I'm new and not sure where to start!! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-19-2012, 12:28 PM   #1
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Name: Shelly
Trailer: 1975 Triple E TM10 Surfside
Saskatchewan
Posts: 10
I'm new and not sure where to start!!

I just purchased a 1975 Triple E Surfside, TM10 front kitchen. It looks like it's in pretty good shape but I haven't really had a chance to get in all the nooks and crannys and check it out. I purchased it at a auction in a brutal April blizzard.

Currently it's at my parents farm as I don't have anywhere to store it in the city. I'm just looking for some tips on where to start, what to look for etc. When I go out next weekend to do some work on it, I plan on giving it a good cleaning, checking the electrical and propane lines but beyond that I'm not sure where to begin.

I do already have a few questions just from reading the forums. What is Ensolite? Is there insulation in these little campers? Do people always have issues with condensation at night or is it just certain temperatures? (This never crossed my mind). Where do people buy replacement parts? Are they fairly easy to subsitute (i.e. boler parts can go on a surfside?).

I'd greatly appreciate whatever advice and help others could give me! Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:31 PM   #2
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Name: Shelly
Trailer: 1975 Triple E TM10 Surfside
Saskatchewan
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These are the two pictures of my surfside that came off the auction's website.
Attached Thumbnails
mmpaul_1333150247_85_1.jpg   mmpaul_1333150247_85_2.jpg  

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Old 04-19-2012, 01:44 PM   #3
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Hi Shelly!

Congrats on the purchase - from the photos, it looks like a great little rig.

There is a buyers checklist off the main page of this site that lists things to check when buying a trailer - that would be a good place to get a comprehensive list.

I only get condensation when the outside temp is significantly different than inside - and even then, it's not a lot. I'm sure others will know more about the insulation and parts for your type of trailer.
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:29 PM   #4
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Name: Dave W
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Shelly, A Surf-Side is closely related to a Trillium. They share the same shape, but different floor plans, and windows. Other related trailers are the Escape, and the Trillium/Outback.

Some things are interchangeable between trailers, like vent fans, and general hardware. Most major components are not interchangeable. Things like cushions, doors, and door hinges, windows... are generally not interchangeable. Appliances like the stove, fridge, and furnace take allot of work to make fit in a trailer that they were not designed for.

Ensolite is an insulating material that was commonly used in the 70's vintage trailers. It was developed for use in aircraft. It is light and not a bad insulator. The actual Ensolite is black. The stuff installed in a trailer is coated, usually with a white vinyl. This insulation is mostly used to keep down the condensation when it gets cold out. A heater, and a powered or un-powered, roof vent help as well. As Anne H said, this is only a problem when the inside temp and outside temp are significantly different. And she lives in Oregon, where the air carries quite a bit of moisture.

By the way, very nice looking trailer!
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:01 PM   #5
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Name: Shelly
Trailer: 1975 Triple E TM10 Surfside
Saskatchewan
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Thanks so much for your expertise. Can't wait to get it ready to take on its maiden voyage!
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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British Columbia
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Shelly congrats - thats a nice looking trailer I am sure you will enjoy it!
As to where to start - thats a tough question as a lot depends on what shape the trailer is in and when it was last used.
Generally you want to start looking at the basics that will keep you safe and running. Take a look under it to make sure the frame is in decent shape - no visible crackers etc.

Then take a look at the wheels, tires and wheel bearings. Wheel bearings should be serviced yearly and tires more than 4 years old should probable be changed, even though they may look good on the outside there is good chance they will prove to be not so good when you hit the road. If you have brakes you should check they are actually working correctly. Also the battery - if its more than 4 years old you may not be able to count on it for much either.

Most of all have fun with it!
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:56 PM   #7
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Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RB and Bigfoot 21RB
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I believe that all Surfsides have brakes - however, I am no Surfside guru. I have only seen a few of them and all of the ones I have ever seen - have brakes.

My son's Surfside is a near-identical version of yours. His is a 1974 14 footer and with a front kitchen. He is looking at adding a bunch of stuff - like a pressure water system with a water heater, a flush toilet and a shower, (meaning he will also need to add grey and black water tanks) as well as a second propane tank, a second battery and moving the spare tire to under the tongue from its current resting place on the back bumper.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:13 PM   #8
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Congrat's Shelly, cute, cute, cute!


Are Surfsides supose to have insulation? Aren't they like Burro's, Olivers, EggCamper's etc, just double wall glass?


Ok, the best advice I could give you is clean it, make sure it's road worthy as suggested Carol. Once you got those things done, then get out and enjoy it. Mod's, re-hab is always better done once you have camped in it. Then you know what you want for your camping needs.
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:18 PM   #9
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shelly--welcome and congratulations on your really nice-looking rig!
i don't have any hard (technical) comments to add, just "fluffy" ones...
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:19 PM   #10
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Looks like a really nice rig. Second what was said about bearings, tires and brakes. Make sure your lights work. Always good to check with garden hose for any major leaks before heading out for the first time. Me I would not let really minor leaks stop me from at least a short trip.

Ensolite does two things cuts down on condensation because it does provide some insulation. AND fiberglass is pretty translucent, without an inside covering you would be providing a "free show" to the rest of the campground.

If you find something you need to fix, just use the forum search or post a question, great group of people here who have solved a lot of the where do I get that or how to fix this and are happy to help the next camper along.

I used a spray cleaner called Awsome from a $ store (along with a scrub brush and rags) to clean my ensolite. When I got it the inside was shades of gray and black, not white. This stuff worked pretty well and was not expensive.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:22 PM   #11
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Name: Shelly
Trailer: 1975 Triple E TM10 Surfside
Saskatchewan
Posts: 10
Thanks again everyone. Mine does have electric brakes but am wondering with a camper this light if they are needed?

BcDave. That sounds like quite a project your son is taking on.

Also how have people checked propane lines? I don't want any explosion and don't trust pipes that are 35+ years old. Should they just be replaced?
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:31 PM   #12
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Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RB and Bigfoot 21RB
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by sherad View Post
Thanks again everyone. Mine does have electric brakes but am wondering with a camper this light if they are needed?
Only if you want to stop or maintain control on downgrades. Otherwise - no - not needed at all. I s'pose if your tow vehicle is a Kenworth you could get by without 'em, but you can either hook 'em up or run the risk of 'splaining to a police officer (and your insurance guy) why you had brakes but didn't hook them up and now......

There will be guys on this site who will tell you about having towed WAY heavier trailers behind cars they got at Toys R Us for many many years, and never had an issue, so just save your $200.00 and don't bother. However - you are one who is driving - do you like to be able to stop?

How much longer stopping distance would you be comfortable with?

Son has a project all right - and shows NO signs of ever really doing anything on it.

Yes- if you are not comfortable with the existing propane lines - replace 'em - they are not expensive and if you get peace of mind - its worth it.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherad View Post
Mine does have electric brakes but am wondering with a camper this light if they are needed?
As Dave suggested if you have them you will be a lot safer using them. You may want to check the manual of your tow vehicle as it may state you require brakes on any trailer you tow over x so many lbs.

Not to mention the cost of a brake controller is a lot cheaper than having to replace the brakes on your tow vehicle sooner than necessary.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:21 PM   #14
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Trailer: 1978 Biggar / 2007 Toyota Tundra V8 2wd
British Columbia
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Congrats Shelly on your purchase of a Surfside. I have the one with the side kitchen and love mine. You can check out any leaks in your propane by mixing liquid soap and water in a spray bottle, turning on your propane and spraying all your fittings and hoses. If you get bubbles, you have a leak. Just make sure the bubbles you see are actual leaks and not foam from the bottle. I painted the ensolite in my trailer to brighten it up. I also painted the wood paneling. If you want to know what else I have done to mine, just let me know. Marina
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