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