attaching the closet to the shell - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-10-2016, 08:24 PM   #1
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Smile attaching the closet to the shell

HI........I have a 73 Boler. Mostly been restored . Need though to reattach the closet to the shell. Some of the pot rivets have let go. So I am thinking of using stainless steel bolts 24/10 with lock nuts on inside. Of course use sealant around bolts. Any one other then me has done this in the their bolers? If so what is your take on the results? Also going to repaint outside thinking of lightly sanding and using a Marine enamel. Figure to roll in on. Also any one have good luck with using small computer fans in the roof vent? Any comments and advise will be well received. Cheers , Dust-in
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:26 PM   #2
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If you use the search function on this forum (use the bottom google box) you will find many threads on this topic over the years.

The area where the closet is located is a high stress area (lots of flexing and bending) of the trailer. I would think twice about putting SS bolts that will not snap in two in that location if put under great stress. Far better to use the aluminium pop rivets and have them snap than to have the fibreglass surrounding them snap. Keep in mind your trailer is a few decades old and over time the rivets will weaken and snap - but they can and often do last a couple decades before it happens.

Bottom line is their is a real good reason why trailer and boat manufactures use aluminium rivets to secure items to the shell and not SS bolts.

BTW a safer alternative means of securing the closet is to do as some manufactures do, fibreglass the closet to the outer shell.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:44 PM   #3
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Closet attachment

Sorry for being an egg head....as not sure if Carol gets this ...Thanks for the suggestion. I was wondering if it were a smart idea with the SS. Now you have made me think about the stress the closet is in over the wheel...I will think about this . Thanks so much. Dust-in.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dust-in View Post
Sorry for being an egg head....as not sure if Carol gets this ...Thanks for the suggestion. I was wondering if it were a smart idea with the SS. Now you have made me think about the stress the closet is in over the wheel...I will think about this . Thanks so much. Dust-in.
Dust-in I get it

Its BTW not just due to being over the wheel. If you ever park the trailer so it is tilted to one side and rear high or tongue low or vice versa take a good look at the twisting the trailer does.... many a party has found that is a situation that will cause their door to poop open for example even though it has never done that before or they may have a hard time closing the door.
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:12 AM   #5
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Dust-in I get it

Its BTW not just due to being over the wheel. If you ever park the trailer so it is tilted to one side and rear high or tongue low or vice versa take a good look at the twisting the trailer does.... many a party has found that is a situation that will cause their door to poop open for example even though it has never done that before or they may have a hard time closing the door.
Being over the wheel is one of the most stable places and strongest with less flexing in the shell that at the forward and aft ends unless of course you have one wheel off the ground and the trailer jacked up cockeyed.

There is an alternative way to mount things. You can fiberglass a mounting bracket or even a piece of wood blocking directly to the inside of the shell. Because of the movement using a slightly elongated hole where the mounting screws in the object come from will allow for some flex without tearing the object apart. This elongated hole technique is common in furniture construction where for instance the frame under a table top or desk has elongated holes to allow for the expansion and contraction of the wood top.

When I attach blocking directly to the interior, cleaned surface of a fiberglass shell I use thickened epoxy. Thickened to about the consistency of thick peanut butter spread on the surface of the mounting block. There are different types of fillers and thickeners sold where epoxy resin products are sold. This allows for a good bond with no gaps. You can use tape to hold the mounting block in place until it cures or even use a temporary application of hot glue along the edges of the object but not of course under it where it would get in the way of the epoxy bond. If you wish to later add on a layer of cloth and resin over the blocking that can be done but is probably not necessary.
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
Being over the wheel is one of the most stable places and strongest with less flexing in the shell that at the forward and aft ends unless of course you have one wheel off the ground and the trailer jacked up cockeyed.

.
Trust me you do not need to go as far as jack it up and take a wheel off the ground to see an old boler twist.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:10 AM   #7
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Why not remove the ensolite from the inside , and fiberglass the inside of the closet to the shell then replace the ensolite over top . It will make it much stronger and you can remove the rivets or you can leave the rivets.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:10 AM   #8
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Why reinvent the wheel? I rebuilt a 73 and used the same materials as original. I used rivets, no need for sealant.
I also painted with marine paint - brightsides interlux applied with brush and roller ( roll and tip method) turned out great.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:28 AM   #9
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I'm in the process of restoring my 1972 13' Boler. Learned a lot from all these postings. Here I take the other question "any one have good luck with using small computer fans in the roof vent".
Inspired by Ian's idea of using two computer fans, Power Roof Vent - Boler-Camping, I put four of them each has its own on/off switch. Not tested yet, hopefully they will work fine.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:42 AM   #10
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I upgraded to a 'fantastic fan' . I added a dpdt switch to make it reversible. Works like a charm ..moves a lot of air.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:47 AM   #11
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You are so right about this website and the knowledge of its members and the willingness to share that information.
I'm in the process of rebuilding my 1974 Boler. It's been a great experience thanks to the people on here.
I painted my Boler last summer with Brightside marine paint. I used the roll and tip method and the end result is amazing good. I highly recommend this technique.
I'm going to use Ian's roof fan construction method using computer fans. It draws less current and far cheaper than fantastic fan. It's brilliant!!!!


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Old 05-11-2016, 10:19 AM   #12
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Closet rivets

Whenever I find a loose rivet. I always replace it with a ss nut and bolt. Works great.
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:01 PM   #13
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I upgraded to a 'fantastic fan' . I added a dpdt switch to make it reversible. Works like a charm ..moves a lot of air.
Great idea of course and they are quieter than a computer fan. A little pricey though, Still it is a comfort.
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:03 PM   #14
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Whenever I find a loose rivet. I always replace it with a ss nut and bolt. Works great.
Any problems with hair line stress around the bolts.
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by HawkBoler72 View Post
I'm in the process of restoring my 1972 13' Boler. Learned a lot from all these postings. Here I take the other question "any one have good luck with using small computer fans in the roof vent".
Inspired by Ian's idea of using two computer fans, Power Roof Vent - Boler-Camping, I put four of them each has its own on/off switch. Not tested yet, hopefully they will work fine.
The discussion of the vent fan is best put into its own thread with a title relevant to the subject being discussed otherwise your question and all the responses to it get lost within the thread title of attaching a closet.
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:56 PM   #16
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Good idea indeed. I was just responding to the initial question of that thread.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:02 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
The discussion of the vent fan is best put into its own thread with a title relevant to the subject being discussed otherwise your question and all the responses to it get lost within the thread title of attaching a closet.
Gotcha, thank you
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:44 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by dust-in View Post
HI........I have a 73 Boler. Mostly been restored . Need though to reattach the closet to the shell. Some of the pot rivets have let go. So I am thinking of using stainless steel bolts 24/10 with lock nuts on inside. Of course use sealant around bolts. Any one other then me has done this in the their bolers? If so what is your take on the results? Also going to repaint outside thinking of lightly sanding and using a Marine enamel. Figure to roll in on. Also any one have good luck with using small computer fans in the roof vent? Any comments and advise will be well received. Cheers , Dust-in

The later bolers did not use pop rivets. Our seats and cupboards are tabbed in using fiberglass tape making a cleaner and stronger seal. The cupboards now make a stronger unit and no unsightly rivets showing.


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Old 05-13-2016, 07:47 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by james kent View Post
The later bolers did not use pop rivets. Our seats and cupboards are tabbed in using fiberglass tape making a cleaner and stronger seal. The cupboards now make a stronger unit and no unsightly rivets showing.
The lack of rivets depends on which factory the Boler was made.
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Old 05-13-2016, 08:09 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by james kent View Post
The later bolers did not use pop rivets. Our seats and cupboards are tabbed in using fiberglass tape making a cleaner and stronger seal. The cupboards now make a stronger unit and no unsightly rivets showing.


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Interesting how things evolved .....well my top cabinets were reattached , by the last owner by drilling out the rivets and then installing stainless 3/16 bolts (outside head was flat low profile) with lock nuts inside. That was an interesting move on his part. Did a good job, certainly is solid but when it comes to the closet , as it is attached to the top and bottom half of the trailer and from what I understand , the boiler does move and twist here and there I was concerned about this method of bolts. But this method of fibreglassing the units to the trailer do sound like a better method. As of yet I am sitting on the fence for a few days. Sure appreciate your input. You and this forum is such a great way to get team building and support. Thank you , Dust-in.
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