Boler Voyageur 1300 Reno - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-31-2015, 08:50 PM   #1
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Boler Voyageur 1300 Reno

I have been hanging around the site for a few months asking questions and reading as many posts as I can and I figured it was about time to share. After 25+ years of tent camping my wife and I decided we needed a change in our travel accommodations. We did our due diligence and what captured our heart and our imaginations was a Boler. So last September, we picked up what we hoped would be the perfect addition to our family.
Lots of puzzles and lots of big dreams captivated us most of the fall and winter.
Here are some pics of the boler when I got it home:
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:05 PM   #2
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The interior was in good shape, especially the cushions and we really liked the colour of them. The wall covering though needed to be removed. Some mice had made a little nest in one of the cupboards and most importantly to us, we wanted a different colour!
The kitchen base cabinet is one thing I just do not understand about Boler design. I might just be a little too uptight but the asymmetry of the cupboards and that seemingly misplaced electrical outlet drove me nuts, so there is another definite project.
I was unhappy about the shelving in the closet too. The black drywall screws thought the white fiberglass just didn't work for me and the shelves were in need of replacement too - looks like another project.
Oh and the red cabinet doors look nice in a photo but the painting was not up to my dream camper standards either.
The Fridge looks pretty rough but after some work and lots of research and conversations I figured out how to make it work, and it works great, too. Now I just need to clean it!
here is the interior as it was.



So the reno list for the inside was:
Replace all lights with LED,
Redesign the kitchen cabinet,
replace the rat fur / headliner,
redo the closet,
fix or replace the cabinet doors,
put in a new floor (vinyl planks),
We really want a new backsplash too.
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jay H View Post
I have been hanging around the site for a few months asking questions and reading as many posts as I can and I figured it was about time to share. After 25+ years of tent camping my wife and I decided we needed a change in our travel accommodations. We did our due diligence and what captured our heart and our imaginations was a Boler. So last September, we picked up what we hoped would be the perfect addition to our family.
Lots of puzzles and lots of big dreams captivated us most of the fall and winter.
Here are some pics of the boler when I got it home:
Welcome friend! Glad to see you here and glad to see you picked a Boler...what year is yours? Our is a 71 we got in March which we brought down to the frame to do a full restoration with some interior layout mods...maybe we will see you at a campground when we get ours finished...
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:21 PM   #4
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A couple of days later I noticed there was some caulking under the paint on the roof at the back of the trailer. A little elbow grease revealed two cracks right through the shell on either side at the back of the roof. A little patch work fixed those up but with any reno like this the more I looked at the gel coat the more cracks and spider webs and even pin holes that I found. I planned to repaint the shell so I fixed all of the defects I could find. Unfortunately though, my garage is not heated and I am too cheap to fix that so by the end of November I was having a hard time getting my resin to set up so I had to put the glass work on hold.
Here are some shots of the roof. You will notice there is some waterproofing around the vent. In fact the roof sags right behind the vent quite considerably. Some of the wise people I consulted suggested the cracks and the sag were the result of snow load. I would take that as a pretty good reason, especially since I drove up to North Bay to buy it. (A 10 hr round trip for those who were wondering).
Keep tuned and I'll explain my solution to the sagging roof...
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:43 PM   #5
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Well John your question has a strange answer. My wife and I were looking for a vintage trailer, something unique with character but we didn't want to get something too old. We were looking for an 80s boler and we saw this one on Kijiji advertised as a '91. I sort of knew the factory closed late 80s but I also knew the boler was made in a few different locations over different years so when I asked the seller if he was sure it was a '91 he said "absolutely". He had a bill of sale and everything.
So, lets be clear. The Midhurst factory closed in 1988 (I've spent a few hours talking with Paul Neumeister who bought out the factory stock from the family). My ownership says 1991. My original Boler Owners manual from Carlson Sports in North Bay lists it as a 1991 sold in July of 1992. I also have an aluminum plate riveted to the street side of the shell with the VIN and the date 1991 stamped on it.
I don't think I believe any of it at this point, though. There have been a few things throughout the project that have struck me as different than many of the Bolers I have seen online and in person.
On the back of the shell below the bellyband on the curbside there are faint markings of where the serial number was originally in the fiberglass but they are faint and indiscernible now.
I wonder if it was cobbled together after the factory closed. Maybe from replacement pieces or used trailers... I do not know - but it can't be a 1991.
So after all of that the answer is - My trailer is a 1991 Boler Voyageur 1300!
Let the debate begin!
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:12 PM   #6
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As I said, I went to Paul Neumeister's in Sebringville in the fall and what a great guy! I bought a ton of stuff off of Paul (he should be able to retire now!)
I bought new old stock windows for the front and back - I went with sliders for both since I have a rockguard on the front. I also got a new side dinette slider. Paul also had a roll of headliner fabric leftover from his own Boler reno so I picked that up along with a new dexter axle with brakes. Boy - I needed a breather after that shopping trip!
The axle installed like a breeze and after months of researching and agonizing I decided to keep the original 13" rims and I bought new Hercules ST tires for a dependable ride (the PO had light truck M+S tires on it).
I also painted my Boler this past May. I used a urethane single stage and I sprayed it in my garage with a HVLP gun from Princess Auto. I am really happy with the result, more importantly, so is my wife!
I spent weeks sanding and filling holes and sanding. I loved what a few people (especially Ian G) did with their tail lights so I took the time to french mine and I love the result. Here is the painted trailer as of last Friday!
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:19 PM   #7
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Here are the tail lights! I bought the princess Auto sealed LED units (7"). I was thinking of trying to reuse the original wedding cake lens but, they are safely in a drawer right now because I actually really like the clean look of the new ones.
You'll also notice the black rims without a hubcap. I had originally thought that I would like to dress the wheels up a bit but I like the "rat rod" aesthetic going on right now and after I painted the rims and put them on the trailer I just like the way it looks as is. Maybe I'll find some baby moons in my travels, who knows.
So, what do you think of my first paint job and first crack at Frenched tail lights?
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:26 PM   #8
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Exquisite!
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:32 PM   #9
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Very nice Jay. Kind of had to chuckle with your story of a trailer age and possible make up. To me, if the motor vehicle dept goes with it, just say thanks, but it will make for some interesting talks at rallies.
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:45 PM   #10
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That's one sharp looking trailer! Love the red paint job!
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:55 PM   #11
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Here are the tail lights! I bought the princess Auto sealed LED units (7"). I was thinking of trying to reuse the original wedding cake lens but, they are safely in a drawer right now because I actually really like the clean look of the new ones.
You'll also notice the black rims without a hubcap. I had originally thought that I would like to dress the wheels up a bit but I like the "rat rod" aesthetic going on right now and after I painted the rims and put them on the trailer I just like the way it looks as is. Maybe I'll find some baby moons in my travels, who knows.
So, what do you think of my first paint job and first crack at Frenched tail lights?
Well I think the paint job looks great by what I see in the pictures, good job! As for the model of the trailer the weight on the plate seems excessively heavy. These trailers were made to weigh around 1000 pounds +/-. Mine is a 71 and the factory plate on the frame says it weighs 850 lbs. Look on your frame on the sides right behind the tongue and also between the main side frames on the axle if it is original. Between the frame plate and the axle manufacturers plate this should confirm whether or not it is a 91. I looked very closely at your pictures and if I had to guess I would say it was an early 70's model but I am no expert on these trailers.
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:05 PM   #12
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Well, on second thought maybe not. I didn't pay attention to the windows on the side but particularly the door window. The door lock is not a 70's model style either, but the rear bumper is 70's, I believe 80's models had a squared off rear bumper, but that could depend on the factory that it came from. Other than the lock on the door & the windows it looks extremely close to my year model. Are all the windows original? What does the inside of the door look like? Also, I noticed your kitchen counter is missing the twisted metal that supports the roof on both the right & left of the kitchen counter...this could be why you had cracks in your roof along with the sagging but heavy snow might still have caused cracks too...
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Old 06-01-2015, 05:47 AM   #13
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That little ID tag on the shell has a few suspicious elements. Besides, listing the weight higher than what most 13s actually weigh, the date seems to be hand stamped / punched. Look at how crooked the stamping is.
I have had all of the windows out and they seem to be original. Or in other words I couldn't find evidence that they were not.
the kitchen supports are not in the trailer either and there are no holes in the cabinetry to indicate that they were ever there. And yes, I suspect they contributed to the roof sag, I have yet to install some replacement supports.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:28 AM   #14
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Beautiful job!
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:36 AM   #15
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One of the key things that I wanted to do to the inside of the trailer was to replace all of the traditional style RV lights with LEDs. Since we are tent campers we are most comfortable off grid (and honestly, we are pretty cheap too!) I ended up buying under-cabinet light blocks from Home Depot. I have to say up front, I am not a fan of HD but the lights were Canadian made (assembled or imported maybe?) in Quebec, so I felt better about the purchase. I went against my "cheap" streak but LED is pricey no matter what! These were about $40 a fixture. What I really liked was that they ran on a 12volt system off the start, What I wasn't thrilled about was the switch that came with them was an in line switch and it wasn't fitting with my plan. I finally found some little round rocker switches that I liked (I looked all over for switches without LED lights in the switch, I was going crazy because I couldn't find anything. Finally on a trip to Massachusetts at Easter, I found unlit switches at Radio Shack for a 3rd the price of lit switches at my local NAPA. As it was I had to go to 2 different radio shacks in Mass. to get enough!) I just finished wiring the lights this morning and I like the sleek modern look they have. Here is a pic from a while ago but you can see them in place.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:48 AM   #16
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Here is my redesigned kitchen base cabinet. I changed the height and width of the cupboard side and made the drawer larger. I tried my best to balance the two sides so that when I put the fridge back in the cupboard door is the same size and drawer is the same width. The electrical outlet on the front was relocated to the side right above the converter. I used the pieces that I cut out to fill the gaps where I needed to close up holes (I actually made the cupboard door shorter). Once everything was sanded smooth I painted the cabinet and clearcoated it.
I also relocated the breaker box and the outlet that was in the bottom of the cupboard to the dividing wall between the cupboard and the fridge area. While I was at it I replaced the corroded ground wire coming from the breaker box and painted both the breaker box and the outlet box. Hopefully, this will make a neater area that looks better too.

If you haven't read Dave White's "you can repair fiberglass" thread you should. It is comprehensive and Dave gave me some pointers for my body work too. It sure is nice to have a resource like this website!
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:59 AM   #17
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Greetings to you both from east of T.O. You'll love the Boler. Nice job on the paint. I love the tail lights and would like a closer look at them if we ever cross paths. Some baby moons would look great on that. I got a set at Vintage Trailer Supply.


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Old 06-01-2015, 12:43 PM   #18
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Thanks for the kind words everyone, I really appreciate it. While this has been a fantastic project and I have mostly enjoyed my time on the remodel I will admit that I have run into my fair share of frustrations. The paint job is actually the 2nd one. After painting the trailer for the first time, my wife and I absolutely hated the colour when we rolled it out into the sunshine. I don't think I slept for a couple of days while we figured out what to do next.
By the way we love the colour now. It is a deep red. My wife and I have travelled across Canada over the years and we are now in the process of taking our 3 girls to every province and getting to know the chartacter of each one. Last summer was Newfoundland and Labrador, this summer the Rockies! So to us, the red is that classic, antiqued Canadian maple leaf red. If all goes as planned I have a few custom decals in mind to really pull the red and white Canadiana theme together.

Thanks for the compliment on the tail lights Raff, here are a couple of pics of the tail lights in progress. I had posted the pics in an earlier thread but I might as well repost them here.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:51 PM   #19
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Fabulous job. Looks great. I like the story. Makes this trailer unique! Enjoy. Sure beats tenting.
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:33 AM   #20
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I have been working on the interior the last couple of days. In the fall I stripped all of the carpeting off of the walls. I was surprised at how easily it let go of the glue as well as how little of the carpeting was attached to the walls. The carpet had to go - it was stained, smelled musty and housed a mouse nest too. Besides, the Boss said she would like a different colour!
Getting the dried glue off of the shell interior was frustrating to say the least. I started with a wire wheel on my angle grinder in the early spring (March). I rolled the trailer shell out into the driveway and went at it. This took a lot longer than I planned. I learned a few things along the way.
1 - when its cold out (5* or less) the glue stays hard and the wire wheel worked great, but when it got warm all the glue did was move around!
2 - the little wires really hurt when they fly off the grinder and impale your arms.
3 - Don't do this in short sleeves even when the spring weather gives you a 20* day, enough fiberglass came off with the glue that my arms itched for days.
4- a really sharp chisel (2") will take the glue off faster than a wire wheel and its a lot quieter.
While I had the carpet out I removed the dinette benches and the kitchen, redid all of the 12 volt wiring and rewired the trailer lights too.
I was lucky enough to get an end of a roll to replace what had come out. I kept the original pieces and traced them onto the back of the new headliner carpet.
Some people suggested 3M spray adhesive, while others recommended contact cement to reinstall the carpet. I din't want to use spray cans so I bought a gallon of contact cement at Home Depot. It didn't work. I opted to brush the glue onto the back of the carpet and once I put it up the first piece I realized that the glue had bled through in many different places. I was so disappointed.
I ran into a previous student at the local Home Hardware the next day and he suggested I try outdoor carpet glue (He installs carpet for a living now). It worked fantastic and I am pretty sure it is what was originally used. I replaced the stained piece and I think the new headliner looks great
Honestly, replacing the ceiling was the hardest. I finally clamped the carpet through the ceiling vent and glued it in sections while it hung down. The biggest challenge was the 6ft ceiling height since I am 6"4" - A fair bit of contortions to work overhead while stooping! A couple of people advised against this but I am glad I persevered.
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