I want to start this thread with a little background on how I ended up with a Boler. I have been camping with my wife for a few years and we have always used tents. Earlier this year we were camping at the Grand-Prix of Trois-Rivieres and it started to rain. Usually not to big of an issue as we had a decent tent, but this time I woke up in the middle of the night with rain drops falling on my head. I was also considering getting a new air mattress as ours lost air overnight and made things much less comfortable. I figured instead of spending a few hundred dollars on new tent/mattress I would start looking for a trailer (I was also fed up with sleeping on the ground)
I first started my search looking for a pop-up trailer as I wanted to use my wife's 2000 BMW 323i touring as the TV. Although not rated in the US for towing, it is rated in Europe to tow up to 1500 lbs un-braked and 4000 lbs with brakes. That being said, there was only a class I hitch available on this side of the pond, so I limited myself to trailers around 1000 lbs dry. I started doing my research on kijiji and instead of putting keywords like pop-up or tent trailer, I just did a general search of all trailers in my price range. I saw some nice little pop-ups but nothing jumped out and said "buy me!" This is when I noticed my first Boler. After hours and hours of research on the web (including the Boler buyers guide) I settled on one about an hour outside of Ottawa. It was in the right price range (probably because it needed some/lots of TLC) so I went down to look at it. Attached are some of the pics from the kijiji add.
So I went to go check it out in person. The electrical was a mess, the tires were extremely old, the propane was still set up for the old style (so I couldn't hook it up to test it) the axel looked weak, the flooring was laminate and had clearly been water damaged and it didn't have cushions. That being said, I checked out the frame, which looked not bent and had been repaired in some sports by the current owner (who is a welder by trade). He had bought a bunch of new parts for it, including new window cranks, table support, new pump tap, among others. It had the front rock guard and an awning (even though it was attached very poorly) and things looked pretty good.
The excitement got the best of me (I didn't even tick a single thing on the checklist) and I ended up making an offer that was accepted. I backed up my car, hooked up the lights and of course nothing turned on. The owner had ripped all of the wiring out of the Boler and had just twisted things together to try and get it to work. After fiddling around for about an hour we finally got brake/turn signals and running lights to work and I was on my way.
Once I got the trailer home, I started to tackle the trailer wiring. Not much to show on that, but I did run new wires from the front to the back of the trailer and now everything is hooked up properly.
I also decided to tackle the AC system. There was a circuit breaker box but it was just hanging loose. There was also an uncovered junction box and some connections just twisted outside of a box. The previous owner had installed a new under-cabinet mounted LED light, but I wanted to run things off of DC so I took that out (It was also poorly wired as seen in the original pics). I ripped out everything I didn't want an simplified the wiring. It is now mounted on the wall (and yes the on and off are upside down), but I have yet to finish it (not grounded). There is also one slot open that I will use for a converter at some point in the future.
I also decided to refinish the stove-top. It was pretty nasty looking and had lots of rust. I spent a few hours sanding and trying to get it to look nice. However, it appeared to be nickel plated steel and the rusty spots looked like they lost their plating. I had some high heat aluminum paint laying around from another project and decided to give it a spray. In my opinion it turned out amazingly! We don't plan on using the stove unless it is a rainy day as we have a grill/stove that I like to use that we usually put on a table outside. That being said, I like things to look nice if we do intent on using them. While I had the stove-top out I also cleaned up the rest of the stove and found a dime, a penny and an earing. Sadly it wasn't diamond or gold so it just went to the trash!
The previous owner had installed some brass latches that didn't have the proper offset catches (you can see them in the original pics). I don't personally like brass and I don't like when things need a piece of plywood as a spacer to make them work. So I started doing some research to find out what to use that would look nice and not break the bank. The original handles would have been nice to find but they just weren't in my price range. I did a bunch of research on here and the rest of the net and finally found something I thought would look nice. (and they are cheap at only 8.99 a piece)
I also decided that I needed to take a real good look at the awning. When I checked it out before buying it we just rolled it out and then rolled it back up. I didn't get a good chance to see if it was in good condition.
After setting it up I saw that I needed a good cleaning. One picture below shows the front half cleaned. I don't know what others use as a cleaning product but my favourite for just about everything is Mr. Clean magic erasers. It worked great and it looks almost new again.
And as you can see in the other pic it opens up nicely and I am very excited to use it camping one day.
You may also notice that I have a problem with collecting BMWs. For those that are interested the convertible is a 1986 325i imported from Germany and the one in the garage is a 2007 335xi.
Welcome to the FGRV Forums, Lercs, from yet another Ontarioan. I've documented 180 of 'active' ON's so far; all in various stages of repair/renewal/restoration, etc.; or, otherwise "on-the-road'. Keep in touch. I know you'll find local help for almost any FGRV issues right here. We're currently working on our Boler - about 2 or 3 hours directly west of Ottawa.
Find yourself; and then others will find you.
Hi. Welcome to the forum! Just a couple of points you may want to consider.
We bought a 76 Trillium which fortunately was in better shape but still had some of the failings of an old trailer. So:
Our stove top was pitted, not so bad as yours. Someone had already painted it with (?). I stripped this off and was going to paint with hi-temp until both of the major manufacturers told me they didn't recommend it as it is not food safe if food were to come in contact (they do feel it is safe for bbq bodies though, go figure!). I was able to hide most of the pits by using foil inserts for the cups. Have your gas guy evaluate your appliances as well to see if the design is still considered safe.
Have a gas-qualified guy check the stove and any other appliances as well as the line and regulator. If the old owner tinkered with wiring he didn't understand, he may well have tried his hand at gas.
Most of these old trailers have badly rusted connecting bolts/screws between the body and frame. Check 'em out and replace as necessary. One of mine was missing all together!
Thanks, I did read the comments about it not being food safe, but I am not painting my cooking products (ie frying pan) so I think it will be just fine. If food falls out of the pan onto the stove top, I'll just throw it out. I honestly don't expect to use for more than making coffee in the morning anyways, as I have an outdoor grill/stove that I use.
I doubt the propane got used much over the years as it still had the original regulator and pig tail (which has now been replaced) and I plan on leak testing everything before using it (soap and water test). I have checked out all the lines and everything is in good shape.
I do plan on replacing the connecting bolts, it's next on the list of things to do
up next I wanted to reattach the stone guard. The PO had taken it off and apparently the original hardware was thrown away, but he had bought some scamp hardware to replace it. I also noticed that the PPO (previous, previous owner) had modified the rock guard to work as an awing, but it needed some work to look nicer.
I started by removing the paint and polishing the brass hinges that are used to hold the guard up, then reattached the guard using a combination of new and old parts that I had. For any old parts I have also cleaned them up and repainted them (silver to match the scamp parts)
Below you can see how the awning style works. It seems pretty sturdy. If anyone wants more specific details on how this works, let me know and I can take some detailed pics. I have no clue where to find hinges like this, but I like the fact that they are permanently attached (so I can't loose them). I also used the zip-tie trick to hold them at the top.
As it seems I have an ADD approach to fixing things, I decided now would be a good time to replace the lights on the upper cabinet and the same time as putting up the peel and stick backsplash.
The lights are IKEA Dioder puck style LED lights. They can either be used on AC or if you cut the cord (after the transformer) you can wire them directly to DC. As I don't want to be dependent on having AC, I will be wiring these to DC. They give off a decent amount of light and they attach with either small screws of double sided tape (both come in the package). For 30 dollars I don't think you could find anything better.
The backsplash is peel and stick from Home Depot. They are sold in 8 sheet packs and my rough measurement said 8 sheets work work just fine... of course I am 1/3rd of a sheet short.. I plan on putting something (maybe some hooks for cooking utensils) in the space that is bare. I put up the first sheet and seemed to be sticking just fine (as I was worried about it due to the ensolite). I continued on and put up the rest.... Once I was done, I sat down to admire my work and that's when the backsplash started to peel off the wall... I quickly went on the search through my home for some glue I could use to get a better adhesion and all I could find is some "quick dry" craft glue. It said it dried clear (which is nice in case my gluing skills were lacking) and it stayed flexible. I peeled back the edges and put some glue down and then held them in place (with small boards to apply even pressure) and it seems to be doing the trick. I will report back after a bit to let you all know if it worked out. If anyone is planning on doing this, I have two suggestions. 1. get a piece of plywood (or acrylic, metal,etc) and cut it to the same size as the wall. Then use the peel and stick on this sheet and then attach the sheet to the wall.. it will likely stick much better. 2. Use some glue in the first place. (even if attaching it to the sheet noted above as it didn't seem that sticky)
The piece of birch between the counter and the cabinet is there to hide the wires. I am not sure if it is the permanent solution, but it works for now. I may replace it with a tube so it looks more original. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Welcome to FGRV. Looks like you are having a great time working on your Boler. Keep the posts coming, and post lots of pics too!
Lots of info and ideas on this great site and if you have any questions you will get lots of answers.
Today it was out with the old and in with the new... Screws that is.
Most came out ok, and some seemed to be quite loose, so I traveled back to home depot and got some #12 screws as well.
I also spent some time re-gluing the backsplash where it peeled up. I am feeling confident that I got the last of it
Tonight will be cutting the mattress time. On the trip to IKEA I also picked up a queen size 4 and 3/4 inch foam mattress. Will be more than enough for the back bed, but unfortunately not enough to do the front as well. For this year I plan on just making some simple covers from left over fabric and next year when the colour scheme is worked out (we are thinking orange?) we will make some nice covers.