Trillium 4500 Floor Replacement and Build - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-17-2016, 02:40 PM   #21
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Name: Matthew
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Barbara, something out of the ordinary happened with my trailer. I looked and looked and haven't seen a trillium on the forums with rot like I had. My floors mostly came up in soggy handfulls it became pretty obvious there was a problem when I went to clean the spaces under the front bunk... the rear bed/dinette escaped me originally because the plywood there is fully glassed over. Tapping on it however sounded hollow and i could bend the glass by pressing on it.

If you wanted to check for trouble I would start at the windows... are they calked on the outside? (bad sign) if you press on the ensolite around the windows especially at the corners are they soft at all. Do the curtain rod hangers wiggle?
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:02 AM   #22
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Rotted window frames are not too difficult to fix. What you have done Matthew is heroic. Do you have any over all views of when you had the floor torn up? How close to finishing are you?

Any idea of how it got this bad? I have seen water damage in side the gaucho and dinette seats, but to have the whole floor rot is nothing I have had to deal with.
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Old 01-18-2016, 12:46 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveV View Post
I'm at the same stage on mine also........nothing quite like the feeling of pulling up your linoleum & finding what used to be plywood.

Look at the bright side, when you're finished you'll have a camper that's better than new and built to fit your needs.
David T, SteveV, Leonie B, and all:
Hi, never considered replacing the plywood to be "heroic," but will pass that on to Paul, who has been working his fingers to the bone doing what he can in the cold garage and inside the pumpkin shell. Most of the work is yet to come...what do they say?
History is prelude?

Heroic. He'll like that! He can use it on such a chilly, dark day!

You too, SteveV -- and all those who are going or have gone the total distance!
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:11 PM   #24
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Well, Kai, it has to do with how Trillium's are made. They have an outer shell, and the bottom has a double shell. That is, the floor, and furniture form an inner shell. The plywood being replaced is sandwiched between those two layers. to get out the plywood, it is necessary to mutilate the interior. There will be lots of fibreglass work to get the interior back together.
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Old 01-18-2016, 04:08 PM   #25
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Sure; didn't know the Trillium furniture could mostly stay put though, yes, did know you'd have to cut it free from the floor.

It's hard to see one's cute little trailer mutilated! Very hard!

I borrowed the term for Paul...it made him energized to go out today and do more work in our totally gutted amerigo.

Our "furniture" could not stay--every stick that touched the floor had to be dismantled and pulled out. It was nice to be able to give him that gift of praise, something I hadn't thought of saying to him.

I've already baked him cakes, made him comfort-meatloaf, and offered other rewards...

We agree it's a heroic job to do a complete plywood replacement.
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:12 PM   #26
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Paul is a lucky guy.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:20 PM   #27
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I'm about to pull the trigger on a 1977 Trillium...I was told by the owner that the only wood in the trailer was around the Windows. (Which he replaced with pressure treated wood) now I'm worried about the floor, he said it was all fiberglass. I'm getting nervous after reading this.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:10 AM   #28
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Hi, Debbie,

When you say "pull the trigger," do you mean not buy it, or buy it?

There ARE fiberglass panels used for floors; they don't rot. It's possible the entire floor
is fiberglass.

The floor should feel pretty solid, no real bounce anywhere. The trailer should smell OK inside, not have some weird "odor." Rot smells, but it's not necessarily the smell of mold per se. It can be a little muskier than that.

If you're having 2nd thoughts, visit the trailer a few more times if you can and pry around, poke into and under and behind everything you possibly can, with the owner
out of the trailer if you can manage that. Bring a friend, find an older person who maybe knows something about this.

Replacing an entire floor is a BIG undertaking. But if it's OK, then, well, it's OK.


Wishing you good snooping and a good purchase when you decide to make one.

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Old 03-17-2016, 04:43 PM   #29
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Debbie, Look in the gaucho. You will be able to see the end of the plywood coming out from under the floor. Look for water damage. Jump up and down in front of the kitchen. If the floor feels spongy, walk away. Is the trailer in question a 1300, or a 4500? The floor under the dinette, in a 4500 will feel spongy, because it is just a 1/2" sheet of plywood, over the water tank. On a 1300, the floor under the table should be solid.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:09 AM   #30
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The floor is plywood encased in fiberglass... check inside the bunks and benches, peak behind and below the shelves that may be in there. In the water tank area you can look at the edge of the plywood in the main floor. Have a good flashlight. You should also see plywood from the refrigerator hatch. The floor is not encased on the top in these areas
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:10 AM   #31
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I have had the trillium without the front bunk for a while now, I wanted to say that I have noticed a sag in the hinge side of the door while it sits unsupported. I remember reading that the front furniture was not structurally necessary, I would like to report that to a degree it is... The pressure down on the walls causes the middle of the floor to want to bow up. like a W... The front bunk adds stiffness from the curb side wall out to a space over the frame.

I like the idea of an open floor plan, even thinking about building modules to fit in that space depending on the planed use of the trailer on a particular trip. As it is, I think that a triangle or equivalent is necessary at least on curb side.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:13 AM   #32
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I am currently slowly shaping that wall and corner back to how it would like to be or possibly a little past that point. It is very interesting how mailable the fiberglass is as long as you move slowly. One turn on the jack, one shim, let it sit for a few days, one turn, one shim, ect...
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:41 AM   #33
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I have been one of those who have said that the front furniture is not structural. Clearly I have been mistaken. Though I have seen the sag you are describing, in trailers that had an intact gaucho.

I get jacking up the front corner slowly. What I am interested in is how do you plan to stabilize it in place?
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:37 AM   #34
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my thought is that the front furniture is designed to make a stiff wall fiberglassed to the side wall and to the floor, however because of the opening where the toilet is stored that stiffness eventually sags... the reason I have seen it so pronounced is also because I do not have the body and frame bolted together... allowing the centre of the floor to bow up (this pressure would always exist, it is just more obvious)

So all of the original furniture set ups I have seen has had a box, bunk or seat in the front corners... they are fiberglassed to the wall and the floor pan... I noticed pulling mine out that the connections to the wall from the front bunk were more substantial than the glassing that attaches the kitchen or the non-door side of the closet

As I have built already a fiberglass rib along the hinge side wall I am debating weather this box should be fiberglassd in or if it should just be bolted

essentially the curb side wall front of the door is cantilever over the frame by the interior furniture... I have removed the triangulation or brace that supports that cantilever
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:47 AM   #35
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one of the main things holding me back besides the weather is deciding what the front door side corner should do...

I am unsure of a toilet adding to the space because I plan on using the trailer as semi-permanent home base...(would rather have a separate "bathroom") but when travelling a toilet would be so nice

one of my mock ups I built was a front dinette/office... I liked that set-up so much but it definitely made the space feel cramped

If I made more of an office, the door side could be shelves or a cabinet that the desk could fold down from, I think this would help alleviate the cramped feeling but would largely sacrifice the partner/guest space that a dinette would have
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:48 AM   #36
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Dave, I know your pretty vanilla OE, but I appreciate your experience and knowledge greatly
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:10 PM   #37
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Dave, I know your pretty vanilla OE, but I appreciate your experience and knowledge greatly
No idea what vanilla OE means, but I do try to help. I have thought of a front desk arraignment for a front dinette trailer. Put the seat in front of the fridge, fold out extensions to the table to make it triply wide, printer under the desk top. At least that is the general idea. I could see how a proper desk chair would be awkward, but there are kneeling fold up ergonomic chairs that might work. See attached.

I would love, one day, to have a front dinette Trillium 4500, but that will have to wait.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:26 PM   #38
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I'll agree that the front gaucho wall is a stiffener of sorts. The original potty cut-out has its edge and a cupped stiffener right over the frame. I kept that part intact when doing the front dinette, but you could see where it had sagged over time. I hope that it has found its happy place and won't sag further! I did jack up the front corners of the shell while I worked inside, and forced resin and mat into the voids here and at the kitchen corner. Click image for larger version

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Old 04-20-2016, 06:39 PM   #39
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The pic above shows just the top chord cut out. I can't see where it would be much support vertically, just laterally, to stop spread. ( that could be a significant load as the two end 'flags' try to rotate outward over the frame fulcrum. )

Anyway, that's all I hacked out. I hope it works!


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Old 04-22-2016, 09:52 PM   #40
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Vanilla as in simple, unaltered, true to form (I think a linux term I have borrowed)
OE as in original equipment (car talk)

I have learned far more lately by not doing than I have by doing. I have learned a great appreciation for the factory build and intent of these trilliums. The advice I have gleaned from your posts have lead me to slow down and appreciate rather than brazenly assume.
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