Tackling Boler Cushions - any advise? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-30-2019, 09:30 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Lisa
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 9
Tackling Boler Cushions - any advise?

Hi, this is my first post (other than the introduction page) but Iíve been reading a lot of yours. Very helpful thank you.

The main thing Iíve learned from here about recovering trailer cushions is itís a LOT of work and itís really hard. Despite this (and I have almost no sewing experience) I need to try. I know what I want them to look like and itís not in our budget to pay someone to do it.

Iíll write out my plan below, any tips would be helpful and very much appreciated!

Iím starting with 3 large pieces of 4Ē uncovered foam that came with our camper. They donít look pretty, but they also donít smell and they are nice and firm so Iím going to try to use them instead of buying new foam. Is this a mistake?

Step 1: vacuum the foam, let it sit out in the sun for a few days, vacuum again.

Step 2: order an electric knife off amazon. Cut the foam into the sizes I need using the diagram below. Also trim the corners that the previous owner trimmed using I donít know what, maybe his dog.

Step 3: order fabric. I think I need 15 meters/yards and Iím thinking about ordering from fabric.com because I like their colours. Iím thinking about ordering a 9.3 oz Canvas Duck **does this sound like a fabric that will work??** I wanted to order swatches but with shipping itís going to cost a fortune so maybe Iíll just go for it? It should cost about $150US to ship 15 meters to Canada. Unless anyone knows of a good online Canadian fabric store?

Step 4: Iím also considering if I should use vinyl for the bottom to protect Incase it gets damp, or even wrapping the bottom half of the foam in some kind of waterproof material before I cover it. Does anyone have any experience or advice with this?

Step 5: figure out if my little sewing machine will even be able to handle this job. This probably should have been step 1. Lean about which needle Iíll need and tensions and other things I have no idea about.

Ok I have to run because husband needs to go to work.

Alternatively (this is what HE things I should do) scrap everything above, cut thin pieces of ply for the bottom, wrap fabric around and staple it.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 04-30-2019, 01:07 PM   #2
Junior Member
Name: Nancy
Trailer: Eggcamper
Posts: 25
With you not having much sewing experience, I recommend you purchase a piece of foam somewhere around 24"x24"x4", along with yard of the actual fabric you want to use, and cover that first as a test. Make that cushion from start to finish. From there you can decide if you want to commit to the entire project. I would not use duck fabric for this, especially without ordering a sample first, as it is usually pretty stiff.

Attached are photos of the cushions I made for our Eggcamper. I used a medium weight decorator fabric.

Side note: you'll notice our cushions are in several pieces. That gives us more versatility in how we use the space, and it makes it wa-a-a-y easier to put the fitted sheet on. But if doing this, for comfort sake do not have the foam pieces break where your hip is when you lay down, as you will feel it. We used 6" foam.

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00 work.jpg   00work1.jpg  

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Old 04-30-2019, 01:59 PM   #3
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 1979 Boler1700
Maple Ridge, B.C.
Posts: 365
I bought the foam and materials thinking my wife with her limited sewing skills would be brave enough to try. Nope!
I had no experience with sewing at all. I watched a few YouTube videos, said to myself, I can do that and I did.
They turned out pretty good. Click image for larger version

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Old 04-30-2019, 02:07 PM   #4
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: Sold it
Northern VA
Posts: 274
I recommend looking up Sailrite on YouTube. They market more for boaters but have a lot of useful videos on how to make cushions, measuring, foam types, and more. Some good advice in their videos.
Sold the burro
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:33 PM   #5
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Trillium 4500 & Boler 1700
Posts: 100
I've only made the gaucho cushion. (we have a permanent bed) I bought 15 yards of #5 zipper with a bunch of slides. It was cheaper than buying long zippers at Joanne. It just took some practice at putting the slides on the zipper.

I also used a cheap bedspread from Ikea's scratch and dent area to practice with. Turned out well enough that I haven't made one with nicer fabric. It was cotton, not a very tight weave, so it stretches out too much after a couple of weeks, but does wash and dry very well. (We are quite messy).
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:24 PM   #6
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Name: David
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 25
I am a 62 guy....never touched a sewing machine in my life, i bought a machine, material, zippers, pins & thread, watched a couple utube videos and made my new cushions for my 17í Casita dinette. They turned out great-actually amazed myself ! Next... curtains for the dinette windows. If i can do it, you can too !
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:25 PM   #7
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 2010 Little Joe / 2010 2 Dr Jeep Wrangler
Posts: 1,481
When we need cushions & covers... my wife contacted a local adult education center that teaches upholstery
Talked to instructor and they connected us with a student looking for a project
Cost was very low for materials/ made a donation to the school and took the student out for a couple of dinners
Have had numerous comments on how nice it came out
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:14 PM   #8
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Name: Kathleen (Kai: ai as in wait)
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area, Washington
Posts: 2,567
We bought 7" mattressing from IKEA, that had a cover on, and cut the foam without losing the cover and then stitched the cover back on both mattresses. THEN I made a VERY tight elastic "sheet" out of WalMart upholstery cotton duck, and pulled that over the tops. Works just find. Yes, gets a little messy but we wash it after every trip and it snugs right back up. We put a mattress pad (water resistant) under the sheet just in case. Did need it the night of the big flood when Cinder insisted on leaping up, four legs and belly soaked.
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:42 AM   #9
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Name: Menno
Trailer: Boler/ trillium
Posts: 13
Me and sewing machines don't get along, my wife hates sewing as well so we just went to an upholsterer that just works out of his garage. with new foam, fabric it cost us almost a 1000 bucks, but they did an excellent job. For my trillium they did the same thing but no new foam as it was in good shape, they just did the fabric, with vinyl on the bottom, and that too was almost a $1000 bucks but we picked the most expensive fabric on that one.
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:02 PM   #10
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Name: Kathleen (Kai: ai as in wait)
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area, Washington
Posts: 2,567
Before I broke my back and can no longer sew, I sewed most household things eagerly. My early projects were childish, but I was 14 using my mothers treadle White machine. My last big project was converting a whole house of "good" curtaining to fit our windows--curtains free online to haul away. Now I can't really sew and likely this is "it" for my projects. It really never was all that hard...but then nobody expected much to begin with so I had lots of time to get better.

Now--best to all of you out there doing it or trying! Photos above of projects done look super!


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Old 05-07-2019, 06:29 PM   #11
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300
New Brunswick
Posts: 151
Tackling Boler cushions

Hi Lisa Recovering a cushion is do-able for you. I would advise reading up on this project before you start anything. Choose a fabric that has an abstract pattern, do avoid stripes or plaids as there are more difficult to work with. You will not be able to add seem welt (piping ) with a home sewing machine very easily at all. Industrial machines have a special foot to make these. They are not essential for the cushions that you want to make. Remember to undersize the covers by a 1/2" in all directions from the foam dimensions. This will allow the foam to push the seams tight and the cushions will hold their shape better. Do choose a fabric that does not stretch for the same reason. Once you have the cushion cover done you can place the foam in a light plastic wrap and use a shop vacuum to suck out the air, so you can place the foam in the cover.Release the hose connection slowly so you can adjust as needed. Lots of cushions I have made had zippers in them but I also did them with velcro strips sewn in too. I have retired from upholstery work now and encourage newcomers to try and do these jobs themselves . Only you will know if the job is something you can accomplish on your own. Best wishes with your project Lisa ! Duane
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:02 PM   #12
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Name: Kathleen (Kai: ai as in wait)
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area, Washington
Posts: 2,567
Hi, Lisa and Duane:
My 1973 Sears Kenmore has the piping foot attachment you can use at home...but I know not all do. I prefer very much plaids and squares for square upholstery, though abstracts don't look as crooked if you really cut it wrong...but the square designs help you cut it straight in the first place.

I love Duane's including the vacuum/plastic method of getting that nice fat foam into a snug cover method; very "Seattle Rep" and professional method. I haven't used it yet, but it's a doozy of a good one.

You don't "have" to have piping, though it's a nice touch. Myself, this time, I just made a VERY tight elastic pull-on sheet for each bed (2 permanent undersized twins and the two permanent seats for our sitting area), and we flip the mattress every trip and wash the heavy-duty cotton sheet. We carry at least one spare sheet for each bed and have a waterproof sheet under it just in case (let's just say "wet dogs").

The sheet IS fitted; less sloppy that way.

Best luck to you; it's so super to get the fabric you want--be SURE to clean it the way you intend to clean it BEFORE you cut it!

BEST to you, happy trails!

Kathleen/"Kai in Seattle"/"K"
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