Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A list, a lot of time and some elbow grease.

 I’m so fortunate to be able to keep the Boler at my sisters place while I work on it. Since I’m working for her and my brother-in-law’s moving company, Short Notice Movers, I am near the camper every day and able to pick away at it. Turns out this is both good and bad. The good being that John has every tool under the sun for me to use and connections with people in the know about fiberglass and such. The bad is I get to know all the nooks and crannies of it therefore finding all the little problems; ie leaks, missing rivets and broken window cranks. In the end it’s actually a good thing since I want to fix it up as best I can anyways. I might as well know all of it so I can do it up properly.

The first two days I had it in my possession I scrubbed the inside walls and ceiling with an RV cleaner bought at the local

hardware store. I used a hard brush and all the muscles I have over 8+ hours to get all the mildew out. The interior is insulated with a material used in aeroplanes in the 70s. After scrubbing it I don’t think I need to tear it out (thanks heavens) but I do need to find a way to hide the seams and it will need to painted. A previous owner filled them with some kind of putty and it was a mess so I pulled that all out in preparation for sealing. I have a connection with someone who works in the marine industry and is hooking me up with some industrial, paintable, flexible caulking. Hopefully this will do the trick.
Seams with putty removed.
Before I start caulking the inside however, I have to focus on the outside. Next I will locate the leaks by laying a garden hose on the roof and watching for water inside. When I have found them I have to drill out the rivets holding in the curtain rod brackets and take out the windows that need repairing. Then the sanding will begin. I've been told it's a nasty job but there are already too many layers of paint on it and in order to get a proper paint job I want to start at the base. All the holes will get filled in and all the rivets/screws will get sealed and then the trailer can be painted. After the painting is done then I can begin to reassemble the camper. Sounds simple hey?

I would say lots of what I want to fix can be done cheaply if I do it myself. Luckily the internet is filled with resources for renovating vintage fiberglass trailers. I’ve also been introduced to someone through my brother-in-law who is not only willing, but actually WANTS to help me restore the trailer.
It will be a big learning curve but I have time on my side, especially since I still don’t have a vehicle to tow it and have no idea when I will. One thing at a time.

So, Here’s a picture list of bits that need to be fixed in case anyone out there has tips or is hiding parts away somewhere....
Board for attaching bunk bed is soaked from leaking window.

Plexiglass window leaks and is VERY scratched.

Curtain brackets are rusted so rivets will have to be drilled out.

Top hinge on the door
Bottom hinge on the door
Replace seal in door frame.
Door is sagging

Think this is part of a gadget to lock the door open (?) It's on the front of the door.

Door window crank is broken
Window over stove needs to be riveted back in

Window #2 goes up but not down.
window #1 won't stay shut

fix tap
Match floors.

Seems a bit overwhelming right now but I KNOW it's going to be an awesome home/studio when it's done!! Stay tuned......


  1. Congrats! I'm in the middle of a complete remodel on my 75 Boler. So far, everything is do-able. I'm an idiot with electrical, so I'll hire a biddy to hook everything up. But the windows, rivets, painting, etc is all 1975 technology and very easy. Good luck!

  2. Thanks! I also feel like it's all going to be fairly easy but a lot of learning. It's great to see so many others have renovated these little beauties. Gives me confidence I can do it as well!

  3. it looks awesome, a lot better than some that's for sure... We have a 1973 Boler that we bought back in 1990, at the time it was in excellent condition, so we only just now have done some renos/repairs/TLC to it. There's really nothing on a Boler that you can't either repair or replace.. just takes time, patience and money lol..

    Enjoy your project.. the more work you put in it, the more love and appreciation you will feel towards it.

    from "I own a Boler"

    1. That's good to hear!
      I'm sure it's pretty common to buy one and not know what you're getting into until you start stripping it down. I'm happy it seems like I can do most of the repairs myself, hopefully on the inexpensive side. I am positive I will appreciate it a lot and get much use out of it when it's done...it's going to be my home afterall!!!

  4. You might get some good answers to your questions from the Tin Can Tourists - they have a Facebook page that is quite active!