As some may already know, Alison and I just bought a 1974 Boler. For those who don't know what a Boler is, they are a 13-17', lightweight, fiberglass trailer. The trailers were manufactured in Canada between 1968 and 1978. There were only an estimated 7000-10,000 trailers manufactured in Canada, this means Alison and I have one in less than 10,000 Bolers , which means by today's mass manufacturing numbers, we have an ever-increasingly rare piece of Canadiana.
The whole idea of towing a trailer began last summer when Alison and I were traveling West to BC and we stopped in Camrose, AB for a coffee. We rolled into a Wal-Mart parking lot and there sitting in a parking stall was a retro fiberglass trailer with a for sale sign. The trailer was priced at $6000, which we know now, for that trailer, was a REALLY good deal; we also found out with further research the trailer, a Biggar, is extremely rare, more so than a Boler. As soon as I saw the trailer I was intrigued. I remarked to Alison that the trailer could be our race-base, a mobile headquarters for races. She liked the idea and we quickly started dreaming about things we could do with a trailer like that.
We left the trailer behind in Camrose, never to see it again. At that point my search for a trailer had begun. Once I realized the rareness of the Biggar my focus turned to other forms of retro trailers. I learned by reading through many forums the things that I wanted and the things I wanted to avoid. As my trailer research continued I was forced to start looking at the capabilities of my truck and how it would perform with a trailer in tow. The Tacoma's towing payload is 6500lbs, which is considerable but being at a relatively low level on the fuel efficiency scale I figured that trailer weight was going to play a serious part in determining what we would buy. The weight issue led me to begin searching for strictly fiberglass trailers. At the time, fiberglass trailers seemed to be in good supply, especially Trillium trailers. Being so many of them on craigslist and kijiji, Trillium's began to grab my attention as a real possibility.
Then one day a trailer popped up on craigslist, it was a Trillium and the previous owner had lifted it for offroad use, along with a number of modifications. The trailer was going for $7000. I really liked the trailer, it made me realize that these trailers had the potential to go offroad with me. Suddenly, it was clear, I had to have an on-road, off-road capable trailer that was light enough for my truck to tow around the states and not burn a massive hole in our gas budget. But, we were still in the state of mind that $7000 was WAY too much, at least Alison was still there, I was kind of thinking at that point it may be alright. By the end of that summer my truck would be paid off and we would have just enough money to keep us on the road for a few months down South but not enough to take a trailer with us, I had to resolve to wait until after we returned from the US to purchase a trailer.
If you've been reading along with our travels in the US, you might remember our first month when it rained the whole time. You can probably imagine how badly we wanted a hard shell fiberglass trailer to sleep in instead of a fabric tent. Yup, needless to say our desire for a trailer was strongly increased. The whole while in the US I was hovering over Canadian classifieds watching for trailers and hatching schemes in my head of how I could make money to purchase a trailer, then to my dismay, everything Trillium dried up, even the ridiculously priced trailer that had been on craigslist for the past 6 months disappeared. Well, what the heck do I do now?
One of the things that had greatly influenced my decision to aim for a Trillium, was the fact that it was manufactured in Canada. I like to think of myself as a proud Canadian and thus I'd prefer to buy a Canadian product when the opportunity arises. Having said that, I was a little disappointed that all the Trillium's had dried up because now I'd have to search elsewhere. I had held in reserve the idea of a Boler, a very close second to the Trillium. I had known about them for far longer, I knew there was a big culture based around these little egg shaped trailers, so as I started to research them a little more I noticed something, they're manufactured in Canada too!
Long story short, I came to the realization of the Boler being Canadian during an influx of trailers on the classifieds. Alison and I had returned to Canada to do our taxes and received a surprisingly good return. Suddenly we were able to pay off our debts, save a little and had a little money left to spend on a trailer. So, we went hunting, we looked at only one trailer which was priced at $6500, we made an offer and the owner said she wanted to see if another customer would offer her more. The trailer sold two days later. There had been some other owners that I tried to contact but hadn't been able to, so I sat put and waited.
One night while spending some time at my brothers place I quickly logged onto craigslist to see if anything new had shown up and a trailer I had been looking at had dropped considerably lower in price. I freaked out and immediately sent an email. I had called and emailed the owner previously to no avail. Not expecting to get anything back from the owner I was surprised when I received an email minutes later with a phone number to call. Right away I dialed the number and got Pauline on the phone, I said hello and a kind English accent spoke back in the earpiece. Pauline described to me that they had found some issues with the trailer and decided the price should be lowered. I was sent some pictures and then later spoke to Tony, Pauline's husband, to plan a trip out to the Sunshine Coast the next day.
I went the next day armed with a deposit and handed it over after a thorough inspection of the trailer. I knew that the trailer would be bought up if I didn't take it that day. Tony and Pauline are wonderful people who felt strongly about being truthful and up front about the downsides of the trailer, which was greatly appreciated on my side of things. Yes, there are issues, the trailer is not perfect, but luckily I'm a handy person and this trailer is exactly what I was looking for, ironically, in many aspects our little trailer is in better shape than the one we had previously put an offer on. Our little Boler is going to become the second half of the Double'EH'Adventure-mobile. Here's a short list of what the trailer will undergo once back at the farm.
- Complete frame replacement with lengthened hitch, reinforced rear bumper and skid plates.
- New axle and wheels with suspension lift for better clearance.
- Increased exterior storage.
- New windows.
- New paint job.
- Interior upgrades (lights, refrigerator, storage, bigger bed)
- Electrical system (outlets, exterior lights, solar-power)
Excitement at 100%.