'73 Lover Bug frame up restoration - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-08-2024, 08:17 AM   #1
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Name: D
Trailer: Love Bug
Georgia
Posts: 14
'73 Lover Bug frame up restoration

I just picked up a '73 Love Bug that needs a full frame up restoration/rebuild. I'll be taking my time on this one, hopefully getting it camp ready by fall 2025. I have a cargo camper (red one peeking up from behind the truck in one of the pictures) to use so no rush.



It came with everything inside already stripped out, including the ensolite. Cabinet, closet and benches has also been taken out. The floor was also removed. The shell is sitting on a couple 2x4 on top of the frame.


The shell has some spots of rotted fiberglass on the roof that will need to be patched up.


Things I've done so far: Drilled out every rivet that was holding anything and removed them. Removed rusted screws and vents.



Things that needs to be done:
1. Put in new flooring
2. Patch holes in the shell
3. Reinforce rotted fiberglass in the shell
4. Replace axle and reinforce frame and then paint it. Going to find a local welder for this part.
5. Eventually start on the inside. This will include patching large cutouts in the cabinet where the stove used to be. I won't be running a propane stove in this. Fix any cracks in the closet and benches.

Also planning to split the front bench into a dinette and leave the rear area as a full time bed.

Here's some pictures
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Old 04-08-2024, 08:20 AM   #2
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Name: D
Trailer: Love Bug
Georgia
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All the plexiglass are still good, no cracks but a bit faded. I just have to replace the front window molding and reseal the sides and rear.
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Old 04-08-2024, 08:24 AM   #3
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Name: D
Trailer: Love Bug
Georgia
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Since there isn't a floor anymore, can anyone with a Lovebug, Boler or Scamp 13 provide me with measurements on the floor between the wheels wells?


I have the front bench to get a measurement for the front floor, just need the wheel well measurements for the middle and that should also line up the rear.
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Old 04-08-2024, 02:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
I have the front bench to get a measurement for the front floor, just need the wheel well measurements for the middle and that should also line up the rear.

The front bench and rear bench should be the same.
So with the front bench you should be able to get the the floor under the bench, the rear bed area will be the same as the front bench.
With the front under bench that will give you the kitchen floor at the front which will be the same as the rear.


Keep in mind the floor under the kitchen cabinets is level with the rear floor and the floor bounded by the door, front bench, kitchen cabinet and rear area drops about 6" below that.
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Old 04-08-2024, 02:32 PM   #5
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Of course, why didn't I think of that . Thank you.
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Old 04-13-2024, 09:30 PM   #6
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Name: D
Trailer: Love Bug
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Got some time to work on the cabinets and benches. Took a wire wheel to all the holes so I could patch them up and there's a lot of holes. Also removed any rotted wood that was fiberglassed in.
For the kitchen, I'm going to just put a wood countertop instead of patching the missing stove.
I'll do the same for the closet, put a wood face on it and cut out the opening for shelves.
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Old 04-22-2024, 06:12 AM   #7
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Name: D
Trailer: Love Bug
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Trying out fiberglassing for the first time on small hole. I think it turned out pretty good. Made the mistake of not precutting enough fiberglass before hand and had to rush cutting some more so i could get the correct thickness. Also used fiberglass bondo to fill in holes and rough spots.
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Old 04-22-2024, 06:13 AM   #8
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Name: D
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This is the inside of one of the cracks I patched from the outside.
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Old 04-27-2024, 10:49 AM   #9
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Name: wayne
Trailer: Casita
North Carolina
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patching holes

When patching holes it is a good practice to cut fiberglass patches from small to increasing size pieces to provide overlap/strength for the patch. 1st piece the size of the hole, next piece a 1/2 larger. The hole is usually faired before glassing. You can get some great instruction from Boatworks Today on youtube. This guy is really good. Hope this idea helps and looks like a great project
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Old 05-03-2024, 06:36 PM   #10
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Name: D
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Been practicing some more working with fiberglass. This time I cut out enough pieces and from small to large.
Patched a crack at the front top corner and lower by the frame. Also patched in the vent cutout by the kitchenette.
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Old 05-03-2024, 06:40 PM   #11
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Name: D
Trailer: Love Bug
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Spent two hours with the orbital sander. Started with 120 grit, then 80 and then 60. It works well on the bondo but takes forever on the fiberglass.
Only after two hours did I remember I have a belt sander. It only took a few minutes to knock down the high spots on the fiberglass patches and then applied some bondo to smooth it out.
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Old 05-05-2024, 06:12 PM   #12
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Name: D
Trailer: Love Bug
Georgia
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Just noticed a typo in my thread title 🤣

Been dreading doing the front floor. Was planning to use cardboard to make a template but then saw someone use this method to build a custom kitchenette that followed the contour of the wall. 2x4 with fingers and then traced it onto 5/8" pressure treated plywood. The original floor was 1/2".

The previous owner left one "corner" of the floor by the door intact so I was able to use it as a template for the "corner" curve. It's not perfect but the good thing about a fiberglass camper is there are no corners. Any gaps can be patched with more fiberglass units it looks good enough. 😁
The floor isn't glassed in yet, it's just screwed into the ledge.
Might tackle the rear floor next week or so. Have to go get another sheet of plywood.
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Old 05-18-2024, 05:47 PM   #13
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Name: D
Trailer: Love Bug
Georgia
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Did the rear floor. Used the same tracing method as the front but didn't come out as good. Have a gap on the right side corner. Glasses it partially in for now.
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