One Happy Camper - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-14-2013, 11:00 PM   #1
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Name: Reid
Trailer: 1979 Trillium 4500
Oregon
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One Happy Camper

A couple of years ago we were fortunate enough to have a member of this forum contact us in response to our search for a fiberglass camper. The old girl has great legs( a new axel, w/ brakes) but was a bit shabby above the waist and needed some serious fixin'. Several thousand $ later we have a beautiful 78 Trillium 1300 with new wiring, hot and cold running water, outside shower, new paint and... And I had a good bit of fun restoring the old girl. But, as many of you know the bed on a 13" egg is tight for an average sized couple and with our boxer sleeping on the floor there wasn't much room for any thing else-like feet. To make a long story longer I started looking for a trill 4500. Bigger bed, more floor space and a potential for a front dinette since we leave the bed set up all the time. Last weekend we brought home a 79 4500 in amazing shape. Furnace fired up first try. po said they never used the frige which generally means it doesn't work, but after I freed up the control knob the pilot lit first punch of the igniter and it cooled right down-I am thrilled. My only concern is the axel-it is 33 years old- and rides quite a bid lower than our 1300. My wife and a friend ( neither of them heavy weights) jumped up and down inside and there was about 1 1/2 " of movement in the axel- Is that normal and enough or should I plan on a new axel? We want to put brakes on this trailer and I hate to waste the money on brake parts if I should just be buying a new axel w/ brakes. Any Trillium/ dexter/ suspension pros out there that are willing to express an opinion or have a good empirical test for a good axel?
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:36 PM   #2
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Congrads! If the axle is 33yo I would replace it, sadly nothing lasts forever...

deryk
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:12 PM   #3
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
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Congrats on the 4500! I love them. What is the model of your fridge? Pictures would be nice. What are you going to do with the 1300?
If the trailer does not have brakes now, I would buy a new axle with brakes. If it already has brakes, I would leave it.
If I had to do it over, I would get a 2500 lb axle. Is your coupler a 1-7/8" ball, then it is probably original, and should be changed to a 2" ball.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1979 Trillium 4500
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I hoped you or Randy Bishop would respond because you both have lots of experience w/ the 4500. It would save me some research if you could recommend an axel tho I understand the folks at etrailer are very helpful at getting you set up correctly. The receiver is a 1 7/8" and I have already thought about fitting one that receives a 2" ball-thanks for confirming what I already thought. The refrigerator is a Dometic RM 360-is that as good thing? I was sure impressed that it lit so easily and worked quite well. I will post some pics when I start some renovations. Thanks again for your response.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:02 PM   #5
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
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The RM360 is a later version of the RM36E that I have in both of my 4500's. Yours is about an inch taller, and an inch deeper. It also has a larger freezer. I don't know if it is better then anything else. If it works, I call that good.
Also if I had to do it over, I would probably get the Flexride axle. They have an adjustable arm angle. So, if you want to go off roading, you could angle them down more to get more ground clearance.
The 4500 came with a 2000# axle and similarly rated coupler. Since the 15' trailers sold by TrilliumRV claim a 1700# dry weight, I wanted more cargo capacity then 300#. I have a new coupler , and a 3500# axle on the 4500 that I use. It is fine if the trailer is loaded up, but I damaged my table going over a very bumpy rail crossing, with the trailer empty. The Trailer jumped very high.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:07 PM   #6
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Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
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Bit of trivia, not that it matters: first-gen. Trilliums were originally equipped with a "Rub-R-Ride" axle, a Canadian Company long out of business.


I disagree with the assessment that the axle on a '78 automatically needs replacement- mine is still in good shape, and I've put 40,000 miles on it my own self! Tire wear patterns are a good indicator of axle condition, as is sighting the trailer for level ride. Another simple test is to jack the trailer up and if the tire comes off the ground immediately, that's a possible sign that the axle rubber has lost its "spring".

Per axle size:
If you're thinking Dexter, there are only two sizes in your range- the #9 (2200 lbs.) and the #10 (3500 lbs.) The #9 size is similar to as-built...I personally think the #10 would be too stiff for the weight/ride- especially for a 1300! Anyway, since loads are governed by the weakest part of the system, little gain would be made in carrying capacity without reinforcements of the trailer frame itself.

Also:
My choice for replacement when the time comes will be the Flexiride, partly since its spindles/rubber can be replaced if need be- an important advantage as far as I'm concerned. With the Dexter, even if damage is confined to one spindle, whole axle replacement is required as there are no serviceable/replaceable parts on that brand.

Francesca
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