Weight of 1976 Trillium 13 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-13-2008, 11:13 PM   #1
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I just spoke to someone selling a 1976 Trillium 13 for his dad and he thinks the weight of this trailer unloaded is 1350 lbs.. That sounds a bit high to me for a Trillium, but he claims his dad pulled it with an old 4 cylinder pickup. Since my 4cyl Highlander can pull only 1500 lbs. tops I am concerned that this older tril will be too much for my vehicle. Please advise!!!!! It looks great and I've been searching for the right trailer for more than a year!
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:31 PM   #2
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Hi,

I have a 79 13' and while I have never had it on a scale, I have estimated my "loaded" weight at about 1500lbs. I would rather estimate high to be on the safer side. That is without carrying any water in tanks. I think you would be pushing that with a towing capacity of 1500lbs.

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Old 03-13-2008, 11:34 PM   #3
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Thanks Sharon. It appears that different years of Trilliums had different weights.. . some as low as 900 lbs. I wonder if it had brakes whether that would increase how much I could tow? Do you have any thoughts on this?
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:44 AM   #4
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Hi Lisa,
I owed a Trillium 1300 1975 last year. The "Dry Weight" is 1,050 lbs. with an ice box.
That is right out of the Sales Brochure direct from Trillium. I still own a 1978 Trillium 4500 (Dry Weight 1,295 lbs.) I towed with a 4 cyl Santa Fe SUV no problem. So you are set to go ....smooth..sailing....!!!!!!!!
Dave in Michigan
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:41 AM   #5
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Thanks Sharon. It appears that different years of Trilliums had different weights.. . some as low as 900 lbs. I wonder if it had brakes whether that would increase how much I could tow? Do you have any thoughts on this?

My 1973 Trillium is supposed to be, according to the manufacturer, +/- 900 lbs. Forget about this and ALL indicated weight. There is no relation between the tag and reality. In the real life a Trillium, "normally " empty but equipped, including fridge, heater, propane etc.. is about 1350 lbs on a scale. A well equipped Trillium, including battery, tv, A/C microwave, all your personal belongings, canned goods, equipment and other materials will reach around 1850 lbs. The tongue weight will NOT be 125 lbs but the double or so. By the way, brakes will add about 50 more lbs and newer Trillium are more heavy by 200-300 lbs. Undoubtedly brakes are a must.

That IS the reality. And it is the same or so for every 13 feet FGRV.

I towed mine with a Honda CRV (4) and it is NOT a proper vehicle, safety wise. After experiencing with the CR-V my conclusion that I needed a bigger vehicle this is exactly why (and only why) I changed for a Honda Pilot (V6). This is the type of vehicle that really meets the requirements.

A four cylinder will be enough to bring the Trillium to the top of 10,500 feet mountains in Mexico (which I did) but you are much over limit in term of suspension, brakes etc... Those small cars and SUV are simply not appropriate. Wipe out the mental picture of a 900 lbs trailer, this is simply not true. Take a risk in favour of a safe vehicle.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:46 AM   #6
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Our 76 Trillium with Propane tank on front, fridge, spare tire on back, and front bunk, is 1320lbs empty, loaded for camping (without water in the tank) was about 1450lbs, which is good because our axle is only rated at 1500lbs. Most heavy stuff carried in the truck.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:38 AM   #7
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I just spoke to someone selling a 1976 Trillium 13 for his dad and he thinks the weight of this trailer unloaded is 1350 lbs.. That sounds a bit high to me for a Trillium, but he claims his dad pulled it with an old 4 cylinder pickup. Since my 4cyl Highlander can pull only 1500 lbs. tops I am concerned that this older tril will be too much for my vehicle. Please advise!!!!! It looks great and I've been searching for the right trailer for more than a year!
1350 lbs empty seems about right. As mentioned above, tag weight doesn't mean much and taking the trailer to a scale is the best thing you can do. Only reason you still hear those legendary 900 lbs numbers out there is that people don't get their trailer weighed.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:33 PM   #8
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Thanks Sharon. It appears that different years of Trilliums had different weights.. . some as low as 900 lbs. I wonder if it had brakes whether that would increase how much I could tow? Do you have any thoughts on this?

Lisa,

I think, as others have posted, that it isn't about different years, but different opinions. When those "dry weights" have been stated like 900lbs, they are talking about a bare trailer, start adding in the basics, stove, furnace, refer, bunk, table, propane tank, battery, spare tire and whatever you bring it adds up. I tow with a VW Eurovan and the tow capacity is 4400lbs. I do not have brakes on my trailer. I have definately seen my van brakes need replacing more often and need to stay on top of checking my transmission fluid. So while brakes would help stop the trailer (an important piece IMHO if you are towing near or at tow capacity) it won't help the other wear and tear on your car. I tend to be a bit cautious with all of this since I drive 99% of the time alone.

Sharon
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:56 PM   #9
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Somewhere in the past, there was apparently something administratively magical about being under 1,000 lbs (both in CA and US), so a lot of trailers were stated to be 900 lbs. I think it was a fiction then and is certainly a fiction now. My 91Scamp13 says 900 lbs on the frame tag, but loaded for the road it scales at 1,700 lbs and I don't have options like a refridge, a/c, converter, factory furnace, bath, hot water, etc.

I do have a battery, fresh water tank, single LP tank and spare tire.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:46 PM   #10
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Thank you all for your candor. Unless my brother agrees to let me borrow his truck to pull a trailer, I guess I'm going to need to hold off buying one until I can obtain a more suitable towing vehicle. It's so disappointing that after searching for so long for a FGRV that met my criteria I will not be able to buy this one. I really like my Highlander, too! I guess the dogs and I will be tenting it for a while longer! Bummer!
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:38 PM   #11
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Lisa, consider buying it, fixing it up and reselling it. Knowing that you only marginally want the egg puts you in a good position for bargaining!! Start a thread asking for techniques and you will get a lot of ideas.

Or maybe once you have it, you can weigh it and maybe lighten it up. I was able to do things with my Scamp to make it lighter, like smaller propane tank, use water jugs, removed heavy particle board doors and replace with thin plywood, ditched the old converter and got lightweight battery charger, etc.

Easy enough to do if your plans are for mostly weekends and not Full Time!
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:14 PM   #12
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My 2004 Trillium which i sold recently was pretty well fully equipted . When loaded for camping with full water tanks and gear for 2 weeks weighted in at 1950lbs.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:29 AM   #13
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Name: Normand
Trailer: Trillium 5500 1980
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Thank you all for your candor. Unless my brother agrees to let me borrow his truck to pull a trailer, I guess I'm going to need to hold off buying one until I can obtain a more suitable towing vehicle. It's so disappointing that after searching for so long for a FGRV that met my criteria I will not be able to buy this one. I really like my Highlander, too! I guess the dogs and I will be tenting it for a while longer! Bummer!
Just a few more words, that time, more specific to your Highlander. Someone privately wrote me about the fact that a Highlander would have been rated as a 3,500 towing capacity SUV if loaded with a V-6 and would be capable of towing a loaded Trillium.

My comments were general. I was not analyzing every small car or small SUV built all over the world! There are always exceptions.

It could be perfectly true that a 4 cylinder Highlander has the exact same brakes, suspension etc... than a V-6. If this is true I would not necessarily scrap the idea of towing a Trillium with a 4 cylinder motor. I would consider such a set-up as not an ideal one but also not a dangerous one. As I mentioned I climber 10,500 feet mountains in Mexico with a small 4 and I did it without any big problem. You will burn more gas, have to take into account that there is not a lot of power to pass slower vehicle but this is basically car management considerations.

It is the same for those who have a V-6 RAV-4. May be it is acceptable. May be the suspension is more adequate than a RAV- 4 with a 4 cylinder. May be two years from now CR-V will have a 2.4 L six cylinder diesel engine with a different suspension and all this would necessitate a different approach but until now small cars and small SUV having 4 cylinders engine and rated at or near 1,500 pounds towing capacity should not be considered as safe for towing 13 feet FGRV such as a Trillium, Scamp, Casita etc..
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