Quick belly band question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-21-2012, 02:07 AM   #1
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Name: Lee
Trailer: 1975 Trillium
Ontario
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Quick belly band question

HI everyone,I have a quick question about the belly band on my Trillium,I found out that some of the heads on a few rivets have broken and I can see a leak waiting to happen,if it hasn't leaked already, so my question is can I drill out the rest of the rivets,remove the band but leave those steel plates in and just go over the crack and plates with fiber glass leaving the plates in instead of going through the trouble of cutting them out?would it make sense to do it that way?from some of the threads about removing the band completely I got the impression that some people just leave the plates in and glass over them.The reason I am curious about doing it this way is that cutting them out seems like a big undertaking from what I have read,and doing it the way I described doesn't seem like it would hurt anything.So that is my question for today,now it's off to bed hopefully for some sleep instead of being kept up by thoughts of what I want to get done to my trailer (yes I think about it that much)thanks to all who can offer help in advance and take care
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:16 PM   #2
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I think your reasoning is sound. I would however check for bulges on the inside. I plan to leave most of my plates in, but the ones that are obviously already rusting are going to come out. On my trailer the worst ones are around the back corners on the sides. The elephant skin liner on the inside is normally not attached to where the belly band is. You can push there and feel the ~3" wide depression. If you feel a bump, I would remove that plate.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:15 PM   #3
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Ok so while I am removing the ensolite to reseal windows I will also check for bulges,I am hoping that even if some plates are bad that it will only be a couple of them.I'll go do some reading on what is involved in removing them if it comes to that,thanks David.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:21 AM   #4
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Here's a previous thread with good info and pictures. You may find it of value: Trillium belly band rivet removal
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:18 AM   #5
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Name: Lee
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Here's a previous thread with good info and pictures. You may find it of value: Trillium belly band rivet removal
Thanks Donna,I came across that thread while looking at how to remove the band and fill in the crack,that's where I got the idea to try and leave the plates in because in one of the posts someone was saying how they had done away with the band,but there was no mention of removing the plates.I also saw one thread where a person actually cut out all the plates instead of leaving them in,but I was nervous about taking all the plates out and accidently cutting through to the inside.So I think I will just see how many are rusted and how many are not and go from there,I think it's still too cold to attempt this but once it warms up a little more I'll be on it,thanks and take care
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:40 AM   #6
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I think it's still too cold to attempt this but once it warms up a little more I'll be on it,thanks and take care
Let us know how it goes for you Lee. And you will document the work with pictures won't you?
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:39 PM   #7
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When I removed the belly band on our '78 1300 I only removed the obviously rusty and swollen plates. Any that seemed still encapsulated in the fiberglass and not rusty I just covered over. That was about a year ago and all seems to be good. I primed the repair and didn't have a chance to paint until late in the summer so I had a chance to watch for any movement for several months and there didn't seem to be any. Best of luck to you!
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:46 PM   #8
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Let us know how it goes for you Lee. And you will document the work with pictures won't you?
I certainly will Donna,I'm just waiting to do a bit more to the trailer so I have some good ones to post.
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:52 PM   #9
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Lee, we also like the good, the bad and the ugly... that way we can appreciate all the hard work that goes into improvements and rebuilds.

But, I'll be patient
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:19 PM   #10
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Name: Lee
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When I removed the belly band on our '78 1300 I only removed the obviously rusty and swollen plates. Any that seemed still encapsulated in the fiberglass and not rusty I just covered over. That was about a year ago and all seems to be good. I primed the repair and didn't have a chance to paint until late in the summer so I had a chance to watch for any movement for several months and there didn't seem to be any. Best of luck to you!
I'm happy that I will probably be able to do it this way,only cut out the really bad ones and leave the ones that are still good in the trailer.I figure I have two months to get it into shape,I say two months because I want to be out by May 24 for the first trip of the year,if I want to try going earlier I will probably just sleep in the back of my Jeep.Thanks for the reply Reid and take care
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:17 AM   #11
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Thanks for that link Donna. My '76 Trillium 1300 has NO belly band left. Appears some PO had removed it & 'filled' the gap/seam with silicone (or some other flexible, white, caulking substance), & then painted over the entire raised belly band area. The entire trailer has been painted (crudely) leaving a 'textured' surface which I'll remedy during the rebuild. I've found only one place where it appears water has gotten into the seam extensively, but have been unable to detect any leaks to the interior of the trailer. We've had over 6' of rain the past 2 days & I can't find any evidence of water either under the ensolite or below the belly band area in cupboards, closet, or under dinette/bunk areas. Still have the leak at lower rear corner of driver side window but that's an easy fix. I'll do further checking but unless I find more leaks I plan to remove all the old paint & 'silicone caulking' from the outside seam (I didn't think paint would adhere to silicone??), thoroughly clean the area, then fill the seam with a 'thickened epoxy' filler to bring it up to surface level. After it's sanded down to match surrounding fiberglass & the trailer receives a new paint job I'll either install one of the automotive 'trim' bands or paint it a contrasting color. Here's pix of the one bad spot I found (apparently the fiberglass tape & seam is still intact under the ensolite), the rough appearing 'caulk fill', another intact 'metal washer' at front, & how the 'belly band' looks now... Any comments, tips, suggestions welcome!
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:01 PM   #12
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Oh wow Harvey. I guess this is where the terms Sweat Equity and Pride in Ownership will become your mantra. We've seen worse... if that helps.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:31 PM   #13
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Oh wow Harvey. I guess this is where the terms Sweat Equity and Pride in Ownership will become your mantra. We've seen worse... if that helps.
Yeah, I figure this will be a loooong term project but that's OK. I'm getting the Scamp fixed up so I'm gonna take the time to do the Trillium properly. Found new (to me) hinges, & my brother who works for a fiberglass pipe company is gonna help me glass in metal hinge supports & fair new hinge pedestals for the door. Have a replacement rear window & a front rock guard on the way from Outback Custom in Calgary. It'll take a while but I'm hoping to have the Trillium lookin' good & roadworthy before next winter. I'll keep takin' pix & hopefully document the entire job... I expect I'll have lots more questions before this is over
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:38 AM   #14
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Name: Ron
Trailer: Trillium 13 ft (green grape)
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Hi Harvey
Yes lot of us having trouble with the B/bands on old trailers.
You may be doing the best thing with filling in the gap with apoxy or refiberglass and replace with auto trim that just sticks on.
Mine was coming off in spots so I just applyed a calking in behind and install more rivits (many more) calk should seal any potential leaks. Looks not bad now.
Ron
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