I am the proud owner of a 1978 13' Trillium
. Please allow me to share two scarry experiences with you. Last fall
while traveling in S. Dakota, I had pulled into a rest area and prior to getting back into the Van, I did my standard walk around (pre flight). I thought the trailer was riding a tad lower in the front but could not locate a problem. Got in the Van and had a nagging feeling all was not well. Pulled into the Yogi Bear Park in Sioux Falls for the night. While sitting on the picnic table, I caught a glimpse of the setting sun shining through a crack in the frame-the "Y" about 4 inches ahead of the front of the body. Upon further inspection, I found that a crack had started on the other side as well. The park people were able to recommend an excellent welding shop where the repair was quickly and reasonably made. It was further recommended that I seek the advice from an RV dealer about a new hitch receiver. I did change out the receiver to one that included sway bars. I'm teased regularly about my over kill hitch-what they do not know is that I also pull a 28ft. HiLo. Read on.
This past Sunday afternoon while traveling Eastbound on I-94 in Benton Harbor, Michigan, I experienced another frame break. It was raining, I was traveling in the right lane doing about 65mph when I felt something like a fishtail. My immediate thought was the highway was slick from the rain and oil. Then I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed the front of the trailer was down. I immediately got off the gas and somehow managed to gather my composure. Fortunately, I was at the entrance to the rest area and was able to limp into the truck area and park.
I am a senior lady, whose husband does not share the love for my "Little Nest". To say that I was scared was an understatement-then there was this knock on the window. "Lady, are you allright"? said a nice young man. Countless people had blown by me on the highway-guess I must have been invisable as no one else expressed any interest in helping me.
The nice man and I inspected the damage. The tongue had broke about 4 inches back of the ball. I had the lock on the ball, the chains in place and the sway bars on when this happened. My guardian angle must have been riding with me that day as no telling how bad this could have been. People can go ahead and laugh at my overkill receiver and sway bars but I'll certainly not pull a trailer without them.
By the way the nice (and only) person who stopped to help me, well he and his family was pulling a vintage Skamp. His calm nature was most reassuring to me. He unhooked the trailer from the van, accessed the damage, helped me determine where I was and stayed with me until help had been summoned. I did not get his name but hope he is a subscriber to this site. I am very grateful to him.
In conclusion may I offer this advice. Every time you make a stop, do a careful walk around your vehicle and trailer. Look closely for hairline frame cracks (I'm getting me a magnifying glass), make sure your receiver/hitch system has all the necessary safety features and use them. Your gut feeling, listen to it, mine has never failed me.
Egg people-well we are family and must look out for one another. I'm thankful for my Skamp angel.
P.S. The trailer was put on a flatbed by Hasses Towing and repaired by Closson's RV and Truck Repair. Super nice people.