Picking your project
If you have read about my first project, the green Boler, you likely deduced I made a poor choice on my first project. however I feel I redeemed myself with the second.
The costs aren’t in the major things like appliances and windows can add up, however things like glue, tape, screws and other small expenses can eclipse them. Finding a project that has the parts and hardware you need is worth a lot, and paying more to get this will save you money in the long run.
My first project also needed a lot of fiberglass work, which costs a lot more than I ever would have guessed, where painting the shell was a much smaller cost than I would expect.
I also think all Bolers eventually need new frames, finding one with a new frame is a good option (although I am not sure on the cost of a new frame, but should know soon.).
When buying a trailer I would look for the appliances I want, a good frame and as many of the parts I want. I would also look at the condition. My awning rail is dented and as hard as I work on it, buying a new one is on the list. I can polish, clean, paint, but anything that is damaged past being repairable will add to your costs. Buying one finished is often a less expensive option than fixing one up, and unless it is an amazing deal another project will always be for sale again soon.
Planning your project
With both my projects the initial list of things I needed to do was long, and it all seemed to depend on something else. so here is how I planned my projects.
- I made a list of everything I needed to do, no detail is too small
- Identify all the tasks that require something else done first
- Identify any parts needed that will take time to get
- Identify any other restrictions. This could be weather, temperature, travel to work on something, work done by someone else.
- If you plan to camp in the trailer while rebuilding it, I would identify what needs to be done before your trip.
- With the above information I then reorganize the list, making sure that the above factors are addressed. With that I found once the project starts, things change, but with the list shifting becomes a lot easier.
Some of the things I had to plan around;
- The windows took a couple weeks to be built and shipped.
- I traveled to paint the green trailer, so we needed it to be ready for paint when we left.
- Welding was done by someone else, so I worked around their schedule
- When it was wet, painting doesn’t turn out as well
- When it is cold many paints, glues and other chemicals behave differently or just don’t work
I also used the list to estimate the cost, I did the planning on a spreadsheet, and just added he estimated cost to another column. This also allows to predict future uses for supplies and buy in more cost effective larger quantities.
As with any project, the most important step is action. Some planning will save you time and money, too much planning is called procrastination. Get working on it and have fun, there is no problem (except funding) that the google, youtube and forums could not solve.
To helping sketch out my ideas I first measured up the trailer, below is what I used.