Flashback to the 70’s. This is the era when the Boler made it’s Canadian debut and today, these cute campers are highly sought after. After I left home, my parents had a Boler and my friends and I would take it camping. This was the first “glamping” back then. With the Boler, you were protected from the elements, could fully stand up in the trailer and if you had access to power, could plug in and have a heater, fan and electricity. No hot tents and hard ground sleeps. Posh! Today, we hook up to WIFI also, and this is one of my favorite working places. Since these retro icons are still in vogue, we decided to try to fix up an old and neglected Boler my husband Wayne had. For the past 10+ years, he had stored it in his friend’s Okanagan orchard and just used it to store dirty, oily things for his business. The pictures following are how I first saw the Boler in the orchard to which a friend exclaimed “Oh my God! If my husband showed me something like I would be filing for divorce!”

Despite these horrifying images, I didn’t file for divorce but did recoil in disgust from a distance. Wayne told me to stand back as he heaved everything out. We then hooked it up to our truck (the hitch and everything still worked fine) and beelined it for an RV power washing place. We hosed down everything, inside and out, even all the electrical cords and fridge. We surmised that if the electricity or stove didn’t work ever again, it was worth the $40 to find out. After drying out the Boler, we discovered to our amazement that the electricity and the 20 year old fridge worked just fine! I went to work by donning a face mask and scrubbing the entire camper with ammonia and cleaners. Then painted the interior with about 5 coats of paint. Not a job I want to repeat anytime soon!

Now starting with a cleaner slate, I researched companies that could build us a new countertop, closet and floor and we found an amazing brother duo in Enderby, BC who are building the next-generation Bolers, called Armadillos. These cuties start at $25K but they are amazingly built and sweet! Mike built the interior for us (not in the colors I would have chosen but oh well) and then I added finishing touches (painted the upper cabinets and put in the backsplash). I bought gently used cushions from a couple who owned several Bolers.


Although it was the original, I didn’t like the green cooktop, so that is now white.

So far so good but the exterior was still brutal. For Father’s Day, Wayne’s son Rob gave the best gift he (and me!) could ever hope to get: his gift was to paint the exterior of the Boler. Rob is an experienced painter, having ran his own College Pro Painting franchise that helped pay his way through Law School. THANK YOU ROB AND MONIKA!! So we spent a day filling holes and patching, bought the paint and rented a sprayer from Home Depot. Here’s the team in action:

And voila! We have more finishing touches to do of course. And it’s still rough in many places (we have a fun plan for that, watch in a later post), but it’s oh, so much better than the sad, poor little camper that had been neglected in the orchard.

Of course, as a true ex-Parisian, we celebrate all milestones with champagne! This bottle was given to me for my birthday from my sister-in-law, it’s a great bubbly from Mission Hill. Cheers! And stay tuned as we’re not finished yet with the Boler!

Happy camping!!

Camping, Okanagan, Renovating, Road Trips, , ,

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