How many Boler AMERICANS are out there? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-28-2010, 09:50 PM   #1
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I'm not sure if this has been asked before, but how many Boler Americans are still out there? I can only imagine anyone with an "American" would probably know about this forum..... Mine is number 5222. I don't know what the 5 is, but the 2 must be for '72? So, do I have number 22? Stand up and be counted!
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:03 PM   #2
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I don't have a count for you... Jean B from Connecticut and Roy (my husband) are both likely to have a better idea of that than me. I do know however that they are ALL '72s. Of course they wouldn't have known that when they were making (and numbering them)
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:16 AM   #3
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I'm not sure Brian, hopefully Jean L will pipe in. Off the top of my head (with some searching):

Clive Alive # 3104
Roy in TO # 5212
Jean L
Jean L's daughter
Lance MacArthur (the blue boler)
Marty Smiltneek
John & Jaci D.
ntlobo (from bolerama post 8427.1) had one for sale listed in May 2010 # 5137
Libby F.
Stacy Croster
Jerry8887 (bolerama) Norfolk, VA
Chromedome37 (bolerama)
# 5521 or 5821 was on ebay in June 2008 (the second digit might not have been readable, production #'s might indicate this should have been 5221 or 5321.)
Brian Scott # 5222
Tina Wolk (bolerama) sold hers 2006 # 5064
BillNKC
Dave M

That makes 17 with possible duplicates (some were sales)
I have other serial #'s but don't want to post those that were not public.

All the serial #'s I've seen to date start with either a 1, 3 or 5. Most are 4 digits but there are a few 3 digits.
There were more serial #'s starting with 5, less with 3 and even less with 1. We know for sure they were produced in 3 plants that went on to produce other trailers. I want to believe the 1st digit indicates the plant
Evelands in Baccus, MN =>Scamp
Tri-Fab in Tripoli, IA => Love Bug
Century Mfg. in Aurora, NE => ECO
Documents indicate they were planning to be made in 5 plants in total pumping out 5000 units a year. Since boler American only lasted about 6 months I believe a lot less were made. At most 500-600 could have been made in that time. (1/mold/working day x 5 possible molds).
Records indicate that less than 150 Scamps were made in the first year, so I would be inclined to think that the maximum # possibly produced would be in the 350-400 range.
I've postulated that Perris Valley and someone up Oregon way were the intended 4th and 5th plants. Maybe Matt H can help out with some of his research for his documentary.

I've sometimes wondered if the 2nd digit was not the mold #. E.g. yours might be Plant 5, mold 2, 22nd unit. Then again the serial #'s with a 0 as the second digit don't fit my theory.
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:02 PM   #4
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I'm not sure Brian, hopefully Jean L will pipe in. Off the top of my head (with some searching):

Documents indicate they were planning to be made in 5 plants in total pumping out 5000 units a year. Since boler American only lasted about 6 months I believe a lot less were made. At most 500-600 could have been made in that time. (1/mold/working day x 5 possible molds).
Records indicate that less than 150 Scamps were made in the first year, so I would be inclined to think that the maximum # possibly produced would be in the 350-400 range.
Roy, what with the prep, cleaning waxing and applying the gelcoat and letting that harden overnight before using the chop gun to lay in the fiberglass and letting it harden, I would suggest at least two days per lay-up possibly more.
Now if they had two or three sets of molds....Also how many employees worked on a shift?
Jim
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:29 PM   #5
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Thanks Jim,

I don't really know the number of molds or employees or shifts. I do know that 3 molds were shipped to Eleanor international in Dec 1971 with 2 more being readied from the article in the Manitoba Business Journal on Ray Olenko.
I based my #'s on Reace's answer. When I asked he said, at most 1 per day per mold. Any faster and things start going south quickly. I know you have a lot more glass experience than I.

Roy
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:40 AM   #6
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Jean L tells me that there are 3 more, bringing the list up to a possible 20.

Robert & Edna Ulrich from Minnesota
Cal & Bev from Minnesota
and a guy named William

I'd appreciate it if anybody can help fill in the blanks and serial #'s.

Roy
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:17 AM   #7
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Also how many employees worked on a shift?
Jim,

I dug up the newspaper article from the Tripoli Leader for Aug 1, 1973. It says:
-Tri-Fab employed 35 people in a 50x200' cement block building.
-At that time they fabricated the Love Bug, other fiberglass related items which included a fiberglass pick up cap.
-At one time Tri-Fab contracted to build 1,000 units for "Boler"
-Forty-three Boler travel trailers were in a storage area alongside the fiberglass plant,
-Two of these "Love Bug" trailers were parked in front of the manufacturing site
-In September of 1972 the firm completed their first production model of the "Love Bug" travel trailer.
-The future of Tri-Fab's 2-year existence remains uncertain

Extrapolating. Tri-Fab started in early 1971. I was able to find reference to a loan document online saying they were granted a loan 27/12/1971 about the time the Manitoba Business Journal had the article about bolers being made in the US. That would indicate that Tri-Fab was making the boler American for Eleanor International for approximately the 1st 8 months of 1972. One of the owners of a boler American (serial # in the 5000 range) forwarded me a copy of the brochure that came with their trailer and it had the Tri-Fab stamped on as the manufacturer.

That leads me to believe that Tri-Fab made the 5### serial numbers.
Next highest production was Evelands, I assume to be the 3###
Leaving the lower production 1### to Century.
Now the above is postulation on my part, but the info and documents I have so far seems to point in that direction.

The article from the Jan 1972 Manitoba Business Journal is posted here:
http://www.bolerama.org/bolerbusiness.html
It says:
-The first 3 plants will be going into operation in three north-central states in January.
-Boler has made three fiberglass trailer molds for the U.S. company, and two more are now being produced.

I have not been able to confirm if the other two molds were delivered and who got them. I'd like to believe that Tri-Fab got one of them (possibly both), with Evelands possibly getting the second.
From: http://www.scamptrailers.com/About/TheScampStory.aspx
-"negociated a contract with Bolar in which Eveland's Inc. would manufacture trailers and Bolar would market them. Bolar had their own problems and went out of business late in 1972. This left Eveland's Inc. with molds "
-"by the end of 1972 about 130 trailers had been produced"
-"As mentioned above about 130 were built the first year. The following year was much the same, but by 1975, five hundred trailers were built, "

I'm not sure what is meant by "molds" above. That could be 1 mold for each top and bottom or more than 1 set. Production numbers, working days and your suggesting it would take two days makes me believe Eveland's only had 1 set. (52weeks x 5 days = 260 possible working days. 1 unit every 2 days = 130 units.

Mike Watters mentioned he was a former boler American owner (pre 2005), I'm not sure who got his. His posts indicate there was no serial # on the frame. But he did have a title. It would be interesting to know what his serial # was.
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:42 PM   #8
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Mold work that I have done relates to the 60's and into the early eighties. Even in this field technology has changed a lot since I was involved in any way. Although I did build truck bodies for the Hydro in the late 90's, after retiring from the Bell System, someone esle was was doing the mold work.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:05 PM   #9
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I'm not sure if this has been asked before, but how many Boler Americans are still out there? I can only imagine anyone with an "American" would probably know about this forum..... Mine is number 5222. I don't know what the 5 is, but the 2 must be for '72? So, do I have number 22? Stand up and be counted!

yes! we have a '72 Boler American, a quick look says Serial #5017. Thanks for the history lesson - very interesting! I've always wondered if there is any significant difference in the Boler Americans?
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:51 PM   #10
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yes! we have a '72 Boler American, a quick look says Serial #5017. Thanks for the history lesson - very interesting! I've always wondered if there is any significant difference in the Boler Americans?

Wow, very interesting information! I have not been following the forum lately because I have been busy working on my 1972 Boler American, Serial #5095, stamped Wichita, Kansas. I have to say that some people that are watching me trying to restore this little camper think I am crazy. I have to say, after taking her out for her maiden camping trip a few weekends ago, we love her & look forward to many more trips with her!! I still have quite a bit of work to do, but it is nice to be able to use it now.


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Old 07-20-2010, 11:35 PM   #11
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[quote]Wow, very interesting information! I have not been following the forum lately because I have been busy working on my 1972 Boler American, Serial #5095, stamped Wichita, Kansas. I have to say that some people that are watching me trying to restore this little camper think I am crazy. I have to say, after taking her out for her maiden camping trip a few weekends ago, we love her & look forward to many more trips with her!! I still have quite a bit of work to do, but it is nice to be able to use it now.


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Good stuff! We just took ours out for the first time a couple of wkends ago as well! Kids loved it, and we have decided that we may have tent-camped for the last time Even had a couple follow us thru town until we pulled in to our driveway to ask about the Boler... they had a bet on what it was - they both lost! Good luck with the repairs!
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:36 AM   #12
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I've always wondered if there is any significant difference in the Boler Americans?
What do you mean by that Luke? Any difference between those boler Americans produced or between the boler Americans and other fiberglass trailers? or ???
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:25 PM   #13
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What do you mean by that Luke? Any difference between those boler Americans produced or between the boler Americans and other fiberglass trailers? or ???

Hi Roy!
I've wondered if there are difference between Boler American and Boler "Canadian" built campers! Obviously most posters have Canadian built Bolers and I've always assumed that the advice is interchangeable... tho I've never seen enough history on those built in the US to know if that's totally correct!
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:23 PM   #14
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Hi Brian, your camper looks realy good, You did nice work on it
Here's my American Boler (gray/white) ser #5240
My dauther American Boler (green/white) ser #5233.
Jean-L
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