Gutting a 1974 Trillium - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-20-2013, 06:40 AM   #1
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Question Gutting a 1974 Trillium

Hi Folks,

I'm brand new at this. We bought a 1974 Trillium "in the rough". We would like to gut it completely and only put back in a bed and bistro table with two chairs - sorta like a bunk house. Looking at the cabinets etc. it seems they are molded "as one". How should I go about getting all of these components out of the shell? Thanks for your advice, Dale
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:25 PM   #2
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most of those pieces are molded and then riveted in, keep in mind some of them add to the shell structure so that your egg doesn't burst under snow or heavy rain loads.
Feel free to browse and search the forums, there should be something along this line in the modifications threads
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:36 PM   #3
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Hi Dale, to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here

I'm with Joe on some of the discussion. The problem without an interior structure is the fiberglass can actually be a bit floppy, especially going down the road. I'm not familiar with the Trillium build, but I know Scamp makes sure there's a closet across from the door and the doorframe is reinforced, plus bars between the countertop and upper cabinets... which actually kinda hold the roof up. That's putting it simplistically...
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:22 AM   #4
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Thanks folks, What you have said is exactly what I was worried about. I was thinking about building "ribs" to support the structure of the roof but I'm not sure yet. I may have to re-think my whole "gutting" thing.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:25 AM   #5
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Dale, The closet and kitchen hold up the roof and provide the rigidity necessary to keep the shell from flopping all over. The Trillium Sportsman is an empty version of a Trillium with cargo doors on it. Take a look at the interior supports.
Rebuild of a Trillium Sportsman
Trillium Utility Trailer - $2,900 (Winter Garden, FL)

Also, you should know that the furniture inside a Trillium is glassed in. No rivets. This means that it would not be easy to remove. Attached are pictures of a trailer that the owner intended to turn into a fishing shack. They should give you some idea of what is involved.
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23066nj_20.jpeg  
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:38 PM   #6
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I have a '74 Trillium, and agree with the folks above - the interior structures act as reinforcements for the fiberglass shell - I'd be very loathe to remove any of them. You say yours is "...in the rough" - if you'd like to post a few pix, maybe folks could suggest ways to improve things. Often, minor changes - new flooring, new or refinished cabinet doors, removal of old/rusted/inoperative fixtures, fresh cushions, etc., can convert a tired trailer into a very nice unit...

Good luck with it...and remember, tearing stuff out is usually a lot simpler than putting it back together...
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:59 PM   #7
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Smile Interior structure

I agree with the previous posters and the manufacturer has stated that the seats, cabinets, etc inside are structural. That is how they keep eggs light.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:38 PM   #8
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I take it your planning to use the trill as a bunk house rather than a travel camper??????
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:19 PM   #9
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I have had both a 1300 and a 4500 Trill and neither had anything rivited in on the interior at all.
The Kitchen backsplash wall is a double hull in fact and the rest of the furniture is fiberglassed in place.

Why exactly do you need to yank it all out?
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:30 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for your replies and I know you are wondering what on earth we are thinking so here is the story. My wife and I had a 21 ft travel trailer for 20 or so years. The problem we had was that the bed was too small and uncomfortable. We ended up sleeping apart (one on the fold down table at the front, and one of us in the back bed). We sold that trailer and went to tenting. We like all aspects of tenting, un-serviced, except for sleeping on an air mattress on the ground. We are both 50+ in age and it's getting harder to get up off the ground these days - not to mention putting up and down the tent. So we thought about a boler type trailer that we could completely gut and just put in a full double bed and a small bistro table and two chairs. We still want to do all cooking out of doors and the storage bins will remain in the truck. We just want a comfortable place to sleep and a place to hide out of the rain and play the occasional game of backgammon.
The posts we have been getting are very discouraging regarding the idea we had in mind about completely gutting the trillium. However, I am very handy and might be able to make the support ribs that I've seen in the sportsman version to give the necessary support for the ceiling/roof. We do love the idea of painting the inside with Grizzly Grip though, if we do decide to empty it completely! We still have a lot of decisions to make. Once we start taking out the molded cupboards - there's no going back. This will take a lot of consideration... Please keep those ideas coming, and thanks again.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:48 PM   #11
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Dale, I understand your quandry. You want one thing and something interfers in your plans. Do you know that there are trailers where the supports are on the outside on the roof rather than the inside? The Fiberstream is one brand. Here's a picture of Frederick's A/C mod that shows the roof supports. I'm sure this will get your mental wheels turning: Cool!
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:11 AM   #12
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Dale

I guess I just don't understand how your plans hinge on completely removing everything inside and starting over?

There are many here who have adapted the interior to your needs but without ripping the inside out first and I cant see what would be in your way aside from maybe the kitchen base cabinet and the front couch?

I say this because I think it would be easy to remove the kitchen base and front couch while leaving the structural components and not hurting the integrity of the trailer at all.

Replacing the couch is maybe the most common mod to a Trill and a search here should return many ideas about that and I don't think the couch plays into the structure too much so you could just stick a small table and chairs there as you say.

The Kitchen is a structure that the trailer needs it seems but it also seems entirely workable to flatten the whole thing towards the wall while again still retaining the basic support structure that it provides.

The rear benches can easily be incorporated into almost any bed design I can imagine and the closet could well prove to be an asset and not a liability too?

I guess I am suggesting that since you found the one trailer that does seem to have no easily removable furniture just try to make the best of it,nothing in there seems like a deal breaker to me based on the needs you say you have?

Just look around for ideas and take it slow with the design.

Also you never mention the model that I see?
Is it a 1300?
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:32 AM   #13
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You might want to look at a new Trillium 4500. This is the 15' vs. 13' Trillium. Same floor plan, more or less, but Tom Young, (the owner of Trillium) has modified it a bit from the original 4500. The front dinette is from the 1300. The space saved has been added to the bed. It is now a full queen size. The front dinette is a portable bistro table and chairs. You don't have to use the kitchen.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:44 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the advice folks. Ed - we did decide to only remove the base from the kitchen and the front bench. We kept the rear benches as support for the new mattress. It was necessary to remove the closet to a certain degree because the space was not big enough for our double mattress (54"). We carefully trimmed back the closet side (nearest the door) and have build a wooden "rib" to fasten to the remaining fibreglass as support for the wall/ceiling. The other side of the closet (toward the back) will be trimmed back flush with the wall. The base of the closet will remain as additional support for the mattress. We will be building an enclosure around the wheel well on the opposite side that will mirror the one under the old closet. Hope you can figure out what I mean. I think it's going to look just fine and work like a charm. Will post some pics soon.....
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