Belly Band recommendations 4500 Trillium - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-28-2018, 09:46 AM   #1
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Belly Band recommendations 4500 Trillium

Hi everyone
I resealed my windows using the recommended method of Butyle tape and so on and I noticed that I still have a small leak in the back window. I read various threads about fixing the belly Band however for whatever reason deal very intimidated by this job.

When I removed the vinyl strip I noticed that a previous owner put screws in the rear portion of the trailer which are now almost completely rusted.

At the back of the camper the top half is separated about 1cm from the bottom.

Here's what I know from reading other threads. Remove the rivets with 3/8 bit. Remove all silicone and caulk. After these steps my anxiety kicks in as I've never worked with fiberglass. I don't want to do something that will ruin my wonderful camper.


Thanks for all of your help. I've benefited from this site greatly.
Chris
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:22 PM   #2
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Just found a few more threads on the topic. I have a lot of homework to do anxiety is lower. Thank God for this forum.,😀
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:35 PM   #3
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Yep, just finished permanently sealing center band on my Trillium 4500 (see discussion, results and photos in my Trillium 4500 journal link below). For the Trillium 4500, the center band has no fiberglass backing strip below the rear window, only a slim strip of plywood that you will likely find completely rotted away. If you find this to be the case, you will likely have to remove the rear window to replace the plywood backing strip.
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for taking the time to warn me about the back window. I just reasearch it😕 looks like I may have to repeat the process so that I can access that spot. I have the ensolite still peeled back from doing the window and I can see the piece of wood you were referring to.

I really enjoyed the way you fixed yours. I'm just trying to get my head around how I'll tackle the problem.

Chris
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Old 08-29-2018, 05:14 AM   #5
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Chris,

Here are a couple more thoughts for you:

- The thin plywood center band backing strip is behind the interior fiberglass panel and rear 110 volt outlet.
- I used bondo glass followed by bondo filler to fill the center band gap. Another somewhat different method is to use strips of fiberglass mat soaked in polyurethane or epoxy resin.

Good luck with your project!

John
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:55 PM   #6
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John
Thanks again for your help.

I am wondering if I can do this job without having to remove the rear window that I just resealed/framed last week? I'd appreciate your opinion. I plan on using two deep throat C clamps to eventually hold the whole thing together while the adhesive is working it's majic.

When reading Dave Tilston's my second belly band. I saw that he removed the rotten plywood from behind the fiberglass insert for the table. Cut a 1/2 inch sheet of plywood 47 1/2 inches long re-glued it back in.

Here are my questions:
1) How do I best remove the rotten plywood that is between the outer fiberglass and the inner fiberglass insert that supports the table? Do you simply dig at it from the top and sides?
2) Can you recommend an adhesive that will do the job properly when I finally get to that point?
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:03 PM   #7
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Chris, to answer your questions:

1. To remove the rotten plywood (approx. 3/8"x2"x48") backing strip, I removed the window and then at the lower edge of the opening I inserted wooden wedges to hold apart the exterior FG body shell from the interior FG panel (holds table brackets, narrow shelf and 110 volt outlet). Then I was able to look down with a flashlight and see the soggy remains of the plywood backing strip 6 to 12 inches below. I was able to remove about half of it intact through the wedged opening. The rest of the crumbled remains I pushed down and to the sides so that they fell onto the floor under the left and right rear benches, and could be cleaned out.

2. I used two 1/2" aluminum c channels joined together with a 3/8" x 1" piece of pine glued all together with construction adhesive. After this dried, I inserted it into position behind the center band gap, after applying construction adhesive to the interior FG panel. I used Loctite PL max premium construction adhesive and it held very well.

-John
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:06 PM   #8
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Chris, Post #34 of my Trillium 4500 journal shows how I clamped together the interior FG panel, the new backing strip, and the exterior FG body.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:14 PM   #9
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Haha I was just re-reading that part of your thread when I recieved your above messages.

Great ideas on both the wedge for removing the old rotten plywood and your clamping picture is very helpful.

I think I'm going to start this job on Friday.

Thanks again for time.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:40 PM   #10
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more thoughts

Chris, this is simply the way I did it after reading how others had done it, then removing the aluminum molding, etc. You may find that the backing strip is actually not rotten, or you may figure out a way to insert and secure a new backing strip without removing the rear window ...
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:51 PM   #11
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Of course before gluing in the new backing strip, I cleaned the interior surfaces thoroughly, first removing as much of the old adhesive as possible, then wiping with alcohol.
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:04 PM   #12
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Front window reinforcement question

Progress update

After putting my son on the bus I went at the belly band. Got the rivets out had to use a titanium drill bit.

Cut all the metal plates off using a Canadian tire Dremel with some cutting attachments that I bought at princess auto. Everything is going well. However when I got to the front I noticed I could easily push on the top portion of the camper and it would move inward?! I peeled back more ensolite and noticed no plywood reinforcement an no fiberglass. (see picture)

My question is what should I reinforce the front with fiberglass, plywood, plywood covered by fiberglass?
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:45 PM   #13
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Chris, no! Your trill is totally different. Your window frame plywood looks great. Looks like you already have a fiberglass backing strip behind the center band so you are good to go!
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:54 PM   #14
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Chris,

After re-reading your post, I guess I misunderstood what you are currently working on. I assumed rear, but you are working on front. On the 4500, normally there is a 2" +/- backing strip of fiberglass directly behind the center band gap all the way around the camper EXCEPT below the REAR window.

In your photos, as you point out, you are working below the front window. Looks like you have a split in the FG. Since you have ripped out the ensolite, all you need to do is finish removing any plates, rust, rivets, etc, clean everything up, then 60 grit sandpaper on the inside along the center band area, then 3 layers of 2" or 3" fiberglass mat strips soaked in resin centered along the center band.

Good so far.

-John
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