Increasing the carrying capacity of a Trillium - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-15-2011, 11:43 AM   #15
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With 5 kids, the luggage can be overwhelming.
Not if you do it right. When our kids were still at home (3) we could fit everything we needed into the trunk of a Dodge Aries. Then everything came out was loaded on the backs of all of us. A 5 mile walk to the fist stop, with all that was needed for a week on our backs. If we could do that surely anybody can reduce the amount of stuff to a reasonable point.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:35 PM   #16
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The Trillium has electric brakes, and the van has a brake controller.

I am not sure what you mean by a high capacity cargo trailer. We need the trailer to sleep the kids.

I am seriously considering a totally new frame.

Is aluminum a viable option, or should I stick to steel?
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
The Trillium has electric brakes, and the van has a brake controller.

I am not sure what you mean by a high capacity cargo trailer. We need the trailer to sleep the kids.

I am seriously considering a totally new frame.

Is aluminum a viable option, or should I stick to steel?
Stick to steel, It is much cheaper and a good aluminum welder is more difficult to find. You could have it powder coated or coated with POR15.
It will surely outlast your use for it.
Besides any future accessory would be easier to attach.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:58 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
The Trillium has electric brakes, and the van has a brake controller.
I am not sure what you mean by a high capacity cargo trailer. We need the trailer to sleep the kids.
I am seriously considering a totally new frame.
Is aluminum a viable option, or should I stick to steel?
Hi David,
I fully agree with Floyd that a new steel frame is likely the best way to safely increase RV cargo capacity at a reasonnable cost on your Trillium 4500, preserving the sleeping space for your kids. Chasing a higher cargo capacity RV, often with heavier dual axle, is likely going to end up at a weight higher than the towing capacity of your vehicle.

Upgrading your RV frame should not significantly increase RV tounge weight, so any increased cargo capacity in the RV will reduce the truck rear axle load to safer levels. A professionnal can precisely match the final weight, desired load capacity frame gauge, stronger coupler, suspension and brake capacity. Instead of net reduction of 300 lbs on the rear axle (considering tongue weight), you may quickly fall back within safe load limits on all axles (truck and RV). This exercise will require a very high level of expertise and experience to properly balance all variables, design and weld together something that will work for you.

Good luck.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:54 AM   #19
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Can this be increased? Even 2500 lb would help.
Throwing in another idea... how about asking Tom from TrilliumRV himself. He's often faced with these types of questions and I'm sure would provide valuable input, not to mention that he may actually have been involved in designing/building your trailer in 1978.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:00 AM   #20
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Throwing in another idea... how about asking Tom from TrilliumRV himself. He's often faced with these types of questions and I'm sure would provide valuable input, not to mention that he may actually have been involved in designing/building your trailer in 1978.
Sorry, total newbie, who is Tom, and how do I ask him?
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:07 AM   #21
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Sorry, total newbie, who is Tom, and how do I ask him?
Tom Young is the owner of Trillum RV. As far as I know he typically answers questions himself. See www.trilliumrv.com or try Sales (at) TrilliumRV.com
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:32 AM   #22
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Stick to steel, It is much cheaper and a good aluminum welder is more difficult to find. You could have it powder coated or coated with POR15.
It will surely outlast your use for it.
Besides any future accessory would be easier to attach.
X3

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Hi David,
I fully agree with Floyd that a new steel frame is likely the best way to safely increase RV cargo capacity at a reasonnable cost on your Trillium 4500, preserving the sleeping space for your kids. Chasing a higher cargo capacity RV, often with heavier dual axle, is likely going to end up at a weight higher than the towing capacity of your vehicle.

Upgrading your RV frame should not significantly increase RV tounge weight, so any increased cargo capacity in the RV will reduce the truck rear axle load to safer levels. A professionnal can precisely match the final weight, desired load capacity frame gauge, stronger coupler, suspension and brake capacity. Instead of net reduction of 300 lbs on the rear axle (considering tongue weight), you may quickly fall back within safe load limits on all axles (truck and RV). This exercise will require a very high level of expertise and experience to properly balance all variables, design and weld together something that will work for you.

Good luck.
X2

Properly designed, an aluminum frame would be nice. To do it right would require real engineering and the cost would likely not be feasable for a one off trailer. Steel is more forgiving in design and easier to fabricate. Lamimartin brings up a very good point that bears repeating. Over building a frame can cause problems just like underbuilding. You will get a much better final result if you can find a trailer builder who can specifiy the right materials and design for the load. Some less sophisticated trailer builders just take the approach of "build it hell for stout". That's expecially true of utility type trailers that routinely get overloaded. You can look at some manufactured travel trailers with a similar GVW to your target for an idea. You may be surprised how lightly they are built. There is no point using up your towing capacity and gas dragging dead weight all over the country.

Of course one possible solution would be to sell your trailer and just get a bigger one. I would certainly run the numbers.

David
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:42 PM   #23
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Of course one possible solution would be to sell your trailer and just get a bigger one. I would certainly run the numbers.
David
I have sent a RFQ to the folks at Trillium RV for a new frame. There current Trillium 1500 has a GVW of 2200 lb.
But, let me play devils advocate. What if I rebuild almost exactly the same frame, (the existing one is a bit rusty) except use slightly thicker square tubing, extra reinforcements around the bends under the front...etc. Just beef it up a bit. I am only looking for an additional 300 to 500 lb capacity. I realize that this is not proper engineering, but I think between my neighbor and I we could come up with a reasonable reinforcement that I would feel safe with. Not too much but, with the small increase in capacity I want, enough. This along with new axle, tires and hitch, and I should be OK. No?
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:58 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
I have sent a RFQ to the folks at Trillium RV for a new frame. There current Trillium 1500 has a GVW of 2200 lb.
But, let me play devils advocate. What if I rebuild almost exactly the same frame, (the existing one is a bit rusty) except use slightly thicker square tubing, extra reinforcements around the bends under the front...etc. Just beef it up a bit. I am only looking for an additional 300 to 500 lb capacity. I realize that this is not proper engineering, but I think between my neighbor and I we could come up with a reasonable reinforcement that I would feel safe with. Not too much but, with the small increase in capacity I want, enough. This along with new axle, tires and hitch, and I should be OK. No?
If your present frame shows no apparent damage....
Ask the folks at Trillium about simply upgrading the axle and maybe the hitch.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:19 PM   #25
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If your present frame shows no apparent damage....
Ask the folks at Trillium about simply upgrading the axle and maybe the hitch.
That was my first plan!

No damage, but substantial rust. It has not perforated the square tubing yet. Since I want to carry a bit more then the current GVW, I would feel better with a new, slightly reinforced, one.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:24 PM   #26
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David,
Can you tell me what the tubing size is on the trailer now, including the wall thickness? I need accurate numbers. Also need the length of the frame (approximate), and the length from the hitch to the axle.

David
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:53 PM   #27
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David,
Can you tell me what the tubing size is on the trailer now, including the wall thickness? I need accurate numbers. Also need the length of the frame (approximate), and the length from the hitch to the axle.

David
I am a CAD geek, (6 years professional experience, 9 years ago). I will go home tonight and start a 3d AutoCAD drawing of the frame in its "as found" condition. Hopefully I will have it done tonight. The hitch and wheels may not be to scale, but close. I will post the results tomorrow.
Odds are that this will lead to an obsession to CAD the entire trailer to an unreasonable level of detail. Just who I am.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:14 PM   #28
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Dave, I love ODS people... it's nice to know I'm not the only one!

Looking forward to your "vision."
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