Framing an interior? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-24-2017, 10:42 AM   #1
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Framing an interior?

Hello everyone, I am looking at purchasing a gutted Boler 15' trailer. I was thinking I would like to frame the interior (seemingly a challenge with curves) and create a rib structure so I could insulate in between the potentially light weight redwood 2x2's and have a solid surface to possible attach a 1/8" plywood where the cabinets are not.. I was planning to engineer upper cabinets to be supported by lower cabinets for support in some areas. Does anyone have any experience with this approach? I am assuming the big challenge would be fitting the curves and gluing the 2x2's to the interior with no clamps. Is this approach viable? I am a newbie to the trailer restoration world. Pics of previous interior re-builds from a gutted interior would be appreciated much! Thanks ! Jack
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:03 AM   #2
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I would be more inclined to take strips of 3/4 plywood and cut saw kerfs in the plywood . The kerfs will allow the plywood to bend to the curvature of the trailer and they can be attached to the fiberglass with construction adhesive
I see no advantage in using redwood 2x2's especially at the price of redwood
3/4" foil faced foam (R5) could be used between the plywood strips and should be enough thermal break for a small trailer.
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:21 AM   #3
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The effort to do that will far exceed the benefit "imo" but anything is possible .
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:22 AM   #4
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Brilliant !

Steve, now that makes sense! Very use full info. Kerfed plywood. Lightweight, inexpensive, space saving, reinforcing, provides for insulation and much easier to glue in with some make shift pole jacks from the floor perhaps? Construction adhesive - great. Foil faced R5 foam - noted. Other thoughts welcome. Great resource this. Thank you Steve !!
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Old 02-24-2017, 12:07 PM   #5
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Jack, one thing to know about Bolers and other single-wall molded shells is that interior cabinetry is structural. It supports the roof and stabilizes the shell (for correct door fit, among other things). A big question is how you intend to build out the interior. If you're planning a very open design without a lot of floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, you will need to add structural support to the shell.

Ribs can serve that function, but I don't know if the kerfed plywood will be adequate, since it's meant to bend. I'm curious what others think...

A lot of thermal transfer in a small egg trailer happens through windows and vents, so I tend to agree with Mikmay that the net gain may be disproportionate to the effort. Also, the thicker the walls, the less room inside, and the beds are short as it is.

Here's one complete Boler rebuild that incorporates ribs. It runs to 25 pages and 340 posts, so it should contain plenty of food for thought and planning.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ler-51170.html

BTW, I'm not familiar with a 15' Boler model... I've seen a 17' as well as the more common 13'ers. Got a picture or a link?
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Old 02-24-2017, 12:13 PM   #6
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Search for a thread by K Corbin on her Campster remodel. She has a LOT of good information in there that will help you. It's a different trailer but the ideas and techniques are transferable.
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Old 02-24-2017, 12:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post

A lot of thermal transfer in a small egg trailer happens through windows and vents, ....
And the floor since most Bolers are just a sheet of plywood with carpet, vinyl or faux wood on top.
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Old 02-24-2017, 01:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jackbeback View Post
Hello everyone, I am looking at purchasing a gutted Boler 15' trailer. I was thinking I would like to frame the interior (seemingly a challenge with curves) and create a rib structure so I could insulate in between the potentially light weight redwood 2x2's and have a solid surface to possible attach a 1/8" plywood where the cabinets are not.. I was planning to engineer upper cabinets to be supported by lower cabinets for support in some areas. Does anyone have any experience with this approach? I am assuming the big challenge would be fitting the curves and gluing the 2x2's to the interior with no clamps. Is this approach viable? I am a newbie to the trailer restoration world. Pics of previous interior re-builds from a gutted interior would be appreciated much! Thanks ! Jack
Don't confuse putting in furring strips with framing up the wall in a house where the studs stand vertically. Your shell is self supporting so you are not doing framing. Put your furring strips length wise in the long areas of the trailer rather than installing them vertically. That will give you lots of flat surface to glue to versus constantly trying to deal with curves. Plus putting the strips length wise gives the lengthwise areas to secure the cabinets and also the top and bottom of sheets of paneling. You can put some short vertical strip if needed. I have when needed cut a series of saw kerfs almost all the way through such strips of furring across their width to allow them to follow a gentle curve. There is a description of kerf bending part way down the page on this website Kerf Spacing - Kerf Bending - Woodworking Archive

I use thickened epoxy for securing my furring strips but other people use various types of construction adhesive that will grip to fiberglass.

Since you can't mechanically clamp the furring strips while the glue or epoxy dries........I keep those furring strips in place while the primary adhesive cures with small areas of high temperature hot glue, not the craft store version of hot glue, instead I use the type for cabinet making as it is stronger. You want hot glue that sets up in a minute or so as you will need to stand there and keep pressure on the furring strip for that length of time until it the hot melt hardens. It takes a little patience but it goes fairly fast.

On the note of what wood to use for furring. I use western red cedar. It is lightweight compared to most wood and also compared to plywood. However it is strong enough for supporting paneling and insulation. If I need a furring strip that will be load bearing such as where I want to secure an upper cabinet then I use Doug fir wood instead of cedar. I would not use plywood for this application as moisture could accumulate behind the walls.Plywood can delaminate if it gets wet. The western red cedar is lighter in weight than plywood and it has a lot of natural rot resistance. Doug fir also has some rot resistance although not quite as good as the cedar.
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Old 02-24-2017, 05:32 PM   #9
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What you are describing is basically what I did to my Boler. The curved ribs are structural and epoxied directly to the inside of the fibreglass shell
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:11 PM   #10
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Thanks Jon!
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:11 PM   #11
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Appreciate it Dave!
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:21 PM   #12
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KC, very informative and the cedar makes good sence. Thanks to you all for your help in this regard! I will let you know if I decide to pull the trigger on this Boler but in the mean time, the seller is a nice gal from LA, and if you all would like to check it out, it is here: 1980 15' Boler travel trailer | Los Angeles, CA | Fiberglass RV's For Sale I found out today that I am going to have to cough up some more coin than anticipated for uncle sam so I may not be able to pull the trigger on this purchase. If any are interested in taking this on, I am fairly certain you could pick this up for $3,500. All the best, Jack
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:29 PM   #13
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Thanks

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to help me out here. I posted a similar message but it does not seem to be showing up so once again, I may not be able to purchase this as today I found that I owe more in taxes than what I was planning to spend on this Boler shell. However, if any of you or yours are interested here is the trailer: 1980 15' Boler travel trailer | Los Angeles, CA | Fiberglass RV's For Sale I am fairly certain it could be obtained for $3,500. I will refer back to this thread when my little ship comes in so I can re-hab another fiber shell. All the best, Jack
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Old 02-25-2017, 12:08 AM   #14
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I have cut supporting "bulkheads" for my Boler that we gutted. It is no easy task no matter what method you use get the curve (foam molds, cardboard templates, scribing used by boat builders) and none of them are perfect, many of which I have done x2. They are close enough that I can hide the imperfections with the wall cover and some specialized flexible trim. I tend to strive for perfection but this was a serious challenge to that level of skill and quality I expect from myself....
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:39 AM   #15
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Thanks for the link, Jack. That is a very rare model and a worthy project for someone!
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