Rebuild of a Trillium Sportsman - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-14-2013, 01:16 PM   #1
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
Posts: 86
Rebuild of a Trillium Sportsman

I started this trailer story on another thread. I don't know how to link the two together so the title of the other thread is; Can anyone identify this trailer, sort of Trillium looking?
I am hoping a moderator can put the link in.
I started last fall by buying what I was positive was a trillium trailer although it was registered as a Triple E. Year 1969. This registration (title) was and still is wrong. I will be having it changed by ICBC this summer after I have finished the rebuild. Since the purchase I have seen the original brochure for the Trailer and talked with Tom at Trillium USA and now know for sure is a Trillium Sportsman manufactured mid 70s and made for a tobacco company. (they ordered 1/2 dozen or so for hauling event advertising) Trillium tried selling them but they were way ahead of the marketplace and the public didn't want them so were discontinued. I guess apart from motorcycles not to many atv's in the mid 70s.
I needed a trailer to haul my fly fishing pontoon boat to the little lakes around here and to store it when not using, so the back doors really appealed to Deb and I. The floor plan I had drafted on my board so my gal could see what I wanted to do the interior of the trailer after gutting the contents and removing existing interior. I have attached the picture of the plan.
I do not have to many good shots of the original interior or exterior that I started with but lots of good pics on the original; what the heck is it thread.
I spent 2 days removing the interior and saving all the appliances and misc stuff. I only took plywood (most was 3/4 inch fir) to the dump and it weighed in at 550 lbs. I thought the trailer weighed to much so after removing the interior I took it over a government weigh scale and it weighed in at 1298 lbs. The plywood and backing was all glued in and every piece had multipule fasteners and it was a real struggle to remove! had to zip disc quite a few pieces to toothpicks to remove. I then had a clean slate to work with. After removing everything I scrapped all the glue residue off the ceiling and walls. Was a terrible job but used a red devil scraper which i sharpened frequently. I then removed the lino that was glued to the floor, as the glue never set it removed with ease and the glue wiped up with thinner and rags. The first thing I wanted to do was reset the doors and reseal before winter so set out removing them and replacing all the backing for them. The side door had 3/4 in x 2 inch backing strips that had just about completely rotted out and the door screws where nothing but pins with heads they had just disintegrated. The door was in good shape. so just put in new backing plywood (marine grade 11 ply) and new buytl tape and reset with plated screws.
The rear doors turned out to be a lot more of a challenge. The rear rough opening is fiberglass outer then 3/4" plywood glued to a 2 inch square steel frame which is welded to the frame. the 2 inch plywood strips where glued to the steel then the fiberglass glued to the plywood the the door mounted. The problem was the plywood was rotten at the bottom and up about 2 feet on each side so had to dig all the rot out then remove old plywood and what was left of the disintegrated fasteners thank god for Zip discs!! pictures attached show what i was digging out and the steel frame and how it was constructed. We now have the doors all set back in with new seals and they work like a charm. I am looking for a new bargman l400 door handle for rear door, the one there has no tumbler in it.
The pictures show how I attached new rear door backing strips to steel frame and fiberglass outer. the glue I used was polyurethane construction glue. The paint on the steel is Por15 rust paint.
Must go for now it might be getting a little long winded. Will post laying out interior and witness line soon.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:31 PM   #2
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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The other thread that Ryan mentioned:
Can anyone identify this trailer, sort of Trillium looking?
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:03 PM   #3
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Excellent - thanks Ryan!

I appreciate the effort of sharing this description with us, and I look forward to updates.

It's not everyday you see a photo that shows that someone has a drafting machine at home...
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:06 PM   #4
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
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got a few minutes to post a little more.
The trailer is exterior is very good and a lot of little damage will be taken care of by adding windows and exterior compartment doors. Example of this is grate on side door side (appears where rear window will be mounted) is there only to hide a hole someone punched in for some sort of plug filler or ? The other owner painted behind it black as to disguise it. This is something that will be cut out when windows are installed.
The first thing I did after gutting was to put a center line on the ceiling and floor so I could measure from it.The upper cabinet backing and bottom position of lower cabinets depend on these lines. (2 pictures attached) I got center from center of front window and center of rear door then after getting these positions I set up my laser level to intersect the upper lines then put in a few dashes along line, then snapped a chalk line through them. and then did the same for the floor. This got the curves out of the way which are sometimes a pain to snap a line across. after establishing these lines i could lay out for cabinets and mark where they were to go in floor and walls. After getting these I then knew exactly what size of fridge would fit and I wanted the biggest I could possibly fit above the wheel well. Then off to the wrecker to find a fridge etc. I found one that was new (two years) in the wrecker but was to big so worked a deal and bought it then traded it in on a older model of the right size at local rv dealer also removed and bought numerous other items at the same time lights,, exterior grates, access panels for storage compartments, fridge vent & access door, vent for stove and a couple of light switches. At another wrecker I picked up two windows for the rear and will add a section of the cut down and rebuild of these. The 3 panel jalouse windows that Trillium used are hard to find in the width needed so settled on 2 panel the right width. Although I am still hopeful that I can find two 3 panel windows before I install the ones I have now. The guys strip them out of trailers at the hit to Pass trailer races out at the racetrack here in Vernon. I am hoping some trailer out there has three panel windows i could use. (I would post pictures of those trailer races but would shock most of the readers here.)
next was to make fridge cabinet so all other cabinets carcasses could be made and roughed in. (picture attached)Click image for larger version

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I cut out the original support for the side wall of the trailer to get a pattern for the wall side of the cabinet this worked out well after I transfered it to a larges piece of cardboard I picked up at the local building supply store. The cardboard is cover sheets for finishing plywood they get. the picture shows the end result of the cabinet installed with fridge placed in the hole (without finishing face strips applied) I also used that same template for all wall cuts to cabinets made after. I had to tweek each time for difference in wall curvatures, this also was the case for the two sides of the fridge cabinet even in just 27 inches there was quite a difference. This cabinet was the only one permantely mounted at rough in stage. The sealing was relatively easy at this point so got it all sealed in. I also at this time had remove the horizontal original factory seam box from behind fridge panel ( the seam box hid the upper and lower fiberglass seam horizontally on the trailer - sides only) you can see it glassed in around trailer. it was made from 3/4 in ply and glassed onto side just above and below seam just cut it out with Zip disc on 5 inch grinder then ground down remaining fiberglass. The reason for not permanently mounting all other cabinets was to be able to easily install ensolite when I got it and to make sure I could lock it onto walls wherever possible. It is also the reason the windows where not mounted over the winter or any other body cutout was not done. This posting takes way more time than a few minutes, gotta go, post again when I get a hour or so.
ryan
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:15 PM   #5
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Wow, you're really coming along Ryan and are going to have a unique trailer when you're done! Thanks for posting the pictures
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:56 PM   #6
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
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well have a little more time before bedtime so here goes. Next step was to use the witness lines to mount backing for upper cabinets, best to do this before lower cabinets installed as had to use little sticks to hold up all the blocking and strips while the polyurethane construction glue setup. this took two days to do most of it waiting to move strips to new locations to hold up freshly glued strips.
It was still pretty nice outside no snow quite warm for december. I had to put my hot rod into storage so I could make the garage a wood shop for the winter. Now that the car was in storage I set about to make the lower cabinets. I rounded up some 3/4 inch prefinished russian maple plywood and set out making the lower front cabinets. the sink cabinet the bigger of the two was straight forward. The heater cabinet was predetermined by the location of the vent installed. this cabinet will end up holding the converter and electrics and the stove top. pictures attached. will put up a bit more in the next few days.
Ryan
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:42 AM   #7
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Trailer: Bigfoot, Trillium, Scamp 5th Wheel
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Wow! Looks nice! What style of doors are you using?
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:33 PM   #8
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Trailer: Trillium
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Hi Steve
Doors are going to shaker style. Black walnut outer frame with maple plywood flat panel inner. Countertops also have 1 1/2" black walnut edging with arborite top. I have had the walnut rough stock for some time now drying just have to mill it up.
Ryan
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:52 PM   #9
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Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
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What model of fridge did you put in?
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:54 PM   #10
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Next was front seating rough in and rear bed area with storage under. I wanted as much access to the rear storage area from outside as well as inside. and bed top is a fold up contraption i made so i could slide real long items in and keep on floor if the need ever arose. The front seating area accesses from front of cabinet as well as top. The rear storage will hold my pontoon boat when deflated and generator and fishing stuff as well as cooler (beer storage). I got the three storage doors for $40 bucks and then bought two locks for $14 total cost 54. I thought not to bad, also had to put a few hours into them to clean them up.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan parsons View Post
Hi Steve
Doors are going to shaker style. Black walnut outer frame with maple plywood flat panel inner. Countertops also have 1 1/2" black walnut edging with arborite top. I have had the walnut rough stock for some time now drying just have to mill it up.
Ryan
Nice! I'm also going Shaker/misson style. Light and easy to make. I'm using traditional oak. Not sure if it will work "permanently" but I'm also doing oak counter-tops sealed with several coats of Varathane.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:25 PM   #12
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
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Hi David
the fridge is a older late 70s Dometic RM66E it measures 23x39. I cleaned up the back heating tubes with por 15 heat paint and bench tested it and it seamed to work fine, but as always I don't know how well it will work until it gets to 90 degrees outside. I will change out door panel with maple ply.
Ryan
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:35 PM   #13
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Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
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Wow!

Thanks a million for posting, Ryan- I'll be following along with great interest.

Francesca

P.S.

I hope you don't mind if I transplant this one of your posts from that other thread...really illustrates how much of the P.O's work you had to tear out before you could even get started!

F.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan parsons View Post
off to the dump with all this fir plywood out of Sportsman, 550 lbs to be exact
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:23 PM   #14
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: Trillium
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Thank you Francesca, I don't mind at all. It is quite fitting. My ensolite comes tomorrow!! yea haw. now I really finally get to build.
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