Like a phoenix born from the ashes of Alexander SuperScamp, meet Cara van Scamp! She’s smooth and shiny just like Alex probably was when he was made 22 years ago. Cara has all of the things we loved about Alex, with a couple incidental updates and a few items we found ourselves wishing we had. (You can read about Alexander SuperScamp here.)
She’s built on a beefier trailer that has more clearance, with a 2” hitch receiver for a tray or bike rack on the back. She has zerk fittings on her wheel hubs, making bearing maintenance easier. We opted to add a second mounted propane tank so we could stop lugging a loose one around with us. Crank-out side windows, a larger kitchen window, and clear glass on the door window are standard now, and we’re psyched about those. The old sliding side windows made it impossible to vent well in the rain, and we never knew who was out there knocking on our door until we opened it. And the big deal: we added the awning! The awning is like a dream come true. It’s the one thing we kept coming back to researching over and over again when we had Alex but couldn’t come up with an affordable, functional aftermarket option.
Inside, Cara’s at least a few inches taller than Alex. Charlie’s hair brushed the ceiling in the old guy, but now he has room for a pompadour. (If this happens, there will be photos). The old bi-fold screen door, which took up quite a bit of the entryway, has been replaced with a sleek accordian slider. Cara has a furnace like Alex did, but her thermostat is a fancier programmable version. The kitchen is generally unchanged, with current iterations of the same cooktop and refrigerator, but the silverware drawer is bigger. That might sound like no big deal, but every inch counts! And I’m delighted to say that the brown pinstriping I pulled off of Alex is no longer a thing. The last and most exciting upgrade to the interior is the Maxx Air 10-speed fan. It has a remote control! We haven’t had one of those in years! Alex’s ventilation system consisted of a large screened roof opening with a manually operated crank-up plastic cover that did not keep rain out. Sliding windows, giant hole in the roof…our former inclement weather ventilation system was poor at best. The rain cover on the fan and the crank-out windows are game changers, for sure!
On the subject of humidity, we chose to spend a few bucks and install AirFlow under our memory foam mattress. It’s still in really good shape after rescuing it from the wreckage, but I was always freaking out about moisture and propping the mattress up to allow the space to dry. I think the AirFlow will help a ton. It creates about a 3/4” air space, and it’s really stiff so it won’t get compressed. We’ll see.
Scamp still doesn’t offer any options for the interior of the tall closet between the
door and the bed. It just a big open space with a hanging rod at the top. We still have no intention nor need to hang articles of clothing on anything other than a hook, which we’ve installed several of around the camper. Ergo, my previous experience building shelves for the same empty void in Alex came back into play. I used the same PVC framing and plywood shelving concept that I found on all the fiberglass rv forums way back in the beginning. I looked for new ideas but didn’t see anything more appealing, and the old shelves worked really well for us to store food and supplements, and house our Goal Zero Yeti 400. This cabinet also got a mirror and cabinet lock added to its door. The lock is because we don’t trust the roller latches to stay closed during travel.
Cara’s cabinets doors are a wood finish laminate, with bronze finished hinges and knobs. I thought I would hate them, but new and good shape, they look pretty nice. We’ll stick with them until they get beat up, then consider a change to white doors. We put our old curtains back up because I like them better than the thin ivory factory curtains, but the vinyl covers I made for Alex’s bench cushions need new zippers and Charlie likes the slate blue upholstery, anyway. We stored the vinyl covers for repair at a later date. Like the cabinet doors, we’ll keep the bench cushion covers until they’re too worn. One of the best updates Scamp has made is to the vinyl flooring option. It’s a grey/blue/taupe tiled marble-esque pattern that’s quite likeable. I’m planning to knit a wool rug for barefoot comfort.
That’s it! The most important thing is that Frankie’s back in her cave under the bed. And Lola’s already back to chasing cows off. Cara van Scamp is fitting in with our family perfectly. All is well in our world.