Before & After - 1973 Love Bug Renovation - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-12-2018, 01:00 PM   #1
Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Posts: 37
Before & After - 1973 Love Bug Renovation

See attached photos for the before and after of my 1973 Love Bug renovation.

It took me 4 months and 16 days to get the shell off the trailer and to get it back together and camp-ready. I took it for the maiden voyage two weeks ago and it was great!

After four months of sustained effort, I am now tackling all of the other items in my life and around the house that were put on hold to complete the project.

I will be taking my time with a few loose ends that my hurried completion left unfinished. These include new windows and seals, body work, and exterior paint -- to be completed by the end of the year.

It took a lot of money, patience and four months of my spare time but it was a fun project that I wouldn't hesitate to do again. Of course, if I had more time I would love to drag it out West for the road trip I had in mind when I bought it. All in good time....

Full Restoration Album:

Thanks again to everyone here for sharing your insights and pictures of your projects. I certainly would not have finished as quickly or with as much ease without this community.

1973 Love Bug Fiberglass Camper Renovation Summary - 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
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rkbn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 09:52 AM   #2
Senior Member
Name: Tom
Trailer: Outfitter truck campper
Posts: 136
Awesome job, Rob! The results speak for themselves - you built one most excellent camper here. Very impressive!

TomandCallie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 10:59 AM   #3
MurrayC's Avatar
Trailer: Ventura
British Columbia (BC)
Posts: 92
Great job
Go and Enjoy
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:41 AM   #4
Junior Member
Name: Cheryl
Trailer: SCAMP
Posts: 3
Love it!
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:22 PM   #5
Senior Member
Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
Posts: 537
Was your camper originally built in Tripoli Iowa? If you have not communicated with RoyTO he has done some research on these campers.
Iowa Dave
Iowa Dave is offline   Reply With Quote

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