Crack in 72' Boler Frame-looking fro help! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-24-2014, 05:41 PM   #1
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Name: James
Trailer: 72' Boler
British Columbia
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Crack in 72' Boler Frame-looking fro help!

Hi folks,
I am new to the forum but I am hoping that some of you with wisdom and experience can advise or help me on this problem.

My 1972' 13' Boler frame has cracked and needs replacing. Luckily, I was able to get her home in one piece. I live in Vancouver BC, so have called around to some RV repairs and Shops in area. I think that I want to get the frame done from Escape Trailer Industries because of their reputation and price. I have spoken to Resse, the owner and unfortunately they no longer provide the service of removing and re-installing the shell from frame, especially older wooded floors like mine. Too much work and frustration? I would remove the shell from the frame if I had help from someone who has done it before . I'd also require a space to work. I live in the city without yard or garage to do the work.

I guess I am reaching out to the group to see if anyone would be interested in helping me. I am willing to pay.
If you are interested or have some suggestion on anything I haven't considered, I would appreciated it.

Sad at the moment Boler owner
James
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:58 PM   #2
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Pictures? Are you sure it has to be replaced to begin with?



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Old 08-25-2014, 06:57 PM   #3
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An awful lot of cracked frames are repaired not replaced. Lots of good ways to weld up the crack and add reinforcement so it is as good as new.

Picture(s) of the damage would help people provide better feed back and suggestions.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:25 PM   #4
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Name: James
Trailer: 72' Boler
British Columbia
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Crack in 72' Boler Frame-looking for help!

Jared and Roger, thanks for the reply.

Here is a picture of the crack in my frame. I have another just starting underneath, no pictures on that. The crack that you see goes all the way around. There is little holding it in place. The messy piece(s) of metal wielded that you see at the crack was a temporay fix to get me home - it didn't end up holding up but was enough to get me home in one piece.

A couple reasons make me think I need to replace the frame rather than repair it; crack is in a hard place to wield, extremely rusty frame that needs work and; piece of mind that all is in good shape when heading out on the highway. I am a new owner to my Boler and it looks like the frame is the original. The axles are also extremely rusted and make me nervous.

Repair or replacement of frame, either way I think I need to remove the shell from the frame. If I do this, I might as well get a new frame.
If anyone knows of a place near Vancouver BC that will remove shell and replace frame, or if someone is willing to be hired to help me remove the shell, this is what I'm looking for. Maybe a long shot, maybe not.
Cheers - James
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:44 PM   #5
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The rust doesn't look bad to me. I would start whacking the frame with a hammer and see if you find any weak spots.

As for the crack, I would be sorely tempted to remove a little bit of fiberglass and wood to access the crack, weld the crack, and fishplate the frame.

You'll be over $3,000 to get a frame done, I bet.


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Old 08-25-2014, 11:15 PM   #6
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Trailer: 1974 1300 Boler
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Originally Posted by Jared J View Post
The rust doesn't look bad to me. I would start whacking the frame with a hammer and see if you find any weak spots.

As for the crack, I would be sorely tempted to remove a little bit of fiberglass and wood to access the crack, weld the crack, and fishplate the frame.

You'll be over $3,000 to get a frame done, I bet.


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2nd this. A good welder = easy fix
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:45 PM   #7
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Tapping with a hammer (gently) will make a distinct sound on rotted metal. All metal trailer frames and axles get surface rust unless kept painted. The upper picture the frame looks better than many.

In case you did not know a fish plate is a plate welded over the crack weld repair to reinforce the repair. Almost like a splint. Done right will be stronger than original frame.
Couple of image links:
http://image.rodandcustommagazine.co...ish_plates.jpg
This image the fish plate has holes which provide additional weld connections.
http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL19/.../237150184.jpg

That bend in toward the center that the side rails make is a place that would be prone to break. Not the first picture like yours that have appeared.

Whole lot less work to do as suggested cut small square of fiberglass out above frame, weld and fish plate. Followed by fiberglassing the cut out piece back in.

Only reason one generally needs to replace the axle is damaged spindle, bent or the more typical reason the torsion rubber is shot from age.

So count me as a third vote for that approach.

I would start by getting in touch with a portable welding service to come out and give an estimate for fixing the frame if you cut out the fiberglass to let them get to the crack.

Figure if a couple of those welding services refuse due to safety concerns after examining the frame then you might need a new frame. Otherwise if they will do the work it's because they think it can be fixed.

Heck Norm and Ginny had a crack pretty much as bad as that under their trailer and it was fixed right in the campground and down the road they went. No frame replacement in their future as far as I know. Done right better than new.

People on the forum will help guide you through the fiberglass cut out and repair. Answer questions and mentor if you are doing something new.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:15 AM   #8
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James,

We had complete failures of the frame on both sides. We have had the entire length of the frame reinforced, an easy job for a competent welder, and there are a lot of them.

The steel added was thicker than the original and I am certain that the frame is now stronger than new.

As to surface rust there are plenty of ways to deal with it. The site has threads that allow you to address it permanently. Our welder recommended Loctite Rust Treatment, apply it and it can be painted any color.

Our welder added steel without having to cut the fiberglass. He added a steel 3/8" x 3" plate to the side of the box beam letting it hang down about a 1/2 inch below the existing beam and welded the edges.

While you have the welder, don't hesitate to do the whole length, our's is now reinforced back to where the trailer beams are doubled. As well we had him add the described fish tails. There is a thread describing our repairs and failures. Since that thread we have added additional steel.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:54 PM   #9
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Name: James
Trailer: 72' Boler
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Crack in 72' Boler Frame-looking for help!

Hi all, really appreciate the reply's and advice.

I guess I went in my mind to the most extreme case, replacing the frame. But, I now agree that step one is to see if it can get repaired and re-enforced.

Roger, thanks for the links of what a fish plate looks like. And, thanks Norm and Ginny on your experience and advice on taking the opportunity on a repair to get extra re-enforcement on length of box beam.

There is a reputable RV hitch and trailer repair place about 16 km from me. I am going to rig a temporary split to get me there. I will keep you posted on the repair journey.
James
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by James N View Post
Hi all, really appreciate the reply's and advice.

...... There is a reputable RV hitch and trailer repair place about 16 km from me. I am going to rig a temporary split to get me there. I will keep you posted on the repair journey.
James
I would talk to that reputable shop to see if they can recommend a portable welding service. It's a truck with generator and welding equipment that comes to you.

Far less risk of having a catastrophic failure if it is professionally and completely repaired right where it is

You may pay a slightly higher hourly rate for the welding but a person that does welding in the field from a portable rig for a living tends to be a darn good welder.

You may still want to go to the shop for the full frame reinforcement but for getting that break made solid it would be much safer to have it done professionally and completely right where it sits.

As I think Norm indicated they finished the trip on the initial repair and had the extra reinforcement done when they got home.

You are most certainly welcome and Good Luck!
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