Cracked Trillium frame - beyond repair - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-06-2018, 01:30 PM   #1
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Name: meagan
Trailer: 1975 Trillium
British Columbia
Posts: 2
Cracked Trillium frame - beyond repair

Hi there,

My name is Meagan and this is my first post to the forum, although I have been using this site as a resource for a long time.

I have a 1975 Trillium, and this summer the frame cracked entirely through on one side and about 75% through on the other. Thanks to the forum I found out there was a recall on early 70's Trilliums for possible trailer frame cracks near the body-to-frame mounting position. It was spot welded at the time to get us home, but cracked again during travel, and has been towed to a site for storage.

It looks like the frame has been fixed a number of times on both sides in the same spot and is very rusted, so I think I'm looking at a brand new frame. Can anyone offer a recommendation of where to have a new custom frame built in or around Vancouver, British Columbia? Is it possible to buy an existing trailer frame and have it custom fit? I'm not in any position to do this work myself, and I'm completely outside my knowledge area on this, so any and all info from you forum experts would be most appreciated.

Let me know if you need more details to help answer my question.
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:05 PM   #2
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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I'd contact Escape Trailer Industries. They have their frames fabricated for them ( not sure what company ). Also, for a short time they were working with one of the Trillium companies ( seems there were several ), so they could possibly help you locate a frame shop.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:35 PM   #3
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Name: John
Trailer: 2015 Oliver 23, Ram Cummins
Smith Valley, Nevada
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That old "fix" looks terrible. Yes, you are ready for a new frame. Best of luck. Glenn's suggestion sounds like an excellent place to start.
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Old 10-06-2018, 04:09 PM   #4
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
California
Posts: 270
I just completed a similar repair on my 16 ft Casita. It was a frame off job. My chassis was salvageable Your's looks very rusty and I agree the previous repair was sub par. All of that cobble would have to be cleaned off in order to assess if your's is salvageable. It looks pretty bad from what I can see.
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Old 10-06-2018, 04:11 PM   #5
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Name: Carl
Trailer: LiL Hauley
Syracuse, NY
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localized rust

It certainly looks like a high stress area. It looks like the rust is in a small area. If that is the case, you might have a local weld shop look at it. They might be able to cut it out and weld in a replacement part AND make it beefy.
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:58 PM   #6
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
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using the right keywords will help you locate a place.


key words you can use....custom travel trailer frame repair... plus add in a location. For location I suggest you just list as British Columbia rather than Vancouver. Most of the affordable repair and fabrication businesses are not located inside of cities due to the cost of land, the cost of operations and the impact restrictions for environmental hazards. You are more likely to find businesses that do trailer fabrication and repair outside of the metropolitan areas. Farms and ranches needs lots of specialty trailers and welding modifications and repairs so there is usually a cluster of businesses close to the larger farm towns serving those agri businesses.

But also look on craigslist under the section for trailers (not the RV section) and see what is on offer for new utility trailers and then visit the websites of those companies.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:12 PM   #7
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You may find a frame from a salvage trailer such as a stick built that will work. I have figured out that the frame on my Campster apparently came from a 15' something else. It actually works pretty well and has a large area ahead of the cabin for the spare, battery, and tool box. The original propane tank brackets are still there although I have no propane, which was one of the clues.
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Old 10-07-2018, 08:47 AM   #8
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
Iowa
Posts: 311
Frames

We were at the vintage fiberglass rally in St Malo Manitoba a couple years back. A boler owner I believe who also worked at a camper repair place had fabricated a new boler frame. It was very well done. His company, realizing that there was a market for this kind of work had begun building some boler frames. He had one at the rally for people to look at. The firm was in Winnipeg. With some research or some contact help from those who remember more details perhaps you could get a lead on the firm and find out if they are doing Trillium frames too. The frame was road ready and could be towed anywhere and the trailer mounted “at home”. Price was in the $1,500 range I think. Steel has gone up though. Whenever I need “hell for stout” welding done, I go to farm machinery welders or stock car frame builders. There are probably a couple in your area. Hope it works out for you, do not give up. All the best.
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:31 AM   #9
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Name: Al
Trailer: Trillium
Ontario
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There is Outback Trillium Trailers in Alberta that are manufacturing trailers out of what I think are original molds. If this is the case, they would probably be using frames that would most closely fit your trailer. Try contacting them and see if they would sell you a frame. You can email them at trilliumtrailers@gmail.com or phoning them at 15879983929. Good luck!
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:12 AM   #10
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Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
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That repair is a cobble job. I tend to think replacing the frame is the right solution but it is hard to say with that repair scabbed on the frame if it is repairable or not. Aside from the reinforcement design being sub par the welding ain't nothing too impressive either.

People or businesses that use trailers such as horse trailers or landscaping companies often know who does trailer work in the area. Farms in your area might also know of good trailer repair or portable welder operations. Oil companies have a line on good portable welding sources. Pipelines and equipment need welding that is very well done and often done in the field.

A new frame would be a good investment but a good repair might only be a couple hundred dollars. I seem to recall a similar break on Norm and Ginny's Scamp 16 trailer that was repaired in the campground by a portable welding truck and I think was still going strong after they got home.


Just for the record I think there should have been "fish plates" on both sides and the bottom of that frame. If not channel fitted over it and used like a fish plate. I doubt that sort of repair properly welded would have re-broken. You can't really expect sub par repairs to yield good results. Especially true of stress bearing weld repairs.

Here is an example.

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Old 10-10-2018, 02:59 PM   #11
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Name: Claire
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
British Columbia
Posts: 278
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Hi Megan,
Escape trailers is located in Chilliwack and they are very friendly people. They should be able to recommend someone. You can phone or email. The other group to chat with is the Facebook group BC Glass Eggs Fiberglass Trailer group. They are based in Vancouver. Good luck in your search. I am on the island, so can't offer much more help.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:18 PM   #12
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
Posts: 171
A couple of years ago I pulled the frame out from underneath my 13' Trillium. I was surprised at what a heavy gauge the steel was.

Wire brushed the entire thing and not signs cracks.

Mine is a very old Trillium and I think that it may have been a slightly heavier gauge of metal.
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:23 PM   #13
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Name: meagan
Trailer: 1975 Trillium
British Columbia
Posts: 2
1975 Trillium Frame

Thanks everyone for your replies and leads! You've given me some good options to research. I'm on it! I'll report back...
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:21 PM   #14
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
North Carolina
Posts: 1,677
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Around here at least, there are trailer sales, repair, and build companies. Basically, they make and repair landscape trailers, and larger cargo trailers. Think someone that has a weld shop, where they build stuff, rather than RVs.
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