John & Jaci's Great Adventure (Vintage Boler rebuild) - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-17-2009, 08:09 PM   #15
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Name: John
Trailer: 1972 Boler American ('The USS NeverSail')
Tennessee
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We are back from vacation and starting the planning for our restoration project for our Boler. Thanks for all the good info on figuring out the year of our camper. The first step of our project is to replace the gate to the fence (make the gate wider) so that we can get the camper in the back yard out of sight while we are working on the project.
We do have a few questions. The insulation/interior is in very bad condition. We don't think that it can be repaired and reused. Where can you get replacement of that material. If it is not available, what have others done for new insulation. We live far enough south that we need considerable insulation so that the air conditioner can keep up and keep it cool inside but we don't want to lose a lot of interior height and width in the process.
The other question that we have is related to the relatively low interior height. John is over 6ft 3in so if there is a way, we would like to add a little extra height to the Boler. John did aircraft repair for his entire military career so the fiberglass work is not an issue for him. Has anyone separated the Boler at the belly band? If so is it a difficult process? We are thinking of doing that to add 6 inches of height at the belly band.

Thanks

John and Jaci

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Old 07-04-2009, 10:23 PM   #16
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The restoration has now begun. Spent this afternoon taking out parts of the interior. We removed the table and benches so that we could take out the floor. In the past someone had just added a new floor on top of an already bad floor. We removed the carpet, linoleum, and top layer of floor. As you can see by the pics that there is a lot of work to do. We are working on getting the floor opened up so we can see how to take the shell off of the frame. The next step will be to check the frame and fix any issues with it. This may take a while, but it felt good to get started with the project.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:09 PM   #17
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Removal of the old is going well. We have removed the floor down to the frame on all but the front bench and under the cabinet and kitchen. What we can see of the frame so far looks good. It appears to have only surface rust and is structurally sound. We hopefully will have the egg off the frame by the end of the week and can check the rest of the frame. Are there certain points of the 72 Boler frame that are know to have issues? That way we will make sure to check those areas closely when as we check and clean up the frame.
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:19 PM   #18
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The removal of old is done. We have it off of the frame and now the fun of repair work has begun. The axle will need to be replaced. As you can see its frozen in the "up and locked" position. The rest of the frame is in quite good shape, mostly needing the surface rust removed and a good coat of paint for protection. As we clean it up we will be closely inspecting for any signs of metal fatigue and reinforce any weak spots. Other than the front part of the frame where it curves to the tongue are there any other spots on the boler frame known to be common failure points?

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Old 07-16-2009, 04:17 PM   #19
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The wall covering doesn't look shot to me from what I can see. Bleach, elbow grease and paint can work wonders. Replacing it would be a PAI in my opinion and I would never do it unless there was no other option.

As for making it taller, unless John does all the cooking he really won't be standing up in the trailer much. I always thought adding a few inches in the center roof area would be the way to go to make one taller. Lifting it at the belly band would be a lot more work due to having to deal with the cabinetry.

The bed was the biggest issue for us. We solved that by having hubby sleep on the front bed ( also buying a Bigfoot) and I get the back to myself along with the duffel bags at the rear wall.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:31 AM   #20
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The removal of old is done. We have it off of the frame and now the fun of repair work has begun. The axle will need to be replaced. As you can see its frozen in the "up and locked" position. The rest of the frame is in quite good shape, mostly needing the surface rust removed and a good coat of paint for protection. As we clean it up we will be closely inspecting for any signs of metal fatigue and reinforce any weak spots. Other than the front part of the frame where it curves to the tongue are there any other spots on the boler frame known to be common failure points?
J & J,
I finally got into the forum. The project looks good and will probably take some time to finish. Although this type of job is never finished really, it becomes a work in progress even when it is closed up and is being used. The bane of all RVers is the continuing work that is part of the fun.

Stay in touch,

MIke
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:34 PM   #21
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The frame has been sanded checked and the first layer of paint applied. The frame is in very good shape for being 37 years old. (you can see it is being inspected by the two job supervisors ) It is ready to go over for a new axle. We have to figure out exactly which axle we want to use and get it ordered. When we have the axle replaced we will add some reinforcement to the frame to make sure that everything is strong and safe for a long time to come. There are a few areas, such as the sheet metal that creates the drop floor in front of the kitchen, that is quite rusted. So that sheet metal is being replaced when the axle is replaced.

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Old 07-27-2009, 09:18 AM   #22
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The frame has been sanded checked and the first layer of paint applied. The frame is in very good shape for being 37 years old. (you can see it is being inspected by the two job supervisors ) It is ready to go over for a new axle. We have to figure out exactly which axle we want to use and get it ordered. When we have the axle replaced we will add some reinforcement to the frame to make sure that everything is strong and safe for a long time to come. There are a few areas, such as the sheet metal that creates the drop floor in front of the kitchen, that is quite rusted. So that sheet metal is being replaced when the axle is replaced.
John,

I assume a Dexter axle or are you going the spring route?
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:57 PM   #23
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We are leaning toward a trailing arm torsion axle that is sold by Northern Tool. (Its currently configured with a leading arm torsion axle) We plan to reposition it to make room for slightly larger tires and wheels. We are also going to block shim the axle to give about 4 to 5 inches in better ground clearance and a slightly wider stance. Northern Tool has good equipment at a reasonable price. The other advantage is that they are located here in Memphis so we can get all of the related hardware that we need for the conversion and it will make things easier that way and eliminates shipping costs. The Northern Tool axle has the added bonus of a preset camber which makes our job easier.

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Old 07-27-2009, 08:35 PM   #24
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Name: Jean-L &Linda
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We are leaning toward a trailing arm torsion axle that is sold by Northern Tool. (Its currently configured with a leading arm torsion axle) We plan to reposition it to make room for slightly larger tires and wheels. We are also going to block shim the axle to give about 4 to 5 inches in better ground clearance and a slightly wider stance. Northern Tool has good equipment at a reasonable price. The other advantage is that they are located here in Memphis so we can get all of the related hardware that we need for the conversion and it will make things easier that way and eliminates shipping costs. The Northern Tool axle has the added bonus of a preset camber which makes our job easier.
Hi John
Let me know how you gonna make out with your new axle.
I just finished repairing our frame and thinking of changing axle on our Boler American.
I was also looking at Northern Tool's axle.
Would you have the Original Hub caps? your 'e doing a good job on yours.
Thank you Jean-L
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:35 PM   #25
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We are leaning toward a trailing arm torsion axle that is sold by Northern Tool. (Its currently configured with a leading arm torsion axle) We plan to reposition it to make room for slightly larger tires and wheels. We are also going to block shim the axle to give about 4 to 5 inches in better ground clearance and a slightly wider stance. Northern Tool has good equipment at a reasonable price. The other advantage is that they are located here in Memphis so we can get all of the related hardware that we need for the conversion and it will make things easier that way and eliminates shipping costs. The Northern Tool axle has the added bonus of a preset camber which makes our job easier.
I have purchased from Northern Tool and Harbour Freight in the past. It is good if you get hands on the actual part. Their prices are good but if the manufacturer is not known the quality is questionable.
I thought that a torque axle was the way to go. Just have to know the finished weight as their weight ranges can be narrow.
Look great so far. Listen to your inspectors!!
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:05 PM   #26
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Trailer: 1972 Boler American ('The USS NeverSail')
Tennessee
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We are back at the work on our camper after a short vacation. We have been sanding the shell. Removing all the faded oxidized blue paint and getting the surface prepped for fiberglass repair. I have added a couple of pictures to show how far we have gotten with the sanding. We have purchased replacement windows and will need to do some fiberglass work to set them in. We are planning on purchasing the northern tool axle and are looking for a welder to complete the work for us. So far the redo is going well and we feel that we are slightly ahead of schedule to be camping next spring.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:19 AM   #27
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We are back at the work on our camper after a short vacation. We have been sanding the shell. Removing all the faded oxidized blue paint and getting the surface prepped for fiberglass repair. I have added a couple of pictures to show how far we have gotten with the sanding. We have purchased replacement windows and will need to do some fiberglass work to set them in. We are planning on purchasing the northern tool axle and are looking for a welder to complete the work for us. So far the redo is going well and we feel that we are slightly ahead of schedule to be camping next spring.

Lookin' good! Have you looked for someone to spray the insulating foam? Might be cheaper than getting the kit yourself.
Keep the pictures coming and keep up the good work.
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:10 PM   #28
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Quote:
We are back at the work on our camper after a short vacation. We have been sanding the shell. Removing all the faded oxidized blue paint and getting the surface prepped for fiberglass repair. I have added a couple of pictures to show how far we have gotten with the sanding. We have purchased replacement windows and will need to do some fiberglass work to set them in. We are planning on purchasing the northern tool axle and are looking for a welder to complete the work for us. So far the redo is going well and we feel that we are slightly ahead of schedule to be camping next spring.

John and Jaci:
It was nice talking to you on the phone the other day about our "non-working" Dometic fridge. Good luck with the USS Neversail and keep the pictures coming! Looks like we're done camping for the year since the weekends have been so cold and wet around Chicago. Our next trip will be our trip to Pine Ridge, South Dakota in March for our annual volunteer week. Then, we'll once again be at the VW Show at Mid-America Motorworks in Effingham, IL in early June. Nice campground at Camp Lakewood and lots of old VWs to observe on Sat. and Sunday.

Take care!

Kevin and Cindy Anderson
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