Working on a Trillium 5500 - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-30-2015, 03:14 PM   #15
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Name: lee
Trailer: 1981 Bigfoot,1971 trailswest campster, 1975 Hunter l, homebuilt teardrop
Idaho
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Carl Congrats on the purchase of your Trillium. My wife, Norma , and I had a 1981 5500 and loved it. We have since moved on to a 1981 Big Foot 17 as the floor plan suits our needs a little better. It appears the time you put in searching for just the right trailer was well spent as the one you got looks to be a real winner. Your research on window replacement served you well as your fix is a first class job ! Lee
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:14 PM   #16
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 1981 Trillium 5500
Quebec
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Thanks to all!

Just to be clear: I did use stainless steel screws. The rust concern is actually the galvanic corrosion between SS and the aluminium frames, for which a solution would be the use of nylon washers. Not sure if I should be concerned or not about this, and I didn't use nylon washers as I couldn't find any.

I paid about $9 for a box of 100 SS screws (#8 3/4 inch) at my local hardware store. I figure the 7 windows will require about 300 screws. Not very expensive anyway, and the wood and butyl tape will probably cost as much as the screws.

So far the hardest has been just getting the ensolite off the old wood. Otherwise it is a pretty straightforward job. But I'm looking at the side windows of my 5500, and it looks like getting the old wood might be more difficult on some windows. For example the window just over the galley seems to have wood running all to way the the rear window, and the cabinet that overhangs the galley and the structure that holds it seems to be attached to this. Not sure how much of the galley I will need to dismantle... I'd be glad to hear from other 5500 owners who did this window or this side of the trailer.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:02 AM   #17
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
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I did all the windows on a 4500, including all the wood frames. I came to the conclusion that only one of the windows was sufficiently rotted to require a new wood frame. The rotted one separated from the Ensolite relatively easily. The non rotted ones were very difficult to separate. I also ran into some silicone, but not nearly as much as you.

Looks really good. It will be done before you know it.
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:23 PM   #18
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 1981 Trillium 5500
Quebec
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Did my 2nd window yesterday.
I learned a few things:

-It's now official: I HATE removing old silicone.
-Silicone-Be-Gone, a product made by DAP, helps a LOT.
-The plywood strips around the 5500 windows not only surround each window, the horizontal strips actually run the entire length of the trailer and are also used to secure cabinets and partitions to the shell. This can seriously complicate their replacement in case of water damage..

I decided to start a blog to document the work on my trailer. For now, it is in french only, my native tongue. I may decide eventually to make an english version, just like I did on my parent's motorhome restoration blog. (I have both the english and french version of this blog running in parallel, that's much more work!)

In the meantime, if you're interested you can use Google Translate. It's not perfect but does a decent job (I find it's sometimes funny) and you'll easily be able to figure out what I'm doing or talking about. If you need more details or explanations or have any comments, please feel free to write!

Click here:
Trillium5500

Google Translated version (not sure if the link will work):
Trillium 5500
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:46 PM   #19
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Name: Matt
Trailer: 1975 Trillium
Nova Scotia
Posts: 6
I just bought a "leak free" "excellent condition" 1975 Trillium 1300 from New Glasgow, NS. Looks like first order of business is resealing the windows. 3 of the 4 leak. The rear window frame is soaked. Total newbie to the FG trailer. The pics are very helpful and the website/forum is great. I will tackle the repair thanks to this thread and many others. Thanks.
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:17 AM   #20
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Name: Linda
Trailer: Boler 17 ft
Ontario
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Hi Carl, Linda here.

Wow! That is one heck of a great job you did! There are 6 windows on my Boler plus the belly band that some previous owner "piped" silicone around. And some unidentified caulking. I am going to start working on removing it all and then sealing the windows properly.

I know I can remove the silicone and Steve and I together can reseal the windows but I am no longer looking forward to the task after I read your tutorial.

We have no idea as to how to handle the house paint that someone applied with a roller. By the time the windows are completed I am sure it will have started snowing here and we will only be able to work on removal of the carpet and laying down the floor. Anything else will have to wait till spring.

Keep up your great work and your tutorials. I would love to see how the cushions are covered as that is my winter project.

Man, I'm starting to think I am too old for this but when I am curled up, reading a book in my Boler, like childbirth, I forget the pain of it all.

Linda
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:25 AM   #21
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Quebec
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Hi Linda

In all honesty, re-sealing the windows is really not that hard. It's a pretty straightforward job, just a little more time consuming because of the damn silicone used by previous owners. I may not have enough time to seal all my 7 windows before winter either, not a big deal.

I realize my writings may sound like it's a very tiresome and difficult job, but it's definitly not that bad. Consider it's like these reality shows on TV where they add a lot of drama to keep the viewers on the edge of their seat when in fact not much happens!!

On my next window, as soon as the window is off the trailer I intend to apply a good amount of that Silicone-Be-Gone stuff and let it work for a couple hours as prescribed. I'm confident it will save me a lot of scraping and scrubbing.

Please don't consider this as a 'tutorial', I'm glad if it helps you but don't forget I'm a total newbie on this, the knowledge I seem to have is really just the knowledge of others that I have collected over time by reading on this forum! Another reason for writing about my reno is hopefully if I'm about to do something stupid on my trailer someone will come up and tell me "Hey don't do that!! "

We're planning on recovering the cushions, my wife found a nice fabric she's pretty much decided on, it has some 70's or 60's style patterns and the colors will match the interior nicely. We will use it for the back cushions, and use a matching dark gray of charcoal fabric for the bottom cushion. At least that's what the plan is right now. We don't know yet if we'll have the job done (expensive) or if my wife will do it.



It's the Quebec Bolerama this weekend, at a campground about 20 minutes from here, I saw there are at least 3 5500s registered, and we're planning on a visit this afternoon.

Carl
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:34 AM   #22
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Name: Linda
Trailer: Boler 17 ft
Ontario
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Let me how how the Quebec Bolerama goes. I want to go to the Ontario one next summer.

I love the fabric!

Carl I am not totally discouraged and will get some silicone- be - gone to speed the job along. Starting a job is always the slow part for me but once I start it's no problem.

Considering the bastardized job that was done on my Boler previous to me owning it,and the repairs that we and Brycam Trailers in Barrie have done, it is looking pretty darn good.

On that note, I feel it is worth the sweat equity to keep going on it.

My partner wants me to sell it and pool our resources and buy a newer rig. I always find the harder I work on something the more I love it so will keep on going for now.

Take care,

Linda
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:08 PM   #23
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Trailer: 1981 Trillium 5500
Quebec
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Went to the Quebec Bolerama this afternoon, as a visitor.
Saw 3 Trillium 5500. Talked at length with owners of two of them. It was great!
Two of these 5500 were twin axle units.
One owner said his was a 1983. I thought Trillium went belly up in 1981 or so?
Also learned something I never noticed before, I don't know if it's true or not: Deluxe models have dual stripes on the sides. Standard models only have one stripe. This apparently applies to 4500s and 5500s. Not sure about the blue vs orange stripes, it apparently means something also (model year?).

One of these 5500 looked quite clean, although a lot of modifications had been made by its owner. The other two where pretty much original, and on a few aspects in need of some renovations IMO. Some have made modifications on their trailer that I would never do on mine. And some have issues that I could not live with, or things that I'm planning to fix/replace/modify on mine. It was an interesting visit nonetheless, and we are now more confident than ever on our ability to turn our own 5500 into a very good looking unit that we'll be proud of. Just give us a couple years!

We also had the chance to look at a new (2014) Trillium Outback, and for the 1st time we saw an Escape 17B (which I found nice but noticeably smaller than my old 5500).
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:54 AM   #24
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Name: Matt
Trailer: 1975 Trillium
Nova Scotia
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Hey Carl,
I finished my rear window repair/resealing yesterday. All went well though I think I might try 1" screws as it seems the 3/4 didn't bite in as much as I would have liked especially top corners. My question is whether or not to put a thin bead of the Proflex Rv caulking along the outside of the butyl. I'm not sure if my screw cover strip will fit back on if the bead is there. Any thoughts?
Thanks
Matt
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:03 AM   #25
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Hi Matt

I'm no specialist, but I think if you put enough butyl tape, and the butyl was squeezed out when you tightened the screws, the window should be water tight and I don't see the need to add any other sealant.

I was thinking of going with the 1" screws as well, altough I could torque the screws hard enough I think, considering I'm into cedar and not hard wood. Also, I don't think they have to be torqued very hard either: not all the butyl has to ooze out, there has to be a layer remaining between the fiberglass and the window frame, if the screws are too tight it looks like the aluminium frame bends/distorts at the screws (I had to straighten mine at a couple places before I reinstalled), and overtightening may also cause some stress on the thin fiberglass (mine has what looks like tiny stress cracks on the gelcoat near many of the screws, may be due to this or not, I don't know).

I haven't put the screw covers back on, I think the trailer is missing one or two, and some of the ones I took off were cracked or out of shape. I might have to replace them eventually, or go without them (not sure how it will look).
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:05 AM   #26
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Name: Kathy
Trailer: 2017 Escape 19 and 1987 Bigfoot B17
Washington
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Great looking trailer, Carl and thanks for all the excellent pictures documenting your window replacement/repair/resealing project. I find pictures of people's projects really helpful when we're considering similar work on our trailer. Keep up the good work and have fun with your trailer!
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:01 PM   #27
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Name: Matt
Trailer: 1975 Trillium
Nova Scotia
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Hi Carl,
Thanks for the reply. I think I'll hold off on the Proflex. The butyl squeezed out nicely all around it looks nice and clean without a bead of caulking. Rained a lot here today and rear window is no longer leaking! Woohoo. Front window leak is the next to be fixed and will likely need new frame as well. Thanks again.
Matt
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:23 PM   #28
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It was raining today here. While I was working on my fridge I noticed water was actually flowing over the ensolite from the rear window, lower right corner ! No wonder water is pooling on the floor in that corner. So my next window to re-seal will be the rear one.

Also, it seems to me that the wood around the window I re-sealed last week was kinda damp... This I don't like. I tightened the screws a little more and we'll see. I may have to remove that window again, I hope not.

Today I repainted the tubing of the cooling unit in the back of my fridge, I cleaned the burner and burner 'jet', cleaned ans straightened the upper vent grille, and I'm getting ready to reinstall the fridge, probably next weekend. Details will be on my blog within a couple days.
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