Prepurchase Inspection Checklist for a 70s Boler? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-16-2018, 08:30 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Benjamin
Trailer: Trillium 1300
Posts: 17
Prepurchase Inspection Checklist for a 70s Boler?

Hi everyone,

This is my first post. (But I've been lurking for awhile.)

I am working up the nerve to buy a 1970s 13' Boler. I will probably gut the kitchen, and lay new floor. It will be my backyard mancave most of the year, and a little desert escape pod on weekend getaways.

I'm fairly handy, and can research/fix little things, but I just can't take on a fulltime restoration job. I look at a resto like this:

with a mix of envy and terror! So I'm a bit afraid of buying something broken that I will never have time to fix. I've seen this happen, and I don't want it to happen to me. I want to be sure that I'm asking the right questions when I go look at my Boler-to-be.

Can folks here advise about the common failure points, typical issues, gotchas, expensive fixes, warning signs, etc that I should be mindful of when inspecting one?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 01-16-2018, 08:35 PM   #2
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 4,505

Fiberglass RV - Document Center - Buyers Check List
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:21 AM   #3
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Name: Bill&Laura
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Fiver
Posts: 764
I took a pre-purchase check list with me when I looked at our first Scamp. It didn't save me any of the head aches because I didn't understand what I was looking at/for...ultimately, we bought a disaster Scamp that needed major remodel. We had fun and spent a bucket full of money to reclaim "Ziggy" and enjoyed the experience while creating a one-of-a-kind camper, but...

If you can take someone who has experience with you that can assist in evaluating the camper your considering purchasing, it will help you maintain an objective opinion. Jus' sayin'
Stay positive, test negative!
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:48 AM   #4
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,344
Focus less on appliances and more on frame, axle sag, belly band, floor, door alignment. Lots of threads on these topics, as far as the repair work involved in these jobs.

Figure the trailer is 45 years old. Expect to do a lot of work unless the prior owner did it.

+10 With Jon, much like a vintage car, projects end up costing more than units where the prior owner did all the work.

Talented rebuilders (we have a couple on this forum) that resell their work tend to have the skills and know all the techniques so they can do a job that would take me two weeks in two days. And they usually have a nice work area to house the project in the interim.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:50 AM   #5
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 9,713
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
There are actually two documents there. The second is a generic checklist for any molded trailer. The first helps you look for issues specific to vintage Bolers. You'll want both.

With vintage trailers there will always be issues. It's important to think through in advance- before you get emotionally invested in a particular trailer- how much work you can realistically tackle. Consider time, skills, budget, and workspace. Figure any projects will take twice the money and three times the time you expect. (Or was it twice the time and three times the money...?)

It's almost always cheaper in the long run to spend more for a trailer up front in better condition than to buy a project and fix it up. Projects are like buying on installments- with interest. Of course, if you have the time, money, skills, etc., a rehab lets you get exactly what you want in the end.

Best wishes with your purchase!
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:44 AM   #6
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Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escape— 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 4,396
Two of my Uncles decided when they retired to move to a place with lower taxes. They didn't care where as long as the taxes were lower. They soon discovered that taxes were not that important.
They missed fishing , hunting , the food ,arts , friends , family and other things back home. We moved when we retired , about 100 miles North , enough to have a change of scenery but still have a little feel of home . We have friends who moved to Florida and Arizona after retiring and really like it . The south just isn't our cup of tea.
I would find an area that you would consider moving to , rent a place there and give it a test run.
Lots of places look good in travel brochures but the picture don't match reality
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