighs only 950 lbs dry. That leaves a fair amount of room for the things often not counted in the weight... like spare tires/propane tanks/fridges/AC units/etc. I managed to roll over the cat scales right at 1,500 lbs, fully loaded for travel. I think there are some folks out there running considerably more than that, I guess they're doing just fine.

As for the electric brakes... on my lighter model which has no electric brakes... I've had no issues at all with stopping, and that includes the steep I-70 grades west of Denver (you WILL ascend at a snail pace with blinkers however, unless you really want to max the engine out)/switchback gravel roads of the Rockies... and I've made some abrupt stops on occasions. I just make sure my brakes are properly maintained/checked before going on long trips.
 

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I usually go with the 'thirds' rule...
if the towed vehicle weighs as much as 1/3rd the gross weight of the tow vehicle, then the towed vehicle requires brakes.

The E is about 3600 lbs, so I can safely tow a vehicle weighing about 1200lbs without needing trailer brakes.

This only applies to brakes, not engine, vehicle, whatever...

The purpose of this is so the towed vehicle isn't pushing the tow vehicle when you try to stop. You have alot of dead weight behind you, that will try to continue to move when you apply your brakes. The E's brakes are not designed to try to stop this amount of weight. They may be able to do it, but they are not designed for it.

Why take the chance? Trailer brakes are an inexpensive reassurance policy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback! I would love to buy a used Scamp, but I can't seem to find one for sale east of the Mississippi. I'm getting tired of looking so I figured I'd just go to the source and order a new one. Let me know if you see one. I probably won't order mine until the end of the summer because I wouldn't be able to drive to MN until the fall.
 

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if they offer electric brakes i'd probably opt to get them. electric brakes on the trailer are great... when they work. my experience with them is they seem to fail sooner than later and can be expensive to replace.
 

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We found a 71 Trillium up here in Hamilton last year. We were able to facilitate the sale for another EOC NE member. We'll keep our eyes open and see if anymore come available...
 

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I usually go with the 'thirds' rule...
if the towed vehicle weighs as much as 1/3rd the gross weight of the tow vehicle, then the towed vehicle requires brakes.

The E is about 3600 lbs, so I can safely tow a vehicle weighing about 1200lbs without needing trailer brakes.

This only applies to brakes, not engine, vehicle, whatever...

The purpose of this is so the towed vehicle isn't pushing the tow vehicle when you try to stop. You have alot of dead weight behind you, that will try to continue to move when you apply your brakes. The E's brakes are not designed to try to stop this amount of weight. They may be able to do it, but they are not designed for it.

Why take the chance? Trailer brakes are an inexpensive reassurance policy.
I agree with this as in the wrong situation you can get in a lot of trouble without them and the controller is not hard to install.
 

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13'scamp

I was just on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and saw a 13' Scamp in storage at the park. I put my name in to ask about it and I heard it doesn't get used much, not at all in the last three years. If anyones interested, PM :let me know:) On another note, found a '63 Shasta in the woods for me. Looks good for a resto. MoonDrop P.S: Oysters were great:grin:
 

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Definitely get the brakes. The E might be able to stop it on it's own but the cost of extra wear and tear and possible safety issues outweighs the cost of the brakes significantly.

We have a 12 ft Sidekick that is close to size and weight of a 13 ft Scamp and I can definitely tell the difference when I turn off the brake controller. The 2000 lb trailer can really push even on slight grades and if you tow in the snow you really really need trailer brakes unless you like jack knifing.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I ordered a new Scamp (with breaks)!! It should be delivered to my door in late July! I can't wait! :grin:
 

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I ordered a new Scamp (with breaks)!! It should be delivered to my door in late July! I can't wait! :grin:
How exciting! Have you made camp reservations?

What can you tell us about the unit?

And I see you're in Charlottesville -- so close to so many great state parks (and Shenandoah NP).

My highest recommendation is for Douthat State Park -- lakeside "A" campground. We'll be there before you get your Scamp.

Best to book early if you want to stay over on a weekend.



:)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Funny! We were thinking about Douthat for our first Scamping trip! We often go to Loft Mt (Shenandoah NP) because it's nice and so convenient to C-ville. I got a call from Scamp yesterday and they're starting to build the frame! We ordered the 13ft model without bathroom. It sleeps 4, has sink, stove, fridge, 3 speed fan in the roof, breaks etc and only 1200lbs! The rear dinette folds down into the larger bed and it has almost the same dimensions as the back of the Element! The front sofa flips into 2 bunks. I need to get a break controller installed on the E and a 7 pin plug (I only have the 4 pin now). We're going to take it to the Outer Banks, NC for a week in October. That's all we have planned so far! I can't wait to go Scamping!
 

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Has anyone pulled a trailer a lot with the E? I'm wondering how the transmission holds up over the long run. Do you pull with the overdrive on? I pull a 14' boat that weighs around 1,000 pounds occasionally and usually just leave the overdrive on even though we a in a hilly area.
 

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you'll have no problem with that....
I've occasionally forgotten to take the OD off...
Personally, I think it's better for the transmission to have it shifting up and down, instead of staying in a higher gear for a longer time...
the only downfall is that you go thru more fuel, faster....
 

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Tim,.... and others...... how about a transmission cooler? necessary? Advisable? Is this a generic item, or is it advisable to go through Honda? I'm about to buy a popup. Leaning toward a late model Coleman/Fleetwood Sedona. It has brakes, but it runs close to 1500 lbs empty, so I'm thinking transmission cooler just on general principles. Thoughts??

And (as long as I'm asking) is a DIY wiring harness (incl brake controller) a big deal? I enjoy doing a lot of stuff, but I'm also a believer in going to a professional for things I don't know very, very well. More thoughts???

As always, thanks!!
 
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