Boler Overhaul - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2011, 02:12 PM   #1
Kat
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Name: Kat
Trailer: 1979 Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 4
Boler Overhaul

Nothing like jumping in and getting my feet GOOD AND WET. I am not totally foreign to RV repairs/restorations/or home renos for that matter. Several years ago, I bought a small 7'.5" camper, ended up stripping it down, only to build a new one from the ground up. I got a feeling the trailer will probably be the same except there's less rotting and more fiberglass.
I love the little trailer and am looking at redoing it overtime. I have a 1979 Boler trailer, the front and back windows are one piece plexy glass, the sides are rectangular round cornered side sliding windows with an upright rectangular modelled window for the door. The walls are the pebbly foam that is in really descent shape. The bench seating is wood framed, plywood topped with 1/8 panelling for the sides, and the cabinets are simular structure. The floor is original vinyl (I think it is fiberglass topped, atleast in the front and back where the frame rests in the molded insets. From the underside there appears to be plywood with about a 1.5" to 2" fiberglass lip around the perimeter of the trailer. I think there are four bolts in the outer front of the frame and 2-4 in the back behind each wheel well and bolts down the center for each cross member.
Initially, I was going to pull the shell off the frame and redo/ finish both, but after a closer look at the plywood flooring and some rotting, I am considering on replacing it. I have been reading boler sites to determine how to proceed with the overhaul. Considerations I have in order of priority are:
1. The type of floor construction my trailer has, how to replace it and new flooring. The vinyl is brittle.
2. Frame condition and modifications
3. Exterior painting - windows re&re maybe
4. Kitchen facilities considerations for furnace, frig, and sink
5. Replacing interior wood seating and cabinets
6. Possible upgrades to the utilities and electrical down the road

I hope to do the first 2- 3 points this year and the rest in the next year or so. I am just looking for some starting points for the first 2 considerations, if you have any advise to get me started that would be great. I hope to start in the next 3 weeks while I'm on holidays.
Thanks Kat Next time I won't write so much.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:29 PM   #2
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Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
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Not sure if you have a 13 ft. or 17 ft. Guessing 17 with your reference to wood cabinets but not impossible that it is a 13 with wood.

A little bit of everything on my channel
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:50 PM   #3
Kat
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Name: Kat
Trailer: 1979 Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 4
Moochos Gracious!!!

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Originally Posted by kevin61 View Post
‪kevinhenry61's Channel‬‏ - YouTube

Not sure if you have a 13 ft. or 17 ft. Guessing 17 with your reference to wood cabinets but not impossible that it is a 13 with wood.

A little bit of everything on my channel
Good Morning Kevin,
What a wonderful site you have created, wished I would have had it as a reference when I was doing the camper. Much of the information, structure and materials are very similar. I used my old camper as a template for my new one. Your site is very inspiring and helped me to put things in perspective as to how I want to approach this project. I will be referring to this site periodically and probably asking you some questions as I go along. A few things though:
1. Jacking the frame off the trailer seemed a little daunting, so I think I'm going to investigate equipment a little further.
2. I was considering doing a total floor replacement since the job is a big one, everything is out, and I don't want to go there all too soon afterwards.
3. Are you suggesting that the floor be replaced in sections (going across widthwise or lengthwise), in order to avoid possible stress or damage on the outside fiberglass frame?
4. Hows the new insulate material you created working? Most of the insulation in my trailer is in pretty good condition, still have to remove the cabinets & benches.
5. I believe that my trailer has actual screws on the outside of shell instead of rivets, goop included. Would your replace with rivets or acorn nuts? I guess if you do rivets, you can do fiberglass overtop for perma seal. If I were to do that would it be an idea to have a wood rail secured from the outside by a rivet and then screw into it from the inside the structures you want to secure? I plan to simplify my interior structure to reduce future moisture issues and address anything that comes up. I can also focus on expense and priority projects.

Once again thanks alot. By the way I do have a 13' Boler with wood cabinets and interior structure. Upon viewing your sites, I was ever so thankful that I had a 13' instead of a 17' because it made the project seem smaller and your site very inspiring.
Talk soon, Kat
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:25 PM   #4
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Trailer: Two 13 ft Bolers and one 17 ft Boler
Posts: 325
1. Jacking the frame off the trailer seemed a little daunting, so I think I'm going to investigate equipment a little further.

If you are going to gut your trailer, now would be the time to take it off the frame for an inspection. I wish I would have done this with my 13 ft. trailer when I first started my overhaul. The little frames are notoriously weak in certain spots. Now is the time to have it welded if required.

2. I was considering doing a total floor replacement since the job is a big one, everything is out, and I don't want to go there all too soon afterwards.


I haven't replaced the floor in a 13 ft. trailer but I have seen two different types. Mine is plywood encased in fibreglass all round . I have seen small Bolers with wood cabinets and just a plywood floor. I suspect this will be the construction of yours. It all depended on which factory it was made in. If you have the plywood floor I would drill some test holes to determine if it is rotten. Pay attention to areas around the bolt holes and the door. In a future video I will show how I patched my floor. There may even be a video on my channel right now showing how I replace a rotten section by the door. If only rotten in small section I would cut out and replace with new wood and fibreglass.

3. Are you suggesting that the floor be replaced in sections (going across widthwise or lengthwise), in order to avoid possible stress or damage on the outside fiberglass frame?

Not sure of the actual construction of your floor. If I were to replace the plywood floor in my 17 ft. I would do it in sections across its's width, as per the original construction.


4. Hows the new insulate material you created working? Most of the insulation in my trailer is in pretty good condition, still have to remove the cabinets & benches.

I've been meaning to put up a 2x2 ft. test strip of the insulation material to see how it glues up. Perhaps this week. My present train of thought is to install the insulation after I install the cabinets. This could change depending on circumstances I presently cannot foresee. If your trailer has the "Toad Skin" for lining (like my 17 ft. trailer) I'd take it out and replace. If it has the 1/8 inch Ensolite then I'd simply re-paint it.


5. I believe that my trailer has actual screws on the outside of shell instead of rivets, goop included. Would your replace with rivets or acorn nuts? I guess if you do rivets, you can do fiberglass overtop for perma seal. If I were to do that would it be an idea to have a wood rail secured from the outside by a rivet and then screw into it from the inside the structures you want to secure? I plan to simplify my interior structure to reduce future moisture issues and address anything that comes up. I can also focus on expense and priority projects.

With a gutted trailer I would do away with all rivets and fibreglass the cabinets into place. I may also fibreglass or glue wood blocks to the interior as attachment points. There is a video showing the system I may use. I'm thinking of making the cabinets removable for ease of access in future modifications or repairs. Have as few holes as possible penetrating the shell. Fibreglass and Bondo the exterior holes and re-paint. Make that puppy watertight so nothing seeps in from the outside to "wick" through the lining of your trailer.

This test piece has been in the trailer about a year or more. When I put pressure on it I believe the fibreglass or bracket will fail before the glue will. They didn't have this glue in the 70's

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