Boler door sag fix help needed - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-21-2010, 06:13 PM   #1
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Trailer: Boler
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Hello everyone, i'm the new owner of a yellow 77 boler 1300. My little trailer's door is sagging and sticks out a good inch in the bottom quarter on the side where it latches. After some research i watched a youtube video that showed how the fiberglass seperation is common on the lower portion of the wall where the door latches. It looks like it is supposed to be attached where the bench seat meets the wall. Is there a way to mate these two walls together to get my door to sit right? When i bought this trailer i thought the hinges were shot, but i was wrong. Please help if you can. Thanks,

Mike
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:13 AM   #2
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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Hi Michael and welcome!

Ooh, yellow Boler --- I love those! More photos!!

I just posted a fairly long diatribe about door sag/repair in Brandy's door-fixing thread, so rather than retype it I'd like to direct you there to read it:

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...c=38977&hl=

Also, there have been many other threads on door fixes, since it's a common problem. I don't meant to discourage you from posting a question -- not at all! -- but I'm going to suggest you search for those threads because it's a shame to let that good information go to waste, when people took the time to post it. I think you'll find a lot of ideas, and you'll be able to form a good idea of what causes the problem, so you can then evaluate how you want to repair it (there are numerous methods).

Just to give you an overview, people have:

1) Re-cored the door

2) Built a frame to put in the door instead

3) Affixed wooden brackets to the inside lower door to hold the curve

4) Installed wire rope with turnbuckles to adjust the door (inside lower curve)

Edited to add: Oh, I see you have a compound problem, to include body deformation. I can see that in your second photo.

Basically, if you are familiar with house construction, what you have here is a roof without collar ties, or equivalent bracing, so the walls are pushing out (if you aren't familiar with house construction, never mind )

What's happening to your egg right now is like a giant hand is pressing down on the top of the roof, and causing the sides to "balloon" out. You want to resist that force. The square metal tubing that is there was supposed to do this, but it's a bit wimpy for the job.

Now you have several options for opposing this force.

1) You can hold the walls together, like say with a wire rope going from belly band to belly band across the trailer (not practical, but just for visualization of concept), so they will not spread.

2) You can hold the roof up (like with a wall in the middle of the trailer), and thus the walls will not be able to spread.

3) You can install a shape that "triangulates" and prevents the walls from spreading.

The factory built in a combination of all three: They have the lower bench for a "wire rope" (#1); the closet and kitchen cabinets-wrought iron bar-kitchen cabinets for "walls" (#2); and the shiny square bar for a "shape" (#3).

Trouble is, none of them are really bullet proof, and over time they can let go.

I would probably add an improved version of #1 and #3 in combination. Or at least a #3 (#1 being optional). Here are some ways:

1) For the "wire rope" you could make sure the front bench firmly attached to both side walls at the edges. I won't go into details now, but you could make fiberglass tabs and bolt through them if you want to keep the bench removable.

3) For the "shape," you could make a mini wall on the hinge side of the door, inside the trailer. If you affix this securely to the trailer wall (and the bench), it will hold the proper shape (of course establish the proper shape first! Member Roy in TO has done this with a template). Here is a photo of what I mean by a "shape" in a mini-wall:


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I would also make sure that your cabinetry is doing its job (like, is the "wrought iron" support in place under your upper cabinets).

In summary, there are a number of other ways to accomplish the goals, depending on how you plan to use the trailer. For example, if you have a permanent bed in the back, you could make a #1 "wire rope" across the trailer at bed level, that would help to hold the shape.

So, no hard and fast solutions; but concepts that you can make reality in a number of ways (just like you can support the roof of a house with collar ties, a structural ridge, a post, etc.). The main thing is to get the shape right, and then "cement" it will members that will keep it that way (proper connections are key with the members).

Maybe you can show and tell us more, and then we can help you out further (plus, we get to see more of your egg )

Raya
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:52 PM   #3
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Raya i have to say a big thanks to your excellent reply. I thought that my little problem could be alleviated by just gluing the lower wall below the door hinge side back to the bench support where it's seperated, but i was obviously wrong. I looked from the front of my boler and the door side is totally sagged compared to the other side. This leads me to believe that i have a big time sagging issue. I looked at this trailer in the dark and i had to pull the trigger because i knew it would sell the next day. I found it before it went in the buy and sell and paid $2500 for it. I really did think the door hinges were done, but like i said, i was wrong.

This wire rope idea you mention sounds interesting, but i'm unsure as to where to put this wire. I thought about doing it under that front bench where the storage area is, but i don't know how to attach it to the outer walls without drilling holes in the out shell and having bolt showing. I've pushed in on that area to try and get the door to position correctly, but i can't get it to move much. I hope there is nothing going on underneath the trailer, i'll look there tomorrow in the light. Here is a few more pics, it's a 77. Fridge was missing, wiring is new, brakes work, unsure of furnace yet, no leaks found yet after a good bath today. I checked the frame in the dark with a light and it looked good, but i'll know more tomorrow. Thanks again for the help. If you can offer more help please let me know.

Mike
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:08 PM   #4
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Couple more pics. Any suggestions anyone to help my sagging side? Thanks
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:34 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1977 Boler (Orange Sunrise 'Clementine')
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That Boler looks like my Boler's first cousin! I am envious of your cabinets over the dinette and the nice shiny gel coat.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:26 PM   #6
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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Hi Michael,

Thanks for the photos! I'd say it looks like you got a good deal, and you were probably right in that you had to move on it, or else. It's all well and good to take the measured approach, show up with your inspection sheet, go home to think about it, etc. -- but that usually doesn't work with these 13-ers that are not priced high to begin with. So I'd say you done good

Now, on the body sag. Yes, you probably have some small amount of sagging, but don't mistake that little downward angle you see on the bottom of the door side (when standing out by the tongue and looking back at the front of the trailer) for sag. That's actually molded in - the door side is lower there on purpose so that it's easier to board the trailer. I think they may have stopped doing that in the newer Scamps, but it's a feature of the older Bolers. You can see it here, on another Boler:


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On the "wire rope" - I was mostly using that as a concept, and not meaning that you should go in with an actual wire rope. I was using that as a symbol of some sort of "tying" action from side to side, as one conceptual way to provide support. The bench itself will do that to a certain extent, if you tab it in on both sides (or provide attachment some other way). I think "the shape" also does a very good job, and it can double as a screen door attachment point as well. I think "the shape," while it does not provide support to the whole trailer, is maybe the best way to support the hinge side of the door and the trailer wall in this area. It is a very strong method that is hard for the trailer to "mess with."

You may actually have a combination of problems (I would bet you do). Now that may sound like more problems, but what I'm really saying is that you may have a collection of minor problems instead of one whomping problem. Here are three things, for example, that can contribute to the door not fitting at the bottom:

1) The hinges (usually the brass balls inside them) can wear, thus reducing their size and distorting their shape. Easily available replacements can be ordered from Scamp's parts department.

2) The door can lose curvature, usually due to water/debonding inside the door. This can be fixed in a number of ways.

3) The trailer body can sag outwards (squashed balloon) on the side; thus the trailer is more "bulging" in the middle than the door is.

Just going by your photos, I don't see any horrible body sag. Yes, you probably have some, but if I had to guess, I would say you have a milder combination of all there above. One way to check for body sag is to compare the shape of the trailer wall by the closet side of the door, with the shape by the hinge side (make a cardboard template or similar). The closet side is probably not sagging because the closet holds it in shape (unless the closet rivets are torn out or something dramatic like that).

Regardless, I *lerve* your golden egg! I've always had a soft spot for the deep gold or bright orange Bolers from the mid-to-late 70s.

In addition to loving the colors, I bet you have another "improvement" that I like: That is that the front bench base is completely molded around the porta pottie enclosure. In other words, that whole "U" is colored, molded gelcoat, and there is a groove molded in the top of the seat for a board that makes up the center of the seat.

The reason I think this is so neat is that you can so easily convert the front bench into a two-person dinette. Just raise up the board, make a leg or support, and, Voila!, you have a dinette! You can even keep the couch back in place if you anticipate making it into a bunk often. Best of all worlds

The storage bins above the dinette were also a nice option. Another feature of these Bolers is that it looks like you have the "T-molding" on your Ensolite (insulation) seams instead of tape. I think this gives a nice, finished look; although that exact molding does not seem to be available now, so take care with it .

That Boler just cries out for a name

Raya

PS: You were asking about how to attach the lower bench to the wall without having bolts go through the wall: You can attach it with fiberglass, in a process called "tabbing." This is very strong, and does not penetrate the wall. It's also not difficult, once you commit to doing it. And because your finished result will not show in the trailer, no need to be an artist about it. We can talk you through the steps when the time comes, but just know it's not too hard, and the outlay for materials is not tremendous. Like a recipe, you just gather ingredients and follow the steps.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:51 AM   #7
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Great looking Boler!
Is it original yellow gelcoated or has some of the exterior been painted?
I had a similar sag on our door and elieviated most of the problem by simply raising the hinges about 1/2 inch on the trailer. You could remove the door and lift it up and see if this works for you before tackling the harder methods. All of my cupboards, benches and the kitchen unit are "Tabbed" in as Raya mentions and it means that there are no rivets or bolts through the body and does strengthen the unit a lot.
Be prepaerd to show it off. We almost always have enquiries at campgrounds to show off that "Cute little Trailer". It 's a real conversation starter and a new-friend finder.
Jim
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:51 PM   #8
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Geez, i really have to say thank you to you two for the great info, especially you Raya. I now feel really good about my purchase, as i'm fairly young and i was a little nieve when i came to purchasing a fiberglass midget. I think what i'll do is play with the tabbing process and i'll also look at those brass hinge bushings because i know they are worn just from looking at the hinges themselves.

With regards to the colour, it is the original yellow paint on top, but the previous owner painted the lower with a slightly paler yellow on the bottom because it was flaking and chipped baddly. I asked them if the lower portion was the same yellow as the top and they said yes. I've seen other pictures of the two tone yellow on top, with a rust colour on the bottom, but never a complete yellow.

Today is a testing day where my dad and i are going to see if the furnace works, and check all lights and power connections. I might even see if the water tank holds water. Anyways, i'm excited and feeling better about everything. I'll have a lot more questions for you guys and so far your time and advice has been great. Thanks again,

Mike
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:24 PM   #9
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Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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Glad we could help. And like I said, I think you made a great purchase. The yellow is a bonus, to my mind .

I have seen eggs with that combination of two tone yellow, so I would not be surprised if it is original this way. I have some photos at home and I'll post a couple later (at work now). I wonder if the PO painted the whole lower half or just parts of it that were chipped?

At any rate, it would have originally been gelcoat, and not paint.

What they do is fabricate the shell in a female mold, so it's kind of built "outside-in." After prepping they spray in gelcoat, which is mostly a cosmetic covering, and then they layer in fiberglass cloth (or chopped fibers) with more resin. Thus the inside of the trailer (under the Ensolite insulation) is the rough, "unfinished" side.

The floor is built the opposite way, so the inside is the finished gelcoat and the outside (under the trailer) is the rough fiberglass. The floor will also have some coring (probably wood) for strength.

While gelcoat is not super thick, it does generally have enough millage to be compounded/buffed a time or two, and if it is oxidized (rough, bleached looking), you can compound it to bring back shine (essentially sloughing off dead "skin"). If it's shiny already, so much the better. Wax will help protect it from UV, which is what tends to oxidize it. Eventually you run out of gelcoat to compound, and then if you want shiny it's time to paint.

Sweet Boler

I hope you'll find the time to keep us in the loop as you progress. It's great fun to "ride along."

Raya
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:12 PM   #10
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My 1977 orange boler is two-toned. Lighter on the top.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:18 AM   #11
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Name: Cyndi
Trailer: 1976 Boler 13 ft
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Quote:
Glad we could help. And like I said, I think you made a great purchase. The yellow is a bonus, to my mind .

I have seen eggs with that combination of two tone yellow, so I would not be surprised if it is original this way. I have some photos at home and I'll post a couple later (at work now). I wonder if the PO painted the whole lower half or just parts of it that were chipped?

At any rate, it would have originally been gelcoat, and not paint.

What they do is fabricate the shell in a female mold, so it's kind of built "outside-in." After prepping they spray in gelcoat, which is mostly a cosmetic covering, and then they layer in fiberglass cloth (or chopped fibers) with more resin. Thus the inside of the trailer (under the Ensolite insulation) is the rough, "unfinished" side.

The floor is built the opposite way, so the inside is the finished gelcoat and the outside (under the trailer) is the rough fiberglass. The floor will also have some coring (probably wood) for strength.

While gelcoat is not super thick, it does generally have enough millage to be compounded/buffed a time or two, and if it is oxidized (rough, bleached looking), you can compound it to bring back shine (essentially sloughing off dead "skin"). If it's shiny already, so much the better. Wax will help protect it from UV, which is what tends to oxidize it. Eventually you run out of gelcoat to compound, and then if you want shiny it's time to paint.

Sweet Boler

I hope you'll find the time to keep us in the loop as you progress. It's great fun to "ride along."

Raya
That was a great thread, thanks for the concept explanations and ideas. i will start the gears turning on how to strengthen the connection between the hinge wall and dinette bench. if i didnt have a dinette i would run a cable from side to side!
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:15 PM   #12
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Name: S B
Trailer: Boler
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Hello. Just joined a few days ago. I took a leap of faith and bought an ugly duckling or maybe ugly old duckling boler. I have basically gutted it as the doors were all particle board and absorbing moisture. I also have a real issue with my door sagging but the door is not the problem. On the right hand side of the door on the outside the frame is lower than the other side. I have taken alot of pictures as I would like to get this issue fixed ASAP as I am hoping to go across Canada with it. I took cushions out to get cleaned and I think the door issue is my worst issue. Once I have this sorted out I want to give it a power wash, build new doors, clean the inside as it is sooo badly in need of a clean. Not sure what best approach is. Appreciate any feedback
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Old 10-22-2015, 09:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Seraphena Aswell View Post
On the right hand side of the door on the outside the frame is lower than the other side. I have taken alot of pictures as I would like to get this issue fixed ASAP as I am hoping to go across Canada with it.
That is the way it was designed. It allows for the floor and door opening in the kitchen area to be lower than the rest of the trailer.

Stand a few car lengths away from the front of the trailer and have a look at the lower body line. You will see that it drops down at the door side of the body as well.
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:36 PM   #14
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As Roy suggest the front of the trailer on the door side was built lower. Its the same on Scamps. See Post #6 second paragraph for more details on it - in the photo on the post you can see the area circled - thats how it is meant to be.
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