Vancouver BC Boler owner - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-19-2018, 11:48 AM   #1
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Name: Nolan
Trailer: Boler 13ft 1972
British Columbia
Posts: 25
Vancouver BC Boler owner

HI

I am Nolan. Ever since my wife saw a Boler she wanted one, and now we own one. A 1972 white on white with a brand new frame, wheels, brakes, and axle. The interior is pretty original and I"m going to do it up, initially for 4 people so that we can travel this summer.

Out kids (not for long) are 14 and 16, so we will likely have one road trip this year, maybe one next year with the 4 of us, and then I"ll reconfigure it for two.

Our plan this year is to road trip from Vancouver to Quebec City and then back again on the southern side of the US / Canada border, through Chicago, Minneapolis, Spokane and Seattle. 4 weeks in all.

Our tow vehicle is a Mazda 5. We've looked very carefully at the weight capacities and tow capacity of the vehicle. My aim is to keep the Boler as light as possible. Maybe 1300 lbs all in.

My renovation will be fairly basic for now. I'll add vinyl flooring (60 - 100lbs), new memory foam cushions, and change out the appliances:
1. Fridge - ours came with a 110v household mini-bar fridge. I've read that these don't hold up too well on the road, so out it comes and in will go a 12v/110v travel cooler. We don't plan on camping off-grid, so at night we will always have 110v and in the day, we will put the cooler in the back of the car and run it from there.
2. Gas cooktop. I've never liked the idea of sleeping with a gas stove right next to me, safe as it may be, but this one was grimy and rusted a little, so out it came. Along with the copper gas piping. I"ll keep the 20lb cylinder and buy a portable gas bbq.
3. Water. Ours came with a huge (5 gallon?) water tank. Who knows how old it was so out it came. I"ll convert the spaces under the dinette seats where it was into storage for camping chairs, alum jack stands etc.
4. Other cooking. Still up in the air on this, but with a gas bbq for good weather evenings (I suppose I could even cook in the Boler if I need to), plus some combination of small microwave, single induction cooktop, and Instapot, we'll be covered.
5. Out ensolite appears to have been recently painted so its just a matter of cleaning it (50/50 water and dollar-store strength ammonia).
6. The outside is in desparate need of a cleaning. Meguairs' cleaner wax and Mother's aluminum polish for that. I"ve decided not to polish the hinges and other alum parts to a brilliant finish. Maybe in a future year.
7. Rivets. A lot of the rivets are rusted which means steel. I"ll be drilling them out and replacing with aluminum rivets (if I can find the right length), otherwise I"ll use machine screws. I"m of the opinion that a 3/16 aluminum rivet with shear and torsional ratings in the hundreds of pounds will do jsut fine to hold the structural components in place. Maybe even add a few more just to spread the load.
8. Windows. Front and back windows are fine. One Jalousie rear window is fine so just a clean and polish. The other needs repair. I"ll also be replacing the seals on the windows (all except the front and back window).
9. the car. I"ll be adding a transmission cooler and taking it easy on the road. So what if I"m travelling 70, 80 or 90kmh. I"ll keep right and arrive more relaxed and car mechanics unstressed.
10. cooling. We'll be travelling exclusively in summer so we won't need supplemental heating. More likely, cooling so I"ll replace the insect screens on all opening windows and the roof vent. And be adding 2 12v 120mm computer fans (the quiet type) to pull hot air out of the top and cooler air through the windows.
11. electrical. I'm replacing the 110v 35A receptacle that is out of date, ripping off the other 110v ancient wiring, and replacing it with nmd90. I"ll think about supplemental 12v power at a later stage. For now, the only thing I need 12v for is the cooler and we'll keep that in the car during the day. Other 12v (computer fans, LED lighting) can run off a converter.

Whew. I"m sure there will be adjustments along the way. I have my work cut out for me.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:33 PM   #2
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 2,742
welcome

welcome Nolan best of luck with your rig and remodel sounds fun!

bob
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:19 PM   #3
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Welcome, Nolan, and congratulations on the new Boler!

Hafta say, though, I think you need to seriously reconsider your tow vehicle. The Mazda 5 has no tow rating in North America. We tow our 13' Scamp with a Pilot and I wouldn't consider anything less with four people, gear, and mountain grades. Add a headwind and even our Pilot is working pretty hard.

The upper bunk is weight limited and might need strengthening for a teenager. I've heard numbers from 80-120#, and it partly depends on the condition of the support ledge under the front window.

Scamp uses aluminum rivets, and I believe Boler originally did, too. There is the occasional failure, but I figure if there is unusual stress and something has to give, it's better for the rivet to fail than the fiberglass to crack. I haven't had any failures, and my Scamp is 9 years old.

Personally, I wouldn't count on having power every night. Electric sites are expensive and not always available, especially since summer is peak season along your route. It's nice to have some flexibility. I don't know what the best solution is, though. Lots to think through on that count when it comes to refrigeration and cooking.
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:25 PM   #4
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Name: Brenda
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 5
I'm a new member and Boler owner too

Hi
My name is Brenda and I live in Port Moody, just outside Vancouver and I just purchased my first Boler. I wanted the Boler for a cross country trek, Port Moody to Halifax, I am moving to Halifax and needed a way to get my 150lb Great Dane and 30lb Shih Tzu there and flying them was out of the question, plus it gave me a great excuse to buy a Boler
My baby needs a little TLC, I am replacing all of the cushions and drapery, previous owner smoked, taken out the heater and replacing it with a microwave. I will be staying in RV parks on this trip so I will use an electric heater if I get chilled. I will be painting inside and out, will I'm doing the inside and I'm having the outside professionally painted. Going to put in a few more access cupboards, one under the bunk beds and two more on either side of the table. I have to reseal the window over the cook top, it leaks right now and I'm putting on a new hing kit on the front door, it's dropping right now.
The rest will be fun decorating, vinyl plank flooring, back splash, a few collapsible shelves and a 5 lb 19 inch TV with articulating arm and velcro strap.
Can't wait.
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:58 PM   #5
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 1979 Boler1700
Maple Ridge, B.C.
Posts: 187
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Hi Brenda! Nice to see you made it over to this forum. I think you were supposed to start your own thread in introductions. Maybe we can get a mod to do that for you. You won't regret coming to this forum.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:07 PM   #6
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 2,742
Brenda welcome to our group there are some real pros here who can help you along the way. we may be passing through Canada this summer are the us officials picky on doggies?


thanks


bob
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:27 PM   #7
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Name: Nolan
Trailer: Boler 13ft 1972
British Columbia
Posts: 25
Thanks Jon.

I appreciate the input.

I looked at the limits of the Mazda very carefully. Its the 2.5l engine rated for 2000 lbs tow and 200 lbs on the tongue. Then the GVWR is 4600 lbs with approx 50/50 split on each axle.

The Mazda can carry about 1100lbs. 4 adults/teens and dog = 800 lbs. Trailer tongue 120lbs, fuel 120 lbs, misc weight in car = 50lbs. That the max.

I know we will be a the limit and the mountains will be more of a challenge, hence the plan to take it easy. Also, I"m thinking that the transmission cooler will help a lot.

Upper bunk - this will be a temp solution that we will keep a year or two. So I"ll do some reinforcing to spread the load from the upper bunk to the frame.

And finally, I"ve been busy booking rv sites with electrical hookup. So far so good. All we need it 15A.

Anyone else out there that has towed with Mazda 5? I couldn't really find too much in the forums. Driving back from picking the Boler up we were only 330lbs lighter than our planne trip and the driving was absolutely fine. Yes, I was in 4th most of the time, but its still an overdrive gear. Keeping the revs over 2,000 / 2,500 is the trick.

And, [insert laugh track here], I've limited my teen girls to $10 lbs of clothes each. Lets see how that pans out.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:48 PM   #8
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Vancouver BC Boler owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolan krombein View Post
...Our tow vehicle is a Mazda 5...
Hmmm... I downloaded Mazda 5 owner's manuals for several years and they all said the same thing- no tow rating. The Mazda 5 is a mini-minivan and was dropped from the North American market in 2016.

Could we be talking about a CX-5 instead? It has a 2000# rating with the 2.5L engine. If that's the case, I would agree with your assessment: marginal, but possibly doable with care. You've done most of the math, but check the GCWR, too.

My Scamp 13, with a group 24 battery and full 20# LP tank on the tongue, runs around 200 pounds hitch weight. Without the battery yours will be less, but too little and you may have sway issues. Normally you want 10-12% of loaded trailer weight on the hitch. By that standard, 120# is low.

Frontal area also matters. Current tow testing standards only specify a trailer with 20 sf frontal area in the 2000# and under class. A Boler has twice that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolan krombein View Post
...I've limited my teen girls to $10 lbs of clothes each.
Is that $10 or 10 pounds of clothes? $10 worth of clothes for a teenage girl... well, it'd hardly be decent!

My girls are 12 and 15, so I understand your challenge.
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:20 PM   #9
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Name: Nolan
Trailer: Boler 13ft 1972
British Columbia
Posts: 25
Mazda5: GVWR = 4608, curb weight = 3417, payload = 1191, towing = N/A
I've been reading on the mazda 247 forum a lot. The 5 is not rated to tow in NA but in the UK and Europe it is.
That said, we've often loaded up the 5 with 5 adults, dog and luggage, and headed into the mountains. We managed fine and the car survived. In fact, we did it with our previous 5 which was a 2.3l engine.

As for GCWR, I need to find that number, but for frontal area and wind resistance, keeping the speed down will mitigate this a lot. Senseless towing at >100km/h. After about 80-90, resistance increases exponentially, so, avoiding that "extends" the towability. IMHO of course.

And, yes, I know we are close to the limit.

One more afterthought: I will be using the Boler's electric brakes. I get that pulling the boler on level or uphill is one thing, but having it push the car downhill is scary. Hence a second set of brakes will be most welcome.
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:30 PM   #10
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Name: Nolan
Trailer: Boler 13ft 1972
British Columbia
Posts: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by =Jon in AZ View Post
My girls are 12 and 15, so I understand your challenge.
14 and 16 myself. My 16 year old particularly likes clothes. But its summer and therefore no heavy jackets or shoes required. Sympathy accepted
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Old 03-19-2018, 06:07 PM   #11
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Name: Brenda
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 5
Sorry for the confusion, to tell you the truth I couldn't find the area where I was suppose to introduce myself so I just jumped in.:-)
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Old 03-19-2018, 06:12 PM   #12
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Name: Brenda
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 5
I was just reading the previous post and thought I would ask if my vehical would stand up to my Boler. I drive a 2008 Honda CRV, I will be traveling with my 2 dogs, one is 140lbs the other 30. I will not be filling the water tank and I don't have any brakes on the Boler.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:05 PM   #13
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Name: Tony
Trailer: Boler
BC
Posts: 45
Written at Boulder Beach Near Lost Wages Nev, sittin' in our Boler.
A few trailer towing tips for the people who are pushing the envelope.
Downgrades give the most opportunities for disaster. Up hill or on the flat if you have a problem the combination will coast to a stop, most times.
Downhill you may be able to stop.
Use lower gears going up or down hill, and if you have them use the trailer brakes, my theory (tested) is that if you overheat the trailer brakes, you can use the tow veh., brakes to stop while the trailer brakes cool. You can tell if the trailer brakes are hot because they lose braking power.
Cheers and good luck.
PS in our 3 months on the road, we have plugged in to shore power for less than 5 days total. !00 watt rooftop panel, 2 6V golf cart batteries and an invertor which is running this computer and makes SWMBO's coffee each morning.
Have rigged a dedicated charging wire (fused) from the tow vehicle battery to the Boler batts , to try to speed up the charge when towing.
Cheers,
Tony
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:07 PM   #14
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Name: Nolan
Trailer: Boler 13ft 1972
British Columbia
Posts: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggie View Post
Downgrades give the most opportunities for disaster. Up hill or on the flat if you have a problem the combination will coast to a stop, most times.
Agreed Tony. I wouldn't dream of doing this without trailer brakes, and keeping things extra-light. Plus using the gearbox properly. Without oodles of excess power, a "set and forget" on the auto box is not an option. We have a tiptronic box so I can stir the gears myself as needed.
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