trillium belly band - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-16-2010, 01:46 PM   #1
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Smile trillium belly band

Hi All,
We are in the process of fixing up our 1977 Trillium 4500. As I type my husband is removing the belly band to try and find a leak (or leaks). We were wondering, is that band necessary? Can we just clean up and re-glass, or bondo the little space under there (remove what is left of the rivets), polish, and maybe add a stripe? I am not a fan of that chrome and black rubber band anyway. Is the belly band doing anything?
As always, thanks!!
Marjie
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:50 PM   #2
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I believe it's there to hold the 2 pieces together.(upper /lower halves).
Don,t think it,s wise to remove,unless your looking to convert the trailer into a Convertible sun roof.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marjie s. View Post
Hi All,
We are in the process of fixing up our 1977 Trillium 4500. As I type my husband is removing the belly band to try and find a leak (or leaks). We were wondering, is that band necessary? Can we just clean up and re-glass, or bondo the little space under there (remove what is left of the rivets), polish, and maybe add a stripe? I am not a fan of that chrome and black rubber band anyway. Is the belly band doing anything?
As always, thanks!!
Marjie
I had a 77 13ft Trillium on which the belly band was falling off.
I reattached it and bought the insert material from "camping world".
I did this for the same reason Trillium did, it is far easier than doing the necessary body work to hide the seam smoothly.
If you want to do the work, you can. The band is cosmetic.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:48 PM   #4
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I took off the belly band and fiberglassed the joints to make it one piece. All i can say is it took me along time to fibreglass ans sand to male it all even. Depends how long you want to spend.
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:24 PM   #5
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I took off the belly band and in the back below the rear window was a strip of wood. On the right side it is fine, at just about the midpoint of the trailer the wood is soft and them rotten as you go above the right taillight, after that it is all glass again. Can I just fill that with bondo or polyester resin and then cover it up again?
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:31 PM   #6
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We have had some really thorough threads on the Trillium belly band, complete with diagrams of how it's put together, descriptions of how the shell halves are joined, and photographs of how different people have tackled the job. I think it would be worth a search to read those - I would if I were doing the job and had not read them yet.

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Old 09-24-2017, 06:06 AM   #7
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Hello All - I am trying to 'search' the threads for belly band info myself. When I type in the search words under the drop down menu from the top,I come up with nothing related to what I asked for. What am I doing wrong? I have great difficulty navigating the site for what I need. If someone could navigate me through the instructions - I promise - I will write them down for next time.

Thanks
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:02 AM   #8
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JRTrillium, best way to search in the Search drop down window is to type the keywords in the Google search box at the bottom of the drop down window. When I tried that and typed in "trillium belly band" I found useful threads on the subject. Dave Tilston has two good threads on the subject and so do several others.
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:08 AM   #9
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Here is David Tilston's first belly band thread:

My First Belly Band Thread
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:13 AM   #10
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The belly band has absolutely nothing to do with holding the two halves of Trilliums together. You'll realize this when you start taking it apart. The two halves are held together with fiberglass laid on the inside of the trailer. I personally think the belly band was the worst design on what I think is otherwise a great trailer. They fiber glassed steel washers between the two halves just to have a place for screws to hold on a decorative aluminum band. Then they sealed the band to keep the steel washers from rusting. Brilliant! NOT!!!

Do yourself a favor. Follow David's instructions on belly band removal/repair. It's definitely some work but you'll never have to worry about it again. I did it myself and if you can work with fiberglass fibered resin (aka bondo with fiberglass reinforcement), then its not too bad. When I had it all smoothed out I just masked off the area and painted it using a spray can. 2 1/2 years later it still looks good and NO LEAKS!!

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Old 09-24-2017, 09:57 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by stefman View Post
The belly band has absolutely nothing to do with holding the two halves of Trilliums together. You'll realize this when you start taking it apart. The two halves are held together with fiberglass laid on the inside of the trailer. I personally think the belly band was the worst design on what I think is otherwise a great trailer.
Escapes are based on Trilliums, and like Trilliums, the Escape is also fiberglassed together where the two mold halves join. But unlike the design you mention, Escape attaches their belly band holder with blind rivets and there is no hardware embedded in the fiberglass to rust.

Having said that, since the belly band is just cosmetic, I wish Escape had not applied a belly band at all. Why drill a bunch of non essential holes into an otherwise intact shell, and introduce the potential (however slight) for leaks?
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:07 AM   #12
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On the Trillium the belly band holds the two halves in place during manufacture. That's why the washers are fiberglassed in. After that the belly band hides the seam. I suspect the belly band serves the same pupose on the Escape . It's easier to apply a belly band than do body work.

Scamp has the better design in my opinion. Each half has a flange. They epoxy the flanges together.
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:49 PM   #13
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Thank you, John (in Michagan)! I will try that search method next time for what I am looking for.
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Raz View Post
On the Trillium the belly band holds the two halves in place during manufacture. That's why the washers are fiberglassed in. After that the belly band hides the seam. I suspect the belly band serves the same pupose on the Escape . It's easier to apply a belly band than do body work.
The top and bottom halves on Escapes are glassed together before they leave the mold. It's unmolded as a one piece shell. The belly band provides no structural integrity, so that's a bit different than what you describe on a Trillium. But you're right about a belly band being easier than body work to hide a seam.
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:12 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
JRTrillium, best way to search in the Search drop down window is to type the keywords in the Google search box at the bottom of the drop down window. When I tried that and typed in "trillium belly band" I found useful threads on the subject. Dave Tilston has two good threads on the subject and so do several others.
Well that is the answer to how to search!!!! Thank you! You have saved me a lot of frustration. I just don't understand why that doesn't work for 'search the forum' part? It felt logical for me to search that first.

Thanks again - I should hopefully have to not start new threads.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:20 AM   #16
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Trillium used steel inside which eventually rusted, expanded and made the leaks worse. On my California made Trillium my belly band leaked because they failed to seal the inside seam. Repair required lifting of the wall covering. At that time everything was exposed. I elected not to remove the washers which might have been a mistske. So far no leaks. Time will tell.

I recall a post where a member removed the belly band, sealed the seam, and used adhesive backed auto side molding to cover it. A clever no holes solution.
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:15 AM   #17
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I've done over 8 band removals and on some I replaced it with Auto trim on others I've filled the crack, sanded it smooth and painted the entire camper, and on a couple I re-installed the old band.. it all depends on how good the gel-coat is.. On some the pieces of metal rusted and swelled so bad that there were humps down both sides (never understood why they didn't use pieces of aluminum instead of steel).. The band "DOES NOT" hold the two pieces together it only covers where they are fiber glassed together, it was quicker to use a band instead of filling sanding smooth and then trying to Gel-coat that area.. If you think it holds the pieces together your wrong for one thing there are only one screw at each location where the band is held on if it held the two pieces together you would need one for the top half and one below that for the bottom half and I believe it would take a lot more that one every 2' to 3' apart... Here's one that I re-done and there's several others posted if you look for them....
Trillium Renovation

Hope this helps......Randy
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Old 04-01-2018, 07:36 AM   #18
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Belly band

Hi I am a new member and looking forward to many years of camping with our vintage Trillium 4500. We purchased her in the fall and have found many more issues and bad repairs than I expected but that’s to be expected in a 38 year old trailer. I like the belly band repair that Randy did and am wondering if he could send me the link or contact info for the supplier of the stick on 2 inch wide moulding long enough to go around the trailer in one shot. Seeing as I have repaired and painted the windows this must be the source of another leak. Thanks
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Old 04-01-2018, 07:58 AM   #19
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welcome

welcome sid there are some real gurus in repairing and rebuilding these fiberglass rigs.

just follow

good luck

bob
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Old 04-01-2018, 06:51 PM   #20
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Belly Band

Sid C,
The Belly Band trim your talking about may have been discontinued, I've searched the sources I used before and can't seam to find it. The last ones I got was from JC Whitney but they no longer have them from what I can tell.. The first time I got them from a car parts catalog that a friend of mine had that done body work...I was telling him my options on the band repair and he looked it up in the catalog and I bought 3 sets back then, but then he passed away and I had to look else where and found them in the Whitney catalog and bought if I remember correctly 5 sets, I still have 3 but want to keep them because I still have 4 or 5 I'm going to redo.. You might try a auto shop and tell them what your looking for or even print a picture of one that has it on from this site and show them.. If I remember correctly it came in a roll for $39.99 and it would go around a 4500 with about 3 ft. to spare..... Hope this helps Randy
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