It Started as a Kitchen Reno- Project Boler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-09-2012, 10:09 AM   #1
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It Started as a Kitchen Reno- Project Boler

This is the story of how simply buying a 1974 Boler trailer has turned into an obsession, and like many renovation projects has grown far beyond the initial plan.

Let me start with some background.

We live in Calgary Alberta, our back yard is the Canadian Rocky Mountains which has some of the best scenery and camping in the world. As a family we have enjoyed camping trips throughout the summer months, sitting around the campfire, hiking the many trails and sleeping in a tent. As my wife and I get older the idea of packing and unpacking the car, setting up the tent, crawling around on the ground and the hardest part, getting up off the ground in the morning it was time to get something a little more comfortable.

Like many I have always noticed the unique look of the Boler trailer and in January of 2011 I found a 1974 Boler 1300 in reasonable shape.







No sure how the Boler was maintained so I gave it a once over before our first trip, replacing & repacking wheel bearings, new tires on aluminum rims, replaced all the propane hoses, regulator and tank. I also added 12 volt power with a water pump and LED interior lights. My wife was busy with the decorating adding the new curtains. We were ready for our first outing on the May long weekend, the trailer worked great we were comfortable and warm but … we quickly realized that a kitchen with about 8 inches of counter space was a challenge and as we left the campground one of the rear lights stopped working, so the modifications began.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:10 AM   #2
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As soon as I got home from that trip I rewired the entire trailer and replaced all the exterior lights with LED units, no more lighting troubles. The next challenge was the lack of counter space. Since our children are older we only needed the Boler to sleep two people, the decision was to remove the front couch and install a counter and larger sink in that location.

I banged together a quick plywood counter and installed it as a trial, for the rest of the summer it worked great although it was almost too much counter space now.

With summer ending I brought the Boler in to prepare it for the long winter, but I got carried away. Before I knew it the entire interior was stripped, not a cabinet, cupboard or bench was left. I had drawn up some new floor plans, now for the rest of the winter I had to build all new cabinets, structural support for the roof and cushions.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:15 AM   #3
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Adding to the work I noticed that something just didn’t look quite right with the frame so why not take the fibreglass egg off the frame to inspect it a bit closer, am I ever glad I did.







The original frame was not in good shape, from the Boler factory most of the cross members were only welded on the sides not the top or bottoms,















the remaining welds were very poor quality. The light metal of the frame had broken at one time and had a reinforced repair, the main left frame rail was bent and cracked at the axle and all of the mounting bolts and screws were either pulled out or loose.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:20 AM   #4
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A new frame had to be built, reading many of the posts on this site I decided to make the frame considerably stronger and install a new FlexiRide axle with brakes in a trailing arm configuration. The design of the new frame is radically different than anything I have seen on the internet, being as the frame needs a dropped section which means cutting the right frame rail I wanted to ensure strength was not compromised. The new frame consists of custom bent 2”x6” “C” channel made from 1/8” or 0.125” steel, the original frame was 1.5”x3” 0.0625” or 16 ga rectangular tube.

Cross members in the new frame are 2”x3”x0.125” rectangular tube with boxing added to the frame in critical areas. Now I know many of you are thinking “how much does this frame weigh?” The original Boler frame with axle (no brakes) and tires weighed 300 pounds, the new frame with a 2000 pound axle with brakes, and the same tires weights 395 pounds. The brakes alone account for about half the additional weight and the strength of the new frame is considerably more.


The pictorial journey:


New frame rails set on original frame



Close up of 2"x6"x1/8" frame rail



Welding frame



Sandblasing new frame
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:22 AM   #5
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Looking good keep the the photos coming.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:26 AM   #6
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Now the new frame is ready for painting.
A coat of epoxy primer is followed by 2 coats of 2 part polyurethane
The FlexiRide 2000 pound axle is also installed















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Old 04-09-2012, 10:30 AM   #7
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Finally the fiberglass egg is mounted back on the frame.
I bought small 8" wheels and tire that easily allow the trailer to be put into the garage. these tire are NOT used on the road at all.









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Old 04-09-2012, 10:42 AM   #8
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Funny how one thing just leads to another. Very nice job. Thanks for sharing. Raz
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:18 AM   #9
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Ummmm, I realize this started as a "kitchen" reno, but lead to other issues. but I gotta ask, no interior pics?




Oh and it's such a cute trailer, glad you are taking the time to do a full blown reno.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:18 AM   #10
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Nice work. You have done an amazing amount of rebuilding and replacing.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin G View Post
Ummmm, I realize this started as a "kitchen" reno but so lead to other issues, but I gotta ask, no interior pics?
Interior pictures are coming, I will be keeping this thread updated regularly.
The kitchen cabinets are all built, installation and pictures will be within the next few weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Nice work. You have done an amazing amount of rebuilding and replacing.
Thanks, my wife thinks I am crazy. The only part of the Boler which will remain original is the fiberglass shell, everything else will be new or replaced.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:26 AM   #12
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As a tease here is an idea of the floorplan.
Bed will be a true double at 54" wide

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Old 04-09-2012, 11:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volvord View Post
Interior pictures are coming, I will be keeping this thread updated regularly.
The kitchen cabinets are all built, installation and pictures will be within the next few weeks


Thanks!
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:06 PM   #14
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That is quite a frame. You obviously have some skills. What axle capacity did you select?
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