Scamp/Boler Bottom Door Bar Hook - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-07-2009, 06:16 PM   #15
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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Rick,

I understand your perplexedness; it's not that easy to figure out what doesn't match what, and which thing (or things) have moved or changed shape. i.e. whether the door has "relaxed" at all, and/or the trailer has squashed, or both.

Cutting the belly band kind of feels like setting up a drainage system to catch blood from a cut, rather than stitching up the wound, but one thing is that that is not structural. If you cut it, it would (in my opinion) be a bit of a "kludge," but it should not harm the structure of the trailer (unless there is a problem with the underlying structure).

How it works, in my understanding, is that there are two halves to the shell, upper and lower. These were made in two molds, and each shell has a "lip" at the top of the mold. To make the trailer a whole, one half is turned upside down and set on top of the other half. The two lips are now resting on each other in the middle. The lips have raw, unfinished edge, so a metal "belly band" trim is put on with rivets (these also do hold the lips together but are not really structural.

What really holds the halves together, and makes them watertight, is that fiberglass tape, saturated with resin, is put on the inside of the shell to join the two halves. This is very strong, and more or less makes them as one (people have had leaks where there was an accidental hole drilled through the fiberglass there, but the rivet holes for the belly band do not penetrate the trailer; they only go through the lips). The fiberglass tape runs perpendicular to the ground.

If I'm not mistaken, Boler clones such as the Trail-Mite don't have a belly band. I imagine they ground the lips down after the trailer was put together, and perhaps "taped" over them. Maybe it was cheaper to not use a belly band (and then there is no issue with dirt and etc. accumulating there).

Probably more than you wanted to know about the belly band

Raya
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:30 AM   #16
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Hi: All... I was told by a very experienced Boler rebuilder that 50% of Bolers came from the factories with a door sag problem. Our former Boler was one. The other problem it had was that someone let the door fly open in the wind and broke it at the window bottom. I had to reposition the hinges on the door side and found a product "Tech Steel" to fill the cloverleaf shaped holes. The Tech Steel was avail at my local auto parts store. As for the broken door only the inside skin was broke so I was able to reinforce the bottom corner of the door skin while resealing and rebuilding the window.Tech Steel
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:39 PM   #17
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Straightening the square tubing some more could help and probably almost close up the door gap....seems that the tubing bends with the trailer sagging in the middle at the hinge side....there usually is a difference in the trailer shape between the door side and the counter side....you can check this out with a cardboard template.......like it`s be mentioned many times over the years....the trailer body seems to sag from it`s own unsupported weight.....Benny
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:02 AM   #18
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One idea i have is , make a few saw kerfs horizotally at the problem area after sanding down the paint to bare fiberglass , then screw on two or more pipe strapping at the bottom and with the door closed , pull up on the strapping and fasten with another srcew . Once you have the proper fit , you can then remove the door and prepare a mixture of resin and hardener . Now coat the area with the mixture and add glass cloth , being sure to saturate thoroughly . do at least two coats . Once dry remove the strapping , sand and paint then put on the weather stripping and your done . Hope this helps . Perry

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Old 05-10-2009, 06:17 AM   #19
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Our Boler came without the reinforcing square tubing behind the door. That meant that there was a lot of flex in the hinge area and a huge gap at the bottom of the door. When I built the screen door and frame, that stiffened and strengthened everything and pulled the door almost all the way back into position. So straightening the piece of tube will probably do a lot of good. At the same time I repositioned the door about 1/2' higher in the opening which further reduced the gap. What's left, I can live with for now.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:18 AM   #20
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We bought a much abused 77S13. We have gutted and worked on everything. The door suffered to the point that we had to order a new door. The new door has a huge gap at the bottom. We are looking at reviewing some of the mods to give more structural support to the side of the Scamp and then pulling in the door. So, far everything we have tried has fallen short of success.
We have been using the pool noodle for now. It is a large enough hole that it sucked out a throw rug.
I am watching all your suggestions and solutions with interest.
Faith
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:51 AM   #21
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In the Document Center there is an extensive PDF describing a Boler Door Fix. This document has been created and provided by Con who is a member here on FiberglassRV. While this document addresses Boler's in particular, anyone wishing to fix an aircraft style door may find the information invaluable. Be patient when downloading, it's a 16 page document:
Boler Door Fix
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:26 PM   #22
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Hi all,

I can see that doors are a long term issue here on the forums. I have been reading about them ever since I bought our trailer last year, with lots of different ways to approach it. Thanks Raya for the info on the belly band, I feel much better about the structural integrity of the trailer now.

So, I got the door fixed, but it was a multi-step solution. Last weekend I tried straightening the door frame post, option 4. It worked so the the door missed the belly band, but then it caught a bit further on, so the door would only open about two thirds, better than before but not good enough. At that point I decided that I may as well just fix the thing right. So, I put the hinges back in their previous position, where I knew the door would open all the way. Then, I slept on it to gather my courage, as I had decided to use the slot technique that I have read about before, but a bit different. I was quite nervous about slicing up the door.

On Saturday morning I cut three horizontal slots with a skill saw along the inside of the door, almost all the way through the inside, so that they did not affect the outer skin. these were about 1/8 inch wide, the width of a standard blade. This also confirmed that my interior woody filler was in good condition. The highest slot was about ten inches up from the bottom of the door, which is where the door started to diverge from the trailer body. The next two slots were each about 1 1/2 inches lower. I noticed that the curve of the door at the bottom looked like it would match up if I curved the door higher up, so I didn't have to do any slots lower down.

The slots made the door much easier to bend, so that I could bend it by hand. I tested the door to make sure it would fit nicely when closed, which it did. So, then I got a product called Bondo-Glass, which is a premix of Bondo with random short fibreglass threads mixed in. They claim it dries twice as hard as regular Bondo. I thought about using a fibreglass mat, but I wanted the goop to work into the slots. I sanded and cleaned the door surface a bit, but it didn't need much. Then I applied the Bondo-glass in a paste over the door slots and about an inch higher and lower, closed the door, and propped it into the right position with a couple of 2X4s that I had cut to a short length. The door curved perfectly up when held by the boards at the bottom of the door. The whole door lifted up a bit because it was being pushed from the bottom, so I had to tighten the hinges down to prevent it moving too much, which would spoil the fit. It also stunk like crazy, so I was glad to leave the windows open in the trailer.

You only have about 5 minutes to work with before it starts to cure, so you have to work fast. I was left with a smooth paste that covered the slots and a bit of the door above and below, looking kind of like a cummerbund. They say it cures in about 15 minutes, but I left it for an excruciating 24 hours before removing the supports (excruciating because I was anxious to see if it would work!).

The door fit perfectly when opened the next day. The fibreglass seemed to hold the door in the right position due to being filled in the slots. However, I decided to reinforce it with another coat. So, I drilled 4 horizontal lines of 1/4 inch holes into the interior door panel, starting above the highest slot, between each slot, and below the lowest slot. There were about ten holes in each line. My theory is that this would give the second coat something to anchor it. Then I applied a second coat in the same way as the first, making sure that the goop covered all the holes and was all over the first coat. Again, it was a bit frantic getting it all on before the stuff started to cure. These coats are fairly thin, but it dried very hard.

The result was that the door now curves perfectly to the right shape, and the Bondo-glass made a very hard, thin coating that I can paint directly. Although I could sand it, it is smooth enough that I don't need to and it looks similar to the original door. It appears to be quite firm and holding nicely. We will see how it does after being banged around on the road this summer, but I am optimistic.

You could combine the steps and drill the holes before the first coating of Bondo-glass. I just didn't think of it until later.

Also, I think because I didn't cut the slots all the way down to the exterior panel (almost all the way but not quite), you cannot see a deformation where the slots are. From the outside it looks exactly like a normal curved door. All in all, very easy to do and pretty quick.

Thanks for the encouragement,
Rick G
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:38 PM   #23
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Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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Rick,

Congrats on getting up the nerve to saw your door and I'm glad it fits well now.

I haven't used the bondo glass product specifically, but if I were effecting the same repair and using epoxy resin with some glass fibers for filler (which would be roughly equivalent except epoxy gives a better secondary bond and doesn't stink -- for future reference ), I would go over it with a layer of fiberglass cloth.

Raya
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:57 PM   #24
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Hot Darn! Rick
Did you take any pictures while doing the refit?
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:05 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
In the Document Center there is an extensive PDF describing a Boler Door Fix. This document has been created and provided by Con who is a member here on FiberglassRV. While this document addresses Boler's in particular, anyone wishing to fix an aircraft style door may find the information invaluable. Be patient when downloading, it's a 16 page document:
Boler Door Fix
While Rick G's method sure seemed to work with the horizontal cuts i remember reading the link you supplied Donna and may need it someday but right now my door fits pretty good. (knock wood Uh! fiberglass )
Joe
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:13 PM   #26
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We'll all knock on wood Joe.

Rick I also second James request/question regarding pictures. That would be too cool!
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:58 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
We'll all knock on wood Joe.

Rick I also second James request/question regarding pictures. That would be too cool!

Ok, I didn't actually take any pictures during the frantic stage, but I have a couple. The first one shows that door "curing", with the curve propped up by a couple of 2X4 boards that I had previously cut to the length where I could jam them up to hold the shape. As noted in the earlier post, propping up the door at the bottom pushed the whole door up on the hinges, so I had to tighten down the hinges so it would not move when pushed up from the bottom.

The second picture shows after the boards were removed. Unfortunately I did not take an inside picture. The holes that have been filled on the outside of the door were from a previous, unsuccessful attempt to fix, where I tried to put in a curved wood form on the inside, screwed through the outside, hoping to force the door into the correct shape and maybe have a magazine rack or something on the inside. That did not work for me at all.

Oh yes, the axle is missing because I was replacing the axle at the same time. Purely coincidental.

The final picture is from this past October 2010, and you can see that the door still fits perfectly. That picture was one of the ones we used when we put the Boler up for sale, after we bought our "new" Trillium 4500. You can see that, with the repainting of the door that we had to do anyway, you cannot tell that it was fixed.

Unfortunately these are my only pictures about this process. I soon learned to take better pictures for later mods.

Thanks,
Rick G
Attached Thumbnails
prop up door .jpg   prop up door2.jpg  

Boler Oct 10.jpg  
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