November 2, 2014: We’ve got a Scamp!

We drove to the Midlothian area of Virginia on a Sunday morning and got our first glimpse of the 16 ft. Scamp that had been advertised on Craigslist.  Even though I knew we’d look it over thoroughly before writing a check, also I knew we’d be leaving with it. 🙂

Scamp-110214-00-2ndPic Scamp-110214-00-FirstPic

It looked safe to pull, but there would be challenges….  The vent wasn’t securely attached, so we’d have to pull it with a hole in the roof.  There was no wiring harness, and all of the wires TO the lights and brakes had been cut.  (WHY?!)  While there seemed to be some power coming to the lights, we couldn’t get them to work consistently.  We made a quick trip to a local Wal-Mart to buy temporary towing lights, various connectors and duct tape.  Plenty of duct tape….  We used some of the tape to attach the temporary towing lights to the spare tire holder on the back of the trailer, since there was no spare tire mounted.  But transaction completed and with title in hand, we started the slow trip home.

Scamp-110214-07-TempLight

We stopped the first time while we were still in the seller’s neighborhood–and discovered that the wiring harness had come undone.  Well, darn–we wrapped up the connection with duct tape and set out again.  When we stopped a second time (maybe after about 10 miles), we discovered that we’d lost one of the marker lights!

Scamp-110214-05-RunningLight

When we stopped a third time (after about another 10 miles), we were surprised to see that the license plate had fallen off!

Scamp-110214-06-MissingPlate

And EVERY time we stopped, we found that the wiring harness had become disconnected!  But WOW–we finally had a trailer!

Scamp-110214-00

Even if it WAS held together with bright orange duct tape!

Scamp-110214-04

Finding our Trailer

We love Virginia’s State Parks!  Each one that we’ve visited is like a little gem, and we hope to eventually visit all 36 of them!  Some parks, however, are simply too far away for a day trip, so a couple of years ago we decided to start looking for a small travel trailer.

We rationalized that if we had some sort of camper, we’d be able to do a longer drive on a Saturday, stay at the park over night, and drive home on a Sunday afternoon. With my Honda CR-V as a tow vehicle, however, we knew our options were really limited, but a 13 ft. Scamp trailer–constructed of fiberglass and designed to be very lightweight–would be the ideal choice.

Can you say, “Needle in a haystack”?  After checking Craigslist and other RV listings several times a day for many, many months, we still hadn’t found a 13 ft. Scamp within a day’s drive or within our budget.   As the 2014 camping season slipped away, we bought a 2000 Toyota 4Runner.  Even though we still hoped to find a Scamp–especially after learning so much about them during our months of research!–the 4Runner’s greater towing capacity would give us more options.

2000-Toyota-4Runner-100414-Really

Shortly after buying our new “tug” or “TV” (tow vehicle), we looked at a couple of  small “vintage” trailers.   Despite being advertised as clean and ready to go, one had significant water damage, and another one was simply too small…

One day in late October 2014, I saw a 1995 16 ft. Scamp listed on Craigslist–and it was only about an hour and a half away!  I immediately contacted the owner, but–what? It was essentially an empty Scamp shell? Seriously?!

At first we hesitated; how could we fix up an empty trailer?  With winter coming on, no garage to work in, no specific RV renovation skills, and our crazy schedules, it just didn’t seem do-able.  But after talking about it, we started wondering….  What if?  What if we COULD totally customize a trailer and still stick to our original budget for a trailer?

Once our decision was made, I called the seller back, only to learn that another buyer had gotten there, first.  We were disappointed, of course, but not too surprised; these rare older Scamp trailers tend to sell very, very quickly….

But then to our TOTAL surprise, the first deal fell through, the trailer was available again, and we were next in line to purchase it.  And so on Sunday, November 2, 2014–the day after my birthday–we headed out to finally buy our trailer!  Happy, happy birthday to me!