Planned mods - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-07-2015, 03:24 PM   #1
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Boler 1974 13 ft
Florida
Posts: 250
Planned mods

So here is my list of mods for my little 13' Boler.
1. Adding ac, a must for my client.
2. Installing computer fans to the vent for cooler nights.
3. Deciding between a propane furnace or continuing with the electric ceramic heater.
4. I might need to upgrade the fridge from the original 12/110 to one that also uses propane, if the frig I have is not functional (original equipment not used for @ 7 yrs)
5. Refit/upgrade the propane tanks and lines to the stove, a two burner also original.
6. Extend the kitchen counter with a fold down section.
7. Probable rewiring, plan to add a circuit and some outlets for future solar power.
8. LED lighting
9. Frame repair/ adding rear storage box
10. Needs a paint job and redecorating too.
11. Reattach kitchen fiberglass cupboards to the shell.

Whew! I know that's a long list and I will need to prioritize. Any input on how to get this done efficiently would be greatly appreciated.

I also have the short list and plans to survive fulltiming without all of this, e.g. Coleman stove, fans for cooling. I figure the most important is the frame, external storage and system for leveling when parked. Probably I should split this thread. Moderator, feel free to help this newbie, thanks all.

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Old 04-07-2015, 03:54 PM   #2
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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Here's some input, but don't shoot the messenger please....
(By your item numbers)
1. Roof won't support a conventional RV a/c unit, a through the wall or window mount adaption of a home unit will be needed.
2. Install a Fantastic fan, it's made for the task.
3. Electric heaters only work with hook-ups. Propane furnace, about $400. Portable gas bottle furnace < $100
4. Find out first if it works. New ones are $600-800 for 3 way
5 Get a professional to evaluate lines and stove, LP tanks are cheap, plan on a new regulator
6. Your choice
7. Install an updated power chassis and multi stage charger. Look at the Progressive Dynamics PD-4045, it's the best. <$175 on-line. Remember, everything is over 40 years old, toss the old wiring and start anew, for safety and convenience.
8. Complete LED fixtures are available on eBay for $12-15
9. First priority if the frame needs repairs. Rear boxes tend to throw trailers out of balance and over load existing frame members, generally not a good idea.
10. Look into Marine fiberglass paints and the "Roll & Tip" method of application.
11. Fix before they cause more damage.


Unless you can do most of this yourself, it would probably be cheaper and faster to sell your project and find one needing less work..
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:57 AM   #3
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Boler 1974 13 ft
Florida
Posts: 250
Thanks for the input Bob. I always approach a project remembering "there is wisdom in the counsel of many". In regards to your concerns about skills, I am blessed with many and am looking forward to my project. I will not sell, I will renovate and enjoy for many years to come, God willing.

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Old 04-09-2015, 11:50 AM   #4
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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Trailers are built from the frame up so start there. You have a very old trailer so for me I would get the trailer up in the air and check every weld in the frame and check for rust. Then I would check the front hitch and make sure its safe. If you choose to replace it I would up the size to a 2" ball. Have the axle evaluated because if you need to replace it it could mean changing rims and tires too. If you have to replace the axle get a new one with brakes installed. If the axle is good get the bearings repacked and then check your tires for age and condition. If the tires are very old change them including the spare. Now your trailer is safe to tow. Next get your trailer sealed up so there are no leaks. Replace any bad rivets and pull and rebed the windows and replace any bad vents and door seals. If you have a bad 14 x 14 vent when you replace it buy one with a fan. Now that the trailer is safe from self destruction check every inch of the floor top and bottom for any bad/rotten wood. Replace/repair this bad wood. Now the trailer is structurally sound. Now address the wiring for the towing of the trailer. Make sure all the lights and turn signals work so your safe to tow. Make sure all the connections are really sound so you don't have to screw with it every time you want to go out I would replace all the bulbs at this time. Nothing kills the mood more than when your all packed ready to leave and your trailer lights decide to take the day off. Now you can use your trailer even if just a hard sided tent. Your next steps are up to you on the direction of repair /Mods. I would first stay on the safety path and evaluate the propane system. For me at the very least is replacing the regulator and the rubber connection hose to the propane bottle. they have done their time and who need issues there. Make sure you change to the newer style ACME propane connection and bottle. This may need reinventing you bottle hold down with the newer style bottle. The propane fridge wont work properly if the supply system is not up to snuff. More than likely the burner on the fridge will have to be taken out and cleaned if the fridge has been sat unused for a long period of time. When I got my trailer a 1986 the fridge wouldn't work properly on propane but worked well on 110. After throwing money on the propane supply side and cleaning the burner all worked well. Once your propane system is up to snuff and checked for any leaks then I would move on to upgrading your power distribution panel. I used the PD4045 as Bob suggested and it worked out very well. With electrical plan ahead you only want to tear into stuff once. I added allot of circuits for convenience. Things like you have to get power to your added fans, computer, heater, portable TV in both 12 volt and 110 systems. Think I am sitting at the table where would I like to plug in my cell phone or computer. I am in bed where do i want that light. What about a porch light and where to place the switch for it. Am I going to use solar and where and how to plug it in. This gets really important if you have teenagers involved as you need to plug in your gear and theirs in too at the same time. We were camping with the family and while most everyone was camping in tents with us all the electric gear for everyone was plugged into our trailer at night. That should be enough to get you started. If you are unsure of any of these repairs seek professional help even if you do all the initial work and then take it to a pro for the once over and leak checks. better safe than sorry. electricity and propane are very dangerous on their own let-alone when combined in a very small space you are sleeping in.
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:58 AM   #5
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Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa in FL View Post
So here is my list of mods for my little 13' Boler.
1. Adding ac, a must for my client.
2. Installing computer fans to the vent for cooler nights.
3. Deciding between a propane furnace or continuing with the electric ceramic heater.
4. I might need to upgrade the fridge from the original 12/110 to one that also uses propane, if the frig I have is not functional (original equipment not used for @ 7 yrs)
5. Refit/upgrade the propane tanks and lines to the stove, a two burner also original.
6. Extend the kitchen counter with a fold down section.
7. Probable rewiring, plan to add a circuit and some outlets for future solar power.
8. LED lighting
9. Frame repair/ adding rear storage box
10. Needs a paint job and redecorating too.
11. Reattach kitchen fiberglass cupboards to the shell.

Whew! I know that's a long list and I will need to prioritize. Any input on how to get this done efficiently would be greatly appreciated.

I also have the short list and plans to survive fulltiming without all of this, e.g. Coleman stove, fans for cooling. I figure the most important is the frame, external storage and system for leveling when parked. Probably I should split this thread. Moderator, feel free to help this newbie, thanks all.

Sent from my C6530N using Fiberglass RV mobile app
Re 1. An older trailer does not have the roof support for an ac if that is where you where planning on putting it - you would need to do a lot of fiberglassing etc to beef up the roof to support one.

Re 2. A Fantastic fan or other similar product would be much better than some computer fans at cooling trailer.... since adding one to my trailer I have had little use for my AC - yup I have camped using only the 12v fan in the high 90's low 100's many times.

Re 3 & 4. Re furnace & Fridge - an electric only appliance is nothing more than a space waster when unplugged as it is of no use . Personally would not want a trailer with an electric only heater or fridge as it seriously restricts your use of the trailer to only camping with power. Some of the nicest camping spots I have stayed in had no power. Going with a fridge that runs on propane allows one to stay off the grid for days on end.... if you choose only that only goes electrical or 12v you will need to plaster the whole rood with solar to keep it running.

Re 7 & 8 - LED lights and Solar - both excellent additions to any trailer! Adding those two items and a 12v fan to the roof greatly expanded the use of my trailer in all camping situations.

Re 9. frame repair and adding rear storage box. Our small trailers where never designed to take much of any weight on the rear bumper &/or frame area. So if the trailer already has frame issues I would not put a box on it unless I was changing out the whole frame and really beefing it up.
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:08 PM   #6
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Boler 1974 13 ft
Florida
Posts: 250
Thanks so much for your input. I am going to beef up the frame and have a welder lined up to do that, maybe a new trailer if needed. I am having bearings, tires, lights checked and repaired before I tow back to Fl. I will be putting in a larger panel for electric, future solar. So nice to hear that ac may not be needed.

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Old 04-09-2015, 01:11 PM   #7
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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NOTE to Steve: I think you need to have some of these, be my guest:


(CR) (CR) (CR) (CR) (CR) )CR) CR) (CR)
(CR) (CR) (CR) (CR) (CR) )CR) CR) (CR)
(CR) (CR) (CR) (CR) (CR) )CR) CR) (CR)


LOLOLOL
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Old 04-09-2015, 01:40 PM   #8
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Name: Ian
Trailer: 1974 Boler 1300 - 2014 Escape 19'
Alberta
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You have been given lots of good advice here. Boler frames are a major problem, here are a couple articles to read on common problems and how to check for them:
Boler Buyer Guide
Boler Frame

This article may interest you on the build of my Boler and some ideas you may like: Buttercup - How we Built our Custom Boler
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:16 PM   #9
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
NOTE to Steve: I think you need to have some of these, be my guest:


(CR) (CR) (CR) (CR) (CR) )CR) CR) (CR)
(CR) (CR) (CR) (CR) (CR) )CR) CR) (CR)
(CR) (CR) (CR) (CR) (CR) )CR) CR) (CR)


LOLOLOL
I think, Bob, there are a few regular posters who usually have a few to spare. Perhaps you can keep yours. LOL
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:03 PM   #10
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
Posts: 1,418
When you type with 2 fingers you save as much work as possible.
(CR)
(CR)
(CR)
I am sorry I don't live up to your standards. Maybe if I went to college instead of working to feed my 4 brothers and sister that my uneducated parents couldn't do I could worry about the trivial things in life.
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:47 PM   #11
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No, it's just that it's very, very difficult to read so much without some space, or at least indents, between paragraphs.
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:51 PM   #12
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
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Posts: 4,369
People will read what you wrote if you use paragraphs and space between them. If you choose not to, you choose not to.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:21 PM   #13
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Steve Baz. Good points. One more...don't do any mods till you have camped a few times. We wanted things nice before we took out our Compact II. So we sat around in it in the driveway and figured where we wanted lights, fans, etc. We now have two beautiful light fixtures on the bulkhead by the dinette right and left. But when it came down to it, we slept crossways, ditched the dinette set up for a mattress and now have no light at all on one side of the bed! ( I got a Kindle paper white ). OTOH making neat mods is part of the fun!!


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Old 04-10-2015, 09:37 PM   #14
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denece View Post
...One more...don't do any mods till you have camped a few times. ....
Excellent suggestion

Don't think you need to make changes based on someone else's needs! Camp in your trailer, decide what YOU need or want. Then come back here and ask questions, we're here to help you.
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