Bolts .... frame to body - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-06-2010, 04:29 PM   #1
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Name: Roland
Trailer: 1973 Trillium 13ft
Manitoba
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Bolts .... frame to body

I have tried a few searches but can't seem to come up with much. Does anyone know what size/style of bolts are needed to attach the body of a 13 ft. (1973) Trillium to the the frame? I believe they are carriage bolts but not sure of the size?
Our trailer is stored an hour away from where we live and I would like to bring the bolts out with me next time I go do some work. Is there any other screws or brackets holding the frame and body?
Thank you in advance.
Roland
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:29 PM   #2
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Trailer: Trillium 13 ft 1973
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Good thing to check & prolly replace. The front carriage bolts on my 73 were very loose and rusted. I put in some longer carriage bolts from TSC only to find that the nuts and extra bolt length were vulnerable to damage from jacks, rocks etc. I replaced the front ones again...this time with the bolt heads flush to the frame and the nuts and large washers INSIDE the trailer...works well.
In the back- under the storage bins... the body is (you hope) held on to the frame with two or three self-drilling/tapping Phillips head bolts. Mine were slightly loose but rusted in to the frame and the heads/slot holes stripped quite readily. I drilled them out (one on each side) and replaced them with two TSC carriage bolts . They have lasted just fine. Apply lots of Tremclad to combat the deadly Canadian Tin Worm!
The square tubing used for the frame is 3" high and if you allow for the 3/4" plywood and several washers, figger on at least a 5" carriage bolt. If you follow my suggestion of having nuts and washers on the inside you can cut the excaess off with a Dremel tool or similar device (or just leave the extra and tape it/ wrap it.
Good luck with the job!
This is a maintenance item that all Trilly people should include on the annual inspection.
Alistair & Inge in The Road Toad
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:26 AM   #3
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Trailer: 1973 Trillium 13ft
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Thank you Alistair,
Great information and a big help. The front bolts are very rusted and bent, appears to have grounded out a few times over speed bumps or something! The rear floor-to-frame attachment looks like it is some form of a lag screw or self tapping screw as you mentioned. I will need to change them all and probably should have done this right when I got the trailer. Have not put many miles on it but I'm sure its not good for the the fiberglass cracks to have the body move or bounce on the frame!!
Thanks again,
Roland
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:15 AM   #4
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Trailer: Trillium 13 ft 1973
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Glad to help. It is easier to just ignore the rear self-tappers and drill one new hole for a bolt...the rust inside the frame has likely clogged up any threads that were formed when the factory "cheaped out" on the installation.
Get a good long hi-speed or titanium drill for the project, some cutting oil, and a hi-torque drill and have at 'er. Drill slooooow.
Cheers...Alistair
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:40 AM   #5
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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One thing to consider: I'm not an engineer, so I have no way to qualify this, but when I asked (started a thread) about some screws holding my Boler's body to the frame (I was thinking of replacing them and had bolts as one idea), it was explained by several people that making a hole in both the top and bottom frame member (as you would to install a bolt) would weaken it more than just making a hole in the top frame member (as you do for a screw).

So, something to consider is whether your frame needs its full strength, or whether it has the extra strength available for the hole all the way through.

Some ideas that were given to me included going back in with new screws (slightly larger possibly), welding "ears" to the frame and then bolting through those (as some later Bolers do), or using U-bolts (square not rounded) to wrap around the frame.

Raya
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:13 PM   #6
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Name: Roland
Trailer: 1973 Trillium 13ft
Manitoba
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Thanks Raya,
I do like the square U Bolt idea, sounds like the way it should have been manufactured in the first place as there are no holes in the frame and we are not creating any extra frame weakness!
Rol
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:08 AM   #7
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Name: Larry H
Trailer: Trillium
Arizona
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Morning Roland,

Here is an old post regarding the Trillium mounting bolts.

Trillium Body Mounting Bolts

As I recall they were 5/16" which seemed small for the trailer, but they
had held for over 30 years so I guess they are properly sized. There
were 2 in the front and four toward the back all extending through the frame.
To determine the size of carriage bolt needed I took the old ones
to ACE Hardware and macthed them. Washers and lock nuts were used.
Hope this helps.

Regards, Larry H
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