Trillium 5500 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-15-2007, 06:55 AM   #1
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Trailer: 1976 13 ft Boler and 1980 Trillium 5500
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Driving down a side road here in Massachusetts my egg radar went off - there in a side yard stood a forlorn looking Trillium 5500 - never seen one one those rare birds before! I am sorely tempted to go knocking on the owners door as my wife longs for a TT with a bath - can anyone give feedback on this model? I have searched the forum for past posts and would be curious to hear any more recent opinions. BTW - i have a 6 cyl. truck as a tow vehicle... thanks! Alec
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Old 06-15-2007, 07:45 AM   #2
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Hi ya Al, here's a topic for one that was for sale..that'd give you an idea of selling/buying price, etc.: 1981 TRILLIUM 5500 FOR SALE PRICE REDUCED!, Located in Trenton, Ontario Canada

Then there's this topic: Trillium 5500

Good luck
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:36 AM   #3
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I am sorely tempted to go knocking on the owners door
Do it. That's how I got my Burro 17.

All they can do is so "no".
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Old 06-15-2007, 10:21 AM   #4
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Thanks! Does anyone know if the Trill. 550 has an intergral fiberglass or plywood floor? Alec
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Old 06-15-2007, 10:45 AM   #5
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Alec, if it is for sale and you decide to pass on it, let me know!
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:08 PM   #6
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Absolutely Lee - will do! Alec
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:29 PM   #7
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my floor is plywood with a fiberglass layer on the underside.

I love my 5500 and all of its features.

Joe
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:46 PM   #8
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Thanks to all - I showed the pictures to my wife and she likes it! We will go knocking next week! Alec
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:22 PM   #9
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Well I have a lot to report! I went by the house twice, and caught the owner in the second time. He is a nice older gent that is eager to sell the trailer. Indeed, he really just wants it out of the yard and made me an offer really impossible to refuse! However - there's a catch... the condition of the trailer is awful. Certailny salvagable, but a total restoration is called for. The roof vent is missing and the weather has been coming in through that rather large hole for a least a couple years... I suspect the plywood floor is trashed, though I didn't notice any obvious soft spots while I toured the interior.. gingerly stepping over junk and dodging the wasps that are nesting within.. the bathroom looks great though, and the overheads look fine. The front dinette is totally gone, but the rear dinette, galley, closet and fridge assembly are still there and in fine shape.

I think the mustard in the closet was still good....

I would be nuts to bring this wreck home, but I would be nuts to pass it up at this price... I think I'm gonna do it. My wife says she wants it and I do trust her.. But the flat tires and rusty frame are scary to be sure. Any advice from the forum members? Thanks! Alec
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:29 PM   #10
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From the sounds of it you will be getting it cheap.Just decide in your own mind if you can get it back to usable condition.
If it was me i would now own a Trill 5500 along with my present Trill.
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:28 PM   #11
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... But the flat tires and rusty frame are scary to be sure. Any advice from the forum members?
From a restoration point of view the tires are trivial and the frame is manageable for someone with space and the confidence to take on what might become a body-off-frame overhaul (I haven't done that one, but would not be afraid to given other experience).

But then there's the issue of getting it home. I would be looking to rent or borrow a flat-deck trailer and a suitable tow vehicle, or considering the cost of a towing service (using a tilt-deck truck), rather than towing it home on it's own (questionable) chassis. Either way is likely a non-trivial cost, but realistically there are significant expenses ahead anyway, and this is just one of them.

I have been quite interested in the 5500, too, but in the end I don't think it offers enough advantage (for my purposes) over the B1700 to pursue one. Best wishes with the project, Alec.
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:39 PM   #12
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I would be nuts to bring this wreck home, but I would be nuts to pass it up at this price... I think I'm gonna do it. My wife says she wants it and I do trust her.. But the flat tires and rusty frame are scary to be sure. Any advice from the forum members? Thanks! Alec
I don't know if this is any help, but last summer I met the plumber that designed the plumbing for the 5500. He lives in Cheticamp, NS now still practicing as a plumber and puts a PHD after his name on his business card (for Plumbing, Heating and Drains)

I've still got his card, so if you need help from that end, I'm sure he'd be ecstatic to get a call. He was quite fascinated with our little Boler American.
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:15 AM   #13
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(using a tilt-deck truck),
My 13 went on one of those once. The tire place broken my frame and they sent a tow out to get it to the welder.

Money aside (Which I didn't have to pay, so I have no idea what it cost) it was no trivial matter getting it ON there!

It was one guy, and a 4 handed job. Because the nose was so far away from the wheels, it actually would not go at the angle that the bed had to tilt at. The broken frame made the nose dive even more. Cars have wheels to hold the nose up..

He actually had to show me how to work the levers and run the pulling bits while he climbed in front and held up the tongue at the split in the frame. I was scared for him, but even more scared watching my baby get wrenched and tugged up onto this thing.

I wish I could have had a free hand to take pictures... sigh.
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:03 PM   #14
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Good point, Gina. If the truck has too high an approach angle, loading the trailer will be tough. A common flat-deck trailer would be easier in this regard, but if you're looking for a commercial service (like a towing company) to do the work, I think they're far more likely to have a tilt-deck truck than a suitable trailer.

Plan "B", of course, is to arrive for the pick-up with new tires already mounted on wheels, ready to bolt on in place of the unsafe originals. Perhaps the rust on the frame is superficial, or at least the frame has one more trip in it...
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