YES.. more places to store things.
And let’s not forget a place for the light too. I just can’t let those window frames go without using them to attach shelves too. They are perfect for this..
Yup I fix up these things too
And let’s not forget a place for the light too. I just can’t let those window frames go without using them to attach shelves too. They are perfect for this..
Starting with the lower part being full length to the front seat. Four drawers and two larger doors.
The same way I build all the fronts, with biscuit joints and glue. Then I see how it looks in place.
Hmm. Not bad ..just need to shave a little off the bottom next to the seat. This photo gives many clues to how I’m configuring the drawers and doors. Starting from the left: The door is partly blocked by the wheel well. Above that is a false drawer front because the sink is there. The next door is for the 6 gal water jug with a drawer above to hide the induction top when not being used. Lots of free counter space. Then under the fridge we have a bank of three drawers , with the largest at the bottom. I now realize that the front seat should be in place in order to accurately fit the kitchen. So I need to work on that.
Sure enough I had to trim a bit of the front to fit the space. No worries now is the time to do that. I got busy rebuilding that front seat. New fronts !
And here you see things fitting nicely. Time to paint all these things and Get them installed. Then I need to work on the guts of the kitchen. Drawer slides and a shelve under the sink. Much easier without the counter in the way. Here’s a video update of where I’m at :
Today I got busy on those “guts” of the cabinet. Figuring out how to make strong drawer slides. Nailed It !
Now I need a shelve and help to keep the water jug in place. And this is what I did.. Plus the shelve.
This is a great alternative to a water tank. It holds 6 gals and you can take it to the tap, fill it up and it fits nicely here. Anyway I got to work on the counter top. (just the plywood for now) This allows me to build the cabinet for the fridge.
Perfect fit .. You can see my different way of constructing this. The fridge will sit on the counter. And the counter goes through to the front of the trailer. No bunk in this trailer. Above it is my electrical cabinet.
Different look at it.. Those holes are for the 110 plugs.
I’ve been doing some electrical work… And a test fit for the Truckfridge. My power and fuse panel on the left , and solar charger and 110 charger on the right. The cover that will go on will have holes cut to see the led screens on the chargers , and a switch to chose which one to use. Also a switch for the heater and a dimmer control for the main LED lights.
These are the plugs and things on the front side of the fridge. (right side if your looking at it ) I have my extra counter here and lots of charging options. One of two Inverter plugs, and the same for the 110 plugs with USB ports. If you are camping without power then you can turn on this USB station with a battery condition read out.
Today I got the counter top edging on. This same edging will be on the shelves over the windows. And now I have the laminate glued and trimmed. And it’s looking like I wanted it too.
Now it’s time for the overhead cabinets. The next one is the kitchen overhead cabinet. It’s the last grey cabinet, with doors. All the shelves over the windows will be white on the underside with a wood trim. With this done I could call the kitchen cabinets finished..
But there’s lots to do.. I can now do the backsplash. However there is drawers to build, doors to make and the sink to install. All in good time. And those can be new posts too.
Backsplash is done ! And looks great.
And I got the sink installed too.
The position for the sink was important.
I’m going to call the kitchen done for now and start the new post for the overhead shelves…
I’m giving myself till the end of April to be finished the trailer. So I’m tidying up the shop and making room to work on the cabinets, which have been piled on the work table since removing them.
We are starting with the closet cabinet by the door. These side pieces fit the wall nicely. So I want to use them.. However the builders tag is on the inside, so that one will be a template for a new wall. The one laying down just needs more framing added. For sure I’m making a new front for the closet. And that will be the method I know from the 76 Surfside.
The piece in the middle is for the bottom. It includes a flange for screwing to the floor. Here’s what it looks like in place.
You have to lift the roof just a tad to put it in place, so that’s good support. The side walls have more structure in them than the factory side walls. When attached to the front they will make everything strong. Paneled on the inside too. I want it to look nice when you open the closet door.
Here’s the side wall that goes next to the seat. This will be primed and painted, so the nails are filled. The inside walls will be natural wood. On the wall next to the door I added even more structure wood.
There is good reason for this. I need the thickness to staple the gimp trim to, and the shelves need attach points. The wires will be run inside this wall too.
Hiding.. You won’t see very many wires in my build. I can put the inside panel on now. And with that all done I finished the closet..
Turned out good ! Seams a shame to paint this.. but most of the cabinets that will not be changed are painted. Those are the seats front and the two for a table. They are in good condition so I will only tweak them a little. Time for a test fit before I paint this one and the rear seat.
Very nice fit…just a few adjustments. I also marked on the seat where to trim a bit. Wave the magic wand and……
Primed , painted and the rubber gimp trim added. A thin carpeting will be glued to the top side of the seats. What’s gimp ? Sometimes called “welt” It was used years ago in RV’s. I’m bringing it back ! A great way to hide poorly fitting stuff and the best thing is it provides a seal between the cabinets and the floor. The left side seat was an easy fix. Mostly just paint needed and a trim where it sits on the floor.
I’m now working on the kitchen cabinet.. and that’s a big one with a complete re-design. Time to start a new post for that work..
Because dismantling and cleaning each window is quite the process. And then a new frame for the inside needs to be made and painted. I started with the front window.. One day I took it apart and cleaned all the silicone off and installed new gaskets. This window and the rear missing parts to be able to open them. Those parts are very hard to get , so for now I will fix those shut. I’m all set up with the table saw and the wood. So lets make window frames !
First the front window because the top and bottom wood is 3 ” wide. All the other frame pieces will be 2″ wide. I bought 1 x 6 spruce and ripping them to this size. There’s only an inch of waste that will come in handy later for the cabinets. These frames are biscuit joined with glue and clamped. Run the sander over and prime the frame.
When the primer is dry I install the frame in the trailer. I use #6 flat head wood screws countersunk so they are flush to clamp the frames in place.
Very discrete. The screws will be hidden behind the window mounting flange. Ad to that the window mounting screws will make the sandwiching stronger.
This proved the best way to do this on the 1976 Surfside ..so don’t mess with something that works. I’ll clean those dirty finger prints before I paint the frames with the same paint as the walls. This is the front window, and it’s just sitting in place. So far it’s the only one I have spent the hours taking apart and cleaning.
And this is the mess on the rest of the windows that I have to clean off the frame. Lots and lots of silicone ! I got the last inside window frame made and installed. Also today I gave them a coat of paint.
And then came the tedious task of taking the rest of the windows apart and cleaning every piece. But it needs to be done. Got a bit burnt out so I took a break for a few weeks half way through. It’s now the beginning of March and I’m installing the windows in the trailer.. They are shiny clean with new gaskets, and only the two side windows open.
My black insert trim has arrived so that finishes off the windows nicely.
So 99% of the exterior is done. Even the porch light ! There’s still the front window cover and the drip guard over the door. And with that news it’s time to work on the interior cabinets… New Page.
And you have always wanted one. But alas it needs help ! It’s a project… and you are not sure.. Are you up to it? Do not be afraid, help is all around you. Join the fiberglass trailer forum.. https://www.fiberglassrv.com
Watch my you tube videos. google the trailer .. lots of help out there. But this post is about what I have learned after restoring four of these trailers. Just my opinion, use it or not it’s up to you. So let’s get started..
Here in Canada folks are asking as much as 15 thousand for a fixed up trailer. And you know that everyone has their own idea of what that means. Or how far they went. Remember the old lipstick on a pig. So never mind the nice curtains or the colorful toss pillows. A realistic price in my opinion is more like 12 thousands range for a nice one. Now you bought or looking at a “project” trailer so hopefully you will pay less. I try to have a budget of 8 to 9 thousand , which would include buying the trailer and buying the parts and supplies to fix it up. Things like axles and new cushions are pricey. Stuff ads up quick. If you plan to keep the trailer and use it and love it than spend what you can afford. Oh and those trailers for sale for 15 thousand .. are not selling. Now do s or don’t s …
Chances are the trailer you have ( or planning on getting) is old. Old as dirt. most of the ones I see are over 40 years old and some are close to 50. So unless the frame is newish, you need to start here. I’ve seen them all. Spend some time and money here..you won’t regret it. Don’t be afraid to remove the frame from the body. It’s the only way to do the work properly. Bolers are the worst for broken or sagging frames. So carefully inspect those. New axles are the best investment for these trailers. And if it has a torsion axle …replace it with the same. Two thousand pound rating is best. a 3500 lb axle will give you no springy springy for your 1800 lb trailer. And you won’t be able to keep the dishes in the cupboard. Also a good jack up front is best. One more thing.. The wiring for your lights.. If they work than that is amazing ! So many people mess with them and don’t know what they are doing. I use these simple junction boxes for all my trailers. They are cheap and work so well.
I would say half of the trailers I have purchased over the years. Lots and lots of them.. Really ! The lights are messed up and I have to use my towing lights. Brakes… optional on these trailers.. if you want them fine. Ok if you are working on the frame and you painted it (good idea) then before you put the body back on put truck canopy tape on the top side to prevent the metal frame from chafing the fiberglass body..
Do bolt the body on the frame .. do not use screws.
Do replace the axle… don’t use leaf springs
Do use rust paint on the frame.
Old gel coat is gonna have holes, chips and other damage. Are you going to spend the time polishing or just paint it. It’s a good bet that it will need paint. And that’s a good thing ,because protecting the exterior is important. Painting is easy if you use a good marine paint like Interlux top sides.
What you are looking at is about a $300. cost. You will also need auto body filler and an orbital sander. Do remove the windows so you can re seal them. Don’t use house paint on the exterior..
If you can avoid removing the Ensolite vinyl finish that’s good. It can be cleaned and painted with acrylic latex door and trim paint.
I’m going to start by cleaning up. There’s a plan now.. I have a fairly good idea of what I’m going to do as far as design of the interior. The basic layout of the cabinets will stay the same. But they all need some rebuilding and modifying. I’ve purchased the flooring and have made some color choices. But first there is some repairs to be done.. And lets start with the floor.
Just in the rear outer corners. No drain holes… so any water would have soaked into the plywood ( which it did ) and you get rot. So I’ve cut out the problem area. Now this area is under the benches and is just storage. However I’m still running the floor all the way out. But for now it’s the tedious cleaning of the vinyl /foam ceiling and walls. Then I make sure all the messy stuff is done. I don’t want to clean twice.
Today I got the ceiling and walls painted. Looks nice and clean and new. This time I did not install the window frames yet.. They will not be white. Now I need to focus on the floor and the frames for the hatches. Just about done the frames for the hatches. The floor has new patches now and I’m getting ready to spray gravel guard on the inside of the storage under the rear seating. Also my supplies are arriving daily. The Diesel heater came today and I have most of he electrical stuff. I made lights for the inside of the hatches so you can see what you got.
Yes I like those penny lights. Just drill a 3/4 ” hole and they just pop in. And that brings me to working on the running lights. Now that the floor is prepped and the black finish done on the walls. This is a good time to do the wiring back here.
I’ve sneaked the wires behind the wall finish. The exposed wires will be in loom. You can see one of my compartment light too. And I have success. The lights work !
And.. the back up lights too. These lights are my signature for the surf side trailers.
And now I have done all the running lights wiring. Plus the two compartment lights. The wires for the running lights now go through the tongue box and to the 7 pin junction box.
This is all done too. Breakaway is wired in and so is a 12 gauge red wire to the battery. So easy to work with these boxes.. Love em.
Unfortunately I had to run the heater tube out the side. I wanted to discreetly run this through the back of the box. But it would have ended up in the wrong compartment. Oh well this works. Today I also installed the two hatches.
Wow these are great ! They are for boats … but hey they work here too.
Now I have great access to under the seats.. Lighted too ! Don’t need to prop them open either.. Ha. Next is the windows and the flooring.. But first there is something in my way that doesn’t have to be.. Because it goes on the roof ! The Max Fan .. I made it easy to install.
And so it was, and is done. I bought this years ago for another RV but never got around to doing that.. So Now it has a home. In the photo it’s closed, but open or closed the rain can’t get in. Cool !
Now I got brave and did the flooring. I was worried about how this would go. But it didn’t take too long.. a day and a half. I like this choice it ads warmth to a bright interior.
This is a bit of a mile stone on the trailer work. The floor covers up the last of the yuckyness . Next will be making new window frames. So let’s start a new post for the windows:
Cuz that’s the way I roll ! Pun intended. I’m cleaning up the shop and the trailer so as to not have any dust. Here’s a last look at the Surfside before the primer goes on.
Time to mask the belly band and the fridge vents. Two coats of primer comin up..
The Supplies ! Couldn’t get the off white in gallons so we have four cans. While I was preparing the door for painting I noticed the two halves were coming apart..
So I mixed up some resin and clamped it tight. I hope this works. Yes it did.. all better.. And here is a video update:
The first coat of primer is on and our trailer is looking “Whitish”.
Lots of defects disappear even with just the first coat. Once it’s cured overnight, I’ll inspect for touch ups and then the second coat of primer. And when that’s cured I sand the whole trailer.
And now we are very shiny and a slight off white. Needs a scuff and the second coat. I’m thinking about a black line below the belly band.
The door looks good ! Need to paint the other side though. Well now the trailer body is all done. And looks great.
Black & white is the theme for the exterior. So I’m painting the fridge vents all black. They are cream color right now.. so need a change. I’m proposing a 2″ black band just below the belly band. To break things up a bit without getting too crazy.
Ya… That looks better. And here’s a peak at how the vent frame turned out’
That should do the trick.. I’ve got almost two inches of thickness to screw the vent to. On to the interior now, here’s the link:
And that thing is the cabinets. Technically not part of the body. But they are in the way of patching and cutting holes in the body. Also it’s way easier to paint the roof and walls. Plus dealing with the floor is also easier. So let’s get to it. Fridge first. The little guy came right out.
I’m thinking of plugging this in to see if the heater works and maybe it will cool down. Or not ! I really have no need for this 3 way fridge. It really wasn’t hard removing the cabinets. So long as you know that the fridge and the closet cabinets are glassed to the wall. My oscillating tool with a saw blade fixes that.
The flooring was already removed. so it looks gross. I need to replace some of the floor on the outside edges. And also remove the Ensolite from where it will be inside the rear under seat cabinets.
The front cabinets can keep the Ensolite finish. The corner beside the fridge cabinet will be for electrical stuff, so access is through the top hatch. But the rear seat compartments now have outside hatches.
This will be nice to have… both sides. I’ve got all the holes cut, tail lights too.
Now I have the pieces to patch the holes I don’t want. And here’s how that happens. Wait for it to cure and then take the screws out and finish glassing the patch. While waiting for that I started to remove the windows. Darn ! Someone used silicone to glue the windows in place ! And the rear window leaked anyway. Nope you must use butyl putty tape when installing things like windows.
And so since I took the windows out and have to deal with the silicone… I may as well do all the body work on the sides of the trailer. Fill, sand, fill, sand you get it.. This is the result , when the primer goes on this will look nice. The red is touch up spot filler.
Then it’s up to the roof where I need to deal with the vent. And this is what I’m up against on the roof. The damage to the gel coat is worse up here.
Good thing I bought another can of body filler. The other side is bad too. This was where the awning strip was. I will not be putting it back.
Here’s the plywood bezel for the roof vent. Why plywood ? Because it won’t crack when screwing into it. It’s also one piece. This is something I did with two of the other trailers.. for several reasons which are obvious to me. Raises up the vent, provides a good attachment , adds sturdiness to the roof. Notice the fiberglass repair on the right corner of the vent. Ya.. this will not happen again.
You can never have enough clamps ! I’ve glued the bezel to the roof with resin and fiber mat. Once that was cured I attached the inside trim with screws down from the top.
This will be painted at the same time as the interior. Now the roof is way stronger and will easily hold the extra weight of the Maxx fan. Also the maxx fans interior trim has a place to mount.
Then I started the process of glassing in the raised mounting bezel to make it a part of the roof. Once that is cured and sanded smooth it’s time to clean up and wash the trailer for the paint..
The belly of the beast is first up.. There is some cleaning and fixing under there before the frame goes back. Deciding what to do as I go.. One thing for sure is the black gravel guard on the lower front of the body. Here’s a photo example of the under side damage that needs fixing.
This is the right front looking back. You can see the curve of the frame. And the frame has rubbed through in a few places. There also visible is the holes where the propane lines went through. All of this needs fixing … and further back if you look there is a nail sticking through. I saw more of that at the rear of the trailer. Nails ! really ! When I’m done the only holes will be for the bolts holding the body to the frame. I’m really acquainted with the under side of the trailer. Still working under there and using my creeper to get around. And working from front to back.. Also while I’m mixing filler I’m fixing some small holes and gouges. Today I finished the front and sprayed the gravel guard on.
Some of this will be hiding behind the box. The amount of rock chips on the front corners was huge. Hopefully this will help. I sprayed right under the front up to first cross frame and two of the hold down bolt holes. The rest of the under side will get the precoat primer.
DONE. Repaired , holes filled, sanded and cleaned. Just one coat for now , second after the body work is done. This is more than I did for the 76 Surfside. I filled the holes but that was all.
I did paint the wheel wells too. Why not, they were handy. Yup there’s the creeper.. Rolling around under there while painting was a challenge, trying not to touch the wet paint. Next the frame goes back under.
Done ! I work alone doing this.. I used small moving dollies under the rear bumper combined with my Floor jack to move the frame under the trailer. Then I lift the frame up and put jack stands under the frame. Lower the body down one end at a time. Line up the bolt holes and there you have it.
And if the frame and body look like this … you win. Oh one more thing to mention. I put truck canopy foam tape on the top of the frame. This should help with the rubbing of the body on the frame.
Couldn’t resist placing the box on the tongue to see the fit and the look. Yup that works good.. So now that I have room on my lift table , it’s time to remove the cabinets. New post for that.
Well I’m currently working on my fourth trailer. Not a flat deck, but a small fiberglass travel trailer. They’ve all been old, forty plus years old. With varying degrees of hurt. And in need of work. Very few wood and aluminum trailers survive as well as these little guys do. Rough roads as well as mother nature are hard on wood framed trailers. I know I’ve seen them all. Moisture and wood BAD, especially when the moisture can’t escape through the exterior cladding. Which is there to keep the water out in the first place. But seals around windows and vents can leak. Some fiberglass trailers have wood framing inside, and those can be problems too if a leak happens. Bigfoot’s, Venture’s and Beachcomber’s come to mind. There may be others too. Boler’s , Scamp’s, Surfside’s and Trillium’s have a foam backed vinyl finish called “ensolite” on the roof and walls. This does not care about water.. And you can paint it when it starts looking shabby. The new Trillium trailer called an Outback uses a marine carpet and foam finish on the inside. It’s water proof too but could show stains, and you defiantly can’t paint it. I’m not sure how some of the other newer offerings are finished inside, so I can’t speak to those. Now I would like to talk about the pros and cons on the trailer’s that I have personal experience with.. Links to the posts are green.
This was my first dive into the world of fiberglass “eggs” as they are called. These are the true survivors. There is more of these out there fixed up and on the roads then the others. At least here in Canada. These were made here and we love’um. Just look at the price folks are asking for them .. They are cute, and you can tow them with most cars. Hot rob guys love them too.. they just look cool behind a classic car. So here’s my thoughts:
Pro’s : I just named some above. And there are certainly more pros than cons. Here is other good things. The cabinets are molded fiberglass too. they look great and easy to clean. Those cabinets help to support the roof by design. Those cabinets help to make the trailer very light and tow nice. Easy to work on and customize. And one thing I noted.. the floor is molded fiberglass with a plywood core.. So unless you drill holes though it and don’t protect the holes they last for ever.
Con’s : The frames.. They were built very light and need the floor to help with their strength. That would have been ok if they bolted the two together.. But they did not, wood screws were used, and they rusted. The frame would then sag in the rear.. You must build a new stronger frame and bolt it to the body. The cabinets can only be slightly modified. The door is hard to fit good.. but it can be done. And part of that is the very inadequate square tube on the hinge side to help keep the door frame in line. Also I’m not a fan of the way the body extends below the floor to be a sort of skirt.. It’s cosmetic and can be damaged easily.
Trailer number two.. These are the American made Boler. Same basic body shape. Lot’s of these down yonder.. And this one came from Arizona. And if it stayed there maybe the floor would still be good.. These had an unprotected plywood floor. So on the coast of BC it rotted out. Because the floor was only fiber glassed around the edges.. The 3/4 plywood just fell apart . I got it cheap because this was an overwhelming job for most. And I had to trailer it home 9 hrs away .
Pro’s : All the same as the Boler except for the floor.. BUT the frame is a little bit better on these.. And I was able to keep it and just do a few repairs and mods.
Con’s : That unprotected floor is not good. A new floor was needed and not easy to do. The skirt around the bottom was cracked in many places. Again the frame is poorly made. All the thin metal was rusted away.
Made in Winnipeg MB. Bigger is better ! This body is still used today by Trillium, with a few small changes. I’m not sure who was the first , but there was some legal issues. Surfside’s were made for approximately six years. Not sure about the Trillium’s. There’s no doubt to me that this is the best body design for a small light weight fiberglass trailer. It’s a foot longer and 6 inches wider than a Boler. May not sound like much, but that makes the bed longer and wider. The kitchen is bigger with more storage. These things should be in the Pro’s…
Pro’s : All those things I just mentioned.. plus the frame is stronger. The axle is bolted on and so is the body. There is a molded frame around the door to keep the opening stiff. The lower half of the body wraps under the trailer making this a true two piece body. The floor is glued to the inside and flat all the way to the front. Moisture can escape through small holes in the molded in gutters around the perimeter of the trailer. Cabinets are not bolted or riveted through the body.
Con’s : The cabinets are wood. not a big deal , and they lend themselves to modifications. The roof still needs to be supported by the cabinets.
How do I stress the importance of worry free towing and safety. The first thing always is start from the foundation. And because I believe this axe is old and wore out, we are ordering a new one …Not cheap but very important. So I will pull the frame out and replace the axle and modify the rear bumper…and some things on the tongue. Plus of coarse a new coat of paint.
Sure is nice to do this on a concrete floor and not a gravel driveway. And look I have room for both the frame and the body. Took me about an hour to get to this stage. I was working alone and thinking carefully about each step.
I’ll take the wheels off and lift the frame up where it’s a comfortable height. Next step is to measure the axle for ordering a new one.. Interestingly the tag on the old axle is still legible. It says 1500 lb made by Ingersoll.. Called a Rub-R- Ride. Too funny. It’s now a wore out ride. New axle is ordered , and I’m sourcing a rear bumper. I now have the box for the front of the trailer.
That’s a good size, should hold all the goodies I want. Time to clean up the frame.. Plus I’m doing some of the body too. Here’s the latest Video..
Picking up the axle tomorrow. Just need a rear bumper and I have all the bits for the frame. Removing the old hitch was not fun.. Welded very good. Hopefully I can do as well.. I will be bolting it on as extra precaution.. I like a good back up.
It’s here ! new custom made axle. adjustable ride height, EZE lube bearings and new E brakes. I also got a six foot piece of square tube for the bumper. Now I have every thing needed to finish the frame. A good place to start is to paint the new axle. It was just bare steel and would rust quickly.
Next up the coupler / hitch… whatever you want to call it. I’m bolting it and welding it .. That should be double good. The one big nut you see will also hold the safety chain.
I got the new rear bumper tacked in place, with extra braces to keep things straight
I’ll finish up the welds tomorrow.
It’s tomorrow ! I finished up the dirty work and cleaned up everything. Got the bottom of the frame painted. And once it’s good and dry I flip it and finish up the top side.
The axle will go on too. Flipped the frame over, and finished up the last of the welding. And now with a fresh coat of paint it’s looking good.
All the modifications are done. Once the paint is cured good I’ll get the axle bolted back in place. It’s great that I could use that coupler I had stashed in a box of hitches and stuff.
A newer safety chain is installed now, and the bolts are ready for the new jack. That tray could hold a propane tank, Or the battery. I just need room for my 7 way junction box.
The 3 x 3 bumper turned out good.. even closed in the ends. This is thicker metal than the rest of the frame… so it should hold the spare tire without any problems. Possibility survive a bump or two.
I even made a new License plate holder. And an update video.
One thing this video shows is the new axle installed and the brake wires routed to the front. It’s always the best part when you are putting things back together. Once the wheels and the jack are back on the frame is ready to go back under the trailer.
Just a quick photo of the cleaned up tires. I believe these are only a year old. No Cracking , No Air loss, and they are radial. good to go!
Also a quick photo of the new jack installed. I like these because the handle folds out of the way. Now it’s time for work on the body.. First there’s some work to do to the under side. That will be in a new post
OK let’s start off with this video… Warning it’s longer then my usual video’s.
I talk too much ! But there is a lot of info in there … bound to answer some questions. Musta worked cause I got a lot of views. Helped me think too. I’ve got a good idea where to start. But first let’s have a look at some things that are interesting and some need work. These are now my photos..
The tongue: I almost never like the way this part is set up. To start with there’s a rock guard ! And it doesn’t work very good. The front of the trailer is covered with dings. So this has got to go . I’ll just cut the ends off, the middle part will help hold the tongue box. My plan is to gravel guard the front of the trailer, plus I will be installing a tongue box here for a diesel heater (more on that later). Also could use a bit more tongue weight so the batteries will find room here too. The 2 inch hitch is loose on the ball, to be expected after 47 years. I found a new one in my stash …with a new jack too.
This will increase the safety of towing.
Door Hinges: These are different from the 76 ones but are still stainless steel other wise they would be rusty like the screws. Lower one has a loose pin. I’ve ordered the same ones I used on the 76 again. The door does work good, but I’ll still change out these and the screws. Oh ya.. look at this below…
A Bargman door latch ! Yes the highly sought after door latch.. No key but that’s an easy fix. And this one works great and looks great..SCORE !! ( update… I found a key that works !!)
Look the factory tag ! This is a clear indication that the gel coat is original. Another indication is…
The decals on the lower part of the trailer are all there. some are looking rough so you know they are 47 years old. I have the vinyl and the CIRCUT to make new decals.. Oddly they’re are no decals on the upper half of the trailer ?
Good thing because the top of the trailer is showing signs of the 47 years for sure. There is a few places like this that will need to be fixed. That means a new paint job. So the work begins with a much needed bath ( because I got it dirty) after removing the lights ( Don’t need them clean). Other little bits , and what’s left of the propane lines. Plus anything else that stops the frame from parting ways with the body.
Like these four bolts ! Hey wait a sec.. There should be six holding the body to the frame. Double checked and I did not see any more. It’s quite clean under the trailer, and these are good bolts. So someone has been here before. Well we will fix that when I put things back together. But this is still a take-apart stage.. And I’m tossing as I go..
This is what I think of old , brittle lights.. Not on my trailer.. LEDs all the way. Here’s an update on the progress.
Need to buy some timbers to hold up the body so I can pull the frame out. And when that’s done I’ll start a new page for the FRAME..
Well that’s cause I paid more for it..But not too too much.. When I was looking there were no collapsing to the ground trailers… Or everything painted green ones out there. All gone ! So I have to settle for “better” stuff. I know…it’s a change I will just have to put up with.. And this brings up the dilemma of ..what to work on and what to leave alone. Sigh.. Oh well we’ll get to that. I’m hoping to swap the boat for the Surfside in the garage , let it thaw out and get down to answering that.
OK how bout a few photos taken by the fella who sold it to me. I haven’t had time to take my own yet !
The Exterior of the trailer is in great condition.. Nothing broken or missing.. No obvious damage. But I’ve only spent about 30 min walking around looking things over. So I’m sure to find stuff that’s not right.
All the lights are there intact, but the wiring for them needs a look. He already had the tow lights installed. So rather than fiddle around it was just plug those in to get the trailer back home. The roof vent ,the fridge and furnace vents are good. All those ports for water and power still work. BTW those are hub caps on the 13 ” wheels. I like them ..but they could use new paint.
What’s the inside like ? Well the best way to describe it is ” 90% there but modified” Newer good cushions ! Faded denim curtains. However no table, no sink, no water system at all! Also missing : the stove, The12 volt wiring and no 12 volt lights ! The furnace is gone too, which I’m happy about that.
What is there ? Well the oldest little fridge I’ve seen yet. It would be a shock if it worked ! The cabinets are still good. I say that loosely because there are some modifications that won’t work for me. But it’s better than not having the cabinets !
Not sure what’s going on here? Some kind of storage. Interesting light fixture ! It’s the only light. And the final photo I’ll show you…
The closet ! It’s great and the builder’s tag is still inside.
I’m not going to miss the stuff that isn’t there. someone just saved me the trouble of tossing it . But the stuff that IS there will save me a lot of work. And in some cases ( like the cushions) a lot of money. They cost about $1500. to have made. Once I park it in the garage and let it thaw out.. We will take inventory of things and more details. Plus some videos. More on ..
The floor is done the walls are done.. Time to build some new cabinets. Today I bought the plywood .. some very nice Birch. 1/4 ” for the sides, 1/2 ” for the shelves, doors and to make drawers. The framing will be made from 1×6 , ripped on the table saw. This is typical RV cabinet construction.. with the exception of me using 1/4 ” instead of 1/8 ” paneling. Still light weight but stronger. Closet first then work my way clockwise around the trailer.
Today I built the front of the closet… and seeing how it fits. Very good. Next the sides and that’s where it gets interesting. Curves to fit the wall. Next to the fridge cabinet this one is tricky. Lucky I kept the old walls to help with that.
Here’s one side done so far. This side has the wires inside the wall. The closet will be finished both in and out. That will also be needed for the overhead cabinets and shelves. They too will be hollow to allow for wiring and lights. New Video….
The closet is the guinea pig for the construction , painting and the gimp rubber trim. So lets talk “GIMP”. Or better yet show you..
Funny name for old school rubber trim. I like the look! Finishes off the joint nicely. I found a source and bought lots of white and brown. I’ll use the white where the cabinets meet the walls & celing. And the brown where they meet the floor.. like baseboard.. but “GIMP”. Just staple it on .. cuts with scissors.
Well the closet is painted ..gimped and installed. Lino on the bottom and the porch light switch installed. On to the rear upper cabinet. This time I made a pattern for the where the front fits to the roof. Nailed it !
Once again the wires are hidden in the hollow of the floor of the cabinet. I’m not putting doors on these , so I routed the opening smooth. I’m going to try stain on the front . If I don’t like how it looks I’ll paint it. But I would like to break up the amount of white.
And here’s the finished overhead at the back the the trailer. Lights installed. Fits great.. And next is the 8 ” wide shelf that ties the closet to the rear overhead.
And there will be one of these on the other side once the kitchen takes shape. Lot’s of places to stash things. Next is the seat for the closet side of the trailer..
This turned out good. 1/2 ” birch will be the seat, with access lid for under neath. I’m thinking the fridge cabinet will need to be next.. because the others fit to it.
Here I have it located in the proper place. The openings are all correct too. Starting from the bottom we have , a cubby, then the furnace, a nice large drawer, the fridge and another cubby at the top. I’m working on the sides… and they have to fit the wall.
My new fridge arrived today.. It came from Ontario. 12 volt compressor fridge. No propane.
Nice quality fridge. Small… only 2.5 cu ft. These are becoming more common in RV’s . Low draw on the battery and auto shut off if the voltage gets too low.. Waaay different than the old 3 way fridges.
And the windows are a part of that cause they need the wood framing on the inside. So I can work on several things here. One of the first things I did was power wash the windows. They were filthy.. way better to work on clean stuff. Too bad the green paint didn’t come off with the dirt. Sigh ! So lets talk devotion.. These are Jalousie (louvered) windows. 46 years old.. And hurting for some love.. The opening mechanisms are mostly wore out. and the seals are either dried up , cracked or missing. SOOOO I have spent some money and ordered new openers and all the seals. AND I’m taking them all apart because that is how you clean the green paint off.
With a wire wheel and sanding block too. It’s going to take two days for each of the four windows. However… they will be shiny new and working perfectly. Here’s a video…
Video is mostly about the window work.. It’s going well but tedious. I’ll be waiting a few days for the order to get here. And can’t assemble the windows till then. But there are other things to do if I finish the windows before the parts arrive. One of the most important part of these windows is the actuator ..or cranky thingy.
Here’s the two from the rear window which has separate sets of panes and a left and a right actuators. The other three windows are all right hand actuators. I ordered four new ones… not remembering the fifth one ( left hand). Good thing it still works good. So far I’ve only found one broken .. I’m interested to see how a new one works.
Hey check out the factory correct “Surf Side” in the same location too. The palm trees are my little touch. I just couldn’t resist applying one.. Now that the paint is fully cured. I finally got all the windows cleaned and even the missing glass replaced. Today the new seals arrived !
50 ft … I hope it’s enough. Still waiting for the actuators .. then I can assemble the windows. In the mean time I got some 1×6 boards , Some of which will become the new inside window frames. Real wood not plywood like the rotten ones I tossed. These will be painted with the walls & ceiling. They will also provide attach points for overhead cabinets and window dressing.
A bunch of this will become framing for cabinets too. The Boler had molded fiberglass cabinets … the Scamp had the same but I did not install them.. This will be very different and challenge my wood working skills. The actuators ( cranky thingy’s) have arrived so I spent the day re assembling the four windows.
Can you tell which ones are new ? There is a difference for sure.. Smoother and tight. Now all the windows are back together cleaned fixed , new seals, new cranky things.
Just imagine… Windows that work , don’t leak and not silicon-ed shut. No missing glass too ! Now for the inside frames.
Got myself a biscuit joiner.. And dusted off the table saw. Here’s the large rear window frame glued and curing. These are good enough to stain and varnish….but that’s not happening. They will be painted with the ceiling and walls.
So I primed them with good primer.. backside too! The factory plywood ones were toast from moisture getting behind and de-laminating the plywood. Now comes the work inside. Got to clean the Ensolite on the walls and ceiling. Plus remove the unnecessary bits. Here’s a video I made today…
I tried a sample of paint on some scraps.. plus the acrylic caulking just to see how good it all works. Nice. So I’ve spent some time repairing the Ensolite. And now I have the first coat on.. It will take two coats to get an even look.
Sure brightens up the interior. Repairs done to the walls and ceiling look great. I used a silk (semi gloss) acrylic floor paint.. pure white, two coats. The walls are now washable. And yes you see windows !
This is a mile stone… with the windows back in. One inch vinyl trim insert covers the screws nicely. Things are moving along.
Today I made a wiring harness for the running lights. Properly color coded … actually using a 25 ft trailer 4 pin harness and adding a backup light wire.
Yes loom too.. Tested and working. Then I got real ambitious and cut the holes for …and mounted the six LED tail lights. And the side marker lights too.
This is different … most of these trailers have regular trailer lights.. I just gotta be different! Now I got to figure out where the license plate goes. The bumper I guess..
Another milestone …. The lino is done (floor) So now I move on to the cabinets… And a new page.