If you’ve ever renovated an old trailer (or an old anything really) you’ll be aware that the renovations never seem to end. In 2017-18 we renovated our 1975 Boler travel trailer to make it safe and comfortable (you can read about that journey here), but there were, and still are, a few things that need doing. For example, when we took out the furnace from the kitchen cabinets it left a large hole in the cabinets.
We camped with the Boler like this for most of the summer and we found that when we were travelling to and from the campsites dirt and dust got in the lower cabinets through the vents. We wanted to keep the vents because they let out the heat from the fridge but a lot of the road dust was getting into the rest of the trailer because of the large hole in the cabinet. Also, it doesn’t look very nice does it?
I could have made a door almost exactly the same as the other one but I wanted to do something fun and different. I had a conversation about it with people at work and the suggestion of lattice came up. I loved that idea, but I knew that the door wouldn’t block much dust with a bunch of holes cut out of it. After a bit of brainstorming, we came up with the idea of using a thin opaque plastic glued to the back of the door. I work at a Maker Studio which has a laser cutter so I started creating the design for the door and then used the laser cutter to bring my design to life.
That’s right! I used little Bolers to create the lattice! So cute and amazing right?
Once the lattice was cut out I attached some cut pieces of wood and trim to make the two doors match.
Then I primed and painted the door the same colour as the rest of the lower cabinets. I attached the door using matching hinges and added the door pull. I also added a door catch so it would stay closed while we were on the road.
All that was left was gluing on the sheet of plastic.
I’m glad I added this because you can really see the little Bolers with the contrast.
Here it is. What a difference! I love it because people don’t usually notice the little Bolers right away so it gives them a nice surprise when they do.
It’s been a whole camping season since the new door has been attached and it’s still holding up! I need to cover the gap around the fridge as a little dust still gets into the trailer through it. That’s a project I’m hoping to get to this spring along with a few others and I’ll be sure to share them as I go!
Well, here we are together for the last post of this series. Fear not my friends, fixing up the Boler is a never ending process and there will be many more Boler themed posts to come. If you have missed the earlier parts of this story feel free to catch up by reading Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.
In the beginning of the 2018 camping season the Boler was still at FIB-R-F/X getting the fibreglass fixed up but we weren’t going to let that stop us from camping! We still had our tent :).
We spent the May long weekend in Kananaskis (very very chilly nights!), stayed in Little Bow Provincial Park campground in the beginning of June and Canada Day in Montana.
The weekend after we got back from Montana we had planned a big camping trip for ten days at Dinosaur Provincial Park with another family. We were expecting to use the tent but right before we left for Montana Dieter called to let me know that the Boler was ready to go. I wasn’t planning on taking the Boler camping because it still needed work for it to be useable. And not just a little work. It needed new tires, paint inside and out, there was a big hole where the stove used to be as well as the furnace, the floor needed to be installed, shelves were needed in the closet, the bunkbeds weren’t set up, the curtains had to be hung and the fan and lights weren’t hooked up. Not to mention all the other little things like the drawer pulls and hooks for the wall. I had been planning on doing all this over summer and I wasn’t really expecting to use the Boler until the next camping season. But boy were we getting tired of sleeping on air mattresses and our tent had seen better days as well. I remember my friend’s husband saying that there was no way I would get it all done in time when I mentioned that I might try and his wife who knows me quite well laughed and said “You’ve done it now!”.
That’s right my friends.
We got back from Montana on Monday and from that moment until when we left on Saturday morning I worked on the Boler. I barely slept and only stopped to eat. Jonathan cooked all the meals and the boys spent time at friends and their grandparents.
I sanded the exterior and then painted it with two coats of Interlux Marine Primer and then two coats of Interlux Marine Paint. I wanted teal but they only have ten shades and five of them are some form of white so I went with white on the top half and navy on the bottom. This was the most time consuming job of all but it made such a big difference! I had to remove the belly band to paint and I swear to you there was compost in there. Here’s the before:
and here’s the after:
Oooohhhh yeah! Pretty amazing if I do say so myself!
While coats of exterior paint were drying I worked on everything else. I painted the tongue and bumper with special rust blocking paint.
I painted most of the interior with two coats of latex primer and two coats of white latex paint. I had tested a section of the ensolite with some of this paint before the Boler went out for repairs and it was holding up great. The lower cabinets I painted black. I installed an electric bar fridge to replace the broken gas one, attached a cutting board to the counter to cover the hole from the stove, hung the curtains, put in the new cabinet pulls, hooked up the lights and fan to the battery and installed the vinyl flooring.
I installed the bunkbeds and then whipped up a rail to keep anyone from falling out.
Here are the bunkbeds as a sofa. The poles and rail fit behind the back.
Jonathan took the Boler to get new tires on Friday morning and I started packing for our ten day camping trip. When he got back I installed the shelves I had cut with my mitre saw for the closet.
I also installed some dragonfly hooks on the side on the closet so we could hang our sweaters and hats.
We were as ready as we could be! Unfortunately there were a few things I didn’t have time to do like build a door to cover the hole from the furnace, but for the most part we were set. We packed up and headed out to Dinosaur Provincial Park campground.
They’re so cute when they’re sleeping!
Induction stovetops are so great for small trailers! The only heat they put out is from the food you’re cooking.
We had a wonderful trip and even though it was an intense five days of Boler repair work I would absolutely do it again.
Since then we have been on many camping trips, all with the Boler, and we love it! In 2019 we took the Boler on a two week trip across British Columbia and back and it was amazing.
If you would like more details on the work I did please feel free to leave questions in the comments. There was so much that I did during that time that if I included all the details this post would be much too long.
I hope you have enjoyed my epic Boler journey and like I said, there will be many more posts to come!