1965 (or so) Boler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-18-2015, 03:13 PM   #1
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1965 (or so) Boler

I'm not sure if this is the right forum to ask for advice, if not please direct me to the best place!

I've been watching for a fiberglass trailer for a while, and just happened to pass one parked in town. Knocked on the door just to ask about it, but the owner isn't using it and is willing to sell. It's very tiny, 700 pounds (she says) and it has a fridge and a microwave installed. Semi-new flooring, cute curtains.

She said she paid $5000 for it, and she wants to get "at least" that.

I'm curious about the value, and also any experiences with the Boler. I'm guessing it's only about 13."

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Best,
Ellpea
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:20 PM   #2
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Hi, any way you could post some pics both in and outside? Sure would give folks a better idea for you.
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:10 AM   #3
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No pictures today! Will take some when (and if) I go see it again, or talk the hubby into taking a look. Although she showed me the inside, she had some garage sale items stored in there so it would have been difficult to get any good shots of the inside.

Here's one question: are the fiberglass shells a single layer? I've read where some of these get very hot or very cold. This trailer has kind of a spongy insulation-type stuff sprayed on the inside. Does this help? Is it durable?
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
No pictures today! Will take some when (and if) I go see it again, or talk the hubby into taking a look. Although she showed me the inside, she had some garage sale items stored in there so it would have been difficult to get any good shots of the inside.

Here's one question: are the fiberglass shells a single layer? I've read where some of these get very hot or very cold. This trailer has kind of a spongy insulation-type stuff sprayed on the inside. Does this help? Is it durable?
Not all molded trailers are single wall, some are double. Hot or cold pretty much depends on where you are planning to camp and what preparations you have to control it. I'm not familiar with what you are describing for an insulation. I've never heard of any spray on product being used as a factory build. Ian, the resident Boler king should be along soon with better answers for you.
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:09 AM   #5
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Ellpea, it's not a 1965 Boler. 1968 was the 1st Boler produced in Winnipeg, MB by Ray Olecko. So its either newer than you think or not a boler. The spongy insulation you're seeing/feeling may be ensolite, not a spray-on insulation at all.

Tiny is subjective. Yes, a 13' trailer is small with a cabin length of 10'. Compared to a pup tent, it's a mansion.

Pictures will certainly help. And, you'll get lots of it here.

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Old 05-19-2015, 12:39 PM   #6
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Donna D. You are right in 1968 was without the ridge in roof so that will also help in finding the age if it is first year, by 1969 he had added the ridge. Will be good to see the pictures of it then we will know more about it. Even the first 40 had ensolite as they were retrofitted with it; good product or would not have lasted all these years. Single was does not seem to matter as the furnace seems to have no problem in winter keeping ours warm.
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:57 PM   #7
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Good to know... perhaps this is one of the first ones built! I'm sure she gave me the correct year... but I couldn't remember it specifically (hence the "or so") :-).

She bought this unit from a young man in Ukiah (CA), who had done the upgrades and a repaint. It is dark blue on the lower half and the front has suffered many stone chips, sadly. Inside he's done a black and white floor, with a red, white, and blue color scheme elsewhere. The floor looks in good condition.

She mentioned that he had added the "insulation," so since it looked like he wasn't an expert in painting, I wondered if his application was something I should worry about.

And then I've been reading about frame issues, and things we should crawl under and check. If I can get the hubby on board, he's beyond qualified to assess safety issues, but if I'm proposing $5K for an almost 60 y/o trailer that also needs frame repairs and a repaint, it may be a hard sell!

I've read that there are pretty comprehensive checklists on this site to aid in assessing a trailer prior to purchase, but do you all have specific Boler checks or cautions you can offer? (Tomorrow is my birthday, so I will have some arm-twisting in my favor for the next few days!)

Thanks everyone,
Ellpea
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:59 PM   #8
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Use my Boler Buyer Guide, it identifies common problems and how to check for them Buyers Guide to Common Boler Trailer Problems
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ian G. View Post
Use my Boler Buyer Guide, it identifies common problems and how to check for them Buyers Guide to Common Boler Trailer Problems
Ian, thanks for posting this! I was actually reading through this last night, which was when I started worrying about frame fatigue...

I'll go back to this and read in more detail.

Any other advice still very much welcomed!
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:06 PM   #10
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... Even the first 40 had ensolite as they were retrofitted with it; good product or would not have lasted all these years. ....
Yep a recall (I read it was the first 100...) , but it's unknown if all followed up. I know one that didn't. I saw Suvi's boler at the Spring NOG and her grandfather added insulation himself. So, it's still a question waiting for an answer...
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:44 AM   #11
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Was able to pull one photo from a text message... does this help?
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:41 AM   #12
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The exterior appears to have been rehabbed and painted, very clean, at least what can be seen of it. If Ian's guide doesn't reveal any major structural issues with frame, axle, or shell, then so far so good. Check to make sure running lights work when connected to a vehicle.

Regarding the interior, I'd like more information. You said "fridge and microwave." Is that an RV type fridge that runs on AC, DC, and propane, or just a dorm type fridge that only runs on AC power? Does it have a propane cooktop? If it only has an AC fridge and microwave for cooking, you're limited to camping in places with electric hookups. That would diminish the value somewhat. Does it have a furnace? Water tank and hand pump? City water connection? Is the original interior (rear dinette/bed, front sofa/bunks, center galley/closet) intact? Are cushions in good condition? Does it have a battery and DC lights in working order?

Regarding the "spongy" foam, it's probably Ensolite. If it's in good condition, that's a plus. No egg (except a few large, heavy, and expensive winter models) is going to have a super-high R-value, and that's okay. It might help to think of it this way: anywhere you can camp comfortably in a tent, you can camp more comfortably in an egg. Without a furnace (?) or an AC (hard to retrofit), you'll be staying away from extremes of heat and cold. We've had our Scamp 3 years and we've only used the furnace once (Big Sur in November) and then only a few minutes PM and AM to knock the chill off before dressing. We only missed having AC once (early April near Tucson) during an unexpected early heat wave, and only during the day- it was cool enough at night to sleep comfortably.

Last and most important, I'd check the floor carefully for indications of rot in hidden spaces. Use a flashlight and screwdriver to probe inside dinette seats, under the galley, and below the front sofa, especially near the edges of the trailer and under windows. Replacing the floor, especially the parts around the edges that are under the cabinetry and fiberglassed to the shell, is a major repair you definitely want to avoid.

If a careful inspection does not reveal any significant issues, then you will have to decide for yourselves whether you are comfortable with the price. But you could wait a long time for a bargain in coastal CA.
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
The exterior appears to have been rehabbed and painted, very clean, at least what can be seen of it. If Ian's guide doesn't reveal any major structural issues with frame, axle, or shell, then so far so good. Check to make sure running lights work when connected to a vehicle.

Regarding the interior, I'd like more information. You said "fridge and microwave." Is that an RV type fridge that runs on AC, DC, and propane, or just a dorm type fridge that only runs on AC power? Does it have a propane cooktop? If it only has an AC fridge and microwave for cooking, you're limited to camping in places with electric hookups. That would diminish the value somewhat. Does it have a furnace? Water tank and hand pump? City water connection? Is the original interior (rear dinette/bed, front sofa/bunks, center galley/closet) intact? Are cushions in good condition? Does it have a battery and DC lights in working order?
It is not an RV fridge, so far as I can tell. It does look more like a dorm fridge. Not sure about the furnace. It does have the original interior along with the sofa and bunks, and closet. Not sure about the age of the cushions (they have somewhat new covers, from whenever PO did rehab). I don't yet know about battery and running lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Regarding the "spongy" foam, it's probably Ensolite. If it's in good condition, that's a plus. No egg (except a few large, heavy, and expensive winter models) is going to have a super-high R-value, and that's okay. It might help to think of it this way: anywhere you can camp comfortably in a tent, you can camp more comfortably in an egg. Without a furnace (?) or an AC (hard to retrofit), you'll be staying away from extremes of heat and cold. We've had our Scamp 3 years and we've only used the furnace once (Big Sur in November) and then only a few minutes PM and AM to knock the chill off before dressing. We only missed having AC once (early April near Tucson) during an unexpected early heat wave, and only during the day- it was cool enough at night to sleep comfortably.
I agree, I'm not expecting too much in the way of R-value. We've camped next to the ocean on the Northern CA coast where it is cold at night and also *moist.* This is in a tent both free standing and attached to our van. We discovered that a propane lantern definitely warmed the tent to a very comfortable degree, and due to the rain flaps we weren't worried about ventilation. (It's interesting to note that even though about four square feet at the top of the tent are just "net" with a raised rain fly over the top, that the rain fly did seem to hold it a lot of the heat while the net allowed healthy ventilation.) So I did think even a small lantern would warm a Boler if it didn't happen to have a furnace, although I have been unsure how much ventilation would be sensible. I much prefer camping in cooler climates, but if we'd like to get into the vintage and/or FGRV scene, I can see that happening in some warmer climates where heat would definitely be an issue. I don't think there is AC.

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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Last and most important, I'd check the floor carefully for indications of rot in hidden spaces. Use a flashlight and screwdriver to probe inside dinette seats, under the galley, and below the front sofa, especially near the edges of the trailer and under windows. Replacing the floor, especially the parts around the edges that are under the cabinetry and fiberglassed to the shell, is a major repair you definitely want to avoid.
This would be the deal-breaker for us, for sure. I love rehabbing and redesigning all kinds of things. But the major construction (frame, floor) would probably put this out of my reach. I could probably drag the hubby (kicking and screaming) out camping with me, and he would be excellent at maintaining tires, repacking bearings, and backing the trailer into any slot on any angle with one try. But he would much rather do a long-distance trip on his R1200 RT than re-do a floor, and he was perfectly happy taking a 6-hour nap on a picnic table (in full MC garb) when he rode clear across the US in under 80 hours. So you can see why casual, comfortable camping isn't high on his list.

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If a careful inspection does not reveal any significant issues, then you will have to decide for yourselves whether you are comfortable with the price. But you could wait a long time for a bargain in coastal CA.
This is kind of why I felt like just *seeing* this Boler parked in a very obvious spot on my usual route after I've spent weeks on CL (even searching two states away) seemed a little bit like "fate," although I know that's a very naive approach!
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:39 PM   #14
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So you'll have to decide if you can live with an "electric-only" kitchen. We haven't used the indoor cooking or plumbing in our Scamp at all. We set up a camp kitchen outside.

In cool weather with electricity, a small ceramic heater would be the best way to stay warm, not a propane lantern. You don't want combustion happening inside a closed space where people are.

There isn't an easy way to add AC to an older unit like that. A roof AC is out of the question, and a window installation, besides being ugly, needs to be braced somehow. The usual way is to mount a window unit in the bottom of the closet next to the door, but getting the venting and drainage right is critical. There are threads on how to do it if you ever get to that point.

BTW, "fate," or providence as I would call it, brought our Scamp to us as well. I had been looking for a used tent trailer. From pictures, I didn't think a Scamp 13'er would really fit four people. Two tent trailers were sold before I could get to look at them. I was in town getting an oil change when I saw the Scamp sitting on a seldom-passed side street with a for sale sign. Twenty-four hours later it was ours.

Best wishes in your decision.
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