Trillium Frame Concerns - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-06-2006, 08:49 PM   #1
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1989 17 ft Bigfoot Deluxe / 2004 Ford Ranger
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We have a 73 13 ft Trillium, had it for about a year.Although frame looks solid, I have some concerns about a particular location on each side at the front, just before frame dives under the F/G shell. At the spot of concern, the frame has a pre-formed "hollow" on the top surface, created by the process of bending the frame to shape when it was manufactured.
The hollow constantly holds a small puddle of water from rain, or here in Ontario, snow melt.The frame has been painted, and no obvious rust is visible;I am concerned that water may find its way thru' the paint, and start unseen rust on the top surface, weakening it in the process.BTW, last Fall, I had KROWN RUST, treat the inside surfaces of the whole frame, as a precauton to rust forming inside the frame sections.
Has anyone had experience with this area failing, and is it an area that should be reinforced, by welding a strip of metal along the underside of the frame, or along each side , or in BOTH locations ?
Any advice that I should implement before the coming camping season ?

Joe
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:04 AM   #2
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Joe, don't know about the Trillium in particular...but there's been some real horror stories regarding that area on Bolers. I'd think reinforcement is definitely in order. Even if you don't have a particular problem now, you most likely will in the future. Nothing worse that being out on a trip and having a major structural failure.

If you're concerned about water puddling on the frame in relatively small spots, I recommend POR Patch
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:19 AM   #3
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hi Joe
the cup you are talking about is not the weak spot.
The one you need to keep an eye out for is the frame on either side just as it goes under the front end of the trillium. there should be a plate welded under or on the sides of this point.
Trillum knew of this weak point and issused a recall to fix it by adding a plate to the frame.
Even with the plate welded in place it can still crack there.
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:09 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely will look to getting the frame looked at
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:22 PM   #5
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Al, can you recall about how long ago Trillium discovered the problem, and issued the recall ?
I should check my frame, to see if by chance the reinforcing has already been done by a previous owner.
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Old 04-08-2006, 04:52 AM   #6
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it was back in the early 80's that Trillium issused a saftey recall. My 78 trillium 1300 had an extra plate welded to the bottom of the frame. I had seen some 70-ish 1300's with the plate welded on the side of the frame. Lill-Trills frame still broke on the curb side and cracked on the street side. Good thing it happened in a camp ground and I had AAA plus RV lill-trill was transported to a weld shop many miles away by flatbed truck. The weld shop put 3 plates one on botom and one on each side. Those plates reinforceing the frame have lasted many many miles.
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Old 04-08-2006, 09:37 AM   #7
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it was back in the early 80's that Trillium issused a saftey recall. My 78 trillium 1300 had an extra plate welded to the bottom of the frame. I had seen some 70-ish 1300's with the plate welded on the side of the frame. Lill-Trills frame still broke on the curb side and cracked on the street side. Good thing it happened in a camp ground and I had AAA plus RV lill-trill was transported to a weld shop many miles away by flatbed truck. The weld shop put 3 plates one on botom and one on each side. Those plates reinforceing the frame have lasted many many miles.
Just checked my sub-frame,Al; needless to say, there are no reinforcing plates having been added. Everything looks solid/straight. The critical area you refer to, the weak point...is it just forward of the anchor-bolt loc'n? Is that where Lill's frame failed, do you recall ?
On my '73, the anchor-bolt thru' the frame sits approx. 4" back of the vertical front "face" of the fibreglas shell, and that "pocket" I originally rererred to, sits about3-4" forward of the face of the f/g shell. It would appear to me, that since the pocket and the anchor bolt loc'n are only about 8" apart, that specific 8"section would be a candidate for reinforcing...would you agree ? Did they do the welding on her Trill without having to lift the shell off the frame ?
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Old 04-08-2006, 11:08 AM   #8
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I checked my 73 13' boler a few weeks ago and both drivers side frame rail and passenger side were cracked at the bottom of the frame at the 45 degree bend under the front shell. Pretty poor engineering on those frames as the divet caused by the bending machine weakens that area in a big way. Not a big deal for me though as i was a steel fabricator for years and have my own welding supplies. I welded a 1/4 inch plate on the bottom of the drivers side frame rail making sure to ONLY WELD along the frame rail and not on the ends of the plate as this weld will weaken the frame and will break at that point. If you do get your frame welded make sure the fabricator doesnt weld around the frame but only welds along the frame rail.
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Old 04-08-2006, 12:58 PM   #9
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I just went hunting for some pictures hope this works
Attached Thumbnails
P0000679.JPG  
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Old 04-08-2006, 01:01 PM   #10
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you can just make out the plate welded on the bottom of the frame that was curb side.
i dont seem to have any after pictures :doh
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Old 04-08-2006, 01:46 PM   #11
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I checked my 73 13' boler a few weeks ago and both drivers side frame rail and passenger side were cracked at the bottom of the frame at the 45 degree bend under the front shell. Pretty poor engineering on those frames as the divet caused by the bending machine weakens that area in a big way. Not a big deal for me though as i was a steel fabricator for years and have my own welding supplies. I welded a 1/4 inch plate on the bottom of the drivers side frame rail making sure to ONLY WELD along the frame rail and not on the ends of the plate as this weld will weaken the frame and will break at that point. If you do get your frame welded make sure the fabricator doesnt weld around the frame but only welds along the frame rail.
Excellant expert advice, Colin, ie where NOT to weld that plate to the frame rail; looking at Al's photo, it almost looks as tho' that is exactly where that frame rail failed...at the END OF THE PLATE, where presumably the weld was carried across the frame rail.

With the anchor bolt being in the same area,(on my Trillium) do you think it would be advisable to extend the reinf. plate back past the bolt a few inches, after drilling a hole in the plate for the bolt to go thru', and then replacing bolt with a slightly longer one. Would adding plates to the sides of the rails be overkill?

Joe
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Old 04-08-2006, 02:44 PM   #12
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actually the crack spit the plate in two
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Old 04-08-2006, 03:01 PM   #13
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My 81' Burro has plates welded in the same spot on both sides. Actually 1/4 inch angle iron about 2" wide on each side of the angle. They were formed to fit the shape of the frame ,looks like a pretty good job.
So it looks like the older Burros had the same problem.
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Old 04-08-2006, 03:27 PM   #14
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actually the crack spit the plate in two
Al: Must have been an amazing force to do that...betcha there was an excessive forward tongue weight at play, or rough roads, or both !
Joe
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