74 Trillum 13' Leak - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-12-2008, 10:17 PM   #15
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Thanks for the advance glimpse, Sahm. I can't wait to see that green exterior emerge from under the oxidation.

Groovy upholstery, too.

Looking forward to the "before and after"!

Raya
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:30 PM   #16
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Looking forward to the "before and after"!

Raya
...moreover, ...Looking Forward to seeing this l'il gem at our GEM in Ft.langley in May, '09!!!

Thats one Sweet Trillium!!!!
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:13 AM   #17
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i will probably pull the belly band anyway, check for rotten rivets / clips...re-seal with epoxy or resin (JB Weld) and then re-install it...I need to re-do the top black sealant - in a few places you can see right through it...
I will re-do it with the 3M Uv4000....
There was no black sealant on mine, but various artistic layers of different silicone types. So I'd guess it was something done by a previous owner to cover those leaks that you're stuck with today. Time to do it right.

But from my perspective, there shouldn't typically be enough rotten rivets/clips to warrant taking off the whole band, unless that's something you feel compelled to do. I've only fixed 3 or 4 out of the lot so far, and the others clips were still very sound under their fiberglass layer, as I could see from the inside.
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:24 PM   #18
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FOUND IT!

So a huge thank you to all the responses about the mystery leak in our Trillium.

I am 99% sure I have found the problem:

The first picture shows a slippery black worm that I found 'poking through' the fibreglass - SILICONE!!!



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I then pulled a few more inches on ensolite and found:


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I am now officially freaked out. The previous owner seems to have applied black silicone to the rivet holes in the belly band, and drilled a bunch of new holes in the shell - ALL THE WAY AROUND. The original rivets are still 'glassed in and untouched.


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the belly band seems to be shortened on the left hand side of the door, so I think it was removed and then re-installed, but shortened and installed wrong.

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I am going to get rid of all the black silicone, and use stainless steel screws to hold the trim to the body, and then re-fibreglass inside the body to stop the leaks.

We will also get rid of the old black sealant on the top of the belly band

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and replace it with some 3M UV4000.

I HOPE HOPE HOPE this is the end of the leaks...

thanks again to all, and a pox upon the fool who owned this trailer before us!!


Barry
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:36 PM   #19
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Barry, BEFORE you go doin something with that belly band, you said it looked shortened?

How 'short' do you think it is?
Is it in two pieces (ours is and the seam connection is on the street side of the trailer. I don't think the metal band goes right tight to the edges of the door. Remember too that IF you replace that bubber insert in the belly band (readily available at most decently equipped R/V dealers) to buy at least an extra six inches and install it leaving lots of overhang on the ends (for now), it WILL shrink and after you notice that it has, then clip it back but still leave a little extra cause it might shrink a wee bit more!!

In the pictures of the actual belly band, is that a coating of green mold/slime I see on there? Thats what is/has happened to our trailer (silicone chalked) and I guess at some point I'll have to adderss that issue.
Remember too that the belly band will shine up like chrome with a buffing of SOS pads (the enclosed soap adds a little 'lube' to the buffing action of the pad. If you take the band completely off the trailer, thats a good time to polish it.
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:49 PM   #20
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Barry,

In boating, this is known as the "DPO" (for Dreaded Previous Owner).

At least you've diagnosed your problem. It seems like someone must have removed the belly band in the past for some reason, so then when they went to put it back on they didn't/couldn't re-use the original rivet places so they made new holes and used new fasteners. I can't think why it is now too short unless they mucked up one end in trying to get it off and so they cut it off and shortened it....?

I have a few thoughts (although I realize I may not completely understand what you're planning):

1) I wonder about screwing the belly band back on. I'm thinking that the screw points on the inside will not "want" to be fiberglassed over without poking through - unless you plan to cut them all off (or maybe there's enough material there to bury them?). Still you won't get as much holding/drawing tight power as you would with something that has a backing, such as a rivet. Fiberglass is not great at holding self-tapping type screws, and it's probably not thick enough to tap for a machine screw.

2) Again, you may already know this, but when you go to fiberglass back over the seam on the inside, be sure to prep with something like acetone or Interlux Solvent Wash 202 to remove any traces of mold release wax, etc. before you sand. There is fiberglass "tape" you can use instead of cutting strips out of bulk glass cloth. It's nice since the edges won't fray and shed strands as you work.

3) Since you won't be using silicone again (!), something like a polyurethane caulk might work well under the belly band on the outside. I don't believe there is any reason to put back a bead of anything on top of the band once you're done fixing it properly. I bet there wasn't one from the factory, and I think they were only added by people trying to fix a leak the "easy" way, or by people who just thought "Oh, let's add a bead of caulk here."

All in my opinion, of course

Good sleuthing on your part!

Raya
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:54 PM   #21
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I am now officially freaked out. The previous owner seems to have applied black silicone to the rivet holes in the belly band, and drilled a bunch of new holes in the shell - ALL THE WAY AROUND. The original rivets are still 'glassed in and untouched.
Barry,

Those are awesome pictures. They show the clips very clearly. But holey smokes, that's a lot of holes. And hard to reach, too. I guess you could still probably fill them out from the outside with resin or epoxy, or maybe Marine-Tex and use one of the abovementioned techniques if you don't want to peel off all of the ensolite around the whole trailer. Otherwise, contact cement works great to glue it back on if you scrape as much of the old glue as possible from the back side and the inside surface (I used a sanding/grinding wheel with good success).
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:38 PM   #22
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[quote] Another solution to the Trillium Belly band is to use the rubber trim moulding used along the side of the GM & Chev pick up trucks. It is wide enough to cover the opening, has a good self adhesive tape on it and it looks great!! It is usually quite easy to find at Wally World or most of the larger auto parts chains in the trims section as an off the shelf item.


Attachment 3275



Before you install the moulding strip, just clean the joint well, let it dry and fill the joint with a good long life butyl or acrylic caulk such as you would use around your windows at home.


DEATH TO SILICONE!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Old 11-18-2008, 05:13 PM   #23
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[quote]Before you install the moulding strip, just clean the joint well, let it dry and fill the joint with a good long life butyl or acrylic caulk such as you would use around your windows at home.


DEATH TO SILICONE!!!!!!!!!!!!


Attachment 16855


Hi Charlie,

Say, did you sell that Trillium to some folks in North Carolina? If so, I looked at it when I was Trillium shopping (first Trillium I'd seen in person). At the time, I wondered about the rubber on the belly band, as it looked different than any other Trilliums I'd seen (in photos).

Assuming this was yours, did you leave the original metal belly band riveted on, and then just add this rubber molding instead of the plastic strip that usually covers the rivet heads? Or did you somehow eliminate the rivet "holes" (I put that in quotes since they don't normally go all the way to the inside of the trailer).

Oh, and now I see you must have added the door window too (?) What was your source for that? One like it would make a nice "over stove" window.

I agree about silicone on trailers - you put it very succinctly

Raya
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:19 PM   #24
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Hi Raya, that is very likely the trailer you looked at in North Carolina, we sold it to a University Professor down there who took it back after a summer of camping here in Ontario. It has been resold a couple of times since.

I completely removed the aluminum strip and cleaned the area around the joint of all the old putty, silicone and assorted goop that had been used to close up the gap between the aluminum and the trailer wall. As for the rivets / clips etc. they were all the factory originals and quite rusted and corroded so they just pried out from the outside of the trailer quite easily. Only one of them actually penetrated the shell, so I just caulked up that 1 small area.

The window was factory installed by the manufacturer here in Markham. The jalousie window was only used in the door of the '74 model for a short time because if the window was opened more than a little bit, it would gouge the side of the trailer if the door was swung fully open. Due to this they switched to a round cornered non opening window to avoid the problem. I have heard that some people did order trailers with that same window installed on the kitchen side. There were quite a few variations / options available when ordering these trailers from the factory through a dealer.

I did have some notes on the options at one time, will have to see if I can resurrect them.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:15 PM   #25
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Barry,

Those are awesome pictures. They show the clips very clearly. But holey smokes, that's a lot of holes. And hard to reach, too. I guess you could still probably fill them out from the outside with resin or epoxy, or maybe Marine-Tex and use one of the abovementioned techniques if you don't want to peel off all of the ensolite around the whole trailer. Otherwise, contact cement works great to glue it back on if you scrape as much of the old glue as possible from the back side and the inside surface (I used a sanding/grinding wheel with good success).
I removed the belly band the other night, and I count 86 holes through the shell. After three hours of careful scraping and wearing my fingers to the bone, all the black silicone is off the centre portion of the trailer. The underside of the belly band is full of glue, butyl relics (seemingly ossified into something resembling limestone...) and silcone. I will need th\o scrape the underside clean, and polish it up with SOS pads and some metal polish.

I will then decide which of the multitude of holes to use to re-attach the band, and plug the rest with epoxy. The holes which will be used to screw the band back on will be used to attach the band with stainless screws (8-32 size) and small nuts. The nuts will then be fibreglassed from behind to secure them and make sure the fribreglass is watertight. The balance of the outside portion not to be used for attaching the band will be filled with acrylic caulking to make sure it stays water tight.

Hopefully that will resolve the water problems, and we can move on to cleaning, repairing and painting the ensolite, new cabinet / closet doors and hardware and new cushions and curtains, oh and then lifting the shell off the frame and reparing / painting the frame, new tires.......... you know the routine....

Barry
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:27 PM   #26
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The holes which will be used to screw the band back on will be used to attach the band with stainless screws (8-32 size) and small nuts. The nuts will then be fibreglassed from behind to secure them and make sure the fribreglass is watertight.
Barry, I'm curious as to the reason for not just using new aluminium pop rivets with matching washers. They squeeze everything together real good and will never get loose or fall off. It's probably just a matter of preference, but I'm addicted to my $20 rivet gun and I'm tempted to use rivets on just about anything now.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:49 PM   #27
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Barry, I'm curious as to the reason for not just using new aluminium pop rivets with matching washers.
I was thinking the same thing. Nothing against machine screws and nuts, but fiberglass cloth likes nice smooth transitions (or else it likes to get air pockets, which you wouldn't want), and going over the nuts with it and keeping it flat and resin-saturated would be more of a challenge than going over the backs of rivets, which are pretty flat.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:17 PM   #28
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I was thinking the same thing. Nothing against machine screws and nuts, but fiberglass cloth likes nice smooth transitions (or else it likes to get air pockets, which you wouldn't want), and going over the nuts with it and keeping it flat and resin-saturated would be more of a challenge than going over the backs of rivets, which are pretty flat.

Daniel / Raya:

That's a good point - I have neve used a rivet gun, and would not know where to find one....

The machine screws I found are quite short, and I was hoping for minimal bumps to go over with the cloth / resin...

Once it was riveted, I woudl still have to fibreglass, correct?

Barry
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