Advice for first time owner - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-14-2016, 07:52 PM   #1
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Name: Dirk
Trailer: '77 Trilliium 1300
Michigan
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Advice for first time owner

I am on my way next week to Ontario to pick up a 77 Trillium 1300. Very excited of course but would like some advice. Besides the obvious stuff like lights and hitch, tires, etc.... is there anything I should check before I drive off with it? I have a long drive home.

It is in pretty good shape with all original everything. I am guessing cleaning it would be the first step. What do you all use for the exterior? I have seen some made for TV ad stuff that is for boats but I haven't bought anything that ever works like they show in infomercials. I am hoping to get it out right away so I probably won't spend too much time on the exterior, just a quick wash but I would still like it to look as good as possible. Is the car wash ok or will that scratch things?

Any and all advice is welcome, especially any tips you may have to get out camping sooner rather than later. I want to enjoy it for a bit before I start really digging into a project.

Thanks
Dirk
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:23 PM   #2
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The number one thing to be sure is OK is the wheel bearings.
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:30 PM   #3
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Age of tires? Not miles on tires, but age. If you know the Born On Date that's even better.
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:47 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
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US Customs and transfer of title

Dirk,

I have imported 2 vintage FGRVs from Ontario. Let me know if you have any questions about importation and transfer of title.

- Start with a clean, current Ontario registration signed over to you (titles aren't issued in Ont.)
- Get a signed bill of sale if you don't already have it (can use State of Michigan form for this)
- Get US Customs form 7501 upon entry if you don't already have it
- Present Ont. registration, bill of sale, and US Customs form 7501 to MI Secy of State office to obtain title, registration and permanent plate if you haven't already done this

Congratulations!
-John
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:05 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
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check axle for any cracks

Its my understanding that the Trillium 1300 frame may develop cracks where the frame emerges from under the body at the tongue. More recently the problem was fixed by welding steel plates (fish plates) to the sides of the frame. Also, the frame may develop cracks near the axle.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:07 PM   #6
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gel coat care

Concerning FG gel coat care, there are numerous threads on this forum discussing various methods and products for reviving the FG exterior surface.
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Old 06-14-2016, 10:30 PM   #7
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
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things to check before towing

Since you are towing a long distance, as you and others have mentioned above, the following checks should be made:

- wheel bearings recently greased and inspected
- tires in good repair AND not older than 7 years
- frame checked for cracks
- exterior running lights function
- correct size hitch ball
- prefer reasonable match of hitch receiver height (Trillium coupler height is 16" to 18")
- matched trailer hitch electrical connector

Also, it would be worthwhile to check the condition of the body to frame bolts, although even if they are original, should be OK. The Trillium 1300 has 6 bolts. My Trillium 4500 had original bolts (8) when I bought it. Most were badly rusted, but still very difficult to remove.
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Old 06-15-2016, 05:20 AM   #8
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Name: Dirk
Trailer: '77 Trilliium 1300
Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
Dirk,

I have imported 2 vintage FGRVs from Ontario. Let me know if you have any questions about importation and transfer of title.

- Start with a clean, current Ontario registration signed over to you (titles aren't issued in Ont.)
- Get a signed bill of sale if you don't already have it (can use State of Michigan form for this)
- Get US Customs form 7501 upon entry if you don't already have it
- Present Ont. registration, bill of sale, and US Customs form 7501 to MI Secy of State office to obtain title, registration and permanent plate if you haven't already done this

Congratulations!
-John
Thanks everyone, those are all great things to check. Thanks John for the importation advice. I called the Sault Ste Marie office and it all seems pretty simple. I thought it would be more complicated.

Dirk
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Old 06-15-2016, 08:00 AM   #9
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importation

Crossing at Port Huron in 2015 was also pretty simple. US Customs in Port Huron has a pretty busy office, but they were knew exactly what to do and produced the form 7501 from an online application and handed it to me as I was standing at the counter.

Crossing at Detroit in 2012 was amusing. No online application. Officers had to figure out which paper form to prepare, etc. They were intrigued by the Boler 13 and the fact that I was towing with a Malibu Maxx. Also, I made the mistake of entering through commercial truck lanes. Wow big mistake.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:30 PM   #10
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Name: Linda
Trailer: Boler 17 ft
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I have taken my Boler through a car wash no problems. First shampoo and then I used a scrubby to get the worst off. Then rinsed a couple of times then waxed. It looked great tho the wax doesn't last long

You will find out if it leaks anywhere!

This spring I lathered it up with Dawn dish soap again using a scrubby and was stunned at what a great job it did.

I'll try to attach a photo.

Ok folks...how do I attach a photo?

Linda
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:04 PM   #11
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Trailer: 76 Trillium 1300
Waterloo, Ontario
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You will want to ask the current owner what the height is of that Trillium at the trailer coupler when the trailer is level(or slightly down in front.) You want to take a draw bar with you that will make sure that the trailer is slightly down in front when towing or at least level behind your tow vehicle. Also, it is very important to remember that most of out trailers require a 1 7/8" ball on your tow vehicle (as opposed to the more popular 2" ball now) unless it's been changed.

I have 3 different draw bars, one for each of my vehicles, depending on which one is pulling the Trillium. One of them is straight (no drop or rise), the other one has a 2 1/2" drop, and the third one has a 1" rise.

You will also want to know if it has a 4 wire flat plug for the wiring or a 7 pin or something else??

These are just a few more things to sort out ahead of time to make sure you don't have to worry about anything once you are picking up your Trillium.

Happy motoring and good luck

Stefan
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:20 PM   #12
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Name: Dirk
Trailer: '77 Trilliium 1300
Michigan
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Thank you!

Just wanted to thank everybody for all the advice. I had a long trip to Thunder Bay, ON (9+ hours). The area is absolutely beautiful from the Lake Superior Provincial Park all the way to Thunder Bay. Saw four moose along the way. If you haven't been there you may want to check it out, especially the provincial park.

Anyway, everything went smoothly and I am the proud owner of a 1977 Trillium 1300. It is in really nice shape. All original appliances and cushions, etc. I camped at Agawa Bay and slept quite comfortably in the new camper. No problems at the boarder. I pulled into the Secretary of State when I got home and got the title work and plate. No problems there either.

Thank you all for helping make this such a smooth purchase. I really appreciate it and of course will be posting lots of questions on how to keep it rolling.

I will post some pictures when I get a chance.

Dirk
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:40 PM   #13
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Dirk, congratulations again! Glad everything went well. We look forward to your updates. -John
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:47 PM   #14
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Can't wait to see pics!
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