Rob's 1973 Love Bug Rebuild - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV



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Old 03-09-2018, 03:19 PM   #15
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Name: Rick
Trailer: Boler
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Looking great Rob!

It is a lot of work and fun. As others have said there is a lot of information here that I to have found very helpful.

Man I miss a good snow storm...HA

Rick
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Old 03-18-2018, 10:21 PM   #16
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Florida
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Rob's 1973 Love Bug Rebuild - DAY 51-60

Day 51-60
  • A lot of progress to report. Very excited on this end. I've moved past the tear down phase and on to putting it back together.
  • New Dexter #9 axle was installed at 22.5* down with a high-lift bracket. This raised the trailer ~7" over the height when I brought it home to give roughly 13" of ground clearance. The new axle's arm resulted in the tires sitting 1/2" further back. Thankfully, no fender modifications were necessary for accommodation.
  • New rear floor stencil was made and new rear floor was cut out of 5/8" marine ply
  • I was concerned I wouldn't be able to get the new floor in place in one piece, so I had another support beam welded down the center of the rear floor to tie into and support a seam. In the end this was unnecessary but the middle support will add another mounting point.
  • Front couch cushions were taken to an upholsterer. Charcoal marine vinyl one-side with grey sunbrella fabric on the other and a lime green piping to trim.
  • Two months to the day after starting the project, I lowered the shell back on it's freshly sandblasted and painted frame with new axle.
Up Next:
  • Re-mount shell to trailer
  • Re-glass rear floor to walls of trailer
  • Re-wire trailer with new LED taillights
  • Work out hardware for and cut new cabinet doors
  • Patch remaining holes, re-drill and rivet furniture back to interior
  • Order another sheet of marine ply and finish floors
Attached Thumbnails
2018-03-17 16.19.57.jpg   2018-03-17 12.42.26.jpg  

2018-03-17 12.42.59.jpg   2018-03-12 16.59.47.jpg  

2018-03-13 12.58.57.jpg   2018-03-14 18.16.32 HDR.jpg  

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Old 03-19-2018, 01:51 AM   #17
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Looking good Rob and the extra beam can only be a plus.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:58 AM   #18
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fantastic

going to be waaay better than factory!!
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:06 PM   #19
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Florida
Posts: 37
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Rob's 1973 Love Bug Rebuild - DAY 61-70

Day 61-70

It's coming back together and faster than I had imagined haha but still plenty left to keep me busy
  • The camper shell is fully re-mounted to the trailer
    • The door lines up perfectly and opens and closes with ease!
  • All holes in the shell are patched and I have been sanding every day
  • I cut a few cabinet doors from birch on the x-carve at the makerspace with a few left to complete.
    • Installing the push button latches I selected has been tricky. I 3D printed spacing brackets to accommodate the latch mechanism on the thin cabinet doors and may have to create a few other pieces.
  • I picked up the upholstered front cushions today
Up Next:
  • Sanding the body will continue in preparation for paint
  • Another sheet of marine ply should arrive Friday to finish installing the new floor this weekend
  • I will be re-wiring the trailer with new LED lights all around and sorting out how I want to handle the electrical system

Attached Thumbnails
2018-03-28 17.16.42.jpg  
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:23 AM   #20
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Florida
Posts: 37
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Rob's 1973 Love Bug Rebuild - DAY 71-100

Day 71-100 -- See Attachments:

I am making progress though the beautiful Florida weather as of late has certainly slowed me down--it's just too nice out to be holed up in the camper! First camping trip is one month away so I have my work cut out for me. Since my last update:
  • Marine ply floor was installed in the front and rear of camper
  • Ply was re-glassed to the shell at the floor
  • All new wiring has been laid for trailer running lights
  • New Lifeproof Sterling Oak waterproof laminate floor has been installed through the unit
  • Cabinets and couches have been sanded and painted
  • Proof of concept for new cabinet doors complete, hardware satisfactorily fitted
Up Next:
  • Trim floor in
  • Anchor furniture back to hull
  • Final coat of interior paint
  • Cut remaining cabinet doors
  • Install new Progressive Dynamics PD4125KV converter
  • Wire up the new electrical system with new led lighting
  • Continue sanding and prepping the exterior for paint
Attached Thumbnails
2018-04-28 19.37.47.jpg   2018-04-28 19.37.53.jpg  

2018-04-28 19.38.02.jpg   2018-04-16 18.50.57.jpg  

2018-04-16 17.51.11.jpg  
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:00 PM   #21
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Florida
Posts: 37
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Love Bug Restoration: Day 101-110

Day 101-110 -- See Attachments:

Tonight I am comfortably relaxing in it for the first time since bringing it home; the front couch is more comfortable than I would have imagined!
  • New DC electric system and all new wiring installed with Progressive Dynamics PD4125KV charger/inverter & a deep cycle marine battery. Unit is surface mounted on face of couch near entry door. Battery sits in a dry-box on the tongue.
  • LED reading lights on either end of the overhead kitchen cabinets
  • LEDs over the counter on a dimmer
  • USB ports for charging, 12v socket & voltometer added
  • Working on trimming in the flooring
Up Next:
  • Anchor furniture back to hull
  • Cut remaining cabinet doors
  • Finish wiring the AC system
  • Attach all exterior running lights
  • Go camping -- maiden voyage at the end of the month!
Attached Thumbnails
2018-05-07 23.43.43.jpg   2018-05-07 23.45.54.jpg  

2018-05-07 23.43.25.jpg  
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:44 AM   #22
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Looking great Rob. Love to see it down the road some time.
BTW, pretty sure you mean converter, not inverter?

Walt
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:31 AM   #23
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Florida
Posts: 37
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Love Bug Restoration: Day 111-120

Day 111-120 -- See Attachments:

The camper is now competing with my home for where I sleep haha
A week ago I found a semi-truck driver selling a Waeco DC fridge/freezer for $100--exactly what I wanted for 1/6 the cost of new; and it works like a champ! As a bonus, I got to check out the new 2018 Freightliner Semi he had at his house. I had never been in a semi before so that was pretty cool.
  • Installed Waeco DC Fridge/Freezer
  • Cut remaining top cabinet doors and trim piece for around fridge using x-carve (multi-axis milling machine). Painted and hung. Verdict still out on colors but will suffice for the moment.
  • Ran AC wire to the air conditioning closet
  • Trimmed in floor
  • Created a new locking mechanism for the vented side windows, removed old screen
  • Began designing an updated LoveBug logo and 3D printed it--Will retain two originals on front and back but may hang one of these inside
  • Slept on the camper couch--pretty good night's sleep
Up Next:
  • Anchor counter back to hull
  • Install new screen on windows
  • Install door threshold
  • Install vent for AC
  • Find a nice solid surface counter top
  • Hook up sink
  • Attach exterior running lights
  • Wire up my truck for trailer lights
  • Go camping -- maiden voyage at the end of the month!
Attached Thumbnails
2018-05-13 18.54.48.jpg   2018-05-09 00.48.28.jpg  

2018-05-13 18.55.31-1.jpg   2018-05-13 18.55.32.jpg  

lovebug2.png  
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:07 PM   #24
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Florida
Posts: 37
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Love Bug Restoration: Day 121-131

Day 121-131 -- See AFTER Photos, attached at the bottom:


It is ready to go camping! It took 131 days to do my frame-off restoration and now it is ready to camp at the drop of a hat. I am so happy with how everything turned out. In the end, I got every thing I wanted and more. Right on schedule and only a little over budget






Today we fitted in the bed and everything is comfortable. I am writing this from there now.



Project Summary
:

1973 Love Bug Fiberglass Camper Renovation - Spring 2018
  • Frame-off restoration - frame removed out from under the shell
  • Frame sandblasted and painted
  • New Dexter #9 Torsion axle installed at 22.5* down with a high-lift bracket - 2,200 lb capacity & a new rear center support beam welded in
  • New 5/8” marine ply installed as sub-floor and fiberglassed to shell in rear
  • New custom upholstered front gaucho couch cushions; charcoal marine vinyl and grey Sunbrella outdoor fabric with chartreuse piping
  • New custom CNC-cut birch cabinet doors with recessed marine-style latches and custom 3D printed hardware
  • All new, completely re-wired from scratch DC electrical system with Power Dynamics PD4135kv charger/converter and a new deep cycle marine battery - system includes all LED lights through cabin, with ample 12v and USB receptacles as well as a Waeco 12v DC fridge/freezer from a Freightliner Cascadia Semi-truck (6 years left on a 10 year warranty). All wires are heat shrink wrapped and installed in conduit.
  • Replaced all running lights with LEDs - all new wiring all around
  • New LifeProof Sterling Oak Waterproof Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring with lifetime warranty & custom 3D printed floor trim
  • Custom air conditioning retrofit in closet with upper storage shelf
  • Restored original sink and Coleman two-burner propane stove
  • Redesigned Love Bug logo for the Love Bug 2.0 concept - 3D printed for use in the project
  • Replaced all window screens and locking mechanisms
  • New bed & bedding, recycled old curtains by dying them
  • iPad mount installed

Up Next:
  • Go camping next weekend!
    First trip will be to the Suwannee Music Park.
  • replace front and rear window seals -- by October
  • finish body work and paint -- by October
  • I will post periodic updates from my camping trips.

Thank you everyone for all of your help and encouragement with this project and getting me to this point. This community has been invaluable and the project a lot of fun! I hope to meet some of you out on the road.

Cheers!
Attached Thumbnails
2018-05-21 22.48.15.jpg   2018-05-21 22.48.43.jpg  

2018-05-27 20.45.18.jpg   2018-05-27 20.45.33.jpg  

2018-05-26 18.02.03.jpg   2018-05-25 23.16.40.jpg  

2018-05-25 23.17.43.jpg  
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:19 PM   #25
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Love it. So clean and stylish. Great work.
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:19 PM   #26
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Florida
Posts: 37
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Love Bug Restoration: Summer Trips, Finishing Body & Paint

We had a great summer visiting state parks and beaches across Florida with the Love Bug camper in tow. It has served us very well.

Today, instead of preparing for a hurricane, I put the first primer coat (Interlux Pre-Kote) on the trailer and it looks good! In my last update from May, I mentioned that I planned to complete bodywork and paint by October. It has been a hot summer so I took my time, but over the last few months I managed to finish the body work. I will sand the first primer coat and put a few more coats on before I roll & tip to finish with Interlux Brightside. I am going camping on the 24th, so it should all come together soon.

Many thanks to my sister for sharing her spacious garage.
A few progress pictures to follow.
Attached Thumbnails
2018-10-08 15.29.59.jpg   2018-10-08 19.19.31.jpg  

2018-10-08 19.19.54.jpg   2018-06-01 16.21.59.jpg  

2018-09-16 08.23.08 HDR.jpg   2018-09-16 12.40.05.jpg  

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Old 10-10-2018, 12:46 AM   #27
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Rob, that's one BIG shade awning .
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:48 PM   #28
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Where is your airconditioner intake and exhaust?
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