newb learning to check the frame - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-26-2011, 05:07 PM   #1
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Name: Marianne
Trailer: Scamp 13
Montana
Posts: 19
newb learning to check the frame

Hi Everyone,

I've started to look seriously in the past week, and am now knowing how little I know! For instance, how do you check the frame? Is it totally obvious when there are problems? I'm sure this is covered various places in this wonderful site -- but could someone direct me to the best thread from which to learn? Also, since I'm in Montana, and am not finding much of anything for sale locally, I might have to go as far away as Calgary or Seattle. What do I need to know about buying in Canada and coming back to the U.S.?

Many thanks in advance.

Marianne
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:02 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2009 Scamp 16 ft / 2003 Durango
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I am sure you will hear this more than once.

On the left side of this web site you will see a line that says

" Buyers Check List "

Print this off and read it before going and looking at trailers so you understand the different things on that list. If you don't understand something just ask.

Bill K

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianne View Post
Hi Everyone,

I've started to look seriously in the past week, and am now knowing how little I know! For instance, how do you check the frame? Is it totally obvious when there are problems? I'm sure this is covered various places in this wonderful site -- but could someone direct me to the best thread from which to learn? Also, since I'm in Montana, and am not finding much of anything for sale locally, I might have to go as far away as Calgary or Seattle. What do I need to know about buying in Canada and coming back to the U.S.?

Many thanks in advance.

Marianne
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:52 PM   #3
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Name: Sheryl
Trailer: '99 Casita 17'LD
Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianne View Post
Hi Everyone,

I've started to look seriously in the past week, and am now knowing how little I know! For instance, how do you check the frame? Is it totally obvious when there are problems? I'm sure this is covered various places in this wonderful site -- but could someone direct me to the best thread from which to learn? Also, since I'm in Montana, and am not finding much of anything for sale locally, I might have to go as far away as Calgary or Seattle. What do I need to know about buying in Canada and coming back to the U.S.?

Many thanks in advance.

Marianne
Marianne, I had been looking semi-seriously for several years in Montana; I found my trailer in Arizona when I just happened to check CL there! Long story short, I didn't know about this forum at the time and have spent many hours since then reading here. As I'm having to resolve a few issues (sagging door, mostly), I'm really grateful for the info here. For the most part, I realize I "lucked out"!! My frame had already been reinforced and most of the other problems are minor--just giving me an opportunity to bond even more with my Boler!! Good luck in your search!
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:25 PM   #4
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Name: Marianne
Trailer: Scamp 13
Montana
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good to hear!

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Originally Posted by Sheryl View Post
Marianne, I had been looking semi-seriously for several years in Montana; I found my trailer in Arizona when I just happened to check CL there! Long story short, I didn't know about this forum at the time and have spent many hours since then reading here. As I'm having to resolve a few issues (sagging door, mostly), I'm really grateful for the info here. For the most part, I realize I "lucked out"!! My frame had already been reinforced and most of the other problems are minor--just giving me an opportunity to bond even more with my Boler!! Good luck in your search!
Hi -- Thanks! I find your story encouraging. Just missed an older Burro last week because I hadn't put a hitch on my Toyota 4 cyl truck yet, but now that I've gotten that accomplished, have moved from the semi-serious to seriously looking category .
Marianne
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:52 PM   #5
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Name: Jeff
Trailer: 73,75,78 13' Boler 78 17' Boler
Alberta
Posts: 38
I live in Calgary and would be willing to help you with looking at a trailer here if you like.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:01 PM   #6
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Name: Marianne
Trailer: Scamp 13
Montana
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Very generous!

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Originally Posted by Willys View Post
I live in Calgary and would be willing to help you with looking at a trailer here if you like.
Hi -- that is really kind of you. And since you obviously know a lot about Boler's, can you tell me about pros and cons of frames in older Boler and Ventura trailers? I spoke to a fellow last week in Moose Jaw who was selling a Ventura, who said some things about the Ventura frame being stronger. I'm so new to all this I'm not sure how to asses that statement.
What do you think?
And if something comes up in your area in my price range (less than $4000 US) I may certainly take you up on your offer. I don't need a lot of bells and whistles. I've been a backpacker and car camper and am looking at a little trailer because of a horse riding fall in which I injured my neck -- it will be a big step up to not have to be on hands and knees getting in and out of a sleeping bag!
Marianne
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:13 AM   #7
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Trailer: 73,75,78 13' Boler 78 17' Boler
Alberta
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http://calgary.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehi...AdIdZ295059773
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:50 PM   #8
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Wisconsin
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I posted a few photos of my "frame" issues I experienced coming home from my maiden voyage with my Cloud (see my gallery). I checked every inch of the frame on mine after I bought it and it looked beautiful. No rust, no obvious signs of wear, no cracks, nothing. Well sometimes these things are not at all obvious apparently. My frame broke almost completely in half on both sides right in front just behind where my propane tank sits. If it would have broke completely I would have lost the entire trailer. The welding shop I brought it to who repaired it for me said that it looked like since the trailer rides so low to the ground that after 30 plus years of bumping and scraping that the frame slowly wore away enough that it just snapped. He also said that it wasn't noticeable because there was two (not sufficient obviously) braces added to the frame at some point years ago and then painted so it blended in with everything. Moral of the story is that no matter how hard you look you never can tell, I am just glad that I didn't lose my camper or worse someone got hurt by a runaway egg.
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:59 PM   #9
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Frame Failure

From your description and pictures of your trailer it looks like your frame failed where the steel has been bent (or possibly welded) to form the 'A' of the tongue.

Apparently this was a failure point on the Scamps. I recall reading about it before we bought ours. On our Scamp this area had been reinforced.

I do think it's virtually impossible for this portion of the frame too ever hit the ground but certainly rust and flexing do take their toll.

On our previous Sunline I noticed that the joining of the 'A' tongue to the side rails is much stiffer than the designs I've seen in the small fiberglass trailers with shear plates on the top and bottom of where the A is joined to the side rails and an additional front cross brace above the base of the 'A'.

Glad that you and your trailer are safe.
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Old 10-04-2011, 03:04 PM   #10
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Thank you, I feel fortunate no doubt. I had the welder go a little overboard on the reinforcements just to be safe.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:10 PM   #11
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Trailer: 1972 Boler American ('The USS NeverSail')
Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddyEd
I posted a few photos of my "frame" issues I experienced coming home from my maiden voyage with my Cloud (see my gallery). I checked every inch of the frame on mine after I bought it and it looked beautiful. No rust, no obvious signs of wear, no cracks, nothing. Well sometimes these things are not at all obvious apparently. My frame broke almost completely in half on both sides right in front just behind where my propane tank sits. If it would have broke completely I would have lost the entire trailer. The welding shop I brought it to who repaired it for me said that it looked like since the trailer rides so low to the ground that after 30 plus years of bumping and scraping that the frame slowly wore away enough that it just snapped. He also said that it wasn't noticeable because there was two (not sufficient obviously) braces added to the frame at some point years ago and then painted so it blended in with everything. Moral of the story is that no matter how hard you look you never can tell, I am just glad that I didn't lose my camper or worse someone got hurt by a runaway egg.
Hi,
I haven't seen any of your pics yet, my wife is the forum buff.
We completely rebuilt our 1972 Boler from the ground up. I replaced the torsion axle with leaf springs and that necessitated reinforcing the frame. A 1ft. drop down was made and cross members were welded in. (2in. x 2in. steel square tube)
I inspected my entire frame (after removing surface rust) and found only one rust hole on the bottom rear passenger side. This area collects moisture and rots from the inside. The original design of this type of frame causes weak spots wherever the tubing is bent. The greater the angle of bend the weaker it becomes. A round tube can retain much of it's original strength if bent properly. (I was an Aircraft Hydraulics Technician for 21 years in the Navy)
Another fault of the original design is that the frame tubing is open at the front and water and debris can enter there and flow to exactly those areas which were weakened by bending. My suggestion is to strengthen the frame as much as possible and then drill drain holes in the bottom of the frame in a number of places so that water can escape. The water is the medium for the corrosion. Dry metal rusts very very slowly.
P. S. Many aircraft have small holes in the bottom of wing surfaces (called aerodynamic drains) to drain the water out while in flight.
Good luck with your camper,
John
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:15 PM   #12
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Name: Tyler
Trailer: 72 Cloud
Wisconsin
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Thanks for the tips John, I might have to do this except I don't think there are any actual openings in my frame but I am not positive so I will be checking again.
The pictures are in my gallery if you wanted to take a look.
Tyler

Quote:
Originally Posted by John and Jaci View Post
Hi,
I haven't seen any of your pics yet, my wife is the forum buff.
We completely rebuilt our 1972 Boler from the ground up. I replaced the torsion axle with leaf springs and that necessitated reinforcing the frame. A 1ft. drop down was made and cross members were welded in. (2in. x 2in. steel square tube)
I inspected my entire frame (after removing surface rust) and found only one rust hole on the bottom rear passenger side. This area collects moisture and rots from the inside. The original design of this type of frame causes weak spots wherever the tubing is bent. The greater the angle of bend the weaker it becomes. A round tube can retain much of it's original strength if bent properly. (I was an Aircraft Hydraulics Technician for 21 years in the Navy)
Another fault of the original design is that the frame tubing is open at the front and water and debris can enter there and flow to exactly those areas which were weakened by bending. My suggestion is to strengthen the frame as much as possible and then drill drain holes in the bottom of the frame in a number of places so that water can escape. The water is the medium for the corrosion. Dry metal rusts very very slowly.
P. S. Many aircraft have small holes in the bottom of wing surfaces (called aerodynamic drains) to drain the water out while in flight.
Good luck with your camper,
John
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:28 PM   #13
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Trailer: 1972 Boler American ('The USS NeverSail')
Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddyEd
Thanks for the tips John, I might have to do this except I don't think there are any actual openings in my frame but I am not positive so I will be checking again.
The pictures are in my gallery if you wanted to take a look.
Tyler
Hi Tyler,
I didn't find where water entered the frame until I removed the trailer hitch. I upgraded to an axle system that incorporated surge brakes and that forced frame modifications at the very front. The frame was originally made from one piece of rectangular tubing that was bent in four places. The very front of the frame was welded together to provide a mount for the trailer hitch, but it was never sealed shut to prevent water intrusion.
I love the Boler, but I wish I could have designed the frame.
John
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:37 PM   #14
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Mine isn't actually a Bolar though, I have a Cloud. I am sure they are all fairly similar though.

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Originally Posted by John and Jaci View Post
Hi Tyler,
I didn't find where water entered the frame until I removed the trailer hitch. I upgraded to an axle system that incorporated surge brakes and that forced frame modifications at the very front. The frame was originally made from one piece of rectangular tubing that was bent in four places. The very front of the frame was welded together to provide a mount for the trailer hitch, but it was never sealed shut to prevent water intrusion.
I love the Boler, but I wish I could have designed the frame.
John
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