New to the forum! My wife and I purchased this 1957 Boles-Aero 21 footer for $500, and saw the unlimited potential. We have been busy starting a family but are now trying to finish restoring it to flip it and sell to pay for grad school.
IF anybody has any basic recommendations, please share! I have stripped down the interior to basically nothing. Currently in the process of tearing up the subfloor and prepping the thing for rewiring, plumbing, insulation, walls, and then interior walls, cabinets, etc. Is that the correct order to restore one of these? I am a newbie and looking for some professional advice! There seem to be a lot of helpful fellow vintage trailer fans here, so let me know! Glad to be a part of this new community.
Aren't Boles trailers aluminum framed similar to a Spartan?
Some are and some aren't... That's the first thing we need to find out. From what I can find on line the 57 Boles Zeniths were riveted. We already know that the trailer is gutted. I sure hope you kept all the cabinets and parts.
I think someone should explain how little money there is to make on these things. It really is going to depend on what kind of shape it is in but being gutted you'll have to replace the entire interior now. I don't see how you can do that and make money.
Post by dragonwagons on Jan 21, 2020 16:23:53 GMT -8
If you are trying to flip it for money, the best way is just to sell it to some else and not do any work to it at all.
If you build it correctly and with the care and love these old things require, you will have more money invested than you will ever be able to sell it for. If you like working for free or even losing money then yes trailer flipping is for you.
Please do post some photos so we can see what it is. I agree that it is very difficult to make money on a restoration. Most of us make about a dollar an hour...
Assuming it is a riveted trailer, your idea of rebuilding sounds to be a good order. Reframe in prep for your paneling and ceiling. Basically, you would replace the wood framing along the aluminum ribs and rafters. Do your electrical and add backer boards for lighting and cabinet attachments. Then insulate. You may want to insulate the floor as well. (Plumbing NEVER goes in the wall cavities. It can go thru, but not in, if that makes sense.)
The floor is very important in a riveted trailer, as it lends a lot of strength and holds the body together. Another important point is to place the cabinets relatively in the same position as they were originally.
Hope this helps. It's far from complete but it's a start. Let us know more.
Wow! This is great! Thank you for all of the advice. So many things to say:
First, I am trying to figure out how to post pictures from Flickr. Having a hard time with that. Following the directions on that other thread, but still cannot figure it out. I am going to try the Flickr method. We'll see.
Second, I plan on doing a ground up restoration. IF the pictures load, you'll see that yes it is GUTTED. I have ripped up the plywood floor, and plan on re-insulating and re-flooring the trailer next. Plan on using 3/4" or 1" plywood. There are bolt holes for carriage bolts that went through the frame on the bottom and up through the insulation layer into the plywood floor. Should I recreate this design, or find another method for putting the floor down?
Concerning the basic construction: There was so little still up in the trailer, just thin particle board and some cabinets that were falling apart, that I decided to start from scratch. I have full plans to re-insulate and re-wall the interior after rewiring to make sure it is structurally sound. I plan on re-building and installing cabinets in the same place as the original (for the most part).
Third, it is aluminum bodied with rivets. There are some steel supports smack dab in the middle bracing the sides of the trailer that run up the sides and across the top. I have noticed small leaks from the roof, but cannot pinpoint them exactly. I keep seeing on there that caulking and other sealants are out of the question, and I get it. Are there options to seal it without taking the roof or walls off?
Fourth, I believe I can make some money. I do not factor in my personal time invested into the project when flipping vehicles or selling other projects. I priced materials out at a few thousand, and in my local market, I believe I can easily get $3-10k profit out of it. Just trying to stay positive haha. Thank you all again.
Alumi-Pro aluminum welding kits work great. I use the stuff all the time. READ AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE T..... If you do that it will work great for sealing up holes in aluminum. Do like they say and practice on a coke can first. You'll amaze yourself.
It's possible that your trailer has a steel section in the middle of the roof. If so, it really should be replaced with aluminum. My friend recently did his 55 and learning the riveting method was not fun, according to him...It's really hard to marry aluminum and steel and leaks are bound to happen if that is the case.
Butyl putty (pure butyl not RV butyl putty-pure has slick brown paper and is very sticky) is ideal to place in between the roof sheets to seal the edges or seams. It is very likely that your roofing needs new butyl to seal, regardless of the metal type. So yup, you'll need to learn to rivet...Another option may be to screw the sections to a wooden rafter (attached to the metal rafters). You still need the butyl as a seal.
I would attach the floor to the frame with carriage bolts as it was done originally. You can beef it up as you want with more attachments. Most trailers have a 3/4 floor total, so if you want to use 1/4" subfloor over the top (makes the flooring lay better), you might consider going thinner on the initial plywood layer. I've done the floor with 5/8 and cross laid the 3/16 over that. The floor was very sturdy. Also some trailers use wooden runners from front to back to support the floor. Do some research on your model of Boles to see you need those.
Just saw the photo-I'm pretty sure you need some wood runners and cross pieces for that big of a trailer.
Last point: From your photos, your trailer has an all aluminum roof and it may be factory seamed. If that is the case, the seams are sealed when the trailer is built and they are unlikely to fail unless Two Ton Tillie was crawling around up there. The most likely leak points are the roof vents and any other protrusions. They will all need to be re-puttied.
Boles were well built so take it slowly as you do repairs. First, do no harm...
Hey everyone, sorry for the lack of any activity for over a year. Kid #1 got too smart for her own good, and kid #2 is now here. Also, grad school started and life happened, so there has been no more progress. Hopefully, I will have time this next semester to spend some more time! Gotta teach my 2 year old about tools somehow. Might also start another thread.