And a big THANKS to all! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-25-2012, 12:24 AM   #1
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Name: Curt
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Alberta
Posts: 20
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Smile And a big THANKS to all!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the inhabitants of this FiberglassRV.com community for all of their help and wonderful advice offered through your registries and forums. The wealth of information available here is phenominal!

And a special thank you to Donna D for your passion and involvement in the community. I truly believe that it is infectious! But I have to ask - if you spend as much time as you seem to on the computer, when do you ever have time to use your RV?

Next I would like to offer the remains of the Duo-Heat 65512-002 propane heater from my 1978 Trillium 4500 to anyone who wants them. They are here in Edmonton, Alberta. If you want to pay the freight or come and get'em, they're yours. I never tried to use it, so I don't know if it works or not. I broke a couple of screws/bolts trying to take it out, but other than that, it seems to be in OK shape. Of course there is some corrosion. Buyer beware - no double your money back on this deal!

In 1964 my parents purchased a Hinsberger soft-top tent trailer. Our family of 4 kids (and usually 2 dogs) used it until us kids moved out of the house and started having families of our own. When Mom & Dad decided to upgrade, my sister and I inherited the Hinsberger, and it has been my families mode of camping since the '80's. Now that my kids are too old (?) to go camping with us, the tent trailer has become too unstable for the bride and I, unless we sleep on opposite sides of the trailer. Of course, this is not very conducive to marital bliss.

After not doing much (any?) camping for the last few years, SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed, or "the Admiral" in sailor's parlance) and I decided to seek another alternative. I considered dismantling the old tent trailer and building a tear-drop unit on the old frame. Too much like work.

I looked at some of the ready-made tear-drop units, and thought that maybe one of these would work for us, but then considering that we're in the latter half of our fifties, I decided that the 2 - 3 ft headroom in any of the units that we could easily afford would make getting dressed in the morning just too dang difficult. And the newer bigger units were just more than we wanted to spend.

But after finding Fiberglass RV.com, and perusing what others had done with their trailers, and looking through some of the classifieds, I found a 1978 Trillium 4500 that seemed to be in decent shape, and the price was reasonable, so we decided to give it a try for a year. We spent last fall and part of this spring cleaning & fixing, and we finally got it out to a campground this last weekend.

What an enjoyable time! Although my significant other only stayed for one night (pressing family matters), we enjoyed a campfire, walking in the woods, and just generally relaxing around the campsite. The trailer was easy to pull, and very stable when set up on its' jacks.

So far I have:
- scrubbed all the black crap off the exterior roof,
- washed down the rest of the exterior,
- replaced two layers of rubber matting (rock-chip protection) with spray-on truck bed liner,
- removed the old, cracked original Trillium stripe and logos,
- repainted the Trillium logo on the forward window cover,
- installed new black racing stripes,
- name and identification lettering (TROAL - or TRill' Of A Lifetime)
- replaced the top vent,
- rebuilt one of the rear turn-signal lights,
- replaced the exterior light fixture,
- replaced the safety chain,
- two new tires,
- new brakes (I didn't know that it even HAD brakes when I bought it - I don't think the PO even knew they were there),
- moved the spare from the rear bumper to the front A-frame,
- added a bike rack to the rear bumper,
- cleaned the aluminum belly band, replaced some screws, and replaced the black plastic insert,
- removed the old tea towels that the PO had been using for curtains,
- removed the overhead shelf above the forward berth,
- scrubbed the Ensolite with bleach and cleanser,
- vacuumed and scrubbed out most of the storage compartments (1 left to go),
- replaced the plywood floor in the dinette/bed area with left-over 1/2" PVC from a project on my sailboat (OK, I PLANNED for the leftovers, all right?),
- boiled to soften and re-installed the trim between the Ensolite panels,
- washed and did some minor repairs on the original upholstery,
- tore up the old carpet,
- moved a light fixture, replaced a lens and some bulbs,
- fixed up an old tool kit that my daughter made, to keep in the trailer,
- went camping for a weekend,
- removed the heater (we want to CAMP - heaters and camping do't go together in our books).

Still to come:
- more camping (Garner Lake in a couple of weeks, Pembina Provincial Park, maybe the Oregon coast come fall),
- black & white checkered linoleum on the floor (SWMBO is thinking a 1950's theme),
- new cupboard doors (white, with a black racing stripe accent, chrome latches and hinges?),
- curtains/blinds ( I just noticed a thread on curtains vs blinds tonight - I will have to check that out :-) )
- new floor liners in some of the storage areas,
- build shelving in the closet,
- build a new storage unit where the heater came out, with exterior access,
- add some other exterior access hatches for the rear seat areas, if I can find hatches that will fit and aren't too expensive,
- clean/repair/replace the fridge,
- re-finish the stove-top,
- re-upholstering (DIY or contract it out?),
- remove and re-seal all of the windows (and clean them),
- maybe a 12 volt battery,
- maybe some solar panels,
- and of course, more camping.

Looking at the list now, I'm wondering why I didn't do a full, off-frame restoration of this unit - I guess it's 'cuz I still want to go camping while the work is in progress...

I have a few photos on the registry - I'll add more as I get opportunities to update.

Thanks again to all of you, and Happy Campin'!



Cap'n Curt
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:48 AM   #2
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Name: Byron
Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
Oregon
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Sounds like you're hooked.
Quote:
- removed the heater (we want to CAMP - heaters and camping do't go together in our books).
That depends on fair weather camping vs any weather camping. A year ago we were in Big Bend, TX, the temperature dropped to 5F (-15C) for two nights and bit warmer but still below freezing for about 3 more nights. Our sleeping bags are rated wife's for 30F (-1C) , mine for 40F (4C). We couldn't have stayed in the trailer. A 100+ mile drive to a motel would have been necessary.
If you only camp in the summer during fair weather, ok, but if ever want to get out when it's not so nice.....
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:49 AM   #3
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Name: Curt
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Alberta
Posts: 20
Registry
Camping vs "camping"

Byron:

Please take into consideration that we are located in Edmonton, Alberta CANADA, eh? The frozen north?

We have NEVER used heaters in any of our previous camping excursions, including one year in the early 1990's when we went camping in the Alberta Rocky Mountains on the Victoria Day long weekend (late May) and Labor Day long weekend (first weekend in September), and BOTH TIMES we woke up to 6" + of SNOW on the soft-top TENT TRAILER! You should have seen how badly the canvas was sagging under THAT load! And in the case of the May weekend, I was sleeping in my daughter's "Care Bears" un-rated sleeping bag, while she and my wife kept each other warm in MY bed... We bought the kids new sleeping backs after THAT situation!

We all have our own tastes and desires. While others can't go "camping" without their 42" HD TV's, satellite dishes, hot tubs, and air conditioning, we much prefer the slow and simple lifestyle. Heaters? That's what campfires and extra blankets are for...

And yes, we only camp in our "warm months". Up here, winter camping could be -30 C (-22 F). "Normal" winter weather here is -20 C (-4 F) to -10 C (+ 14 F).

To each, their own!

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Old 05-25-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
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Were's the like button!!!
Sounds like you are well on your way.
I'm afraid I am with Byron on the heater issue - I actually used mine in Arizona last year a few nights to keep the water pipes from freezing. LOL
If your heading down the Oregon coast in the fall an electric cube heater would be worth packing - you will probable need it to dry your wet clothing off - it can also come in very handy in the middle of the summer on the wet coast. ;-))
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:34 AM   #5
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Name: Curt
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Alberta
Posts: 20
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Yes, Carol, we ARE well on our way, and I AM "hooked" on these silly little RV's.

When SWMBO and I were discussing the possibility of removing the gas heater, we did consider the possibility of using a little electric heater when required. Neither of us are fans of the use of propane (we normally use an old Coleman gas stove for cooking - don't know if or how often we might actually USE the Trill stove).

One problem with the electric option, tho is that in "slow lane" camping, electricity would normally be out of the equation as well, except for maybe 12 volt batteries and solar power... But it seems that nowadays most campground sites have 120 VAC power. Sigh.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:03 AM   #6
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
Posts: 5,317
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I would like you heater, I sent you a PM.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:29 AM   #7
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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Curt if you head into BC you will find that most of our Provincial parks do not have power and water sites...... although a few of them are putting a limited number in.
In Washington & Oregon most state parks do have power and water at most sites.
At most of the National parks I have been at in the US if you dont book months ahead of time you are not likely to get a power site there either.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:44 PM   #8
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
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Capn, you sound a bit like my eldest (70 year old) brother; he likes to tent camp for a few days every winter in the snow. (But then, he's always been an extreme outdoorsman. This July he and his wife will hike across Kenya.) Some folks tolerate cold better, or are better outfitted for it, than others. Glad you're enjoying the trailer, and keep having fun with it!
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:56 PM   #9
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Trailer: former Boler, now 1980 Trillium 4500
British Columbia
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn.Curt.Wiebe View Post

- add some other exterior access hatches for the rear seat areas, if I can find hatches that will fit and aren't too expensive,
-- and of course, more camping.

Cap'n Curt
Brrr!, I would not go camping without the heater in Alberta, that is one of the main reasons we went for a trailer from the tent experience! It was great having it this April at Miquelon Lake, a month before the park opened for regular campers.

However, for your exterior hatches, I would suggest ArKann RV, two locations in the Edmonton area. I bought several new exterior hatches for my Boler and Trillium from them, for either $50 or $70 each, depending on the size. The bigger ones fit my Trillium 4500 extremely well. My thread about that is here, with pictures: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f56/reno-s-gone-wild-exterior-access-doors-42298.html#post274421

Later,
Rick G
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:17 PM   #10
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Originally Posted by Capn.Curt.Wiebe View Post
And a special thank you to Donna D for your passion and involvement in the community. I truly believe that it is infectious! But I have to ask - if you spend as much time as you seem to on the computer, when do you ever have time to use your RV?


Still to come:
..... maybe the Oregon coast come fall),

..... I guess it's 'cuz I still want to go camping while the work is in progress...
Cap'n Curt
You're more than welcome Curt. I'm happy to provide information that I've gleaned from other knowledgable members and links too! BTW: I'm an insomniac

If you're in Oregon in the fall... consider the Fall NOG in October, I'd like to meet you

Safe travels
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:56 PM   #11
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RB and Bigfoot 21RB
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
BTW: I'm an insomniac
Just so long as you are not also a dyslexic agnostic as well!
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:10 AM   #12
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Name: Curt
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Alberta
Posts: 20
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Donna:

Plans are still very vague for October. A family wedding may put a kybosh on camping. We'll have to see.

If we DO make it down, the Fall NOG sounds like a great opportunity. We'll let you know once we know...

Thanks again,

Curt
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Old 07-09-2017, 10:33 PM   #13
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Name: Curt
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Alberta
Posts: 20
Registry
OK, it's been a while...

A few years in fact.

We've:

- Cleaned off the mold
- rebedded all of the windows
- Pulled out the heater
- Added extra storage where the heater used to be
- replaced the torsion bar axle
- replaced wheels & tires
- pulled up the old flooring
- made a PVC cover for where the old heater vent was
- replaced the plywood under the table area with 1/2" PVC
- added an external access for storage under the starboard seating area (aft of the power cord access)
- done some camping, but not enough.

So now we have gotten to the point where we have to decide what to do next. Kerry doesn't like having the "ugliest trailer in the campground" any more, so we would like to clean it up.

I have reviewed lots of threads on painting fiberglass RV's, as well as boats (I was wanting to paint my 26 ft sailboat, but I sold her instead). It seems that painting COULD be an option, but Kerry doesn't want to do that ourselves. I don't like the idea of paying someone else to do something that we COULD do. So it's a conundrum again.

We have had no luck with the ensolite trim - we have heated it up and reinstalled it and it has looked OK for a couple months, but then it wrinkles and looks terrible again. Last fall I used some fabric trim and double sided tape and stuck that up, but this spring it was all hanging and droopy. So now we are thinking about:

- filling the cracks between the ensolite and painting the entire interior. Kerry doesn't think that the fiberglass parts of the interior can BE repainted. Does anyone have experience with this?

- We have had issues with the electrical. I need to pull the power converter and see what the problem is. I know that there has been water in there, and I know that there is a light/switch/pushbutton that has been broken. I need to determine if this needs to be replaced, or if there are other things that I can do to get this working properly.

- We have rebedded the windows, and this has really helped keep the water out. But now I'm thinking that they need to come out again so we can paint the exterior properly. Sound like lots of work.

As for painting the exterior - prep work is a big part of the job. If we could get the shell cleaned up and emptied, then we could take it in and get it painted. But who to take it to, and would they do the job properly?

Thoughts anyne?


Curt
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