1978 Boler 13' with Leaf Springs? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-30-2018, 11:46 AM   #1
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Name: Tyson
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British Columbia
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1978 Boler 13' with Leaf Springs?

Hi all,

Brand new to this site and to the Boler world. Just picked up a 1978 13' Boler, never owned a camper in my life, however I am very mechanically inclined! So of course I am already looking at what to do first.

The Boler is in really, really good shape, mostly all original and unmodified (which is what attracted me to it).

The biggest question I have is that has leaf springs and the axle as a very slight upward bend to it. It tows and rides fine, but when I inspect the frame it doesn't look like it has been modified, it's almost like this was original.

I like that it rides higher with the springs, fine for pulling with my Tacoma, but it's going to be a bit high if I decide to pull with our Subaru Forester. Should I be looking at swapping for the torsion axle?
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:14 PM   #2
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Most axles do have a slight upward arch. It provides for correct wheel alignment under load. Unless you're getting unusual tire wear, I would not be concerned.

I prefer torsion axles, but if the axle you have is appropriately rated for the loaded weight of your trailer, if the frame and mounts are sound, and if the ride quality is acceptable, I see no compelling reason to change.

If you're not sure, a shop that specializes in axles and suspensions and/or utility trailers could have a look and check the alignment.

You can use a different ball mount with the right amount of rise to tow with the Forester.
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:50 PM   #3
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Tire wear seems fine. The springs also seem appropriate, they are small and only 3 leafs. Thanks, for the feedback, and yes I guess I could get the appropriate mount for the Forester.
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:23 AM   #4
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Late thought.. Pulling with either vehicle, but especially with the Forester, you will want electric brakes on the trailer. Do you have them, or does your axle have the square mounting flanges?

If not, that could be a "compelling reason" to make a change.

If you do, a Flexiride torsion axle allows you to change the axle arm angle to raise or lower the ride height for different towing condition. It's among the pricier axle options, but well made.
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:18 AM   #5
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I would love to see pictures of the installed leaf springs.

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Old 07-31-2018, 09:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Late thought.. Pulling with either vehicle, but especially with the Forester, you will want electric brakes on the trailer. Do you have them, or does your axle have the square mounting flanges?

If not, that could be a "compelling reason" to make a change.

If you do, a Flexiride torsion axle allows you to change the axle arm angle to raise or lower the ride height for different towing condition. It's among the pricier axle options, but well made.
Why electric brakes? I tow my 2000+lb boat with the Tacoma with no issues. the Boler weighs nothing... are the leaf springs the issue? I'll have to check what the axle has for mounting.

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Old 07-31-2018, 09:42 AM   #7
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:59 AM   #8
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I had leaf spring when I bought mine too and change it to torsion, Flexiride. I really prefer torsion, nicer look and way better to enter in the boler.

I posted info on that yesterday.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:05 AM   #9
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Do I really need electric brakes? I tow my 2000+lb boat with no trailer brakes with my Tacoma with no issues. Or are you saying because of the leaf springs this requires brakes?
Attached Thumbnails
Boler Axle 1.jpg   Boler Axle 2.jpg  

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Old 07-31-2018, 10:15 AM   #10
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I don't know what the Tacoma manual says, but I'll bet the Forester manual says you need trailer brakes over 1000 pounds gross trailer weight. A few states have low thresholds for trailer brakes. Beyond that, travel trailers are more susceptible to sway than boat trailers, and electric brakes are your friend.

Could you get away without them? Maybe. Would you be safer with them? Absolutely.
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:42 PM   #11
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There's a LITTLE difference in brake size, towing capacity, overall vehicle size and total GVWR rating between a Toyota Tacoma and Forester.

Therefore trailer brakes on that Boler trailer just MIGHT be a good idea when using a Forester to tow a loaded with crap almost 2000 LB 13 foot Boler trailer!
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Old 08-04-2018, 02:04 PM   #12
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... trailer brakes on that Boler trailer just MIGHT be a good idea when using a Forester to tow a loaded with crap almost 2000 LB 13 foot Boler trailer!

I would have to put over a 1000 lbs of CRAP in my 13 foot Boler to hit 2000 lbs.

I am not saying no to brakes, but driving defensively will keep you safer than having brakes and a poor driving attitude/style every time!
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Old 08-08-2018, 08:36 AM   #13
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1978 Boler 13' with Leaf Springs?

Trailer brakes are a little like seatbelts. They're not a substitute for good, defensive driving, and you hope you never need them.

But it only takes one time, and even the best driver cannot anticipate or control every variable.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:27 PM   #14
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It wasn't an FG trailer, but I recall watching a guy in serious need of trailer brakes on the downhill going into Dunsmir on I-5, right about here. Trailer started to sway and he couldn't gather it back up. In less than a second the trailer and the TR were broadside using all of the lanes. There was little traffic and we were far enough back to spectate on the unfolding accident without being wadded up in it. Fortunately for him the trailer weighed enough to have superior momentum and it swung around in front. The whole kebob came to a rest facing the wrong way on the apron, still on all 8 tires (with serious flat spots no doubt!).


A simple tap/nudge on the trailer brake controller would have stopped that.


Ever since then I've been a believer in the importance of trailer brakes. And if you don't believe in them yet, let me tell about being shoved thru a busy intersection by a flat-towed vehicle where adding brake control was impossibly expensive (in those days).....
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