Newbie Boler Owner - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-20-2021, 04:21 PM   #1
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Name: Jonette
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 22
Newbie Boler Owner

Hi everyone, I'm jonette, people call me Jo or jonnie.and I have been wanting an egg for several years, so I've been reading, researching off and on, here there and everywhere in that time, so I would kinda sorta know what to look for, and what I'm in for.

I don't anticipate being able to go camping anytime this year, so I really wasn't looking to buy just yet. But after looking at probably dozens of ads over the last couple years, seeing what 10 grand would get me, I was kinda put off, just because I don't have a garage to work in, nor can I park a trailer at home, I live in a small condo.

So about a week ago, I stumbled on an ad for a boler located about 4 hours from me, and it looked amazing, was a good price, so I thought about it for about an hour before I sent my enquiry, fully expecting it to be sold already ,( the ad was 2 hours old at that point). I was almost hoping it was gone, but the seller hit back to me the next day, saying I was the first to respond, and so I bit the bullet. A boler in this condition does not come up often iny area, and I knew I would regret missing the opportunity.

Here she is:
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Old 05-20-2021, 04:48 PM   #2
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,709
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Nice catch! All the best with your future travels.
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Old 05-20-2021, 04:53 PM   #3
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Name: Jonette
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 22
No door sag whatsoever, I crawled underneath with a flashlight, and couldn't find any cracks in the frame, it seems solid. I didn't realize it when I bought it, but it is higher off the ground than normal. I had to rig up my hitch so the ball was at 18" before I could tow it home. The suspension seems really good and solid, but while towing it I could kinda feel that the center of gravity was high...so I'm not sure of this mod, do many people raise the height of these trailers thus way? It's got 15" tires on it too. Are there any safety issues while towing that I should be aware of? It's been years since I towed a trailer, maybe I just need to get a feel for it again? Do I need to let my insurance know that it's been raised like this?

My other question is....is this an original exterior colour for a 1975 Boler? The PO bought it in 2018, but rarely used it. I think she was in over her head, she said she never got to even plug it in ( when I checked the electrical cord, it only pulls out about 24", which suits me fine enough to save on storage under the kitchen cabinet and carry an extension. I don't think she knew how to deal with that, there is no appropriate extension included. I also think the higher towing unnerved her with her small SUV, tho she didn't say. Just got the feeling that she felt in over her head with it.

Sadly, someone did run a messy bead of silicone around the windows....probably her. Otherwise this Boler is so well taken care of and properly worked on, I doubt the owner prior to her would have used silicone anywhere. No water damage inside that I can see, but if she applied silicone, I expect the windows will need resealing.

We just had a fairly big rain/snowstorm here, I ran out to the RV lot this morning to check, and no leaks. So I'll be scraping that silicone off and getting the windows resealed sometime this year...not sure if I can do it myself, seems it would be a 2 person job? I don't have a Sonny...(old personal joke).

Aside from that, I will make new curtains ( the ones inside are nice, but I want to personalize it some. I'm a bit of a bohemian, so I'm gonna call it my Buddha Boler, and decorate (tastefully and subtly) around that theme, a bit of macrame with plain white curtains, a couple of Kantha quilts and Turkish rug cushions. A little Buddha head planter to sit on the counter, nothing that any future owner would have to undo if I ever have to sell.

Oh yeah.....sorry for the long posts, I'm just really excited and my imagination runs wild in this state....question about mounting the spare tire:

I'm a bit reluctant to put the spare in the box on the back, only cos I realize all those heavy chunks of 6" fence posts are necessary to put under the attached jacks (which are too short to reach the ground since the Boler is raised). I'm afraid of putting additional weight in that box, can I mount the tire on the side of the tongue? I've seen mounts you just bolt on. Or should I take it in somewhere (suggestions?) and get one of those slide out tire mounts welded under the frame?

There are a number of rock chips on the surface, but I don't know if I will go to the expense of an entire repaint. Can I get a colour match done, and just touch up the worst of the chips? From what I've seen online, I think it will polish up quite nicely...but I'm a bit concerned about how to determine what to use....I read somewhere here that if the gel coat is in good shape, zep, redmax and/or polyglow will eventually peel off. Am I right to assume then, that perhaps the prep work wasn't done properly first - ie: sanding? There is so much conflicting advice....can someone point me to a thread that has the correct steps for Pol Shing a fiberglass RV that include the proper orep work, please. I've read that floor polish is not the way to go, I've also heard that mequiars marine polish is good, but I'm willing to spend the extra on polyglow if it lasts longer. I've already ordered a cover for it and a tub of damp rid....is thus all I need to store it long term outside?

You guys must be sick of answering the same questions over and over again, my apologies if mine are redundant, but from what I know from reading stuff all over the place, you guys are really the best source of info out there, and I almost feel....knowledgeable,lol....almost
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Old 05-20-2021, 05:25 PM   #4
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Name: Jonette
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Nice catch! All the best with your future travels.
Thank you, I will be in a state of sweet anticipation until next year, won't have an opportunity to get out camping til then, unless my circumstances change unexpectedly!
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Old 05-20-2021, 06:14 PM   #5
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Name: Jonette
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 22
Another question....I read somewhere can't remember where...that one should drill holes in the bottom of the door for water to drain.

Even though it appears the door on this Boler is in great shape with no leaks at the window, is it advisable to do this anyway, as a precautionary measure?
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Old 05-21-2021, 11:56 AM   #6
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Name: Marlene
Trailer: 1975 boler 13ft.
Langley
Posts: 6
Yes ! Drill holes in the bottom of your door. I didn't and it filled up with water and split the inside of the door, made the door sag and pulled the bottom of the door out 2-3 inches.First thing I did was drill the holes then I put new hinges on thinking this would cure most of the problem, but it didn't. It would cost me a lot to have this door taken off and re-fibreglassed and formed to my trailer. Drill the holes!
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Old 05-21-2021, 12:43 PM   #7
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Name: kenny
Trailer: 93 "Lil" Bigfoot 13.5'
Utah
Posts: 455
Hi Jo.
My sister and brother-in-law live in Canmore Alberta; with their Boler. As you read more postings you will see that Boler doors tend to sag, (as the sides bow outward and the top lowers a bit), in storage it is suggested a 2x4 be wedged between floor and ceiling. A approx. 30cm x 30cm plywood board on the floor and the same on the roof. The roof board held in place by the 2x4. the plywood at roof and floor will distribute the pressure created by the 2x4 being too long. measuring the distance from floor to ceiling the 2x4 needs to be approx.. 5cms longer. place plywood piece on floor, hold ply piece on ceiling near center of trailer, with the 2x4 wedged between both pieces of plywood, kick, or hammer the 2x4 at the bottom to make it almost straight up.
Trailers have crushed like an egg shell when weighted down by heavy snow. I have seen pictures of my sisters trailer with about 2 feet of snow on top. Crushed trailers are not common.
-Does the P.O. have any knowledge about the axle ? New? Or does she have phone number for the person that owned the trailer before her so you could ask questions.
-I have a records book about all the things I have done to my trailer, where items came from and cost. Nice to pass on with trailer sale.

Later Kenny
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Old 05-21-2021, 12:49 PM   #8
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Name: kenny
Trailer: 93 "Lil" Bigfoot 13.5'
Utah
Posts: 455
Marlene bracing the interior as I suggested to Jo can rehabilitate the door sag over time. The fiberglass can gain a new memory
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Old 05-21-2021, 12:52 PM   #9
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Name: Jonette
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 22
Thank you, marsbar! I will be sure to do so then, within the next couple of weeks. I am very hard of hearing, so I would never hear it if there was water swishing around in there.....we'll see if any drains out when I drill the holes!
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Old 05-21-2021, 12:59 PM   #10
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Name: Jonette
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 22
Thank you so much Kenny....I did not know this, but I knew I'd find out what I didn't/dont know by joining up here....such a wealth of information you guys have, I'm sure dozens and hundreds of newbies like me are eternally grateful for the help and advice they get here.
Just this much info from you and marsbar already.....has surely saved me some major headaches in the future! I am so appreciative, thanks!
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Old 05-21-2021, 01:41 PM   #11
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Name: Jonette
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 22
Kenny, the woman I bought it from was pretty clueless about everything....so much so that I would have been hesitant to buy from her, had I not done a ton of research first about inspecting a Boler. I dont think she was being cleverly evasive, but I've been fooled before.

I do feel confident that this trailer was someone's pride before she bought it. Once I met her in person, I believed her when she said she only used it 3-4 times since 2018, then it mostly sat in her yard as a guesthouse. Her car/small SUV was way too low for this trailer, so she had to have a hitch receiver custom made to accomodate the extra height of the Boler. I bet towing it felt scary to her.

She agreed to meet me at a nearby Walmart instead of her rural home, at my request, in case I had any issues with tow equipment...which I did ( had to buy longer chains and a 2" ball....she said it was 1 7/8" at first, then wasn't sure, maybe 2", but then tried to assure me it didn't matter, I could tow with either). I asked her some "stupid" questions too, after she had no clue about the frame, axle or wheel bearings. I asked what that little silver cup was on the curbside of the trailer, she opened it, peered inside and just shrugged. So I think she just was kinda scared of this Boler and/or camping on her own, completely intimidated and in over her head. I saw the registration, it was definitely in her name since 2018, so she wasn't selling it on behalf of anyone else. Plus she priced it a little low in this current market, compared to other bolers I saw ads for, which were in far worse shape. I hadn't planned on buying just yet, but really felt id be passing up a gem. Maybe I'm clueless too, and there's really nothing especially great about this trailer, just going by ads I've been idly reading over the last couple of years on Kijiji.

2 vehicles stopped to chat me up in the Walmart parking lot while I was hitching up, both asking if I was selling. But maybe that happens all the time when people see these trailers, I dunno. This bright green sure does draw attention, anyway. I've become something of a hermit, I think I'd actually prefer a nice, low key and very boring beige, lol.

I won't really be able to determine its full condition until I can camp in it, that won't happen anytime soon because I'm caring for a parent with dementia. Part of me is like....fingers crossed, but this truly is a beautifully restored little trailer, someone loved it once, I can't say it with 100% certainty, but I doubt there are any major issues with it. The fridge looks useable and good shape for its age, but who knows...that is probably the one thing I'd be really bummed about, I really want a working fridge. Anyway, I intend to take good care of this boler and show it lots of love myself now.

Oh gosh, people hate long posts dont they? Forgive me please, I have no family but my mom, neighbors here keep to themselves.......I have been living the pandemic lifestyle since 2018....I have not had a conversation with an adult in...yeah...4+ years, lol.
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Old 05-21-2021, 04:45 PM   #12
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Name: Curt
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Alberta
Posts: 94
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Lucky you!

Jonette:

You have one great looking trailer there! Should serve you well for many years.

Sounds like you really took previous research to heart, and did a great job of inspecting the trailer before purchase.

I expect that the trailer was raised to allow for the 15" wheels & tires. If you want to go back to 13", you might be able to adjust the suspension yourself. Some torsion arm suspension systems allow for that. Others don't. Then it would require complete axle replacement.

Where in Alberta are you? I'm in Edmonton - would be happy to help out in any way I can!

Curt
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Old 05-21-2021, 06:35 PM   #13
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Name: Jonette
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 22
Hi Curt, I'm in Edmonton too!

Thanks for the kind offer, I don't know enough yet about all this stuff, but I'm learning and have every intention of becoming knowledgeable...or at least full of enough camping/towing/maintaining common sense to be competent and independent. I will gratefully keep your offer in mind, should I get stuck on something.
I'm on the west end, and my trailer is parked in an RV place just outside Spruce Grove.

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Old 05-26-2021, 12:01 PM   #14
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Name: John
Trailer: boler
British Columbia
Posts: 3
Kenny
Good advice re 2x4 support, except the 5 cm is too much.
Maybe you meant 5mm more than the distance plywood to plywood.
I also put a small upright under the front corner of the upper kitchen cabinet.
Somehow when it comes to wood , I find Imperial measure much more intuitive.
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Old 05-26-2021, 03:32 PM   #15
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Name: Jonette
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 22
I think in imperual measurements too.

Ill just make sure the 2x4 us long enough to fit snugly with a gentle kick then, sound about right?

Speaking of supports....I have read that I should install the cab support, even if it's not original, so I'm gonna do that. A place near Calgary sells the twisty one for $115 plus shipping. Also a drip cap for the door for $42. Seems a bit (or a lot) steep to me, but maybe we have no other real options in Canada? I haven't seen a diy version of the support that inspires me, still looking for ideas, but I'm limited in capacity to wood or maybe copper tubing.

Oh that reminds me, I have a slab of oak from the top of an antique dresser I've been saving for a project, thought it would make a nice countertop, I could extend the end over the bench. If I keep the side flush on the left side of the cabinet, can I still install that factory replica support with the offset legs? The oak is about an inch thick.
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Old 05-27-2021, 10:49 AM   #16
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Name: kenny
Trailer: 93 "Lil" Bigfoot 13.5'
Utah
Posts: 455
Jonette Yea just a little longer as John suggests a little kick to give pressure in lbs. per square in or Kilograms per cm
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Old 06-13-2021, 11:02 PM   #17
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Name: Jonette
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 22
I have a question about the cabinet support. Mine doesn't have one, but I plan to put one in. I kinda wanna install a countertop, but I realize that the stock cabinet support with offset legs then won't fit over the extra thickness. I've seen numerous photos if renovated bolers where people 'solved' that issue by installing the cabinet support upside down. Is that truly a solution?

While I'm on this topic, I'm thinking that bolers with the support installed must have a plywood backing laminated inside the lower cabinet side? I can't really check mine without removing the sink and/or furnace, can I safely assume there's wood in there? My closet has reinforced corners, but the side walls are fiberglass only. I can't imagine a couple of screws through a fiberglass shell is enough to secure the support for the roof??
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:37 AM   #18
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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I always back up screws on the inside of my cabinets with a piece of plywood. Gives the screws something to attach to, and spreads the load. I've done this a lot on my Trillium. I've also done this with outside clearance lights and hatches.
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Old 06-14-2021, 05:04 PM   #19
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Name: Jonette
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 22
Yeah, thought so. Do you laminate it in with fibergkass mesh when you do so?

I am just wondering if I'll have to remove the furnace to put some plywood in there...is that a big it complicated job? If I can install the support upside down as I've seen others do, that would be easy, I would only have to put plywood backing in the upper cabinet.

Oh. Just thought of something else....how are the sinks installed? Now I'm wondering if there are clips under the sink I won't be able access unless I remove the furnace. I do have average diy skills, but I don't know much about propane lines and electronic connections etc. Most of the time I find out some new (to me) task isn't nearly as difficult as I imagine it to be, I just like to be as prepared as possible.
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