Triple-E Surfside '78 renos - plans and questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-07-2019, 10:13 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Liz
Trailer: Triple-E Surf-Side
Alberta
Posts: 5
Triple-E Surfside '78 renos - plans and questions

Our '78 Triple-E Surfside has been in the family for a very long time. I inherited it from my parents two years ago, we love it and want to fix it up. It's in pretty good shape but still showing its years. My dad's done a few "renos" in the past, including new carpet installed, new curtains, some work on the furnace, and replacing the interior wood's trim with laminate strips.

We have already done some work on the trailer, including recovering all the interior upholstery.

At present, the first order of priority is the windows - those 2-pane Jalousies need new seals and new cranks, plus a cleaning and polish. I also need to do something about the rock guard and shade on the front - that's getting pretty worn.

We intend to paint the outside, but that may be a while. Will also consider shrink-wrapping it as an alternative. So we will be giving the outer shell a fibreglass-specific treatment for cleaning and polishing the surface this weekend, as the interim measure.

And I will be sanding down the interior laminate surfaces in preparation for priming and painting, since the laminate is no longer in good condition. The laminate also has the t-bar type trim (plastic has warped with age and is mostly gone). I'm thinking of replacing it all with retro metal trim if it can be found in an affordable range.

The enamel on the radiator is terribly cracked and needs repainting too.

I have the following questions, if anyone can advise on resources or sellers:
- notions on how to go about replacing the undulated fibreglass shield in the rock guard without breaking the frame
- tips on protecting other surfaces while sanding, besides a drop cloth on the ground (like the vinyl/foam wall covering)
- Good places for metal furniture trim (t-bar type)?
-Any tutorials on stripping or prepping the metal furnace guard and range cooktop for repainting?

Will keep posting here as I progress in the adventure of renovating our Surfside.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:33 PM   #2
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Name: Cate & Dan
Trailer: 1976 Triple E SurfSide "The Mutt Hut"
Manitoba
Posts: 33
We have had an unbelievably ugly '76 surfside for about 4 years. I currently have it half gutted and the man has been sanding away at the outside. Am reinforcing the saggy roof and trying to pull out some body sag on the door side because it has bulged out and the door doesn't fit properly. I think it is a design problem of not actually tabbing the wall to the closet because I have seen a number of them at the rallies and they all seem to have a bad door fit. The roof stress is a bit too much for the flimsy wood of the closet. It is more structurally sound on the fridge cupboard side which I found had reinforcing tabs around the vents. So if you find your door doesn't fit quite right, it isn't unusual. Also check your frame where it bends up at the front of the "egg" toward the coupler. That bend has proven to be a weak spot on a lot of Surfsides. Again a design thing. Ours had cracks on both sides and has been reinforced. Pretty simple fix for a welder. Anyway, as to your rock guard. We replaced ours when we first got the trailer and I remember just taking the frame off the trailer altogether. There are little square nuts holding it to the arms that you can see when you extend the arms out. undo those to release the arms from the frame and it should just slide out of the top rail. Then I believe the frame just unscrews. I went to Home Depot and bought a piece of the Sunshade lucite that they use for green houses or pergolas. It is rippled in the same way as the rock guard we had originally. I measured it and in order to not crack it while cutting I used a sharp knife and heated the blade with the bbq lighter so it kind of melted through it. Tedious, time consuming and you have to be careful the blade is good and hot because it will slip on the lucite otherwise and could lead to a nasty slice. Probably an easier way maybe with a wire and battery or someone has some brilliant tool to do that very thing but it worked for me. There was enough from one sheet to save for a second one if you feel like storing it or if you bugger it up the first time. You can get it clear, smokey, green and I do believe opaque white and it is UV stable. Had ours on for 4 years and so far no worries.
I am also looking at doing the windows. I know you can get the seals online from Vintage Trailer. I changed out the crank handles for knobs from the local RV place and have to look into replacing 2 of the actual crank mechanisms. Will be taking a look soon so if I find somewhere to get them I will let you know. Good luck with the reno. It can become addictive.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:42 PM   #3
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Name: Cate & Dan
Trailer: 1976 Triple E SurfSide "The Mutt Hut"
Manitoba
Posts: 33
By the way, you will learn a ton from this forum. Lots of experienced owners and renovators. Any problems and you will probably find someone who has either tackled it themselves or has read someone else's thread about doing so. And should you actually discover something unheard of, there are plenty of people willing to put heads together to find a solution or at least lend support especially if you can supply pictures. Excellent community and great resource.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:50 PM   #4
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Name: Liz
Trailer: Triple-E Surf-Side
Alberta
Posts: 5
Oh yes, we're already so grateful for the forum's help on the Jalousie windows. Found the exact replacement for the mechanism cheap on amazon via someone else's comment, and can confirm they match! Ordering the gaskets right now and will get to work on the restoration of the windows when those arrive from vintage trailer supply in about a week.
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