New owner of trillium 4500 restoration project - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-23-2014, 09:21 AM   #1
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Trillium
Baltimore, MD
Posts: 19
New owner of trillium 4500 restoration project

Hello,

My name is Bill Castro. My wife and I just acquired a 1977 trillium 4500. It is a restoration project as you can see by the pictures.The trailer pulls really well and straight. I have read through most of the trillium related articles here and need a little more guidance on belly band and window restoration. The entire body and chassis of the trailer is straight and damage free, just needs to be thoroughly cleaned and buffed out, however the windows and belly band are a complete disaster of silicone mess. It appears to have a small leak in the back drivers side corner where water pools on the bench area and under the seating in the rear storage area. The belly band has also been screwed to the body by a previous owner to probably try and stop leaks.

A couple thoughts...has anyone ever tried to use some kind of sealant under the belly band like a rubber gasket, butyl tape, or similar? Does anyone have advice on where to find the weather stripping for the louvered (jealousies)windows? It appears the entry door is out of square and can't be realigned on both sides for some odd reason...could the trailer be slightly bent in half at the door. I took the door off and tried to realign and installed new hinges but it will either line up on the hinge side or the latch side...seems most important to me to line up the hinge side since the hinges need to be on the raised portion of the body and not slightly off.

The ultimate goal is to repair the window seals and belly band to stop the leaks and clean up this baby so we can at least get a few trips in before any serious down time for major repairs/renovations. My wife wants to take the trailer in and have the entire body repainted, but It should clean up well without repainting. I also don't want to spend a small fortune and enormous amount of time all at once...we have an old house we are restoring as well...ah priorities...
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:17 AM   #2
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
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Hi Bill
My (most?) Trilliums have looked just like that at one time. Had to remove reseal windows and attend to the bellyband after silicone removal. Lots of info posted on this site on this site already but questions are answered if asked. The doors on Trilliums I think can never be truly straight as there is I believe a mismatch right from the original mold. And finally after a good wash buff and a "check this out not polyglow" search your trailer will look as good as new.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:32 AM   #3
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Welcome to Fiberglass RV Bill. We are a helpful lot.

I am doing windows too:
My first Trillium window thread.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:39 AM   #4
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Name: Bill
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Baltimore, MD
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Hello David and Chris...thanks for your replies. Any links and advice is surely appreciated GREATLY!!! I have read and replied to a restoration of a Trillium sportsman on another tread. It seems he eliminated the interior plywood mount for the windows and built wood interior frames in which to remount the windows to...thoughts on this procedure? Also thoughts on trying to reseal the belly band using butyl tape or similar gasket like material rather than doing body work to eliminate it?
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:14 PM   #5
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Sorry bill, I am a fibreglass kinda guy:
My First Belly Band Thread
My Second Belly Band Thread

I really like what Ryan Parsons did with his windows. His approach would cover issues with existing Ensolite problems like this:
walls

The only issue would be the fact that everything is mounted to the window frames. This includes the gaucho seat back, the shelves above the dinette and gaucho and the curtain rods.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:12 PM   #6
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From an earlier post on the belly band question-
I had 5 or 6 loose rivets on my Trillium that I just drilled out and re-riveted. They are still tight and leak free years later though others my have had different experiences. I did run a thin bead of caulking (not silicone) along the top of the band to keep water out esp. with our freeze thaw cycles up North.

The black strip seems to shrink over time but if you remove it, place it in hot water, and stretch it while reinstalling you should be able to restore it's length.

Most of our old trailers have been visited by a madman with a gun full of silicone at some point. There might not have been much or any leak in the first place. Try removing the old caulk with a plastic scraper and see if you can get things tight without removing the whole band first. I would think that caulking or putty behind the band might prevent a tight fit.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:30 AM   #7
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Name: John
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Welcome! Sounds very familiar ....the minor fixes before some serious downtime lol..but no one wants a soggy mattress eh? I think if you go to effort to remove the belly band, you may as well seal it over by glassing it as Dave suggests. But I'm in belly band denial right now so.....
Lol
But seriously, I think when I get to that project I will glass it over but put the band back on via ultra high strength sealant like Sika or 3m so that it stills looks original. I think it looks classy.
?
Above all....Have fun! I find a strange satisfaction scraping off old crappy half stuck on silicone personally.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:09 AM   #8
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Trillium
Baltimore, MD
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Can anyone point me in the right direction for jalousie window seal replacements...I have attached several pictures showing the type of seal on the windows in the trailer...Vintage trailer supply doesn't have the exact replacement but they have others...will any of theirs fit my windows properly?

Pictures from top...this is the bottom seal, next is the bottom seal again, next is the top header seal, and the last is the side seal (looks the same as bottom seal) with the stick pointing to it in the corner. All the seals around my windows are now either cracked to bits or have shrunk beyond fitting properly. The size of the seal is 3/16inch wide from the mount backing to the front of the compressed area. When I remove the windows to replace the butyl tape seals, I also figure I might as well replace all the window seals before reinstalling.

This looks like the appropriate header seal replacement...
Jalousie Header Seal

Is this the appropriate bottom and side seal?
Jalousie Window Seal

I don't see any seals that resemble the original bottom or side seals currently installed on my trailer. Any advice on new replacements would be much appreciated.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:43 AM   #9
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BTW...how wide is the seam under the belly band? I am prepping myself to remove and discard the belly band and repair the seam under it with fiberglass and resin.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billiam1969 View Post
BTW...how wide is the seam under the belly band? I am prepping myself to remove and discard the belly band and repair the seam under it with fiberglass and resin.
Bill, Take a look at the two belly band threads I posted links to. The job is detailed fairly well.

The actual gap between the top half of the trailer, and the bottom half varies from about 1/4" to 1/2".
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:13 AM   #11
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Name: Bill
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Baltimore, MD
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Thanks Dave...I read through all your posts and found TONS of valuable information. I guess I will call Vintage trailer and ask them about the actual window seals. I don't find this fixer upper thing too technical but I like to have an idea of what I am in for PRIOR to starting a project I haven't done before. Seems I now have another project to add to my long list...hope my bees don't mind!!!
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:30 PM   #12
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Name: Bill
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Baltimore, MD
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I am bummed I can't find replacement seals for Jalousie windows...vintage trailer doesn't have them...anyone replace theirs and have a good place to find them??? HELP!!??
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:42 PM   #13
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Cumberland, Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billiam1969 View Post
I am bummed I can't find replacement seals for Jalousie windows...vintage trailer doesn't have them...anyone replace theirs and have a good place to find them??? HELP!!??
Try Here:

Interstate RV Metal & Supply

009-289

Spanke
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:52 AM   #14
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Trillium
Baltimore, MD
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Thanks so much Spanke...found and ordered the seals...does anyone have any opinions on tires? I looked at several trailer supply outfits like etariler.com and they sell Chinese made tires, Kenda and Hi-run seem to the most popular. Not sure of the quality though the web site shows folks seem to have not many problems with them...Trillium trailers seem to all have 13 inch rims and tires for clearance reasons...Thanks for your input!!!
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