Our 1971 13' Boler mods - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-27-2015, 01:40 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Johnny M's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: '71 Boler, '87 Play-Mor II
Deep South
Posts: 1,064
Our 1971 13' Boler mods

Okay, we are newbies here, me & my wife just purchased our first camper trailer, a 13' 1971 Boler. Wife wouldn't camp without a shower & toilet, so we started looking. I have always liked the Scamps & we found a Boler for sale locally and the price was right & we got it.

After getting it home and deciding what to fix up to make it our own & suitable for our needs we discovered a few problems that needed addressing and decided to do them now:

1. Roof mounted AC poorly installed, leaking seal & rotten plywood, roof sagging, & fiberglass piece was cut out & re-patched.
2. Poor patch jobs to fiberglass where fridge & vents used to be
3. Musty smell from moisture behind wall covering, leaks from rivets, windows, etc.
4. Door sagging, needs resealing
5. Battery storage area under dinette needs to be relocated to trailer tongue
6. Improvements needed to 110v and 12vdc electrical system
7. Leveling scissor jacks needed

And of course, there are the things we want to change/add to it:
1. Add a toilet & shower
2. Redo the floor covering
3. Paint or recover walls/ceiling
4. Repaint cabinets, seats, bed fixtures
5. New seat cushions/covers, drapes, etc.
6. Solar panels/inverter/charger

Okay, since we are doing the repairs in the first list we might as well tackle our wants now...so I have come up with a redesign of the interior to allow for a shower & toilet & still allow for sleeping of up to 6 people...with a sink, microwave, refrigerator, and 1 or 2 burner electric cooktop. I will post a picture of the layout...

So I figure I will set up this camper for both AC power & water hookup and battery/solar only. No propane except for coleman camping stove using small propane bottles outside of trailer. Inside we will use a 1 or 2 burner hotplate for a cooktop ($11 to $20 at Fred's). Solar shower ($9 Coleman @ Walmart) if no water hookup, electric water heater if AC is available (still searching). Porta pottie for a toilet (got it - Bass Pro $45 on clearance), a utility sink ($50 Lowe's open box) as our "shower pan" with a shower curtain and a PVC frame for the curtain. Sink cabinet is coming out to make room for double bunk/couch, closet is being replaced with a custom cabinet to hold small sink, smallest micro we can find with a rotating plate & 1 or 2 storable electric cooktop (hot plate) and small ac/dc fridge to go under the bottom bunk. Freshwater holding tank also under bottom bunk (using collapsible gray water container under trailer/stored when not needed) Will also have a platform/riser that will allow a twin bunk on the floor with leg room under the double bed/dinette. And if we needed a sixth bed we could make a small removable bunk above the dinette for a small child.

Now our biggest dilemma has been what to redo the walls with...after a lot of looking & reading here, trips to home depot & lowes, we finally found a sewing store (hancock fabrics) that has tons of auto headliner cheap! And they also have a good selection of affordable vinyl. With their coupons we will get an even better deal! Now neither of these have much for insulation, so we found a vinyl laminate that would work and be very close to the original rubber wall covering but a lot nicer looking, but too expensive for our budget. Plus the auto headliner or white vinyl should conform easier to the curves and domed corners. The vinyl can be washed but the cloth headliner is appealing so we are on the fence. As for insulation under this, we found 1/8" closed cell above ground pool wall foam at Home Depot at a great price ($48.99 for 48" x 85' ft roll) with a roll big enough to do the whole interior.

As you can see, I am very resourceful and very frugal... Now as we work on these things we are looking at the appliances to find great deals and low power consumption for when we are "off the grid"...

Glad to be here & looking forward to your ideas & comments!
__________________

__________________
Johnny M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2015, 02:17 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Johnny M's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: '71 Boler, '87 Play-Mor II
Deep South
Posts: 1,064
1971 13' Boler - Full Bath & Sleeps 6

Here is my layout plan and a few pics
Attached Thumbnails
1971 13' BOLER FLOORPLAN.jpg   boler2.jpg  

boler.jpg   boler3.jpg  

__________________

__________________
Johnny M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2015, 04:30 AM   #3
Member
 
boats19's Avatar
 
Name: Gary
Trailer: 1976 13' Scamp
Michigan
Posts: 98
I'm looking forward to your pics as you complete this!
__________________
boats19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2015, 05:46 AM   #4
Commercial Member
 
Ian G.'s Avatar
 
Name: Ian
Trailer: 1974 Boler 1300 - 2014 Escape 19'
Alberta
Posts: 1,274
Registry
Hello John and welcome.

My first and biggest concern is the roof AC. The Boler is not designed to support any weight on the roof, the roof will sag with just snow load so an AC unit like that will definitely cause major problems. To keep it there you will need to incorporate considerable structural supports across the roof and continue right to the floor. A concept for doing this could be to use a similar support system I used on my Boler for supports when redeveloping the interior. I have also incorporated an electric hot water systen into mine which may also suit your needs. I have fully documented my build here “Buttercup” how we built our custom Boler

Door fit on a Boler can be a minor or major issue. Before starting any work I would review the Boler Buyer Guide as it describes the 10 common problems seen in Boler's and how to check for them.
Boler Buyer Guide

This info should help you to start with.
Ian G. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2015, 11:38 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Johnny M's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: '71 Boler, '87 Play-Mor II
Deep South
Posts: 1,064
roof supports

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian G. View Post
Hello John and welcome.

My first and biggest concern is the roof AC. The Boler is not designed to support any weight on the roof, the roof will sag with just snow load so an AC unit like that will definitely cause major problems. To keep it there you will need to incorporate considerable structural supports across the roof and continue right to the floor. A concept for doing this could be to use a similar support system I used on my Boler for supports when redeveloping the interior. I have also incorporated an electric hot water systen into mine which may also suit your needs. I have fully documented my build here “Buttercup” how we built our custom Boler

Door fit on a Boler can be a minor or major issue. Before starting any work I would review the Boler Buyer Guide as it describes the 10 common problems seen in Boler's and how to check for them.
Boler Buyer Guide

This info should help you to start with.
Yes I agree on the weight of the ac & need for structural support. Surprisingly to me though, the AC unit is a lot lighter than I expected (maybe 75 pounds tops). The original metal supports were removed and the roof weekend by previous owner cutting out fiberglass for the AC that didn't need to be cut and then poor patch back in job. I am planning to design the bunks across from the door and the new "mini" kitchenette next to the door to support the roof better and to also run a support or two between these two fixtures (maybe fiberglassed to the celing also) to support the A/C. And I think this support may fix the door issue, but I will let you know...roof was sagging badly around the A/C allowing water to pool up, the 3'x3' plywood the previous owner put down between the A/C and roof for support in 2012 was already rotted. But at least the AC is only 3 years old (a $700 Dometic model) so I think overall we still got a good deal on the trailer, but if I had seen these problems before we got it home I would have tried to talked him down another $500.

And yes I have seen your posts on the refurb job, very nice gave me some good ideas to work with.

Back to the supports for the roof, I did have what I thought was a pretty good idea. I am going to take wax paper and tape it to the ceiling with the roof temporarily supported back to original height. Using cardboard box 3 sided "U" shaped supports attached to ceiling I am going to fill the cardboard void with spray in expanding foam to make a contoured mold of the ceiling. I will use this to construct an "as close to a perfect fit" support system as I can. Even thought about putting some supports inside the foam trimming down and fiberglassing in place. What's your thoughts on this idea?
__________________
Johnny M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2015, 02:26 PM   #6
Member
 
rowdy's Avatar
 
Name: Rae
Trailer: Boler
Ohio
Posts: 38
Don't know what you plan to use as tow vehicle, but I would make sure you don't add too much weight. I would also make sure the frame is in good shape before starting a reno.
__________________
rowdy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2015, 08:10 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Johnny M's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: '71 Boler, '87 Play-Mor II
Deep South
Posts: 1,064
Quote:
Originally Posted by rowdy View Post
Don't know what you plan to use as tow vehicle, but I would make sure you don't add too much weight. I would also make sure the frame is in good shape before starting a reno.
The frame is still in good shape, the lower floor decking was rotten and I replaced that this weekend. There was some surface rust over the frame and 1 small piece of really thin metal used as a lip for the lower floor that was rusted out so I welded in a new piece, wire brushed & sanded the surface rust away and painted everything with Rustoleum...For the new floor I used 3/4" pressure treated plywood and coated the side exposed to the ground and all edges with PlastiDip a spray on rubber coating, I figured that should last at least 20 years since it is a 71' model and appears to have had the original plywood & paint.

Now I have removed the front bunk/couch fiberglass fixture, getting ready to build out the shower/toilet room. The bunk fixture looks like it will work well with some modifications just turning it 90 degrees as it is almost a perfect fit.

Oh, and we got our fridge a 110/115v 0.7 amp 1.6 cu ft Emerson unit which I modified the closet next to the door to accommodate and still have room for storage above and below. I think for this we are gonna use shore power and get a small inverter with (2) 6 volt golf cart deep cycle batteries to power it & the lights/tv etc. when there is no power to hook to...found out yesterday that powering the ac or heater is pretty much out of the question using inverter & batteries... but then I saw a lot of reviews on some inverters at Northern Tool & Harbor Freight claiming they can run a 5000 watt heater or an AC unit with about a 3000 watt inverter so I gotta study this more...I definitely want a pure sine wave even if it costs more, just got to decide if I want one big enough to run the ac or heater or just enough for the fridge/lights/radio/tv...maybe I will just get a generator for the ac & heater but worry about disturbing other campers with generator noise in a primative camping area...would love some more input on this issue...

Still haven't decided for sure on wall coverings/insulation yet, would love any ideas & pictures anyone else has done...looking for something on a small budget...

I picked up some 1x2's today for several things including cutting & fiberglassing in to give more support to the roof & ac unit. I noticed when cutting about 1/4" vertical strip out of each side of the closet door opening (just enough to allow the fridge to slide in place) that the thick part of the fiberglass had some thin wood embedded in it. Does anyone know more about the wood used inside of the fiberglass shell and or fixtures? What type wood, what thickness, flexibility for forming, etc.? I am thinking of using the 1x2 fiberglassed to the ceiling and fiberglassed over for additional support, but concerned about the 1 to 2" or so of lower head room it will create...I can see us bumping our heads on it as we get up from the dinette...any ideas?

Oh and my wife is learning to sew by making us new covers for the bed/benches and it is turning out great, the colors look really good, though she is having some issues getting the curved pieces to work out fit wise but I know nothing about sewing so I am not much help to her there...

I will post pictures of our progress soon...
__________________
Johnny M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2015, 08:20 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Johnny M's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: '71 Boler, '87 Play-Mor II
Deep South
Posts: 1,064
As promised here are some photos of the progress so far on the 71' Boler...

Picture # (1) is the roof with the AC & plywood removed...they used A LOT of sealer that I had to remove and there is still some residue there I got to go back over...notice the section of fiberglass cut out towards the back side of the opening...don't know why they cut this it was not necessary.

Picture # (2) is the closet door I modified to accommodate our 1.6 cu ft refridgerator...I had to trim about 1/4" vertically on both sides of the opening for it to slide into place...above the fridge we are either going to make a small cabinet with shelves or possibly a small microwave (anyone know what the smallest size microwave available is that still had the rotating glass plate?)

Picture # (3) shows the multi-function utility sink and porta pottie toilet layout for the bathroom and the new 3/4" plywood lower floor coated with PlastiDip coating on the underside...I sanded & painted the frame underneath the new plywood floor. The utility sink will serve as a sink, shower (with a curtain), bath tub for our 2 year old, and a clothes washing sink...thought this was a pretty good idea myself and it fits perfectly with room for a sliding door. Only negative thing is having to step over the wall to use the pottie (no big deal to us)...the faucet that came with the sink pulls out to make a perfect shower head as well...great deal for only $50 bucks!

Picture # (4) shows the front bunk (that use to be where the shower and toilet now sit) turned 90 degrees to the left. This fits almost perfectly and with a little modification to it, we will have a nice couch/double bunk and still have our bath...when it is all said and done, we could sleep 6 in our 13' Boler, however it will be very crowded, but the Boler isn't roomy to begin with but we love it!

Would love to hear your comments, opinions & suggestions!
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_20150323_182752_438.jpg   IMG_20150329_234548_105.jpg  

IMG_20150329_234654_481.jpg   IMG_20150329_234703_797.jpg  

__________________
Johnny M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2015, 10:14 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Name: Tony
Trailer: Scamp - The Haunted Mansion
Colorado
Posts: 286
Registry
Looking forward to seeing your progress!
__________________
Sohkraites is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2015, 08:35 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Johnny M's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: '71 Boler, '87 Play-Mor II
Deep South
Posts: 1,064
plastic wall covering

Okay so I am working on the bunk rebuild of the boler and the bath room. Went looking for a material to cover the bathroom walls with that was light weight but durable and could also be used on the sliding bath door...while also keeping a lookout for a wall covering for the fiberglass interior...

Last week I found this stuff at Home Depot...

1/16 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. Plastic Panel-63003 - The Home Depot

Showed it to my wife today and she likes it and we agreed this is what we are going with for both the bath walls, sliding door and fiberglass wall covering and also possibly the bathroom floor covering too. This stuff also has matching channel trim for the seams & edging

This stuff is extremely light weight and very flexible and has the look and feel that is very similar to the original skin of the Bowler (except without the black rubber backing)...so now we just got to decide on a good insulation to go behind it that will hold to the walls and that the plastic paneling will hold to...anybody got any recommendation for flexible insulation (rubber or foam type) with a really good R-value?

This seems like a much better route that the auto headliner we found at Hancock Fabric with costs about the same but we can easily clean the plastic wall covering and keep more of an original look and feel of the inside of the Bowler as we restore it (with some personalized mods of course)...

Anyone got any experience with this stuff or any thoughts on my ideas to using it for any of the above?
__________________
Johnny M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2015, 10:48 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Johnny M's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: '71 Boler, '87 Play-Mor II
Deep South
Posts: 1,064
Okay, so I FINALLY got to work on the Boler today after days and days of non stop rain...made some pretty good progress too...got started on the framing for the bathroom walls and the supports for the bunk as well as making a mold for the contour of the roof for the top of the bathroom wall and some sanding prep work for some fiberglass patching...

Probably the most interesting part today was how I made the mold for the contour of the roof to be used to cut the plywood wall to fit up to the ceiling/roof...here are some pictures step by step of how I did this...thought it might be useful for other fiberglass rv owners...

In picture #1 you see me applying wax paper (yes, from the kitchen) with painters tape to the ceiling. This is used to keep the expanding foam from sticking to the ceiling...

Step #2 I made a cardboard trough that I also taped and supported to the ceiling using painters tape (and not pictured later added some C-clamps to the 1x2 of the bathroom walls to help support it..

Step #3 you see me filling the trough with great stuff expanding foam in pictures 3 & 4...(don't over do it as this stuff expands alot)

more pictures to follow of the remaining steps...
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_20150418_163959_416.jpg   IMG_20150418_164336_256.jpg  

IMG_20150418_165325_699.jpg   IMG_20150418_173317_174.jpg  

__________________
Johnny M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2015, 11:08 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Johnny M's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: '71 Boler, '87 Play-Mor II
Deep South
Posts: 1,064
Now you have to wait 15 minutes for it to set and 8 hours to cure, but I recommend waiting overnight as there were soft spots in the middle of the mold that were not quite cured...

Next step after it is cured hard is to remove the mold from the ceiling, remove the wax paper and use a hand saw to cut right down the very middle of your new mold....try to cut it as straight as possible right down the middle so it will lay flat against your wood....

Next after you have cut the mold down the middle you can lay it flat against your plywood or other wood product to trace the contour of the ceiling of your fiberglass rv so that you have a near perfect fit of wood meeting up to the fiberglass...

Also, to reduce stress of the fiberglass against the wood I am going to add a thin layer of weather stripping between my wood and the fiberglass to give it a small amount of cushion to prevent any stress cracking from wood edges pressing into the fiberglass as it travels down the road...

Hope this helps some of ya'll, for me it worked hands down better than trying to trace and guess the contour with cardboard and scissors...

Now, with some progress made and hopefully another good day at it tomorrow if the rain will hold off maybe I can get the bathroom walls finished framed in....I also have been scraping the old rubber ensolite wall covering off with my dremel and a scraper blade but the blade broke after hours of use so I will pick one up tomorrow...this task has become a real chore....

And last but not least, I have decided to go with a propane furnace and an instant hot water heater, but with the bathroom addition we moved the bunks to where the original sink, furnace, cooktop and fridge/icebox go so I am thinking of putting the furnace on the curb side in the cabinet area below our 110v fridge...(which by the way I plugged in today to my new kill a watt and it pull 0.4 amps and about 5 amps when it kicks on for a split second so I think we can run this off batteries and an inverter just fine so I won't need the expensive LP fridge)....any ideas on where I am planning on putting the furnance?
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_20150418_173321_924.jpg   IMG_20150418_183623_259.jpg  

IMG_20150418_230110_703.jpg   IMG_20150418_230254_229.jpg  

IMG_20150418_231212_761.jpg  
__________________
Johnny M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2015, 11:50 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Name: Tony
Trailer: Scamp - The Haunted Mansion
Colorado
Posts: 286
Registry
Great idea!
__________________
Sohkraites is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2015, 08:30 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Bob Miller's Avatar
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
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.
__________________

__________________
Bob Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
a/c, air conditioner, bath, bathroom, boler, closet, door, floor, rebuild, restoration, roof top, shower, toilet


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Our Boler Mods: Air, Flooring, Blinds, Backspash, cushion covers... Markz Modifications, Alterations and Updates 9 08-07-2011 06:51 PM
Some Simple Mods to our Compact Jr Rick Brown Modifications, Alterations and Updates 5 07-29-2009 04:47 AM
mods for our trip to colorado Candi Woods Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 2 06-14-2007 04:45 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.