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Old 04-12-2021, 07:54 AM   #1
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: Triple E SurfSide tm14
Manitoba
Posts: 7
Surfs up from MB!

Hello new community!



Over the winter I picked up a unknown brand "Boler camper" in "Great condition" and "painted interior" with a tarp frozen to the roof. For only the low price of 4500$. Usually the FOMO doesnt get to me when purchasing vehicles, so not sure what happened here!


The spring time unveiling was a bit of a stomach turner. Not much good to say about it. So It was promptly gutted. I will say, I believe there is only one way to restore things- properly. That said, I want this thing ready to camp for this season, so spit and duct tape it is for now, while I gather supplies for the frame-off restoration. If I have to tarp it like a tent for a season, so be it!


Current work done:


-Removed appliances except heater.

-Gutted all but the main cabinet husks. added support where needed.
-Strip, sand, fill, and paint. New panels where needed.
-Rewired trailer lighting, replaced faded marker lights, added a 7-pin harness back in and wired for a Prodigy RF brake controller.
-Drew up and installed an electrical system. Everything runs through the lithium solar generator. Everything is "one system" (120v, 12v) that can transfer between supplied Shore power and solar.

-Cut new cabinet doors and hardware
-New cusions and covers


Next up is axle maintenance and wiring in the brakes. Then dealing with the windows (leaking, flapping while towing). Also the door pops open while towing, so some work to do there.


The big issue of course, is the HORRIBLE fiberglass work on it, the many leaks, and the major major cracks in it. New to structural fiberglassing, but I know enough that this is an inside-out fix. I am considering putting in an aluminum support "roll cage" to restore the roof sag.


Question- Is there a reccomended roof waterproofing product that I can "carelessly slather on" that I wont hate removing in a season or two when I sand, fix, and apply a stabilizing layer on the roof?

Also, if anyone knows a good fiberglass guy/company in Manitoba im looking for one!

Anyway, hello all, here is some pictures!
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Old 04-12-2021, 08:57 AM   #2
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Name: Robert
Trailer: Surf-Side
Manitoba
Posts: 279
Can't help with your real question but wanted to share that when we travel with our Surfside, on many rough prairie roads, we have a bungee cord, inside, from door handle to closet handle (in our case) to relieve the worry of the door becoming undone. This is not the only camper that we have done this with. Rough roads can undo even what appears to be secure latches. Enjoy your Surfside -- we think ours is just great.
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Old 04-12-2021, 09:16 AM   #3
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Name: Allen
Trailer: in the market
Quebec
Posts: 13
Fiberglass restore response

If what it looks like is not of a major concern as I gathered when you mentioned "Slathering something over it". Epoxy is the best because it will be a base for when you go to finish it for aesthetic purposes. I have restored hundreds of fiberglass boats & other composite materials & this method of slathering epoxy & letting it SLOWLY saturate into your camper is the best sure fire way of going about your project & be able to use the camper while the job is in progress. I hope this helps. May you enjoy your project in health & happiness ~
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:10 AM   #4
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: Triple E SurfSide tm14
Manitoba
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Originally Posted by thekas View Post
If what it looks like is not of a major concern as I gathered when you mentioned "Slathering something over it". Epoxy is the best because it will be a base for when you go to finish it for aesthetic purposes. I have restored hundreds of fiberglass boats & other composite materials & this method of slathering epoxy & letting it SLOWLY saturate into your camper is the best sure fire way of going about your project & be able to use the camper while the job is in progress. I hope this helps. May you enjoy your project in health & happiness ~

To expand on this, If I sand the unknown coating down original finish/fiberglass, coat with epoxy, that would be my best temporary solution until and inside+outside fiberglass fix?
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:32 AM   #5
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Name: Allen
Trailer: in the market
Quebec
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Just give it a rough sand 100 grit no need to remove the existing gel coat . That is the beauty of epoxy , it is better than fiberglass resin as it sticks to virtually anything , especially fiberglass.
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Old 04-12-2021, 11:28 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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Take a look at this thread:
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ass-52498.html
I have found it very educational. Epoxy is not recommended as other resins will not stick to the epoxy. This leaves you committed to an expensive product that is more appropriate for a marine application.

To deal with cracks and small leaks, I would sand your shell with a 100 grit sand paper, then coat with a polyester based resin, the same kind of resin that your trailer was made with.

I have some concerns about front curb side sag on your trailer. The door frame is damaged in the same way I have seen on Trilliums. The upper front corner rips open as the sag progresses. The same thing happens on the bottom rear corner. This is an issue that I have encountered on Trillium trailers. Essentially the door is a rather large, "flaw" in the structure. Consequently, the part of the trailer that is forward of the door is poorly supported. To check, use a 3 or 4 foot long straight edge, like a 2x4, and place one end, on the floor, near the kitchen, and the other end toward the door. If you see substantial sag when you do this, you may want to reconsider putting much work into your trailer. I don't know how to fix this sag. I have some ideas, but they are rather extreme.

I don't know much about the anatomy of a Surfside, but since they were sued by Trillium for copying them, I assume they are very similar to Trilliums. My plan is based on a Trillium trailer, and I suspect it may apply to Surfside. I would support the sagging section, with a cradle or something, until the floor of the trailer is flat. Then I would cut the bottom off the trailer and replace the plywood, (probably rotten) in the floor with pultruded grating, (google it) after belt sanding the traction grit off of it. I would align it side to side. I would also fibreglass the ends of the grating to the walls of the trailer, to support them. It would also be a good idea to fill the spaces, (voids) in the grating with some foam, for insulation. Then I would glue the bottom of the trailer to the bottom of the grating. This would leave a 1/4" gap in the shell, since the plywood is 3/4" and the thinnest grating I have found is 1". This gap could be filled in with fibreglass. If done correctly, the seam would be almost invisible, after you paint. The structure of the grating would hold up the walls.
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Old 04-12-2021, 12:41 PM   #7
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: Triple E SurfSide tm14
Manitoba
Posts: 7
I'll do your straight level test as soon as the blizzard over here melts away. Ive looked at that door crack and front corner pretty close, and I think it is due to the previous owners letting the door fly around while towing- it cracked that weak spot flying open. The bottom tub looks quite good, the upper half looks horrible. I wouldnt be surprises if a previous owner said it rolled into a ditch. The whole upper half is coated in some sort of thick coating. Ive found some very...creative fixes inside in the roof under the ensolite.


If that sag did exist to the point of scrap, wouldnt it be easier to make a custom trailer frame equivalent to a flat deck and put the egg on that?
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Old 04-12-2021, 02:49 PM   #8
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Name: Borden and Carole
Trailer: 1978 Earlton boler 1700 RGW
Ontario
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Welcome to fiberglassRV

Great Surf Side find!
Really have your work cut out for you but the result can be great! You will know it inside out with no surprises when done.

What year is it?

Your Surfside roof is flatter than our bolers roof so maybe thicker. We store the boler with truck bed spreaders from floor to roof. Keeps the roof shape and prevents age sag. Also use the bed spreaders to sport roof when working on top as the roof on our boler is only about 1/8" thick except at the raised ridges and they are about 1/4" thick. Do not know how thick Surfside made their roof layup though. The boler can not support its own roof or sides without the cupboards inside. Changed out most of the rivets with water proof Stanley closed end marine units the rest will also get the change as all rivets did leak some when we got our trailer.
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Old 04-12-2021, 02:54 PM   #9
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: Triple E SurfSide tm14
Manitoba
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1976. I already know every square inch I think! Just the trailer brakes to check out. of course the wires were all cut when I got it.
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Old 04-12-2021, 03:09 PM   #10
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Trailer: 1978 Earlton boler 1700 RGW
Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew MB View Post
1976. I already know every square inch I think! Just the trailer brakes to check out. of course the wires were all cut when I got it.
We had to get new ST tires as ours had the wrong type when we got it; before our first trip. The now make STr Special Trailer radials got the "C" rated to match the axle limit. Original tires were bias ply car tires but new car radial tires do not have the load rating needed and ST tires are made for our trailer suspension setup.

Too bad about the brake wires being cut.
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Old 04-12-2021, 03:37 PM   #11
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: Triple E SurfSide tm14
Manitoba
Posts: 7
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Originally Posted by Borden View Post
Great Surf Side find!
Really have your work cut out for you but the result can be great! You will know it inside out with no surprises when done.

What year is it?

Your Surfside roof is flatter than our bolers roof so maybe thicker. We store the boler with truck bed spreaders from floor to roof. Keeps the roof shape and prevents age sag. Also use the bed spreaders to sport roof when working on top as the roof on our boler is only about 1/8" thick except at the raised ridges and they are about 1/4" thick. Do not know how thick Surfside made their roof layup though. The boler can not support its own roof or sides without the cupboards inside. Changed out most of the rivets with water proof Stanley closed end marine units the rest will also get the change as all rivets did leak some when we got our trailer.

Yes I believe snow load or cabinets being poorly built is a large part of the sagging.



I'll be honest, Im 50/50 at the moment between keeping it as a in depth project, or finishing it to the point its a ready-to-camp and picking up a 6x10 cargo trailer to convert into a Toy Hauler. Ive put about 1000$ into it and redone most systems on it, so could hopefully get my initial $ back. See how the wind blows!
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Old 04-12-2021, 04:33 PM   #12
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
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Personally, the front kitchen Surf Side is my favorite non Trillium floor plan. But I am a sucker for fibreglass interiors.
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Old 04-16-2021, 10:29 AM   #13
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: Triple E SurfSide tm14
Manitoba
Posts: 7
Im currently planning out how I want to run the appliances and systems. Im leaning towards a modular type setup, where I can have a power setup, and a boondock setup. "Clip in" fridge, AC, Fan heater on 120v trips. Fitted freeze cooler and Techniice, vent fan, and gas heater for solar trips.



Any advice on the 43 year old Hydroflame BRC-10 furnace? Im planning on cleaning and testing it this weekend, is it worth using or are they a big risk at this age? That cabinet space could be well utilized if its a hazard
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Old 04-16-2021, 10:37 AM   #14
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Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
Posts: 922
Andrew, that is a gravity furnace and uses no electricity. Perfect and preferred for boondocking. Worth it if you can get it running. The only real hazard is the surfaces get hot so you can't touch them nor let anything else touch them. That's why they are no longer used, they don't meet the safety codes.
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Old 04-16-2021, 10:49 AM   #15
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Name: Andrew
Trailer: Triple E SurfSide tm14
Manitoba
Posts: 7
Thanks Alex! Yes i've read into them a bit, and they are sought after for the no-power needed, but also lots of stories of spurting gas. I'm surprised they aren't wrapped or insulated at all in the cabinet? Is that something I should consider doing before I close it up? Mine had a ton of wiring in the cabinet with it before I gutted it
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Old 04-16-2021, 11:00 AM   #16
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Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
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The sides and back are insulated if I remember correctly, it's the part that you have access to in the trailer that you have to be careful of. I would also argue that they are no more prone to spurting gas than any other 40 year old gas appliance. Plenty of people are still running them. Just be careful and thoroughly check out every part of it before trying to light it. For example, the heat exchanger can rust and get holes. You will probably want to pull it and do a thorough examination outside the trailer before you even think of lighting it up. If you are unsure of the condition, take lots of pictures and ask here. Multiple members have worked on these.
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Old 04-17-2021, 11:54 PM   #17
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Name: Carl
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob in Mb View Post
Can't help with your real question but wanted to share that when we travel with our Surfside, on many rough prairie roads, we have a bungee cord, inside, from door handle to closet handle (in our case) to relieve the worry of the door becoming undone. This is not the only camper that we have done this with. Rough roads can undo even what appears to be secure latches. Enjoy your Surfside -- we think ours is just great.
The bungee thing is what I also do. You still have to check your hinge bolts though. I once had my door half fly off dragging on the road after 2h on a bumpy road. I was in the middle of knowhere and had to limp to a hardware store where I purchased longer bolts with lock nuts to secure the door better than stock. Sure they stick out of the hinge but I have no longer a problem with the door hinges coming loose.
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:28 AM   #18
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Name: John
Trailer: Aliner
Minnesota
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Tg, until the floor of the trailer is flat. Then I would cut the bottom off the trailer and replace the plywood, (probably rotten) in the floor with pultruded grating, (google it)...

I googled pultruded grate but didn't see any retailers. "Request quote" is intimidating. What's your source?


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Old 04-18-2021, 12:03 PM   #19
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500, 1979 Boler 1700
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Pultruded grating??

https://www.amazon.com/Fiberglass-To...8768876&sr=8-5
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