Towing Trillium 13 vs. Boler/Scamp style 13 - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-13-2008, 10:41 AM   #15
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Hi: Raya... Does all this mean you can have your own "EGG NOG"???
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:59 PM   #16
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...

As noted above I'll now have to have "seller's remorse" when I figure out which one of these to keep and which to sell (no, I can't keep two!). I'm not complaining though, after having so much trouble finding them.

I'll just have to have a bit of a split personality until I settle on one. ...
Hey Reya,

Too bad you can't keep them both.

Can you take and post pics of both of them in the Rigs thread before you sell either of them? (Preferably hitched up to the 240).
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:02 PM   #17
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Hi Loren,

Actually, it's the opposite: I like the Boler quite a bit. Not that I didn't expect to like it, but just that after comparing, I felt that I wanted a Trillium, and set about trying to find one that was right for me.

I really wanted to find a trailer yet this fall, so, after I drove quite a distance to look at a particular Trillium (and decided not to buy it), I went to look at a Boler that was nearby. I liked it, and since I was getting worried that I would not find something yet this fall, I bought it. Towing it home I was pleasantly surprised with how well it towed. Then one of the Trilliums I had been interested in but thought was sold was available. Not buyer's remorse so much as what I was looking for in the first place came up.

What made it not a "no-brainer" is that I do like the Boler. So it's more "buyer's un-remorse" if there is such a thing.

As noted above I'll now have to have "seller's remorse" when I figure out which one of these to keep and which to sell (no, I can't keep two!). I'm not complaining though, after having so much trouble finding them.

I'll just have to have a bit of a split personality until I settle on one. I'd like to choose by this weekend. I'll advertise the one I'm selling here first;both have been "test-towed" long distances. Hey, now there will finally be an egg available in my area. Hee!
your killing us here!!!!!

Which one did tow better and why?
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:29 AM   #18
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Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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your killing us here!!!!!

Which one did tow better and why?
I'm sorry! <----- Me, working late last night. Report tonight, I promise!

Raya
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:20 PM   #19
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I've towed both models, a Scamp 13 and a Trill 13.

The Scamp definitely has less wind resistance and is lighter than the Trillium - it has more of that "nothing is behind you" feeling, where I could feel the drag a bit from the Trill. But at the end of the day, either one is worlds easier than towing a stick built trailer.
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:35 AM   #20
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Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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So, towing comparison between a Boler 13 and a Trillium 13.

*Both trailers have a 3-way refrigerator

*Neither have a battery installed

*The Boler has one 20 lb propane tank (with some propane in it; not sure how much) on the tongue; the Trillium has two 20 lb. propane tanks on the tongue (again, not sure how full, but definitely not empty

*Both trailers have a spare tire mounted on the back bumper

*Neither have an awning or anything else extra on the outside

*Both were essentially empty (although the Trillium had some plastic dishes, etc.)

*Neither have recently replaced axles (probably both original).

*The Boler has very recent tires (bias ply); the Trillium has 15+ year old tires that looked new (it was sitting). (Not that I wouldn't replace them; I'm just saying that's what's on it.)

*Both had dry water tanks

*The Boler has no furnace and no converter; the Trillium has a gravity furnace and the usual Trillium converter.

*The Boler is the usual layout; the Trillium has the front "bathroom." It's essentially an empty closet, so although the wall and door would have some weight, I'm not sure it'd be more than a couch and bunk.

*The Boler has no brakes; the Trillium apparently has them but they are not connected. I don't have a brake controller on my car in any case.

I was towing them both with my 240 wagon. It's a 4 cylinder engine of about 110 hp, with an automatic transmission that has electronic overdrive. The rear shocks are probably about due to be replaced. Frame-mounted receiver hitch, class II. The car is rated to tow 3500# - not that I ever would.

Weather was sunny and dry. The first day with the Boler was quite windy, but other than that winds were moderate to calm. I was on the Interstate. Both drives involved "low" mountains (i.e. not the Rockies, but mountains nonetheless).

So, as I mentioned earlier, the Boler was a dream to tow. Light and fluffy on the hitch, with no clunking, etc. when going over bumps or stopping (that is, no clunking of trailer tongue on hitch ball). It was amazingly immune to wind (even in really strong prairie crosswinds), and also there was nearly no effect when tractor-trailer rigs passed me. There was a very slight "push" away when they first began to pass, but it was much less than I would have thought it would be.

Even though I know the axle is probably original, the trailer was very well-behaved with no undue bouncing or jarring. The only time I had to inwardly scream "enough already!" and slow way down was on some of those stretches of concrete roadway with the repetitive broken seams. Those set up a rocking bounce that just didn't seem like it was doing anyone any good.

I'm not sure exactly what it did to my gas mileage, although I would guess it went from about 25 to maybe 15 or so. Of course I started out tentatively driving 55 but was soon up to 70 (speed limit was 75). The traffic was very light so I wasn't following anyone at all closely and vice versa. Even though the trailer felt so light on the tongue, there was nary a hint of fishtailing. Just none.

Braking, I could feel the trailer there, but it still felt okay.

In comparison, the Trillium felt quite heavy on the hitch. Even at 30 mph, going over bumps felt like a giant was stepping on the hitch/ball joint and pressing his foot down. Ugh, I hate that.

In terms of pulling weight, the Trillium didn't feel that much different from the Boler.

Wind-resistance wise, I could feel a difference. Not a huge difference, but definitely there was one. When a tractor-trailer passed, for example, I got more "buffeting."

I also felt that there was a bit more weight there when braking. I don't mean when just slowing down on the highway, but rather when coming to a complete stop in town driving. Of course the Trillium does have brakes and if they were hooked up I'm sure that would eliminate this. But for a direct comparison it was nice to have them the same.

I don't know for sure, but I would guess the Trillium took another 1-2 mpg, maybe.

So, in summary, the biggest difference (and what I did not like about towing the U-Haul) was the feeling of weight on the hitch ball; that feeling of the rig "folding down" at that joint whenever I went over a bump. I wonder how much of the tongue weight causing that (I assume that's what it was) is due to the second propane tank? OTOH, I see lots of trailers that have a battery mounted there, and they're not light...?

I might not notice that problem as much with new rear shocks, but the Trillium is clearly still heavier on the tongue it seems.

On balance I would say (from my sample size of one of each) that if I had a marginal tow vehicle, I would definitely prefer the Boler. As it is I think the slight extra wind resistance/effect with the Trillium is not too much of a bother considering the extra space, storage, and windows; but I would not be excited to keep towing with that feeling of the world pressing down on the hitch. I wonder if that can be eliminated without my having to tow an empty trailer around?

I'm thinking maybe I should remove the propane bottles just for an experiment and then tow it. There would be no need for a long test run as that was clear in the first two blocks. Maybe one fewer tank and then a battery somwhere behind the axle? Of course a loaded trailer would be different again.

Anyway, there's my report. Sorry for the delay.

Raya

PS And for the lack of emoticons - too tired to put them in tonight
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Old 10-16-2008, 11:17 AM   #21
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Great post Raya, it's nice to get detailed descriptions like this.

I have had both a 1 tank and a 2 tank Trillium and the tongue weight on the 2 tank trillium was substantially more than our 1 tanker. With 1 tank and a battery box I can move the Trillium by hand, with 2 tanks there is no way I could do it myself without having a roller leg.

The design of these trailers assumed that you had water on board. The water being behind the axle would mean it would balance with the extra tongue weight to give you a reasonable final tongue weight. We never use our water tank so I make sure that I place our heavy items behind the axle or over the axle. You still want to have 10-15% of the final trailer weight on the tongue (150lbs - 200lbs) but you don't want it so much that it presses your rear shocks down and makes the car light on the front tires.

Finally, if you have trailer brakes on your trailer get a controller and use them. The difference in all braking situations is night and day. I have towed with and without on our Subaru Forester and there is just no comparison from a safety stand point.
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Old 10-16-2008, 11:43 AM   #22
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So, in summary, the biggest difference (and what I did not like about towing the U-Haul) was the feeling of weight on the hitch ball; that feeling of the rig "folding down" at that joint whenever I went over a bump. I wonder how much of the tongue weight causing that (I assume that's what it was) is due to the second propane tank? OTOH, I see lots of trailers that have a battery mounted there, and they're not light...?
Interesting experiment... But in all fairness, tongue weight is something that can vary greatly depending on how you load things, and you can make the tongue weight of any trailer heavier or lighter than the other just by moving things around (and make a Boler worse than a Trillium or vice-versa). I think you could cut a lot of the guess work by simply weighing your tongue(s), and your trailer(s). So far it looks like there are many differences between your trailers besides the extra few inches of wind resistance, and the same would apply to two identical Bolers that had different layouts/equipment/luggage.

But as Booker said, some of us are biased to start with.
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:35 PM   #23
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Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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Interesting experiment... But in all fairness, tongue weight is something that can vary greatly depending on how you load thing... So far it looks like there are many differences between your trailers besides the extra few inches of wind resistance, and the same would apply to two identical Bolers that had different layouts/equipment/luggage.
Actually, for the sake of the experiment, I thought they were remarkably similar. Both have a propane fridge; neither were at all loaded; both have a spare on the back bumper. The only substantive difference (besides the design, which can't be changed) I see is the 1 vs. 2 propane tanks. (The gravity furnace in the Trillium is basically just a bit of sheet metal and it's right over the axle anyway.)

Booker, that's interesting to hear -- that two propane tanks made the tongue so much heavier on your Trillium(s) than one tank and one battery. I like the idea of two tanks, since I'd like to boonie camp and use the fridge and furnace, but OTOH one might be enough, and/or an aluminum or composite tank could replace the steel tank(s). It sure would be nice to put a battery on the tongue, but I suppose I could also put one in the rear, possibly in a vented compartment (I like lead-acid batteries).

I should weigh the tongues - and probably would have already if I actually owned a "bathroom" scale

I'm glad that (at least) a couple of people found my long-winded post interesting. Note that I was basically forced to buy two trailers to get more information This weekend I'll have some time to spend with them both so that I can decide which one I should keep and which one will need a new home.

Raya
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:09 PM   #24
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Reading Booker's trailer ID in his avatar brings up a question: How do you know whether a given Trillium is a "Deluxe" or a ... regular?

Thanks,

Raya
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:23 PM   #25
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Good question and I will outline my 'vague' reasoning about why I feel it's the deluxe model =)

As each year Trillium was produced different features were added. In 1972 there were standard options like fridge or furnace but not much else. As each year Trillium was produced more features were produced, some standard and some optional. My 1976 came with fiberglass shelves over the diner and the bunk bed, a door window, cutlery drawer under the table and add-a-room attachments. These were all non-standard features I believe. Later years included the options of a stove window.

I chose to call mine a 'deluxe' as I have seen several members with loaded 4500's who declared them deluxe models.

EDIT: Whoops, and it came with electric brakes which is why I bought the 2nd Trillium. I too had 2 trailers in my yard for awhile =)
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:30 AM   #26
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Booker -

My friend's 13' Trillium (I believe a 1977, not sure) has the "wrap around shelves" that go around the front and back of the trailer. I absolutely love this feature and wish I had it on my Scamp. Perfect place to put all the flotsam and jetsam you have out when camping (I put all mine on the upper bunk). I thought this shelf was a standard feature on the Trilliums, now I know different. His trailer also has the door window.
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:01 PM   #27
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Hi Jake,

Yes, the wrap around shelf was a great idea. It does block a bit of light from the windows but the Trillium does let in a lot of the light with all the big windows. On the 4500 they closed the shelves in but I don't know if they ever did that on the 1300. I have thought of adding a stove window - it's added light in just the right place. This 1977 for sale has one - actually this trailer looks remarkable like ours right down to the black stripe and dome wheels.
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Old 10-19-2008, 03:34 PM   #28
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Nice report Reya.

Do you have overload spings on the back of the wagon? They give the rear end slightly more bounce when unloaded, but loaded they make a terrific improvement to the ride and keeping the rear from sagging and resultant loss of weight from the front.

I got mine here: http://www.ipdusa.com/

You can find them elsewhere of course.

Whichever trailer you keep I think you will find them a great enhancement.

Don't forget the pics, will you?
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