New awning + more! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-15-2008, 12:18 AM   #1
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Trailer: Trillium 5500
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Just got the Trillium 5500 back from the shop. We originally took it in to get a new awning, but ended up having them look at the brakes and a couple of other things while it was in. Turned out it was a good thing we did, as the brake wiring was shorted out due to an errant screw nicking the wiring, the wiring at the 7-way plug has melted somewhat due to the short, the brakes were completely worn down, and there was no breakaway switch. in additon to the work on the brakes, we had new safety chains welded on == they are about twice as thick as the old ones!

We had a Fiamma awning installed, and i am really happy with it -- it is a 1 person operation, unlike the old awning, which took 3 people to wrestle back into the box! it also extends the full length of the trailer (Got the 11' 8"), unlike the old one which was only about 8`long.

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I am also installing new flooring -- I picked up some Trafficmaster Allure (bamboo pattern) for my basement bathroom (blowout at 89 c per square ft at Home Depot!), but decided to put it in the trailer as well. You can see it on the floor here, resting for a couple of days at trailer temperature before I put it down.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:01 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft and 1980 Trillium 5500
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Looks great!! I am particularly interested in how the new flooring turns out - once we get the immediate issues sorted out in our "new" 5500 (posts in Problem Solving forum) we eventually NEED to get rid of the burgandy/brown carpet that came in the trailer - I'm thinking it should be a relatively simple project as the 5500 cabin is all constructed in place, not like the formed fiberglass cabinets in the 1300 and 4500 (lots of curves at floor level).

The awning looks great too - very compact. For us it might be a "down the road" project too but not high on the priority (and budget) list right now...
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Old 07-15-2008, 04:49 PM   #3
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Trailer: 81 Trillium 5500 (Pearl)
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The awning looks great, Janice. Our 5500 retains an old 8' canvas slide-in that we think was original equipment. It's always irritated me that the thing won't shield the entire side of the trailer.
Before heading to Emily a few weeks ago we also had occasion to replace the floor. Primarily because of some plywood rot but also to ditch the tired old carpet. The local flooring guy had some rolls of a new kind of vinyl that isn't... it's fiberglass and made in Germany. Cut it to fit, roll it backwards and let it sit for a day then lay it down. NO GLUE. I did put some molding around the edges that's tacked with liquid nails but that's it. The stuff cuts like warm bread but after our first trip with it (and everyone at Emily trooping through) we're convinced it's tough enough to hold up. Much lighter weight than traditional rolled vinyl as well.

While we've found that each 5500 we've come across has a few features that are different, yours exhibits a curious quality we've never before seen.
You seem to have misplaced a front window.
Herself & I wonder what's going on in there behind that compass rose graphic.

Doug
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
While we've found that each 5500 we've come across has a few features that are different, yours exhibits a curious quality we've never before seen.
You seem to have misplaced a front window.
Herself & I wonder what's going on in there behind that compass rose graphic.

Doug
I was curious about the front window as well. I have looked on the outside for evidence of a fiberglass patch job, and cant find any on the exterior. The previous owner had a magazine rack on the inside, which I removed to investigate under the ensolite -- looks pretty intact on the inside as well. The ensolite is all one continuous piece, the cut you see appears to have been made to allow two wooden strips to be glassed to the inside wall. (the magazine rack was screwed into these wooden strips).

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There is also no upper shelf on that side of the trailer, so not sure if it was as is, or if this has been removed.
The compass rose came with the trailer, and looks like it was put on about the same time as the trim around the belly -- it all matches! you can see the shadow of the old Trillium 5500 logo, which I would like to restore.

I'm also curious about the production runs for these == had heard reports of as few as 60-70 made in total, but the VIN number of mine is 55-3300098, which suggests is might be #98 off the line in 1980. Any idea as to whether the VIN numbers run sequentially?

Janice
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:14 AM   #5
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft and 1980 Trillium 5500
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With reference to your front window (or lack thereof), I noticed one other curious thing. On mine (which has the window), the curved fiberglass shell is molded with an indent to form a straight edge to accomodate the window frames/wood behind around the windows (as is my 1300). In looking closely at your photo's there does not appear to be any evidence of this in that front location. Also, in that you indicated there is no indication on the inside of any cover-up (and that indented portion would have been difficult to do) it would appear to be factory - meaning Trillium had at least 2 different molds for these trailers - talk about making each one unique! You may have a VERY rare one as I think all the rest of the 5500's I have seen pics of have the window.

I don't know whether the serial numbers run sequentially, (don't have mine handy at the moment - I know it is lower than yours however) - but I believe the spec sheet glued to the cupboard door above the fridge is also numbered - wonder if there might be a correlation btwn spec sheets and serial numbers that might tell us something...
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:23 PM   #6
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Trailer: 81 Trillium 5500 (Pearl)
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Quote:
...I don't know whether the serial numbers run sequentially, (don't have mine handy at the moment - I know it is lower than yours however) - but I believe the spec sheet glued to the cupboard door above the fridge is also numbered - wonder if there might be a correlation btwn spec sheets and serial numbers that might tell us something...
G, I agree that Janice's missing window appears to have been a deliberate original issue re-working of the mold. Ours, like yours and all the others I've seen has that flat-flange section which would have made it quite difficult to cut out and cover after the build. Every time we come across another 5500 there's something ELSE. There are several running around with original equipment tandem axles... that's why you & I & Janice have that fender skirt installed. The word is tandem axle was the first design but after several were made cost factors dictated a return to a heavy single axle. Again... that's second or third or later-hand hearsay but occasionally someone claims to have such a reliable source and the statement actually explains the circumstance so well that it sort of becomes gospel. Who KNOWS what the real story is with these toys?
I've attached an image of my spec sheet and kept it large so it should be readable. Compare it to your own and Janice and Jenna and Lionel and Ken and Harry and whomever else owns one may compare it to their own and possibly figure out a correlation. We had always presumed ours to be a 1981 model as that's what the guy who sold it to us claimed and that's what the title said. Now that I look at the spec sheet, I notice that a date appears nowhere. Perhaps Janice's is among the LAST made (her serial number being higher) and they had intended the "no-window" design to carry the day.
There's a history here that I'm now quite curious about and perhaps, as you suggested, by comparing what we know - we can arrive at the facts.

One other interesting note... On the spec sheet it claims the GVW (gross vehicle weight) to be 2400 lbs. Last I checked y'all measured your temperature and your mileage funny but pounds is pounds. Why does the sales brochure claim that the weight of the trailer is 1800 lbs.? (I know I saw that somewhere because I wrote it down. I'll find that source.) When we weighed ours at a truck stop in Georgia a couple of years ago it was 2700 loaded for a month-long trip.
Has ANYONE out there got a definitive handle of the weight of these things?

Last question... Janice, have you got a window on the OTHER side? Just askin'.
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:08 PM   #7
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I used the Allure in my Surfside. very easy to work with and a much better product than the laminate floor for this application (IMHO).
I even looked at the bamboo but had a few planks left over from a bathroom I did so went with the hickory. so far, so good and one box does the job.


Quote:
Looks great!! I am particularly interested in how the new flooring turns out - once we get the immediate issues sorted out in our "new" 5500 (posts in Problem Solving forum) we eventually NEED to get rid of the burgandy/brown carpet that came in the trailer - I'm thinking it should be a relatively simple project as the 5500 cabin is all constructed in place, not like the formed fiberglass cabinets in the 1300 and 4500 (lots of curves at floor level).

The awning looks great too - very compact. For us it might be a "down the road" project too but not high on the priority (and budget) list right now...
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:13 AM   #8
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5500's do vary, mine has ORIGINAL leaf spring suspension, with 14" tires 1980...
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:43 AM   #9
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Trailer: Trillium 5500
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We had always presumed ours to be a 1981 model as that's what the guy who sold it to us claimed and that's what the title said. Now that I look at the spec sheet, I notice that a date appears nowhere. Perhaps Janice's is among the LAST made (her serial number being higher) and they had intended the "no-window" design to carry the day.
There's a history here that I'm now quite curious about and perhaps, as you suggested, by comparing what we know - we can arrive at the facts.

One other interesting note... On the spec sheet it claims the GVW (gross vehicle weight) to be 2400 lbs. Last I checked y'all measured your temperature and your mileage funny but pounds is pounds. Why does the sales brochure claim that the weight of the trailer is 1800 lbs.? (I know I saw that somewhere because I wrote it down. I'll find that source.) When we weighed ours at a truck stop in Georgia a couple of years ago it was 2700 loaded for a month-long trip.
Has ANYONE out there got a definitive handle of the weight of these things?

Last question... Janice, have you got a window on the OTHER side? Just askin'.
So here is my spec sheet, note that there is no date on mine either. I was told by previous owner that it was a 1980 model, but am wondering now if that is correct!?
On the spec sheet, I noticed a difference in the GVW, at 2000 lbs on mine. I havent weighed it yet, but we have been assuming it should be in the 2500 lb or more range when loaded. ours has no shower, just the sink and toilet, but that wouldn't account for 400 lbs difference Also an interesting difference in the recommended tire pressures! looks like even the tires and wheels were different, not just the layouts!

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As for your last question, Yes, there is a window on the other side where it is supposed to be!

Janice
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:24 PM   #10
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft and 1980 Trillium 5500
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The differences do multiply... - on reading previous posts, I was struck by the difference in GVW's - I have the shower, water heater, furnace, 3 burner stove with oven - my GVW is 3000lbs! The former owner wieghed it just before selling - dry weight (rather almost dry - about 10gal of water in toilet holding tank) was 1048kg (2305 lbs). My original tire size was F78 x 14 - I'm guessing to acomodate the heavier GVW.

My suspension is familiar torsion axle - if some came with leaf suspension, was Trillium scrounging for parts at that stage? (I'm thinking that would not have been long before the comppany closed it's doors...maybe having supplier difficulties??) Curiouser and curiouser.....
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:04 PM   #11
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Name: Wolf
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I am interested in the awning. We also have a Trillium 5500. Vintage 1982 btw. We are looking to put an awning on it. The problem is that very few dealers know anything about it unless the surface is vertical.
Do you have any information on how you mounted this and perhaps some pictures with it extended? Anything you would do differently in the future?
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:22 PM   #12
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Wolf, I am afraid that Janice has not been on the site since:
Last Activity: 01-12-2012
More then a year ago.

It looks to me like the awning just slides into the rail on the roof. Does your 5500 not have an awning rail?

Also, I would like to invite you to add your trailer to the ever growing serial number list:
Serial numbers on a Trillium
There are only 5 5500's and I would love to add more.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:45 PM   #13
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Name: Wolf
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David, that's too bad. Mind you the thread is 5 years old. What did I expect?

Anyway, I was on the fiamma.com website and apparently these awnings don't mount the same way. There are special brackets, etc. what I like about this awning is that it doesn't have the side arms that obstruct window opening when the awning is not extended. Plus the awning looks clean and sleek that way. A bag awning would interfere with door operation and floppyness I can see being an issue.

We do have the traditional mounting rail, that isn't the issue. What we're looking for is a clean installation either with or without the side rails. The problem being that we haven't been able to find a dealer that is able to provide us with a solution - any solution. The response is usually, if you can tell me the part number you want, we can get it for you. Taking the trailer for a day trip to Fiamma in Florida or Dometic in Indiana or Carefree in Colorado is currently not an option, so the Internet will have to do.

That being said, we are willing to investigate to find what we like, it's getting the information that is difficult. There are some great suggestions on this forum.

By the way, our SN is 107 and it's apparently a 1981 model.
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