Patching a large hole in our Boler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-22-2014, 10:44 AM   #1
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Name: Matt
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Patching a large hole in our Boler

I am replacing our current three way fridge with a new 12v/110v unit. My understanding is that I no longer need a huge vent in the side of the trailer and am hoping to tackle that with some Fiberglass cloth. I have done some minor body work in the past and am familiar with using bondo and short strand Fiberglass But I have never used the cloth before. I am just wondering if anyone can offer some guidance or good websites to look at. The hole is about 18" wide by 22" high
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:14 AM   #2
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Does the new fridge have a compressor?
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:06 PM   #3
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You are better to get a patch of already made and gel coated fibreglass. Idealy from an old, wrecked Boler. It is almost impossible to get such a large hole covered with just cloth.

If you can't find a patch, send me a PM. I am in Calgary, and I might be able to get you something.

Check out this thread. It has been an inspiration to me.
You Can Repair Fiberglass
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:51 PM   #4
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Yes it does, I've been told they dont give off much heat so i was going to do away with the vent altogether.....bad idea?
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:09 PM   #5
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The motorized unit is way much cooler than the standard camper fridge that operates by using a heat coil to move the liquid. I would think you would be ok patching the hole.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:12 PM   #6
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Name: kevin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt4483 View Post
I am replacing our current three way fridge with a new 12v/110v unit. My understanding is that I no longer need a huge vent in the side of the trailer and am hoping to tackle that with some Fiberglass cloth. I have done some minor body work in the past and am familiar with using bondo and short strand Fiberglass But I have never used the cloth before. I am just wondering if anyone can offer some guidance or good websites to look at. The hole is about 18" wide by 22" high
You may still need a vent because the refrigerator needs to reject heat somewhere. Remeber a refrigerator works by taking heat out of one space and putting it into another. Without a vent at the back, there is no place for the heat to go. If you decide on no vent then the way to repair a big whole is either get a piece of a wrecked boler. or use fiberglass cloth and resin to attach a piece of plywood on the inside of the hole. Then coat the wood with resin. Then a thin layer bondo so that you still have a cavity for the gel coat. Then gel coat to match and bring the hole up flush with the outside.

You can also do the repair backwards by clamping/taping something firm and flexible on the outside covered in the right kind of plastic, then gel coating directly onto the inside of the plastic, then skipping the wood and going directly to a couple layers of fiberglass cloth. I filled up the holes for my furnace using this method, but the whole might be a bit large.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:03 PM   #7
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i really have no experience doing trailers just kayaks


if you do decide to fill the hole you probably should put in some sort of temporary backing inside the hole.
whatever you use cover it completely in the clear smooth packing tape as the resin will not stick to it
dont try and fill the weave on your first coat of resin just make sure it all gets wetted out
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:14 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the input, I expect to start next weekend. I dont have a piece of Boler to fill in the hole so I think I will try using some backing and multiple layers of matting. I may have more questions as I get into this. The "you can repair fiberglass" link looks very helpful.
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:28 PM   #9
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When I removed my hot water heater, I had an aluminum panel cut and bolted on using the same holes as the water heater, spray painted white.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:05 PM   #10
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Matt, when I replaced our 3-way with a 12 volt, I simply took a piece of plastic and used aluminized tape to secure it to the inside of vent cover, to eliminate all but a row of vents in the bottom and the very top. This eliminated much of the openings that rain could have possibly have gotten in from, but still allowed for some venting of the new fridge. You will at least need venting inside the trailer along the bottom & the top if you do eliminate all the outside venting.
Dave & Paula
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:35 PM   #11
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You could call Scamp Parts Store. They will sell you scrap fiberglass panels from where they cut out for windows. Very reasonable. I patched my Scamp with those panels.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:54 AM   #12
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I patched many holes in our Boler. Small holes worked fine with just a piece a thin wood screwed onto the side, I used Bondo and then layered fiberglass on the inside. For a large hole I had a piece of fiberglass so I used thin wood screwed in place to hold it in place, and fiberglassed it in place. Filled the seam with bondo, worked great.

I did have one hole about 12 inches square. I tried this on with a thin wood form, bondo and layered fiberglass (much more than the others). This has held up, but cracked around the outside. I plan to fix it. To see what I did, OurBoler.com 74 Boler rebuild
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:29 AM   #13
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Chris I was wondering, did you use gel coat over the bondo, and would that prevent cracking? I was planning on skipping gelcoat altogether. I tried the $50 tremclad paint job on the bottom half last year, so I was planning on Fiberglas, bondo, paint...... Camping
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:18 AM   #14
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I'd have a boat shop look at it; should be able to use the opposite side of the rig to make a mould that would match very well when fiberglassed.

Charlie Y
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