Rob's 1973 Love Bug Rebuild - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-07-2018, 11:00 PM   #21
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Florida
Posts: 37
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Love Bug Restoration: Day 101-110

Day 101-110 -- See Attachments:

Tonight I am comfortably relaxing in it for the first time since bringing it home; the front couch is more comfortable than I would have imagined!
  • New DC electric system and all new wiring installed with Progressive Dynamics PD4125KV charger/inverter & a deep cycle marine battery. Unit is surface mounted on face of couch near entry door. Battery sits in a dry-box on the tongue.
  • LED reading lights on either end of the overhead kitchen cabinets
  • LEDs over the counter on a dimmer
  • USB ports for charging, 12v socket & voltometer added
  • Working on trimming in the flooring
Up Next:
  • Anchor furniture back to hull
  • Cut remaining cabinet doors
  • Finish wiring the AC system
  • Attach all exterior running lights
  • Go camping -- maiden voyage at the end of the month!
Attached Thumbnails
2018-05-07 23.43.43.jpg   2018-05-07 23.45.54.jpg  

2018-05-07 23.43.25.jpg  
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:44 AM   #22
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 2017 Escape 17B
SW Virginia
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Looking great Rob. Love to see it down the road some time.
BTW, pretty sure you mean converter, not inverter?

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Old 05-17-2018, 07:31 AM   #23
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Florida
Posts: 37
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Love Bug Restoration: Day 111-120

Day 111-120 -- See Attachments:

The camper is now competing with my home for where I sleep haha
A week ago I found a semi-truck driver selling a Waeco DC fridge/freezer for $100--exactly what I wanted for 1/6 the cost of new; and it works like a champ! As a bonus, I got to check out the new 2018 Freightliner Semi he had at his house. I had never been in a semi before so that was pretty cool.
  • Installed Waeco DC Fridge/Freezer
  • Cut remaining top cabinet doors and trim piece for around fridge using x-carve (multi-axis milling machine). Painted and hung. Verdict still out on colors but will suffice for the moment.
  • Ran AC wire to the air conditioning closet
  • Trimmed in floor
  • Created a new locking mechanism for the vented side windows, removed old screen
  • Began designing an updated LoveBug logo and 3D printed it--Will retain two originals on front and back but may hang one of these inside
  • Slept on the camper couch--pretty good night's sleep
Up Next:
  • Anchor counter back to hull
  • Install new screen on windows
  • Install door threshold
  • Install vent for AC
  • Find a nice solid surface counter top
  • Hook up sink
  • Attach exterior running lights
  • Wire up my truck for trailer lights
  • Go camping -- maiden voyage at the end of the month!
Attached Thumbnails
2018-05-13 18.54.48.jpg   2018-05-09 00.48.28.jpg  

2018-05-13 18.55.31-1.jpg   2018-05-13 18.55.32.jpg  

lovebug2.png  
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:07 PM   #24
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Florida
Posts: 37
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Love Bug Restoration: Day 121-131

Day 121-131 -- See AFTER Photos, attached at the bottom:


It is ready to go camping! It took 131 days to do my frame-off restoration and now it is ready to camp at the drop of a hat. I am so happy with how everything turned out. In the end, I got every thing I wanted and more. Right on schedule and only a little over budget






Today we fitted in the bed and everything is comfortable. I am writing this from there now.



Project Summary
:

1973 Love Bug Fiberglass Camper Renovation - 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

Up Next:
  • Go camping next weekend!
    First trip will be to the Suwannee Music Park.
  • replace front and rear window seals -- by October
  • finish body work and paint -- by October
  • I will post periodic updates from my camping trips.

Thank you everyone for all of your help and encouragement with this project and getting me to this point. This community has been invaluable and the project a lot of fun! I hope to meet some of you out on the road.

Cheers!
Attached Thumbnails
2018-05-21 22.48.15.jpg   2018-05-21 22.48.43.jpg  

2018-05-27 20.45.18.jpg   2018-05-27 20.45.33.jpg  

2018-05-26 18.02.03.jpg   2018-05-25 23.16.40.jpg  

2018-05-25 23.17.43.jpg  
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:19 PM   #25
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Love it. So clean and stylish. Great work.
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:19 PM   #26
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Florida
Posts: 37
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Love Bug Restoration: Summer Trips, Finishing Body & Paint

We had a great summer visiting state parks and beaches across Florida with the Love Bug camper in tow. It has served us very well.

Today, instead of preparing for a hurricane, I put the first primer coat (Interlux Pre-Kote) on the trailer and it looks good! In my last update from May, I mentioned that I planned to complete bodywork and paint by October. It has been a hot summer so I took my time, but over the last few months I managed to finish the body work. I will sand the first primer coat and put a few more coats on before I roll & tip to finish with Interlux Brightside. I am going camping on the 24th, so it should all come together soon.

Many thanks to my sister for sharing her spacious garage.
A few progress pictures to follow.
Attached Thumbnails
2018-10-08 15.29.59.jpg   2018-10-08 19.19.31.jpg  

2018-10-08 19.19.54.jpg   2018-06-01 16.21.59.jpg  

2018-09-16 08.23.08 HDR.jpg   2018-09-16 12.40.05.jpg  

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Old 10-10-2018, 12:46 AM   #27
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Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
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Rob, that's one BIG shade awning .
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:48 PM   #28
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Where is your airconditioner intake and exhaust?
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:36 PM   #29
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Florida
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Borrego Dave - The sunshade was a Coleman 13'x13' found at Costco I believe. It is big enough to sit over the full trailer for shade or can provide a nice covered patio.

Markz--I have used the ac as it was setup when I bought it. It sits in the closet. It exhausts through a hole by the front door. It draws through the front and sides of the unit (within the camper). In practice, I try and keep a window vented to draw. I am curious about how others handle this with non-window units. Mine is a 5,000 btu Haier Commercial Comfort unit that runs on the small generator I carry with, when needed. This is an arrangement that works albeit likely inefficiently, so I am open to suggestions on how better to handle this function. I would love to get the closet space back.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:44 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbn View Post
Borrego Dave - The sunshade was a Coleman 13'x13' found at Costco I believe. It is big enough to sit over the full trailer for shade or can provide a nice covered patio.

Markz--I have used the ac as it was setup when I bought it. It sits in the closet. It exhausts through a hole by the front door. It draws through the front and sides of the unit (within the camper). In practice, I try and keep a window vented to draw. I am curious about how others handle this with non-window units. Mine is a 5,000 btu Haier Commercial Comfort unit that runs on the small generator I carry with, when needed. This is an arrangement that works albeit likely inefficiently, so I am open to suggestions on how better to handle this function. I would love to get the closet space back.
Ours is hidden in the closet and works well. If you are looking to free up closet space, some owners have successfully installed mini-split air conditioning units in theirs and the ClimateRight company makes a unit that ducts into the camper and can be mounted on the tongue.
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:28 AM   #31
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Name: Ronald
Trailer: Boler 13' 1974
Ontario
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Love Bug

Remember to paint the wrought iron twin cupboard supports white. They blend in and almost vanish. Don`t know why they came painted black!!!
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:33 AM   #32
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
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I wrapped those supports in a black electrical wiring conduit. It gives it a really nice look. Will attache a photo when I am near the unit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butsky View Post
Remember to paint the wrought iron twin cupboard supports white. They blend in and almost vanish. Don`t know why they came painted black!!!
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:07 AM   #33
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Wow! GREAT way to hide those ugly wires. Bravo!
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:37 PM   #34
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
Florida
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11 Month Update

A few pictures of the completed paint.

Three coats of Interlux Pre-Kote & three coats of Interlux Brightside, roll + tipped on.

All that remains are front and rear window seals, figuring out what to coat the roof with (open to suggestions) and maybe some new wheels or hubcaps.
Attached Thumbnails
2018-10-21 14.50.37.jpg   2018-10-21 14.50.31.jpg  

2018-10-21 15.02.14.jpg   2018-10-21 15.12.04.jpg  

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Old 11-14-2018, 01:48 PM   #35
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Hey Rob. Nice. How many quarts of each (primer and paint) did you use?
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:02 PM   #36
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Name: Rob
Trailer: '73 Love Bug
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Hey Tom! Good to hear from you. I bought a gallon of each and spent a small fortune. I plan to use the rest on my sailboat. After doing the primer, I felt like a quart probably would have covered it. I ran through a little less than half the gallon of finish coat, I think. I will update you when I crack open the cans and give it another look. Reporting from a not very reliable memory haha.

How is your project coming along? Would love to see some photos.
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