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


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Old 10-09-2008, 06:26 PM   #1
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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Well, well, feast or famine. Short version: After looking and looking for a Trillium 13, to no avail, I bought a Boler 13. Towing it home, I'm amazed at how well it tows. Of course now I get a call that a Trillium 13 I liked that was "sold" is now not sold!

I really like the Trillium for its windows an d the extra storage in the "corners," but now I'm wondering if I'd be giving up this wonderful towing I find with the Boler.

Back story:
I've towed boats, etc. and also a friend's U-haul 13 camper once for about 1,000 miles. Towing the U-haul wasn't awful, but I did have that " I can 't wait to get this thing off my car" feeling. I realize they weigh 1250# vs. 1000# for the Boler, but still. The U-haul probably did have more tongue weight due to having a battery and their really heavy propane bracket-style on the tongue. Other than that it was empty save for a spare tire in the cabin. The Boler has no battery but does have a propane fridge, so I t hink weights aren't that far apart.

So.... I wonder if the Trillium's "square" shape would give me back that "get this thing off my car" feeling? My car is rated to tow 3500# (Volvo 240, 4cyl. gas), but it is low, of course, so any camper sticks up above it. Also the Trill would protrude another 3-4" on each side.

So... is it the magical Airstream-like shape of the Boler? Or would a Trillium seem similar? That's what I'm wondering. I would really like a Trillium, but not if it meant giving up this "Oh, I'm towing?" feeling.


Raya

PS: At least any egg shopping now will be relaxed, since I already have one
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:17 PM   #2
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My personal opinion is the extra few inches that you get inside the Trillium would be worth any small difference, if any, in towing behavior. I've only owned a Trillium so far, but I did do a road test with a Boler, and I doubt that you would actually notice a significant difference to a point where you would get more tired of towing one vs the other... A fraction of a mpg, perhaps. I find that an increased weight due to extra equipment and lack of brakes has a much larger influence on the annoyance level.

One thing worth mentioning though is that the 1000# number for the weight is largely fictional and you should expect your 13' trailer to weigh in the 1500-2000# range once loaded and ready to go. You might also consider doing some sort of road test with the Trillium?
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:35 PM   #3
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Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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Hi Daniel - thank you for your comments.

I do understand that the weights are somewhat fictional. I was thinking that with my vehicle, wind-shape might make more of a difference in feel than weight.

With the U-haul, I can't imagine that I would have towed it unless I "had to." With this Boler, I wouldn't think twice about bringing it along on a trip. Now that I've felt how there can be a difference, I wonder how the Trillium would fit into the picture. I do like the Trillium's inside features.

Anyone else towed them both (with a low vehicle especially)?

Raya
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:06 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft
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Only towed a Trillium but our forester is pretty low. I have done some long tow miles with it (10-12 hours) and it's never been a 'drag' (sorry, had to). I personally found the Boler's more crowded feeling and I couldn't stand up in it. However, Daniel and I are Trillium advocates so take everything we say with a gain of salt =)

Our trillium loaded is between 1800lb and 1900lbs. The volvo 240 would still pull that with ease.
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:48 PM   #5
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With the U-haul, I can't imagine that I would have towed it unless I "had to." With this Boler, I wouldn't think twice about bringing it along on a trip. Now that I've felt how there can be a difference, I wonder how the Trillium would fit into the picture. I do like the Trillium's inside features.
In fact, the brake-less Boler that I "test-towed" was quite heavier and much more of an annoyance than our lighter, less-equipped Trillium with brakes. All I am saying is if you want to get scientific about this, you should start by getting both of them weighed (trailer and tongue), as I suspect other factors to be more prevailing than just aerodynamics in your U-Haul vs Boler experiment. Weight is a big one, but trailer suspension and various other things can also make a noticeable difference. I am curious to hear about other people's feedback on this subject.
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:53 PM   #6
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Hey Reya;

Welome to the Volvo-Boler Club! That makes three of us that I know of now!

Never towed a Trillium but have to agree the Boler tows very well.

Can't you keep the Boler and get the Trillium?

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Old 10-10-2008, 07:54 AM   #7
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I need to add another point of view here to consider.

I have had and towed a Trill 1300,4500 a Fiberstream and an almost new Scamp 16' so these are observations based on that stable.

I think it has much more to do with the age and condition of the axle in the trailer than any other factor by a long margin.

Both Trill towed just fine and I even survived a potental disaster in the 1300 without pain.

The Fiberstream is bigger and heavier than the other 3 and less smooth thru the air too but with the tandem axles and the bulk I still have no problems towing.

The Scamp is long and loaded but it feels almost like it is not even there.

I think the newer axle with low mileage is what the difference is all about.

All three of the older rigs just feel more"tired" when being towed.
They lurch around and jerk side to side and even bounce over bumps and lines in the road more than the silky newness of the Scamp.

There is just no substitute for low mileage IMHO.

You would think the 1300 would be the easier load but that was not the case.

I can not imagine that a small weight difference between the Trill and Boler 13' could make a meaningful difference and without having the rig weighed in front of me,I would be doubtful of any claims.

I am also a proponent of having more tow vehicle not less and I feel a large margin of comfort because of it,especially in light of the incident I mentioned in the 1300.

Just my 2cents.
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:55 PM   #8
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Methinks a bad case of buyer's remorse hath afflicted thee!

Take thee a large dollop of thankfulness along with three pence of the fruit of patience twice daily and return to the good doctor in a week.

How's that for a reality check!
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:16 PM   #9
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I'll throw another wrinkle into this discussion.
I've only towed a 13 Scamp and it seemed to tow really well. I then decided to have a 2" Bulldog Coupler put on in June before our 30 day trip in July. Never would have thought changing a coupler would change the tow characteristics of a trailer so dramatically, but it did. Even though the Scamp towed well with the old coupler, towing with the new Bulldog coupler is such a noticeable improvement that every trailer I have from now on, no matter brand or size, will get a coupler change.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:15 PM   #10
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I'll throw another wrinkle into this discussion.
I've only towed a 13 Scamp and it seemed to tow really well. I then decided to have a 2" Bulldog Coupler put on in June before our 30 day trip in July. Never would have thought changing a coupler would change the tow characteristics of a trailer so dramatically, but it did. Even though the Scamp towed well with the old coupler, towing with the new Bulldog coupler is such a noticeable improvement that every trailer I have from now on, no matter brand or size, will get a coupler change.
Is that because your '81 had a 1 7/8" coupler? Does losing the worn out one or upgrading the size make the difference? So you had to have the old one cut off and the new one welded on? Thanks, Dan
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:49 AM   #11
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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Can't you keep the Boler and get the Trillium?
Like I need any encouragement...

So, to make this totally "scientific," I called the folks with the Trillium, they still had it, and I went up and fetched it

So, I towed it home: With the same vehicle, loaded the same, and in the same weather/road conditions. All in the name of science, of course

I'm going to have to be a bit of a tease though because I'm only on a short break at work, so.... full report later.

The only problem is now I do have to decide which one to keep and which one to sell. It's a nice dilemma though.

Raya
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:02 AM   #12
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Like I need any encouragement...

So, to make this totally "scientific," I called the folks with the Trillium, they still had it, and I went up and fetched it

So, I towed it home: With the same vehicle, loaded the same, and in the same weather/road conditions. All in the name of science, of course

I'm going to have to be a bit of a tease though because I'm only on a short break at work, so.... full report later.

The only problem is now I do have to decide which one to keep and which one to sell. It's a nice dilemma though.

Raya

Right on Raya!

A friend always says "buy two" if you like them. I always encourage people to do what they really want. Especially if it is in the name of science. However, I would have a problem deciding which one to sell also. They are both classy trailers with distinctive characteristics. Remember to document your "scientific" data.
-Dan
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:03 AM   #13
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Is that because your '81 had a 1 7/8" coupler? Does losing the worn out one or upgrading the size make the difference? So you had to have the old one cut off and the new one welded on? Thanks, Dan
Yes, the old coupler was a 1 7/8. I think the difference is mostly in the design as the old one was still ok. The old style coupler was real sloppy on the ball going over bumps and cornering. The new bulldog maintains better contact with the ball and changes cornering and bump characteristics. This is probably due to the amount and thickness of the material that surrounds the ball with the Bulldog, and the latching system on the Bulldog seems much more secure a process.

Took it over to a local welder and had the old one cut off and new one welded on. Also had real heavy chains with latching hooks welded on to each side of the tongue instead of a bolt that used to attach the old smaller chains.

Raya,

I vote you keep both the boler and the trill..... :-)


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Old 10-13-2008, 10:12 AM   #14
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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Methinks a bad case of buyer's remorse hath afflicted thee!
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!
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