The Modifications Begin.......... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-23-2006, 12:08 AM   #1
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Trailer: 1975 Boler 13 ft / Ford Explorer
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Well it has begun. WE have officially started our Boler remodel from the "Ground Up" as you would say. My husband David and I removed the fiberglass body from the trailer last week and took it down to a local welder to have a new one fabricated. The old fram had many stress fractures, old repairs and lots and lots of rust. We are sticking with the same set up for the frame basically with a few mods. We are going with a slightly heavier steel tubing and yes I know this will add some weight but I want a good foundation for all future renovations.
We also noticed that the axel was mounted backwards on the frame. We dont know if this was on purpose or not but we think it may have contributed to some of the stress fractures. We are ordering axels with a little bit more ground clearance to be able to match the height better to my Ford Explorer.
We are adding some more support to the main floor area that had become spongy in the trailer by the time we purchased it.
I am in the process of searching for our new appliances now and the website here has been a blessing. Especially that wonderful Blue Boler (amazing) slide show. Now my husband is in real trouble. LOL
When we got our Boler last year it tilted to the drivers side and we hope to remedy this by moving the refrigerator or other appliances to the closet side.
All modifications are up for review now as we are starting with the frame. One thing my husband is doing is adding a 3-4 gallon water heater that will also provide radiant heat thru a tube set up he is planning. We will have a floating wood floor also so we can remove it for easy cleaning.
There are just so many possibilities!!!!

I will send pictures as soon as I get them off the camera or taken.

Well thanks to Lance and his Blue Boler you can view the progress as a very nice slide show. I bought the Deluxe version Lance they should send you a comission!

Go to

http://photoshow.net/LibbyCal/renovations


I hope you enjoy the show as much as I enjoyed putting it together. I will update it as we get new pictures with each step we do.
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Old 03-23-2006, 12:20 AM   #2
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Looking forward to the pictures. It would before AND afters, as well as the "in progress."

- Miriam
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Old 03-23-2006, 06:44 PM   #3
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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Quote:
...We also noticed that the axel was mounted backwards on the frame. We dont know if this was on purpose or not but we think it may have contributed to some of the stress fractures. We are ordering axels with a little bit more ground clearance to be able to match the height better to my Ford Explorer...
I'm guessing this is a rubber torsion axle, such as a Dexter Torflex. If by "backwards" you mean that the arms led forward to the hubs (leading), instead of the more common setup of hubs behind the tube which mounts across the frame (trailing), my guess is that this was deliberate. If the hubs are higher than the pivot points of the arms (an "up" angle) is sometimes used, and means that the hubs/wheels move back with suspension travel over bumps, which can work well. The response to brake forces is backwards (brake torque reaction will make the trailer rise even more than otherwise), but I don't think the 13' Bolers were expected to use brakes, or at least not brake very hard.

If the ground clearance is increased by ordering the new axle with a "down" start angle, then switching to a trailing arm mounting position makes sense to me.

For axle terminology (including both leaf-spring rigid axles and rubber torsion designs), I think the Axle Measurement guide from Dexter's Trailer Resource Library is helpful.
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Old 03-25-2006, 06:37 AM   #4
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My older Casita came with a leading arm. In fact, when I replaced my axle, they had to install it the same way because of the way my frame is made.
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Old 03-25-2006, 07:00 AM   #5
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Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
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Another thought... I wouldn't go moving appliances around for 'balance' until you have your axle installed. My guess is that you have an axle problem rather than a 'balance' problem. You can save yourselves a ton of work...

Roger
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Old 03-25-2006, 04:21 PM   #6
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Trailer: 74 13 ft Boler and 79 17 ft Boler
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I suppose that the axles in some of the Bolers were installed with the axle leading is because of the floor....my floor is raised where the sofa and dinette are and in the rise underneath the floor of the dinette is where they partially installed the axle with the trailing,(leading), arms next to the lower part of the floor......I like the way our Boler rides with the axle as is and can`t see how changing the axle around would improve anything unless you were putting in brakes and then the leading arms would act like spring windup and lift the trailer during a brake application like Brian said.....the tilt in your trailer could be from one side of the independent suspension being softer than the other which would indicate an axle change is required......Benny
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Old 03-25-2006, 06:17 PM   #7
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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...When we got our Boler last year it tilted to the drivers side and we hope to remedy this by moving the refrigerator or other appliances to the closet side...
While uneven weight distribution side-to-side can cause problems - the previous owner of my B1700 said that he found it only swayed when unevenly loaded - the one-side-low effect could be due to loading or (as Benny and Roger have said) rubber springing more worn out on one side than the other.

While I have not yet weighed the left and right sides of my Boler separately (I'll remember to do that soon...) it can easily be done. The highway scales around here have the scale platform flush with the surrounding pavement, so it is just a marked patch on the ground. You can pull just one side of the rig over the scale, and either subtract that from the whole axle weight to get each side, or actually weigh each side (wheel) separately. Getting the one of the wheel weights individually might require going backwards over the scale, if there is not enough clearance to the building.

The government-run highway scales here in Alberta do not charge to provide weights, and have an outside display working even when the scale is not staffed.
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