Frankenboler Glam up! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-04-2020, 02:53 PM   #1
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Frankenboler Glam up!

Welcome to the glam-up of the Frankenboler!

We bought this '79 Boler 1300H in August 2019, with no previous rv experience of any kind. I thought it would be a nice way to compromise between tenting (which I have no interest in) and staying in hotels (which gets too expensive).

I figured I could make some pretty new cushions, and paint the inside, and we'd be all set. Little did I know...

Everytime I take something apart, look behind something, or try to fix something, I find something ragged or rotten or rusty. At this point, I'm just diving in and tearing stuff out, and hoping for the best! Thanks for joining me!

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Old 05-04-2020, 03:04 PM   #2
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Let the fun begin!

I started tearing stuff apart, since it looks like we won't be doing any camping in the near future. (Darn Coronavirus!)

I took off all the weird rattan cabinet doors first. The only other Bolers that I've seen with these doors are the 17-foot models. This is how I came up with the 'Franken-Boler' theory. I think that someone who worked at the Boler factory took a 13-foot Boler, and pieced it together with leftover bits from the 17-foot trailers. You'll notice that the upper cabinets have two long doors instead of the typical three small doors. Another nod to the 17-foot Bolers!

I also pulled out the wooden cabinetry that was on the side of the front 'gaucho' couch. They were just decorative, not functional at all. There was a bit of damage to the ensolite where they were stuck to it, but nothing major.
But note the big, leaky bolts that were hidden underneath! Surprise!





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Old 05-04-2020, 04:17 PM   #3
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With the side pieces of the gaucho gone, I was able to have a better look at what was hiding underneath. Unfortunately, it was a lot of rot. The cabinetry in this boler is all plywood. There's no fiberglass at all. I don't know what's original, and what has been added over the years. It's a bit of a mish-mash.

I could see that there was rot/mold/fungus on the inside frame of the gaucho cabinet, so I decided to rip out as much as I could. The rotten wood made it easier...



I got the top off, with brute strength, when I found that most of the screws were too rusty to unscrew. Luckily, it pulled off pretty easily, bringing most of the support frame with it.

I had hoped to leave in the framework and just add a new top, but there was no way I could leave it after seeing white puffy mold growing on it. It was disintegrating anyways, so out it came...



There's a couple pieces of wood that have been glued down, so I guess I'll have to pry them up.

I would like to put a 2-seat dinette here instead of a couch, but I will have to get my handy hubby to figure that out for me!
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Old 05-05-2020, 01:19 AM   #4
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Before you have him figure it out try and design it yourself. Always good to revive and stretch your math and spatial skills because they are very useful.



Start with a concept sketch and then begin taking and adding dimensions. Use some cardboard boxes and tape or a hot glue gun to build a full sized model to set into the trailer. Cardboard models are easy to modify and when done you can cut it apart and make patterns from the model.



If you don't know how to use the tools to make the new dinette ask for some lessons.
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Old 05-05-2020, 08:36 AM   #5
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Like all projects involving an old camper, an old house, or such, look easy first, then you discover a pile of hidden problems and all looks impossible, but it works out in the end, due to your perseverance. Good luck with the project. Keep us informed on your progress.
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:43 AM   #6
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When you redesign components try to be sure you allow each piece to breathe through strategically hidden openings. Boxed-in wooden structures can be a trap for moister and rot.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
Before you have him figure it out try and design it yourself. Always good to revive and stretch your math and spatial skills because they are very useful.


Start with a concept sketch and then begin taking and adding dimensions. Use some cardboard boxes and tape or a hot glue gun to build a full sized model to set into the trailer. Cardboard models are easy to modify and when done you can cut it apart and make patterns from the model.


If you don't know how to use the tools to make the new dinette ask for some lessons.
You have more faith in me than I do!
But you're right. I'm sure I can figure it out, and my husband is always happy to help me with these kinds of projects. Lucky for me!
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by steve67 View Post
When you redesign components try to be sure you allow each piece to breathe through strategically hidden openings. Boxed-in wooden structures can be a trap for moister and rot.
That must have been what happened here. We could not find a leak anywhere, but the wood under the couch was definitely damp, and there was mold. Everything under there was thoroughly rotten. I will be sure to plan for some ventilation openings!
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:03 PM   #9
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The front and back windows have a lovely home-made wood trim around them. What could be hiding underneath?


OH my gosh...The ensolite has been hacked to bits! This actually made me so mad.



The screws holding the wooden frame went right through the rubber gasket.



The back window was the best though. It had a whole ecosystem hiding underneath! (Sorry for the sideways photo)



So...I guess I will try to patch up the ensolite using pieces from hidden areas, like under the couch. I'll have to piece it together with paintable caulk, from what I can gather.
And as much as I'm dreading it, I will need to replace the front and back windows and seals. The windows are pretty scratched up, so I may as well get new ones if I'm taking the old seals off.
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Old 05-06-2020, 07:56 PM   #10
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I was holding off on doing anything that involved making/exposing holes in the fiberglass body, but...

The window guard was attached with a piano hinge, and it had these weird bars on the side to hold it up as a sunshade. It's a good idea in theory, but the bars are pretty rickety, and you need two people to put it up or down.
I thought I could unscrew the guard from the hinge, but still leave the hinge on the body for now. Well...that didn't work.



The screws were very rusted, and there was no way I could hold the nuts on one side, and unscrew from the other side. (That sounds terrible...)
So I bit the bullet, and unscrewed the hinge that was bolted through the fiberglass body.

There was lots of sticky butyl tape. That's probably what was holding it in place, really.


I was able to clean most of the goo off with some Goof Off. There's still some stuck in the holes, so I guess I will need to drill them out a bit before I fill the holes.




So now I'm wondering how this window guard is actually supposed to be attached? If anyone has a picture, I would love to see it!
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:15 PM   #11
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Well, that was dumb.
My 2008 Escape 17B uses a very similar attachment for the rock guard. I open and close it by myself. Never occurred to me to remove it.
Hope you can find some useful info in these pix.
Attached Thumbnails
Opening front window ext.jpg   rock cover 1.jpg  

Rock cover 2.jpg   Rock cover 3.jpg  

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Old 05-06-2020, 08:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Well, that was dumb.
My 2008 Escape 17B uses a very similar attachment for the rock guard. I open and close it by myself. Never occurred to me to remove it.
Hope you can find some useful info in these pix.
Yours looks WAY nicer than mine! Mine looks like it was slapped together with glue and staples. The inside of the guard is all peeling and rotten-looking, so I needed to take it off to fix it anyhow.

Thanks for sharing the photos!
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:33 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Deesquared View Post
Yours looks WAY nicer than mine! Mine looks like it was slapped together with glue and staples. The inside of the guard is all peeling and rotten-looking, so I needed to take it off to fix it anyhow.

Thanks for sharing the photos!
Hi, Dee

You have a glorious journey ahead of you and you're off to a great start.

My Lovebug has the window awnings, too. I oil the arms and can slide it off if needed. It's not a problem to raise, lower or remove by myself.

Good luck! I'll be watching you.

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Old 05-13-2020, 12:33 PM   #14
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Name: dust in
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your new gem....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deesquared View Post
Welcome to the glam-up of the Frankenboler!

We bought this '79 Boler 1300H in August 2019, with no previous rv experience of any kind. I thought it would be a nice way to compromise between tenting (which I have no interest in) and staying in hotels (which gets too expensive).

I figured I could make some pretty new cushions, and paint the inside, and we'd be all set. Little did I know...

Everytime I take something apart, look behind something, or try to fix something, I find something ragged or rotten or rusty. At this point, I'm just diving in and tearing stuff out, and hoping for the best! Thanks for joining me!

remember you are a proud owner of a unique little trailer....that has wear and tear and probably previous owners were not responsible about upkeep....be kind , be thrifty , be wise, be creative be forthright and make this experience your own. You will be proud of your accomplishments in the end and on that maiden voyage down the road you will have a huge smile on your face that you have overcome another journey and are on the road feeling all that pride. There will be many stories to share around the campfire. PS...there is lots of talent around waiting to help you cruise through all your doubts.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:14 PM   #15
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A few updates from the past couple weeks...

I tore out all the old flooring:



Removed the front, back, and door windows:



I'm going to need to replace this gasket around the door window:



And I finally got brave, and filled in the rivet/bolt holes with short-strand fiberglass filler:



This picture is before I sanded it down. It turned out really well!

(I'm so sorry about the sideways pictures! I can't figure out why this keeps happening!)
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deesquared View Post
...
This picture is before I sanded it down. It turned out really well!

(I'm so sorry about the sideways pictures! I can't figure out why this keeps happening!)
I am pretty sure the so called "smart" phones get the picture up/down/sideways wrong when the screen auto rotation is turned on. Not too smart...
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