Boler Reno’s Don’t Come Easy: Axle Replacement Update

A quick update on our axle and frame replacement.

The frame was touched up and the connections to the vehicle have been replaced.

The axle has also been replaced, but not without a few headaches.  As with everything Boler related, nothing seems to go to plan.  There was an issue with placing the order which caused a delay.  Then, it turned out they ordered the wrong axle, which lifted the Boler up by at least 6 inches.  It looked rather odd and it would no longer fit in our garage for winter storage. So, the company had to remove the new axle and replace it with another one which was smaller and allowed the Boler to return to it’s original ride height and fit into our garage for storage.  Thankfully the company was good about it as it was noted our original word order that the new axle must ensure the original ride height was maintained.

Unfortunately, the issues resulted in multiple missed Bolering trips. But, since the axle is clearly important to the functioning of the Boler, all we could do was wait it out.

So, in good news, August long was our first Bolering trip of the season, and I’m happy to report that everything went perfectly!

If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to to follow our adventures.

Boler Axel & Frame

It’s a new year and we have lots of camping planned this year!  Which means, it’s time to get the Boler ready for the season.

We’ve debated a few Boler projects this year:

  • upgrading the ice-box to a real fridge, a nice luxury.  But depending on which fridge option we go with, it could be rather expensive.
  • a heater to extend our camping season.
  • a new axel, because I’m told it’s time for a new one.
  • a new roof vent with a fan.  This one is risky as we currently park the Boler in our garage and only have a few millimeters of clearance, so we don’t want to replace the fan and not be able to park in the garage.

Ultimately, we decided to focus on road safety, and replace the Boler axel.  Now, let me start by saying, I have no idea how to replace a Boler axel (or any axel for that matter), nor does G.  But, we do know that Standen’s knows how to replace a Boler axel, and in fact they have done many Boler axels over the years.  So, this upgrade is being outsources to qualified professionals at Standen’s Calgary.

We took the Boler in last week to have everything measured up, and the replacement is scheduled for next week.  We debated upgrading the axel to include breaks, which would have necessitated upgrading the connections to the 4Runner.  Ultimately we have decided considering how light the Boler is, there really is no need for breaks on the Boler.

But, like all Boler related projects, this has already turned into a larger project.  When Standen’s lifted the trailer to measure for the new axel, three additional projects were added to our list:

  • They discovered two cracks in the frame.  So, those cracks are going to be fixed – which is a good thing, because we really do not want the frame break while driving down the highway!
  • They also informed us that the connection to the vehicle also needs to be re-done to meet modern specifications.  So, that’s also being done.
  • The tire rims are also being replaced because they said it’s time.

Considering the basic safety of these items, we decided just to do it all.  Which of course means our costs are going up, but they really are necessary costs considering how important the frame is.  I’ll try to do another update in a few weeks sharing how everything went when the axel and frame modification are complete.

And, the good news is that in a few weeks our Boler will be road ready and summer camping can begin!

We may do a few more reno’s/upgrades this year, or we may wait until next year. I feel like we may just spend our summer focusing on having fun camping rather then spending our time working the Boler.

If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to to follow our adventures.

Boler Tires – Part 2

Our new tires arrived and have been installed.  It’s sure nice to know that we are now rolling on decent tires without a giant crack running down the centre of one of them!

We really like the original Boler hubcaps so we elected to continue using the old rims, even thought hey are rusted.

The arrival of the new tires means our Boler is now sitting on the ground just as it should be.  And soon enough, we’ll be on the road heading towards the Rocky Mountains.

Up next, the on going battery saga which may or may not be solved before our this years first camping trip.

If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to to follow our adventures.

Another Summer of Bolering

Last summer I thought I’d be able to work full time, take care of an infant, camp, and maintain our Boler blog.  It turns out, I couldn’t.  Truth be told, I still don’t know how we managed to work full time and fit in two camping trips with an infant last summer!

But, this year, I truly think I can do it!  In large part because our infant is no longer an infant.  A is now 18 months old and everything seems just a little bit easier now that we are out of the infant fog.

After doing absolutely no Boler renovations/improvements last year, I’m optimistic that this year we should have enough energy to do a few things.  In fact, we have a bit of a to-do list that we are currently planning to attack:

  • Hopefully installing a truck box on the front of the Boler.
  • Maybe adding some mud flaps.
  • Hopefully finding a real fridge for the Boler (our current icebox is absolutely useless and was just a complete waste of money).
  • Probably purchasing new tires.

And of course, we have a few camping trips planned.  I suspect A will love camping this summer, as his favourite place to be is outside.

It should be fun!!

If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to to follow our adventures.

Sleeping Level

We decided it was time to make camping slightly more comfortable, with the simple addition of levels on the outside of the trailer.  So when we arrive at a campsite all we have to do is use the levels when we set up.

The two self-adhesive levels cost us about $10, and took about 20 minutes of our time.

We put the Boler on jacks in our garage, and used two levels on the floor.  One going each direction.  Once both levels indicated that we were level, we stuck the trailer levels on the Boler.

We put one on the back of the Boler centered in the middle underneath the window.  We put the other one beside the door.

20140804 - Sleeping Level_IMGP6336We decided not to screw them as to not add more holes to the Boler.  If at some point they fall off, we’ll add screws.  But, so far they have stuck on really well through rain, sun, wind and road travel.

 If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to to follow our adventures.

Epic Fail

After finishing up the cabinet door upgrade (see the posts here and here), we took the Boler out for a weekend of fun.

Of course, we headed the mountains.  And in order to get to the mountains we had to drive over standard city roads and some highways.  Nothing extreme, or so we thought.

About 3 hours later we arrived at our destination.  And we discovered that multiple doors did not stay shut for the maiden voyage and the closet door did not survive.  I forgot to take photos of the complete disaster that awaited us when we opened the Boler door upon arrival, but from the photo I did take you can see that the closet door trip is mostly still hanging and the inside of the door is resting on the floor.  You will notice the closet is nearly empty because everything was relocated to the floor during travel.


If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to to follow our adventures.

The Cabinet Door Reveal

As I mentioned the other day, we spent a lot of time this summer making new cabinet doors for our Boler.

Our neighbour offered to help us with finishing up the doors, as he’s skilled in cabinetry making.  So, a few days after we gave him all the pieces, they came back fully assembled and absolutely beautiful!

20150723 - A Significant15We were so excited to get to work that we skipped our evening run and spent night in the garage prepping and painting the doors.

First, we sanded.  And then we sanded some more.

Then we used a pre-stain wood condition.  (I have no idea why this step is necessary, but the friendly people at Home Depot said to do it and for the minimal extra cost and time we did).

20150724 - The Cabinet Door Reveal_IMGP5854After lots of thought we decided to use a simple wood stain.

And once again I laid out everything on the deck to admire the final product before we installed them.

20150724 - The Cabinet Door Reveal_IMGP6314The latches were a bit of a pain in the butt as we used a different style then previous. We changed the style in part because it was hard to find pieces similar to the original ones, and the trim didn’t lend itself easy to the old style. We ultimately chose to use a style common in modern day trailers, which meant we had to figure out how to make it work with our old fiberglass Boler. We eventually got it, and now the doors lock securely when closed. Hopefully they also stay secure while we are driving!

It was the first, and hopefully last time we will build cupboard doors, and we think they turned out rather well. And honestly, it has completely changed the look of the inside of the Boler.

 If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to to follow our adventures.

A Significant Upgrade: New Cabinet Doors

If you remember from our initial Boler photos, the cupboards were still original and had seen better days. We didn’t spend the time on this last year as new cupboards were not required for us to go camping, but now that we had some time it only made sense to tackle this cosmetic upgrade.

We wondered around Home Depot trying to figure out what type of design we wanted for our cupboards. In the end, being economic and ever practical we chose to use pine for the doors. We did use one side finished pine and pine trim pieces.

20150723 - A Significant3

Then, we cut all the pine back pieces to size. This was easy as we used the original doors as templates.

Next was the trim pieces. First we cut the trim to the right size, this was pretty easy and even I had a turn playing with the compound mitre saw.

20150723 - A Significant6The trim pieces also had to be cut with the table saw to trim them to the right size. This task was took a bit of precision, so G was in charge of the cutting.

20150723 - A Significant14 Once everything was cut, I laid out all the pieces to admire our handy work.

20150723 - A Significant9

Then we moved onto assembly. I set up a pocket-hole jig to drill in pocket holes that would allow G to assembly the frame and ultimately hide the screws. This took a bit of time, but only because there are so many doors. In fact, once we got going we were pretty quick.

Once again, I laid everything out to admire our handywork.  Of course, G rolled his eyes at me.

20150723 - A Significant15Up next, we had to router everything to make the actual doors. This is where we got a bit lucky.  Rather than learning how to router we handed everything over to our neighbour who happens to be a retired teacher and cabinet maker.

While our neighbour had the pieces, we decided to find new cabinet door hardware to hang everything. We picked up the door closing apparatus’/latches and hinges at a RV Parts store – in fact, we bought so many we cleared out there stock and had to go to about 5 RV stores to find enough matching ones. We picked up the handles at Home Depot.

Coming soon, the finished product!

If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to to follow our adventures.

A Boler Bedside Table

One thing that drives me slightly mad while camping is having somewhere to put my glasses. At home I have a nightstand to put my glasses on, while camping this is missing. The end result is that while camping my glasses are not in a safe and predictable location. And for someone as blind as me, that predictable location is almost a necessity.

Last summer while using our Boler for its inaugural summer we discovered we were throwing a lot of things haphazardly on the counter at night – car keys, Boler keys, glasses, flashlights, etc. I like to be able to quickly reach my glasses in the morning (or the middle of the night if nature calls) to ensure I can see before attempting to stand up, and I was left unsure of where they were. The disorganized approach to last summer was not working for either G or I, so we came up with a quick fix that was relatively cheap, looks pretty good, matches our kitchen interior perfectly and was decently easy to install.

20141027 - Prettying Up The Kitchen_1I went back to Ikea without G because he’s just not a fan of the Ikea shopping experience. I bought a few more of the avocado green containers and another bar (the FINTORP line of products) to hang from the side of the closet. Before we hung the bar we made sure that it was high enough that neither one of us will hit our heads on it when we go to sit down at the kitchen table, but yet not too high as we need to reach it while sitting on the bed.

For the kitchen we cut the bar to the exact size wanted using an angle grinder with a metal cutting disk.  This time we smartened up and used a pipe cutter. The cut edge is much cleaner, and so it was much easier to insert the end covers at the end.

20150605 - A Boler Bedside Table_3

We attached the hanging pieces to the closet wall with simple screws and used the newly added closet wood support structure to screw into.

20150605 - A Boler Bedside Table_1It was a bit of pain to get the support structures to fit snugly, but with a few minutes of finagling and a couple taps of a hammer we made it work.

20150605 - A Boler Bedside Table_2So after one trip to Ikea and about 15 minutes of effort, we have a cute place to hang a reading lamp and a great place to securely put my glasses.

20150605 - A Boler Bedside Table_4

20150605 - A Boler Bedside Table_5If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to to follow our adventures.

Back at It (With Closet Organization)

We had all kinds of ambitious winter plans for our Boler renovation and modernization. Not a single one happened, instead we completed a few renovations in our house and generally just hid from winter.

But, it’s spring. And, now it’s finally nice out again.

Which of course means its bolering season!

Before we hit the road to enjoy another summer filled with hiking, fishing, hotdogs cooked over the campfire and smores, we decided to do a few more modern upgrades in our Boler.

First up, closet shelving and new cupboard doors.

On the Victoria Day long weekend we managed to spend a solid day working on our Boler.

We easily finished the shelving in the closet. And, we’ve done a tonne of work on building new cupboard fronts.

Today, I’ll share the closet shelving. (The cupboard fronts will wait until they are finished – hopefully next weekend).

When we bought our Boler the closet was an empty space.

20150525 - BackAtIt5

Last summer camping it was my pet-peeve because we simply stacked things in it and hoped that they didn’t fall out on us when we opened the door.

20150525 - BackAtIt3

In deciding to tackle the shelving we made a few simple decisions to direct the project.

First, the closet shelving could not damage the existing fiberglass closet exterior more than absolutely necessary. So, G designed a closet system that only required 4 screws through the fiberglass.

Second, the closet interior has to be functional, not fancy. Virtually no-one other than G and I will see the inside of the closet, so we really didn’t need it to be fancy. We decided to use affordable materials that would also be durable. We talked about fancier woods like oak and maple, but ultimately went with the ever practical plywood and pine. The shelves are made of one-side sanded plywood. And the side supports are made of two inch, 3/4inch thick pine boards. Both of which are easy to get at Home Depot/Rona.

Third, the shelves have to be spaced appropriately to fit Tupperware containers we already own, as I did not want to waste something we already have. I love things to be organized and I think having things sorted into Tupperware will help us keep the Boler organized while we are traveling. And well G may not have cared deeply about this shelf building criteria, he did humor me.

So, we got to work measuring and cutting. (Okay, G got to work. I sat on the couch in the Boler and took photos of the progress). In all honesty, working inside a tiny closet is a one person job so my help wasn’t really required and was actually more of a pain in the butt.

20150525 - BackAtIt4Once the vertical side supports were screwed in place, we screwed in horizontal pieces of pine to create supports for the plywood shelves.

And then, we cut the plywood shelves. Due to the egg shape of the Boler each shelf is a different size, but with accurate measuring and a couple of extra cuts we made everything fit snugly.

20150525 - BackAtIt1Then we screwed the boards down to make sure they don’t move while we are driving.

We often find that working in the Boler can be challenging due to the egg shape, but ultimately because we focused on functionality the shelves were pretty darn easy to install, which made both of us happy!

20150525 - BackAtIt8.

And, now that I’m thinking of our Boler again, I realized that I wasted multiple winter months and fell behind on this blog. I had intended to share about our adventures last summer in redoing the plumbing and gas line inside our Boler. And, I also wanted to share about our really awesome exterior rejuvenation. I still have the photos from our work last summer, which means I just need to set some time aside to write about all of these things. Honestly, I’ve procrastinated away the winter because writing about plumbing and gas lines is not my idea of fun. But, I still plan to do it and hope to do it really soon as I really want to spend our summer outside enjoying the Boler, not writing about it!

If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to to follow our adventures.