How to care for our new 1969 Boler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-11-2010, 09:35 PM   #1
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Hi,

I am hoping that someone can help me. My family just bought a 1969 Boler and we are very excited (so excited that we are going camping on Friday). However, neither of us have ever owned a trailer or come from a family that had trailers (just tents and the back of a pick-up). So...

At the moment we have to store it outside, untarped. Do we leave the ceiling vent open to keep the air circulating and keep the temperature down? Is there anything else that we need to know?

Is it worth it to go and get an awning? One of the previous owners apparently was a welder and put a roof rack on the top so we figure we can just use it to tarp off of.

It seems like it is in very good condition, there is one filled surface crack in the side and another filled crack in the front window.

Thanks so much for your help in advance.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:57 PM   #2
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Cracks in the shell?

One thing to do is to have the frame inspected. This is a 41-year-old trailer, and body cracks might be an indication of some frame weakness. Always a good idea to get under there and give it a look, especially under the door area.

Leaving the vent cracked is OK, but watch your Vancouver Weather.

Owning a Boler is a love affair....so congratulations!
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:11 AM   #3
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Congrat's on your new trailer!

I am sure we all would love to see pictures...............

I agree check the frame out. It's worth a look.

Does it have a awning rail? Might not need to tarp off the roof rack, if it's got one. You would just run the awning thru it.

As far as the vent question, hmmmm not knowing your spring and summer weather I will let one of the many members from your area suggest how to store it.

Propane off when not in use or towing. I am sure you are aware of how good or not the tires are. I truly believe that your first concern is the stuff that keeps you safe when towing and camping, then it's about getting out and using the trailer to see what you want, need, can live without on your camping trips. So use it a few times to decide if you want an awning or not.

Then I guess I am just gonna say Enjoy! There will be things that come up as you camp but until you get out there you won't know what they are. So have a great campout!
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:18 AM   #4
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Another new Bolerite. Welcome and congrats on acquiring your Boler.
If by cracks, you're looking at little hairlines near the corners of the door or the windows, then they are probably mold lines. Definately check your frame and axle. The very early vintage Bolers had a very light frame and the typical axle was good for about 25 years. Otherwise, makesure that it is safe to tow on the road and enjoy it while you decide what you want to update. Go to a rally if possible and see what others have done. And pictures, pictures, pictures. We're nuts about them.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:05 AM   #5
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What Jim said.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:16 AM   #6
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Thanks! One of the previous owners was a welder and he reinforced the entire frame, including putting in stabilizer bars. We don't have an awning rail, looking at ours and then at pictures.

We are going out this weekend to Golden Ears (nice and close to home, easy driving) and are going to figure out what it is going to look like camping with a trailer instead of tents.

Does anyone have any suggestions of who to go to in the Lower Mainland, BC area to get it checked out?



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Old 05-12-2010, 09:50 AM   #7
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Hey! That's not an Egg, that's a Yolk!

One thing to do is to tow the trailer level or very slightly down in front. It looks as though your hitch is fairly high, causing the back of the trailer to sag.

If you have a receiver hitch (one where the drawbar is removable) it is a simple matter to get the trailer levelled for towing, by purchasing an offset drawbar.

My guess is that your axle is toast, judging from the low-rider stance of the trailer. That would be one of the first things to consider, care-and-feeding-wise. Love the tennis balls.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:01 PM   #8
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Ooh, early "flat top" Boler - those are very rare!

I wouldn't leave a roof vent open at all, unless yours has one of the special hoods over it (doesn't look like it), or you have the camper under cover. However, unless you are in an area with very extreme blowing rain, you can leave that jalousie door window slightly open (and if there is a similar window on the other side, that one too for cross ventilation). I have jalousie windows like that all around and always leave them "cracked" - it keeps the trailer nicely aired without letting "normal" rain in.

They do (or should) survive outside as long as you have no leaks (and leaks should be repaired ASAP as they can really ruin trailers). That said, it's much nicer and easier on them if you can cover them. The best combination is cover + air. In other words, not a tarp wrapped around it, but a roof/canopy type top (open sides) or etc. Depending on what type of paint that is, it may be more or less susceptible to chalking or fading over time (do you know what type it is?).

Could you post a photograph of your fiberglass cracks? I don't know of any that I would call desireable (I don't know of any that I would call mold lines), but some are more important than others from a structural standpoint.

And I know that many here would like to see more photos - we hardly ever see flat tops!

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Old 05-12-2010, 05:46 PM   #9
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[quote]Thanks! One of the previous owners was a welder and he reinforced the entire frame, including putting in stabilizer bars. We don't have an awning rail, looking at ours and then at pictures.

We are going out this weekend to Golden Ears (nice and close to home, easy driving) and are going to figure out what it is going to look like camping with a trailer instead of tents.

Does anyone have any suggestions of who to go to in the Lower Mainland, BC area to get it checked out?



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Old 05-12-2010, 06:02 PM   #10
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We've stretched the budget purchasing it so I am hoping that the axle doesn't need replacing, otherwise it might just be spending the summer in the back and we go camping in the tent.

I didn't realise it was a flat top, I'll have to go and check the papers to see what the VIN number is, it did have it listed as a Canadian Import which seemed odd as they were Canadian.

As for the hitch, that was a huge schmazzle, we are planning to go to Canadian Tire and get a couple to figure out the best fit.
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:11 PM   #11
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OOOH I remember when that trailer was for sale. Don't remember who was the owner, but that color and that roof rack are memorable. Glad someone that's a member here is the new owner

Yeah, that axle looks shot to me too. That doesn't mean you can't use it, just don't plan on driving at light speed and hit every single bump/pot hole with force. Yours isn't the only low-rider we've seen. You need to be careful with packing... stuff is liable to fly out of cupboards for instance, and keep a sharp eye on the frame for cracks. A rough ride can radiate up to the shell and cracking MAY occur in the body. But if you're careful you can get some use out of it this camping season.... but I wouldn't delay longer than necessary.

When you replace the axle, get one that bolts on and don't forget to get brakes!
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:38 AM   #12
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I'd also recommend having your LP gas system inspected.
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:24 AM   #13
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One other thing you also need to check each year is the wheel bearings.

Leaving a vent open is always a good idea but as I know all to well that unless you have it undercover in Vancouver its not such a great idea. :-) I did see one parked outside that the owners had put over the roof vent a large plastic storage tub with one side cut out . Suspect it was taped down so the wind did not take it off. Thats a solution if you remember to take the tub off before driving away.

Doug has pointed you to the Glass Egg meet on the 29th week-end. You should join us as it close to home for you and there will be lots of people there who can advise you on how to/where to/how much it is to fix just about anything on your trailer. You will also meet a few folks who also need to do the same repair and others who have already done it and will share their advise on keeping the costs down. Even if you don't come to camp you could always just drop in for a visit and a chat on Saturday when the trailers are open to tour.



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Old 05-15-2010, 10:36 AM   #14
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As for the hitch, that was a huge schmazzle, we are planning to go to Canadian Tire and get a couple to figure out the best fit.

It should be a 1 7/8" ball, I'm sure you know that.

Park the trailer on a level surface and crank the tongue jack until the tongue is parallel with the ground (or level if the surface is level). Measure from the ground to the top of the hitch cup. That height must match the ball height on the tug.
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:57 PM   #15
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It should be a 1 7/8" ball, I'm sure you know that.

Park the trailer on a level surface and crank the tongue jack until the tongue is parallel with the ground (or level if the surface is level). Measure from the ground to the top of the hitch cup. That height must match the ball height on the tug.
...just an add on here, when I did our hitch, I took the trailer to an OBLIGING servie station that allowed me to momentarily use the level surface on his gas pump island, then disconnected the trailer from the tow, leveled and measured it. An extra ounce of prevension is OFTEN better than fussing n fuming about why 'something didn't turn out 100%' even though you followed some super great advice!! I guess some would call it over kill (overreacting) but being out that extra little bit (either way) could make your tow job more of a chore than it needs to be.... (just my 2 worth, Canadian)
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:30 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone for the tips!

We went out this weekend to Golden Ears as our test run. So glad we did it. Learned little things like - if we plug in the fridge the wrong way it blows hot air not cold.

The propane lines were checked and ok'd in 2008. I don't know how often they should be inspected. I think our hope is next year to have the money to rebuild the kitchen and move the fridge out of the closet and put it back under the stove. Storage space is a premium with 4. Also, is it worth it to put in insulation if it doesn't have any?

However, we have decided that we are going to look into getting the axle done especially after looking at how low are boler is compared to others. We are kicking ourselves that we didn't notice it but then as I said to my husband, I may have noticed that it was low but it wouldn't have meant anything ot me." I think also there might need to be a coat of paint thrown on the cupboard doors.


We are talking about the meet at the end of the month, we're definitely interested just don't know if we are free yet.

I do know that before we went we were feeling a little unsure of our purchase. Finding out about the axle and then a couple of other small things; it seemed like a lot of money compared to the when we upgraded our tent to accommodate our first child. However, after spending some quality time in the sunshine with the it and turning on the heater the second night (we kind of forgot that we had that option) I think that we are looking forward to a long and happy relationship.
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:15 PM   #17
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Hi Gen,

When I bought my 74 Boler a couple of years ago, the original axle was similarly worn. However, the previous owner had inserted riser bars between the frame and the axle to raise the ride because he had a big truck with a high hitch. We have a lower tow vehicle, so I removed the risers. I had the original bolt-on axle then.

The point is that you can get 1 X 1 or 1 X 2 square steel tubes, maybe a foot long or less, from a place like Princess Auto very cheap. If you have a bolt-on axle, you can drill 2 holes in each one and get a longer bolt to go through them to raise up your axle a bit. This is a way to get the trailer to ride higher off the ground without spending the $400 or so for a new axle.

If you do this, make sure the new bolts are high strength like the old ones, available at a standard nut and bolt shop (the strength number is stamped on the top of the bolts). Also, you should be careful to align the axle when you put it back on so that the wheels line up straight. If they are off alignment, your trailer will try to drag itself off line as you drive. This can result in a fishtail while driving. Miniscule adjustments can fix it, as both I and a friend who did the same thing have found.

Last year I replaced our old axle with a new one, also a bolt-on. The "ride" on the new axle is not really that much better than the old one. I think because the trailer is so light, it still bounces around enough to rattle everything that is not secured, just like the old one did. If you buy a new axle solely to get a smoother ride, the result may not be totally satisfying. As an aside, my particular trailer seems quite a bit lighter than many fibreglass trailers, especially the newer ones with more and fancier (heavier) frame, furniture and accessories. Perhaps a new axle benefits a heavier trailer more than a light one?

Hope that helps,
Rick G



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Old 05-19-2010, 04:29 PM   #18
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A new axle is a safety issue, not cosmetic. If it needs one, get one. IMHO.
cheers
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