1978 Surfside Build - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-13-2016, 12:35 PM   #1
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Name: Tanner
Trailer: Triple E
Manitoba
Posts: 6
1978 Surfside Build

Hi everyone, I am new to the forum. I have been reading many different threads and have learned a lot so far. I thought I would contribute and post my project.

About a month ago I picked up a Triple E Surfside. I had been searching for a while and given up on finding a fiberglass camper for a price I could afford, when I stumbled upon this one. Surprisingly I was able to get it for a great price, even after the guy told me ten people wanted to look at it the next day. But I was the lucky one that pulled it away.

As for condition, it was actually in decent shape. It needed new tires (one of them was probably 20 years old and the other was an all season car tire), and there is a small crack in the fiberglass that I have to repair yet, it doesn't leak but I'd still like to fix it. The top vent cover was shot but that was an easy fix. The guy I bought it from said he didn't know if the fridge worked (I assumed that meant it didn't) But the plan was to give it an overhaul and make it our own. I hope to post my progress as it comes along. Hopefully the pictures I attached will show up
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:51 PM   #2
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Name: Tanner
Trailer: Triple E
Manitoba
Posts: 6
One month later and I have accomplished the following:

- new tires
- painted the cabinets
- got rid of the old table and counter top and made my own
- new flooring
- repainted the hitch and bumper
- got the fridge and stove working
- propane was leaking badly, replaced the necessary parts and got it working

I still have to find a replacement for the seam tape for the ensolite however. I purchased a vinyl molding the other day that is relatively the same colour, I might try that, or I might return it. I haven't decided yet. I have sent the cushions away to be reupholstered, waiting on those to help complete the look.

I am currently working on plumbing (plumbing is almost an exaggeration in a surfside with only a city cold water line and a rocket pump that may or may not even work). Once I finished my new countertop after many hours of sanding and clear coating, I went to install it. I guess I was too excited to see it installed, so I forgot to think. I immediately put a screw that was too long up through the top of the counter This will be fixed at a late date I have decided haha The old counter was extremely unlevel so after I leveled it out with a one inch wedge, the sink faucet no longer reaches the existing water line. Instead of monkeying around with it, I am going to replace the whole thing. New city water inlet (it currently leaks) and braided hose. In store the water inlet was $44, compared to $22 online, so I will be patient and wait for it to come in the mail I was hoping to get a new faucet too, but can't find anywhere that has a lot of selection. Any suggestions? It is just a single line faucet.
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:52 PM   #3
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Name: Brent
Trailer: Surfside
Manitoba
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Looks like it's in great shape! Is that a '78 or '79?

We picked up a '77 in Winnipeg for a great price last fall. I started removing things and ended up gutting it (forgot to stop). Got it mostly reno'd and back together before towing to California and back this July. By time we hit Arizona, there were no regrets over upsizing the refrigerator or putting in A/C!
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Old 09-13-2016, 01:10 PM   #4
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Name: Tanner
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Originally Posted by toderash View Post
Looks like it's in great shape! Is that a '78 or '79?

We picked up a '77 in Winnipeg for a great price last fall. I started removing things and ended up gutting it (forgot to stop). Got it mostly reno'd and back together before towing to California and back this July. By time we hit Arizona, there were no regrets over upsizing the refrigerator or putting in A/C!
It is a '78 I believe. I think it was manufactured in late '77. Yeah it is hard to know where to stop. Since my cabinets were in great shape I thought I'd leave them in and just refinish them. I would imagine A/C in Arizona would surely help! I have no plans for A/C at the moment, but we'll see... My wife and I are planning on having it ready for spring/summer of next year. We are planning on going to Banff along with some other national parks (may as well take advantage of the free admission for Canada's 150th birthday)
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:50 AM   #5
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Name: K C
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I was hoping to get a new faucet too, but can't find anywhere that has a lot of selection. Any suggestions? It is just a single line faucet.
Just do a search for "bar faucet cold water only". You will find some affordable ones on Ebay.
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Old 10-04-2016, 12:20 PM   #6
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Got the cushions back from the upholsterer, and finished a few other things. I also did the ZEP floor polish and was amazed at the difference it made. Everyone that walks by it on my street can't believe how shiny I made it. Next is cabinet knobs and curtains.
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Old 10-04-2016, 12:22 PM   #7
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The outside
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Old 01-31-2017, 03:05 PM   #8
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Name: Bill
Trailer: 1977 Triple E
Ontario
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Originally Posted by toderash View Post
Looks like it's in great shape! Is that a '78 or '79?

We picked up a '77 in Winnipeg for a great price last fall. I started removing things and ended up gutting it (forgot to stop). Got it mostly reno'd and back together before towing to California and back this July. By time we hit Arizona, there were no regrets over upsizing the refrigerator or putting in A/C!
Brent.


I also have a '77 Surfside.
I am told that you can not attach AC to the fiberglass shell.


I would really appreciate information on how you installed your AC, pictures would be great.


Thank you


Bill
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Old 01-31-2017, 08:23 PM   #9
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Trailer: Surfside
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No, not to the shell, per se. I looked around at what others had done, thought about a roof unit, thought about mounting it inside a cabinet with a grill for exhaust. Roof is too heavy and needs support from inside but also most units are about 3x too powerful for the space. Considered a portable unit, but with space at a premium, inside a cabinet was leading idea - but not what I did.

I found a small unit, 5000BTU energy-efficient and carefully measured physical size. Paid a bit more to get a programmable one with remote, which gives the advantage of retaining its settings after power disconnect.

I removed one side of the rear windows and mounted the unit through the window, creating a bit of a wooden sill or shelf for it to sit on, not too wide. Filled in the remaining part of the window with wood and then caulked it up to seal everything for water and dust. On the outside, I screwed 2 pieces of aluminum in a T shape under the AC unit and down the the bumper (actually to the spare tire mount I added on mine). This is primarily to keep it from rocking while in transit, as it's fairly balanced where it's designed to sit through the window. Unit is intentionally sloped outward a little so it's not quite level - I then drilled 2 small drainage holes in the bottom of the AC unit - in a permanent install, the water is intended to sit there and evaporate, but I found it could leak to the inside if there was still water there when you hook up for transport.

The unit is pretty light for an AC unit, but it does sit on the shell, in a way... but it does so in the same way that the front bunk is attached to the shell, by mounting it to the wood window trim. The outside windows are screwed through the fibreglass, pinching it against the wood frames, so the weight is actually spread out and not just resting on a couple of screws.

Sorry I don't have photos atm - I'd go snap a few, but it's all under snow right now! Hopefully the description helps.
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:00 PM   #10
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Name: Bill
Trailer: 1977 Triple E
Ontario
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Brent

Thank you for your quick reply.

Your description of the AC installation in the rear window is excellent!!!

Pictures will help me see how it is all put together. I'm not in a rush so if you can send pictures that would be greatly appreciated.

I am looking at installing a Fan-tastic 3 spd, reversible fan in the roof vent location in the mean time.

I was planning on a trip to the southern States next winter, but may avoid while Trump is President.

Thank you for your help.

Bill
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gieser0909 View Post
Got the cushions back from the upholsterer, and finished a few other things. I also did the ZEP floor polish and was amazed at the difference it made. Everyone that walks by it on my street can't believe how shiny I made it. Next is cabinet knobs and curtains.
The inside looks amazing! So bright and modern. Thanks for sharing your work!
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:34 AM   #12
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Name: Bill
Trailer: 1977 Triple E
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Brent


Sorry, another question;


with your 5,000 btu AC, did you have to upgrade your electrical system???


Thank you


Bill
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:37 PM   #13
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Name: Brent
Trailer: Surfside
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with your 5,000 btu AC, did you have to upgrade your electrical system???
The unit I bought has a low power draw for an AC unit, so I can still run on 15A shore power. That said, I replaced my entire electrical system anyway since it was pretty trashed when I bought it, so I put in a 30A system with 12VDC (not 12VAC as original). I wired up an extra AC plug underside of the bench seat so I'd have one close to the unit (and the far end of the table) but that could be done with the existing electrical system.

-Brent
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Old 02-02-2017, 03:31 PM   #14
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Name: Bill
Trailer: 1977 Triple E
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Brent


Thank you!


Great information.


Bill
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