Hello, this is janel. A travel trailer virgin. - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 11-01-2015, 07:06 AM   #15
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Kai in Seattle's Avatar
Name: Kathleen (Kai in Seattle)
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973
Posts: 766
Hi, Janet...

Better to regret the trailer you didn't get than the one you did.

Yesterday our "shell" was pulled from the frame, which at least appears to have rusted through in two places. The axle is from 1973 and the only wheel rims that fit on it are very strange, also from 1973. So...we don't know how far we'll have to go to fix the frame, not yet, and are considering a new axle and 3 new rims--the tires are at least 7 years old, time to replace them, too.

It's fun to watch the stages of updating once all the construction/frame/rot/etc. type things are finished, and the personalization begins...but we are months away from that.

Wishing you best luck with your search...one day you may decide to just buy one and do what it takes, but it's better if it's your decision, not just whoops! Sounds like you did very well checking that one out! Good for you!

Kai with the brown pumpkin shell sitting in the driveway day after Halloween, 2015.

"Break out another thousand!"

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Old 11-01-2015, 07:07 AM   #16
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Jon in AZ's Avatar
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
Posts: 3,560
A new axle is $600-800 installed, and you end up with a brand new axle, good for another 20 years or so, and you can add brakes, a major safety upgrade lacking on many vintage 13'ers. It's a fairly straightforward replacement. If the price reflected the need for a new axle, I wouldn't necessarily pass on an otherwise nice trailer.

A better way to check axle arm movement is to bring a small floor jack with you when you inspect (you'll need one anyway as a trailer owner). Jack up the trailer on the frame near the axle and watch for the axle arms to drop an inch or two.

A rotten floor, on the other hand, is definitely a reason to run!

Trilliums have a fiberglass-encased floor, so feeling for sponginess is the only way to check. A lot of other brands do not encase the floor in fiberglass, so you can inspect inside cabinets (where the sub floor may be exposed) with a flashlight and screwdriver. Look for water stains and tap around with the handle of the screwdriver listening for soft spots. Pay special attention to the outer perimeter under windows and wherever there is plumbing. With some brands you can look underneath as well, if there isn't a layer of fiberglass on the bottom. Again, look for water stains and tap around for soft spots.

Based on Kai's experience, brand new finish flooring in a trailer is a signal to be extra cautious. What are they trying to conceal? Most folks wouldn't install brand new flooring right before selling.

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Old 11-01-2015, 05:47 PM   #17
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Bill Schreurs's Avatar
Name: Bill
Trailer: 1970's Boler, 1970 Bluebird Wanderlodge and 1999 Georgetown
British Columbia
Posts: 16
Hello, this is janel. A travel trailer virgin.


Ahhhh, just jump in with both feet, have fun fixing and remodeling and enjoy life to the fullest.
All you need is time and money, go for it.

When you remodel, it will be exactly the way you want it, you will know how it is all put together and when you are on the road, you can fix it all if it breaks down.
Bill and Vadie
1974 Boler 13' "Sad Shack"
1970SP Bluebird Wanderlodge
1999 Forest River Georgetown 325
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:55 AM   #18
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David Tilston's Avatar
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Posts: 5,281
Originally Posted by janel View Post
I visited the trillium today. First viewed axle swing arms as friend jumped around inside and on the tounge. No deflection at all. Nada. Left with bank account in tact. Will continue search. It was difficult not to be beguiled by cuteness. Thanks everyone for your help, interest and advice
Ummm..... Axles do wear, (age?) out. I would have used that as a bargaining point.

I bought a car with a badly cracked wind shield. Kinda made it a better deal, since I would be getting a new one. Nothing like a new wind shield.

A new axle is like that. Negotiate the price down based on the need for a new axle, then enjoy the benefits of a new axle, (and brakes).

Maybe keep this trailer in mind as you keep looking. A 4500 is a nice trailer.

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