Lighter Trillium? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-04-2009, 12:08 PM   #1
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Although we haven't bought one yet, we looked at a Trillium last night and just loved it. The size, layout, quality everything are perfect. However, it is approaching our max tow-able weight so we were wondering if there were any mods that could decrease the weight. I was thinking maybe sub some of the steel frame with aluminum or something. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Linda.
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:00 PM   #2
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I would not touch the frame myself. We have never used the water tank on ours so we personally I would pitch that. We also have never used the porta potty in ours. You could remove the 20lb tank and replace it with a 10lb tank for some savings there (10lb's still last a long time if you aren't using the furnace). What is your max tow capacity with your Subaru?
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:25 PM   #3
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I would not touch the frame myself. We have never used the water tank on ours so we personally I would pitch that. We also have never used the porta potty in ours. You could remove the 20lb tank and replace it with a 10lb tank for some savings there (10lb's still last a long time if you aren't using the furnace). What is your max tow capacity with your Subaru?
Good memory Booker! We have a 2000lb limit on the legacy. Same as your Forester I believe? Maybe I'm just worrying for no reason. We we're looking at a couple of rental units; a boler and a trillium. Both really sweet and we felt the Trillium would be a better fit but the owner thought it might be a bit heavy for our car. Did you say you had trailer brakes? I can't remember..
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:32 PM   #4
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Yes, we have trailer brakes on ours. I bought the Trillium I have now because our plan was to do some longer road trips with our kids and I wanted to feel safe traveling through the Rockies.

Our limit on the forester is 2400lbs. There have been several members with Legacies who have towed Boler's and Trilliums without complaints - some have even towed the Trillium 4500's and Surfsides (15' trailers). Our 13' Trillium trailer totally loaded without water (including tools, bikes and bike racks, food, lots of books and bedding/clothes for 4) was 1890 lbs. We have since added an awning and a portable BBQ but no longer take the bikes or bike racks on trips longer then 2 hours.
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:12 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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I would imagine that replacing the (relatively) heavy particle board cabinet and cubby doors would take away some weight (and could be aesthetically pleasing as well).

It would be fun to take all the cupboard, closet, and cubby doors out, put them in a pile, and weight them, wouldn't it?
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:00 PM   #6
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I would imagine that replacing the (relatively) heavy particle board cabinet and cubby doors would take away some weight (and could be aesthetically pleasing as well).

It would be fun to take all the cupboard, closet, and cubby doors out, put them in a pile, and weight them, wouldn't it?

Not my idea of fun, but to each his own!

For light weight cabinet doors, you make them of denim or canvas with rolled hems. A spot of velcro at the corners makes a good latch.

Alternately, you could make replacement doors of 5mm plywood. A piano hinge at top and a batten on the outside bottom shaped to be a handle would keep it from warping.

I'm all for eliminating water tanks, pumps and piping on small RVs. Just work out of a gallon milk bottle and carry your extra in the tow vehicle. It works just fine.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:49 AM   #7
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If it has a front bunk, you could take that out, if I remeber correctly, it weighs about 35 pounds.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:00 PM   #8
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We've removed the furnace and fridge from our 1978 13' Trillium (both non-working); we now use coolers (just bought a used 12V cooler) and either an electric cube space heater or propane catalytic heater. We don't use the inside water system, so no water tanks. We logged several thousand miles in the past year, pulling it with our 2006 Subaru Outback wagon - no problems.
Almost forgot...we also removed the bunk.
...MarvonW
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:54 PM   #9
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Marvon,

Just curious, have you weighed your Trillium since you removed the appliances and bunk? It would be interesting to know how light it is now, and even moreso if you had "before" and "after" weights.

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Old 09-08-2009, 07:05 AM   #10
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Marvon,

Just curious, have you weighed your Trillium since you removed the appliances and bunk?
Raya
Raya,

No, I haven't. I weighed it moderately loaded last May before removing appliances, but bunk was gone. It weighed 1650 lbs. (including full tank of gasoline). Perhaps I'll weigh it next time we have it loaded and traveling, and report back here.
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:08 AM   #11
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That would be great, if you get a chance; I bet quite a few people would be interested to know what it weighs now
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:39 PM   #12
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Raya, When I replaced the particle board on my Burro with 3/8 " birch plywood, I made a crude attempt to weigh each. I stood on the bathroom scale holding stuff then subtracted my weight. It's been a couple of years but as I recall the difference was only about 8-12 lbs so I was disappointed. Replacing the old carpet with the blue closed cell foam and linoleum also saved a few lbs. The foam and linoleum weigh less than 5 lbs together, versus two layers of dirty carpet which weighed about 20 lbs or more.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:12 PM   #13
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u have 2 do lots of little things 2 reduce weight, one im going 2 do is replace all cupboard doors with 3/32" aluminum sheeting
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:31 AM   #14
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TheTrailer Goddess an I put our Trillium on a diet (of sorts)!! We lost over 70lbs by downsizing propane tanks on the tongue. Since we use propane only for back-up/emergencys, we reduced (in stages) from the two twenty pounders, to two ten pounders, then (now) down to two five pounders WITH only one being filled at any time. As I stated we did this because we mainly use Alec Tricity and mainly camp in organized settings. We also further reduced weight by switching the tongue battery toa smaller sized optima! If you really want to loose trailer weight, you might also look at WHAT you are packing with you. Don't be packin stuff you won't use on that particular outting!!! .....just my 2 cents (Canadian, eh?)
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:10 PM   #15
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I think before you can determine what you can remove/or do without you have to make a few trips with the trailer to see what you really will use and what you can really do without.We use very little water,as all our drinking water is brought with us in a container.However we always travel with a small amount of water in the tank.Just in case.On one trip we were parked at a campground that had only one source of water.It happened to be a very looooooog way from our trailer.That tank water came in handy for washing dishes etc.We had thought of getting rid of the furnace because we usually just use a small electric heater to take the chill off.BUT what happens if we have to camp where there is no hydro.A furnace that could run on propane would certainly be useful.Cutting down on the weight of the trailer is a great idea,but I think we pack a lot of things that are really not necessary and are usually not used.Some of these things go with us on every trip and are still never used.This is where we could cut down on weight.
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Old 10-08-2009, 05:28 PM   #16
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Get a drill!
In the 70's/80's the bike industry went weight crazy. Racers were drilling out just about anything on the bike; sometimes with disasterous results. An added bonus is that you could call her the "Drillium"!
Or, get a bigger tug and bring the kitchen sink. My trillium is going backwards; 2 T-105's on the tongue, Allure floor, ect.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:41 PM   #17
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Talking

We have no problem towing our Trillium with our 2000 Outback, capacity 2000#. Our Trill weighed in at 1650# with a few things onboard.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:31 PM   #18
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http://www.lpgastanks.com/category/propane-tanks

Our bare bones 13 Scamp weighs in around 1500 lbs. I think we have pulled it about 30,000 miles and figured after several years we ought to top off our 20 lb tank. Mostly we make coffee in the morning and warm the Scamp while making our hot water.

Fred took it in, the guy hefted it and said, "this is going to take 2 or maybe 3 pounds, you really want to do this?". Fred told him it was the wife's order so he topped it off for us.

Really, I did the hot water down the side trick and we figured it only had about a fourth of a tank left. Guess I should have got out the scale.

I want a light weight 10 pound clear tank like the link above. No more red face when I take the tank for a fill in 2014.

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Old 10-09-2009, 09:40 AM   #19
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Pat has very good advice! We just got our Perris Pacer, and I was all for "stripping it down". BUT, as Pat says, I decided to wait till I know what I want/need, etc. And you know, with this economy, I be LIVING in the camper, so I better wait---I may need that heater and fridge!

Nancy--what a cool find!! Does anybody out there have one of these clear tanks??? How does it hold up???
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:16 AM   #20
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In that same line of thinking, I would put more emphasis on what kind of camping you like to do and what are the amenities or equipment that you enjoy having based on your own experience rather than starting off by getting rid of all of the things that differenciate the trailer from a tent. Think long term. The amount of weight you'll be trimming off will most likely be marginal anyway so if you're worried about pulling a trailer now, removing 50 or 150 pounds isn't going to make you feel that much better. I think any vehicle with a 2000+ tow rating should have no problem whatsoever pulling a 13-footer. Mind you, I'd still get brakes and drive carefully at all times regardless of the tow vehicle, but I would personally get a more capable vehicle before considering getting rid of all the goodies, as making the experience enjoyable is what this is all about.
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