Help! Mystery boler floor? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-27-2017, 02:47 PM   #1
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Name: Heather
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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Help! Mystery boler floor?

Hi everyone!

We are in the process of purchasing our first lil' egg, and have found one that needs a little work but feels manageable.

I'm not sure what year the boler is yet, but I've been researching and think it is pre-1975 as it still has the plastic boler logo above the rear window, and I think they stopped making those in that year.

Either way, what I am most curious about is the floor. It has a fully molded fiberglass floor, but underneath instead of being supported with a solid glassed-in piece of plywood, it has strips/planks of glassed-in ??? (plywood I think). Has anyone ever seen a floor like this?

The floor doesn't feel as solid as the single pice plywood bolers I've been in, but it might just be a factor of the design. Either way it all seems original.. do I need to consider repairing or replacing it? Is it a modification, and should I run the other direction?

Here is a picc of the undercarriage:
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:18 AM   #2
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Nice clear photo; but, it sure doesn't match the undercarriage of our 1973 Boler. I don't have any such cross member supports in our Boler.
Our 1973 Boler, built in September 1973 at the Earlton, Ontario plant, has metal cast 'boler' insignia over both the front and rear windows - no plastic here ! Do you have the 'cut-out' floor space under the front bunk ?
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:44 PM   #3
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The suspension is leaf spring! The axle one piece a work!
Floor isn't like my '74 boler but looks solid.
Their should probably be a brace welded across the end of the floor drop under the slats
I'd like to see more pics of the undercarriage to see how they made a leaf spring work on the right side. How high does the unit sit?
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:59 PM   #4
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I have a 1973 boler and yours looks to have a different frame altogether. It looks like you have springs for suspension and as far as I know boler only used a rubber torsion bar ride. I would say those strips are also a rebuild of some sort.
Having said that, all that was left of my boler was the "cracked' shell. My undercarriage is now nothing like the original. With just a good shell everything else can be fixed. However, the price should reflect the amount of work you will need to do to get it in good shape and how much time and expertise you have to do the work.
On my boler the date and build is on a piece of paper stuck to the inside of one of the upper cabinet doors, I was surprised to find it in such good shape after 40+ years.
Good luck with your egg hunt! Easter is just around the corner!
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:29 PM   #5
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Ok that axle looks to be a scabbed up one. Looks like they took the arms from the original flex type axle and welded up a cross member and converted it to leaf springs. I do not know if I would trust it. I would also take a very close look at that frame as if they created new springs and mount points, they may have compromised the frame.

The arms from a flex type axle are very strong but are not designed to be vertical and the load on the welds would be quite high and even with the fish plates that are added.
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Old 01-29-2017, 10:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bullfrogeh View Post
Nice clear photo; but, it sure doesn't match the undercarriage of our 1973 Boler. I don't have any such cross member supports in our Boler.
Our 1973 Boler, built in September 1973 at the Earlton, Ontario plant, has metal cast 'boler' insignia over both the front and rear windows - no plastic here ! Do you have the 'cut-out' floor space under the front bunk ?
Thank you everyone for all your quick replies!

We haven't purchased the Boler yet, but we are seriously thinking about it. After doing a few hours of research I am also pretty certain that the undercarriage has been modified/replaced. Would you be willing to send me a photo of the underside of your boler? They sure are hard to find on the internet, but it would help give me a better idea of what I can do to make repairs if we decide to go ahead with the project.

Yes! Sorry I do believe it is a cast metal insignia, not plastic. And yes, if I remember correctly there is a cut out in the floor space in the front bunk. I only went up to see it the once but I remember there being a cupboard door there. Does that tell you something about the age of the boler?
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Old 01-29-2017, 10:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by FRED SMAILES View Post
The suspension is leaf spring! The axle one piece a work!
Floor isn't like my '74 boler but looks solid.
Their should probably be a brace welded across the end of the floor drop under the slats
I'd like to see more pics of the undercarriage to see how they made a leaf spring work on the right side. How high does the unit sit?
Hi Fred! Thanks for taking your time to reply!

There is a single brace underneath the slats, with a bolt going through to the kitchen floor. I believe this is the typical area where there is a support on bolers, but I think it could use an extra support.

I am planning another trip to take a look at the boler on Thursday, and will take more photographs when I do. I'll also take another photograph of the axle.. The owner is a mechanic, but right now that's not making me feel better! I guess I'm off to do research about axles..

I read that replacing the axle isn't too expensive or too much work to do, but I was hoping I could get away without any major repairs until the fall. Think it might last until then? I guess I should ask the owner if I can take it for a test drive.
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Old 01-29-2017, 10:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Phoneman View Post
I have a 1973 boler and yours looks to have a different frame altogether. It looks like you have springs for suspension and as far as I know boler only used a rubber torsion bar ride. I would say those strips are also a rebuild of some sort.
Having said that, all that was left of my boler was the "cracked' shell. My undercarriage is now nothing like the original. With just a good shell everything else can be fixed. However, the price should reflect the amount of work you will need to do to get it in good shape and how much time and expertise you have to do the work.
On my boler the date and build is on a piece of paper stuck to the inside of one of the upper cabinet doors, I was surprised to find it in such good shape after 40+ years.
Good luck with your egg hunt! Easter is just around the corner!
Hi Rob, thanks for taking the time to reply!

So you think that both the axle and the undercarriage have been replaced at some point? I'm really interested in how your restoration went and the steps you took along the way to support your shell. It looks like I'll be doing some work repairing the undercarriage and I'm not too sure where to start!

The fiberglass shell looks to be in very good condition as far as I can tell. I didn't see any major stress cracking or holes when I was looking at it. It still has it's original paint job (gelcoat), all the doors and windows work effortlessly, and the door isn't sagging. I also took a look at the frame and it seemed in good shape too, but this Thursday I'm headed up for another look and I'll do some real crawling around underneath it. I'll make sure to check the inside of the cupboard for the date and build too.
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Old 01-29-2017, 10:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dudley View Post
Ok that axle looks to be a scabbed up one. Looks like they took the arms from the original flex type axle and welded up a cross member and converted it to leaf springs. I do not know if I would trust it. I would also take a very close look at that frame as if they created new springs and mount points, they may have compromised the frame.

The arms from a flex type axle are very strong but are not designed to be vertical and the load on the welds would be quite high and even with the fish plates that are added.
Hi David - wow, you seem to really know your stuff!

I'll have to do some reading on replacing the axle it seems - I think I remember reading somewhere that an approximate cost would be about $1000 CAD or so. It's a little more than I hoped to spend right away - do you think it would be possible to get away with that axle for the summer?

If I ask the owner to take the boler for a test drive, what should I look for? Wheels rubbing, cushions moving, cupboard doors opening? Will a bad axle wreck the fiberglass? I'm just wondering what worst case scenario might be if I couldn't repair it right away

I'm heading up to take another look at it on Thursday, and will do some more crawling around underneath the boler to thoroughly inspect the frame. I can't remember seeing any stress cracking the last time I visited, but I'll know better what to look for this time.

It just might be that this isn't the boler for us... but it's hard to accept as we live on an Island and it is pretty difficult to make trips on and off looking for a boler. Shucks.

Thanks for giving me your 2 cents!!
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Old 01-29-2017, 10:39 PM   #10
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In my build thread at post 132 are pics of the stock suspension on my '74.
Post 12 shows the underneath of the floor, the area behind the hole is stock.
My boler didn't come with the space for the portapotti so I made my own but for a different application
Fred
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...-55601-10.html
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Old 01-30-2017, 12:29 AM   #11
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Heather, just my 2 cents, but I don't think a test drive is really going to give you any answers to the axle. I don't have any issues to a different type of axle on a TT but.... Dudley say this one looked scabbed together? After seeing your pics of it I'd agree, that would make me take a step back and do a bit of thinking of a new axle. I walked away from a couple when I was looking and the right one came up only 80 miles away. Good luck to you.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:07 AM   #12
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BTW, never owned a boler but was a welder /fitter for 15 years building oil rigs. I have seen what the bolers used for a frame and they were built to be light and I don't think that they were built to last. If yours had some reinforcement installed when they modded it to spring suspension, then it may be fine but it should be looked at by someone that knows what they are doing. After looking on line, there are companies using those kind of arms as drop axles so they may be strong enough but take it to a spring shop and get a second opinion. I can't really tell from the picture the wall thickness of the cross tube, which will govern how strong this axle is. The failure point will be where the gusset plates end. I my opinion those plates should have been longer and angled to spread the load.
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:05 PM   #13
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Mystery Year - Boler

Heather;
Our 1973 Boler does NOT have the cutout floor space under the lower bunk (wish it did !). I haven't yet discovered just when Boler cut that piece out - but I do have the cupboard mounted spec sheet in mine, which indicates it was built in September 1973 at the Earlton, Ontario location, indicated as unit no. 151. It has the rubber torsion bar axle, which I had replaced by Paul Nieumeister's RV shop in Sebringville, Ontario. Paul verified that it IS a 1973 (Earlton) Boler.
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