Boler furniture/shell attachement - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-15-2020, 12:03 PM   #1
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Name: Cesar
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Boler furniture/shell attachement

So, getting really close to reattaching all the FG furniture inside our boler and I am now realizing that i had assumed (probably incorrectly) the way these were built.

Bear in mind that i took on our project from someone who had started it and did all the teardown. All the parts are there, but i dont have the reference of doing the disassembly myself.

To my questions...

I had assumed that the cabinets, closet, kitchen etc where attached directly in contact with the fiberglass. Meaning that it was a fiberglass to fiberglass joint. This led to the pondering of how i would make the insulation and carpet liner look good where it meets the cabinets(we settled on foil bubbles and outdoor/marine liner). But from a lot of looking at photos of other projects, i think i am seening that the cabinets actually attached with the insulation in between. Is this correct? See my diagram below... Which one is correct, if its #2, do you just crush the insulation/liner with the hardware to get good joint strenght??? Thank you!!!!



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Old 09-15-2020, 12:06 PM   #2
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I am in the process of scraping off the old liner of my boiler. I took off all the cabinets and the frames on either end for the benches and table. The wall liner was definitely put on first and then all the cabinets and pieces were put on after. Where the table benches are, there was A 2 x 2 piece of wood fibreglass into the side wall where the screws were attached.
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:19 PM   #3
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I am in the process of scraping off the old liner of my boiler. I took off all the cabinets and the frames on either end for the benches and table. The wall liner was definitely put on first and then all the cabinets and pieces were put on after. Where the table benches are, there was A 2 x 2 piece of wood fibreglass into the side wall where the screws were attached.
Okay, that changes things a bit i can figure it out. Was it the same case on the closet side?

I assume you had the original ensolite. was it particularly "crushed" where it gets sandwiched by the wall and cabinets? I realize the ensolite is different than what i am putting in, but i am curious about how much force the fasteners are pulling.

No wonder these things leak, if there is a relatively "soft/squishy" layer in the joints.
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:42 PM   #4
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the answer is number 2

For Boler 13's and Boler 17's the answer is number 2: The insulation layer is applied everywhere, then the furniture is attached using fasteners (originally rivets) that go through the fiberglass shell, the insulation (originally ensolite) and the furniture.

As stated above, some Boler 13's incuding my previous Boler 13 had wood blocking "fiberglassed" to the fiberglass shell to support the front and rear benches.

In my previous Boler 13 and in my current Boler 17, I replaced all previous fasteners with stainless steel machine screws and washers. For the Boler 13, I used stainless steel acorn nuts inside. For the Boler 17, I used nylock nuts inside.

EDIT: And yes you wind up somewhat crushing the insulation to firmly attach the furniture. Don't tighten the fasteners too tight or you will crack or deform the fiberglass body or furniture.
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:53 PM   #5
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no leaks

I recently replaced all of the Boler 17 fasteners holding the furniture. Did extensive garden hose testing and went through heavy rain storms. The fasteners don't leak at all. Here's how:

- stainless machine screw head and washer inside a colored plastic base and cap on the outside
- apply a dab of butyl tape under the washer and plastic base
- washer and nylock nut inside
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
For Boler 13's and Boler 17's the answer is number 2: The insulation layer is applied everywhere, then the furniture is attached using fasteners (originally rivets) that go through the fiberglass shell, the insulation (originally ensolite) and the furniture.

As stated above, some Boler 13's incuding my previous Boler 13 had wood blocking "fiberglassed" to the fiberglass shell to support the front and rear benches.

In my previous Boler 13 and in my current Boler 17, I replaced all previous fasteners with stainless steel machine screws and washers. For the Boler 13, I used stainless steel acorn nuts inside. For the Boler 17, I used nylock nuts inside.

EDIT: And yes you wind up somewhat crushing the insulation to firmly attach the furniture. Don't tighten the fasteners too tight or you will crack or deform the fiberglass body or furniture.
John, Thank you, this is what i needed to know! Mine still has the blocking for the front and rear benches but nothing else. No blocking for the bunk hinges unfortunately, looks like we will have a permanent couch there.
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:59 PM   #7
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alternative weatherproof methods

Some molded fiberglass camper brands do not use through hull fasteners to hold furniture. Instead attachment blocks are adhered to the INSIDE of the fiberglass shell, then furniture is attached to the blocks.

Another method employed is to create a "double shell", i.e., an outer shell and inner shell. The furniture is attached to the inner shell.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:02 PM   #8
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My Boler 13 also had blocking for the front bunk and in the rear to support the back edge of the table.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:09 PM   #9
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Great! I can see where the holes used to be, this was your standard boler with single hull and thru fasteners.

I am going in with SS buttonheads and nuts. Did you put any butyl tape under the head of the machine screws? I would imagine that 99% of it would get squeezed out... I really appreciate your responses.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:17 PM   #10
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Yes I put butyl tape under the screw head, washer and plastic cap base.

If you want to use a more tenacious sealant than butyl, some people use a marine sealant such as 3M 5200.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:23 PM   #11
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Yes I put butyl tape under the screw head, washer and plastic cap base.

If you want to use a more tenacious sealant than butyl, some people use a marine sealant such as 3M 5200.

Did you did the caps for asthetic only or because it seals better?
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:29 PM   #12
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I really used the caps for aesthetic reasons, however, some people prefer the look of bare stainless screw heads.

I suspect the cap bases help to seal the joint. But I think the nylock nuts also help.

If I were using bare stainless screw heads, I would probably seal with 3M 5200. Others can chime in. MANY people on this forum have replaced the original rivets with screws.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:34 PM   #13
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Also, I used color matched caps for aesthetic reasons. The caps come off and I can paint them separately if/when I change the body color. Also I can replace caps when they wear out or break.

I am using PRO DEC snap caps from this source:

Snap-Caps - Screw Caps, Screw Covers | Pro-Dec
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:44 PM   #14
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Thank you so much! Usually all i need is a little bit of direction so i can run wild with googling.
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:31 PM   #15
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When I replaced the rivets on my boler cabinets and closet I also used 3M 5200 sealant around the machine screws and it certainly has been solid and water resistant over the last couple of years.
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Old 09-22-2020, 11:40 AM   #16
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I have been using Neoprene-backed washers when I replaced rivets with bolts. It seals the hole and has some "give" so vibrations won't crack the fiberglass. Nylock nuts on the inside with a backing washer.
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Old 10-08-2020, 09:54 AM   #17
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When I replaced all my rivets with stainless steel bolts and nuts, I wasn't sure what to use for washers on the outside. I wanted something to seal out the water, but couldn't find any suitable rubber washers. I ended up buying a box of the screws used for attaching metal roofing. Each screw has a painted washer with a rubber gasket. They fit perfectly on the bolts and for $25 I had enough washers for the whole trailer. 4+ years and no leaks or other issues. They have a variety of colours if you are trying to match your paint. Food for thought.


PS-I also used acorn nuts on the outside bolts. I think that helps keep the water at bay as well.
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:57 PM   #18
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When I replaced all my rivets with stainless steel bolts and nuts, I wasn't sure what to use for washers on the outside. I wanted something to seal out the water, but couldn't find any suitable rubber washers. I ended up buying a box of the screws used for attaching metal roofing. Each screw has a painted washer with a rubber gasket. They fit perfectly on the bolts and for $25 I had enough washers for the whole trailer. 4+ years and no leaks or other issues. They have a variety of colours if you are trying to match your paint. Food for thought.


PS-I also used acorn nuts on the outside bolts. I think that helps keep the water at bay as well.
Thats clever! I actually ordered some SS neoprene backed washers. But your idea is great. just this summer I roofed a shed with a metal roof and use the type of fastner with the washers you are describing. i can't believe i didnt think of using the same washers here. Yall are thinkers!
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Old 10-08-2020, 10:06 PM   #19
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Has anyone directly fibreglassed the furniture to the shell using a fillet and tabbing the way they attach bulkheads to fibreglass boats?

I just bought a Boler B-1700 and the interior is pretty much gutted. What remains of the original pieces after several previous owner hatchet renos are not worth keeping except as templates. My plan is to make new pieces out of fibreglass.

When it comes to attaching the cabinets, closet, etc. I don't like the idea of rivets or screws through the hull. Each rivet or screw is a pressure point and overall it is pretty weak. I think for instance with the cabinets over the sink/stove there would be no need for the vertical supports if the unit was tabbed to the shell.
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Old 10-11-2020, 06:13 PM   #20
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Cesar - From the Boler factory they used a vinyl faced foam, often referred to as elephant skin. They would put it up before building the interior or putting the windows in. The wall covering would be sandwiched between the fixture and the wall. Scamp still builds them that way.

Like you I picked up a Boler B1700 that was completely gutted but with no interior pieces. So I had to build everything from scratch which allowed me to lay it out to my desires. Instead on through bolting/riveting the overheads I used construction adhesive and 1x"1/4" plywood strips to build up mounting points. The downside to doing it my way is you have to cut all your foil insulation and bulkhead covering to fit so it is a little more time consuming. I know this because I was putting the foil insulation in today. The up side is no holes through the shell. My reasoning for going this route was the Scamp I had prior to this I had to replace all the rivets because the PO had let a number of the caps deteriorate which then let the plastic cup deteriorate. Granted the Scamp was 27 years old when I got it so it was due some maintenance.

[IMG]Insulation 1 by Eric Frye, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]Insulation 2 by Eric Frye, on Flickr[/IMG]
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