Working on a Trillium 5500 - Page 6 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-15-2016, 09:14 PM   #71
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Not much I can do on the trailer until all that snow melts.





In the meantime, I decided to work on the interior, and try something I had in mind for some time.
The 5500 has all wood cabinets, instead of the fiberglass cabinets found in the 4500 and 1300 models. We wanted to update the look of the cabinets, and avoid painting them.

The interior of the 5500 already shows some aluminium extrusions and trims, which we think looks nice next to the wood grain. So I had this idea to add some aluminium edging to the cabinet doors.

I was having a hard time finding the appropriate aluminium extrusion that would fit the thickness of the door edges. Then I came up to those ceramic tile aluminium edges. Most hardware store have them, and they are not very expensive.



I brought one of my cabinet doors at the store to see how this would fit, and I liked they way it looked (more importantly, my wife gave her approval!) So I bought a few lengths of this tile edge (made for 1/2 in tiles) and started the project. Here's how it looks:







It is in fact a pretty simple job. Just cut 4 lengths with the ends at 45deg, and some tiny screws in the back. Anyone who ever installed mouldings can probably do it. The doors already had some vinyl trim around them. I didn't even had to take it off, it's completely hidden behind the aluminium trim. The nice thing is if I ever want to remove the aluminium, it's just a matter of removing a few screws and I'll be back with the original look, no damage done.



I cut the aluminium trim with my miter saw, using a regular carbide blade. It may surprise people, but it's actually how most aluminium trims and extrusion are cut. A carbide blade will cut soft aluminium almost as easily as wood. I've done dozens if not hundreds of cuts with no ill effect on the saw or the blade itself. Just make sure you wear appropriate eye protection...



(Continued on my next post due to the 8 pictures per post limit)
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:14 PM   #72
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I think I'm pretty good at cutting wood mouldings, I've installed a lot in my house. But metal is another thing. The length of the cut has to be *very* accurate. With wood, if the angle is not quite right, or you cut a hair too short, you can always 'cheat', and once sealed and painted the moulding will look perfect. You don't have this option with metal. Cut a hair too long or too short and you have a tiny gap and/or sharp and dangerous edges. My corners were not perfect, but good enough I think. I ran a file and a bit of sandpaper on each corner to smooth them out a bit.



Once cut, I drilled holes to screw them on the back of the door. I used tiny 3/8" screws.



Next, the hinges. The original door hinges were bronze colored. We replaced them with silver hinges, most hardware stores have them and they are the exact same size. They screw in the same holes on the cabinet, but end up a bit offset on the door because of the aluminium trim thickness (more on this later).

Now the handles. These are found on most Trilliums, they are called 'positive catch latches'. Like the hinges, they are bronze colored.



I searched the web for months and could never find the exact same in silver or brush metal. This was discussed previously on this forum, and my plan right now will be to paint them silver (when the weather warms up), and if this doesn't hold, I'll check if I can have them nickel-electroplated. But for now, I decided to just give them a good cleaning with a metal brush and put them back 'as is'.



The metal brush sure gets them rid of the dirt and corrosion and they end up nice and shiny, like new. They are actually copper colored. I brushed the "strike plates" the same.



Speaking of these "strike plates" (not sure how they are called, but I mean the part of the latch that screws in the cabinet frame): that's where things got a little complicated...
When you buy such a "positive catch latch" kit, it comes with 4 different strike plates, to accommodate different cabinet door thickness. Putting an aluminum trim around my doors actually increased the thickness of my doors, enough that the original strike plates were not long (high) enough for the strike to catch. And I didn't have any other strike plates... So I had to fabricate a shim to put under the strike plates, that would raise them enough for the latch to lock. I used 1/8 thick aluminium that I had around in my shop.



Another issue is the aluminium framing adds about 1/4 inch to the overall width of the doors. Since I screwed my new "offset" hinges in the same holes in the cabinet as the old hinges, the opposite side of the door was now 1/4 inch farther away than previously, so not only the strike plate had to be shimmed, it also had to be screwed a little farther out. But overall, once this was all figured out and done, everything works just fine and looks good to us.
I've done my cabinets 5 doors and 2 drawers using this method.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:12 PM   #73
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Carl, very nice job....thank you for the details & pictures.
Dave & Paula
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:22 PM   #74
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Carl..nice job

Carl

I appreciate craftsmanship..the miters are great, the counter sinking of the screws, the buffing of the latches....

Nice job..can't wait to see the final results.




Bill


(p.s.....is that a chimney on top of the trailer? Santa bring anything for Christmas?)
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:22 AM   #75
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Looks amazing Carl, great work. definitely fits with the other aluminum trim on a 5500
Joe
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Old 03-16-2016, 06:34 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillE View Post
(p.s.....is that a chimney on top of the trailer? Santa bring anything for Christmas?)
Yeah, I tried to fool Santa with that fake chimney... Didn't work. He's a wise old man...

Seriously, it's a plywood box I made to protect the MaxxAir vent cover that's on my roof vent. I've also made a smaller one on top of the bathroom vent, and another one to cover my 2 small solar panels.

Hopefully next winter the trailer will have it's own shelter, like I have for my popup. The Trillium being 35 years old, I figured it must have spent a few winters outside before, so one more wasn't going to change anything...

I did add some internal roof supports made from 2X4s to prevent any roof damage from the weight of the snow. We didn't get much snow this winter, the more we had was about 3 weeks ago when I took these photos. It's the only time I shovelled the snow off the trailer roof. Otherwise it's been pretty mild, lots of rain. This was about a month ago, damn freezing rain:







And thanks to all for the comments. My next big job will be the counter top. I'm looking at a stainless steel counter. We'll see..
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:47 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Carl V View Post
Anybody ever saw replacements or alternatives to these brackets?
Have a look at the brackets for wire closet racking. They've got a few profiles that are similar that might be modified to work. For example:
ClosetMaid 2.19 in. x 2.19 in. White Low Profile Wall Brackets (2-Pack)-6641 - The Home Depot
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:31 AM   #78
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Hmmm that's interesting, I've never thought of that.
The one on your picture have a 'rounded' shape but I know 'squarer' model exist.

Another idea I just had this week is if you know someone who has a 3D printer, that's the kind of plastic part that could be replicated rather easily.
I have a coworker who recently bought such a printer, and speaking with him lately I just realized what a world of possibilities such a device brings up. My buddy is actually using his 3D printer to print himself... a larger 3D printer!!
Anyways, just another way to replicate or improve a lot of worn out or broken parts that can't be found anymore.
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Old 05-02-2016, 07:52 AM   #79
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We just had the dinette cushions redone.

Job was done by Matelas CLB in Charlemagne, QC (just east of Montreal), a mattress shop that also specializes in custom RV/marine mattresses & cushions. Very good craftsmanship, we are very pleased with the quality.
http://www.matelasclb.com

Price for the 4 foams was $176.
Work was $175.
Fabric was $203 (we provided the fabric).
Total: $554.

This is CAD $.
We expected a couple $100 over that.

I just snapped a few pictures. That's in my living room, not in the trailer yet!
Cushions are reversible, and except for the zippers on the rear edges, all the seams are at the ends.









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Old 05-04-2016, 03:46 PM   #80
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Your new upholstery looks great Carl! I just had mine re-done professionally as well, I think these types of jobs are best left to the pros.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:41 AM   #81
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I wanted to reseal all of them last fall but I ran out of time. I still had the front window te reseal, and the front rock guard to fix. Weather was nice over the last few days, good time to do that 7th and last window.

As you may guess, after 35 years the rock guard was in poor condition. It's still working fine, the aluminium frame is good shape, nothing broken, but the 3 FG panels were in poor shape. They had tiny holes, corners and edges broken off, and one large crack poorly repaired by a previous owner using I don't know what.








So I went first with the rock guard, then the window.
The rock guard is screwed to the trailer just like a window, from the outside into a wood frame inside the trailer. The same wood frame also holds the window and the shelf just above it inside the trailer. As my other windows, the wood frame was badly rotten and let water in.

First thing I did was removing the FG panel off the rock guard. They were wedged into the frame with foam backer rod and lots of silicone. So here I am at war again with silicone!



Now with the panels off, what to do with them? Fix them or replace them? Fix them with what? Replace them with what?

I decided to try to fix them first. If I'm not satisfied with the repair, or the repair doesn't hold, then I'll look for some sort of replacement.



I've read that some owners have simply flipped their panels over, since the interior side is often like new. Since mine have cracks and missing corners and edges, my repairs will probably show through, I will need to paint the panels, so just flipping them over wouldn't help.

Here are the panels, showing the exposed weathered side and the still shiny interior side.



(Continued next post)
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:45 AM   #82
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Back side of a repair made by a previous owner:



Small holes:



Most of the damage was on the edges of the panels. My plan was to fix them using fiberglass, sand and paint. Fiberglass cloth is too flexible, just like fabric. I needed something more stiff, that would follow the shape of the panels. At my hardware store I found some FG tape normally used for drywall. It's cheap, comes in 2" wide roll, it's like a thin mesh and it's auto-adhesive. Exactly what I needed. I simply stuck 2 or 3 layers of that FG tape then spread some resin over it (2 coats). Trimmed off the excess once the resin was hard, then some sanding, and it was done.

First a little bit of hand sanding on the panel surface to smooth them out.



Three layers or FG tape on the edges.




FG tape to fix that broken corner



First coat of resin



To make sure there wasn't any air bubbles and that the tape stayed in place while the resin cured, I layered some grocery plastic bag on top of it, so I was able to press down on the tape. The bags don't stick to the resin so once it's cured you just pull them off.

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Old 05-22-2016, 11:48 AM   #83
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First coat of resin is hard.



After the 2nd coat



New corner.



New corner, excess FG trimmed off.



Sanding the excess and drips to a smooth finish.



Big chunk was missing, now repaired.



Once the edges were trimmed clean, I did a bit of sanding, then painted them using Krylon's Ivory spray paint, 3 - 4 coats. That color matches the trailer pretty good.

The center panel had the orange Trillium logo on it. It was half erased. I removed what was left using some solvent. We'll have a new one made eventually.
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:54 AM   #84
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While the resin was curing and the paint was drying, I worked on the aluminium frame of the rock guard. It is screwed on the front just outside the window frame.



It wasn't pretty once I took it off.



It deserved a good cleaning and polishing.




Then I went on with the front window itself. Like my other windows, it was a battle with silicone. But it went pretty well, I started at 8h30 in the morning and at 3h30 pm it was back in place. Pictures:

Screws removed, ready take it off:



Screws I removed. Gives an idea of the condition of the wood frame. No surprises here...



Top of the window. Yuck.



Three type of sealants: white, gray, and clear. Water still got in.

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