Triple E Surfside History Debate - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:17 AM   #1
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
Smile Triple E Surfside History Debate

There is some debate on this forum on the SurfSide history and I want to straighten it out! Or at least try... The final result will be to contact Triple E and ask them for their revision but I suspect there is some not so public parts of the history.

Sources Consulted:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ual-27984.html
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...e-26132-3.html
50 Years for Triple E - RV Dealer News
http://www.mb1870.org/localhistory/0...%20Winkler.pdf
And numerous references in the Winnipeg Free Press for Armor Coach Industries looking for employees in 1975

After reading the above and the fact that there are numerous 1974/1975 models out there my working theory is:

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.

It all lines up nicely

Debate time!!!
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:00 PM   #2
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Name: Robert
Trailer: Surf-Side
Manitoba
Posts: 279
Good Job

I admire your research and found it very interesting. I just wanted to comment because when I first started spending time on Fiberglass RV, the history for Surf Side was blank. I believe that I provided the sentence that is there now and that was from a conversation with Triple E factory staff. Our trailer says it was produced in 1976 although by the history, it may be considered a 1977, however, one knows that production begins well before completion. I have seen listings for Surf-Side Trailers that indicated they were earlier than that and I have always wondered about it. Thank you for the info.

Triple E provided me with a copy of the advertising brochure from 1977 when, I was told, the Surf-Side first appeared along with all the other Triple E models. They also shared a 1978 brochure of the Surf-Side -- it had it's own brochure. I have printouts of those brochures in a binder that I show at the Manitoba Vintage Trailer Rally.
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:50 PM   #3
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
Interesteing

Thanks and I have seen the brochure also, its quite informative.

I am from the west coast and just started looking at all fiberglass RV's to target a brand for which I have settled on the Surfside and Trilium as my preferred models and then went down a rabbit hole of research into the history and different layouts... not certain why I found it so interesting but it is a convenient distraction

I am guessing at this point as the details are quite low on Armor Coach Industries other than some '75 surfiside owners have posted that this was on their label with Winnipeg as the location. There is possible other links to Ventura and Monarch industries that were in Gimli as the Mennonites in the area were are quite likely linked by relatively close bloodlines.

I have some Mennonite in my blood and know of it well as in my area there are a ton of families with close ties in the same small area.
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:22 PM   #4
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Name: Rob
Trailer: FunFinder & Surf Side
British Columbia
Posts: 140
Yes Interesting

So I'm on my third fiberglass trailer.. Oh it's a surfside but at a glance you gotta look twice. Someone painted the whole trailer army green... even the window frames. Any way I have the build sheet perfectly intact on the closet door.. with the serial. number.. But no date. It clearly says Triple E Canada, Springfield Rd. ? but no city.

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Read for yourself.. I would like to know the age.. This trailer came to me as salvage and therefore no Registration.

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Butt ugly.. But I'll fix that.
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Old 11-05-2020, 11:03 PM   #5
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
Interesting it does add question to my previous research as yours is a TM-14.

Is there a date stamped on it anywhere?

My uneducated speculative guess is that once the three E's took back over Triple E there was still some transition going on between the old Armor Coach facility and the Winkler facility. If true I would peg your unit as a '76 model or one of the first TM-14's for '77

Springfield Road is in Winnipeg and where I had found Armor coach to be from that sleuthed old article that I believe had the same address of 1550 Springfield road:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/15...!4d-97.0234281

Just east of hwy 59 as per the article I had found. If you satellite view its clear that that is a small light industrial / commercial area still so it kinda lines up nicely.
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Old 11-05-2020, 11:08 PM   #6
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by robeye View Post
Attachment 138315
Butt ugly.. But I'll fix that.
Needs some TLC but looks otherwise reasonable. Someone wanted that trailer to blend into the bush somewhere

I am assuming it is a standard layout or is it a front galley by chance?
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:54 AM   #7
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Name: Rob
Trailer: FunFinder & Surf Side
British Columbia
Posts: 140
Yes standard layout... or was, they removed the kitchen for reasons unknown. The fridge was on the floor. I don't care because I have another good one.. plus other parts from wreaking out two old tent trailers. I'll build new cabinets. If I can rescue a 73 Boler from the forest with a broken frame.. And a 78 Scamp / Acorn with NO floor then this is easy. The Boler went to my Daughter in Edmonton.. And has traveled over 4000 kms since I finished it 3 years ago.

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And the Scamp was finished to lock up for folks who wanted to do the interior work.

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Both have new frames , suspension , wheels, lights and hitch, Love doing this.
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Old 03-20-2021, 10:51 PM   #8
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Name: Amber
Trailer: 1975 Boler 1300 & 1976 SurfSide TM-14
British Columbia
Posts: 29
Registry
Armor Coach Industries vs. Triple-E

I purchased a SurfSide last year from my grade 4 elementary school teacher here in BC. He was the second owner and I'm the third. It's all original and has all the original paperwork with it, as well as the manufacturer decal. It's made by Armor Coach Industries in Winnipeg and is listed with a date of manufacture as February 1976 (2/76). The model is TM-14 and this is also painted on the outside of the trailer.

I also have a Boler 1300 that I've had for a few years now but am going to sell. I've got way too much money wrapped up in it and was able to purchase the SurfSide for a much more reasonable price. It's also amazing how much bigger it feels inside, even though it's only a foot longer. But I think it's also taller and wider. I love the SurfSide and am looking forward to doing a bit of cosmetic work on it this summer.
Attached Thumbnails
decal.jpg   front.jpg  

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Old 03-21-2021, 06:40 AM   #9
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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I think the squarish shape of Trillium, Surfside and Escapes makes the interior roomier than our rounded shape cousins like Boler, Scamp, and Casita. On my Trillium the aisleway is wider than my Casita was (cabinets are shallower). It’s wider in our Escape too. I never measured the Casita so I don’t have data. But my wife and I can pass each other in the Escape, where we couldn’t on the Casita. OK, I could use a diet...
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Old 03-21-2021, 07:57 AM   #10
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Bertha View Post
I purchased a SurfSide last year from my grade 4 elementary school teacher here in BC. He was the second owner and I'm the third. It's all original and has all the original paperwork with it, as well as the manufacturer decal. It's made by Armor Coach Industries in Winnipeg and is listed with a date of manufacture as February 1976 (2/76). The model is TM-14 and this is also painted on the outside of the trailer.

I also have a Boler 1300 that I've had for a few years now but am going to sell. I've got way too much money wrapped up in it and was able to purchase the SurfSide for a much more reasonable price. It's also amazing how much bigger it feels inside, even though it's only a foot longer. But I think it's also taller and wider. I love the SurfSide and am looking forward to doing a bit of cosmetic work on it this summer.
Super Cool! If my original theorizing is accurate then this little beauty was built by Armor Coach right around the transition of the MFG moving to Winkler. Seems like "TM-14" branding was from the 3 E's that had produced through Armor Coach after leaving Triple E and then when Triple E took it back over they kept that branding.

Regardless I believe this unit bridges the evolutionary gap of the Surfside. Would love to see more pictures and if there is a manual or anything relevant for others in the paperwork. I had some original registration but nothing else
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Old 03-21-2021, 08:26 AM   #11
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kipper View Post
Would love to see more pictures and if there is a manual or anything relevant for others in the paperwork. I had some original registration but nothing else
Check out the Document Center. There may be items that interest you. Direct link to the Surf Side documents: https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...p?do=cat&id=29


There are lots of manuals for appliances for most of the all-molded-towables, this is the root link: https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/downloads.php


Have fun
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Old 03-21-2021, 12:23 PM   #12
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Name: Amber
Trailer: 1975 Boler 1300 & 1976 SurfSide TM-14
British Columbia
Posts: 29
Registry
Hi Kipper. I'd love to share photos. It's in storage right now but I'm going to head out to it in the next few days to check on it and bring the battery in for a charge. I'll take some pics and grab any paperwork that's there. It's a solid unit and tows way better than my Boler. It definitely needs a little cosmetic TLC but that's the fun part. I'm getting new cushions made for it in a few weeks and going to try to replace the flooring this spring and then the rest can happen when I have time. I took into a shop here as soon as I got it to make sure it was all safe and the only thing they found wrong with it was that the gas lines for the furnace were leaking and one of the parts needed replacing so I had them cap that off for now until I decide if I'm going to repair or replace the furnace. A repair is about $800 and I'm not sure how much a new unit would be, although I know it would be substantially more. But then it would be new and I'd feel better about that. So, I'll see. For now I don't really feel like we need as I don't have one in my Boler and haven't missed it. Anyhow, I digress. I'll take pics and post them here once I have them.
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Old 03-21-2021, 12:55 PM   #13
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: 1975 Surfside (not Triple E)
British Columbia
Posts: 57
Yep our 'Susie' in in storage also no rush.

Ours is the somewhat rare front galley model which is a rad layout but adds allot of tongue weight.
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