trillium crack. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-29-2006, 08:12 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium
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Hello everyone. While cleaning out our 1978 trillium trailer this fall I noticed a small crack
, about 1/2" long all the way through the fibre glass. the crack is the centre of the door
openning at top under the door seal. I checked the frame just in case it is a flexing problem.
Not sure if I should epoxy or use fibre glass resin for now. Also heard that you should drill a small hole at end of crack to stop it from cracking further. Has anyone else had this crack show up.

Thanks Ian.
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:28 PM   #2
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Trailer: Trillium 4500
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Hey Ian,
Sorry to hear of the crack in the glass. I have cracks near both top corners of the door frame. One is actual cracking of the fiberglass, the other is just gel coat stress lines.
The cracking is not uncommon in glass this old and would naturally show in this area.
I am new to fiberglass trailers but I have 35 years experience in glass boats and aeroplanes. Epoxy or resin on its own has no structural strength without fibers of some sort. I would recommend peeling back the liner and doing a repair accross the whole top of the door frame and down each door frame a short distance. If you need detailed instructions I would be happy to talk you through it. Its not difficult but there are steps that need to be followed for a proper job. Dave.
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Old 11-30-2006, 07:06 AM   #3
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Hey Ian,
Sorry to hear of the crack in the glass. I have cracks near both top corners of the door frame. One is actual cracking of the fiberglass, the other is just gel coat stress lines.
The cracking is not uncommon in glass this old and would naturally show in this area.
I am new to fiberglass trailers but I have 35 years experience in glass boats and aeroplanes. Epoxy or resin on its own has no structural strength without fibers of some sort. I would recommend peeling back the liner and doing a repair accross the whole top of the door frame and down each door frame a short distance. If you need detailed instructions I would be happy to talk you through it. Its not difficult but there are steps that need to be followed for a proper job. Dave.
I agree with David, my expeance is with corvets and big trucks (all fiber glass stuff) and ya you must give something to bind to on both sides
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:32 AM   #4
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Trailer: Boler 13 ft / 31 ft Holiday Rambler
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I too work with fiberglass building canoes and the first question I would ask myself is the crack even though it is a crack all the way though, need fixed with structural integraty or just filled in?
The second observation I would want to know is why it cracked?
If it is structual the proper repair is to glass both sides as stated by others.
I had a non-structual through crack in my door on my Boler and I just "V" grooved it out and added epoxy/resin mixture with a recomended fillet from the company I do my fiberglass business with and sanded smooth and in 2 seasons have had no ill effects.
Gerry
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:39 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium
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I too work with fiberglass building canoes and the first question I would ask myself is the crack even though it is a crack all the way though, need fixed with structural integraty or just filled in?
The second observation I would want to know is why it cracked?
If it is structual the proper repair is to glass both sides as stated by others.
I had a non-structual through crack in my door on my Boler and I just "V" grooved it out and added epoxy/resin mixture with a recomended fillet from the company I do my fiberglass business with and sanded smooth and in 2 seasons have had no ill effects.
Gerry

Thanks for the info. I checked to see if it was a structural stress crack but the frame is in very good shape. This last summer I noticed that the door hindges were getting looser every time we went out, and had to retighten. A couple of times when we got off the highway and came to a stop the door would swing open all the way. I'm thinking that the
door swinging open caused the door frame to twist causing this crack to start. I checked the screws used for the door hindges to the shell. They were only about 1 inch long. I checked the depth of material were the hindges mount and it's about 2 1/2 inches thick, so I used 2 inch screws and the door hangs like it did from the factory. The snow is starting to fall here so I will do the repair in the spring.

Ian
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Old 12-02-2006, 06:18 AM   #6
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A couple of times when we got off the highway and came to a stop the door would swing open all the way.

I own an 1980 Boler 13ft and do not know too much about the triliums.
I am sure that is how the crack came about and by no means strucural and can be fixe cosmeticly.
I know that RV dealers sell some sort of tie so doors will not swing open but as a previous owner had installed a hasp with a small pad lock this is what I use.
The hinges on my Boler look original but I am sure that again a previous own put in bolts with nuts and peaned over the tread so it would be locked instead of wood screws
The nut is hidden compleatly by the doors weather striping.
Gerry
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:31 PM   #7
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Also had a problem with the door swinging open, but this would occur while turning a corner.We were 2000 miles from home so I took the cap from a 35 milimeterphoto canister and drove a 1 inch screw through it and the door frame. This quick fix lasted until we got home a couple of weeks later.I had to raise the door almost 1/2 inch but this also solved the problem of the lower edge warp. I also replaced the flat metal piece that the latch closes against. Haven't had any trouble for several yars now.
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Old 12-04-2006, 12:48 AM   #8
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Drilling a small "stop crack" hole at the very end (examine it carefully) of the crack will stop it from spreading (it changes the stresses in the drilled material from tension to compression).
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:54 AM   #9
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Drilling a small "stop crack" hole at the very end (examine it carefully) of the crack will stop it from spreading (it changes the stresses in the drilled material from tension to compression).]

Good point pete. I forgot to mention it above.
Gerry
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Thanks for the info. I checked to see if it was a structural stress crack but the frame is in very good shape. This last summer I noticed that the door hindges were getting looser every time we went out, and had to retighten. A couple of times when we got off the highway and came to a stop the door would swing open all the way. I'm thinking that the
door swinging open caused the door frame to twist causing this crack to start. I checked the screws used for the door hindges to the shell. They were only about 1 inch long. I checked the depth of material were the hindges mount and it's about 2 1/2 inches thick, so I used 2 inch screws and the door hangs like it did from the factory. The snow is starting to fall here so I will do the repair in the spring.

Ian
Just wanted to point out that the Trill's have wooden door jambs inside the fiberglass. The wood tends to rot out leaving the screws with no purchase and thus the hinges sag and worse. I have filled the jambs with epoxy on two trills and let it all cure before hanging the door with duct tape and repositioning the hinges with bolts through the newly reinforced jamb. It has worked well both times and I no longer get surprised with an open door,plus the seal is much better and it looks more uniform from the outside too.

There is also wood around the windows in a Trill and it rots too but is easily removed and replaced by opeeling back the ensolite once the windows are out.
We had around 8 inches of ice here last week and the 4500 is slowly thawing out and is bone dry inside since I have repaired these areas.

Good Luck
Ed
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:06 PM   #11
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Just wanted to point out that the Trill's have wooden door jambs inside the fiberglass. The wood tends to rot out leaving the screws with no purchase and thus the hinges sag and worse. I have filled the jambs with epoxy on two trills and let it all cure before hanging the door with duct tape and repositioning the hinges with bolts through the newly reinforced jamb. It has worked well both times and I no longer get surprised with an open door,plus the seal is much better and it looks more uniform from the outside too.

There is also wood around the windows in a Trill and it rots too but is easily removed and replaced by opeeling back the ensolite once the windows are out.
We had around 8 inches of ice here last week and the 4500 is slowly thawing out and is bone dry inside since I have repaired these areas.

Good Luck
Ed

Thanks everyone for the info. I just had the front and right side windows out. Their were a couple of screws that were not biting into any wood. wood rotted and screws rusted. I inspected the wood and found it was in very good condition. I picked up some sealant for around the windows and resealed the two windows so far. I also used a larger screw that really grabbed the wood. Plan on doing other windows when the weather warms up again. When I used the larger screw I pre drilled the holes in the shell so that the new screws wouldn't crack the fibre glass.



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