Hi Fiberglass RV community, Randy here, thought it was about time I introduced myself and start a thread showing my restoration project. I've followed this forum for about 18 mos, all the while searching for a project Boler
. In May of this year I found a 72 Boler
(manufactured in Peace River AB according to the little ID plate)
Calling it a project is a huge understatement! Got my wish and I know it will challenge me, probably piss me off a lot and in the end be something that I will be proud to say, I built this! Even my wife is getting excited (we won't talk about my other projects)
So the Boler
is in rough shape, the usual sagging door, which some idiot decided to trim to fit the sagging corner, this will need to be built out. There is a gorgeous do-it yourself patch riveted on to the top corner as well. On the plus side, it came with everything, all cushions (can use for patterns) original stove, sink and all fibreglass components; bench, upper and lower cabinets. I've stripped out the interior, 3 wasp nests and the lower floor. Gave it a good scrub outside, TSP'd and rinsed all the ensolite inside, some panels came out remarkably well. I will be removing all the ensolite and hope to find a technique that doesn't required scraping for days. I may try a heat and strip gun, it's worked well on other projects in the past, or an oscillating tool. What I salvage I will offer up to those interested, maybe trade for something small like a door hinge.
I am going to build a new frame, combining a few designs I have found on the forums, and keeping the original as a reference. Interestingly, my frame has a set of leaf springs, so someone did some customizing at one point. This week I started removing the body from the frame, challenging to say the least. When previous owner “fixed” the door he or she decided to fibreglass the wall and bench together, so, I spent a good hour or two with my Dremel carefully grinding to separate them. Most of the screws and bolts are to rusted or stripped to work out, time to pull out my sawzall and cut them.
So, I will pose a question to everyone, tab or no tab? Do I cut the floor to roughly where it meets the fibreglass lip, about 2” and leave it, or cut out the floor and grind the lip flush to the body? I've seen both on this forum, some people leave a tab, then butt the new floor to it and glass it together top and bottom. Others take it right back to the shell, grind it smooth, then fit the floor as tight as possible and glass. I know people also say save the old floor as a template, but seeing how the frame is no longer straight and true, and in shoddy repairs, etc I can't see the old plywood being much use.
Before I remove the closet, I am going to make a template of the curve. I am thinking this curve will be the same on both sides of the doorway? Anyone have any thoughts on this? Once I lower the body onto the new frame, get it level and square, as well as lined up, I will clamp, screw and use whatever means necessary to get the door frame back into position. I may keep a curved (fir or oak) support on both sides of the door and attach a retractable screen door at some point.
Anyone have any tips when lowering the body onto the frame to get it in alignment? If I go with a larger tire (15”) I will need to compensate when I build the frame, correct? Will the wheel wells be an issue?
Almost forgot, my taillights are bumper mounted, I really, really wanted a trailer with the recessed style, so I will be looking for a set, or customizing my own.
I'll add a bunch of pictures and try to post regular progress reports, thanks in advance for tips and ideas, Randy