Hi, We are Philip and Monica, and we have a Boler..... we think! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-26-2020, 06:40 AM   #1
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Name: Ferris
Trailer: Boler
Saskatchewan
Posts: 9
Hi, We are Philip and Monica, and we have a Boler..... we think!

Hi All,

First, thank you for hosting such an amazing and resourceful forum! There is a lot of good information, and I have enjoyed reading about some of the things people are up to.

My wife and I recently purchased a fiberglass camper, after responding to an ad for a “1976 17’ Boler.” There had been an interior reno done, and we paid $8000 CAD. There are some plumbing issues to figure out, and there is a small fibreglass crack in the door which doesn’t seem structural, but overall the trailer and frame seem in good condition.

The issue is, we got home, and after looking at other pictures, starting asking ourselves, “How do we know it is a Boler?” With any reno work / old paint jobs, the “Boler” name is nowhere to be found. So we started looking for official Boler plaques - of which we understand there should be some. But for the life of us, we cannot find any! We have checked in all storage compartments, and under the trailer, but we cannot find anything. Click image for larger version

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We have looked at trailers of this vintage, and several features on our camper are shared with seemingly official Boler trailers. As well, none of the other brands seem to look like this.

We were hoping people might be able to take a look and give an opinion! Is our camper a real Boler?? Hopefully more pictures to follow. Thanks!

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Old 05-26-2020, 06:59 AM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Definitely a 17' Boler. Unlike the smaller Boler, it was never cloned. After so many years, many details might have been altered, especially the interior. However, the shape of the shell and the windows are unmistakable.

Welcome and congratulations! Looks like a nice one. The price seems well below market.

You can search for information and photos of other 17' Bolers using the "Site Search/Google" option at the bottom of the Search menu in the toolbar. Should be plenty of good information out there.
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:53 AM   #3
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Looks like a Boler to me but whether it is or not it is a good looking rig.
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Old 05-26-2020, 08:04 AM   #4
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Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
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Congratulations on getting what looks like a very nice camper. One not seen that often with what looks like some well done mods. Hopefully you will be able to make it to some FG RV rallies so others can check it out in person.


From the map link in the first post I see there is one in Medicine Hat scheduled for Aug
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...aps-90675.html


That thread on events is from the larger rally forum
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f57/


One of the fun things at rallies is getting to check out the less common members of the FGRV community and of course the less common trailers too. ;-)
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:29 AM   #5
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Name: Amber
Trailer: 1975 Boler 1300 & 1976 SurfSide TM-14
British Columbia
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Nice looking Boler! This is a fantastic group but if you're looking to add another one to your collection, there's a website called Boler.ca and an accompanying Facebook group, also called Boler.ca, that is a wealth of knowledge on all things Boler and very welcoming. Ian Giles runs the group and the site and he is very generous with his knowledge and advice, as are the rest of the Boler folks in the group. Congratulations on your purchase!
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:02 PM   #6
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Name: kenny
Trailer: 93 "Lil" Bigfoot 13.5'
Utah
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what does the registration have to say ?
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Old 05-26-2020, 03:25 PM   #7
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Name: Eric
Trailer: Boler
TN
Posts: 170
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Definitely a Boler. Of course the real question is a 1650 1700 or 1750? The upper corner protrusion for the marker light sets the 17' Bolers apart from the rest of the crowd. Oh and the fact that it's about a foot wider than the typical FG they kind of look bloated but the extra room on the inside is awesome.
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:49 AM   #8
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 272
Hopefully it is still there, but there is usually a "build sheet" stuck to the inside of the closet. Has what it came with, the year and where it was built etc. I just sold mine. I would also say you got a great deal.
T
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Old 06-02-2020, 01:43 PM   #9
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Name: Ferris
Trailer: Boler
Saskatchewan
Posts: 9
Hey All,

Thanks so much to everyone for all the replies! We went through quite a bit of anxiety for the first day when we weren’t sure, but everyone’s input has really helped. We’re excited to be part of the Boler family.

I have starting checking out the posts, and have already learned quite a bit. Our rig needs a lot of work, so there is a lot of learning ahead. We love the Boler.ca website.

Out of interest, my wife has become enamoured with Bolers and started an Instagram account: @FerrisBoler. Also, we have tentatively set time aside for Medicine Hat in August.

Thanks for everyone’s input, and look forward to posting again soon!

Philip

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Old 06-11-2021, 03:32 PM   #10
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Name: Ferris
Trailer: Boler
Saskatchewan
Posts: 9
Hi Everyone, we are entering our second camping season, but I have been given an ultimatum: reno the Boler this fall, or sell. So we reno.

I’m making a plan to make this an electric powered off-grid rig, and am making a list of all the tasks I need to do. The Van-Life YouTube community / videos are really helpful for inspiration.

Two major questions I have, which maybe people can help me with our:

1. The fibreglass around our outside door: There is a crack. My trailer guy says the frame is apparently great, so I don’t think it’s that. There are no other fibreglass sagging issues. Do people have any idea why this is occurring? Or how to fix? I also have a door alignment issues, and I’m really worried I won’t know how to tackle this all. Picture of crack attached.

2. How do people attach cabinets to their interiors? I have read as many build threads, but I haven’t seen a clear, consistent and recommended way to do this. Does it depend on the siding? Ie balsa over insulation vs reflectix? Any direction is appreciated, or links to relevant posts.

I am 100% going for this in fall, and need some help! I’m also considering making my first YouTube video series about the project. Thanks!

Philip

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Old 06-11-2021, 04:03 PM   #11
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
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In my opinon, there are only two good ways to attach cabinets. If the cabinets are made of fibreglass, they can be fibreglassed directly to the shell. This is how Trillium does it. The other way is to fibreglass a piece of wood to the shell, then screw into that piece of wood. In either case, you have to expose the shell from the inside.

As for your crack, there are several ways this can happen:
Something could have hit it.
- There may be a good deal of vibration in this spot when towing.
- The shell may be deforming. If this was the case, there would be other spots like this.
- A bad previous repair.
- ??????

Sand it down to solid fibreglass. If it gets too thin, lay down more glass. Sand till smooth. Prime and paint.

Electric off grid? Are you sure? Propane is hard to beat for anything that makes heat. How do you plan to stay warm? Do you have a water heater? How are you going to cook stuff?
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:11 PM   #12
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Name: Ferris
Trailer: Boler
Saskatchewan
Posts: 9
Hey David, thanks!

Yeah I didn’t know how to attach the cabinets. We won’t have fibreglass cabinets, likely wood, so I guess it’s glassing in some strips. Does one fibreglass in vertical wood strips to create a sort of joist which one can attach to at many points, or small pieces of wood one screws into at specific points?

Thanks for the advice about the door. I just didn’t want to repair it / have someone fix it, only to have it crack again from a deeper issue.

As for electric, I think that’s the way to go for us. First, we’re only ever going to be three season campers. I hope to insulate it properly (ideas) then keep it warm with a heater. I want to eliminate propane to eliminate a whole other system and make it simpler. There was a leak when we bought the trailer, and I don’t want the gas fumes with our kids inside. We are thinking of spending a bit of money and doing some sort of 2-300 Ah lithium system, powered by solar / shore / alternator.

https://battlebornbatteries.com/prod...ndles/towable/
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:24 PM   #13
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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That’s the thing with these over 30 year old campers you never know what happened over the years. It’s kind of like buying an old house.

Lesson David Tilston taught me is place a straight edge on the floor, side to side. You will see if the floor is sagging. Various causes and solutions. No sag is better of course.

Does the door fit uniformly around it’s perimeter? Doors can sag (other causes) or deform (still more causes).

Off grid propane is your friend for cooking, heat and fridge. Then the electric just has to handle lights, ceiling fan and water pump.

A lot of the van life people are not all electric and some use diesel heaters. Your propane appliances are already there. I’d use them. Fridge kind of looks like a dorm fridge. If so, it’s not suitable for off grid. A lot of the off grid folks use small chest style truck fridges. Very efficient!
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Old 06-11-2021, 08:07 PM   #14
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Name: Ferris
Trailer: Boler
Saskatchewan
Posts: 9
Yeah for sure.. these trailers definitely have their quirks. For me, our trailer has about 30 small things wrong with it, so rather than dealing with each individually, we wanted to just take care of all then not worry.

As for the floor, I think we are good. It seems stable and level, though until I tear down the interior and take up the current flooring, I guess I won’t really be able to tell. I am not sure if I should hire a fibreglass pro to tackle the door frame and door, or try to learn these lessons myself. Other builds where they do the door seem very complicated.

As for propane v electric, all electric is not a done deal. However, to me propane represents another point of failure, though at the same time is redundant. I definitely plan to do most things eg fridge, 12v. Things I am not sure about are the water heater (RecPro does a 12v tankless) and range (Furrion does a 12v oven). I put welcome! I just wanted to not have to worry about running the propane pipes, mounting a tank, and another hole in the floor.

Are there any recommended build threads I should be checking out? My favourite is Shanos’ thus far, and will probably do what he did (vertical plywood strips, spray foam), though maybe get an upholsterer to do the lining, as that plywood looks very hard.

Philip
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Old 06-12-2021, 11:30 AM   #15
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Name: Eric
Trailer: Boler
TN
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All electric that's going to take a lot of batteries and Solar to make a reality. Heating and cooking will be the challenge and water heater forget about it. I guess you could do it with a new Ford truck and the 7.5kW inverter but I'm not sure how long you could run off it.

The real issue is storage no matter how you slice it you need to produce a certain number of BTUs. So what will be the most efficient method to do that. Batteries are good but bulky still. Propane is the cleanest and most readily available fuel. You could look at a Wallas diesel heater/cook top as an alternative.

I'm going propane for water heating and cooking, diesel for heat (cheap china heater) and 120v / 12v for electrical including Fridge. Most of my decisions were initial cost driven and if money wasn't a factor I would have a Wallas diesel heater / cook top and and use electric for everything else.
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Old 07-20-2021, 10:07 AM   #16
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Name: Ferris
Trailer: Boler
Saskatchewan
Posts: 9
Hi All, As time goes on we are slowly developing our plan for the renovation.

I have been hung up on how to attach cabinets, but received a short piece of advice from an experienced builder to glass the cabinets, or at least I guess the back strut, to the wall of the trailer. Has anyone done this?

Also, do people have recommendations for a good place to have a trailer built? I’m in SK and am looking for options hopefully within AB / MB / BC.
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:16 PM   #17
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Name: Jill
Trailer: Boler
WA Washington
Posts: 3
Sorry, a little off topic. I have a 78 17 ft. Boler with wood cabinets. They are attached with riveted on L brackets. With the elephant skin (or whatever the interior is) I don't know how you would fiberglass them in.

And curious about your screen door, mine doesn't have one but would like to build...does it look stock? In swing or out? Maybe someone could post close up photos if they have a Boler with screen door.
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:50 PM   #18
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Name: Carl
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Frye View Post
All electric that's going to take a lot of batteries and Solar to make a reality. Heating and cooking will be the challenge and water heater forget about it. I guess you could do it with a new Ford truck and the 7.5kW inverter but I'm not sure how long you could run off it.

The real issue is storage no matter how you slice it you need to produce a certain number of BTUs. So what will be the most efficient method to do that. Batteries are good but bulky still. Propane is the cleanest and most readily available fuel. You could look at a Wallas diesel heater/cook top as an alternative.

I'm going propane for water heating and cooking, diesel for heat (cheap china heater) and 120v / 12v for electrical including Fridge. Most of my decisions were initial cost driven and if money wasn't a factor I would have a Wallas diesel heater / cook top and and use electric for everything else.
I don't even use the propane stove in my boler. I cook on a coleman propane grill/stove outside. If I am off grid for heat I use a buddy heater to heat it up before going to bed then turn it off, get into sleeping bag and I am good until I need to get up. But, then just turn on buddy heater if needed. Warms up my 13ft in 30 seconds. Currently, I am playing with the original furnace to see if I can get it working. If I can get that working I may try using that.
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Old 07-29-2021, 06:52 AM   #19
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Name: John
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1700
Michigan
Posts: 1,883
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Ferris,

A few comments.

Here are two more Boler 17 renovation threads for you to view. In the first link, the insulation was completely replaced, benches were replaced, frame sandblasted... The second link is Eric Frye's rebuild of a totally gutted Boler 17.

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...esh-28904.html

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ler-90615.html

We have been extensively renovating our Boler 17, but I haven't created a thread for it.

Concerning appliances, we are using the original propane electric fridge, removed the propane range-oven and will replace with a two burner propane cooktop, replaced the original furnace with a Propex HS2800 furnace, and plan to replace the propane water heater with a new propane water heater. The last and lowest priority is the water heater. We now have everything working except hot and cold running water.

Concerning how to attach wood cabinets, I re-attached original cabinets using stainless steel machine screws and nylock nuts and washers. The screw heads are encased in Snap Caps. Same Snap Caps used in new production Scamps. If you plan to instead fill all 70 or so cabinet rivet holes, common method for re-attaching the cabinets is to attach small (eg 2"x2") wood blocks in the same location as original holes using epoxy or fiberglass. Then using original metal brackets (which may have to be slightly relocated) re-attach cabinets.
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