HOW DO I RE-ATTACH BELLY BAND - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-24-2006, 12:15 PM   #1
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Trailer: Trillium 13 ft.-1974, Scamps 16 ft.-1996 & 13 ft.-2003
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I have cleaned-up the belly band using steel wool pads. Now the question I have is attaching it back onto the seam area. There looks like a think metal piece was wegded in there that had a small bushing/spacer for the rivit to grab a hold of, but a lot of this has rusted away. I was thinking of putting wood plastic compound around the spacer, but I'm not sure that's going to hold it securely in place. Also, I have to place caulk in rivit hole and around the flange. I have read that silicone is not the thing to use. Any suggestions will be welcomed. I have taken pictures throughout fixing my Trill and I will be posting them on the site.-Mary Lynn
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Old 05-24-2006, 01:26 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500 Deluxe
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I have cleaned-up the belly band using steel wool pads. Now the question I have is attaching it back onto the seam area. There looks like a think metal piece was wegded in there that had a small bushing/spacer for the rivit to grab a hold of, but a lot of this has rusted away. I was thinking of putting wood plastic compound around the spacer, but I'm not sure that's going to hold it securely in place. Also, I have to place caulk in rivit hole and around the flange. I have read that silicone is not the thing to use. Any suggestions will be welcomed. I have taken pictures throughout fixing my Trill and I will be posting them on the site.-Mary Lynn
Hi Mary Lynn,
I own a 1978 Trillium 4500 Deluxe. I've owned it now for 3 1/2 years. About 1 1/2 years ago in the late fall I noticed a 3 to 4 foot section of my belly band was poped from the body. I contacted Trillium Outback and asked for their advice. They said to carefully drill new pilot holes the size of your rivet off setting the new holes in between the old ones. I put a bead of 100% silicone over each rivet cap. Then I went around the entire belly band and carefully put a small bead of that same silicone on the topside"ONLY" of the belly band. This will give you future insurance of preventing the band from coming off. I went to a local camp store and bought a roll of new shiny black vinyl seam tape to go back into the channel and protect those rivets. I have extra if will are interested, we can work a deal out, plus shipping. Good Luck!!!

Dave in Michigan
1978 Trillium 4500 Deluxe
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Old 05-26-2006, 07:03 AM   #3
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500 Deluxe
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I have cleaned-up the belly band using steel wool pads. Now the question I have is attaching it back onto the seam area. There looks like a think metal piece was wegded in there that had a small bushing/spacer for the rivit to grab a hold of, but a lot of this has rusted away. I was thinking of putting wood plastic compound around the spacer, but I'm not sure that's going to hold it securely in place. Also, I have to place caulk in rivit hole and around the flange. I have read that silicone is not the thing to use. Any suggestions will be welcomed. I have taken pictures throughout fixing my Trill and I will be posting them on the site.-Mary Lynn
NO REPLY YET!!! What's up Mary Lynn?

I E-mailed you, I noticed you gave answers back to your other questions you posted, why not me?
You'll find I give full thanks to all and anyone who takes their thoughts, experience, and time to reply to my questions, it's the polite way

Dave in Michigan
1978 Trillium 4500 Deluxe
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Old 05-26-2006, 11:29 AM   #4
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Trailer: 1970 Boler
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sorry to hijack this topic but I will be re-riveting part of mine on when I paint it. One of the rivets has given up!! Now mine is a boler, but does the metal band hold much purpose other than a cosmetic thing???? I would rather drill out the rivets and pull the whole thing off to make it easier when I paint the Boler but have heard it may be best to leave them in place for the reasons you speak of (pain of re=applying!).

Fortunately I do not believe mine is leaving so I am thinking of just leaving it as is....

any suggestions
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Old 05-26-2006, 12:18 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500 Deluxe
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sorry to hijack this topic but I will be re-riveting part of mine on when I paint it. One of the rivets has given up!! Now mine is a boler, but does the metal band hold much purpose other than a cosmetic thing???? I would rather drill out the rivets and pull the whole thing off to make it easier when I paint the Boler but have heard it may be best to leave them in place for the reasons you speak of (pain of re=applying!).

Fortunately I do not believe mine is leaving so I am thinking of just leaving it as is....

any suggestions
Howdy Kurt,
As I mentioned above, my belly band had about 3 bad rivets. over a 3-4 foot section. You can drill out your rivet, and simply put a small bead of 100% silicone in bare hole. Drill 2 more holes on each side of the bad rivet, and put rivet in and a bead of 100% silicone on each head of the new rivets. Then put that small bead of silicone on "Top-Side" of belly band and you are.....LOOKING GOOD Since I live in Michigan, my dream is to take my wife and son to have sightings of Bear, Moose, Rams etc. Any place you suggest? Thanks. We are heading out later today on our 1st camping trip of the season...can't wait

Dave in Michigan
1978 Trillium 4500 Deluxe
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Old 05-27-2006, 12:04 AM   #6
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Trailer: 74 13 ft Boler and 79 17 ft Boler
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Hi Kurt, no sweat removing the belly band and re-installing it, just be careful with the two ends at the door,(don`t bend them too much),....it is a cosmetic addition although on some 17' it leaks to the inside because of some installers putting screws thru the joint to hold cabinetry......the Pop rivets just go thru the first layer of fiberglass,(top half), and the band won`t come off.....if the original holes in the fiberglass have elongated so as not to hold the band in place then drill 1/8" holes between the existing holes just into the top of the band and the fiberglass inside the band and rivet those areas and put new rivets into the old holes just as fillers....you can use a long extension drill so that your drill chuck doesn`t mar the cabin`s gelcoat because the holes are close to the cabin.....you can go around the entire trailer like that so it looks factory....before you drill the new holes push the band as tight as you can toward the trailer body to get maximum glass body around the new holes......no sealant is required unless it`s like the 17' units and there are leaks into the cabin itself.....I`ve seen a 13' where the area between the belly band and the cabin was filled with a white epoxy type substance......maybe it leaked and this was the owners way of solving the problem....I met the new owner and he didn`t know that that wasn`t factory .....well, I`m getting long winded again......Benny
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Old 05-27-2006, 08:49 AM   #7
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Trailer: Trillium 13 ft.-1974, Scamps 16 ft.-1996 & 13 ft.-2003
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Dear Dave: I did appreciate your answer to my question. Unbeknownst to me, the internet connection kept dropping and my husband tried working with the antivirus system. I don't use email alot, as I still prefer to talk to my friends. I also am not on the computer on a daily bases, due to family commitments that can be time consuming. I enjoy this site very much, especially browsing thru the concerns of how-to fix it questions and answers (its neat to know how others care about these campers ) and I will try to give thanks to all in a timely fashion. Have a great holiday weekend.-Mary Lynn
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Old 05-27-2006, 01:49 PM   #8
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Trailer: 74 13 ft Boler and 79 17 ft Boler
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It has been mentioned on this site a number of times that SOS or reg. steel wool pads shouldn`t be used to clean aluminum because there is a chance of impregnating the aluminum with minute bits of the pad which could then rust and cause visible rust spots in the aluminum.....a better bet is to use the 3M pads that come in various grits and are non metallic, i.e. the Scotch Bright green scouring pads...also available in maroon color and also gray color,(different grits, for want of a better word).....and finish with Never Dull wool, Quator wool (pronounced- water), Silvo, or Brasso.....Benny
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Old 05-27-2006, 03:55 PM   #9
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Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Missouri
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When I had the Belly Band issue raise its ugly head in my 4500 I pondered for a while exactly how to go about the repair too.
On the 4500 there are small wood block in the seam that had some kind of metal attached and the band was then screwed or rivited to the metal.

When I got the trailer the band rivits were mostly gone and screws were in their place and not much held the screws as the metal and wood had long since rusted and rotted away.
It looked bad!

I took it all apart and cleaned/removed as much debris as I could and let it all dry.

I then got some stick of Marine 2 part epoxy and made putty to cram into the seam area.
It took a lot of stick to get it done and I had to work fast and carefully as the epoxy can set up quickly.

When hardened I was able to drill new pilot holes for the band at the existing points,into the epoxy. I then used large stainless screws and re-attached the channel and then slid in the band.

It worked great and the epoxy created a solid and waterproof filler.
I had heard that the seam is merely for decoration but I am not so sure that on the 4500 that is true. There were some spots where it seemed water might get through but now they are epoxied shut.

I always carry some epoxy sticks with me in case I have any mishaps anywhere on the trailer where I may need a fast repair and it works well when applied wet too.

Good Luck
Ed
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Old 05-27-2006, 08:13 PM   #10
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Trailer: 74 13 ft Boler and 79 17 ft Boler
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Hi Ed, how wide are the lips that the belly band is riveted to on the Trills?....on Bolers they are about 3/4"...plenty to attach the belly band to.....also found that leaks in the 13' Bolers that was attributed to the fiberglassed seam in the two halves actually came from the seam in the bottom of the one piece windows front and/or rear where the rubber moulding is joined....the moulding shrinks and leaves a gap of about 1/8" and the water just comes in and soaks thru the ensolite and travels down from there.....Benny
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Old 05-27-2006, 10:09 PM   #11
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Trailer: 1970 Boler
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Thanks everyone for the quick responses. I polished my entire belly band yesterday by wet sanding up to a 2000 grit snad paper and then Mother's aluminum polish and my Dremel to finish the job. Nice and shiny now like it should be (it was painted over before). I will post pics tomorrow.

I only have one rivet loose, so it should be an easy fix. I will leave it attached for now.

Benny, you are bang on there... On mine its the side windows. The watter runs in through the louvers and sits in the corner of the alluminum frame. There is a split there in the aluminum and the water channels in, down the ensolite, then runs along the seam (belly seam). I though it may have been the seam until I did the old garden hose test. Yopu can see it on my website how the water ran along the seam and killed the white sealant that I used to seal the seams.

I will be repairing my window seams with a 2 part epoxy when I pull them out to paint the Boler. Should be next Sunday !!!
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Old 05-27-2006, 11:08 PM   #12
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Benny K is right. Never use a steel pad on aluminum. You will imbed the steel particles in the soft aluminum, which will lead to rusting - even if you seal over it. Later Trilliums were built with anodized aluminum seams, which will further complicate the polishing process.

Rivets - Be sure to use oversized 'blind' rivets. When drilling the holes, make sure not to elongate the holes to ensure a tight fit. Fill the old holes with lots of sealer. It wouldn't hurt to put some sealer in the new hole either.

Use an acrylic sealer. It will last & stick much longer than silicon.

During the trailer's construction, the center seam holds the 2 halves together until the seam is fiberglassed on the inside. When finished, it only serves as a cosmetic cover. There are steel clips that provide a better hold on the back of the rivet. These clips are encased in the fiberglass behind the seam. For new rivets to hold, you must drill through this fiberglass that holds the top to the bottom. Therefore, it's important to use blind rivets, and seal very, very well. You now have a real hole that goes through to the inside of the trailer.

Tom Young
TrilliumRV.com
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Old 05-28-2006, 12:05 AM   #13
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Trailer: 74 13 ft Boler and 79 17 ft Boler
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So the rivets that hold on the belly band on the Trills go thru the band horizontally and thru the cabin body? On the Boler the rivets go into the fiberglass lip vertically and don`t affect the joint of the two halves or even come near going into the cabin and therefore don`t need any sealants....interesting.....Benny
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Old 05-28-2006, 09:22 AM   #14
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Name: Ed
Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
Missouri
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Quote:
Benny K is right. Never use a steel pad on aluminum. You will imbed the steel particles in the soft aluminum, which will lead to rusting - even if you seal over it. Later Trilliums were built with anodized aluminum seams, which will further complicate the polishing process.

Rivets - Be sure to use oversized 'blind' rivets. When drilling the holes, make sure not to elongate the holes to ensure a tight fit. Fill the old holes with lots of sealer. It wouldn't hurt to put some sealer in the new hole either.

Use an acrylic sealer. It will last & stick much longer than silicon.

During the trailer's construction, the center seam holds the 2 halves together until the seam is fiberglassed on the inside. When finished, it only serves as a cosmetic cover. There are steel clips that provide a better hold on the back of the rivet. These clips are encased in the fiberglass behind the seam. For new rivets to hold, you must drill through this fiberglass that holds the top to the bottom. Therefore, it's important to use blind rivets, and seal very, very well. You now have a real hole that goes through to the inside of the trailer.

Tom Young
TrilliumRV.com
So Tom
Did I make a mistake or do the right thing by using epoxy in the seam?
I realized when cleaning out the old rusty backer plates that I was never going to get a great seal using a sealant and this prompted me to fill the seam where needed with someting more solid.
I also was then able to provide something solid to screw into again.
I suppose I could have glassed in more metal as an attachment point but I am not very talented with the glass and it seemed like it would be a lot more difficult and time consuming.

Thanks
Ed
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