Before & After: This Travel Trailer Is a Happy Surprise Inside and Out

published Sep 28, 2018
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(Image credit: Ali Gibbon)

Meet Benny the Boler, a 1974 vintage fiberglass trailer built in Peace River, Alberta. Reader Ali and her husband Bryce transformed this 44-year-old cutie camper into a happy little home.

Here’s how Ali describes the project:

We bought him in 2017 and the plan was to renovate him with a light and bright attitude, for the love of taking something destined for a scrap yard and making it usable and beautiful. We have a real passion for working together and restoring something so functional.

(Image credit: Ali Gibbon)

Here’s a glimpse of the inside, which was in equally bad shape. Tackling both the exterior and interior took about four weekends, and a few late nights—on top of their regular day jobs—to pull it off.

And here’s what he looks like today:

(Image credit: Ali Gibbon)

You’ve got to love the light and bright feel. Although Ali and her husband aren’t usually fans of “in your face” color, she reports it was fun to paint the exterior a sunny school bus yellow.

But the project wasn’t all about looks, it was about safety too. Ali explains:

This little gem was in such rough shape that we had to haul him home on a flatbed–his frame was split and bearings blown. His windows also leaked and his body was cracked. Not to mention those tires–they just might have been original (I joke, of course, but they were very old and well-used).

But it was the frame was the reason we undertook this project. Knowing we could fix it and get this trailer back on his ‘feet.’ It seemed only right to do so–the open road was calling and Benny is meant to have fun! Doing a full frame off restoration seemed so exciting to us. Safety first, beauty second. The only outside help we got was from a sandblasting company to bring the frame down to bare metal and then from a professional licensed welder to reinforce the frame. Having a solid foundation is key–and we know that.

Another functional item they added? A toilet.

(Image credit: Ali Gibbon)

Here’s a look at the new dining area inside. Ali wanted something neutral, with just a few accessories for color. It is clean and functional now that it has a newly refinished tabletop, fresh curtains, and new seat cushions.

(Image credit: Ali Gibbon)

If you’re thinking about taking on a project like this one, Ali is encouraging but has this one nugget of advice:

For anyone who is going to renovate a Boler we suggest camping in one first. Learn how you can renovate the trailer to fit your style and needs. For example, on our next project we’re going to look for a front bunk that has a table at the front, too, that way we can leave the back down as a bed full time and still have a dinette.

Thanks so much Ali and Bryce!