Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Revival: The Boler Caravan

I have had this 1975 Boler caravan (camper trailer) for about 8 years and knew I would fix it up one day, but I didn't think I would wait this long.
Boler trailers were created by Canadian, Ray Olecko. He was selling cars when he became fascinated by fiberglass and designed a lightweight septic tank. While camping with his family he envisioned a lightweight trailer made from fiberglass for 4; 2 adults and 2 kids, bunks included. Soon, a mold was made and trailers were made and ready to sell. He named it the Boler because he thought it looked like the bowler hat. These were so light, one could pick it up and tow around by hand. It is estimated between 7,000-10,000 were made from 1968-1978 in Winnepeg. Only a few hundred have survived, today. I am fortunate to be a recipient of one of these rare trailers. I am going to revive it with the help of my husband.

You see, the outside has this grungy camo paint job! My husband used it in the woods while hunting. I can see through all that ugly and envision a bright white top, light aqua blue bottom, and lots of chrome. This is 13 feet long. On the inside it is 10' long and 6' wide. Somehow, they fit a dining table with booth seats, a full size bed, a kitchen, a closet, a toilet, a couch, and bunk beds in that space! It is so lightweight, a small car can tow it with a ball hitch. I want to use it for beach trips and festivals.

There is a lot of work to be done. I had my husband move it from behind the shed to the gravel drive by my deck. I figured if it was close by, I wouldn't have any excuses to keep me from cleaning it up. Except for maybe the 100 degree temps!

You see the inside has the 70s gold floor. If it cleans well, I may work with it. I really prefer to keep the Boler as original as possible.

It has the bunk beds with compartments for storage. I took the cushions out prior to this picture. It folds down into a couch/lounge area. I will reupholster all the cushions and add more throw pillows.

You can see in the dining area, all the mildew that needs to be removed. That is my husband checking the windows.

This kitchen needs some serious work. I will paint it all white and try to find the lever hinges that originally came with it. It had chrome lever hinges, like a ship. Unfortunately, Someone replaced them with these brass handles. They also added those hideous floral panels to the cabinets. Those must go.

More mildew. The mildew is everywhere. Nothing, a bottle of Tilex can't cleanup. It does have a closet, though as you can see in the pic. I think we will build some kind of shelving unit in there.
I have been looking online for some inspiration and here are some that I have found:

at Feather and Nest

more inspirations:

Did that make you want a caravan? You should find one. Maybe, check Craigslist. If you take on a project caravan, please share your pics with me. I would love to see them. I will post my progress. So far, I have Tilexed a couple panels on the walls. I will post when I have cleaned the interior, next.


  1. Your caravan is going to be so awesome when you get it finished. Reading your bio I can tell that we have much in common! I'm a GA girl too and we have lived in FL for the last few yrs. I've always loved the beach so much, but I also love the countryside of GA.

  2. Emily,

    This GA heat is overwhelming at 100 degrees and humid! Remember that from your GA days? I don't know if I will ever get this done! I may have to wait till Fall.
    I lived in Panama City Beach twice and we visit the Panhandle a lot. I also visit the Hollywood, FL area yearly. If you are near those spots it would be cool to meet another artisan in person.


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