Hello From Winnipeg - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-22-2021, 10:13 AM   #1
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Talking Hello From Winnipeg

Hello all!

Over the past few months i have been looking into the possibility of purchasing an older camper and renovating it with my dad and sister, after looking at many different types and models of campers we came to the conclusion that a Boler or Boler style molded fiber glass RV would be the best option.

This is because we would prefer something lighter and smaller that still is comfortable as a camper, and also it seems that the molded fiber glass RVs withstand the test of time the best compared to others.

The things that are still concerning me as unknowns are what are the best appliances to install in the even that the camper i purchase does not have all the working appliances, and what are some traditional modifications that people have made to their campers to bring it up to today's standards while still keeping its original charm.

I look forward to getting to know the people on here and sharing my journey and the progress once we start the renovation!
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:55 AM   #2
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Welcome, Alex!

Renovating an older trailer can be very rewarding. As you search for a trailer, remember that while the fiberglass shell can last almost forever, everything else can deteriorate, including the frame and floor. Inspect carefully so you don’t end up with more of a project than you bargained on.

As to appliances, it comes down to what you need as well as where and when you will camp. On- or off-grid? Warm weather or all-season? Propane or electric, possibly with lithium batteries, solar, inverter…? And of course the $64 question: budget?

I personally like the idea of converting refrigeration to electric, now that 12V compressor fridges are fairly reasonable and efficient. Heat and cooking are better with propane. A 12V power roof vent can really help with off-grid cooling.

Best wishes in your “egg hunt”!
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Welcome, Alex!

Renovating an older trailer can be very rewarding. As you search for a trailer, remember that while the fiberglass shell can last almost forever, everything else can deteriorate, including the frame and floor. Inspect carefully so you don’t end up with more of a project than you bargained on.

As to appliances, it comes down to what you need and where and when you will camp. On- or off-grid? Warm weather or all-season? Propane or electric, possibly with lithium batteries, solar, inverter…? And of course the $64 question: budget?

I personally like the idea of converting refrigeration to electric, now that 12V compressor fridges are fairly reasonable. Heat and cooking are better with propane. A 12V power roof vent can really help with off-grid cooling.

Best wishes in your “egg hunt”!

Thank you! What I have been doing lately is going online to look at different parts and appliances that I might need to change and then making a budget using those price ranges, I will look at the compressor fridges as well and include them with it
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Old 09-23-2021, 08:14 AM   #4
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Thank you! What I have been doing lately is going online to look at different parts and appliances that I might need to change and then making a budget using those price ranges, I will look at the compressor fridges as well and include them with it
Just realize that a compressor fridge may require some upgrades to the electric system. Most Bolers are very rudimentary in that department.

If it has a working 3-way fridge, you might start with that. Some are very happy with them; others find them fussy and unreliable.
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:07 AM   #5
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Keep in mind also that the compressor refrigerators pretty well restrict you to camping with hookups, i.e. no boondocking. You can get around that to some degree if you are willing to upgrade your batteries, add solar, and maybe a hefty inverter.

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Old 09-23-2021, 11:38 AM   #6
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Keep in mind also that the compressor refrigerators pretty well restrict you to camping with hookups, i.e. no boondocking. You can get around that to some degree if you are willing to upgrade your batteries, add solar, and maybe a hefty inverter.

Walt
A 12V compressor fridge does not require an inverter or hookups. Depending on the size (a Boler will be pretty small) a modest increase in battery capacity and solar panels should suffice for off-grid use.

A 120V dorm fridge is another story. Cheap, but not practical off grid.
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:43 AM   #7
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Thanks Jon.
Do you have a link to one I could look at?
Could be I'm out of date on this.
Yeah, has happened.

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Old 09-23-2021, 11:53 AM   #8
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Hello from Winnipeg

Hi
I would look at a total re-wire of any older trailer if 120v wiring is present. Chances are outlets, switches & wires are in rough shape or outdated and won't meet current standards/laws. Have someone experienced in the trade help you. I would reccomend you up-grade the 12 volt fixtures to LED's , these draw 80% less power than incandesent bulbs . Charging ports for electronics may be an addition to consider too. I added an outside light near the door on my Trillium, no more stumbling outside in the dark . I am also adding a 12v LED lamp to the front too. This will help with hitching and propane service on the tongue. Talk to people in your area as well about items they have changed or added to their own trailers as upgrades. If you are making changes to propane appliances consult a certified person for help. No need to blow yourself or a trailer to bits ! I have used this site as a source of information and tips when I started a re-do on mine. Good Luck in your search and any future repairs on a purchase of a home on wheels ! Duane
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Old 09-23-2021, 12:31 PM   #9
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Thanks Jon.
Do you have a link to one I could look at?
Could be I'm out of date on this.
Yeah, has happened.

Walt
Here’s what we’re talking about. Not recommending this one, just a sample. It’s a newer class of fridges that use a swing compressor, not to be confused with older 12V coolers that use thermo-electric technology. I’ve seen other small, Boler-sized built-ins from around $500.
https://engelcoolers.com/products/70-rv-camping-fridge

They are available as traditional built-in, front opening styles and chest-type portables. The latter are actually more efficient, so some people replace a built-in icebox or fridge with a chest type on a slide.
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Old 09-23-2021, 12:44 PM   #10
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Thanks Jon. Aren't some of them AC/DC?
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Old 09-23-2021, 02:08 PM   #11
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Thank you for all of this information this is all very helpful
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Old 09-23-2021, 02:14 PM   #12
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Thanks Jon. Aren't some of them AC/DC?
Yes some are. The compressor itself runs on DC, and they have a built-in brick that converts AC power. Of course that is redundant in most RVs.
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Old 09-29-2021, 12:44 PM   #13
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I’m thinking about selling. I’ve put a lot into my 1975 Surfside over the years and haven’t used it in Two years. I would entertain an offer. I’m also in Winnipeg
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Old 09-29-2021, 06:38 PM   #14
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Scott, You have a very nice Surfside. I love the front kitchen, and king sized bed. I expect you could get a fair sum for it.
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Old 09-30-2021, 08:52 AM   #15
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Thank you David.
I’ve seen a few for sale this year and was surprised at the amounts. Might wait till spring and try then.
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Old 09-30-2021, 10:15 AM   #16
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It won't get bigger (or smaller) so size and weight would be my first metric to to eliminate campers on.

How you use a camper can matter a lot. Some folks like rustic camping without electric hookups. Others wouldn't dream of not being able to plug in. For the latter group a counter without a propane stove offers more room for electric hot plate or other electric cooking appliances.

Family camping, with kids. Couple camping. Solo camping. Hard sided tent, home away from home, or base for touring sites and attractions. Weekend "glamping"

There are a lot of mods done to Boler campers. Those will depend on how you find you would best use the limited space in a small camper. Appliances should work, or should be reflected in a reduced price if they do not work.

Myself I generally start with what does this camper have to do for me? What features or amenities matter for my use. Hanging closet for "good" clothes or room for storing camping equipment.

I will say I'm unlikely to replace a working appliance or fixture unless it doesn't work or is substandard in a safety related way. Old 110 shore power wiring and outlets are worth replacing, but a working refrigerator I wouldn't normally pull it unless I decided I wanted that space for something else. Small fridge in some campers doesn't hold much, may well decide space makes more sense as a cupboard for storing kitchen gear. Have food in a cooler in the car.

Your use will determine your mods and amenities. Got caught driving above the tree line needing a totally unavailable bathroom. Bought a port a pottie to store under the couch because I didn't want to see that situation again. You need to consider your situations and uses.
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