Hi I'm Lena, owner of a rotten egg... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-23-2015, 04:17 PM   #1
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Name: Lena
Trailer: 13' Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 2
Thumbs up Hi I'm Lena, owner of a rotten egg...

Lol, well that's what our 7 year old calls it. I'm technically not a new member, having "lurked" here off and on reading posts for a few years. Here's what happened. I became obsessed with vintage 13' Bolers (anyone else?) and decided I must have one for our family of 4 (we had a 3 and 5 year old at the time). Found and bought a boler in need of some love (how MUCH love exactly we were not sure of at the time, but figured we could handle it). Then became surprisingly pregnant with baby #3, and husband said "you must sell Boler". I posted it on craigslist with insane amounts of interest, and every night that week had dreams where I sold it and cried for days. Husband then said "I have been dreaming my whole life of owning a vintage porsche". I said you are crazy. He found a great deal on a beautiful car that same summer and thus I enacted the "Porsche Manifesto" (you buy car, I keep Boler and you have to help me fix it up!). Now Baby #3 is nearly 1.5 years old and my poor rotten egg has been rotting for 3 years in need of love. Husband says sell it and I say "porsche manifesto" and he stops talking. BUT he isn't helping me fix it up, and I have little time with 3 kids <7. However I envision short little camping trips with the kids around the lower mainland/island and a lovely little summer guesthouse when it's parked at home. In an effort to get moving on this, and on my insistance, husband took trailer to have it inspected and on the way the axel gave out and we can see that it needs a full off-frame restoration now. He was able to just barely tow it back home and so we need to attempt to pull it off the frame first, have frame rewelded, then put it back on and basically restore it all from the inside out. Or outside in. Wood floor also rotted through in a couple places. yay. Not sure how much of the electrical works. Though we were told all when we bought it.

I have a few questions I'm hoping those experienced with chat forums and this community in general can help me with (if you can send post links I would appreciate it!):

1. how easy is it to remove fibreglass shell from frame? Best ways to do it? Links?

2. Is there someone locally (lower mainland, bc) I could pay to help me with certain aspects of the restoration? My husband is so busy with work that I cannot see him (or me really - maybe me, but not sure), replacing and reglassing a new floor - the floor issue seems tricky). He doesn't like finicky finishing carpentry type stuff but is happy and adept at tackling electrical/plumbing stuff. The reason I'm willing to pay someone is that the value of these trailers seems to have tripled since I bought ours and so I do think it's worth restoring. Also I am weirdly attached to it.

3. Recommendation for a local welder/autobody shop (lower mainland, bc) that is affordable who can reinforce/weld the frame so it's certifiably not dangerous? Suggestions on how to get frame to said shop without shell on top?

4. Fibreglass counter (with sink) has been hacked up as previous owners were really tall and wanted to remove sink to make a larger bed. Was all kind of hack-jobby. Anyone know where I can get original fibreglass counter/closet pieces? Or suggestions or where to start to make our own counter, keeping things lightweight would be nice.

5. has original fridge and stove but I don't plan to cook in it at all so don't really care. Sink would be nice but not necessary. Would just like to have electrical plug to boil water, plug in phone charger, etc.

6. Anyone ever camped a family of 5 in a 13'? would be interested to see how you did it. We figure we will just sleep one adult one kid in minivan and other 3 in boler til kids are old enough to go in a tent outside. Anyone have any links to something I've heard of called "add a room?"...

Thanks so much everyone! I will not let the dream die!! One day the boler will compete with the porsche!!

thanks!
Lena
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Old 11-23-2015, 04:43 PM   #2
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LenaJ View Post
Lol, well that's what our 7 year old calls it. I'm technically not a new member, having "lurked" here off and on reading posts for a few years. Here's what happened. I became obsessed with vintage 13' Bolers (anyone else?) and decided I must have one for our family of 4 (we had a 3 and 5 year old at the time). Found and bought a boler in need of some love (how MUCH love exactly we were not sure of at the time, but figured we could handle it). Then became surprisingly pregnant with baby #3, and husband said "you must sell Boler". I posted it on craigslist with insane amounts of interest, and every night that week had dreams where I sold it and cried for days. Husband then said "I have been dreaming my whole life of owning a vintage porsche". I said you are crazy. He found a great deal on a beautiful car that same summer and thus I enacted the "Porsche Manifesto" (you buy car, I keep Boler and you have to help me fix it up!). Now Baby #3 is nearly 1.5 years old and my poor rotten egg has been rotting for 3 years in need of love. Husband says sell it and I say "porsche manifesto" and he stops talking. BUT he isn't helping me fix it up, and I have little time with 3 kids <7. However I envision short little camping trips with the kids around the lower mainland/island and a lovely little summer guesthouse when it's parked at home. In an effort to get moving on this, and on my insistance, husband took trailer to have it inspected and on the way the axel gave out and we can see that it needs a full off-frame restoration now. He was able to just barely tow it back home and so we need to attempt to pull it off the frame first, have frame rewelded, then put it back on and basically restore it all from the inside out. Or outside in. Wood floor also rotted through in a couple places. yay. Not sure how much of the electrical works. Though we were told all when we bought it.

I have a few questions I'm hoping those experienced with chat forums and this community in general can help me with (if you can send post links I would appreciate it!):

1. how easy is it to remove fibreglass shell from frame? Best ways to do it? Links?

2. Is there someone locally (lower mainland, bc) I could pay to help me with certain aspects of the restoration? My husband is so busy with work that I cannot see him (or me really - maybe me, but not sure), replacing and reglassing a new floor - the floor issue seems tricky). He doesn't like finicky finishing carpentry type stuff but is happy and adept at tackling electrical/plumbing stuff. The reason I'm willing to pay someone is that the value of these trailers seems to have tripled since I bought ours and so I do think it's worth restoring. Also I am weirdly attached to it.

3. Recommendation for a local welder/autobody shop (lower mainland, bc) that is affordable who can reinforce/weld the frame so it's certifiably not dangerous? Suggestions on how to get frame to said shop without shell on top?

4. Fibreglass counter (with sink) has been hacked up as previous owners were really tall and wanted to remove sink to make a larger bed. Was all kind of hack-jobby. Anyone know where I can get original fibreglass counter/closet pieces? Or suggestions or where to start to make our own counter, keeping things lightweight would be nice.

5. has original fridge and stove but I don't plan to cook in it at all so don't really care. Sink would be nice but not necessary. Would just like to have electrical plug to boil water, plug in phone charger, etc.

6. Anyone ever camped a family of 5 in a 13'? would be interested to see how you did it. We figure we will just sleep one adult one kid in minivan and other 3 in boler til kids are old enough to go in a tent outside. Anyone have any links to something I've heard of called "add a room?"...

Thanks so much everyone! I will not let the dream die!! One day the boler will compete with the porsche!!

thanks!
Lena
Hi Lena, and welcome to being active in the group.

I often get accused for being the bad news bear hereabouts, but here goes my take on fixer projects anyway.

As a rule, in dealing with a "Fixer", which is what it sounds like what you have, if you can't do all of the work yourself, it will usually come out cheaper to buy one that need a lot less work and start from there.

From your list, it sound like you will have to farm out a lot of work and, at $75-$125USD/hr., that can add up fast. Fortunately, even as winter sets in up there, there are a number of peeps out there that will jump on your Boler and give you the wherewithal to shop for another

Yes, others will reply how they got their frame repaired by a brother in law, or got a guy down the street to weld it up for for $135, but as soon as you said "Taking the body off the frame" lots and lots of flags went up.

Unless you see this as a long term hobby/labor of love, think carefully about what needs to be done. There are lot of stories out there about those that bought up those unfinished projects for pennies on the dollar. (like me for instance). I don't know what you paid for yours, but while they are all holding value, "Tripling" might only apply to a completely restored trailer. But, in any event, yours will be worth more than you paid for it I am sure.

And last... Projects not only have a way of eating up money, they also eat up time. By starting with something usable up front you can be camping next season, a project might take until your children are teenagers (lol)

And 2 adults and 3 children in a 13' Boler????



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Old 11-23-2015, 06:03 PM   #3
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Trailer: Escape 19' sold, 21' August 2015
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Lena, if you really want to keep it, find people who do that work to have a look, ask a lot of questions about what needs to be done, and the whys and costs. Then you will have a better idea of what you want to do. Maybe someone reading here even does such work and will write you.
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:33 PM   #4
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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2 adults in rear bed, 2 kids in front bunks, 1 kid on floor under rear bed ("the cave").
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:44 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
2 adults in rear bed, 2 kids in front bunks, 1 kid on floor under rear bed ("the cave").

"The cave" only has about 11-12" of vertical space and protruding pieces of table hardware in my Scamp. Space for a small-to-medium dog, maybe, but not a kid, IMO.
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:40 AM   #6
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
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I have camped a family of seven. Four kids in the trailer, and my wife and I in the van with the youngest.

The oldest has moved out, so now my wife and I have the van to ourselves.
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:41 AM   #7
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Name: Scamp
Trailer: Scamp
MN
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Leave the husband home to drive around in his Porsche!
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:56 AM   #8
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Name: Kathy
Trailer: 2017 Escape 19
Washington
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Lena, have you seen this post? http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...one-72508.html

Maybe you could get in touch with this guy to get some help and mutual encouragement if you decide to go ahead with your restoration.
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Old 11-24-2015, 10:45 AM   #9
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 13' 1973 Boler - tow/2017 Colorado Crew-Cab
Ontario
Posts: 286
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We know "a couple in their mid 70's" ... that separated their 13' Boler from its frame, had a new axle with brakes installed, and are currently working on other renos both inside and outside. You just have to accept it as 'your' Porsche ! and take your time. There's loads of positive info and support on this FGRV website, along with just a few 'naysayers'.
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Old 11-24-2015, 12:58 PM   #10
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Name: Marijke
Trailer: Biod X2
Alberta
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Hi Lena,

Ian G. a member here, has a website: Proud Canadian
with tons of pictures of his Boler restoration.
I wish you luck!
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Old 11-24-2015, 01:26 PM   #11
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Ian rocks!
Check out his work on Bolers here:
Complete Guide to 13′ Boler Fiberglass Trailers
__________________
brian
2003 Casita SD 17'
https://www.coolcampcreations.com/
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Old 11-24-2015, 05:17 PM   #12
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Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
Posts: 1,498
Bob Lena lives in British Columbia not the USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Hi Lena, and welcome to being active in the group.

I often get accused for being the bad news bear hereabouts, but here goes my take on fixer projects anyway.

As a rule, in dealing with a "Fixer", which is what it sounds like what you have, if you can't do all of the work yourself, it will usually come out cheaper to buy one that need a lot less work and start from there.

From your list, it sound like you will have to farm out a lot of work and, at $75-$125USD/hr., that can add up fast. Fortunately, even as winter sets in up there, there are a number of peeps out there that will jump on your Boler and give you the wherewithal to shop for another

Yes, others will reply how they got their frame repaired by a brother in law, or got a guy down the street to weld it up for for $135, but as soon as you said "Taking the body off the frame" lots and lots of flags went up.

Unless you see this as a long term hobby/labor of love, think carefully about what needs to be done. There are lot of stories out there about those that bought up those unfinished projects for pennies on the dollar. (like me for instance). I don't know what you paid for yours, but while they are all holding value, "Tripling" might only apply to a completely restored trailer. But, in any event, yours will be worth more than you paid for it I am sure.

And last... Projects not only have a way of eating up money, they also eat up time. By starting with something usable up front you can be camping next season, a project might take until your children are teenagers (lol)

And 2 adults and 3 children in a 13' Boler????
So why would she have it repaired there and not here????
1, the USDollar is worth way more than ours and it would cost here way to much to do something like and not check around in BC and have it done here or Alberta. First off she should talk to Mel at RV services and ask him who he would recommend to (RV Services and Custom Manufacturing 604-460-2819 located at 18601 Lougheed Hwy, Pitt Meadows, BC V3Y 2J6) if he cannot do the work he should be able to point you into the right direction.
When we go to the bank to buy a US dollar it costs anywhere from 33 to 37 cents on the dollar so for $100 US dollars it cost $135.00 and it adds up real fast when restoring anything south of the border or even buying a MH, Trailer, any kind of RV, Car or Truck.
If Mel cannot Help Contact Escape Trailers in Chilliwack, BC maybe they can put you in the right direction for the repairs, or maybe someone else in BC is good with Fiberglass work and can do the work??/ Do not have Escape do the work as I here they are booked for a year just for new trailers.
Stude
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Old 11-24-2015, 05:20 PM   #13
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Name: Peter
Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
British Columbia
Posts: 1,498
Bob's right a 13' trailer for 5 is mighty close

Quote:
Originally Posted by stude View Post
So why would she have it repaired there and not here????
1, the USDollar is worth way more than ours and it would cost here way to much to do something like and not check around in BC and have it done here or Alberta. First off she should talk to Mel at RV services and ask him who he would recommend to (RV Services and Custom Manufacturing 604-460-2819 located at 18601 Lougheed Hwy, Pitt Meadows, BC V3Y 2J6) if he cannot do the work he should be able to point you into the right direction.
When we go to the bank to buy a US dollar it costs anywhere from 33 to 37 cents on the dollar so for $100 US dollars it cost $135.00 and it adds up real fast when restoring anything south of the border or even buying a MH, Trailer, any kind of RV, Car or Truck.
If Mel cannot Help Contact Escape Trailers in Chilliwack, BC maybe they can put you in the right direction for the repairs, or maybe someone else in BC is good with Fiberglass work and can do the work??/ Do not have Escape do the work as I here they are booked for a year just for new trailers.
Stude
: maybe find someone to buy it for what you want out of it before the repairs and buy a 17' Bigfoot Trailer but one should have a v8 for that one because if you start climbing the hills in Colorado I just don't know of a V6 that can do it, maybe the Chevy 4.3L V6?
Stude
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Old 11-24-2015, 05:54 PM   #14
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Name: Linda
Trailer: 2001 Scamp 16 ft, 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Minnesota
Posts: 19
Lena, One way to approach this is how long will it take you to complete the progects and how much time are you missing camping with the kids? I have no kids, extra time and bought a 2001 Scamp that needed part of the floor replaced and assorted other minor projects Doing all the work myself reduced the cost, but even though I am handy and have time, I would not take on as much of a project as your Boler is. I wanted something a little better shape, do the work myself and be able to use it much quicker. Paying to have the work done could cost you as much or more than a newer fiberglass egg. Just my 2 cents!
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Old 11-24-2015, 06:13 PM   #15
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Geesh... Every time a general statement is made about reality, there are those that will attempt to disprove the general statement with exceptions. Of course they exist, that's why they are called exceptions.


I was just trying to point out that most newbies have no idea whatsoever of what they are getting into when they start a major restoration project on a fixer and may not have the skill sets $$$ and time to see it through. Add to that, using outside "professionals" will often further push the costs up beyond what most consider to be reasonable. I quoted US labor prices because those are what I know. If Canadians work for less in real $$$ let us all know and we can send work up that way


I have done complete referbs/restorations on more than 9 FGRV's and think that I have a good handle on costs and skill sets involved and have always gave the same advice. Always buy the very best you can as a starting base, and farming out work will quickly eat up any advantages, both and time and money.


I bought my Hunter from a family man who had to sell it because, in the 7 years he owned and worked on it, his family out grew it's capacity. I bought two other FGV "Projects" the same way and reaped a lot of the investment made by others that underestimate the scope of skills needed, and the costs involved.


And BTW: There are lot of 6 cylinder TV's, rated up to almost 6000 lbs towing limit, that will pull both early and late BigFoot 17's up mountains that have paved public hiways.



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Old 11-24-2015, 09:50 PM   #16
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Name: Jennifer
Trailer: 1979 Scamp 13'
Colorado
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We recently sold our 13' canned ham that had more than enlighten room for five. It had a huge, bigger than king bed with a two kid bunk over it.

In a boler, your two youngest could possibly share the lowest bunk for a bit. (It's pretty wide). You could also rig a hammock style bunk over the dinette. I'm ve see that sort of bunk.

This sort of Reno takes time or money...I wonder if you might de better off selling this one and putting proceeds plus a bit more into buying a further along one? One that just needs some elbow grease but the bones are solid? I know just how much time little ones suck...we have a 1 and 4 year old.
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Old 11-25-2015, 09:31 AM   #17
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Oh yah, I forgot. Trillium also had an option for a bunk over the nearly queen sized bed.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...0-a-37240.html

And by the way, I will not tell you that fixing your trailer is too much. Others have already done that. It is true, if you want to go camping, sell your current trailer, and purchase one that is ready to camp in. They exist, but shopping can be an almost full time job.

When I started on my fleet of six trailers, I had never done anything like this. I knew NOTHING. I asked questions here, and from my very helpful neighbour. I read posts here that informed me of things that I didn't even know that I needed to know.

I have learned lots, and it turns out I love working with fibreglass. I have five kids, four who live at home, so I don't have much time. The work progresses slowly:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ead-58763.html
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ead-59580.html
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ead-65342.html

If your like working with your hands, and have the drive to do it, then I say jump in with both feet! The tools are not expensive, and fibreglass is a very forgiving medium. My favourite line is, if you put down too much grind it off. If you grind off too much put more down.

It does get itchy though.
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Old 11-25-2015, 12:30 PM   #18
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Name: Jennifer
Trailer: 1979 Scamp 13'
Colorado
Posts: 308
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Yeah, I was too "down cast"....definitely dive in if you want! We are remodeling a house with our youngsters plus our scamp which is campable but needs some love and maintenance and such...a project for sure. once the floor is done and the shell back on, you could theoretically go camping in it, too....so it could be used as you fix up the decorative a and appiances
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