Working on a Trillium 5500 - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-28-2015, 05:33 PM   #57
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That looks great, the pictures really do help illustrate the plan.
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Old 09-28-2015, 05:38 PM   #58
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you said that the "pontoon" is directly under this patch? are there any breathers or openings into those spaces or are they essentially sealed off? I have been thinking about sealing the plywood all the way around my 4500 camper similar to how yours was made. What do you think?
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:57 PM   #59
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There are drains at the lower points of the pontoons, near the wheel wells. Just a small hole, about 1/4 inch. I'll try to get a picture.
Since I haven't seen any holes in the plywood to let water from above flow down in the pontoons, I don't know if any water ever came out of there. Condensation may be?

Re: sealing all around: I don't know, I think the fiberglass on the edge of the plywood certainly helped protecting it from the small leaks from the windows, but as you've seen in my case it also complicates the plywood replacement if ever required.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:39 PM   #60
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did you notice if the water and rot followed the part of the plywood that was encased? in some places when I was hunting for rot I felt like the plywood not breathing caused trouble. although the water got in from places it was open
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:45 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhinge View Post
did you notice if the water and rot followed the part of the plywood that was encased?
Doesn't look like it. The rot on the edge of the plywood under the FG lip didn't extend any further than the exposed area.

In fact, my damage is in a corner between the wall and the wheel well, and along the wheel well I could not remove much wood under the FG lip because it was still good. But right outside the FG along the wheel well it was total rot.

Along the wall, the rot extended right to the edge of the plywood, well under the FG lip, and even then I had to use my putty knife to scrape the bad wood off the FG. It was still somewhat stuck to the FG. Once I removed all I could, I knew it was all off because I can insert my blade under the FG all the way to the wall. But again, the damage under the FG wasn't going much further than the damaged on the exposed area.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:25 PM   #62
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Floor is repaired.

I used both Bondo's FG resin and short strand FG filler.





If you go back a few messages on this thread, you'll see I already had a piece of 3/8 plywood cut the appropriate shape to patch the damaged area, from which all the bad wood had been scraped off.

First thing I did is spread some liquid resin on the damaged area. The resin filled all the tiny cracks of the wood and soaked the fibers. I then spread resin all over my plywood patch, and put the patch in position. To make sure there was no void between the patch and what was left of the floor, I drove a few stainless steel wood screws through both.

The patch was partially under the FG 'lip' from the wall of the trailer. It was not a perfect fit and the patch/floor looked like it was sagging somewhat, so I put two small temporary wooden slats on each side, and a another one on top of the first 2 and a long temporary wood screw partially screwed into the wood, which exerted an upward pressure, lifting the wood tight against the FG wall 'lip'. I let the resin harden while in this position.



I removed the wood slats and the long screw, then I prepared a generous portion of filler, spreading it smooth over my "patch" with a large trowel. I made sure the filler went up over the 'lip' of trailer wall.



Once cured, the floor is hard as iron. A bit of light sanding to smooth it out, and here I am with an extremely rigid floor, probably stronger than the original, perfectly sealed and water resistant.

There was also some minor wood rot around one of the anchor bolts at the rear.



I was able to remove the bolt quite easily (virtually not rust on the frame) but the bolt itself was corroded.



I scraped the bad wood off, put some of the same FG filler in the hole and around it, then put a new bolt and washer in. I didn't push the bolt deep in the recess, just deep enough for the top of the bolt head to be flush with the floor. Once the FG was set, I put a nut on and tightened it. Very sturdy and waterproof. Forgot to take a picture of that one!

Next I will reinstall the fresh water tank, install a water heater bypass (for winterizing) and a antifreeze inlet hose for the water pump.

Carl
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:27 PM   #63
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I got ready to winterize my 5500. I installed a "winterizing kit" for my pump (to draw antifreeze directly from the jug), and a water heater bypass.

My water heater already had ball valves installed at the inlet and outlet, all I needed was the actual bypass. Quick trip to the hardware store and I came back with all I needed.

My trailer uses Poly-B type piping and "press fit" fittings (picture below). I decided to use similar type.



Here's my bypass:



Back of water heater before I installed the bypass. Note the ball valves already there.



With the bypass:



My home made "winterizing kit". I couldn't find an appropriate 3 way-valve, so I used a T and 2 standard valves. Works as good.



Took just over 1.5 gal of antifreeze to winterize all the lines, both sinks, toilet, shower, and all drains and p-traps, etc.

And it was about time: forecast calls for 5 deg below freezing for tonight!
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Old 10-31-2015, 08:21 AM   #64
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Anybody ever saw replacements or alternatives to these brackets?
I'm not sure if other Trilliums have them, they are plastic brackets holding the shelves/upper cabinets, the 5500 has 5 or 6 of them. Mine are old and yellow and I'd like to replace them. I'd like aluminium instead of plastic, that would fit nicely with the aluminium extrusions used in the shelves structure.

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Old 10-31-2015, 09:20 AM   #65
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mine has the same brackets, ive just left mine the way they were, but im sure with some searching, you could find something that would work
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:40 AM   #66
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4500's also use that bracket. If you do find a replacement, then please post your find. At least one of mine are on it's last leg. Someone tightened the screws too much.
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:29 PM   #67
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I never saw anything that resemble these brackets, but I was thinking of maybe using something like this, which is a base or bracket for a square post or tubing:



You cut this piece into 4 parts (or maybe only in 2 if it's not large enough), and you'd get something that looks like shelf brackets for the Triilium. Sort of. You get the idea.

I don't even know where I could get that type of square base to begin with.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:59 AM   #68
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Over the last few days I reconfigured the rear storage compartments in my 5500. What was initially a standard dinette with a table and storage under the benches had already been somewhat modified by a previous owner. The table had been replaced by a thick (1in?) and heavy piece of plywood, and the space under was used to store 2 large plastic bins on wheels. The seat cushions have been replaced by a one piece foam mattress to make a permanent bed.

The space in the dinette seats was only used by the water heater on one side, and the fresh water tank in the other side. Lots of unused, but hard to access storage space.
The two plastic bins are shorter than the space under the table (plywood now), leaving some unused space towards the rear of the camper.



The plywood on top of the benches had some water damage on the edges from water dripping from the leaky windows just above.

My goal was to replace that rotten plywood, get a better access to the storage under the bed, optimize the storage volume, and if possible, make everything lighter.
I think we'll keep the plastic roller bins for now, I think they were used to store clothes, which I think is a good idea. Easier to carry plastic bins from and to the house than carry piles of clothes, we had a similar system in our popup camper (plastic drawers) and it worked great.

So I removed all the old plywood, and slightly re-arranged how the compartments are divided. Now it looks like this:



I've put a new plywood in, I used 3/8 instead of 1/2in to save weight. 3/8 is not as stiff, so I had to add some more bracing under it, but overall everything is much lighter that what was there before.



The plywood is hinged about 14 inches from the rear wall. The area aft of the hinges, under the bed, is basically free. I'm thinking of adding a rear access door at the back of the trailer to access this area, which is about 14 inches deep and runs the entire width of the trailer. That would make a nice storage compartment. Lifting the plywood gives me access to the water heater and water tank if I need to and also there is also a bit a storage space in there.



Here the 2 storage plastic bins are in position under the bed:



They rollout like this:



I've screwed an aluminium angle at the edge of the plywood to add stiffness, and it also matches the brushed aluminium extrusions of the 5500 interior. The bed is light, sturdy and the storage space is quickly accessible, and new wood smells much better than the old rotten plywood!




(continued)
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:03 PM   #69
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Once this was done, I had to glue back the Ensolite that I ripped off when I resealed the rear window. Back then I had to remove some dirty and moldy open-cell foam just under the window, used to fill the recess at the belly band level and make the wall straight. Before I glued back the Ensolite, I needed something to replace that foam. I wanted something light, water resistant, and cheap! I had some of these colored foam tiles that are sold as floor mats, they are made of water resistant closed cell foam and will not soak water, they are just the right thickness, and they weight nothing. I cut a couple strips and put them under my window.



Then I glued the Ensolite using water-based contact cement, as suggested by someone here. Worked great.



I put temporary braces to put some pressure on the Ensolite until the glue set. I only glued the Ensolite on the fiberglass shell, not on the new wood frame of the window. If I ever have to replace that wood again one day, I won't have to unglue and risk damaging the Ensolite again.



Then I cut a new wood panel to replace the one on the back wall under the window. I used 1/8" plywood. It is visible in the pictures in my previous post above, as photos were actually taken after the Ensolite was glued and this panel made.

We're not sure yet if we'll try to find a wood stain that matches the camper's faux wood grain, or put a different finish on it. The similar panel under the front window will have to be replaced the same as well.

Couple other things I've done:
-replaced shelf in the compartment above the fridge
-cut thin 1/8 plywood to use as galley backsplash, reglued some Ensolite behind first.
-remove all curtain plywood supports (under the shelves) as new curtain tracks will not need them (this probably removed 50lbs off the trailer).
-made protection covers for Maaxair, bathroom vent and solar panels for winter. Made 3 interior roof support braces out of 2X4s (this year the trailer will have to spend the winter outside due to lack of storage space).

So that's pretty much where I am right now. I still have one window the re-seal (the front window) but it's getting cold up here and it will have to wait until next spring. We've bought the fabric and new foams for the cushions, and also the fabric and tracks for the curtains, so we'll be ready for this next spring. I also have the winter months to shop the web for some electrical stuff I will need (like LED lights), as working the electric system will be among the first items on my list next spring.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:36 AM   #70
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I realized there are few pictures missing from my previous message that I wanted to post, and I can't edit my post (not sure why).
Here they are:

Contact cement on Ensolite before I glued it back on the rear wall:



Rear bed area finished, with the new plywood panel below the rear window:



Rebuild the shelf and the inside of the compartment above the fridge. Pretty much like it was originally:

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