We'll I am back on track in the rebuild of my 1980 Boler
First I took the frame off the shell and completely stripped, blasted and painted the frame. All welds have were cleaned, checked and rewelded as needed. Installed all new running gear -- Converted from a 4" drop axle
to a brand new straight which gave me four more inches of ground clearance. New hubs, brakes
, springs, hangers; the works.
The Shell. When I originally got the trailer all it needed was a little TLC and a couple of soft spots in the floor routed out and patched. Or so I thought. Newbies: heed the helps here on the forum about what to look for. So I began to tackle the floor one day, and as I tore up the vinyl flooring discovered that the entire floor was very wet and rotting all over the place. My shell has the fiberglass pan, on which the plywood rests and is glassed in around the edges. In order to get the floor out, all of the base cabinets had to come out. As I took them out they were stuck fast to the foam insulation (if you want to call it that) and tore it off all over the place. So I took out the upper cabinets too. You see where I am going with this? At this point it became a sell it or restore it moment. So out came all of the insulation, all of the windows
, electrics, plumbing and the shower unit, everything. With a completely empty gutted shell I began the long process of putting it back together, hopefully improving it along the way. I am now in it up to my ears.
First the floor. The problem with the design was there was no way for any water that might get in between the vinyl flooring and the shell pan to get out. There is a 3"w x4"d channel in the shell pan that runs around the entire perimeter of the trailer that adds structure and provides a place for water to go. However, once water is in, there is no way for it to get out - providing a permanent moist environment for the plywood. First thing was remove the old plywood, a grinder with a cutting wheel set the edges free and out it came. The screws and bolts holding the shell onto the frame were so rusted, it's a wonder that it stayed on the frame. Next, I drilled some drain holes in the fiberglass channels large enough to use boat drain plugs in from the outside. In the off chance I can open these up and let it breathe. Next ¾" exterior ply which I contact cemented ¼" foil bubble insulation to the bottom side which provides a little bit of radiant heat gain and provide a water proof barrier between the ply and glass pan. Glassed it in place with 8” wide heavy matting and sanded it out smooth. Next I wanted a light weight
and very durable flooring but didn't want to increase the floor height any more. I ended up using the 2-part epoxy floor paint
with blue and white chips. Made a nice water tight floor. I had a leak in the tent over the shell one time and got water inside. There was a nice little pond in the back and it didn't faze it a bit.
Insulation time. Here is where I lost my way, because I was trying to come up with the perfect solution and wasted a year trying to make a decision that wouldn't break the bank - and be light weight
, look great, and insulate well. I ended up using ½" polyethylene foam sheets used to insulate AC ducts from McMaster Carr. It's the same stuff that the black foam pipe insulation that you get from home store, only in 3x4 foot sheets. I also wanted a safe flame rating which this stuff has. Contact cement holds it on the shell and I used lifetime caulk in the joints to smooth them out. Next I sprayed on four coats of Kool Seal Elastomeric Roof Coating. This provides a nice white rubberized finished wall that stretches with the foam.
Now onto the cabinets. Unlike many of you who have molded fiberglass cabinets, all of the 1980 Boler
1700 cabinets are constructed of wood. Due to the moist environment and many other factors, many of the cabinets were rotting on the edges where they contacted the shell or the floor. Also many of the corrugated staples had rusted and worked loose. I also just didn’t like the 80's dark paneling color. So I have set out to construct all new cabinets that will meet my visual aesthetic and be stronger and lighter than the original.
As you can see from the pictures I have created aluminum frames with ¼" skins and ½" ends of birch plywood and the cabinet doors are ½" Gatorboard (a foam filled rigid board for signs) skinned with aluminum flashing and edged with aluminum channel. Everything gets a coat of clear for protection. The doors also have ½" plywood blocks glued in where screws are needed. I also went with a look that is supper clean and gave me much more access than the original tiny door openings. As for weight
, the upper cabinet in the pictures weighs 10.5 lbs and the original weighs 17.5 lbs. So 7 lbs off one cabinet!
When the weather is good I work on prepping the exterior for paint
. Drilling out and filling all of the stress cracks. Before the insulation I reinforced the glass inside where the cracks were. As soon as it warms up it gets a new coat of white, and I can begin installing the windows
It’s a long story but that is where I am to date.