I just bought a mint Trillium 4500, BUT??? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-04-2013, 05:41 AM   #29
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Near mint condition... but

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Originally Posted by Doug2000 View Post
Just wondering, I pulled the carpet, the front and rear storage areas were well insulated with pieces of styrofoam, is this original, or did someone do this? The problem is the plywood underneath was damp, not good.
Wet plywood might turn into rotten plywood which is indeed a big concern. Floor structure needs to remain reasonnably stiff to prevent sagging of the walls and separation of the shell from the frame. Repositionning crossmembers might have something to do with the fact original bolts holding the shell went trough the rotten plywood... I hope not, but damp wood will certainly make the bolts holding the frame rust prematurely. The sagging door frame might also be related to plywood floor becoming too flexible.

Such issue on sailboat is quite common: it is called a "wet core". Plywood coated on both sides with fiberglass becomes a light an very stiff composite material. Whenever water sneaks in between, the plywood swells and rots over time. The bound between wet plywood and fiberglass fails, the top layer bounces and sounds empty rather than solid. There are special resins that can be injected to restore that bound and even restore rotten plywood to the point the overall composite structure can be bound together again.

At that point, it may be interesting to have the shell inspected by a fiberglass specialist used to restore sailboat decks. He will tell you the amount of humidity into the wood, the structural integrity of the composite material and the corrective measures that can be implemented and at what cost. Something may need to be done, but you need to assess the risks and implement a corrective plan.

Good luck !
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:43 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug2000 View Post
I am starting to think the frame is not original to the trailer, the black paint marks on the underside show a narrower frame was under the trailer. Also the mounting bolts are in different locations.

What bolts are you referring to?

I'll post further frame pics tomorrow if I get a chance.

As far as inspection by a competent welder, I guess that would be me, trained, certified, experienced. The frame is fine, needs a coat of paint, but the coupler has a small crack that will need replacing.
Hi Doug,
I'm glad you know more than I do about welding !

My only remaining concern is now the fiberglass shell integrity and especially the bolts holding the shell to the frame. Fiberglass is easy to repair economically for anybody who is patient and reads the instruction booklets on products ahead of time. For any structural repairs, I suggest you consider using epoxy and roving instead of standard polyester resin simply because repairs on old fiberglass are six times stronger with epoxy. Polyester resin is only suitable for cosmetic repairs on cured fiberglass.

By the way, I just repaired a wet core problem on my sailboat. The wet plywood was not rotten, but after it was dried out, the top layer delaminated (barely holding from the wood). In my case, I was able to work from underneath and glue the plywood to the top layer using Gorilla glue (polyurethane based), which expands as it cures, filling and sealing all cavities permanently (waterproof). It actually works better when wood is a bit wet !

I'm leaving you alone unless you ask for more details or fiberglass specific questions

Good luck !
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:54 AM   #31
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Hello Doug nice looking 4500 hope you can make it to bolerama in longbeach next week . Will be many 4500 s there as well as mine that you can compare frames to
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:48 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamimartin View Post
Hi Doug,
I'm glad you know more than I do about welding !

My only remaining concern is now the fiberglass shell integrity and especially the bolts holding the shell to the frame. Fiberglass is easy to repair economically for anybody who is patient and reads the instruction booklets on products ahead of time. For any structural repairs, I suggest you consider using epoxy and roving instead of standard polyester resin simply because repairs on old fiberglass are six times stronger with epoxy. Polyester resin is only suitable for cosmetic repairs on cured fiberglass.
But since the trailer was made with a polyester resin to begin with, it would probably be OK to repair with it. It doesn't look like your burns are where the bolts go through. I am not sure I would worry about the burns at all. If the damage is only cosmetic, then some paint will be all you need. Maybe give it a few whacks with a rubber mallet. If you don't go through, then it will probably be fine. If you do go through, then it clearly needed fixing. Fibreglass work is not so hard anyway, just kinda messy.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:23 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamimartin View Post
Hi Doug,
I'm glad you know more than I do about welding !

My only remaining concern is now the fiberglass shell integrity and especially the bolts holding the shell to the frame. Fiberglass is easy to repair economically for anybody who is patient and reads the instruction booklets on products ahead of time. For any structural repairs, I suggest you consider using epoxy and roving instead of standard polyester resin simply because repairs on old fiberglass are six times stronger with epoxy. Polyester resin is only suitable for cosmetic repairs on cured fiberglass.

By the way, I just repaired a wet core problem on my sailboat. The wet plywood was not rotten, but after it was dried out, the top layer delaminated (barely holding from the wood). In my case, I was able to work from underneath and glue the plywood to the top layer using Gorilla glue (polyurethane based), which expands as it cures, filling and sealing all cavities permanently (waterproof). It actually works better when wood is a bit wet !

I'm leaving you alone unless you ask for more details or fiberglass specific questions

Good luck !
I am going to need some advise on fixing my floor. I'll post up some pics.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:39 PM   #34
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Damp floor

So I spent Friday morning cleaning out the storage areas onder the dinnette benches and the front couch. I pulled out a layer of carpet, a layer of plywood, and a layer of styrofoam, all trapping moisture and hiding damage. I ripped out the factory drawers as they were useless and in the way of any repairs.

The kitchen side rear is the worst and is pretty wet but it is between the frame supports so I think I can doctor it up.





The other side has some fiberglass delamination and only the rear corner is a little damp.



The front is just a little damp but not that big a deal.



What I'm looking for is the name of the product you apply to a rotten core after drilling a bunch of holes and drying it out.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:57 PM   #35
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Doug, are you thinking about Git Rot? Available elsewhere, but here's an Amazon link: Amazon.com: BoatLIFE Git - Rot Liquid Epoxy: Sports & Outdoors
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:01 PM   #36
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Doug, are you thinking about Git Rot? Available elsewhere, but here's an Amazon link: Amazon.com: BoatLIFE Git - Rot Liquid Epoxy: Sports & Outdoors
That's what I was thinking of, I saw it on another page but couldn't find it again. Thanks for the response.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:18 PM   #37
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Did you keep the drawers? I might be interested in them, and the sliders. PM me if you still have them.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:46 PM   #38
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Did you keep the drawers? I might be interested in them, and the sliders. PM me if you still have them.
Sorry Dave, I don't have much room to keep stuff I don't need or plan to use, I let them go. They were not really that handy, they blocked access to get under the bench area from the front doors. Besides i destroyed the frames taking them out. They must have put them in prior to putting in the fibreglass benches.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:27 PM   #39
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That's what I was thinking of, I saw it on another page but couldn't find it again. Thanks for the response.
I used Git Rot for a rotten floor under the bench and found I needed a lot and it was quite expensive, its worth buying the largest bottle. It took me quite a while to dry the wood, too. I took some of the rotten wood off on top, and applied the Git Rot with a large syringe. I filled the surface with bondo hair for stabilization first and normal bondo afterwards ... then I just covered it with a piece of carpet.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:22 PM   #40
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I used Git Rot for a rotten floor under the bench and found I needed a lot and it was quite expensive, its worth buying the largest bottle. It took me quite a while to dry the wood, too. I took some of the rotten wood off on top, and applied the Git Rot with a large syringe. I filled the surface with bondo hair for stabilization first and normal bondo afterwards ... then I just covered it with a piece of carpet.
Thanks Chris

I am planning on cutting 2 sections out about 12" x 18" and fibreglass in a plywood patch. After that whatever is still soft I'll use Git Rot. Then I'll glass over the areas and paint them, then some carpet.

First, I need a new coupler, and I have some leaks to fix.
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:28 PM   #41
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Today I changed my coupler, the local dealer couldn't find a replacement that would work from their stock or catalogs. The dealer did say he could get one from Trillium but it might be a few weeks and with shipping it would be pretty expensive.
So I had to improvise. I bought a standard class 2 coupler made for 2" square tubing from the local Princess Auto. Good for 3500lbs, a little overkill, but only $14.99. I had some 2" x 3" in the garden shed from another project so it worked out well.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:35 PM   #42
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Quote:
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Today I changed my coupler, the local dealer couldn't find a replacement that would work from their stock or catalogs.
Nice work, Doug... but why wouldn't a commonly available A-frame coupler (such as the Class III 2 in. A-Frame Trailer Coupler from Princess Auto) work, with a lot less fabrication effort? Doesn't the tongue have the usual 50-degree angle?

One advantage of the new configuration is that the coupler is bolted on, and thus the next replacement can be done without any grinding or welding.
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