History of the Boler
|The Boler was invented by Ray Olecko, a car salesman that became fascinated with fiberglass and the potential it held. His first venture with fiberglass was the manufacture of septic tanks, they soon became an industry standard being lightweight and easy to ship compared to the steel and concrete models of the day.
It was from this experience with fiberglass that the Boler evolved, he commissioned the mold maker for his septic tanks to make a two piece shell for a small lightweight travel trailer for his personal family needs, a wife and two small children.
The name Boler was decided on because the trailer looked like a bowler hat.
The initial 40 units had a bare shell, however due to condensation problems he recalled them and used, Ensolite, a product manufactured for airplane cockpits to insulate the trailers. He convinced them to shave the stock 2" thick material down to 3/16", it had to be cut into sections to fit the curves of the shell. He used 3M double sided tape to cover the seams, the sticky surface on the outside of the tape was rubbed with talcum powder.
The first 100 units manufactured in 1968 had flat roofs, then the arched roof was introduced to extend the head room.
In the second year about 150 units were produced in a new facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, 400 to 500 units were manufactured in 1970.
Franchises were sold to companies in Earlton, Ontario and Peace River, Alberta in 1971.
In 1972 the Winnipeg facility produced almost 900 trailers, the other factories about the same. Franchises were also awarded to companies in the US.
Neonex, a Jim Patterson company purchased the company in 1973 and continued manufacturing until around 1978.
In total somewhere between 7000 - 10,000 units were manufactured in Canada.
A 17' model was built in Calgary, Ray Olecko was not involved and some say not pleased with the compromise of his design.