All-Terrain Tillium Build: This crazy idea of mine. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-16-2015, 12:22 PM   #1
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Name: Alex
Trailer: Boler 1300
Alberta
Posts: 26
All-Terrain Tillium Build: This crazy idea of mine.

Hey all, my name is Alex. I haven't introduced myself in the 'introduction' section yet, but I've been lurking the website for about a month. My wife and I had planned to purchase a Biggar camper and renovate it until the one we had our eyes on sold, so we've turned our direction to a trillium camper. I honestly think it's a better idea seeing as it'll be our first camper reno project and the trailer is that much smaller and has that much more background support.

My history as a road warrior has had a lot of rough gravel road and offroad scenario's. I'll be pulling with a lifted 2013 Toyota Tacoma and I'd like my trailer to be able to go with me wherever to reach those prime boondocking locations. If you're interested in what my wife and I are doing at present be sure to check out our travel blog on my website, The Double 'EH' Adventures — Alex Jackson Creative

So, to my point. I have this wild idea to do some offroad modifications to our future trillium trailer. I plan to lengthen and reinforce the frame allowing for a small storage area for a spare truck tire, propane bottles and storage box on the hitch I'm also planning on pushing the wheels outside of the fenders for better stability and travel so I'll be requiring new axles. I need some axle information/ suggestions due to the fact that my modifications will likely be adding some additional weight to the camper. From what I've read the trillium 1300 weighs in at about 1500lbs dry. My modifications to the hitch may add approx 300lbs in addition to all our stuff in the camper when moving. So my question is this, I have the option at princess auto (Canadian store of awesomeness) to purchase 3500lb or 2000lb torsion axles. I don't know if the axles are rated for per axle or per combination of two.

Other things I plan to do will be rewiring the whole trailer and swapping out all lights with LED's, converting the front bench to a small dinette and the current dinette to a full-time double bed, wiring a small stereo system, mounting solar panels on the roof and somehow adding more storage.

I want to make sure that I get this right the first time so I don't have to make changes later, if I have all my research done beforehand the build will go that much faster. So, anyone that is willing to help me out with suggestions or tips it would be greatly appreciated. Once we purchase a camper I'll be sure to post up a build thread of what I end up with. Thanks!
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Old 12-16-2015, 12:57 PM   #2
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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If it's a single unit axle, axles are rated at total weight for the entire axle assembly.


Not quite sure if the advantage of more stability by using a wider track will offset the easier ability to hit trees and rocks with the fenders and tires sticking out wider than your tow vehicle. You might ask the Snoozy and Little Joe/Litehouse owners if they have problems with the tires being wider than the coach. Several Snoozy owners have mentioned the problems with having a 8' tire to tire width problem.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:30 PM   #3
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Name: Alex
Trailer: Boler 1300
Alberta
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Thanks Bob,
We'll see how the widening goes, I'll have to consider the overall width in comparison to my truck width. I don't plan to be doing anything too tight, what we see most of in British Columbia and Alberta are logging roads save for the Whipsaw trail that has some dicier/ tighter terrain. I just thought the extra width would lend some peace of mind in off-camber situations.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:14 AM   #4
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Name: Cheryl
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
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Off Road Trillium

Hi Alex,
We are just brand new trillium owners ourselves and although we didn't buy our trillium to go off roading, it was modified by the previous owner to do so. He reinforced the frame, modified the axle to raise the trillium higher and so it could accommodate bigger tires. He did the same thing you are looking to do (logging roads in Alberta and BC). He also put in a different heater with an adjustable thermostat so that he could camp in cold weather and not worry about the heat staying on all night. Here is a link to him taking it off road:

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Old 12-17-2015, 10:41 AM   #5
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Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
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You have picked probably the best choice fiberglass trailer for this mod.
The body is easily removed from the frame and has good independent strength.
I think you might be better off to keep the track the same so that it would track the TV better on those narrow tracks.
Maybe add a bumper to the sides of the frame to protect the fiberglass from impact.
BAL stabilizers would be a good addition since they can be tucked away nicely and have the strength to easily lift the entire trailer when needed.
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Old 12-17-2015, 01:26 PM   #6
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Name: Richard
Trailer: Bigfoot 19'
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seems like a new frame rather than a adapted frame may be the ticket
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:01 PM   #7
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Name: Cheryl
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
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Trillium Frame

If you know how to weld or know someone who can do it, it's definitely possible to reinforce the frame. Our frame was taken off and reinforced and then the axle that was put on makes the height interchangeable (we can raise the bar for off roading or lower it back down to where it was before). See the last pic.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:46 PM   #8
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Offroad washboard best axle?
Timbren Axle-Less-Axle are popular on the 4X sites. The axle has made traveling a completely different trip for us.
The HD model was slightly longer which interferred w the frame of the 4500 which has an offset. The extra steel required in the workaround put weight where it should be-- low and centered. (HD is overkill IMO)
A skid on the back is next.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:07 PM   #9
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Hey Alex,
I bought a Trillium 4500 with the same intentions about making it a true off-road rig and here's my findings:

I went with a Dexter 3500lb axel with 1.5'' of additional lift and 14" tires and rims. With this set up I still need to run a 6" drop on the hitch of my only slightly lifted Tacoma to get the rig level. With this setup I still routinely bash the hitch or bumper in easy to moderate stream crossings and such. To make it really work off road I think you'd want to go with more lift, 15" wheels and a highly modified frame (to get the tongue higher and some bash guards on the rear). Don't add extra junk on the back unless it's up high!
And then there's the inside; everything needs to be modified. My first couple trips of only moderately off road/washbboard roads left closet and fridge doors ripped off of their hinges, the table in a heap on the floor, cushions, clothes, food everywhere. Total disaster!

With lots of time and money; I think your goal is attainable. For me, lacking time and money, I scaled back my expectations and continue to tinker and modify. Damn I hate when the entire contents of my fridge are mingling with my clothes on the floor!

Good Luck!
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Scott H View Post
Hey Alex,
I bought a Trillium 4500 with the same intentions about making it a true off-road rig and here's my findings:
I went with a Dexter 3500lb axel with 1.5'' of additional lift and 14" tires and rims. With this set up I still need to run a 6" drop on the hitch of my only slightly lifted Tacoma to get the rig level. With this setup I still routinely bash the hitch or bumper in easy to moderate stream crossings and such. To make it really work off road I think you'd want to go with more lift, 15" wheels and a highly modified frame (to get the tongue higher and some bash guards on the rear). Don't add extra junk on the back unless it's up high!
Just a thought, but as the frames are being reworked for off road uses, maybe a change to the coupler might be in order too. If it was raised up a few inches above original you wouldn't have to use a drop stinger and eliminate some of the dragging at that point. Got nothing for the bumper.
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Old 12-18-2015, 01:13 AM   #11
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For our 13' Scamp, I strengthened the frame & utilized Flexi-ride axle. This axle has splines as well as splines on the "dog leg" arm. I was able to adjust the height of the trailer for the rougher roads, and lower it back down for pavement. For our Lil Snoozy I had a 4" C-channel welded to the frame, and then bolted the axle back on. Never had a problem with the wheels sticking out past the body and not being in the same track as the tow vehicle.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:58 AM   #12
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Name: Alex
Trailer: Boler 1300
Alberta
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WOW! Thank you everyone for your responses, I never expected to get so much information, this is fantastic. It's good to know the body is easily removed from the frame, it'll make it that much easier to work on that way. As for the frame modifications, I think to address the low hitch situation I'll be completely rebuilding the hitch. I have plenty of welding and fabricating experience so I modifying the hitch is no trouble for me. I'm glad there's a few options for axles, i'll have to look in more detail the different brands suggested. As for the actual coupler I'm going to use an offroad omni-directional hitch, I'll post links to it. @SCOTT H: Have any specific suggestions for strengthening cupboard doors and storage units etc?

https://locknroll.com/shop-now/trail...railer-tongue/

https://locknroll.com/shop-now/vehic...trailer-hitch/



Thanks everyone for you help, continue to fire me suggestions if you have them, I'm soaking this stuff up like a sponge.
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Old 12-19-2015, 10:45 AM   #13
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
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Hi Alex.
Not sure where you are in Alberta, but in Calgary there is a company called Standen's. They would have a lot of options for you as far as axles go. They could install it for you too if you choose. They have been around for a long time and are one of the original companies that put the axles on boler trailers. I would call them for info at the very lease. Can't wait to see pics of the final build!
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:21 AM   #14
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Name: Alex
Trailer: Boler 1300
Alberta
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Originally Posted by TimR View Post
Hi Alex.
Not sure where you are in Alberta, but in Calgary there is a company called Standen's. They would have a lot of options for you as far as axles go. They could install it for you too if you choose. They have been around for a long time and are one of the original companies that put the axles on boler trailers. I would call them for info at the very lease. Can't wait to see pics of the final build!
Thanks Tim! That's perfect, I'm in Vermilion about two hours East of Calgary, I'm in Calgary enough to make this quite an invaluable asset.
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