My 1972 Boler Restoration Blog - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-21-2019, 07:06 PM   #1
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Name: Joseph
Trailer: Boler
California
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My 1972 Boler Restoration Blog

Hi All,

First post and happy to be part of the group. My fiancee and I are the proud new owners of a 1972 13ft Boler that we found at a price that was too tempting not to take. We've been talking about getting a Boler or Scamp for a while now and we both needed a project to work on for the weekends.

We found this gem locally that was rescued from a field. It had been sitting for the past 20 years with loads of questionable repairs and modifications. The original door was removed and some meth lab looking door was riveted on to the shell. The interior had been renovated a while ago, but nothing was done to conserve weight and holes were drilled like they were looking for studs.

We were looking for a ground up project so none of this bothered us
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:16 PM   #2
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We started by gutting and stripping as much as we could. Everything was in incredibly questionable shape. The Ensulite was sticky and falling off in areas. The cabinets all had plywood screwed over them in multiple layers. Also, for some reason, they could not get enough ventilation on the left side. A giant rectangle was cut through the belt line to install vents but there was only a fridge there and a range. There was also a slew of other hatches and vents around the body.

In addition to that, there must be about 300-400 holes from rivets and random things. Most were bondo filled but shrinking up and falling out. Others had caulking in them. No side was spared. Ceiling, walls, floors, everything. Fortunately, there wasn't any rot in the floor or major damage. We'll still be replacing most of it though.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:26 PM   #3
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Will be neat to see this taking shape. Congrats on the find!
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:19 AM   #4
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Welcome!
You certainly aren't short on enthusiasm!
looking forward to watching the build,, keep the pics coming!
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:54 AM   #5
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: '82 Burro 13'
Northern VA
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Good luck. That door looks like it's for a bunker.

You're just going to LOVE fiberglass work when this is ready to go. lol.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:15 AM   #6
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The word of the day is duct tape

I really would pay money to hear previous owners reasoning behind half of the mods. The rear tire was removed from the center rear location and the mounting bolts were relocated to the right side off center for no apparent reason. The old holes (amongst about 20 others) were just taped over on the inside with duct tape and some bondo was slathered on the outside. The license plate bracket was relocated from the fiberglass to the aluminum belly band. Also, there was a hatch cut out of the rear but they changed their mind and reattached it with about 30 drywall screws then covered the joints with bondo.

You'll also notice a grey coat of something all over the top. I haven't figured this one out yet as it's not enough to evenly coat the whole thing and it looks like it was just barely put on with a dry brush. Most of it is concentrated around the old tape holes and other joints so maybe it was some type of waterproofing? Lord knows they needed it with all of the extra holes they made.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:18 AM   #7
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Sure hope you're wearing some sort of mask/respirator. No telling what might be growing on/in/under the surfaces.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:28 AM   #8
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Stripping and cleaning this thing has been one head shaking moment after another. Most of the interior was there, but it was all damaged so everything has to come out. We're keeping the closet and upper shelf in for the moment so the shell has some support. I've read that these things can flatten out over time without the proper support. Once we have the closet out, I'll mock up wood supports for the inside to keep pressure on the roof when we're not working on it since this will be a lengthy project.

The fiberglass benches were removed and replaced with wood. However, they went with particle board which soaked up water over time and started crumbling. They must have felt as though it wasn't heavy enough though because some areas had up to three layers of pressboard laminate over the top as a finish. I'm not sure if they were just changing their mind constantly or if they were trying to build up the layers for a reason.

The wiring was a rats nest too. Most connections were just twisted with no shielding. Lots of small lights around the outside and way too many reflectors. Someone was certainly worried about being seen at night.

Oh, and check on the respirator : We invested in some tyvek suits, respirators, and goggles. Mostly for fiberglass work, but the inside is pretty nasty and years of dust is just swirling around as we knock things loose.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:51 AM   #9
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Name: tim
Trailer: boler
British Columbia
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I feel your pain

Hi welcome! ! Actually looking at your boler and all the potential work involved to get it up to snuff I don't feel so bad about my own recent purchase! My interior is in better condition and there aren't as many holes as you described. However judging by your pics you are much younger than I and therefore have way more energy to tackle this sort of thing. As another forum member said you're going to love fiberglassing LOL. I'm only beginning to open my own pandora's box of repairs and am getting intimate with sanders and resin. This is going to be a long process for me thanks to previous owners' neglect and abuse. Lord give me strength!.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:52 AM   #10
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:04 AM   #11
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Name: Nicolas
Trailer: Boler
Ontario
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OMG!!! As the previous responder said “Makes me feel glad about my purchase.” We rescued our ‘78 Boler from a hunt camp repossession and it was in bad shape (or at least until I saw your pics!!!)

My first suggestion would be to simplify the fibreglassing. I Recommend the West System process since it pre-metres the resin and hardener and comes with all sorts of fillers and adhesives to make hole repairs, bonding and repairs to the shell so much more manageable. I have been using it for 4 years now to repair and modify our Boler.

I also recommend their “book” on fibreglass boat repair. It has been invaluable to guiding me through repairs from holes the size of a dinner plate to hairline cracks not to mention adhering bolts to the shell without drilling through or building out the body where I Installed new flat windows to a curved body.

I too will be looking with anticipation to your further posts as you tackle your rebuild. I am truly grateful that there are people out there willing to revive the Boler. Actually, any small fibreglass RV since they have a charm of their own. I enjoy going out and working on ours.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:36 AM   #12
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Name: Joseph
Trailer: Boler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
OMG!!! As the previous responder said “Makes me feel glad about my purchase.” We rescued our ‘78 Boler from a hunt camp repossession and it was in bad shape (or at least until I saw your pics!!!)

My first suggestion would be to simplify the fibreglassing. I Recommend the West System process since it pre-metres the resin and hardener and comes with all sorts of fillers and adhesives to make hole repairs, bonding and repairs to the shell so much more manageable. I have been using it for 4 years now to repair and modify our Boler.

I also recommend their “book” on fibreglass boat repair. It has been invaluable to guiding me through repairs from holes the size of a dinner plate to hairline cracks not to mention adhering bolts to the shell without drilling through or building out the body where I Installed new flat windows to a curved body.

I too will be looking with anticipation to your further posts as you tackle your rebuild. I am truly grateful that there are people out there willing to revive the Boler. Actually, any small fibreglass RV since they have a charm of their own. I enjoy going out and working on ours.


Thanks! It does need more improvements than I would have hoped for but we came across it at a price that made being impulsive a lot easier.

I think, at the end of the day, that I almost prefer this as I know if we bought one that only needed a few things, I’d constantly be thinking about how some things weren’t the way I would have done them and it would bug me. This gives us sort of a clean slate to incorporate some of the great ideas we’ve read about on this forum and some things we want to try on our own.

As for fiberglass, that’s definitely an adventure that’s fast approaching. We’ve been reading up on boat repair and various tips and tricks. Fortunately, we have a great local resource to buy just about anything we need for glassing (Tap Plastics). That should make last minute purchases and resupplying a lot easier. I’ve done some fiberglass work in the past but barely enough to even mention.

I’m most looking forward to the interior build out as that’s where most of my skill set is. There’s still a long way to go for that though.
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:20 PM   #13
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Trailer: Damon
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Boler resto-definitely ground-up

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoleyBoley View Post
We started by gutting and stripping as much as we could. Everything was in incredibly questionable shape. The Ensulite was sticky and falling off in areas. The cabinets all had plywood screwed over them in multiple layers. Also, for some reason, they could not get enough ventilation on the left side. A giant rectangle was cut through the belt line to install vents but there was only a fridge there and a range. There was also a slew of other hatches and vents around the body.

In addition to that, there must be about 300-400 holes from rivets and random things. Most were bondo filled but shrinking up and falling out. Others had caulking in them. No side was spared. Ceiling, walls, floors, everything. Fortunately, there wasn't any rot in the floor or major damage. We'll still be replacing most of it though.
Enjoy the build and you'll double the pleasure it gives when finished!! Nice Packard!!
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:21 PM   #14
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Name: Joseph
Trailer: Boler
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Originally Posted by workhorsed View Post
Enjoy the build and you'll double the pleasure it gives when finished!! Nice Packard!!


Thanks! That’s Iris. She’s jealous that the Boler took her place in the garage . We’re looking for a new home for her in the meantime as two projects are not a good idea.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:08 PM   #15
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Name: Joseph
Trailer: Boler
California
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I know most owners try to salvage the Ensolite, but there are waaaay to many holes on this thing to guess where they are underneath. That, and most of it is pretty gross and moldy. The previous owner try to remedy some of that by painting over it with some type of white sealer, but it just made things more sticky. So...it all has to come out.

After going through a few different tools to see what worked best to remove the foam, we found the best thing was just manual labor with a narrow scraper, gouging the back slowly as you pulled it off with the other hand.

Once done, we had to face the task of removing all of the black foam that did not want to relinquish its hold from the fiberglass. This was one of those moments where you're going through your entire toolbox trying to find out what method of cleaning this stuff off works best. Reading online, you see tips about oven cleaner, orange cleaner, acetone, goof off, etc. The list goes on. After trying a few things on small spots with varying success, we settled with a wire wheel as it worked best from what we had. Half way through (and after buying some more toys at the home center) I found that an angle grinder with an angled flap wheel was the ultimate winner, albeit incredibly dusty compared to the others.
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:15 PM   #16
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Name: Joseph
Trailer: Boler
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Originally Posted by HoleyBoley View Post
I know most owners try to salvage the Ensolite, but there are waaaay to many holes on this thing to guess where they are underneath. That, and most of it is pretty gross and moldy. The previous owner try to remedy some of that by painting over it with some type of white sealer, but it just made things more sticky. So...it all has to come out.

After going through a few different tools to see what worked best to remove the foam, we found the best thing was just manual labor with a narrow scraper, gouging the back slowly as you pulled it off with the other hand.

Once done, we had to face the task of removing all of the black foam that did not want to relinquish its hold from the fiberglass. This was one of those moments where you're going through your entire toolbox trying to find out what method of cleaning this stuff off works best. Reading online, you see tips about oven cleaner, orange cleaner, acetone, goof off, etc. The list goes on. After trying a few things on small spots with varying success, we settled with a wire wheel as it worked best from what we had. Half way through (and after buying some more toys at the home center) I found that an angle grinder with an angled flap wheel was the ultimate winner, albeit incredibly dusty compared to the others.
For some reason, my pictures didn't come through...
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:21 PM   #17
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Name: Joseph
Trailer: Boler
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Finally cleaned up most of the interior and removed any bits and bobs that were coming through the wall. Hundreds of rivets needed to be drilled out, and most were previously leaking. Some must have been cheaper steel because the heads were completely rusted.

So far, we have a good size shopping list for the fiberglass portion as we'll be filling a ton of holes.
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Old 09-28-2019, 10:35 AM   #18
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That door!
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:15 PM   #19
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You gotta Love this trailer; that's all I can say.


What do you suppose the increase in trailer weight due to fiberglassing will be when you fill the 'ton of holes'? It would be interesting to see what the weight is before and immediately after.
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:03 PM   #20
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Name: Joseph
Trailer: Boler
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You gotta Love this trailer; that's all I can say.


What do you suppose the increase in trailer weight due to fiberglassing will be when you fill the 'ton of holes'? It would be interesting to see what the weight is before and immediately after.
Haha. I'm guessing only a few pounds since fiberglass isn't too heavy. We talked about taking it to a weigh station or dump site to get it weighed on their scales, but none of the lights work, and it's not really road worthy at the moment. We'll have to settle for weighing it after we're done.
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