Boler Door - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-07-2009, 11:00 AM   #1
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First time in! Doing a Boler reno! My recently purchsed 17' 1979 boler door has warped and no longer fits the opening. The previous owner glued in a thick rubber seal which does not work. Door needs to be reshaped. Probably could be reshaped by a couple of horizontal sawcuts on the inside of the door-----build a jig same shape as door------bend the door back to refit the proper curve ---then refribreglass a patch on the inside of the door where the sawcuts occur. Then I would place a small bulb seal around the complete door perimeter that would seal the door evenly.

An alternative would be to:
1. Purchase a new door (where?).
2. Bend 2 pcs of 1" steel tubing the same shape as the door opening. ------any suggestions?

I am also looking for a replacent hopper(2) opening window 48 3/8 x 19 1/4. Any info on this subject would be appreciated Thank you
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:17 AM   #2
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 24,540
Hi Jerry

We have a member, who has provided the membership a great PDF document that explains in detail how to fix air-craft style doors. It's not for the faint of heart! But as we know, given enough time and effort anything is nearly repairable on these wonderful moldedl lightweight fiberglass trailers. Click here: Boler Door Fix in the Document Center

ooohh nice rigs! I wanna see more pictures of the Cadillac too

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:28 PM   #3
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,012
Con did a great repair, and made a very nice document to illustrate it.

But I also think you could get good results by reshaping the door (as you suggest), and re-fiberglassing the inside. Now I have to qualify that, because I'm not sure how your B-17 door is made, and even all B-13 doors I have seen are not made exactly the same. So this goes for a door that is made up of two fiberglass skins with some coring in between them.

In this type of construction the skins are in tension (or should be), and so the unit of skin-bonded to-core-bonded to-skin functions a bit like an I-beam. If the skins are de-bonded - either from water getting in and rotting the core, or from a problem during construction that left voids - then the ability for the "unit" to keep its curved shape is diminished.

If the door seems dry inside and you don't think there are large voids or de-bonded areas, then I think you could do as you suggest with the kerfs, re-bending, and re-fiberglassing. Another idea would be to cut off much of the inside skin (leaving some around the sides to bond to would make it easier to put the skin back on), and then either remove and replace the core (if it's wet or unsalvageable), or just put on a new skin.

One you have good skin on both sides, that's well bonded to good, dry core material, I think the door should be able to hold its shape (although I more typically work on boat decks; they use the same principles).

Other people have chosen the more simple route of addressing the symptoms, and put on various "inside webs" in the form of angle irons and wire-rope with turnbuckles, or wooden shelf units, etc. that make brackets to hold the shape.

Another thing to check is that the trailer sides around the door are not sagging (bulging in the middle). On B-13s this happens more on the hinge side of the door, which takes more stress and also has less support. On the 13s there is a piece of bar stock there, but that is not always effective. A nice solution I've seen is to put in a tall "half moon" shaped piece of plywood that is perpendicular to the door, forming a "mini wall" that sort of triangulates the trailer there and keeps it from bowing out. In other words, this is a floor-to-ceiling piece of, say, 5/8" ply, that is like a mini bulkhead running crosswise in the trailer, attached right at the door frame.

Also, if you have the cast hinges with the brass balls (like the 13s), then the hinge can sag when the ball wears down; these are rebuildable with kits from Scamp.

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Old 08-07-2009, 06:44 PM   #4
Trailer: 79 Boler 17 ft
Posts: 48

I used a variation to your Option 2.

I bent 1 piece of 3/4 inch square aluminum tubing with slightly more curve than the wall, and bolted to the interior skin to keep the door sprung better than it was before. My door was only slightly sprung. I did this 2 years ago, and It seems to be holding well. The door is not de-laminating as a result, nor have I had to resort to radical surgery. Truely the purest method would be what was done in that PDF.

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Old 08-09-2009, 10:05 AM   #5
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Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Posts: 4,960
I made an interior frame to make the door fit better due to body sag on my 13'. This long post explaining how I did it will give you some idea of the sources of the problem.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:35 AM   #6
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I wish to thank everyone for replying to my door problem. This has been most helpful. I will repost my "fix" on this problem as well as s few more fixes we have completed on this unit-----thank you,----jerry

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