'74 Trillium suspension lift...? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-11-2015, 02:23 PM   #1
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'74 Trillium suspension lift...?

This is my first post here at FGRV! My partner and I just bought a '74 13' Trillium and are planning to drive the Pan-American Hwy all the way to Argentina and back from Vancouver, BC. My tow rig is a lifted '92 Toyota Pickup on 33s.

I realize most members are going to advise against lifting the trailer to suit the truck due to instability and venturing away from the stock setup. However, I would like some advice from anyone with experience addressing a similar issue. Whether its leafs, a new torsion axle, leafs + shocks, etc...

I have been researching and am leaning towards reinforcing the frame and getting leafs + shocks to get some more ground clearance as well as to absorb some of the rough ride it will see driving the length of two continents over washboard and potholes.
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:20 PM   #2
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As your in BC give Reace at Escape trailers a call and ask him what he thinks. Although I suspect he is going to want to see the trailer before he would be willing to say to much on the topic one way or another. Especially a 41 year old trailer - as you say the frame may be a BIG issue as to why its a bad idea. He knows all about axles on fiberglass trailers (actually has done lots of replacements for folks with fiberglass none Escape trailers including Trilliums) and he also built Tilliums under contract for awhile at his plant so he knows all about their construction as well. If he suggests its a bad idea I would take his word for it.
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:12 PM   #3
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trillium axle

You can have Standens in Edmonton make you a Flexiride axle tuned to the weight of your trailer. These axles have a spline fitting so you adjust the ride height (and travel) in 6* increments. I had ours done and it runs behind a 4x4 (not as tall as yours, but that's what different offset stingers are for) quite nicely with good clearance.
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dave_L View Post
You can have Standens in Edmonton make you a Flexiride axle tuned to the weight of your trailer. These axles have a spline fitting so you adjust the ride height (and travel) in 6* increments. I had ours done and it runs behind a 4x4 (not as tall as yours, but that's what different offset stingers are for) quite nicely with good clearance.
I did this with my 16' Scamp and I am happy with the result. At the same time I went to larger brakes (which you may not need) and 14" wheels and tires (which you also may not need. Flexiride does not sell brakes for 4 lug wheels if yours is so equipped.
The ability to adjust ride height is nice, but the arm distance is shorter than the standard set by AL-KO and Dexter.
If your axle has not been replaced is is probably due.
Flexiride can tailor the weight rating to suit your trailer.
I am working on figuring out a shock absorber package for my system, but I have not finalized the design yet.
I want to adapt the AL-KO Octagon shocks, but it is difficult getting them imported to the US since the US AL-KO axles are not set up for them.
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Old 05-21-2015, 02:43 PM   #5
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'74 Trillium suspension lift...?

Key is making sure the frame is strengthened at the point where it disappears under the fibreglass at the front. Trillium recommended a diamond shaped patch on both sides of each frame rail, diamond shaped so there is a gradual transition between the original frame profile and the strengthened section...no hard point, as that is where it might break again. Done well it should get you there and back. 14" wheels are a good fit. I have 14" wheels on mine and am moving back to 13" but would keep the 14" if I planned a trip like you are planning. Extra springs will lift the fibreglass and frame, but bigger wheels lift the axil too and that is where ground clearance will do the most good. Pack a couple of sets of wheel bearings. I would take a small come-along hand winch as it can get you out of the ditch, but also hold the frame together temporarily if it re breaks, at least enough to get you to a welding shop. I bought my Trillium with a broken frame and towed it home with the come-along and a couple of metal strips clamped around the break. Take a good tool set and package some emergency bits like wire, crunch connectors, lots of spare bulbs, duct tape, large size SS hose clamps that could clamp a couple of metal strips around the frame, get some large size good quality tie wraps as they are strong and good for emergency patches. A couple of feet of 1/4" threaded rod and a bunch of nuts and washers will be valuable if you break frame to trailer bolts or tow vehicle hitch bolts! 15" of 3/4" poly rope with eyes or a tow strap might save the day and is far easier on the equipment than chain if you need to be towed or to tow. At least it will get you to a place where you can get a proper fix done. Try to keep weight out of the trailer and in the tow vehicle. Mount a frame on the rear bumper of the trailer for extra fuel, keep it empty while in well populated areas, but fill it when you are in the outback. Most of all enjoy the adventure, they are rare and precious. My wife and I towed a rally car on a trailer back and forth across the country for 12 years. We had more breakdowns than I can remember, but always got there. Those were wonderful adventures and I wouldn't trade those times for anything.


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Old 05-21-2015, 02:51 PM   #6
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'74 Trillium suspension lift...?

I would not add shocks as they transmit shock to the frame and really just dampen spring oscillations. I would consider bottoming rubbers just to limit the suspension travel on huge bumps.


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Old 05-21-2015, 03:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
I did this with my 16' Scamp and I am happy with the result. At the same time I went to larger brakes (which you may not need) and 14" wheels and tires (which you also may not need. Flexiride does not sell brakes for 4 lug wheels if yours is so equipped.
I also had purchased a Flexiride axle for our 13' Scamp, but was able to reuse the 4 lug hubs/breaks/wheels from the original axle.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:51 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by trillytrip View Post
This is my first post here at FGRV! My partner and I just bought a '74 13' Trillium and are planning to drive the Pan-American Hwy all the way to Argentina and back from Vancouver, BC.
Wow, that is an impressive journey. Good luck with the venture.
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