Tie down bolts and frame - old Trillium - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-10-2015, 07:24 PM   #21
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Trillium 1300 (1980)
Ontario
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don't throw out that backer!

Randy -

A couple of mine were also very badly corroded at the backer plate. But I was able to knock the remnant out of the plate by placing the plate so it spanned a couple of 2x4 edges, then smacking the non-head side of the corroded bolt with a hammer a couple of times. Out popped the ruined carriage bolt, and most of the corrosion with it. A wire brush removed most of the rest from the backer, and I was able to reuse the plate with no problem. Those plates are heavy steel, about an eighth of an inch thick.
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Old 10-05-2015, 06:14 PM   #22
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Name: Randy J.
Trailer: Trillium
Ontario
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Backers

Well, I have re-used two of the backers, mainly because of limited space near the wheel wells. The others I have replaced at least for now with some washers from Brofasco and a buildup washer as the tech at Carl Cox RV advised. The washer is at least as thick as the original plate and covers the same area. I did keep the little squares and may in fact have someone cut some duplicates if I run accross a suitable piece at a scrap dealer.

I do have a theory however that the square plates are a different metal than the original carraige bolts which may have created a mild galvanic process, given moisture that would wick up the threads. That might explain why two of my bolts were pretty well in tact except right at the plate where they rusted right through. Then again, they probably didn't expect that old farts like me would be keeping these things on the road after 40 years!

Just for interest, galvanic action would certainly explaine why the original plain steel screws that held the aluminum windows to the wooden frame dissintegrated. The worst galvanic corrosion occures when a small steel piece is used to secure an aluminum large piece. I replaced these with stainless steel - still dissimilar but tougher - and coated them.

Randy
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:24 AM   #23
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Having worked in the marine industry, I think galvanic corrosion is often overstated as a risk - it does assume the parts are sitting in an electrolyte all or most of the time. That may be true on a boat in a harbour, but I don't think trailers are subject to the same conditions.

To utterly prevent galvanic corrosion, the mating surfaces between dissimilar metals can be coated with an anti-corrosion jointing compound such as Duralac. This can be hard to get in the US and seems ridiculously expensive, though a single toothpaste tube will last most people all their life. We used this to fix aluminium sail track onto carbon masts with stainless steel rivets, so a similar application.

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Old 10-06-2015, 01:05 PM   #24
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Name: Randy J.
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Ontario
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Thanks. The "right stuff" is very expensive. And as you say, I'm not heading to sea. But this seemed easy, needed or not: I just dipped the tips of the window screws in some RV silicone before screwing them in. The sealant spreads up the threads and forms a thin washer under the head as it tightens, reducing metal to metal contact. I also coated the frame bolts with bee's was (toilet seal, works great!) and put high-end silicone between the floor, the floor plate, and the bolt head.
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:14 AM   #25
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Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
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Originally Posted by Andrew Gibbens View Post
Having worked in the marine industry, I think galvanic corrosion is often overstated as a risk - it does assume the parts are sitting in an electrolyte all or most of the time. That may be true on a boat in a harbour, but I don't think trailers are subject to the same conditions.
I think for most folks you're right. But every year we spend a few weeks camped very close to the ocean. The hardware stores only carry galvanized and stainless hardware, no plated steel. I was told the galvanized is good for a year. After noticing some corrosion on the window mechanisms on the trailer I decided to do a thorough cleaning of the truck and the trailer every time we get home.

My 2010 was made by "Trillium Tom". It came with six 7/16" stainless bolts. All go through angle iron welded to the frame. Progress? Raz
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Old 10-08-2015, 06:28 PM   #26
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Name: Randy J.
Trailer: Trillium
Ontario
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One thing I've realized in this whole discussion about what's just the right bolt is that - in my case at least - they're easy to get at and remove/replace. And yet I'd towed Little Green around for three years blissfully unaware that all mine were weak and two rusted right through. Me, an old technical guy, with no maintenance plan! So I have one now. I plan to check the torque every spring and again during the season. I'll pull the bolts after two years (I used plain steel ones, again at Tom's suggestion and coated 'em with bees wax) to see how they're doing. If they're just fine I'll wait another five. Seaside? Maybe more. I'm also adding inspections of my gas lines and electrical to the plan.

Randy
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:07 AM   #27
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300
New Brunswick
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Hi I just read your post regarding the frame bolts. For my Trillium I put in new galvanized 5/16"carriage bolts with a liberal coating of bee's wax on each. Don't over tighten the bolts. I bought 6 lock nuts and used these with flat washers and snugged them up. The floor won't stand much pressure before it begins to crack . My trailer is a 1976 and the original mild steel bolts were still intact but weak from age.
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:47 PM   #28
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May I, ever so politely, be devil's advocate and ask why the frame bolts are such a concern? Has an egg ever come off its frame due to bolt failure? I can see that bolt failure might encourage unwanted flexing but then rotting of floor plywood seems a bigger risk to overall structural integrity.

I just wonder if this is an issue that just provides the opportunity for some worrying? Like exiting the trailer without first checking if a tiger has escaped from a nearby zoo and will eat you when you step outside - is this more or less of a risk than frame bolt failure?
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:25 PM   #29
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Name: Karl
Trailer: Trillium 1300
Alberta
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Bolts on Trillium 1300

I have similar problem. I found the four bolts with round heads but not the other two. I did cut those off but all I see are large Phillips screw head. Are those the other bolts????
I’m lifting the whole camper to replace the trailer frame as this one has rusted and broke at the front bend.
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Randy, The bolts are a week point on Trilliums. You don't say if yours is a 1300, or 4500. On the 1300, there are six bolts. On a 4500, there are eight.

I would replace them all.
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