Love Bug - Love it or leave it - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-24-2012, 01:44 PM   #1
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Name: Cathy
Trailer: 1973 Love Bug '13
Florida
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Love Bug - Love it or leave it

As some of you may know from previous posts, there is a great struggle going on with our Love Bug. We bought is thinking we were educated enough to make smart purchase, but I think we let our desperation get the best of us. After almost a year looking we spent 20% more than we had budgeted. We made the decision based on the belief that there was just some clean up to do "Ready to hit the road".

Famous last words. While cleaning up we found some rotten flooring in the back of the trailer (hidden prior to excavation of all of the stuff and being deep beneath the full size bed. The damage was not apparent from beneath and that with the word of the seller was acceptable.

Well the floor rot turned into the necessary removal of entire elevated rear section. As many of you know, it is kind of like plumbing in an old house, with every attempted "fix" more problems are revealed. The wheel wells are completely separated from the floor, and upon further inspection there is more floor rot. Once we removed the floor is out the places in the frame that are rusted nearly through are revealed. Also have discovered "repairs" and I use the term loosely, done by previous owners that are less than helpful.

I am beginning to think that the door is not original. The other LBs that I have seen all have windows in the door. There is no evidence that there was ever a window in the door. There is, however, evidence that some major fiberglass repairs have been done to the door frame at some point. The repair work seems strong and solid but now I am wondering if the poor door fit is the result of the fiberglass job that was done around the door. Won't know that till we get the shell back on tight to the new floor at then start on the door.

Every step of the way we have reevaluated whether we should just bite the bullet, try to sell what we have and take the loss, start over in our search - armed with lots more knowledge, or try to get our little guy back to his intended form. We are now looking at 100% over budget unless we find some other hidden surprise. And that is just to get him sound and on the road - no paint, windows, etc.

I think at this point we are too far in to turn back. Unless we decide to strike a match and chalk it up as a very expensive lesson learned. At this stage of our lives this is very, not good!

I have received great information and advice from the wonderful members of this form, special shout out to Robert, and proceed to trudge along.

Does anyone know of someone in the North East part of Florida (Jacksonville) that does this sort of work? I can't spend the $ to just drop it off somewhere but am feeling really unsure about several aspects of this endeavor. I could afford to pay somebody who could do bits and pieces of the job or even work with me in areas that I am unsure. The local RV places want nothing to do with this sort of thing. Example - I have found a small trailer place who is going to do the frame, axle, brake work for me at a reasonable rate.

So the furniture has to be removed so that the floor can be removed. (in the design of this egg the wood floor supports the shell)

Have spent hours - H O U R S - drilling rivets. I am itching everywhere from fiberglass. So now almost down to the empty shell and ready to take the next step.

Today I am going to try to get the shell jacked so that we can get the trailer out and then completely remove the floor so I can get the frame to the "trailer guy". But I don't know if I should have the frame modified, there is no frame support under the door sill. Seems like that addition should be made as well as well as some sort of frame support under the galley side of the cabin. If there should be then I don't know how to communicate the dimensions or specs to the trailer man.


Ok, back inside to cool off, got the shell up enough to get the tires off the ground, once I cool off a little I'll start cutting the floor away from the frame. I'm going to leave the perimeter of the floor fiber glassed to the wall for now, that will be the last of the floor to come up to make the last of my puzzle piece template to cut the new floor.

I have a call in to the "trailer shop" and have requested that someone come and see the frame before I remove it. That way they will know better what needs to be done.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:57 PM   #2
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Name: Cathy
Trailer: 1973 Love Bug '13
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One more little nugget - we had to take our work out of the garage because there is not enough clearance overhead to lift the shell. The driveway was out of the question - too steep- so stuck in the back yard - one sliver of side yard works - husband had to take the gate off to get it in. Don't mind the dirt so much, though a hard floor would make it easier to find things that I inevitably drop. trying to work between thunderstorms. Can't let it get rained on, the door is off and the rivet holes haven't been patched yet. Just have to keep putting the tarp on and taking it off, or working underneath it (not cool)! lol

Ill try to get pics of progress up. Don't mean to be so negative, just venting and trying to work through this. I am determined to be in Cherokee in October. We shall see.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:17 PM   #3
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Just cut out section of main floor. will be able to stand in the hole to remove the remainder of the floor. Will the surprises never end. in this picture you can see that a PO repaired the floor by butting the plywood joint together on the center frame support. Also notice that the self tapping screw completely missed the frame.


Thank you for all who encouraged me. I am glad that I didn't decide to patch up the rotten back floor and hit the road. I feel more safe and secure knowing what I will be walking on.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:27 PM   #4
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Name: Cathy
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question about floor

Does anyone know what the floor configuration should be where the "kick plate" (not sure if that is the proper term) is?

Notice that the existing floor under the galley overhangs the edge rather than making a clean corner turn. I don't think that the galley furniture will fit otherwise. Wondering if it has been "retrofitted" to make this galley work, sometime in the past.

It looks like the same furniture that I have seen in other Love Bugs but at this point I must question anything that was done previously.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:33 PM   #5
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Name: Mike
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I know it's hot, but girl, you NEED some long sleeves on- anytime you work with fiberglass!
A trick I learned a loooong time ago. You can use old nylon hose to remove fiberglass from your skin. Just rub the affected areas. The glass gets caught up in the nylons.
Good on you for using a respirator!
Sorry about all your troubles.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
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In a Scamp 13 the kitchen cabinet floor overhangs the frame to make the cabinets deeper for the counter top and frig or icebox. Just from memory, I think the floor extends 19" inboard from the shell. The floor on the other side is even with the frame except at the doorway.

Good luck
Eddie
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:42 PM   #7
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Name: Cathy
Trailer: 1973 Love Bug '13
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the frame is free

Hip, hip hooray! The shell is free from the frame. Now the Dremmel comes out to clean cut the floor where it attaches to the shell. How to lift the shell high enough to pull the frame out? We are thinking sawhorses but stability is an issue.

I am concerned about the stress on the doorway. seems to be spreading a bit. Thinking about bolting a 1"x2" across the bottom to keep it in shape and limit the stress. problem is supporting the shell without doing damage. It isn't level all the way around. The shell dips down on the door side of the shell, it is about 4" closer to the ground than the rest of the shell.

What are the thoughts?
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:43 PM   #8
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Thanks Eddie, that helps

Cathy
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:58 PM   #9
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Thumbs up We've all gone thru it...

Kathy, We all bleed for you because all of us have gone thru exactly what happened to you. Last week I got an 81 13 foot Burro but I got it cheap so many of the problems that the PO tried to hide were not a real concern to me. Just hours after the DMV gave me the title, I ordered a new set of polar hinges and I read every note on our site relative to fixing the door which we all know is a common problem on all the egg campers. I got lucky this time. Today out went the rugs,ice box & old newspapers???
Last Dec. while in Phoenix at a car auction I "won" the bid on a 1977 MBZ with 40K on the clock. I only paid $4700 out the door but since then, I,ve spent $6K additional & it still has a high rev problem that 2 MBZ "experts" have passed on. I don't know if I'll ever get this car on the road.
I just hope this story helps so keep plugging.
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:24 PM   #10
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Kathy, I feel for you!!! But as others and yourself have said you have made it this far! The worst is almost over - you go girl!!! Remember it doesnt all need to be done by December 24th!
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:28 PM   #11
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I can't answer the question, but will tell you, all your hard work will pay off in the end when your camping in it. I know that isn't a solution to all you are faceing. But just a bit of encouragement.


Only you can decide. If you decide to pass it on, then I wish you luck and hope you find the perfect trailer for you.

If you decide to keep it, the only thing I know for sure is. You will get satisfaction for seeing it through............


Love the pic's!
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:03 PM   #12
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If it bowing, you should make a temporary frame for it. Just some 2X4's screwed together should do it. Do supoort it though. It may get some stress cracks that you don't notice until after you start bolting it back.
You should have a couple of 2X4 or 2X6's going all the way across the body RIGHT NOW. It looks like it is only supported at the corners.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:37 AM   #13
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Name: Cathy
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Thank you for all of the encouraging words and advice. I'm so glad I found this forum and all of the personalities that make it work!

Hubby got the fiberglass, that was attached to the old wood floor, cut away from the walls yesterday. He is sooo sweet to do that nasty fiberglass cutting for me. That will be the outside edge of the template pattern for the new floor. Still haven't figured out a good way to lift the shell high enough to get the frame out. It would be much simpler if the bottom edge of the shell was level (flat). That 4" drop, at the passenger front quarter, for the doorway sure is complicating things.
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:58 PM   #14
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Insted of lifting the shell highter you can lower the trailer frame for now. Take the wheels off and put long boards under the spindles. If the swing arms are not turned up too far a couple of people should be able to able to pull the trailer out from under the body on the spindles. If the spindles are turned up too far furniture dollies from HF on plywood will also work, or 8" tires and wheels from Wal Mart may be low enough to roll it out with.
Eddie
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