Boler 75: miscellaneous restoration questions # 1 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-16-2016, 09:23 PM   #1
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Name: Sylvio
Trailer: 1975 Boler
Quebec
Posts: 195
Boler 75: miscellaneous restoration questions # 1

(Questions at the bottom...)

Fairly big day today.

I removed all the cupboard doors and actually pretty much everything that comes off. My goal was to prepare for painting. I also took down the top bunk - after verifying that it does fold down to make a couch: one of my Boler’s coolest features in my opinion!

As the weather was nicer than on my last windy and freezing day off, heating up the egg was actually possible. The mild temperature also allowed some snow to melt AND LEAK INSIDE! So here’s what I found out…

It seems that, at different points in time, water has come in pretty much everywhere water could come in! The leak I noticed this afternoon was through that little window above the stove. Looking at what patterns were below that window, I can safely assume that water has come in through one corner of the jalousie window on the same side. After taking down the top bunk, I noticed that part of that horizontal support is rotten. I was worried earlier this week about that same horizontal support that holds the table because the fiberglass part had kind of come off. That piece of wood has seen water as well but is very sturdy. The screws were not holding in most places. I would think that filling up the holes and cracks with epoxy for now would be fine (that piece of wood is layers of wood glued together, whatever you call that in English…). I would probably need to glue the fiberglass piece to the wood. I think there are some indications of past leaks through the top vent. It leaves two openings that look like they never leaked: the door and the window on the same side. Let me be more specific: it doesn’t seem like the end windows have leaked, but the wood got wet. Could there be some kind of crack in the joint between the top and bottom shell?

I was hoping to take the carpet off on this coming Monday, my day off. I borrowed the right tool and all; I had read that the carpet was a pain to remove so I was prepared for the worst. This afternoon, I managed to pull on a corner and, guess what? Sheer strength and a pair of pliers did the job! No more dirty pink carpet! Bonus: I found out that I had a leftover box of TrafficMaster floor covering that’s almost full! A full box is 24 square feet. My guestimate is that it takes less than 20 for the Boler’s floor. We’ll see.

I took the Boler to my friend’s brand new heated garage today. I didn’t know how much time I would have, how much of his garage he would need. Well… He said that since the camper is so small, he'll have plenty of room to park his tractor. Since his needs are fairly simple for the winter, I’m welcome to leave my camper there all winter and go work on it as much as I want: he’ll even give me a key!

My plan was to fix my crooked door and paint the inside. I’m hoping that lifting up the roof a little will do the job since there’s a gap on the top left and at the bottom (Door Hinges & Adjustments - Boler-Camping). Now that I have a long-term and full-time access to a dry and heated spot, after what I saw this afternoon, I decided that I will take all the windows out and reseal them. I want to make sure there won’t be any more water coming in!

Here are a few questions in bulk. They are in random order but numbered so that the nice people who answer some of those questions can have a reference point. (Mister administrator, I assume this was a better way to go than to post 9 different new posts...)

1. The curtain rod holders are in very sad shape but riveted to the shell. I was going to bear with them but now that I have access to a garage, how hard would it be to drill out the rivet and put new supports in?

2. Different rivets are missing, from the top of the cupboards among others. What kind of rivets do I need to use? For rust purposes, I would think aluminum or stainless…

3. The curtain rods are hollow adjustable rods (two parts that fit into one another). Since the ends of the trailer are round, the rods are bent but that doesn’t look too great. Are there other options?

4. How complicated is it to change the table and top bunk horizontal wooden support?

5. For the windows, can I find good butyl tape in « normal » hardware stores or do I need to visit a special camping store? (Fixing Leaks - Windows & Vent - Boler-Camping)

6. What are the chances that I’ll need to order all those fancy rubbers mentioned in the previous link to put in and around my windows? Is it reasonable to think that some of the old ones will still be good? The real question is: Should I order all new rubbers before I even start messing with the windows?

7. On pictures, I see that many Boler owners have put a bigger protection on the roof vent. Is that riveted in the roof? I can see how that would decrease the odds of water leaks.

8. At each end of the top cabinets, there’s a car lighter unit! The wires have been cut out. Should I just remove those and fill them in or keep them functional? (Probably the least important question of the list: I’m just curious to see what you think…)

9. After removing the carpet, I discovered a metal nut about where the leg of the table rests. Anything special I should know about it?

OK, I’ll stop here. I’m sure I’m missing a few that crossed my mind today… Thank you beforehand for your help! I couldn’t access the Forum today. I don’t know whether the problem was on my side or at the other end. Made me kind of scared, though! This is a crucial time for me…

By the way, Aunt Cereal visited the inside of the camper for the first time today. She thinks I paid too much… The thought crossed my mind as I thought I was buying a “leak-free” camper. On the other hand, if I had waited for all the right conditions to be there, someone else would have bought it first. Maybe it would have been wiser to wait, but maybe not. What’s done is done… (What kills me is that I missed another brand of fibreglass trailer that was very clean and went for 2500$Can! (That’s about 10$US these days… )

Anyway. I’m not scared.

Uncle Cereal
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Cereal View Post
5. For the windows, can I find good butyl tape in « normal » hardware stores or do I need to visit a special camping store? (Fixing Leaks - Windows & Vent - Boler-Camping)
I doubt you will find the higher quality butyl tape at a hardware store, I think you may find that most RV parts department should have it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Cereal View Post
6. What are the chances that I’ll need to order all those fancy rubbers mentioned in the previous link to put in and around my windows? Is it reasonable to think that some of the old ones will still be good? The real question is: Should I order all new rubbers before I even start messing with the windows?
I would recommend that if you are rebuilding and repairing the windows you might as well replace the seals at the same time. The rubber hardens with age so when the windows are out it is the best time to replace the seals.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:23 AM   #3
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Name: Philippe
Trailer: Boler Voyageur 1977
Quebec
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Originally Posted by Uncle Cereal View Post
(Questions at the bottom...)

8. At each end of the top cabinets, there’s a car lighter unit! The wires have been cut out. Should I just remove those and fill them in or keep them functional? (Probably the least important question of the list: I’m just curious to see what you think…)

9. After removing the carpet, I discovered a metal nut about where the leg of the table rests. Anything special I should know about it?

(What kills me is that I missed another brand of fibreglass trailer that was very clean and went for 2500$Can!

Uncle Cereal
8. If you still have the light at the end of the cabinet, i'd simply re-wire the car lighter and put in a usb plug for charging your phone or other 12V devices such as a portable DVD player. If not, cover the whole with a light fixture.

9. I also had this nut, but cut it off as it was preventing me from sliding the bags under the bed without having them get caught on it. It had no known purpose, my only guess is that you could put the table leg over it to hold it in place and have it more solid.

Last comment: When you buy something, you stop looking at others for sale. There will always be a better deal somewhere. How much would it have cost to get it from Newfoundland to Quebec?
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:14 AM   #4
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Name: sharon
Trailer: Scamp
Virginia
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"1. The curtain rod holders are in very sad shape but riveted to the shell. I was going to bear with them but now that I have access to a garage, how hard would it be to drill out the rivet and put new supports in?

2. Different rivets are missing, from the top of the cupboards among others. What kind of rivets do I need to use? For rust purposes, I would think aluminum or stainless…

3. The curtain rods are hollow adjustable rods (two parts that fit into one another). Since the ends of the trailer are round, the rods are bent but that doesn’t look too great. Are there other options?"


I did these on my scamp, I can comment here.
1. it was easy to drill the bracket rivets out & replace the brackets. PO had done the same as yours, used the fixed size bracket to replace all 3, then realized it doesn't work since the camper is curved. use the cheap shorties for the ends, the fixed size, then buy the more expensive adjustable brackets for the middles. bonus is that the adjustables have a set screw you can tighten so the rod and curtain stays on no matter how bumpy the ride.
2. some cabinet rivets were gone on mine too, others looked sketchy. so I replaced everything (you're doing the curtain brackets now anyway, right?). I used stainless steel nuts & bolts with scamp's plastic screw covers. it's a tedious 2 man job, but so worth the effort!
3. by getting the right brackets (see #1), you can buy the cheap straight rods.
good luck!
sharon
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:27 AM   #5
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Name: sharon
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p.s. congrats for finding a covered parking space to work in!
and I'm jealous of your replacing the carpet! I'm not fond of my '70's "harvest gold" pattern, but I'm afraid of taking out all the cabinets in order to get all the old stuff out. post some pics of your accomplishments!
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:36 AM   #6
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2. I would stick with aluminum (and did, when replacing rivets on our Casita). The theory is, under pressure you want to sacrifice the rivet instead of the fiberglass. Rivets are easily replaced, once you've done a couple and see how they work. You do need a rivet gun and the right length rivets...
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:09 PM   #7
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Name: Sylvio
Trailer: 1975 Boler
Quebec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wire View Post
Last comment: When you buy something, you stop looking at others for sale. There will always be a better deal somewhere. How much would it have cost to get it from Newfoundland to Quebec?
Yes, I'm familiar with the "suck it up" philosophy and I mostly endorse it... You are correct: it applies to my situation and I shouldn't look back.

Now about Newfoundland, I really have no idea what you're talking about!!!
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:03 PM   #8
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Name: Sylvio
Trailer: 1975 Boler
Quebec
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Originally Posted by sharon_b View Post
1. it was easy to drill the bracket rivets out & replace the brackets. PO had done the same as yours, used the fixed size bracket to replace all 3, then realized it doesn't work since the camper is curved. use the cheap shorties for the ends, the fixed size, then buy the more expensive adjustable brackets for the middles. bonus is that the adjustables have a set screw you can tighten so the rod and curtain stays on no matter how bumpy the ride.
Sharon,
You are a genious! Yes, at this point, since I'll be doing the windows and the whole thing, I might as well take out those rivets. Any good tips to do that?! I wasn't very successful today...

I might go with the aluminum rivets for the reasons mentioned by Mary. It makes sense to me. Unless some other people weigh in... (Thanks Mary!)
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:55 PM   #9
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#5. We got our butyl tape thru Amazon. It was perfect and at a good price.
Good Luck.
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:31 AM   #10
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Name: Philippe
Trailer: Boler Voyageur 1977
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Originally Posted by Uncle Cereal View Post
Yes, I'm familiar with the "suck it up" philosophy and I mostly endorse it... You are correct: it applies to my situation and I shouldn't look back.

Now about Newfoundland, I really have no idea what you're talking about!!!
I tought you were talking about this Boler. At this price, if I did not already had a Boler, I'd strongly consider buying it blindly and have it shipped to Montreal.

1977 Boler | NL, Canada | Fiberglass RV's For Sale
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:45 AM   #11
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Name: Sylvio
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Jan, I got a tip for butyl tape at a local store so I'll check it out. Thanks for the tip: it's good to know!

Philippe, that is quite a price! Your status says you're "in the market" but you wrote that you have one already. Either or both?
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