1978 Trillium 4500 restoration ... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-27-2011, 06:19 PM   #1
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1978 Trillium 4500 restoration ...

Starting a restoration on my new trill. You can call me a newbie, RV stuff is new to me.

My trill seems to be in pretty bad shape. Lots of interior mold, screws are very rusted, some almost completely. The good news: the fiberglass seems great.

This weekend I'm focusing on deconstruction and mold elimination. I'm using about 1/4 - bleach/water solution via a spray bottle.

Your input and comments appreciated!
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:53 PM   #2
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The bleach solution will probably make a huge difference but there will probably be a grime residue that will take elbow grease,a scrub brush and some 409,Simple Green or the likes. Then a good rinse with some clean water. You will be amazed how much better things look when they are cleaned up. After it is all cleaned up and you "move in" the only dirt will be "your" dirt and some how it's not so bad.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:43 PM   #3
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looks nice...more pics please.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:13 PM   #4
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Removed the belly band ...

Removed the belly band. About 20% of the rivets were firmly holding on. Required me to drill off the heads with a 3/8 drill bit.

Picts:
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:45 PM   #5
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"The band" will be one of the items being changed on mine also!!
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:39 PM   #6
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Yanked out the Fridge ...

The fridge came out today. I'm going to post to another thread the details, in case that might help others getting out their fridge.

The coils look to be very, very rusted. (see picts).

The seal on the door had to be trashed as it was too badly damaged.

I haven't had this plugged in to see if it works.

Knowing this, do you guys think this is:
a) junk
b) good to part out
c) worth refurbing
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:01 AM   #7
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Trillium 4500 fridge replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by freddo411 View Post
The fridge came out today. (...)

The seal on the door had to be trashed as it was too badly damaged.
(...)
Knowing this, do you guys think this is:
a) junk
b) good to part out
c) worth refurbing
You simply won't find replacement parts for such old Dometic fridge. Even if it did work, it won't cool down enough if the door seal is not perfectly air tight. Casing insulation of such old fridge is far from today's more efficient insulation material.

Your only option is to look for a replacement fridge. Today's fridge WONT FIT in the opening: they are narrower and deeper than the original Trillium 4500 fridge you have. I suggest you have a look at a previous thread Installing a 21" deep fridge into a 19" space on a Trillium 4500

You have a Dometic 211. Forget about that antique model.
Your only options are Dometic 2193 (gas line on same side) and Norcold 323. The Norcold has an automatic thermostat when working on 110V as opposed to the Dometic, which is the main reason why it is a little more expensive. I had a 2193 in the past. It is OK but it has the same size mismatch problem to solve. Some other members have installed the new fridge protruding 3 inches inside the cabin. No matter what you choose to do, you will have to make changes to match the new fridge in the opening that is too wide and too short for the newer models.

WARNING: Make sure it is sealed all around so that the outside air and gas combustion fumes can't get inside. If front and rear part of the fridge are not sealed from each other and ventilation path on the rear is not properly shaped and clear of obstructions, your fridge installation won't perform properly in summer heat. Have a look at Document center and on manufacturer's web sites for installation schematics.

Some of your fridge parts may help other desperate RV owners to keep their Dometic 211 in working order.

Beware of the fact TOXIC AMMONIA AND explosive HYDROGEN are used as cooling fluid, so you must dispose of such scrap cooling unit trough a recycling facility that can safely dispose of such hazardous material.

By the way, if you have a gas pressure regulator that looks rather old, CHANGE IT. A RV Propane fridge requires a very accurate pressure to operate properly.
Good luck.
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:24 PM   #8
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Our fridge wasn't working a few years ago and thought it was finally done.
I took it out and turned it upside down over night and it has been working well ever since. The door seal is still good on ours but I'm guessing these things could be replaced. The tank and coils looked pretty similar to the pics above but it was just surface rust. I gently removed what rust I could and spray painted some areas with a metallic primer. Don't forget to reseal with foam tape weather stripping our old seal was pretty much dust.
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:16 PM   #9
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Hi Chris,
Reversing such cooling unit sometimes dislodge an obstruction and reactivates the cooling circuit. Obstructions are usually the result of ammonia crystals or rust. Both are bad news: They mean the cooling chemicals are degraded and the cooling unit has likely overheated because it was not level. There is no magic, the health level of the cooling unit would remain questionnable. Mine did work but failed when it got any warmer than 25C.

If the door seal was the only part that required replacement, it may still be worth to try a creative door gasket replacement. With the extensive corrosion, chances to end up with a reliable and safe operating fridge are very, very slim. Miracles are not the rule, but the exception.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:59 PM   #10
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More belly band work ...

The weather cleared up a bit and rolled the trill outside for some dirty, messy fiberglass sanding.

Managed to expose more of the embedded steel (rust mostly) plates. See picts.

I also discovered on the back side of the trailer behind the belly band, there is plywood, unlike the rest of the belly band. This wood was gunked up with lots of silicon, but nevertheless in awful shape.

The last picture is an OOPS. Don't sand thru the interior fiberglass!

Still more sanding to go. Hopefully I'll get both good weather and some free time.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddo411 View Post
(...) I also discovered on the back side of the trailer behind the belly band, there is plywood, unlike the rest of the belly band. This wood was gunked up with lots of silicon, but nevertheless in awful shape.
(...).
Hi Freddo,
I would expect you find more plywood on the front, behind the usual propane tank location. It might be a good idea to check it out while you are stripping. Moisture often sneaks in trough holes, such as the screws holding the propane pressure regulator (the propane regulator usually needs to be changed anyway).

Happy new year !
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:04 PM   #12
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Thanks for the tip. I'll look for that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lamimartin View Post
Hi Freddo,
I would expect you find more plywood on the front, behind the usual propane tank location. It might be a good idea to check it out while you are stripping. Moisture often sneaks in trough holes, such as the screws holding the propane pressure regulator (the propane regulator usually needs to be changed anyway).

Happy new year !
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:50 PM   #13
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Fred
I know on my 4500 there was the plywood to hold the spare tire and table parts to the back wall and mine also had a little radius shelf above the table under the window too.

There is also some in front to support the bunks that I had and all of the windows are framed with plywood between the shell and elephant skin too.

The doorway is also wood on the hinge side and this is an area that always seems to get rot the worst.

It is a straighforward deal to remove the windows,clean the putty from both sides and make new plywood and stick it in there and re-install the windows with butyl tape and SS Screws.

Worth the time & effort for me without question. If there were signs of water in the 4 corners under the plywood level then something framed with wood has leaked and it is better to be pro-active about it than be surprised later.

Looking at your pics brings back good memories,I loved my 4500.

Have Fun

Ed
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:51 PM   #14
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Frame bolts removed ( broken really ) ...

Removed all the frame bolts tonight. So much rust that the nuts didn't really turn; the torque just snapped the bolts. Same story on all eight bolts.

See picture
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