1972 Boler Newbie - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-18-2017, 08:13 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Trevor & Abbey
Trailer: 1972 Boler
Posts: 1
1972 Boler Newbie


My husband and I are new to the Fiberglass Travel Trailer community. We bought our 1972 Boler a few weeks ago, after spending time reading this forum about others restoration projects. I've researched different things based on this forum, but need some advice.

I would like someone to give me realistic timelines on how long it takes to complete some things (below). We still want to be able to use it this summer and my husband is a teacher, so he will have a decent amount of free time, now that school is out, to dedicate to it.

There supposedly isn't any Ensolite and from what I can see there isnít. The ceiling is bare fiberglass, but the walls have vinyl sporadically pieced together (taped on, it doesn't seem to be any sort of adhesive) and some sort of paneling (?) in places. Iíve pulled back some of the vinyl and itís bare fiberglass, as far as I can see. I would like to remove the cabinets/benches/closet in order to pull this off the walls. I've seen some older posts from others who do know have Ensolite and who manage fine without it. We are considering using Mascoat Marine Thermal Coating instead, that is supposed to have anti-condensation capabilities. I also want to paint the cabinets/benches.

I guess my biggest concern is how difficult is it to remove everything and put it back in? I know a lot of you have done it. My husband is concerned that it will take much longer than we perceive and we wonít be able to use it this year. Unless something crazy is hiding under the paneling/vinyl wall stuff, I don't know of anything that we actually have to "repair". It seems to be in good shape (from my limited knowledge)- all the wiring, plumbing for the sink, sub-floor and floor are brand new.

Iím completely open to suggestions. If anyone thinks there is a way I can remove all of that without having to remove the cabinets, that would be amazing as well. I just wasnít sure if it was feasible considering some of it is riveted between the shell and the cabinet.

(I attached some pictures so you can see the paneling and the vinyl stuff thatís falling down. I can take some better pictures to add later if that would help.)

Attached Thumbnails
IMG_4872 (1).jpg   cabinets.jpg  

IMG_5043.jpg   IMG_4880.jpg  


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Old 05-18-2017, 09:00 AM   #2
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Jon in AZ's Avatar
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 8,664
Originally Posted by GulliverTheBoler View Post
...I guess my biggest concern is how difficult is it to remove everything and put it back in? I know a lot of you have done it. My husband is concerned that it will take much longer than we perceive and we won’t be able to use it this year.
In my opinion, your fears are well-founded. I haven't taken out the interior of my Scamp, but I have done some smaller projects, and they always take way longer than I expected. Because I am a novice, I often find myself lacking a part or a tool that holds up the works until I can get to the store (or order online and wait). The complications just multiply with a major project.

I vote to use it as-is for one season. Even though you believe everything is working, you may discover some surprises, and you may also find through experience that there are other changes or upgrades you would like to make. Some things, like wiring, are best done at the same time you deal with the walls. That's not to say you can't tackle a few minor projects this year to jump-start the learning process (I would certainly take out those weird jigsawed pieces in the corners), but I would leave the major components in place for now.

I would also give additional thought to what you put back up on the walls. There are a number of options, and you would do well to research the pros and cons of each and actually get inside some other egg trailers to see how you like like the appearance and feel of each. I'm not familiar with the specific product you mentioned, but I'm skeptical any paint-on coating is going to provide adequate sound and thermal insulation, nor feel nice to the touch. (In a small trailer you bump the walls. A lot!)

My recommendation is to go camping! If possible, include a fiberglass egg rally in your schedule this year. It's good to see what others have done.

Welcome to FGRV, and best wishes with your sweet new Boler!

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Old 05-18-2017, 10:15 AM   #3
Name: Jim
Trailer: Burro
Posts: 35

Once you confirm it is safe to tow (e.g. good tires, bearings, axle, frame, tow hitch and lighting) you could clean it up to you liking and then work on it in between camping trips. Once you camp in it you'll start getting ideas about what you want (e.g. electrical/lighting placement, cabinet needs, cushions....), which may be a wiser approach than fixing it all up before you even camp in it for the first time, and later then wish you should have altered things in a different way.

From my experience these small trailers are fun to work on once you get started, and you can move along fairly quickly if you have the time to work on it (as it sounds your husband has over the summer break from teaching) and there are on a lot of great people on this forum to help you along the way. Good luck.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:26 AM   #4
Senior Member
Name: Gordon
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 183
I concur with the other posters.
My rule of thumb for all projects is that it will cost twice as much and take 3 times as long as you expect.
Get out there and use the camper. You're bound to learn a lot.
If you don't have the skills or tools required but you're willing to learn, now may be a good time to acquire some new skills. Sometimes the cost of tools and materials will be less than having someone do it for you. It's very satisfying if you have the time and patience.

Good luck and have fun!

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Old 05-18-2017, 11:42 AM   #5
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Name: Fred
Trailer: 13 ft Boler
Kootenay's of BC
Posts: 863
ASK yourself,
If you guys are talented, have the tools, work together great AND
can make all the decisions about materials, access them
and be ready to work in short order?
If not, use it a bit this year, get an idea of what you want and assemble
the material etc.
The interior can be gutted in a day, putting it back together, that'll take some time,,,
There was a crash of this site in about 05 so some of my early mods are gone but here are some ideas on things I've done over the last few years.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:52 PM   #6
Senior Member
Name: J Ronald
Trailer: Currently shopping
North Carolina
Posts: 236
Trevor and and Abbey,
Congrats on your purchase. The worst part of a job is dreading it, once you get started on a path you are happy with everything gets easier. I agree, make it neat enough to use and work on it between trips. The people on this site are a good resource, also if you can find people that have redone the ceiling and overhead in boats these are good resources. Marinas and boat yards are good places.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:21 PM   #7
Name: George
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 47
Congrats on the purchase

I support the above comments. Use it and fix as you go. Time and money can easily get away from you. I am in the middle of a full frame off remodel of my 1970 13' Boler. And the more I see the more I want to do, I am even shaving the band just for the heck of it. I messed up thinking I could get it wrapped up for late summer camping now I get to look forward to next year . Enjoy your purchase and spend the time researching and seeing what you really want in your trailer and what you can do without. What you think you want or need now may not be what you think after a season of enjoying it. Best of luck and keep us all posted.
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:40 PM   #8
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bullfrogeh's Avatar
Name: Dave
Trailer: 13' 1973 Boler - tow/2017 Colorado Crew-Cab
Posts: 286
Just another vote to try it out before you start into what coukd be a major operation. Get to 'know' your Boler, and it will get to know you too ! And watch out for other small eggs to help you decide. We are the the middle of doing, just what you are planning - with our '73 Boler; and, we have forfeited good 'camping time' in order to do ours. It wasn't a good move for us; and I'm suggesting that 'forging ahead' is not such a great idea for you either, just as others above have indicated.
Find yourself; and then others will find you.
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:15 PM   #9
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Name: Jay
Trailer: Boler 1300
Posts: 278
Hi Abbey,
You are right to believe it will take longer than you anticipate. I planned to do my complete reno in 4-5 weeks (I took the furniture out and put new headliner and flooring in). I took almost 3 months. I had some time off work too and I was working on the trailer pretty steady (daily). But as a few others noted, as handy as I might be, it was still new to me in this context. - fiberglassing is easy, and all you need to do to put the furniture back in is to re-glass it (inside a tiny cubby, upside down and contorted, working against gravity...).
I did not however camp in my trailer before I ripped it apart and made it my own. Others may preach caution with good reason, I rarely listen.
No matter what you do, have a fun doing it and post lots of pictures.
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:17 AM   #10
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 8,664
1972 Boler Newbie

Originally Posted by Jay H View Post
... Others may preach caution with good reason, I rarely listen....
LOL... that honest answer struck my funny bone, Jay. Shoot, I don't even follow my own advice sometimes!

Thirty-some years ago, against all counsel, I sold a perfectly decent but boring Plymouth to buy an 18 year old Beetle to drive from MD to AZ. Spent the summer rebuilding the engine, clutch, brakes, interior, paint with a copy of "Volkswagen Repair for the Complete Idiot" and no mechanical experience. Just because I wanted to. Against all odds it got me to AZ. (You can see my moniker regarding the return trip...)

Strong desire trumps conventional wisdom!

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