Category Archives: Travel Trailers

1994 Insbruck Trailer Page 3

June 24 2023

More things to do before camping:

Let’s see..  the bathroom floor, the pantry, the edging on the countertop, floor vents and my favorite… charging station !

So with a wave of the magic wand…   The bathroom floor is done !  I should have taken a before photo.  Trust me it was bad.  And the vent cover was rusty. It’s a cozy bathroom, but you can close the door.  While I was in a lino gluing mood ….

I replaced the pantry floor too.  Who knows why the laminate did not go in there.  But that’s ok… we fix.  Plus a good size piece of that lino came with the trailer.  I have enough to line the pantry shelves.  Did I say “charging station”  Yes I did and there is the perfect place.

Behind one side of the dinette is a shelf..  Presumably for a TV.  With power and coaxial hook ups. I’m surprised there is no phone jack !   Ah the 90’s..  We don’t need this stuff…we need charging stuff.  So I’ll wave that wand again….

And there Ya have it.   USB and 12v auto plug.. Plus 12volt read out ! The wood frame was needed to make room for the wires.  This brings the trailer into 2023 …  Now let’s have a look at the pantry.

 

It now has shelves !  Deep ones..  Wow I’m almost done…   now for the elephant in the room.. trailer.  The non working fridge is being replaced.

Old and new.. It’s impossible ( nearly) to find the same exact size fridge.  But here’s a cheep fix..  Won’t be any problem fitting it into the fridge cavity.  However I’ll have to figure a way to make it stay there.  Again Done !

Looks like it’s always been there..   This should work just fine for us.  It cools down way faster than a RV fridge.  I’m not tossing the RV fridge yet..  If there is a way to fix it I will.  There is just a few little things to do … One of those is the one vent cover I have.  I decided the bedroom needs it most..  So I got that done today..  And we did a good cleaning too..

Packed and off to BC for our Family reunion.  Tows so much better with a new hitch and the air suspension fixed in the Avalanche.  We decided to park the trailer in Grand Forks at my Brother’s place.. Can’t see using it till next summer..

1994 Insbruck Trailer Page 2

June 22 2023

Need to have a working water system :

Sooo I took that other tank out !

It’s been in there a while… cause the carpet is sorta clean.  Look at how much room I’ve got ! But I don’t have time right now to do all the work I need to do in this space, but here’s my plan.  I’m replacing the water tank fill, hose, vent and outside fill station.  Replacing the city water connection with a new one..  Those are the holes in the outside wall that you see.  I’m replacing the tank drain to the outside wall but NOT under the trailer.  The old one leaks, and it’s not convenient.

Here’s my stash of parts needed, old and new.  The new fill station has a nice door.  I’m not messin with the factory pipes… unless they leak when I test the system.

So.. what a mess.  I’ll explain some of the things you can see in this photo:  Next to the tank is the drain… The valve is hard to get to never mind not working. I’ll plug that hole in the tank.  Where the water feed comes out of the tank there is a tee with an little chunk of the garden hose still there.  That will become my new drain.  Next (with the green hose) is a bypass to close the tank off and pump antifreeze through the water lines. I found no sign of that being done.  Yes I’m worried ! The tank fill and vent line will be quite short.  Let’s hope that once I got these things done and put some water in the tank … I don’t have any leaks in places where I can’t fix.  First I will low pressure the lines with air through the city connection.  Less messy ! But sometimes hard to hear the leaking air.

The air test put my worries to rest.  All the lines were full of water. And out it came as I opened each faucet and flushed the toilet.

I could not hear any leaking air.. But it was only 25 psi..  I’m thinking the family I bought the trailer from did use the water system.  They did go camping this year so it’s quite likely they flushed the anti freeze out..  Both tanks had about 2 inches of water in them.  I will know for sure once I install the fill hose and put some water in the tank, run the pump…

Here’s where my new tank drain is now..  Handy ! Ok now the water tank fill is done.  I put about 8 gal of water in the tank and turned on the pump.  Found a tiny leak where I had attached the city water to the pump.  Fixed that and no leaks !  I win !!

Here’s what things look like now.  So I will vacuum under the bed good and put the bed back.  So with the plumbing back in working order it’s  on too some other things…  Maybe a new page…

Page 3

1994 Gulf Stream Insbruck Trailer

June 17 2023

Just 21 ft from hitch to bumper…  Perfect for us.

Yes there is a bedroom door !  And that’s a 14 ft awning.√  Has a full bathroom with tub. √  Dinette  up front, just the way I like it with the heavy stuff in the middle. Towed it home from west of Edmonton without any issues.  There is a few small repairs and wheel maintenance to do before heading to BC in July. Today I managed to fit it up on my garage apron !

Not easy because of the slope.  But it’s a handy place to do some work. Just open the garage door.  First I replaced the bedroom door latch. We did not have a key but I had another one in my RV junk, so I swapped it out.  Next is the wheels, brakes and bearings.  One side of the trailer at a time.

They are in good condition.  And lots of grease in the bearings. However there was something I always expect to see…

Broken brake wire !  And those crappy connectors… Not on my trailer..  I used heat shrink connectors on those wires and loom to protect them.  Thankfully I did not have to remove the brakes. Just blew the dust out and we are good.  Re greased the bearings and painted the drums.

New shoes !  Now we are Rollin ! Now for the other side.  Oh and I’ve been doing other things .. like trying to get the fridge working.. GRRRR.  I bought another control board and it’s the same problem.  So we are thinking about the options. Will talk about that latter..  Another thing I did was paint the propane tank holder and the tongue/ hitch.

Everything here is in good order except the brake away switch. New one coming.  Oh one other thing missing here is the clamps for a equalizer hitch..  Tomorrow I go get the whole setup.  That will help since the tongue weight is 4 – 5 hundred pounds .

Got the new equalizer set up.  A real good deal to.. However had to drive 2.5 hours north to pick it up..  worth it !  Here’s the clamps approximately in the right place.  Next Brake away installed with loom. And the chains back looking new..

  Here’s a cool thing that’s a tad unusual !

This is on the rear of the trailer. Shading the bedroom window !  I’m quite sure we will like this.  Today I got the right side wheels all done and the new wheels installed.  I used the canopy to shelter me while doing that..  Sure-nuff   there plenty of little holes where the fabric meets the trailer.  I figured that..  The future holds a new fabric.. maybe next year.

Well I don’t think I got a great deal on this trailer given that the fridge could end up being DOA.  I took a chance… and it didn’t turn out good..  So.. we are going to try something new.  But not costly like a new RV fridge would be..  I really like the 12 volt Truck fridges.. but they only make small ones.  We are going to put a mini 110 volt fridge in place of the Domedic RV fridge.  It’s only slightly smaller .. still has a separate freezer. And cost just $300..  Yes one tenth of the cost of a RV fridge.  Here’s the thing.  We really only camp where there is power.  And where there isn’t we still own a generator. So lets give it a go..  The trailer really does suit our needs in every other way. And I can truly not find any sign of a leak.  After 31 years that’s amazing.  The floor plan is so near perfect for the way we use a trailer. Here it is…

Could have done without the second door..  But it’s there and it has a good screen door.   Got a lot done so I thought I’d paint the two steps.  They are in great shape and work perfectly… So why not make them look good too.

There’s even a non slip strip on them..  Nice !  Now we are going to take the mattress outside ,and I will start the inside work.  The plumbing is mostly under the bed.

And this is where things get interesting ..  Someone didn’t think they had enough water storage.  So another tank was installed.  Well we wont need that much.  The angled one is the factory one..  How do I know ?  Because it has the water level sensors, and the drain. Plus the other tank is hooked up to the factory water lines with garden hose !  I’m taking it out.  By the way carpet under a tank is ok but under ALL the plumbing is not. There was a leak in here at one time there is water stains, and of coarse the carpet is gross.  Since the hot water tank is missing I would suspect that was the leak.  So it’s taken me most of the day poking around and a trip to the COOP for parts, but I now know what to do with the mess..   But let’s start a new page for the plans and the fixes…

Page 2

1975 Surfside Trailer: Page 14 Final Work

Jun 2 2023

Fairly soon the Surf Side will see the light of day.  As soon as some parts get here and I get the door back on.  I have fixed the Bargman door latch, but I need a better key made

I built up welds and re shaped the latch to the original shape. May need some adjustments  after I install it.  I did not like the hinges I bought months ago ( loose pin) and they are too small. So I order a new (bigger) set.  New curtains are being made with a reflective liner.

Adding a bit of color is a good thing.  It’s Slowly coming to completion.

One more change I made was the spare tire holder. I got a new one that is higher on the bumper because I was worried the spare would touch the ground.  Now I’m fighting with the door fit a bit …  I did get the Bargman latch re keyed with two keys.

Yup.. Dog gone Door..  Fitting these is hard.. I’m getting to the point where I give up..  You get the hing side lined up perfect..  you get the gap around the door to be even … And then the latch side will not line up and the bottom is out too much.  Gerrrrr.  I Shimmed the door hinges and got a better fit..  So I’m happy again.

Cut loose from the Garage !

And out on the road.. tows great no issues except the front curtain rod bounced off ! You have to make sure there are no loose things …

99.9 % done..  Just a few little details..  But it’s going to live outside now.  And it’s up for sale..  To be replaced by a bit bigger conventional trailer with a bathroom and a bedroom.  I will start a post for that trailer…

Sold !  off to a new home in BC.

 

1994 21 ft Insbruck :

1975 Surfside Trailer: Page 12 Doors & Drawers

April 23 2023

The 3/4 birch plywood is perfect for the doors.  My fancy catches need that much thickness to work.  So I got busy one day with the table saw and the chop saw .. and got it done.

They are a good size too.  Glued and screwed so I don’t think they will ever come apart..  Total over build !

Let’s not mention the fiddling to get the slides and the latches to work good..  And now came the time to paint them ?  What color ?  We brought a blue cushion in and thought about it for a minute.  White..  My original color ( or non color)  If we don’t like the look they can be repainted..

In a week or so we will know if it looks ok.   I’ve now installed most of the doors, and painted the drawers.

Hmm I think we can live with the white for now.  But it’s gonna show dirty finger prints.

The closet door looks great .  What I’m up to is not all doors and drawers..  The electrical needs to be finished too.

So it was also time to get this done and working.  The three position switch with the red labels, chooses between the 110 battery charger and the 100 watt solar panel charge system.  Below that is the power for the diesel heater. To the left of that is the touch dimer for the main lighting, and it has a remote on the bed side of the closet. Then far left is what seams light something missing.  Nope..  the fuse panel is back there and it will show a red light for a blown fuse.  And with this all done I installed the fridge.

And yes the light goes out when the door is closed. Remember there is no propane in this trailer.. The fridge is cooled with a 12 volt compressor.  You can leave it running while driving without fear of a fire.   This is what my finished drawers look like..

Progress is a bit slow these days.  But I did get the solar system installed and working.

The flexible panel fit nicely on the bug screen, (that I rebuilt ) and even inside the garage it’s putting out power.

So If I need to use it Just raise the cover..

I’m picking away at the last details as I find time.  I’ve ordered some Geocell sealant to use around the windows and other outside things. I finally took the trailer off of the jack stands and down on it’s wheels.

Having the axles set at 10 degrees up instead of 22 was perfect.  With the trailer level the hitch is 16″ high. And the wheels have lots of room in the wheel wells.  The only concern is the spare tire.

Kinda close to the ground !  This may need a modification.  So I ordered one that goes straight up from the bumper and higher.  I’m waiting for that and a few other things that will complete the trailer. So lets start a new post about the last details.

The Final finishing:  Page 14

1975 Surfside Trailer: Page 11 Overhead Shelves

March 28 2023

YES.. more places to store things.

And let’s not forget a place for the lighting too.  I just can’t let those window frames go without using them to attach shelves too.  They are perfect for this..  with the added bonus of providing a place to mount lights and run wires.

And just like the bottom of the kitchen overhead cabinet..  These are hollow too.  This construction is strong and light, and you will never see the wiring for the lights.

These are the under cabinet LED lights I bought. And they are controlled by the fancy touch dimmer you see on the face plate  for my electric panel cover.  Plus! there is a wireless remote that I can mount on the closet wall above the bed.. or carry it around.  Four of these lights will be under the rear shelves. Two of them will be under the front shelves …with..

These two LED reading lights.  They will be independent of the flush mount lights.  Meanwhile at the rear of the trailer..  Here’s the shelve across the back done.

 

The top is already cut. It will get shelve liner glued on then fastened in place ( after the wires are run ) .

And of coarse I cut the holes for the lights.  Gimp in the corner too.  I’m getting really good at fitting the curves.  It did not take long to build these shelves, because they are so simple.

And there you have it !  The wood trim that makes a lip is made from the flooring. All that’s need now is the gray glued to the top peice and that nailed in place. Here’s the underside.

This is how you do it..  These will be on a dimmer and a remote.        On to the front shelves.  It’s taken a while to get those done due to other things needing attention.  Ok mostly done now.

Still got to put the edging on..  I need to figure out the solar panel wiring .  And that means I need to get the solar panel installed.  Meanwhile I’ve been building drawers and doors.  So let’s start a new post for that work.

Page 12

1975 Surfside Trailer: Page 10 Kitchen Cabinets

March 9 2023

This is where the big changes happen…

Starting with the lower part being full length to the front seat.  Four drawers and two larger doors.

The same way I build all the fronts, with biscuit joints and glue.  Then I see how it looks in place.

Hmm.  Not bad ..just need to shave a little off the bottom next to the seat.  This photo gives many clues to how I’m configuring the drawers and doors.  Starting from the left: The door is partly blocked by the wheel well.  Above that is a false drawer front because the sink is there. The next door is for the 6 gal water jug with a drawer above to hide the induction top when not being used.  Lots of free counter space.  Then under the fridge  we have a bank of three drawers , with the largest at the bottom.  I now realize that the front seat should be in place in order to accurately fit the kitchen.  So I need to work on that.

Sure enough I had to trim a bit of the front to fit the space.  No worries now is the time to do that.  I got busy rebuilding that front seat.  New fronts !

And here you see things fitting nicely. Time to paint all these things and Get them installed.  Then I need to work on the guts of the kitchen.  Drawer slides and a shelve under the sink.  Much easier without the counter in the way.  Here’s a video update of where I’m at :

Today I got busy on those “guts” of the cabinet.  Figuring out how to make strong drawer slides.  Nailed It !

Now I need a shelve and help to keep the water jug in place. And this is what I did..  Plus the shelve.

This is a great alternative to a water tank.  It holds 6 gals and you can take it to the tap, fill it up and it fits nicely here.  Anyway I got to work on the counter top. (just the plywood for now) This allows me to build the cabinet for the fridge.

Perfect fit ..  You can see my different way of constructing this.  The fridge will sit on the counter. And the counter goes through to the front of the trailer.  No bunk in this trailer.  Above it is my electrical cabinet.

Different look at it..  Those holes are for the 110 plugs.

I’ve been doing some electrical work… And a test fit for the  Truckfridge.   My power and fuse panel on the left , and solar charger and 110 charger on the right.  The cover that will go on will have holes cut to see the lcd screens on the chargers , and a switch to chose which one to use.  Also a switch for the heater and a dimmer control for the main LED lights.

These are the plugs and things on the front side of the fridge.  (right side if your looking at it ) I have my extra counter here and lots of charging options.  One of two Inverter plugs, and the same for the 110 plugs with USB ports.  If you are camping without power then you can turn on this USB station with a battery condition read out.

Today I got the counter top edging on.  This same edging will be on the shelves over the windows.  And now I have the laminate glued and trimmed.  And it’s looking like I wanted it too.

Now it’s time for the overhead cabinets.  The next one is the kitchen overhead cabinet.  It’s the last grey cabinet, with doors. All the shelves over the windows will be white on the underside with a wood trim.

 

With this done I could call the kitchen cabinets finished..

 

But there’s lots to do..  I can now do the backsplash.  However there is drawers to build, doors to make and the sink to install.  All in good time.  And those can be new posts too.

Backsplash is done !  And looks great.

And I got the sink installed too.

The position for the sink was important.

I’m going to call the kitchen done for now and start the new post for the overhead shelves…

Page 11 Shelves:

1975 Surfside Trailer: Page 9 Cabinets

Mar 3 2023

This is kinda the home stretch..

I’m giving myself till the end of April to be finished the trailer.  So I’m tidying up the shop and making room to work on the cabinets, which have been piled on the work table since removing them.

 

We are starting with the closet cabinet by the door.  These side pieces fit the wall nicely.  So I want to use them..  However the builders tag is on the inside, so that one will be a template for a new wall.  The one laying down just needs more framing added.  For sure I’m making a new front for the closet.  And that will be the method I know from the 76 Surfside.

The piece in the middle is for the bottom.  It includes a flange for screwing to the floor.  Here’s what it looks like in place.

You have to lift the roof just a tad to put it in place, so that’s good support.  The side walls have more structure in them than the factory side walls.  When attached to the front they will make everything strong. finished on the inside too.  I want it to look nice when you open the closet door.

Here’s the side wall that goes next to the seat.  This will be primed and painted, so the nails are filled.  The inside walls will be natural wood.   On the wall next to the door I added even more structure wood.

 

There is good reason for this.  I need the thickness to staple the gimp trim to, and the shelves need attach points.  The wires will be run inside this wall too.

Hiding..   You won’t see very many wires in my build. I can put the inside panel on now.   And with that all done I finished the closet..

Turned out good !  Seams a shame to paint this..  but most of the cabinets that will not be changed are painted.  Those are the seats front and the two for a table.  They are in good condition so I will only tweak them a little.  Time for a test fit before I paint this one and the rear seat.

Very nice fit…just a few adjustments.  I also marked on the seat where to trim a bit.  Wave the magic wand and……

Primed , painted and the rubber gimp trim added.  A thin carpeting will be glued to the top side of the seats.  What’s gimp ?  Sometimes called “welt”  It was used years ago in RV’s.  I’m bringing it back ! A great way to hide poorly fitting stuff and the best thing is it provides a seal between the cabinets and the floor.  The left side seat was an easy fix.  Mostly just paint needed and a trim where it sits on the floor.

I’m now working on the kitchen cabinet..  and that’s a big one with a complete re-design.  Time to start a new post for that work..

Page 10 The Kitchen Cabinet :

1975 Surfside Trailer: Page 8 Windows

Feb 7 2023

Thank goodness there is only four !

Because dismantling and cleaning each window is quite the process.  And then a new frame for the inside needs to be made and painted.  I started with the front window..  One day I took it apart and cleaned all the silicone off and installed new gaskets.  This window and the rear missing parts to be able to open them.  Those parts are very hard to get , so for now  I will fix those shut.  I’m all set up with the table saw and the wood.  So lets make window frames !

First the front window because the top and bottom wood is 3 ” wide.  All the other frame pieces will be 2″ wide.  I bought 1 x 6 spruce and ripping them to this size.  There’s only an inch of waste that will come in handy later for the cabinets.  These frames are biscuit joined with glue and clamped.  Run the sander over and prime the frame.

When the primer is dry I install the frame in the trailer.  I use #6 flat head wood screws countersunk so they are flush to clamp the frames in place.

Very discrete. The screws will be hidden behind the window mounting flange.  Ad to that the window mounting screws will make the sandwiching stronger.

 

This proved the best way to do this on the 1976 Surfside ..so don’t mess with something that works.  I’ll clean those dirty finger prints before I paint the frames with the same paint as the walls.  This is the front window, and it’s just sitting in place.  So far it’s the only one I have spent the hours taking apart and cleaning.

And this is the mess on the rest of the windows that I have to clean off the frame.  Lots and lots of silicone ! I got the last inside window frame made and installed.  Also today I gave them a coat of paint.

And then came the tedious task of taking the rest of the windows apart and cleaning every piece.  But it needs to be done. Got a bit burnt out so I took a break for a few weeks half way through.  It’s now the beginning of March  and I’m  installing the windows in the trailer..  They are shiny clean with new gaskets, and only the two side  windows open.

My black insert trim has arrived so that finishes off the windows nicely.

So 99% of the exterior is done.  Even the porch light !  There’s still the front window cover and the drip guard over the door.  And with that news it’s time to work on the interior cabinets…  New Page.

Page 9 The Cabinets:

Do s & Don’t s of Fiberglass Trailer Restoration

Jan 29 2023

So.. you have found a small fiberglass trailer !

And you have always wanted one.  But alas it needs help ! It’s a project… and you are not sure.. Are you up to it?  Do not be afraid, help is all around you.  Join the fiberglass trailer forum.. https://www.fiberglassrv.com

Or maybe You are looking to buy one.

Watch my you tube videos.  google the trailer ..  lots of help out there.  But this post is about what I have learned after restoring four of these trailers.  Just my opinion, use it or not it’s up to you.  So let’s get started..

How much to spend ?

Here in Canada folks are asking as much as 15 thousand for a fixed up trailer.  And you know that everyone has their own idea of what that means. Or how far they went. Remember the old lipstick on a pig.  So never mind the nice curtains or the colorful toss pillows.  A realistic price in my opinion is more like 12 thousands range for a nice one.  Now you bought or looking at a “project” trailer so hopefully you will pay less.  I try to have a budget of 8 to 9 thousand , which would include buying the trailer and buying the parts and supplies to fix it up.  Things like axles and new cushions are pricey.  Stuff ads up quick.  If you plan to keep the trailer and use it and love it than spend what you can afford.  Oh and those trailers for sale for 15 thousand .. are not selling.  Now do s or  don’t s …

Where do I start ?  With the frame..

Chances are the trailer you have ( or planning on getting) is old.  Old as dirt.  most of the ones I see are over 40 years old and some are close to 50.  So unless the frame is newish, you need to start here.  I’ve seen them all.  Spend some time and money here..you won’t regret it.  Don’t be afraid to remove the frame from the body. It’s the only way to do the work properly.   Bolers are the worst for broken or sagging frames.  So carefully inspect those.  New axles are the best investment for these trailers.  And if it has a torsion axle …replace it with the same.  Two thousand pound rating is best.  a 3500 lb axle will give you no springy springy for your 1800 lb trailer.  And you won’t be able to keep the dishes in the cupboard.  Also a good jack up front is best.  One more thing..  The wiring for your lights..  If they work than that is amazing !  So many people mess with them and don’t know what they are doing. I use these simple junction boxes for all my trailers. They are cheap and work so well.

I would say half of the trailers I have purchased over the years. Lots and lots of them..  Really !  The lights are messed up and I have to use my towing lights.  Brakes…  optional on these trailers.. if you want them fine.  Ok if you are working on the frame and you painted it (good idea) then before you put the body back on put truck canopy tape on the top side to prevent the metal frame from chafing the fiberglass body..

Do bolt the body on the frame .. do not use screws.

Do replace the axle… don’t use leaf springs

Do use rust paint on the frame.

The  Exterior of the body:

Old gel coat is gonna have holes, chips and other damage.  Are you going to spend the time polishing or just paint it.  It’s a good bet that it will need paint.  And that’s a good thing ,because protecting the exterior is important.  Painting is easy if you use a good marine paint like Interlux top sides.

What you are looking at is about a $300. cost.  You will also need auto body filler and an orbital sander.  Do remove the windows so you can re seal them.  Don’t use house paint on the exterior..

Interior walls and ceiling:

If you can avoid removing the Ensolite vinyl finish that’s good.  It can be cleaned and painted with acrylic latex door and trim paint.