Reinforcing instead of Replacing Floor - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-16-2016, 01:45 PM   #1
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Name: Dave and Bonnie
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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Reinforcing instead of Replacing Floor

watched the youtube video on replacing a boler trailer 17' floor. this required removing interior of the Boler to access bolts.

I was thinking that since my floor is weak in a couple of spots, can you reinforce with welded struts or a combination of welding-on angle iron and 2x4 or 2x6 wood support pieces?

My 1977 17' Boler would need a bit of support at the door area, and perhaps a couple of more places.

Also, can you do this work by accessing from a oil-changing pit in a service station or from a hoist in a car repair bay?

thanks for any and all advice. I'm in New Westminster BC
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Old 08-16-2016, 03:05 PM   #2
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Should you weld, make sure you do not catch it on fire either under or inside the unit.
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Old 08-16-2016, 04:58 PM   #3
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If you are unlucky and you get the polyester fiberglass too hot it will happily burn like crazy.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:10 PM   #4
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Name: Dave and Bonnie
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safety reminder

thx for the replies
will approach very carefully
will have professionals do any welding
and/or carpentry re: shoring up the floor
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Old 08-17-2016, 03:27 PM   #5
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1999 Casita 17' SD
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On my 1999 17' Cassita there's a way too large unsupported area for OSB just in front of the rear table.
From underneath you could see the fiberglass bottom had sagged, the OSB on a Casita is not glued to the outer fiberglass. I selected a piece of angle iron the same size as adjoining pieces, jacked it up even with a bottle jack and welded one joint at a time with my MIG laying on a creeper under the jacked up trailer. I had the garden hose handy and sprayed each weld off quickly as I went. Did the same to the other side and horizontal joints. Cooling each as I went. I reduced the spanned area by one half.
The only sign of me welding it in was a little stain from smoke that easily cleaned off.

I obviously did this on a warm day.

Then I drilled four 3/8" holes just through the outer fiberglass in the area and sprayed in foam and covered with duct tape while it cured and that bonded to the deteriorated OSB and it turned out super.

Joe
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:28 PM   #6
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If the floor is weak/rotten "I" would also be VERY concerned about the bolts that attach the fiberglass shell to the frame as dollars to donuts they are rusty.

The chance of rusty shell to frame bolts alone is a good reason to remove the floor to replace the wood floor and the shell to chassis bolts.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:56 AM   #7
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Name: Dave and Bonnie
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British Columbia
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Many thanks for the information and encouragement
I have found a business that does nothing but reinforce/repair
trailers and they have done lots of this sort of work on Bolers
Will have them inspect my 17' Boler (1977) and see what has to be done.
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Old 10-08-2016, 04:46 AM   #8
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
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replacing Boler 17 floor-to-frame bolts

We acquired a 1979 Boler 17 a few weeks ago. It is constructed similar to the one shown in Kevin Johnson's youtube videos. The floor-to-frame bolts are under the linoleum finish flooring. It will not be necessary to gut our camper in order to replace floor-to-frame bolts as well as patch portions of the plywood sub-floor. However, the linoleum finish flooring will need to be removed and replaced.

Most of our plywood sub-floor is solid, but we plan to replace as many floor-to-frame bolts as possible, repair a soft spot in the middle of the floor and patch two rotted portions of the plywood sub-floor under the rear gaucho.
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:49 AM   #9
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Name: Dave and Bonnie
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British Columbia
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Floor Repair - 1978 Boler 1700

John
thanks for encouragement
just took Berniece (the Boler) into E&H Hitches in Burnaby BC
and very experienced tradesman there said the floor was fine but
for one area at the door entrance (common to Bolers right!) and he was
going to reinforce it by using angle iron and a flat steel plate.
We too will install vinyl plank flooring over the fiberglass floor as so many
RV owners have been doing
Dave and Bonnie in New Westminster BC
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Old 10-08-2016, 01:29 PM   #10
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Dave and Bonnie,

That's a great solution. Will they weld in or bolt in the reinforcements?

John in Michigan, Lisa in Michigan
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Old 10-08-2016, 01:33 PM   #11
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camper name

Great name for your camper! Our campers don't have names (yet)
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Old 10-08-2016, 06:34 PM   #12
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Name: Dave and Bonnie
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British Columbia
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The supports and the plate will be welding to the existing frame
The extensions off the frame (common on Bolers to provide floor support
outside the trailer frame footprint) he is also either replacing or extending

Appreciate your encouragement

Dave and Bonnie
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:06 AM   #13
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Name: Borden and Carole
Trailer: Boler 1978 17' 4" Earlton Ont Model
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Ours has a complete 1/4 " fiberglass floor, the plywood just floats on top of it, frame screws go through both. Cupboards screw to the plywood and are riveted to the walls with closed end 5/32 aluminum pop rivets. Replacing the rivets as we speak. NEW rivets have a 1/32 neoprene washer and head cups on install.
Sounds different then your unit on the floor.
We are also lucky that frame is solid
The resurfacing of the cupboards and other repairs are going to add weight hope not too much, just as your repairs will.
We are enjoying the boler a lot they are great cottages on wheels, our key chains say 17' cottage
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:44 AM   #14
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Boler 1700 comparisons

Hi fellow Boler 1700 owners,

Ours is also an Earlton model. Its a 1979. The bottom of the "egg" is gel-coated FG in good condition, then above that is 3/4" plywood and above that lino. Very rusty bolts go through the plywood and through frame angle iron to hold the "egg" on the frame. We definitely plan to replace the egg-to-frame bolts with thicker and probably more bolts. Have already removed (new) linoleum in benches to view condition of plywood and some of the egg-to-frame bolts. Other egg-to-frame bolts are under the dance floor, so will be removing all lino at some point . See Kevin Johnston's youtube video (can't find the bookmark now) where he points to all the egg-to-frame bolts.

All our cabinet rivets have been replaced with heavily siliconed bolts so we'll be replacing those bolts (not sure with what) at some point.

Isn't this fun !!

John in Michigan
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