New Trillium 4500 Axle! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-12-2017, 06:41 PM   #1
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New Trillium 4500 Axle!

Folks,

I've decided to replace my 1978 Trillium 4500 axle. It seems to be the original axle. Still has a fair amount of bounce to it when parked, but when towing it doesn't dampen even very small road bumps. Thus resulting in a somewhat jerky, pounding ride. This can't be could for the frame and FG body.

I've ordered a Dexter #9 2200 lb. axle, low profile, same dimensions as old axle (hub face and outside frame dimensions), 0 degrees angle, electric brakes. Also ordered the Dexter side mount bracket kit (AP-165-00) so the new axle can be bolted on.

I chose the 0 degree angle so that I can still roll the camper inside my 7' garage door frame on bare rims.

Keeping fingers crossed. Will let u know how it works out.

- John
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:15 AM   #2
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T4500 axle

Good luck with that modification and let us know how it works out. That sounds easy but is probably not a simple repair/improvement. FYI, I also have a '78 T4500
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:08 AM   #3
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Not a simple repair ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jokra View Post
Good luck with that modification and let us know how it works out. That sounds easy but is probably not a simple repair/improvement. FYI, I also have a '78 T4500
You are correct. This is not a simple repair. It is challenging because the original axle is welded into a joint where two frame rail sections are welded together. The axle bracket actually reinforces the frame rail joint. Because the new axle will be bolted in instead of welded, the frame rail joints will need to be reinforced in some other way.

I towed the trailer to Paul Neumeister (FiberglassRV dot ca) in Sebringville, Ontario yesterday to have him order the axle and do the replacement. I followed up with him on the phone this AM and he said he has placed the order.

So far he has determined:

- the hub face to hub face dimension is 69" and the outer frame dimension is 53" (these dimensions are quite a bit different from the figures on the trilliumRV website)
- he plans to reinforce the frame rail joints that intersect w/the axle brackets by adding laser cut fish plates to these joints

I will update this thread after I pick up the camper. At that point, I'll post pics.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:22 AM   #4
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Adding shocks could be better idea. All springs/torque tubes will rebound!! If it were easy, every one would be doing it!!
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BARNEYCONE View Post
Adding shocks could be better idea. All springs/torque tubes will rebound!! If it were easy, every one would be doing it!!
BARNEYCONE, how do you add shocks to a torsion axle? Got pictures? Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BARNEYCONE View Post
Adding shocks could be better idea. All springs/torque tubes will rebound!! If it were easy, every one would be doing it!!
Well it looks like there is a retrofit shock absorber kit for Casitas...
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:30 PM   #7
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Dampers on our Off-Road 'glass bodied tent trailer (a TrailBlazer for those familiar):
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:45 PM   #8
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new axle follow up...

Folks,

Here is a belated summary of the axle replacement order and installation method for my Trillium 4500. The work was actually completed in April of this year. By the way the new axle works great!

Here are the order details.

- #9 Torflex axle and specified 2200 lb. weight capacity
- 7" electric brakes option added
- hub face measurement 69" (measure specific to your camper)
- outside bracket measurement 53" (measure specific to your camper)
- ez-lube option option added
- bolt pattern: 5 on 4.5" (yours may be different)
- stud size: 1/2 - 20 (yours may be different)
- length of trailing arm: 6"
- bracket orientation: inboard
- low profile bracket
- wheel nuts: cone
- Dexter side mount kit (A/P-165-00) - Dexter side mount brackets in this kit are welded to frame; new axle is bolted to the side mount brackets
- zero degree starting angle trailing arm

I ordered with low profile bracket and zero angle trailing arm to ensure I could still fit the camper in my garage. Ordered this way, there is still plenty of space above the 13" tires. You could specify high profile bracket and higher trailing arm angle if you prefer.

Because the Trillium frame has a lap joint (a weakness) where the axle mounted to the frame, the mechanic reinforced the frame lap joint by welding a fish plate on the outside. Also, when removing the old axle, the mechanic marked the center point of each wheel on the frame. When installing the new axle, he had to trim the leading edge of the Dexter side mount brackets to keep the wheels in the original position relative to the frame.

John
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