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1984 Skamper 072S


85_Ranger4x4

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Sir, I don't think this thing was made to ever be taken apart...
Pretty much.

The only thing that is really bad though is the trim channels on the bottom of the roof sides. I don't see how they even got those on in the first place.

I have found no real directions on how to do this anywhere aside from how to disconnect the lift mechanism so as a guy bumbles along and figures it out on his own... sometimes you gotta break stuff to fix stuff.

Not that long after mine they went to plastic corner caps, I wonder if they mount differently so for the masses it was a non issue.
 


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Shran

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Sir, I don't think this thing was made to ever be taken apart...
You are not wrong!

I read somewhere else recently that camper/RV manufacturers design their products to last, on average, around 50 uses. I don't know how that translates into years if you use it infrequently but they are really disposable products in the end.

Seen a few camper trailer wrecks on the interstate lately - bummer for the owners to lose their rig but the cleanup is entertaining. They break it apart with a skid steer and put it in a dump truck.
 

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You are not wrong!

I read somewhere else recently that camper/RV manufacturers design their products to last, on average, around 50 uses. I don't know how that translates into years if you use it infrequently but they are really disposable products in the end.

Seen a few camper trailer wrecks on the interstate lately - bummer for the owners to lose their rig but the cleanup is entertaining. They break it apart with a skid steer and put it in a dump truck.
If I was to get a different one of these I would try to get an aluminum frame one like a FWC. This rotten wood stuff is for the birds.

On the other hand it did make it uncomfortably close to 40 years though...

I was stuck at home with a sick kid a few weeks ago and I got hooked into watching Airstreams on youtube. According to the camper salesman on youtube (so you know it is likely VERY accurate) the average camper is designed to last something like 9 years. An Airstream is designed to last 30.

Of course you could buy three normal campers for one Airstream so it is kind of a toss up there...

I would still like a Flying Cloud though. Neat thing about them (to me) is that good or bad they never really look dated. They just look like an Airstream.
 

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I bought a pop up camper years ago for $50 bucks that needed new canvas and a bunch of wood work. I was gonna restore it like you are doing to this skamper. I got about 1/1000th as far as you have here before I gave up and pushed the thing to the ditch on the side of the road and put a "FREE" sign on it...

You have commitment I'll give you that.
 

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RVs in general are a huge scam that is only slightly better than owning a boat. Part of the reason I’ve stuck with tents.
 

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RVs in general are a huge scam that is only slightly better than owning a boat. Part of the reason I’ve stuck with tents.
As a boat owner yes they are money pits UNLESS you own a good one. My friend owns a boat that is quasi similar to mine in style and size but it's made from balsa wood and foam wrapped in fiberglass. It rots and degrades from the inside out leaving a crumbling fiberglass shell that is a nightmare to fix. My Grady is solid reinforced fiberglass with a double hull with bulkheads everywhere. It weighs 3 times as much but there are no parts that can rot. The most I would ever need to do to the hull on mine is patch a hole if I rammed something, and repaint once a year.

I would think expensive campers would be similar, I.e name brands are built better. My buddy just spent 25 grand on a used trailer. The floor is falling apart and you feel like you are gonna fall through it but it looks amazing. You'd think at those prices they would be using better building materials...
 

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I would think expensive campers would be similar, I.e name brands are built better.
You would think so but there are only a handful of companies that make RVs/campers... they just sell under a hundred different brands/models. Keystone and Forest River being the big ones, both are total junk.
 

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You would think so but there are only a handful of companies that make RVs/campers... they just sell under a hundred different brands/models. Keystone and Forest River being the big ones, both are total junk.
My sister has a forest river toy hauler/camper. Can't comment at all on the quality of the actual construction materials but it's well made as far as good use of space. No inch is wasted and everything is modular so you can move this or that and set it up a bunch of ways. Everything is also adaptable to run on several different power sources. Propane only, 12v, 120v, 220v. In 20 years it'll show how good it was actually built...

That use of space is a big thing with boats. Cheap boats have huge open areas but no storage hatches to them. Good boat builders use those spaces for livewells, rod storage, fuel storage, all sorts of crap. Based on that alone I figured Forest river made decent campers.
 

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And everybody wants a camper but where do you put it?

We had one when were kids, trees were always screwing up the roof when it was stored. Eventually one broke off the vent cap and nobody caught it and that killed it for good. You about need a building to store the things in so they can just slowly dry rot as opposed to getting green, fuzzy and soggy in just a month.

Everybody thinks they are sealed for life too which they aren't. (well I guess they kinda are because when they start taking in water they don't live long)

They are kind of like weed eaters (and I suspect boats are similar) Nobody really cares about taking care of them, they are expected to just sit there and "store" until they are needed and then they are expected to work perfectly. The house gets what it needs, the daily driver gets what it needs, the motorcycle gets pampered... boring stuff gets to sit until it is needed.

I just secured poles yesterday to put a lean to on the side of my garage so I have somewhere I can put the camper and truck inside at the same time as it is too tall to fit in any building on my place in the back of my Ranger. I have to let the air out of the tires of my pickup box trailer (stock suspension '86 4wd with low profile 15's) and get people to stand on the back bumper for it to BARELY squeak into the barn. When I get the camper done and probably after the roundup I need to delete the 4wd lift blocks on it, that will help with getting it in the barn.

I am new to camper ownership but I think keeping them out of weather when not in use will make a big difference in their lifespan.

Never been in one but Forest River and Patriot are probably the two big names in our local state park. I haven't seen a Skamper there... yet. There is so much smoke and mirrors I don't know how you can really know if one is a good one.
 

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Getting way off topic here but I have been in two Forest River campers - my fiance's parents and a friend's, both just a few years old. There are just so many little finishing touches the screwed up like trim staples showing everywhere, holes drilled in walls and not covered up, doors that are crooked in the frame, screws on a bed that were obviously cross threaded and stripped out... the friend said his was so bad that it spent almost the entire 3 year warranty period being fixed repeatedly until it expired and the dealer said he's on his own now. They look like they were built by prison labor.

Keeping them stored correctly is definitely key. I got lucky on mine but I had several pickup campers before it that I took to the dump or gave away because they just fell apart.
 

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85_Ranger4x4

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I glued and clamped the side board on last Friday night:



I got al the clamps off last night and removed the old sealant with a razor blade... fun job for 10.5 feet of roof. Still need to clean it before I can reseal it.



I also cleaned it out of the aluminum trim with a zip disk at work, the stuff smells like when the dentist is shaping a filling when it gets hot. :fie:
 


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