1978 Trillium Frame Breaks - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-22-2007, 01:49 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 6
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.

Nancy
__________________

__________________
Nancy McKenzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2007, 03:54 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 1975 Trillium 13 ft / Chevy Astrovan
Posts: 278
A heart-pounding experience! I'm glad you're okay.

And thanks for sharing - your story is a jolting reminder about keeping a careful eye on our older eggs. Well, all of our rigs, actually. Coming home from camping last month we saw a shiny new truck with a broken axle. Narrow 2 lane road with heavy traffic (salmon fishermen going home). Traffic was backed up for over a mile. Lots of bad places to break down up here, some very unforgiving.
__________________

__________________
Connie M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2007, 06:54 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Bigfoot
Manitoba
Posts: 604
Congratulations on having the gumption to get out there and enjoy life; it's too easy to stay on the couch in front of the TV. Although having adventures is sometimes exciting in un-anticipated ways. Seems weird to have two frame breaks in a 13'; you wouldn't think the trailer was that heavily loaded. I'm sure that you have already done this, but I would have the frame closely inspected to prevent a re-re-occurence.
__________________
Cam A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2007, 07:18 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Alf S.'s Avatar
 
Name: Alfred
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0TA / 2010 Nissan Frontier
Ontario
Posts: 3,815
Registry
Send a message via Yahoo to Alf S.
Hi: There are still some nice people in this world...takes a little time to find 'em...Trillium had a recall notice about frame problems but being a Canadian trailer some owners may not of had the work done. I read something about this on TrilliumRV web site!!! My rule is "Never tow faster than your Trailer Angel can Fly"
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
__________________
Alf S. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2007, 06:11 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Brian B-P's Avatar
 
Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
Posts: 5,000
Excellent reminder about the importance of the "walk around".

I'm all for using safety features; however, I'm not at all convinced that the "sway bars" are a safety feature.

In this case, since "sway bars" is plural, I assume that the reference is to a weight-distribution system, with spring bars stuck in the hitch receiver head and connected to the trailer frame, pulling down on it. If this is the case, the spring bars put a substantial downward force on the tongue, undoubtedly contributing to the failure.

More hardware is not necessarily better.
__________________
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
STATUS: No longer active in forum.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2007, 06:39 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 6
Hello Brian,

Good point to consider. The system I have is just as you described. Although the first frame failure I had was prior to the installation of the bar system and had not broke all the way through. Their were several people (police officer, tow driver, repair shop, etc.) that viewed the results of the break and they all made the comment that it could have been a whole lot worse and it was a good thing I had the setup I had.

All I know for sure is that neither trailer or van rolled, did not hit anyone else and did not get loose or away from me. Now maybe it was just my expert driving skills (ha ha!). I do know it was scarry for me and I really had to work at keeping my composure and not panicking.

Nancy
__________________
Nancy McKenzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2007, 06:04 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 19
Quote:
Hello Brian,

Good point to consider. The system I have is just as you described. Although the first frame failure I had was prior to the installation of the bar system and had not broke all the way through. Their were several people (police officer, tow driver, repair shop, etc.) that viewed the results of the break and they all made the comment that it could have been a whole lot worse and it was a good thing I had the setup I had.

All I know for sure is that neither trailer or van rolled, did not hit anyone else and did not get loose or away from me. Now maybe it was just my expert driving skills (ha ha!). I do know it was scary for me and I really had to work at keeping my composure and not panicking.

Nancy

Yes Trillium had a recall for frame breakage in the area around the front mounting bolts. Also one of the Trillium web sites said it was a no-no to use a weight distributing hitch as the frame is not strong enough to handle the downward force. The new Trillium Outback frame is strong enough for a WD hitch. Then second brake was probably due to the WD hitch (my guess).

With two frame breakage I would get a new frame. $1400 bucks with new axle from the Outback people if I remember right.

FRED......................


PS my frame fix was to have a new 3/16 inch frame made.
__________________
H. Fred Fuller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2007, 09:58 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 6
Fred,

I will be checking with Outback about a new frame. Thanks for the suggestion.

Nancy
__________________
Nancy McKenzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2007, 07:15 AM   #9
Member
 
Kevin Woods's Avatar
 
Trailer: Former 1978 Trillium 4500 owner
Posts: 47
You will find some pertinant info here...
http://www.trilliumrv.com/Service.htm
__________________
Kevin Woods is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2007, 12:57 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 6
Quote:
You will find some pertinant info here...
http://www.trilliumrv.com/Service.htm
__________________
Nancy McKenzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2007, 12:58 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 13 ft
Posts: 6
Kevin,

Thank you!!!! This is excellent information.
__________________

__________________
Nancy McKenzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
trillium


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to beef up Trillium 1300 frame? H. Fred Fuller Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 7 03-17-2013 01:06 PM
Trillium 1300 Frame Bargain TomA Classified Archives 0 06-10-2008 06:03 PM
1979 trillium frame Ryan Kennelly Classified Archives 2 08-25-2006 06:09 PM
NEED TRILLIUM-74 ROCKGUARD FRAME MEASUREMENTS Mary Lynn K. Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 2 05-24-2006 06:07 PM
Trillium Frame Concerns Joseph Olajos Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 28 04-12-2006 04:35 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.