I had a beautiful '72 Trillum...for 15 minutes! Help? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-23-2015, 07:35 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Lori
Trailer: 1972 Trillium
Posts: 1
I had a beautiful '72 Trillum...for 15 minutes! Help?

So this just happened...we found our dream Trillium, got it for a good price...some minor things needed, but we were happy with it. We drove it away from the guys home and felt things were not quite sitting right with the pulling. Sure enough, 15 minutes into the ride we hear bang! and then smash! The hitch apparently wasnt placed securely onto the ball and came off while we were driving! Fortunately we had the chains in place, so it didnt go out into traffic and cause a serious accident, and fortunately it happened in front of a fire station, so the fellows were able to come out and help us, and we got the hitch secured well. Unfortunately, the camper came forward and went into our bike rack. While this probably saved our SUV, the window of the Trillium was smashed.

What to do? Can anyone give us advice on where to start with either replacing the windows or coming up with some alternatives? I believe it was 2 panes which were smashed out of the 6(?) in the front. I live in Newfoundland so these things are not a dime a dozen, I will have to improvise, likely.

I am open to all suggestions and once my sweet camper is back to health, posting pictures



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Old 07-23-2015, 08:12 PM   #2
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Donna D.'s Avatar
Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,916
I'm sorry Lori to hear of your problems. Did the hitch require a 2" ball or maybe 1-7/8" ball? You'd think 1/8" inch isn't much, but it can be HUGE when towing a trailer.

If folks don't know, I always suggest hooking up (the EARS of the hitch on the trailer are UNDER the tug ball.. right?)

Then use the trailer jack to see if you can LIFT the tow vehicle UP. If you can, it's a positive hitch, if not.. be grateful you have chains on the tongue...

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:07 PM   #3
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tractors1's Avatar
Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Posts: 979
Pics would be helpful for those who don't know Trilliums, but DO know windows!
Charlie Y

Don't drill holes, try custom storage you design: http://RVWidgetWorks.com
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:27 PM   #4
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Cathi's Avatar
Name: Cathy
Trailer: Escape 19' sold, 21' August 2015
Posts: 688
Welcome, Lori. It is too bad this happened. I know you will look carefully the next times but you can also get yourself a hitch lock that will go through the coupler. You need to look up inside the coupler from below and see for yourself how the ball is being secured. Then make sure it is. Could have been a lot worse. Can't believe the seller did not look at this. You can also do what Donna suggested. A lock may or may not go into the coupler if the ball a not secure so you still need to check it even if you get the lock on.

People here know all about your windows so post some photos if you can.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:52 AM   #5
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Name: kootenai girl
Trailer: 2005 Casita Spirit 17
British Columbia
Posts: 1,261
Lori, I know when our door window on our Trillium had a crack in it we just took the door to the local glass place and they put in new glass. I,would think they could do the same with your windows if you take the trailer in.
I should add as Roger stated below,we had already ordered the new seal the glass needed online and provided that to them so I am not sure if they would have had it otherwise.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:00 AM   #6
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Posts: 2,866
Glass goes into frames and is sealed in secured in multiple ways, but they are a finite number or ways. A glass shop or glazier would probably be able to tell you in a minute if the glass can be easily removed and replaced. Probable answer is yes.

Only thing that can give problems is when something uses a seal, clip or assembly that is no longer common or available. But that is not typically the case and even if it is there will usually be some old guy that "knows all that stuff" that can take care of it.

Call a glass shop, send them picture(s) that are close ups of the window edges where the glass is locked in place and sealed if there is any question about them having the correct replacement seal. Or post the pictures here.

Sorry about your accident, Donna's suggestion of using the front jack to pick the hitch back up after lowering it on the ball and latching it is the best method I know to confirm each and every time that you have a solid latch onto the hitch. You should be able to see the back end of the car being lifted by the hitch as you crank the trailer tongue up.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:23 AM   #7
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Larry C Hanson's Avatar
Name: Larry H
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 269
Hitching Safety

Hi Lori,

Tough break on your first towing experience : (

The '72 Trillium takes a 1 3/4" ball unless the
hitch has been replace. To prevent or at least
such an occurrence use a small hand mirror to
inspect the hitch clamp mechanism from the
bottom to make sure it is seated properly.
Also, I keep the safety chains as short as possible
and still allow for proper turning to lessen the
distance the trailer can dive under the tug if the
hitch comes loose.

Good luck on the window repair. At least the body
was not damaged.

Uncle Larry H
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Old 07-24-2015, 02:18 PM   #8
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Name: Robert
Trailer: Surf-Side
Posts: 238
All the experienced haulers will know , but maybe some new to the hobby may not realize that the breakaway chains should be crossed , [left on trailer to right on tow vehicle ] gives better control in case of a breakaway .
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Old 07-24-2015, 02:20 PM   #9
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rbryan's Avatar
Name: Robert
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 "Past Tents" 2015 F150 Lariat Ecoboost Crew Cab
Posts: 340
Originally Posted by Bob in Mb View Post
All the experienced haulers will know , but maybe some new to the hobby may not realize that the breakaway chains should be crossed , [left on trailer to right on tow vehicle ] gives better control in case of a breakaway .
Yes, and it "catches" the tongue better.
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
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Old 07-24-2015, 03:33 PM   #10
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David Tilston's Avatar
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Posts: 5,281
Pictures please.

Lori, you are very far from me, but I may be able to provide parts to fix your window, (I am a Trillium hoarder). Was the outside frame damaged? Did you have a rock guard? How many panes were broken?
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:59 PM   #11
Junior Member
Posts: 19
Hi Lori,
Very sorry that you had a false hitch and damage.
I use a 3/4 tape measure each time I hitch and make sure the hitch is secure to start lifting a Silverado truck an inch or so. A couple of cranks and you can be sure you are securely hitched. I also stop a little down the road and inspect everything hitch/elactrical.
Hope you get the parts and please don't let this mishap spoil things. Stuff happens sometimes.
Best wishes!
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:24 PM   #12
Name: Tom
Trailer: 13' Trillium
British Columbia
Posts: 44
If its just the glass that needs replacing , any good glass shop can replace them . its not hard to take them apart and do it yourself. I have to replaced one glass panel on my trillium.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:17 AM   #13
Name: Duane
Trailer: trillium
New Brunswick
Posts: 58
Sorry to hear about your damage to your Trillium . The window glass is easy to replace if you look at them when they are open there are small screws in the top and bottom corners of the frame. Put a little penetrating loosen them. You will only need to take off the bottom rail of the damaged ones. The glass is placed in rubber channel and just slides into the frame. Re-use channel this if possible. Use some soap and they will go back in easier. I just did 2 in my trillium and if I remember correctly the glass is 6 1/2" x 22". Check yours to be sure. I hope you are able to straighten any bends in the frames as these are difficult to remove and re-install. Take your time and study what to do and you should be able to fix these yourself at home . Have the glass cut for you unless you are very good at doing this. When I cut glass I usually cut my fingers too !
I hope this helps you get your Trillium repaired and back on the road again. Good luck with this repair. If in doubt ask ! Cheers and I hope you enjoy your new toy ! Duane
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:46 PM   #14
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Name: John & Sarah
Trailer: '77 Boler - 17'
British Columbia
Posts: 25
Wow, this EXACT same thing happened to me. Found a 77 Boler after lots of looking. Picked it up on Wednesday, our first ever trailer! Yay!

The guy didn't hook it up quite right to our car, and me being inexperienced I didn't notice or check. Half-way home it pop off going over a sunken manhole cover. It was at a low speed, thankfully, but I had to use the SUV to stop the thing.

The trailer faired much better than the SUV. It has a pretty nice dent in the trunk and the bumper is pretty scratched up. The whole ordeal could have been MUCH worse, so I guess I'm lucky... but DAMNIT!

It really took the wind out of the sails of what should have been an awesome experience. I'm sure you know that feeling!

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