Where to start? Restoration planning... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-27-2021, 05:57 PM   #1
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Name: Pierre
Trailer: Boler
BC
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Where to start? Restoration planning...

Howdy,

I'm a proud owner of a 1970 (or something) Boler (most likely a Scamp!) trailer. It's been sitting on my driveway for 2+ years, and I'm a bit overwhelmed with where to start. Getting nowhere fast.

This summer I managed to align the door (thanks for the input everyone) and fibreglassed the holes, I'm still struggling with the jalousie windows, but that's for anther thread.

My question... Where did you start / how did you plan the restoration of your trailer?

I've purchased a solar system (lithium battery arriving next week), I've pre ordered a new axle, I have some ideas on the insulation, I'm about to order a diesel heater. The floor and frame are in good condition. It's essentially an empty shell, ready to be made comfortable to live in.

I'd like to use it this fall for trips to the coast surfing (why Im ordering the diesel heater). I've made sketches of how the bed should work and how to cut up the foam mattress, but nothing more than the superficial design parts.

So what should I do first? What drawings or plans do I need to map out? What should I avoid doing (other than the exterior paint) before I've completed xyz? Do I need to plan all of the electrical, and install that before the insulation? Should I wait till next summer to install the roof vent? Should I take it on a few trips just having sure it's waterproof and road worthy and then plan everything??! :O

Input and help much appreciated!
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Old 09-28-2021, 08:36 AM   #2
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Short answer is first make your trailer waterproof and road worthy. The waterproof aspect is easy to evaluate and address. The road worthy part includes the axle and hubs, the coupler and chains but also very important is that the frame needs to be evaluated and repaired if there are any weak areas due to excessive rust or metal fatigue, then painted. Road worthy aspect also includes functional towing lights. EDIT: Forgot body to frame fasteners. These need to be replaced. This is also critical.

After making the trailer waterproof and road worthy, then move on to lower priority mechanical repairs to windows, doors, interior electrical, propane and plumbing. Then do the wall coverings, repair and re-install cabinets and benches, and final cosmetic details.
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Old 09-28-2021, 10:37 AM   #3
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Short answer is first make your trailer waterproof and road worthy. The waterproof aspect is easy to evaluate and address. The road worthy part includes the axle and hubs, the coupler and chains but also very important is that the frame needs to be evaluated and repaired if there are any weak areas due to excessive rust or metal fatigue, then painted. Road worthy aspect also includes functional towing lights. EDIT: Forgot body to frame fasteners. These need to be replaced. This is also critical.

After making the trailer waterproof and road worthy, then move on to lower priority mechanical repairs to windows, doors, interior electrical, propane and plumbing. Then do the wall coverings, repair and re-install cabinets and benches, and final cosmetic details.
Thanks for this reminder. Keep getting distracted by the fun stuff!
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Old 09-28-2021, 11:15 AM   #4
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Also looking at your pics, its important to have supports for the roof on both the left and the right side of the trailer. Generally the closet provides this support on the left and a steel support rail/post provides this support on the right. Without these supports the roof will eventually sag, and this will worsen over time. Snow load will worsen this problem and may lead to roof collapse.
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Old 09-28-2021, 11:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Squamoton View Post
Howdy,

I'm a proud owner of a 1970 (or something) Boler (most likely a Scamp!) trailer.

First thing I'd do is figure out if it is a Boler or a Scamp. Maybe post an exterior photo. What does the registration say it is?
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Old 09-28-2021, 11:57 AM   #6
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Name: Pierre
Trailer: Boler
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Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
Also looking at your pics, its important to have supports for the roof on both the left and the right side of the trailer. Generally the closet provides this support on the left and a steel support rail/post provides this support on the right. Without these supports the roof will eventually sag, and this will worsen over time. Snow load will worsen this problem and may lead to roof collapse.
Thanks! I do have a support just out of the picture. It was not supported when I purchased it, which caused the door issues. I wanted to bolt this back, but then started thinking electrical and insulation... Hence the reason for this post.

The cupboard is still in its original place.
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Old 09-28-2021, 12:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
Short answer is first make your trailer waterproof and road worthy. The waterproof aspect is easy to evaluate and address. The road worthy part includes the axle and hubs, the coupler and chains but also very important is that the frame needs to be evaluated and repaired if there are any weak areas due to excessive rust or metal fatigue, then painted. Road worthy aspect also includes functional towing lights. EDIT: Forgot body to frame fasteners. These need to be replaced. This is also critical.

After making the trailer waterproof and road worthy, then move on to lower priority mechanical repairs to windows, doors, interior electrical, propane and plumbing. Then do the wall coverings, repair and re-install cabinets and benches, and final cosmetic details.
When would you say insulation should be addressed? Before or after electrical, fan installation, plumbing?
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Old 09-28-2021, 01:40 PM   #8
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Pierre, if you are applying a lining material over the insulation, install the insulation first, then wiring. Then the lining material, then fan, windows, plumbing, etc.
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Old 09-28-2021, 04:23 PM   #9
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Pierre, if you are applying a lining material over the insulation, install the insulation first, then wiring. Then the lining material, then fan, windows, plumbing, etc.
Great! That's exactly what.I was trying to work out.... Whether I could do the insulation and worry about wiring and the fan another day!

Thanks John. What do you have?
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Old 09-28-2021, 04:55 PM   #10
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We started with a Boler 13, then a Trillium 4500. Those were sold and now we are using and still restoring a Boler 17. I am basing suggestions to you on experience with those trailers and information I've gleaned from many threads I've read on this forum.
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Old 09-28-2021, 05:08 PM   #11
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After re-reading my first post, I must say I didn't accurately express the waterproofing concerns. Water leaks can sometimes be difficult to trace to the source, and on an older trailer, there may be leaks from every fixture and fastener in the shell of the trailer. Several times we found that garden hose testing helped track down some leaks, while other leaks were observed while the trailer was parked during a heavy or lengthy rain. Other leaks may come through the door while towing. And finally there may be leaking from plumbing lines and plumbing fixtures, and puddling from condensation.
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Old 09-28-2021, 05:23 PM   #12
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John is right. Do the critical boring stuff first which tends to include all windows and body penetrations. Then comes major systems: electrical, plumbing, propane and appliances. Last are the cosmetics.
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Old 09-29-2021, 12:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
After re-reading my first post, I must say I didn't accurately express the waterproofing concerns. Water leaks can sometimes be difficult to trace to the source, and on an older trailer, there may be leaks from every fixture and fastener in the shell of the trailer. Several times we found that garden hose testing helped track down some leaks, while other leaks were observed while the trailer was parked during a heavy or lengthy rain. Other leaks may come through the door while towing. And finally there may be leaking from plumbing lines and plumbing fixtures, and puddling from condensation.
Thanks John. I guess that's one thing I have focused on. It's been pouring with rain here in BC, and after fiberglassing last week, looks like I've closed all of the holes.

My plan....

Next, I was going to rebuild/ fix the jalousie windows (they don't close), install them and then test for leaks (again).

Then, I need to work out why one of the main windows was cut (ever so slightly) too small (one corner of the window only just fits inside the rubber seal - resulting in a very small leak on the window still in heavy rain). Don't think a temporary fix would be a good idea on this :/

Lastly, and one concern is that the previous owner painted the shell in vinyl paint. So I'm concerned it's covering micro cracks, that might only reveal new leaks after I remove the paint.... but after I've done the interior?

Deciding whether in this case, I work on the exterior, and remove the vinyl paint, before I do the interior....!?
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Old 09-29-2021, 12:26 AM   #14
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John is right. Do the critical boring stuff first which tends to include all windows and body penetrations. Then comes major systems: electrical, plumbing, propane and appliances. Last are the cosmetics.
Bill, you don't know how simple but important this message is to me. Boring, planning and doing things step by step is a skill in having to learn with this project.

You should see all of the sketches and research I've done on the bed, table, insulation, mattress, heating and power LOL

thanks for the reinforcing it. Much appreciated!
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Old 10-04-2021, 07:20 AM   #15
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Question Boler Repair

Hopefully you have already done this but in case you haven't do it now. Carefully inspect the undercarriage for cracks and serious rust. The frame can be sistered or even replaced but it means lifting the body off the frame.

Also check the axel as replacing it can be expensive and at least on some Scamps it also is welded to the frame and so again the body has to be lifted off the frame to replace the axel.

Once you know the undercarriage is in good condition then you might want to simply replace the wheel bearings.

I have a 1994 Scamp 16 which is different than the Scamp 13. Scamp actually started by making RV for Boler. At any rate look at interior pictures of Scamp 13 to see where there is supporting wals and structure. The fiberglass shell by itself is not strong enough ... it need some internal support.

Finally I find the folks at the Scamp factory to be friendly and helpful.
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Old 10-04-2021, 08:54 AM   #16
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Hopefully you have already done this but in case you haven't do it now. Carefully inspect the undercarriage for cracks and serious rust. The frame can be sistered or even replaced but it means lifting the body off the frame.

Also check the axel as replacing it can be expensive and at least on some Scamps it also is welded to the frame and so again the body has to be lifted off the frame to replace the axel.

Once you know the undercarriage is in good condition then you might want to simply replace the wheel bearings.

I have a 1994 Scamp 16 which is different than the Scamp 13. Scamp actually started by making RV for Boler. At any rate look at interior pictures of Scamp 13 to see where there is supporting wals and structure. The fiberglass shell by itself is not strong enough ... it need some internal support.

Finally I find the folks at the Scamp factory to be friendly and helpful.
Thanks for the info.

I never thought of contacting scamp directly. Might be useful to see some floor plans.

Yes, my axle is welded to the frame.
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Old 10-04-2021, 09:02 AM   #17
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Also check the axel as replacing it can be expensive and at least on some Scamps it also is welded to the frame and so again the body has to be lifted off the frame to replace the axel.
I had my 1977 13' axle replaced with some modifications, safety chains and a new coupler put on for US$800 in parts and labor. (I supplied the new Flexiride axle) so it's not terribly expensive.

I would think a simple chop/weld axle replacement would be more in the US$250-$350 (labor) range.

The body does not need to be removed to chop out and weld in a new axle.
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Old 10-04-2021, 09:30 AM   #18
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I had my 1977 13' axle replaced with some modifications, safety chains and a new coupler put on for US$800 in parts and labor. (I supplied the new Flexiride axle) so it's not terribly expensive.

I would think a simple chop/weld axle replacement would be more in the US$250-$350 (labor) range.

The body does not need to be removed to chop out and weld in a new axle.
I did wonder whether I needed to do that (remove body). The frame looked in pretty good condition.

I'm ordering a new axle from Flexiride. Detuned 2500lb with brakes.

I'm not a welder, but how hard is it to grind off the old one and bolt on a new one. Or is professional welding the better option?
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Old 10-04-2021, 09:32 AM   #19
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I'm not a welder, but how hard is it to grind off the old one and bolt on a new one. Or is professional welding the better?
I'm not a welder either, so I just paid the professionals to do it right.

I'll do a LOT of stuff to save money, but I know when to call in people with experience.
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Old 10-04-2021, 09:45 AM   #20
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I'm not a welder either, so I just paid the professionals to do it right.

I'll do a LOT of stuff to save money, but I know when to call in people with experience.
Lol good point
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