Newbie needs help with full resto - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-23-2014, 09:37 AM   #1
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Name: Barak
Trailer: Trillium
California
Posts: 24
Newbie needs help with full resto

Hello Everyone,

I've been reading your threads for a few weeks now and finally got up the nerve to pull the trigger on a very in need Trillium 1300. I think I did well on the price which is why it needs a full restoration. Exterior looks solid with no blemishes, just dirty. All windows are working. I had to purchase as is with a bill of sale only (thoughts on that), the owner is willing though to fill out the necessary paperwork for transfer and duplicate title (how much is that going to run me?)

The ensolite looks intact but super duper mildewy and moldey...bleach? My other concern is that I was unable to test any of the electrics and water lines..I dont even know where the water tank is (1980 trillium 1300). The owner says his family used it twice and has had it parked ever since, with the occasional guest using it at the house and at last known use everything was working. I dont see any rodent signs, it looks like it was held up pretty tight.

Any ideas on how I go about testing all the electrics and water lines. The end of the exterior hook ups plug is damaged and needs replacement.

Needs new tires, any favorites recommended?

Sorry for all the questions, I am probably forgetting all the necessary information you pros need to diagnose and help.

Even better, anyone live in San Diego area and want to come by for a drink and show me the ropes.

See pics for more detail.
Attached Thumbnails
trailer 3.jpg   trailer 1.jpg  

trailer 4.jpg   trailer 5.jpg  

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Old 05-23-2014, 10:10 AM   #2
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Name: Tim
Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
North Florida
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Looks good, glad somebody who appreciates it is getting it. That said, DO NOT SPEND A DIME ON THAT RIG UNTIL YOU GET A CLEAR TITLE IN YOUR NAME. And, I HOPE YOU HAVE PAID FOR IT YET WITHOUT A CLEAR PATH THE CLEAR TITLE. Beyond the "owner" syain they are willinf to do what ever. Good luck!
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:15 AM   #3
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Name: Barak
Trailer: Trillium
California
Posts: 24
Thanks Tim. Just put down a small deposit is all. But was planning on picking it up this weekend and getting the bill of sale and having him fill out all the DMV paperwork for a transfer/duplicate title. Will the suffice? What's worst case scenario?
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:41 AM   #4
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Name: Tom
Trailer: 1980 Bigfoot 17 ft
Texas
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Not sure about trailers, but with old cars that were last registered in California and now are registered again.... The CA DMV expects to be paid for each year the car registration was skipped. It can get expensive.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:42 AM   #5
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
Posts: 5,314
Registry
That is not a 1300, it is a 1977 4500 Deluxe. What gives it away is the furnace is on the curb side. So, SCORE!. You can confirm this by taking a look at the data sheet that should be on the inside of the closet door. At the top right will be the serial number. Because your trailer is a 4500 it will be in this format: 45-110xxxx a 1300 serial number would look like this 13-110xxxx. Where the xxxx is the sequential serial number. If you post a picture of this sheet, (please) then I will add your trailer to the growing Trillium serial number list:
Serial numbers on a Trillium

Take the cushions out. They are completely synthetic, so any mold will wash out. Probably just take the covers off and wash them, then spray the foam down with some mold killer. The covers are original. If they have been kept out of the sun, they should be fine. If not they may disintegrate in the washing machine.

Once you get the cushions out of the trailer, then get a good spray bottle, and a 10% Bleach solution and spray the walls with it. The insulation is called Ensolite, or elephant skin. What you can see is vinyl, under that is a black foam. Also completely synthetic, so mold is still not a problem.

The trim on the ensolite has come off. Still not a problem. It snaps right back.

Testing the electrical is simple. Mainly because there is not much to it. Get the plug repaired on your cord. Plug it in. The converter, under the furnace has a switch labeled Batt, off, Mains, or something like that. Switch to Mains, and turn on the lights. If they come on the converter works. If not, try pushing in the two buttons, which are breakers. The left one is a 10A 120 VAC breaker the other is for DC.

The stove requires that you light it with a match or lighter. Connect a propane tank. Turn it on. Turn on the gas valve for a burner and hold a lighter near it. This may take some time if the propane tank has been disconnected.

The furnace is also simple. Connect a propane tank, take the bottom cover off, and open the little pilot light port. There are two dials on the gas valve. One is the thermostat, the other is the on / pilot / off control. Turn the control to pilot and push it in. Put a lighter flame into the pilot port. Eventually the pilot light will ignite. This may take some time if the propane tank has been disconnected. Keep pushing the control knob long enough for the pilot flame to heat the thermocouple, then let go and turn it to on. Crank the thermostat up and looking through the pilot you should see the main burner come on.

The fridge is a bit more complex, and I will leave you to read the manual, in the Document Center on this site.

Your biggest problem, after title, is that the belly band has fallen off on the back of the trailer. This is not an easy fix:
My First Belly Band Thread
My Second Belly Band Thread

I hope you don't have trouble titling your trailer, but I don't have a clue about how that works. The fact that the current owner thinks it is a 1300 would make me nervous.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:45 AM   #6
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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As long as you feel confident that the seller has lived at their residence for a while and there isn't a For Sale sign in front, you shouldn't be at to much risk. BUT, be sure that they have ID that matches the paperwork they are giving you.

In CA, IF it has permanent registration, there MAY NOT be a paper title, it is in the DMV computer. However, if there ever was a paper title, and it was lost, there is yet another form to replace that lost paper title, as well as the transfer of permanent registration that is needed, and both need to be signed by the seller.

IF you have AAA, dash down there today and collect up every form you might need. If you don't have AAA, good luck at DMV. Unless you make an appointment on-line, it can be a death march, especially after a 3 day weekend.

I suggest that you find someone knowledgeable about RV's before you even try plugging it in. Someone needs to be there that knows what should and shouldn't happen at first spark and what to do ASAP.

There are some mobile RV repair services listed under RV's for sale in Craigs list that might be a good investment as they can come to you, check it out, tell you what you need to fix and make any immediate repairs.

What's the worst thing that can happen? I once bought an Airstream Bambi, seller had all the right paperwork, in their name, etc and even delivered it. Turned out it was stolen.....
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:30 PM   #7
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Name: Barak
Trailer: Trillium
California
Posts: 24
Thank you to those of you who have replied so quickly. Now Im getting really nervous about title and registration. I am purchasing from the son, his father died a few years back, and the trailer has just been sitting for the last decade or two. His mom still lives in the house where the trailer is parked in the back. I dont think the son knows too much about it and just did a quick google search based on the body style to diagnose it as a 1300. I guess I will need to do research now on the difference between the two. I would be happy to post the serial number etc. Is it normal for the VIN to be 9 digits. He wrote down the VIN and lic. number and when I type them into the DMV fee calculator it says no matches found. Is that a warning sign. The son seems nice enough and all, Im pretty good judge of character.

I have form REG 227 printed out to request duplicate title that is lost. How would I know if it is a permanent registration?

Any help is great.

Thanks for all the detailed info on checking electrics.

I need new tires before moving it...what should I get? Do they make white walls in this size...my wife keeps insisting.

The cushion covers look to be in great shape and all windows have been closed for years and I think they will hold up well...but I will probably opt for new ones. If someone has need or want of originals let me know.

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:41 PM   #8
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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There is a DMV help line that MIGHT answer today, but your best bet is still to go to a AAA office for help. They can also find out when it was last registered and any fines than may be due. If you don't belong to AAA a years membership will more than pay you back on this one deal.

I haven't seen a WSW trailer tire in years, but don't switch to a car tire just to get them. If you look in the Hemmings car collectors site you may be able to find someone that still makes "Porta Walls" in the needed size, but you will also want to use innertubes. Better yet, ferget the whitewalls.....

Any YES, shorter VIN's were the rule on vehicles built before 1981
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:53 PM   #9
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Name: Barak
Trailer: Trillium
California
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Thanks Bob. I do have AAA...our office seems just as busy as the DMV most times...still I shall try today after work. I hope they can answer some questions, but I am starting to think I have the wrong VIN...why wont any info pop up.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:11 PM   #10
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
Posts: 5,314
Registry
Is the VIN# in the 45-110xxxx format?
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:14 PM   #11
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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After so many years of non-registration the info is dropped off of the public access computer, but AAA can access the info.

Hopefully the title is in husband OR wife names. Sometimes it can get a little sticky when an owner is deceased. I had some problems when my wife passed away. Basically I had to produce a death certificate a number of times.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:20 PM   #12
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Name: Barak
Trailer: Trillium
California
Posts: 24
Close it is 46110XXXX
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:30 PM   #13
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
Posts: 5,314
Registry
Try 45110xxxx, and 45-110xxxx instead. 5's and 6's look alike.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:32 PM   #14
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Name: Barak
Trailer: Trillium
California
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Ill try that. I think the DMV page only lets you put in 4 or 5 digits so im not sure which ones to use...any idea. Thanks for the help. What part of CA are you in?
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