Our 1971 13' Boler mods - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-19-2015, 02:04 PM   #15
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Trailer: '71 Boler, '87 Play-Mor II
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Just to ask... Which "Instant Hot Water Heater" are you going to use and how/where are you going to mount it?


AND: Running a dorm type refrigerator on an inverter for any more than a day or two will pull down the best of batteries. .4 amps @ 120 VAC = about 4+ amps draw on your battery, plus those 50 amp hits each time the compressor restarts.


What with your modifications, extra batteries, AC, furnace, etc., it also appears that you are adding a lot of weight. I don't think that early Bolers are know for having a robust frame in the first place.
I haven't decided on the water heater model yet, just an instant type most likely LP. There will be room behind the porta pottie for an electric one but not sure about LP models. Do you have any recommendations for the tankless water heater (LP or electric) or LP furnace?

As for the refrigerator it cycles on an off to the point I felt we could go 2 to 3 days with it using (2) 6 volt batteries in series with minimal usage of led lighting. I was estimating that .4 amps ac x 120 volts = 48 watts and 48 ac watts/12 * 1.1 = about 4.4 dc amps. With about 50% run time per hour I am figuring about 2.2 amps/hour and with (2) 6 volt (215 amp hour each) batteries in series should run it for about 97 hours down to about a 50% drain on the batteries (215 amp hours * 2 batteries = 430 total amp hours / 2.2 amps per hour = 195 hours at full drain / 50% = 97 hours at half drain) which should work for most our camping trips...This would be only for boondocking with no power hookup situations...most of the time we would probably have hookups...I am going to put it on the kill a watt and see how much it uses for about 3 days then I will decide for sure...if it is too much draw then we will go old school and take a cooler when boondocking

Bob, can you look at my math figuring above on the battery usage with the refrigerator and let me know if I am figuring correctly or not?

As far as the weight, the trailer originally had an LP furnace, sink, small holding tank, 2 burner stove and a fridge or ice box. The only thing I will be adding to it is the shower/porta pottie and the wall/door around it and I am keeping those materials light weight as possible. We won't have the cook top as we will be using a camp stove outside and the utility sink/shower will replace the original sink and the counter unit removed will offset the weight added of the bath wall. We are also loosing the front upper cabinets above where the original bunks were. The bath door is also light weight with a 1x2 frame, wood panel outside utility panel plastic inside on a sliding track to keep it as light as possible. The tiny 1.7 cu ft refrigerator probably weighs the same or less than the original LP one, and I suspect the LP furnace will weigh about the same as the original one. The real weight will be the batteries and LP tank or two on the tongue. Oh, and the PO put a roof top AC on it which I am guessing is about 75 pounds tops and I am going to add some support around there to the roof or convert it back to a fan and maybe put a window unit in where the closet is, just haven't decided for sure yet. But, to answer your question, a lot of the additions is just replacing weight of what we are removing or doing without, with what additional weight is being added is carefully being considered...but I appreciate you mentioning it Bob as some newbies to FBRVs might not consider the weight...thanks in advance!
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Old 04-19-2015, 02:11 PM   #16
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Great idea!
Thanks, I thought it was too... the only thing I would change is I would make my cardboard trough narrower and use less expanding foam...other than that it worked great and gave me a perfect shape of the contour to trace out on wood...I got to do a couple of more of them around the vent hole for the a/c unit so I can cut some supports to help hold the weight of the a/c unit and eliminate some sagging in that area, I will keep you posted on how well those turn out also with some pictures too...
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Old 04-19-2015, 02:22 PM   #17
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Actually I don't know of any LP instant water heaters that are rated or safe for use inside an RV. There is one than has been used with a vent pipe, but the outside surface is a hot spot most won't want in an FGRV. The few I have seen installed have been on the outside of the trailer, maybe not a good idea either. Electric ones are real power hogs and could not be supported for long on even two batteries.


The math looks OK, but you really need to try it to find out how much power it draws in a two or three day span. As it's is rated at a .7 amp draw, your .4 amp figure might prove to be a bit low and you can't ignore that 50 amp hit at restart. Be sure to subject it to the temps you will be seeing in your RV. Inside testing may not be as accurate. Also keep in mind that most inverters will start kicking off when input voltage drops below a certain point, meaning that you usually won't get much below 50% before it kicks itself off-line.
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:29 AM   #18
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Okay so things are progressing along with our restoration/modification of the Boler...I finally got all the old Ensolite off using an oscillating Dremel with scraper blade and then angle grider with flap disc to remove what the scraper blade left behind (this was a huge chore taking about a complete including pulling the ensolite off the walls)...

We have also been sanding the blue outside as we are gonna paint the bottom half red and top half white...

I got all the windows out over the weekend, that went pretty well except there are a lot of rivets in the shell that served no purpose so I will be glassing over those...the only rivets that will go back are the ones holding something in place (windows, cabinets, etc.)...

And yesterday I got some fiberglass work done while my wife helped out with the sanding while our son helped out too...first the original LP refrigerator opening was poorly patched by PO using a piece of fiberglass as a patch with what I believe was bondo, I don't think they glassed it in at the seams as there were cracks around it and I pushed the patch completely out with moderate pressure...then I had to fix PO poor patch to the 14x14 vent opening that for some reason they cut larger for no apparent reason...any way as you can see in the pictures I went pretty wide with the fiberglass mat around the seams of the patch area to make it as strong as possible. In the first glassing I did the outside only, which is holding the patch pieces in place nicely this morning and seems good & solid. There are a few places around the seams where the pressure from the patch piece pushed out a little which is common with curved patching so I will also be glassing over the inside as well, with another layer applied after sanding down the bubbled up areas. When I am done you should not be able to tell there was ever a patch done at all after the gel coat goes on...

I was advised against it in another forum here on fiberglass work but I am still considering glassing in some support for the roof to stop some sagging and support the weight of the a/c unit up top. I think it can be done with some wood or metal strips glassed in with enough layers but I am still giving that some thorough consideration...

Now I have a question that I will also start as another post and that is on a fresh water supply tank, what size is in your Boler? I was thinking about a 30 gallon tank but the weight of that water would be 250 pounds...a 10 gallon tank would be 83 pounds of water but that just doesn't seem like enough for showers for 3 days when boondocking for 2 adults and a child...The options I have are a 10 gallon for $24.99 , 16 gallon $29, 21 gallon $39.00 and 30 gallon $44.88...I would really like to have 30 gallons of water but with the weight I am thinking of going with 16 instead. So what size tank do you have? How many showers can you get out of it?

Here is a link to the eBay sell of the tanks if you are looking for one at a great prices compare to places like camping world:

Clearance Marker Lights, Stop Turn Tail Lights items in R and P Carriages Trailer Sales store on eBay!
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:19 PM   #19
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You may be stressing your frame by putting in a 30 gallon water tank, not to mention doing all sorts of nasty thing to tongue weight etc. You might just carry an extra 10 gallons in 5 gallon cubes in your tv or distributed around the Boler.


As far as that roof mounted A/C. You need to multiply it's actual weight X 4 to get the amount of support you will need the first time you go over a good sized bump.


Short of a couple of pieces of 1" square tubing shaped to the inside of the roof and anchored to the side walls, there's not much you can do to support this weight.


BTW: That was about the answer that Gardner Pacific had to do to support A/C's in their molded fiberglass Sunrader mini-mororhomes. c. 1987-1991
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:20 PM   #20
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You may be stressing your frame by putting in a 30 gallon water tank, not to mention doing all sorts of nasty thing to tongue weight etc. You might just carry an extra 10 gallons in 5 gallon cubes in your tv or distributed around the Boler.


As far as that roof mounted A/C. You need to multiply it's actual weight X 4 to get the amount of support you will need the first time you go over a good sized bump.


Short of a couple of pieces of 1" square tubing shaped to the inside of the roof and anchored to the side walls, there's not much you can do to support this weight.


BTW: That was about the answer that Gardner Pacific had to do to support A/C's in their molded fiberglass Sunrader mini-mororhomes. c. 1987-1991
Yes, I agree on the 30 gallon, I think we are gonna go with the 10 or 16 gallon tank...

The a/c weighs about 73 pounds from what I found on their website, can you explain in more detail about the "multiply it's actual weight X 4 to get the amount of support you will need"?
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:00 PM   #21
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It;s all about inertia and "G" forces when you go over bumps. That A/C is bouncing up and down and can crack a molded fiberglass roof from flexing if it's not designed to support the weight and absorb the extra forces.

The 4X number came from Winnebago a few year back. Seems pretty good with a bit of margin. As mentioned, the mfg had to add stamped steel ribs to the molded fiberglass Sunrader mini motorhomes to support the ac's after about 6 years of cracked roofs from owner added roof ac's.

Scamp also added a reinforced section to roofs to support a/c. I think it was called the "A/C Ready" option.
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:03 PM   #22
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The weight you are adding is incredible, I would not consider adding that weight as I am sure the body and/or the frame will not handle it. Remember the stock fiberglass body is only 1/8" think, that is how thick your fiberglass shower in home is, would you place a 75 lb load on top of it and bounce down the road? Same with the stock frame, it is only 1/16" thick add a concentrated load of 300 lbs between the hitch point and the wheels is asking for it to fail.

These trailers were designed to be light and to that point are minimalistic, they are not designed to handle all the luxuries of home without substantial modifications to the frame and body.
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:54 PM   #23
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It;s all about inertia and "G" forces when you go over bumps. That A/C is bouncing up and down and can crack a molded fiberglass roof from flexing if it's not designed to support the weight and absorb the extra forces.

The 4X number came from Winnebago a few year back. Seems pretty good with a bit of margin. As mentioned, the mfg had to add stamped steel ribs to the molded fiberglass Sunrader mini motorhomes to support the ac's after about 6 years of cracked roofs from owner added roof ac's.

Scamp also added a reinforced section to roofs to support a/c. I think it was called the "A/C Ready" option.
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The weight you are adding is incredible, I would not consider adding that weight as I am sure the body and/or the frame will not handle it. Remember the stock fiberglass body is only 1/8" think, that is how thick your fiberglass shower in home is, would you place a 75 lb load on top of it and bounce down the road? Same with the stock frame, it is only 1/16" thick add a concentrated load of 300 lbs between the hitch point and the wheels is asking for it to fail.

These trailers were designed to be light and to that point are minimalistic, they are not designed to handle all the luxuries of home without substantial modifications to the frame and body.
Okay guys, so after a lot of consideration as to beefing up support of the roof to hold the Dometic a/c unit, I believe it can be done with a frame on the inside of the roof with vertical supports from 4 to 6 points from the floor...however, I have decided againt going in this direction because we want to complete the project so we can camp in it this summer season...so we got a "mini" 5000 btu a/c unit to mount in the closet area along with the refrigerator...now I am trying to figure out the best way to vent and drain the a/c unit...first thought was to share a vent for both applicances but after a nice conversation with Paul Neumeister I decided to do separate vents for each appliance...He was very helpful and informative and very willing to offer his help over the phone with a number of questions I had...but I could still use some suggestions on condensation drainage for the a/c unit, and should I do a drain for any condensation from the refrigerator coil/compressor?

Now, as we have been working on the Boler body with fiberglass repairs and preparation for painting, I decided to lift the body off the frame to make it easier to sand the area around the rear bumper and front tongue as well as fiberglass some cracks behind the rear bumper...after reading some post here and blogs including Ian G's, I started removing screws and bolts. By the way Ian, my frame only had 2 bolts in the front area, everything else was screws, locations were the same, but more than 16, and a few rivets of the curb side glass fender to the frame underneath the plywood...I am thinking my Boler may have been made in the US but not completely sure...anyway while removing screws and wood chiseling the wood around the ones rust welded to the frame I discovered hided wood rot in the dinette floor area...this was surprising to me as it was undetectable from below the trailer or above due to the glassed in areas of the wood along with multiple layers of thick latex paint...as of right now it appears the rot is mostly around the screws but once the frame was out from underneath the floor the floor really felt soft so I suspect there may be more hidden rot, so any way I am glad we did this as now we are going to replace all the floor wood and completely sand & paint the entire frame...surprisingly the frame is in excellent condition for its age, no cracks or distortion just 2 places of sheet metal rust out around the closet area that i will replace with 11 gauge...

Okay, so here is where I can use some advise and insight - replacing the dinette floor and the upper front floor...all of this is glassed in all the way around the frame...my thought was to sharpie mark a line all the way around the body at the floor line as a reference, then dremel the old wood out at the body and use as a template to cut the new stuff then fiberglass in the new to the reference line...sounds easy enough, but should I do this with the frame under the body or not? My thoughts were to do it with the frame in place and do the front first, then do the back dinette after re-glassing in the front so the frame can support at least half the body at a time...any suggestions?
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:04 AM   #24
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Don't know anything about floors, not yet anyway. There's a good post about ac unit in the closet. They used a paint tray to catch the condensate. Search for ac in the mods thread and you will see it.

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Old 05-05-2015, 01:22 PM   #25
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Don't know anything about floors, not yet anyway. There's a good post about ac unit in the closet. They used a paint tray to catch the condensate. Search for ac in the mods thread and you will see it.

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Thanks for the reply, I will have to check out the a/c mod, good idea using a paint tray...
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Old 05-18-2015, 12:58 AM   #26
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Been so busy working on the Boler I havent had much time to update...well after finding some rot in the upper floors when removing the body from the frame to prep for paint we decided to replace them. This was a chore. So after careful consideration & study of the upper floors & their attachment to the fiberglass body & frame, I carefully began to cut the top layer of fiberglass using an oscillating Dremel & flush cut bit for wood/metal (couldnt find a blade meant for fiberglass)...I left the fiberglass on the underside of the wood untouched and after cutting the top side free I carefully pryed & pulled the upper floors free from the fiberglass underneath. This gave me a lip to lay the new plywood floor down on. I did have to use a wood chisel & hammer to remove some of the wood left stuck to the fiberglass & it took a considerable amount of time. Also I had to cut the dinette floor in to sections with a jig saw to remove it. I used the old pieces as my pattern to cut the new & it went together pretty nicely. While the body was off I wire brushed, sanded & flapper disc the frame, welded in some new 11 gauge to replace some rusted out metal under the closet area, replaced the wood between the frame & door (rotted also), primed & painted the frame (forgot to take pictures of the frame work)...frame was in remarkable good condition. When I put the body back on the frame I marked up my new frame paint a little so I gotta touch that up. The new wood got a coating of plasti dip spray to the underside before installing. Getting the new floor in and the body in the right position on the frame for the wood to fit correctly took some time. At first I thought I cut the wood wrong, but after trial & error I realized one side of the fiberglass body needed to shift towards the tongue slightly & then it all fit nicely...I filled in a few gaps between the wood & body like it was with what came out (had to grind all that away, what a pain)...almost finished with all the fiberglass & filler work, hope to start priming it on Monday or Tuesday...Oh, and the wood inside the door was completely rotten, had to cut through the inside layer of fiberglass to remove all the wood (what was left of it from water damage & what may have been termite damage....so now with the doors window removed I have it clamped into place and with the new wood floors & was able to fix the poor fit of the door with adjustments to the body to frame fit around the door....Now I just got to glass in some new wood to the door carefully making sure the contour matches the door frame. Still dont have the sagging spot fixed yet, still trying to determine the best fix for that which I think i going to be glass in ribs like I had originally planned just not as thick since we are not going to put the roof top ac back, instead we are going with the 5000 btu mini window system inside the closet. I picked up the drain tube for that today at Lowes as well as the side vents for the a/c & refrigerator - I am using soffit vents $1.93 each vs. $55 for a Dometic vented access door....also got the 1/2" Styrofoam 4x8 panels for $7.98 (thats about half the cost of Reflectix)...& a gallon of contact cement for what 2 cans of the 3M 77 spray would cost me...I will try to get some pictures of the floor work, door rebuild, completed body work & interior work as we progress...Oh, and the water pump & hengs roof vent w/fan came in yesterday, now just waiting on the city water/tank fill fixture, water heater and my jalousie window hinges...

We planned on fixing this fbrv up when we got it but I wasnt looking to do a complete restoration but it has turned into just that with a tremendous amount of labor...but when its done I think it will be better than anything I could buy brand new from the Scamp factory...I would like to have it campable by this coming weekend even if it is not a 100% completed project but not sure if that is gonna happen or not...oh well, got to get some sleep
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:55 PM   #27
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Nice Thread John. I can see you have been working like crazy on your Boler but I agree, it should be better than new, it will be exactly as you want it! I share your pain about it being a bigger project than you had planned though. It is a slippery slope, one thing leads to the next and before you know it everything is apart and, well... it's going to take time to pit it back together.
I can't wait to see how it looks. Did you paint it yet?
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:30 AM   #28
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Can you post any photos of the floor construction?
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