1977 Trillium - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-27-2013, 10:53 AM   #1
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1977 Trillium

Hi there, we just bought the 1977 Trillium 4500 last night. Notice the belly band seal is cracked. We wish to replace it. Do we need a new band or can we use the old material? Just learning to navigate in this world. Have never been part of a forum with threads before. Bear with us.
Bill & Kate
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:53 AM   #2
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Bill & Kate, Pictures would help to determine what the issue is. Is the aluminum belly band cracked? Is the caulking above the aluminum cracked, or is the fibreglass cracked?
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:04 PM   #3
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1977 Trillium

Hello David,
The sealant is cracked above the bellyband below the front window. Plus there is a mildewy smell inside.And the sealant is cracked in other locations above the bellyband elsewhere.
Appreciate your help!
Kate
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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First off, let me say, nice Trillium. clearly the previous owner took good care of it. I have three Trillium 4500's one also had quite a smell to it. If there is a leak, water can collect in what I refer to as the pontoons. These are the protrusions on the sides of the fibreglass that hang outside the frame. I have a very old, (1972?) Trillium 1300 that I have named the Cantaloupe. It has many issues, including a large hole in the side, where the heater exhaust used to be. Water definitely gets in, but near the wheel well there are holes, about a half inch in diameter. All the water that collects in the pontoons drains out these holes. No smell in this trailer. I have a 4500 which had a pretty strong musty smell. So I drilled similar holes. The first three were dry, but on the rear road side, the water came pouring out for quite some time. I plan to get screen fittings that I can snap into these holes, to keep the bugs out.

As for your belly band issue, the quick fix is to clean off all the sealant and re-apply. If silicone was used, getting it off is no small job. Silicone is not appropriate to use on fibreglass. Use something like Mono Ultra instead.

There is a much longer term fix, but it is a bit of a big job.
My First Belly Band Thread
My Second Belly Band Thread

There are links, in the first belly band thread, to other peoples threads on the same subject. The second thread details the process on one of my 4500's. I have not painted either of them yet.

I don't mean to scare you, but there are three jobs that every classic Trillium will eventually require service on.
The belly band leaks
The door sags (all fibreglass trailers do this eventually)
The plywood around the window rots.

There are several threads on all three of these jobs.
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:47 PM   #5
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Thank you

Hello Dave,
Well, wish you were my next door neighbor, I'd take you out for lunch and talk story. Have much to learn. Will go through the paperwork and look in the 'hips' of the Trillium for leaks.
Until we chat again, gracci!
Kate
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:50 PM   #6
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I'm curious about these holes in your cantaloupe. I have a '74 Trillium 1300 that currently has a leak on the rear road side (I'm pretty sure its a window leak) and the water puddles on the outboard dip in the floor of the rear bench behind the freshwater tank. From what you describe, it sounds like there is space in between the inner fiberglass I see when I open the bench and the outer "pontoon" fiberglass that dips down outside the frame rails. Is that correct? Does the hole you describe open into that space or actually create an opening into the trailer?
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Old 09-27-2013, 02:25 PM   #7
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Mark, In the Cantaloupe, the bottom of the storage locker, under the seats of the dinette, are open to the pontoons. The plywood that runs under the dinette ends where the pontoon dips down. I am not sure why, on later Trilliums, they cover this up with the plywood that runs under the dinette, and right to the outside wall of the trailer.

So to answer your question, there is a space between the flat bottom of the locker and the fibreglass of the pontoon. Water can collect in that space. The four holes I drilled are not visible from inside the 4500, but I can see the holes that came with the Cantaloupe. One is only visible though the hole in the side of the trailer, since it is inside the kitchen cupboard. There are only three on the Cantaloupe, they did not drill one under the door.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:39 PM   #8
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Hi Bill & Kate, to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here!

There are lots of kind and helpful people here on the forums, I see you've met a couple.

THANKS for posting the pictures! Nice looking Trillium
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:10 PM   #9
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We have our trailer in at an RV place to have the bellyband recaulked. We thought of getting the trailer professionally detailed to protect the fiberglass. Do ya'll think this really helps or is something to make her more attractive? They say it will cost $350 for the detail, involving waxing and buffing.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billkateposs View Post
We have our trailer in at an RV place to have the bellyband recaulked. We thought of getting the trailer professionally detailed to protect the fiberglass. Do ya'll think this really helps or is something to make her more attractive? They say it will cost $350 for the detail, involving waxing and buffing.
Repeat after me NO SILICONE! Don't let this "professional" place convince you it's the best to use on the exterior surface. You will be sorry if you go along with that thinking, I PROMISE you.

If you don't mind some sweat equity, you can get a wonderfully clean trailer that shines, shines, shines by spending <$20. I'll let those that have done it describe the steps.

Best of luck!
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:06 AM   #11
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Hey Donna, Thanks for writing. Is there a place here to describe the steps on shining our 'Marian' up? No silicone, eh?
Kate
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:12 AM   #12
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No, no silicone! It will fail after three years, or so, then NOTHING will stick where it was. It almost takes sandpaper to get it off.

The magic trick to a good shine, is ...... wait for it ..... floor polish. Zep wet look, available at Home Depot.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:15 AM   #13
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Zep, eh? Another new thing to learn. We should bring her home this weekend, then learn how to pull her and how to back up. Took 10 minutes with my husband and neighbor to back Marian down a block last Saturday! Thanks for writing.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:02 PM   #14
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Wink Dolly wheel

Hello again, I reckon we'll be experts once we're through this process. Just learned that we would need a different tongue to attach a dolly wheel to the hitch. Is this true? Does Trillium make a dolly wheel that fits its 1977 4500 models. Thanks for your advice!
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