Trillium Hinge Source Rediscovered - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-30-2011, 03:19 PM   #1
Raz
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Trillium Hinge Source Rediscovered

A while back it was reported that McMaster Carr was no longer carrying the 3/8" offset hinge used on the Trillium trailer. A perusal of the web site appears to confirm this. However, things are not as they seem. I have an old McMaster Carr catalog I obtained years ago when I was much more important than I am now (they are hard to get). In it are listed the complete line of Kason 139 hinges including the one used on the Trillium. It turns out that if you punch in the number for that hinge it shows up as available in 2 weeks. I ordered 2 as spares. Sure enough one arrived in two weeks, the second a month later. it appears they had one in stock and I can only assumed they either ordered more or special ordered the second one. In either case, they are available for about $52 each + shipping. The McMaster Carr part number is 1276A52.

The hinge is made of cast zinc with chrome plating. The pin is stainless steel. In order to use the hinge on a Trillium, the head of the pin must be installed up otherwise is could fall out. One of the two hinges they sent required the pin be reversed. That is, the pin needed to be driven out and reinserted from the other direction. It turns out the pin is held in by splines near the head. I used a small dowel to drive the pin out. A vise with two pieces of wood to protect the finish makes reinsertion easier. Raz

McMaster-Carr
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hinge1.jpg   hinge2.jpg  

hinge3.jpg  
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:31 PM   #2
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Terrific Raz, thanks for the follow-up. I'm betting this info is going to be very help to other owners of Trilliums
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:28 PM   #3
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Good work Raz.

What would be evidence that my existing hinges are bad/worn/somehow problematic? The door is on, it shuts .... ?

--Fred
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:37 PM   #4
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If the door no longer lined up correctly but drooped down a bit, that could be a symptom of worn hinges.
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:57 AM   #5
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Fred, some Trillium owners have looked to change the hinge just because they were ugly. The chrome badly pitted, etc. I can understand that, I've a visual person.
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:05 AM   #6
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Hi: Donna D... I'm a visual person too!!! I always say " Just because it ain't new doesn't mean it has to look old". A small tube of AutoSol metal polish goes a long way.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:32 AM   #7
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Yikes!!!
$52 each and that's without a kiss. I think that I would try to refurbish and epoxy paint them after a careful layer of Bondo and sanding first to remove the pitting.
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:54 AM   #8
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On an old Trillium I suspect the wood holding the hinge screws is going to need tending to before the hinge does. While there have been a few posts of hinge failure, as Donna points out, most folks replace the hinge for esthetic reasons. My thinking is that the door is designed, that is, molded to use this hinge. In recent years these hinges have been a hassle to get and like the Bargman door latch, could get even harder to find in the future. Having a spare makes for an easy fix should the need arise and since the hinges on our trailer were initially misaligned and saw abnormal wear, ours is more likely to need replacing sooner than most. Raz
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:27 PM   #9
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I replaced both mine because they had actual, growing stress fractures threatening to separate in a fashion other than that designed! I got mine from Outback in Calgary, at over 100 bucks for the pair. I was disappointed to discover that they were pot metal rather than brass or bronze. An impressive price for an unimpressive product.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:12 PM   #10
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Reading this post has got me thinking again about the Trillium and what I perceive to be problems with the door/frame design and execution. Mine is a 1980 model, so it is probably midstream in the production years before it became an Outback. The problems should have been worked out by the time mine came into being. I've not seen a fibreglass trailer with a worse fitting door, even after fitting new hinges. Trained monkeys could have done a more accurate tradesman like job. The "hole" is almost too big for the door, or the door is too small, and is simply very carelessly cut. Also, as some of you have noticed, the plywood in the frame on the hinge side has degraded, maybe from water ingress and electrolysis. I'd like some ideas on what others have done to correct this, other than inserting one of those Home Hardware butterfly fittings you poke through a hole and then screw up to pull the wings against the material it comes into contact with when assembled. I'll cut into the frame from the back if I have to, to correct this problem, but I think it pathetic that Trillium didn't bond in pre-drilled S.S. hinge plates as part of the production process. In addition, there is not much clearance for a two of the three screws on the frame side, and a screw of correct gauge for the mounting holes and load requirements has a head too large to install without some determined freehand grinding o of the screw heads. The hinges seem not to be fitted where they should be to allow the door to set into the door frame effectively. I think my trailer must have been laid up at about 4PM on a long week end Friday, if the door frame is an indication of worker skills and attitudes.

Yes, this is a rant, and the Trillium is a fine little trailer marred by shoddy door/frame design and engineering, if mine is typical. My door at the bottom is about 3/8" out from the frame, and I am going to cut a piece of 3/16" to 1/4" alu plate, insulate it from the hinge and profile it to the profile of the hinge leaf on the door, to increase the offset and bring the door into the frame where it should be. This should align the hinge, and I will have to check on binding when I assemble it. It is possible I will have to add a piece of alu. to the section of the hinge on the frame. I will not know until I get to work on this, but I'm not going to tolerate the present situation. I have noticed that the Outback trailers no longer have that poorly moulded band across the door that is noticeably lower than the bans in front and to the rear of the hinge.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:18 PM   #11
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Hello Kenneth and welcome to the forum. We had to reset our hinges and I posted about the project. You might find it helpful. Here is a link to the post. Raz

Trillium Hinge Repair
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:43 PM   #12
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Hello Wanderer, Welcome to the forum.

I have to agree with you about the Trillium doors. Mine is an older trailer than yours, but, definitely with the same issues. Seems to be a combination of a questionable design IMHO, not up to par moulding, and poor install. My door/frame has many issues.

Enough that I am considering making a new one that would, I hope, solve some of the problems.

I also need a new set of hinges. I am still trying to figure out what type might work for me.

If you ever get out to the Fraser Valley, feel free to contact me and drop in for a look at mine. Always good for a chuckle!!!
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:54 PM   #13
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What a pleasure it is to be welcomed by you guys, especially guys who understand my problem because it is your problem also. If you ever get out to the Fraser Valley. . . . . Ha ha- I live in the FV- Mission!!!!!! Ill take you up on that in the spring. Presently my Trillium is swaddled in a huge white tarp, and It is a pain to get into it. I have a leaking rear window, the one that I didn't get Outback to replace! Fool that I am. Thank you for the address, I read it and bookmarked it. I'll read it regularly, until it becomes second nature!
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:59 AM   #14
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The more that I look at this door, the more I think that I should just "go for it" and change the entire thing to something that I like!! Have to wait a couple weeks for better weather though.

Wanderer, I live in Mission also! Won't be a long trip for a visit anyway!!
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