1976 Trillium 1300 Remodel - For Caitlin - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-28-2014, 12:38 PM   #1
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1976 Trillium 1300 Remodel - For Caitlin

This thread will document my journey through remodelling a 1976 Trillium 1300.

I picked up this trailer on Labour Day for what I believe is a decent price. It first came to my attention listed as a referral by David Tilston. It was listed for $1,500.
Ab (Canada) - 1974? - Trillium 1300 - $1500

It seemed like such a smoking deal. I was not certain what I would do with it, but I knew I could likely do next to nothing, bring it back home, and double my money easily. I emailed the seller about it right away. He was located near Sundre, a small town just over an hour northwest of Calgary. This was on a Wednesday, and I was going to be right by there at our rec property camping that weekend. I set it up to see him on Friday around suppertime. H did say he had one other person coming before me. Just as I got to Sundre as was refueling, he sent me a message saying it had this other party was taking it….Oh well, you snooze you lose.

I just went to our property and set up our trailer. The next day, I needed to make a phone call, and as I have no phone reception at our land, I took a short drive up the road from the river to do so. Once I got reception, I found I had gotten an email and voice message from the seller. The first buyer had backed out, and he had already pulled the ad. He told me it was mine if I wanted. I went over the next morning with my brother to look at it, only 15 minutes from our land.

I knew from the ad photos that there would be lots of work that would be needed to be done, but found a few more issues with it than I had hoped for. There was a bit of a sag in the roof, a door out of adjustment, and a few other small things. Heck, it was nearly 40 years old, so expected it would need some work. But still, for the price it was not too bad. I offered $1,000 because of the additional issues found, the offer was accepted, and ended up as the new owner.

I was now the owner of a 1976 Trillium 1300, with no clue what I was going to do with it. My first thoughts were to eitherclean it up a bit, then either resell it, or use it as a guest room at our land. Then I got to thinking, I have a daughter getting married next May 02, and thought maybe fixed up it could be a wedding present for her. So I let her know about it, and made her the offer, as I did not want to go ahead with the work to risk her not wanting it. She was very happy to accept seeing I was paying for the remodel work, and said she was happy to put some sweat equity into it, and there will be lots of that needed.

For some silly reason, at this point I figured it would take about $2,000 or so to get it up to snuff. This was before I started to do up a detailed list of what I would minimally want to do to it for her. I initially came up with a budget of around $3,000 (and 150 man hours), and know that there will be more things found to do as we go.

Here are some photos from when I picked it up.

This is parked out at our land, where it stayed for a while.


You can see in this photo, how the right side (from our view), sags in about 1' in from the side.


You can see here where the previous owner started wiping all the moldy residue off. All the service hatches are brittle, and need replacing, as are all the lights.


The rear has had a tire mount and bike rake welded and bolted on to the bumper. It is actually very solid.


The interior is actually very filthy, especially in storage areas, like under the seats and on the shelves. But basically, very usable.


[IMG]http://bearleealive.smugmug.com/Projects/1976-Trillium-1300/i-rjHfgqv/0/XL/IMG_0031-XL.jpg/IMG]



It was a wee bit snowy when we when to pick it up in November 9th .
http://bearleealive.smugmug.com/Proj...MG_0108-XL.jpg

The minimal list of things to do is:

Fix the roof – The roof had sagged down about an inch along one side, likely due to snow loads, as the trailer was never parked inside. The last 10+ years it just sat as a guest house by the second owner. I will need to put a support in from the countertop to the upper cupboards to raise the roof at that point nearly an inch.

Electrical – I will completely strip off everything electrical, and start over. This include the wiring from the tow right through to the lights, redo all the 12V wiring (though I may keep the original lights and put LEDs in), and replace the 120V light over the sink with some LED ones. I will add a porch light. I will redo all the 120V AC wiring, which will just be a couple plugs, and the fridge. I may add a plug outside. I will also add a battery, as there isn’t one now. I will likely get a small portable solar panel, and a good trickle charger instead of a converter. All the marker lights and tail/turn lights will be replaced.

Propane – Redo right from a new bottle and regulator, to the lines for the stove, heater and fridge.

Windows – I will remove all the windows. I will likely reuse all of them, though contemplating a new fixed unit for the front, mostly to seal better when towing. I will dismantle all the frames completely, replace a couple broken panes, polish the aluminum, and replace all the vinyl glazing strips, weatherstripping, fascia strip, and the plastic screw covers. I we replace the wood install trims on the interior as needed too. I also need to buy a rock guard for the front window, as the original is missing.

Frame work – I will be replacing the hitch chains and the trailer jack. I am contemplating installing a 2” hitch too. I will have to redo the bottle mount to accept both a bottle and a battery. I need to do the factory recall mending plates on the frame where it meets the body and the mounting bolts go through. I will redo the mounting bolts, and repaint the frame. I will look at installing some fixed stabilizers too.

Clean and Buff – The exterior is covered with mold spots and has to be wiped down. There are also numerous cracks and pit marks in the gelcoat. My first option is to sand down the exterior with 600 grit wet sandpaper, and then repair the gelcoat as required. If there is enough damage to the gelcoat, I will then paint it (and up goes the budget)

Door – The door is way out of adjustment, I can barely latch it. I will remove it, fill the mounting holes and redrill new ones. The two panels the make up the door have separated along the top, and one place on the side, so I will have to epoxy them back together.

Belly Band – It will be removed in order to inspect and determine what damage has occurred, plus allows for better cleaning and buffing of the exterior.

Wheels - I will replace the two wheels complete, as well as the spare. The axle appears to be fine, but if need will replace (and up would go the budget further). I will redo the bearings too.

Hatches – All four hatches, gravity water fill, city water, water drain, and electrical all need to be changed. Lots of ideas here formulating in my mind, but nothing set in stone. I will use a 15A Marinco plug for the electrical, and use an extension cord to plug in. I will replace the city water. Not sure what I will do with the gravity fill, as I am going to minimally replace the water tank. Right now it is a bit lump under the passenger dinette seat, and I will either put in a low flat one there, so things can be placed on top, mount one underneath, or go with a portable unit. There is a still lot of pondering to do on it yet.

Interior – I will strip pretty much everything out of the trailer, with the exception of the ensolite, which for the most part is in very good condition. It will need to be cleaned though. I don’t think that this thing has ever seen a cleaning rag. The storage bins under seats are filthy, as are the shelves at the ends. There are about 3,189 dead flies in it. There are sticky hooks everywhere on the fiberglass.

Fridge – I will clean the fridge up. There is some surface rust on the painted parts, but that should clean up good. It looks quite good inside, and was working well on propane.

Heater – The DuoTherm heater looks to be in good shape, and was working good too. I may give it a coat of paint on the cover.

Stove, sink, and taps – The stove has been poorly painted, but works fine. I may try to take it back to original condition, though am not sure of what it is made of yet. The sink and taps should clean up fine, and will remain if in good working condition.

Fiberglass shelves – The shelves at the ends of the trailer have lots of sag from use. Minimally, I will do something to stiffen them. Ultimately I will do some cabinets (up goes the budget again).

Flooring – The old glue-down carpet and vinyl with be pulled, and the fiberglass floor scraped and cleaned. I will install new flooring. I may do a glue-down cork like I did in my trailer, but more likely will just do some Allure vinyl flooring.

Cushions – All cushions will be replaced. My daughter will sew up new covers for them. She will also sew some new curtains for the windows, as the originals are still in there, very faded.

Safety – Will install new propane and CO detectors, as well as install a fire extinguisher.

Other - There are lots of other little things that I will do too, and will discuss in the thread as the remodel continues.


I will list some of the parts I used to do this remodel, and will be looking for some ideas along the way. I hope to have all the work done well before the wedding in May.

LET THE FUN BEGIN!!!!!
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Old 11-28-2014, 03:29 PM   #2
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I have begun on the remodel since I started that initial post. A couple members here, David Tilston and Ian Giles, came around to lend their valuable input, giving me some ideas, and getting me on track with some things. I know I will be drawing on their expertise as time transpires.

Do date I have pretty much completely stripped it back to a shell and a frame, which will be disconnected at some point.

Pulling the windows was not too tough of a job. I did have to scrape BIG gobs of silicone off from around them first.



Care did have to be taken to remove the windows from the openings, as the ensolite was wrapped around the plywood framing the opening inside. Some of the screws were not holding too much.



Despite having bad screws on the top of most of the windows, the plywood backing is in not too bad of shape, except one piece on the side of the front window, and that piece was thoroughly rotted.



Beautiful colour though, eh?



As mentioned above, not certain yet whether I will replace the front window with a new fixed unit, or not. The existing windows are structurally in fine shape, and can easily be rehabbed, I am just thinking about dust ingress while travelling down the road, even with a rock guard on.

I will definitely be pulling the windows apart into individual pieces to shine up, and replace all the vinyl seals.
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Old 11-28-2014, 09:44 PM   #3
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Some more photos of the exterior condition.

No idea where this tar like stuff came from, but acetone got it off fine.



The frame looks good, but the hitch chains need replacing, and the tongue jack is ceased solid. The electrical and propane stuff is now all stripped.



Still pondering what to do with this spare/bike rack set up, It is a bit of a unique setup. You can see in this photo, that the side arms are bolted to the bumper, but the center tire mount, is welded to the bumper, as is the center arm going to the top.



Here you can see a unique feature of this bike rack. There are two arms that spin onto bolts on the frame. Nice and out of the way when not in use. If I end up repainting, this would certainly be in the way, plus I couldn't pull the frame forward to get it out from under the body.



Lots of decals on the rear to take of, a long with all the ones that came on it.

One of the tail lights is cracked, and the mounts are disintegrating. Not sure if I am going to do a rebuild with LEDs and stock lights or not yet. All the marker lights are have to go too.



Even though there was some RV caulk on part of the belly band, once I removed it, it seems to be not too bad. I will clean it up before putting it back, and will polish the belly band too.



The are a lot of cracks in the gelcoat, some quite big. I know the can be repaired, but........



There are a couple places on the top where the gelcoat is badly pitted, which you can see amid the mold marks. Again, it can be repaired, but........



As well, there is a fair bit of rock damage to the gelcoat. I could to a layer of protection here. We'll see.

The good news is, that the fiberglass itself seems to be in good condition.
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Old 11-28-2014, 09:46 PM   #4
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Just one old moon cap, and it is not in very good condition.



My wife here is scrubbing all the mold off. It actually came off not too bad. My daughter is inside scraping the floors, readying them for the new flooring.

Another thing needing addressing is the door. It will have to be rehung square in the opening, AND it is delaminating, the interior and exterior fiberglass mouldings are splitting apart along the top, and one place on the sides. This will not be tough to do with some thickened epoxy.





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Old 11-28-2014, 09:59 PM   #5
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The inside gutting continued, and I now am 95% done that. Though still some cleaning to do.



There was a spot for a porta potty. I took it out, as it was real grungy, and even if my daughter wants one, we will do up something a wee bit nicer.



Found a real funky wasp nest on top of the heat shroud for the furnace, and just under the edge of the dinette seat. There was nothing stopping insect from freely coming in the fridge vent, and going throughout the trailer. I will remedy this.



All applicances are now out, and the flooring being sanded down. All the existing doors are in good shape, so we may keep them.




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Old 11-28-2014, 11:38 PM   #6
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Wow !!! A lot of work !!!
Thx for all the pics !
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Old 11-29-2014, 05:00 AM   #7
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Welcome to the Trillium club☺ What a great way to spend the winter. I'm envious. It has been suggested that the Escape design was based on the Trillium. Since you have one of each, what do you think? Great post. Thanks for sharing. Raz
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Old 11-29-2014, 07:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanSpeed View Post
Wow !!! A lot of work !!!
Thx for all the pics !
I do plan to document the entire process, and will do up a list of everything I had to source, and where I got it. Hopefully this helps with other people doing the same thing. I know for certain, that photos and threads of other folks rebuilds sure have been of great help to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
Welcome to the Trillium club☺ What a great way to spend the winter. I'm envious. It has been suggested that the Escape design was based on the Trillium. Since you have one of each, what do you think? Great post. Thanks for sharing. Raz
It will be good fun, though I did have to hang up a canoe I am building, in order to fit the trailer in the garage, with all the machinery I have in their.

Yeah, lots of similarities in body style between the Escape and Trillium. I will have to do some side-by-side photos of the two, when this one is done. Here is a shot from the weekend I picked it up, with our Escape in the background.

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Old 11-29-2014, 11:24 AM   #9
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Looks like an awesome project Jim! Can't wait to see more photos of your progress.
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Old 11-29-2014, 02:55 PM   #10
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What a great job your doing, Thanks for the pictures, Hope it gives me the boost to start my Ventura .
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Old 11-29-2014, 07:33 PM   #11
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Looks like a lot of work but it will be very rewarding.

RR
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:12 PM   #12
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Hi,

You have made considerable progress in a short time. I purchased a 1978 T4500 in 2012 and it is usable but certainly not finished yet. Mine had/has problems leaking at the beltline especially at the rear and I would not have been able to fix it with that bike rack in place. Mine came completely devoid of appliances and lights, so I purchased a mid 90's tent trailer that I used as donor for curtains, cushions, & appliances. I used my favourite store "Princess Auto" for much of the trailer lights and hitch upgrade. I also had the problems with leaking windows and used professional truck body sealer for most places. My single most expensive part so far has been the door hinges which were missing. This is my second attempt to save a Trillium, my first was in 1976 and was a pre-production shell of the T1500. Good luck with your project
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:51 PM   #13
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Hi,

You have made considerable progress in a short time.
That I did for a short while. I have had to take care of a few other things later. That doesn't mean however I have not spent a horde of time on the planning end, totally over thinking things. It is something I am enjoying, nonetheless.

I will shortly have more or less figured out how I want to do things, and what I will do to make these ideas work. I will most likely be looking for a few ideas with respect of what to do, and how to do it.
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Old 12-04-2014, 04:18 PM   #14
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Okay, I have a few things I am pondering, and could really use some input to help me figure out what I should do.

Awning – I would like to add an awning to this trailer, and am looking for suggestions. Not sure I want to go full out with one with arms that fold along the side, or not. I have used a bag awning with our tent trailer for many years, which worked quite well, but the bag and zipper always seemed to have problems. What other ideas are there out there.

There is an existing awning rail I will use, or maybe replace with something new.

Water System – Not certain what I am going to do here, have tossed around a lot of ideas. Firstly, I am definitely removing the square box of a water tank that was stock with the trailer, mounted under a dinette seat, taking up valuable storage space.

My daughter will be mostly boondocking, and primarily cooking and cleaning outside. Still, I will want to be able to use the sink inside. I really doubt I would do a hot water heater. I would also like to add an electric pump to the water inside.

I have thought of mounting one underneath, just behind the axle. I could have brackets installed when I take the frame in for some work to help support it.

I also like the idea of Ian G’s, where he uses a portable water container with a hose that pulls out to connect it. CLICK HERE One idea I have along the same line, is to use a submersible 12V pump that drops into the tank, something real small. I could then just use the city water connection to hook this up. I would have to use some kind of weather protected outlet for the power leads. Again, just thinking.

Here are a couple links to the kind of pumps I was thinking of. They are very small.
http://www.whalepumps.com/rv/siteFil...rPumpRange.pdf
http://www.amazon.ca/Motorhome-Subme.../dp/B007HRQD1Y

CO/Propane Alarm – I will be adding this in for safety’s sake (and a fire extinguisher and smoke detector). Safe-T-Alert seems to be the go to brand. Is there any disadvantage in using a combination unit? I know in my trailer they are separate. And, where should it be located.

So, please feel free to through any idea out there, or tell me I am crazy for thinking certain things. Brainstorming is a good thing.
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