Fiberglass bottom or wood in the Pacific Northwet? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-26-2012, 07:06 PM   #1
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Fiberglass bottom or wood in the Pacific Northwet?

Hi gang! I'm pretty new here, been lurking for a week or 2 and posting for the first time. I'm looking at little eggs and love the look of them. A friend of mine recently got one and now I am looking to get one for summer camping as well. But the question that I have is this, is the fact that the underside of the egg is made of wood an issue at all here in Western Washington? I know that the Trilliums have fiberglass all the way around, but it seems like the others are all wood floors between the fiberglass egg and the trailer frame. Does it make much if any of a difference for maintenance or longevity in this area? I anticipate using it mostly here along the coast in Washington, Oregon, and some up into BC.

Thanks in advance for the advice!
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:19 PM   #2
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As for scamp, the wood is resin soaked at the factory. But then there is also dry rot from the inside to watch for. Some use dry-z-air to combat that. Interior photo attached.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:25 PM   #3
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Yikes, good point. My parents house had a major case of dry rot at one point. Was a huge mess since it was one of the main support beams. I believe that the Trilliums have the fiberglass underside, do any of the other trailers also have that? I thought I heard some, but not all of the uhauls did?
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:32 PM   #4
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Casitas have a fiberglass belly too.

I have had both and both can be trouble.

I had 2 Trilliums that had water in between the fiberglass shells but you couldn't easily tell it was there!
Then once discovered I had to drill small holes to let the nasty water out.
No telling how long it had been that way but the water was gross and poured out for a while both times.

While it is true that the Scamp resin soaked wood is more exposed I a not sure how much better off things are when not exposed.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:43 PM   #5
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Bigfoot is fiberglass.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:30 PM   #6
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Ed, how did you discover the water? Did you have floor repairs then to make or some other repairs?
Trilliums, like Escapes, are supposed to have a couple of holes in the bottom to let out water. I am wondering if that was always the case. Maybe older Trilliums are different.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:21 AM   #7
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Ed, how did you discover the water? Did you have floor repairs then to make or some other repairs?
Trilliums, like Escapes, are supposed to have a couple of holes in the bottom to let out water. I am wondering if that was always the case. Maybe older Trilliums are different.
Boy am I interested in the answer to this question. If I have water pooling up, I want to know about it!

We need specifics here; model, year, heck, pictures would ROCK!
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:43 AM   #8
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To address your question Jasson, the Trilliums do have wood in the floor. It is, I think, fiberglassed into the inside of the lower storage, like under the dinette and the front gaucho, (couch / bunk). I have not pulled up the plywood that is the floor, under the carpet, but I believe that also has a glassed in sheet of plywood under it.

The point is that if the trailer leaks, this wood, where the water gets to it, is also suseptable to rot. It is also, I assume, difficult to replace. Take a look at this thead;
Fiberglass/plywood floor repair questions ...

freddo411 posts are like a 411 of everything you need to know about restoring a Trillium. Also worth looking at;
1978 Trillium 4500 restoration ...
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:03 AM   #9
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I have had both a '73 1300 and a '78 4500 and both had similar issues from similar problems.

In the Trill the floor is a sandwich of Fiberglass belly outside,3/4" plywood as the "Meat" and then a fiberglass tub inside that serves as the floor inside where you put your feat. The inside tub also has the benches as part of it all molded as one huge part sort of.

I word it like that for a reason,the plywood meat in the middle gives the fiberglass a base on both sides making the floor strong for sure but then the plywood extends beyond the inner tub on both ends and is visible in the underseat storage areas on both ends.
On the tongue end it is the exposed floor in that compartment and is almost the same in the back but doesn't go quite to the side walls back there.

If you notice the rear side below floor level looks like a 'U" really and it is fairly obvious. The same is true in the front but it is a little less obvious.
I have to think these are really there as a channel for water to run under and away from the inside floor area in case water does get in and start to pool up?

I tried and never found any weep holes where the water could leave these channels in either of my Trill so I ended up drilling my own and in both cases water poured out for a long time.
I don't know how long it had been in there but you don't really want it at all and who knows what starts living and growing in there,it seems like a perfect breeding ground for nasty things. On top of that as is mentioned above Dry Rot is caused by Moisture(ironic?) and this is how it starts.

On my 1300 the plywood did not look too bad but on the 4500 it did. The floor was solid though and tough to get too without gutting the trailer which was out of the question for me then so I sought to find the cause and fix the problem there.

Luckily maybe it was the same in both rigs.

I ripped the windows out,replace the framing which holds them in and re-installed them using Butyl rubber and stainless steel fasteners.......Problem Solved!

I also had to repair the Belly Band on the 4500 which is a common issue I needn't go into again here but the bottom line was that once I removed the problem all was dry again.

I then drilled a million 1/8" holes in the exposed plywood in the storage compartments and rolled on a really runny epoxy/resin to cover the somewhat dry rotted wood and once dried I screwed on an indoor/outdoor carpet to cover it up.

I don't think this did much really but it did seal the dry rot in? and provide a cleaner surface in the storage areas.

My original point was that because it is sealed underneath,this may actually further the problem unless you are careful to look for it going in.

Now the Casita does not seem to be designed with these channels for drainage? I am not sure Trillium didn't have a great idea and design it in and overall I found the design and build of the Trill to be amazing compared to other egg's I have seen.

I don't know if I have any pics as it has been a while since I did all of this but if you have a Trill and go look at it you will quickly see what I am talking about.

Hope this helps.

Ed
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:58 AM   #10
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Thanks David. I either learned what I need here on this forum, or I figured it out the hard way.

I live in Western Washington, so i would recommend a trailer that has fiberglass all the way around. If by chance your had a boler with an exterior exposed plywood floor I'd use truck bed liner to cover it (exterior). Interior I'd coat with fiberglass resin, possibly with a single layer of glass too. I did this on my compartment floor boards.

Oh, and the obvious, the less water gets into the trailer, the less that this is a problem.

As my 77 trill suggests, nothing is immune to rot after 30+ years except fiberglass.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:46 AM   #11
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Lots to look for and think about. I'm leaning toward Fred's suggestion of fiberglassed bottom since I plan on using the trailer mostly around here in Western Washington and the Oregon coast. I'll be sure to look in the storage under the seats for any signs of trouble when I'm looking at trailers.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:16 PM   #12
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:15 PM   #13
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Lots to look for and think about. I'm leaning toward Fred's suggestion of fiberglassed bottom since I plan on using the trailer mostly around here in Western Washington and the Oregon coast. I'll be sure to look in the storage under the seats for any signs of trouble when I'm looking at trailers.
There are lots of Scamp trailers around the PNW. Most have no floor problems. The problems almost always occur with water inside the trailer. I've never heard of any problems that started from the bottom.
One of the problems with fiberglass on the bottom, if it gets a hole in it on the bottom side, water can get in and not much of way out. I've never heard of it happening, but I think that more likely than with a resin coated bottom.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:34 PM   #14
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Byron has some good points. It made me think of A few scamp owners who have said they prefer the open wood bottom since it dries out fast. Happy shopping.
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