1975 Surfside FG refurb by Armadillo Trailers - Fiberglass RV
Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-01-2020, 01:54 PM   #1
Member
 
Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
1975 Surfside FG refurb by Armadillo Trailers

Itís home finally! Our beautifully restored 1975 Surfisde FG by Armadillo Trailers!

And now itís time to tell the tale of this little beauty. Keep in mind that I have done some research but these are based on my best estimates and conversations with others.

For those interested in the history of the Triple E surfside please have a look at my previous post:
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ate-91120.html
But here is the main blurb
Ē Triple E was purchased by Neonex in 1969 which pushed out the thre "e's" from the company. They then started a new business called "Armor Coach Industries" (located on Springfield Rd 1mi east of HWY 59 in the now North Transcona yards) and started making the SurfSide as their entry into the fiberglass RV market. The Oil embargo hit and Jimmy Pattison started to lose buckets of money and sales dropped in RV's so he sold Triple E back to the founders in 1976. At this point Armor Coach industry disolved, moved shop to the Triple E Winkler factory and ramped up marketing and production for 1977 when the official start of the TM-14 Triple E Surfside began."

So, the 1975 falls within the period that the Surfside was NOT a Triple E product but manufactured by the three Eís. This is apparent in the decals of this version which at no point mention ĎTriple Eí. during this period the three Eís toyed with design options and came up with the front galley model which I will refer to as the FG.

From what I can tell the FG was an option but likely cost more money as the production was slightly more difficult as it requires the door area to have extra reinforcement due to there being no cabinet to support the roof. Either consumers didnít want to spend the extra cash for this or it fell out of favor as the production line efficiencies were considered. Either way there are relatively few of these out there and I have estimated based on their production capabilities and the years offered that there were likely less than 100 ever built.

Now letís have a quick look at the history of Armadillo Trailers as I know it

The official version is here: https://www.armadillotrailers.net/the-armadillo

What is not explicitly mentioned is that they do have the official license to produce using the Boler molds that was purchased from Lil Bigfoot. This was used as a template for the Armadillo trailer.

And here is where the two histories dovetail together to create this piece of history

Not long ago a member of this forum from Vancouver BC (we think we know who but will let them speak up if they choose) purchased a classic Boler trailer and drove it to Armadillo to get refurbished. When they arrived, they saw the first ever Armadillo trailer and immediately fell in love with it. They then drove it home and enjoyed it for a few years. There family started to expand and the classic little number started to feel a little small so they went shopping. After searching for the right trailer, they came across a Surfside FG and purchased it. They then proceeded to drive the FG to Enderby BC to get refurbished as they already had a relationship with Armadillo.

Mike and Jason took in the FG and thought ďwow this is the best layout design everĒ and decided that they would create a new mold based on the configuration of this trailer. This became (yes you guessed it) the Backpack! They used the Surfside as a testing ground for perfecting the installs and configuration which is why many of its features are the same as a new backpack. They built the first ever backpack and were getting ready to sell it when the Surfside owners came to Armadillo and immediately fell in love with the Backpack, and purchased it.

Mike and Jason decided they would love to have their own trailer and continued to update the FG to their tastes including custom decals, stereo install color etc. In the end they are a business that runs on a tight budget and decided that they had better sell the unit to keep the business in a good place.

Thatís where our family steps in and got LUCKY surfing Kijiji one January morning and aggressively went after the unit as it looked perfect for our needs. Pickup plans were in the works and then the pandemic made it all confusing until ICBC allowed for ownership transfer via e-mail and phone, to finally get this number home last week. It has surpassed our expectations and it perfect for our family of 4.

We absolutely LOVE this Surfside because of these features:
- Massive bed, bigger than a queen! Yes you read that right it measures about 75Ēx75Ē and the corners are not as round as a boler (more like a trillium) so it is HUGE!
- Upper Bunk / Shelf big enough for our 8-year-old. Could easily be modified to hold 2 kids but it is unnecessary due to the large lower bed
- Front Galley Kitchen with window maximizes use of the entryway space
- Full closet with room enough for a toilet. Has its own separate vent
- Brand new fridge, cooktop, wiring, stereo system, LED lighting
- New paint job and rock guarding
- New tires and rims (including spare)
- New cushions and upholstering
- New rock screen for the from window
- New fantastic fan and a pop-up vent at other end for air flow
- Massive Jalousie windows (original) front, both sides and back
- New interior insulation. If I understood it right the Surfsides may not have been insulated previously? Mike mentioned something about this. Wondering if this is why the Boler was so popular with the insolite.
- New Sink, fresh water tank and water pump including an outside shower port with shower head
- New battery and propane tank wiring / piping for both
- New shore power system and charger for the battery
- Existing heater still works fine and was kept
- Trailer brakes with breakaway brake system
- New trailer lights
- The door seals perfectly all the way around and the original door hardware adjusted
- There is more minor detail things but all adds up to a professional install!

Anyhow this is a long-winded post but we are excited to own this piece of history. Will add pictures shortly. We have tentatively decided her name is "Over Easy" due to the yellow bottom half.
kipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2020, 02:10 PM   #2
Member
 
Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
Pictures

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...lbums2308.html
kipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2020, 02:11 PM   #3
Member
 
Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
kipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2020, 10:43 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
DeanCHS1980's Avatar
 
Name: Dean
Trailer: Casita
Kentucky
Posts: 699
Registry
Love it!!!
__________________
Laura & Dean | '05 Casita 17' FD | '09 Kia Borrego Limited V8 2WD
DeanCHS1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2020, 03:21 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Name: Nigel
Trailer: In the market
Ontario
Posts: 21
You were very lucky to find that one. Iím sure Armadillo has it in much better condition than when it was new.

Nigel
NigelW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2020, 08:35 PM   #6
Member
 
Name: Zac
Trailer: Surfside
Ontario
Posts: 60
What a beautiful little trailer. Looks like it was renovated very well!

I was wondering if I could bother you with something..... When you get a second would you mind posting a picture of your door seal... maybe a close up and one where I could see the whole thing? I have butchered a van door gasket on mine but it still leaves a small little gap at the bottom. I noticed your gasket is on the door not on the cab.... anyways Iíd love to try to fix that. If you wouldnít mind just telling me how itís held on... glue, screws, clips,etc.
Any help would be appreciated
Thanks
Zac
zac w. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2020, 06:51 AM   #7
Member
 
Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by zac w. View Post
What a beautiful little trailer. Looks like it was renovated very well!

I was wondering if I could bother you with something..... When you get a second would you mind posting a picture of your door seal... maybe a close up and one where I could see the whole thing? I have butchered a van door gasket on mine but it still leaves a small little gap at the bottom. I noticed your gasket is on the door not on the cab.... anyways Iíd love to try to fix that. If you wouldnít mind just telling me how itís held on... glue, screws, clips,etc.
Any help would be appreciated
Thanks
Zac
Hello yes its glued onto the door and seals quite well. Its a firm foam and we have to push the door a bit to latch but thats a good thing i believe
kipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2020, 03:06 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Name: Al
Trailer: Surfside
British Columbia
Posts: 3
Sounds like I bought one of these FR models. The kitchen is across the front and it looks like its original fibreglass kitchen. And the back end has a 30 inch wide "bench" across the back with the side bench coming right to the door. No closet.
alezaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2020, 05:32 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Name: Happy Vongole
Trailer: Surfside
Alberta
Posts: 15
Your trailer looks great! What an amazing amount of upgrades.

I was wondering if you would mind sending a picture of the front where the rock guard is. I am putting some on mine but am not sure how high I want it to go. I want it to be protective but also aesthetically pleasing as well.

Like zac w., I would also appreciate a picture of your door gasket.

Thanks for sharing!
Happy Vongole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2020, 02:52 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Name: Andy
Trailer: Surfside
British Columbia
Posts: 2
What type of bracket was used to mount the awning to the roof?
AndewGlenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2020, 03:21 PM   #11
Member
 
Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
It looks like one that came with the shady boy awning. Its almost like a wide V shape

I would take a picture and also for the door gaskets ETC but she is put away for the winter.
kipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2021, 08:21 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: SurfSide
British Columbia
Posts: 7
Hi, we have a 75 Surf Side that one of the previous owners had done some change/upgrades. One item is he changed the tires and rims. What size tires and rims are on yours?
Gordon A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2021, 08:06 AM   #13
Member
 
Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon A View Post
Hi, we have a 75 Surf Side that one of the previous owners had done some change/upgrades. One item is he changed the tires and rims. What size tires and rims are on yours?
13" I believe
kipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2021, 08:57 AM   #14
Junior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: SurfSide
British Columbia
Posts: 7
Thanks for the reply. I was figuring that one of the previous owners had changed up to 14 as the rims are more like car rims, and he put car tires on. He did a few funny things. I just went through an changed up most of the 12 volt wiring, as the owner had bits and pieces of wiring added together all different colours, hard to trace anything. I noticed in some of the threads around you posts, it mentions pictures of your trailer. Can you direct me to them by chance?
Gordon A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2021, 09:04 AM   #15
Member
 
Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...lbums2308.html
kipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2021, 09:08 AM   #16
Member
 
Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
Not much for the fine details in the pics. I have modded a bunch of stuff to fit my personal tastes such as PWM fan control, DC-DC charger, moved the battery off the hitch (with non off-gassing battery) and fixed a few minor issues around window and door seals.

Armadillo did a good job on most of it, but this was a prototype that was never used in the real world and a quite a few little issues popped up that became apparent after a few weeks in the rain
kipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2021, 09:39 AM   #17
Junior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: SurfSide
British Columbia
Posts: 7
Thank you very much. Your trailer is much like ours, FK, that large back bench. I have down a number of changes since we got it. Biggest change was replacing the two side windows and back window with new radius corner windows. The old ones leaked badly. My local rv dealer had then made for me through a company in Summerland. I had too fill in the corners to accommodate them and re fibreglass, but didnít take too much. When we got the trailer, the previous owner had changed the closet into a bathroom with a porta potty. I had a toiler in my shed for an old camper I once had, so searched for a holding tank that would fit inside on the floor of the closet. Found a manufacturer in Winnipeg that made the perfect thing. Tied the outlet of that holding tank together with the outlet from the grey water tank, now have a flush toilet. We just re fashioned the table so it fixed I place and quickly lets down for the bed. No longer have to pull that centre table leg out and turn things around to fit.

As I mentioned in the post, working on fixing the tire situation, I found a company online that provides a method of measuring the axle to see if it is worn out. If so, probably upgrade that as well.
Gordon A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2021, 01:01 PM   #18
Member
 
Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
Those are some serious updates, nicely done!

I would like to install a boat style access hatch to get at the under seat storage and als have plans for the table but i just don't have the time. Would like to know more about how you fixed the table for easy bed/eat switching. Have been day dreaming of using a sit/stand deck motor for doing it...

Eventually!
kipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2021, 03:52 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Name: Gordon
Trailer: SurfSide
British Columbia
Posts: 7
Hi again; One of the pervious owners installed hatches on either side to access under the back bench. Work really well. I don't access that compartment any more from inside.

As for the table, I actually got the idea from a French trailer that folds out both sides, everything inside (Benches, table etc) fold up when the two sides fold in. Here is the link:



BeauEr

Essentially, the table is fixed in place by a board rising from the back bench . Toward the front of the table are a couple of legs (fixed together. Everything is hinged. The back board holding the table up is held in place with a couple of dead bolts, the front legs fold under. Disconnect the dead bolts, fold the legs under and the table folds down to sit on the edge of the side benches. The table has to be the width between the two side benches where it sits as bed. The previous owner had made a couple of larger cushions for the benches, they were too wide for the bench and too high for the windows. Don't know what they did with them other than use for the bed when down. I extended the side benches out several inches to accommodate the wider cushions. We ended up with a larger table as it sits back a bit over the back bench, which I find unusable really.

The trailer is in storage right now in a shelter as we get a lot of snow. I'll try to take some pictures in the coming days.
Gordon A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2021, 09:13 AM   #20
Junior Member
 
Name: Greg
Trailer: Trillium
Alberta
Posts: 6
Hey Kipper (or anyone)!!!
First reply I have ever written as a long time creeper on the site . I have a lead on a 1975 Surfside with the same front galley kitchen as this one with the large back bed, which we really love the idea of. The top bunk construction on your unit is the best (and a necessity for us with the little one). Does anyone know if that is something you can build out on a standard construction (using the wood frames for the windows as the braces for the lips) or do you need extra reinforcement some how? It has the fold down shelf, but wondering if that can just get extended and bolstered up to a weight supporting bunk.
DannyNoonan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
armadillo, surfside


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Suntrek Vista Refurb Delmitch2 Modifications, Alterations and Updates 17 03-19-2020 01:29 PM
Anyone familiar with Armadillo trailers? Richard Davis Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 30 03-04-2020 05:17 PM
Hi I'm Dennis and new to this site. need some info to refurb my Trillium Dennis77 Hi, I am.... 3 04-21-2018 02:56 PM
Curbfeeler's 1976 13' Scamp Refurb Curbfeeler Modifications, Alterations and Updates 8 08-02-2016 09:15 PM
Refurb stove top SandriaLCox Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 4 07-29-2014 01:15 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.