Kinda new trillium 1300 owner. Need advice - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-20-2015, 12:28 PM   #1
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Name: mjd
Trailer: 78 trillium 1300
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Kinda new trillium 1300 owner. Need advice

Hi, I have a 1978 trillium. Had it for about 7 years but only used it a couple nights 7 years ago.

It was in real rough shape when I got it and still is. I've since bought a a couple of trailers and now have a 2014 30 foot.

I think I'd really enjoy working on the trillium. I'd use it on solo overnighter golfing or biking trips. Or my kids can use it.

At this point, I just want to get it useable. I will work on it over the next year or so.

Its basically is a wreck but right now my biggest issue is that the belly band is leaking.

Ive read on the forums where people remove the band and repair with fiberglass.

I have removed part of the black plastic belly band molding and see rivets every few inches.

Before I get past the point of no-return.
- People have mentioned metal plates. Are there plates in there for sure? Seems to be just riveted together.
- How realistic is it to get the old belly band back on or can I buy a new one?

Sorry for the long winded post. Wanted to introduce myself too.

Thanks
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Old 10-20-2015, 02:05 PM   #2
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
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Mitch, As a veteran of two belly band threads, I can tell you, with some certainty, that there are metal plates under each and every rivet in your belly band. It is really the metal plates that cause the leaks. That is, the pocket that the metal plate sits in will collect water, by condensation, or rain. This water will freeze and expand. This forces the pocket to expand, and eventually rip into the interior of the trailer. The fix is to fill these pockets with resin, or bondo, or what ever.

If you take off the belly band, have someone help by holding it in place as you drill out the rivets. That way it wont get all bent up. The problem is, how do you attach it if the metal plates are removed?

There are self adhesive bands that can be stuck on. This is what Randy Bishop did. I like the look without it.
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:54 AM   #3
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Name: mjd
Trailer: 78 trillium 1300
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Sooooo. I removed all the metal rivet plates. and was left with divots. Used my dremel to cut the pieces per David.

- At first I tried to build up the divots with FG but it would take forever.
- Instead, I used long strand FG bondo to fill the holes and short strand to smooth it out. Easily sanded with my grinder and a flap disc.
- All looks good. Probably done for the year as its so cold now it takes a too long to set up.
- Not sure it is necessary to remove the rivet plates. I cant see a good reason now that I have done it.

Couple things.

- as it turns out, I don't think I needed to bother with the belly band.
I noticed it was probably the windows leaking that allowed water penetration.
I pulled off some ensolite under a window and the rivet dimples were all intact but the windows had leaked like a sieve.

I don't mind as I consider this my night class. Have remodelled many houses but never did any body work so I was using this as a reason to learn how to work with FG. Learned enough that I don't fear it anymore .

Just a precautionary note for the next person to pull off the ensolite under the windows. It comes off easily and I suspect I will PL it back on when I'm ready.

Pretty sure I will need to replace all the plywood build ups around the windows as I tried pulling some screws and they were completely rusted off.
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:52 AM   #4
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Four major jobs to restore a Trillium:
1) Windows - New screws, wood and butyl tape. (some windows may not require new wood)
2) Belly band, (removing the metal plates is optional)
3) Reinstall the door
4) New axle
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:35 AM   #5
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Name: mjd
Trailer: 78 trillium 1300
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Thanks David

Windows are next on my list but I may not get to them until spring as I'm headed south soon.

As far as I know, my axle is good. It's leaking grease for sure but I thought that would be bearings and seals. How will I know my axle needs replacing?

Also, my door is working perfectly in my mind but maybe I should be looking more critically at it?
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:18 PM   #6
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Axles fail in a number of ways. Mostly they either sag, or they get rock hard.

Sagging can be identified by the no weight position of the swing arm. It should be level. If it is pointing up, then you have some sag.

When they get rock hard, there is no travel. Get in your trailer and bounce up and down. If the tires are the only thing absorbing the bounce, then you may have a problem.

Grease is not involved in the suspension part of the axle. That would just be the bearings.

Whether you need a new axle or not, is kinda subjective. If you get a new one, get one with brakes.

The doors on Trilliums sag, The top left side will contact the door frame, the bottom left side will stick out. The bottom right side will also contact the door frame. Ideally there should be an even gap all the way around.
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:21 PM   #7
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Name: mjd
Trailer: 78 trillium 1300
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My torsion bar is definitely pointing up!!

Phoned around a bit today and was quoted at least $1000 to replace. Could be more if problems arise.
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:25 PM   #8
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Cost depends on where you go for an axle. Get several estimates. Try out of town, where the overhead is lower.

Approximately what angle up is it. Assume level is 0. If less then 5 up, probably not a problem.
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:13 PM   #9
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Name: mjd
Trailer: 78 trillium 1300
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Thanks David, will have a look.

I think my trailer might actually have brakes. The axle shop told me to check for wires going into the wheel and sure enough there are wires!!!

When I used the trailer years ago, I never had a brake controller on my vehicle. My old boler never had brakes and I just figured the trillium never either.

I need to re-do the wiring as the previous owner had just slapped on temporary taillights bypassing the originals. Its a total mess but will be fun to rewire and I'm looking forward to it! Plan to use led lights (I assume)
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:51 AM   #10
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
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LED Tail light threads:
New Trillium LED Tail Light Build
LED tail lights for Trilliums on sale in June 2012
Trillium 1300 wiring help
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