Hi, I'm new and need help fixing up a much loved and somewhat beat up Trillium 4500. - Fiberglass RV



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Old 05-10-2019, 07:59 PM   #1
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Name: Trish
Trailer: Trilliium 4500 "Fiber McGee"
Ontario
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Hi, I'm new and need help fixing up a much loved and somewhat beat up Trillium 4500.

Not handy myself, I have no idea where to start or where to go in eastern Ontario for professional advice. Door hinge has detached from side panel. Carpet, cushion foam and upholstery need to be replaced, weather striping around door needs to be replaced.Would like to install a heater--is that even possible? I think the electrical cable is missing . . . The exterior needs some TLC--wax? paint?
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:18 AM   #2
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Name: Kathleen (Kai: ai as in wait)
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area, Washington
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Hi, excuse me for being Nelly Negative, but could you ask one question at a time, each in its own thread, and maybe send a pic of that exact issue? Particularly things such as what to do with the outside.

We have answers for many problems here--FGRV helped us immeasurably in 2015-2016 when we gutted and redid our 1973 Amerigo FG-16, everything from why the added brake light was weird to fiberglassing over 82 holes. Cushions, curtains, door frame, you name it.


My best hopes to you for a great fun time redoing and then wonderful happy camping!


In retrospect, we bit off a LOT...and had a wonderful time solving all the issues one by one, and FGRV were the helpers looking over our shoulders encouraging and offering wonderful advice.


BEST

"K"
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:37 AM   #3
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Name: George
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Hi Trish,

I bought and rebuilt a T4500 about 5 years ago and am in Toronto. If you want to contact me or know what I did, let me know if you are near me? I have a furnace that I don't need/use and some other items that I have removed. The cushion covers and curtains are best done if you can buy a cheap sewing machine and learn to use it. Cheers George
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:00 AM   #4
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Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
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The hinge on a Trillium is a kason no. 139 refrigerator hinge with a 3/8" offset. I got a spare set from McMaster Carr years ago. They may still sell them. If its pulled away ftom the body then most likely the wood it was scewed into has rotted. The best way to fix this is to locate the support pillar inside next to the door ( vertical bump) , peel back the wall covering and cut access holes to get to the rotten wood. Then you can either replace the wood or make a metal plate and use bolts to hold the hinge. While it sounds daunting, a drill and a hack saw blade is all you need.

A fellow often recommended for repair/parts is Paul Neumeister. You might give him a call.

Fibreglass RV Parts, Repairs, and Service by Paul Neumeister

You should use the search feature to research your other issues. This site is a gold mine of information. Enjoy your Trillium
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:28 AM   #5
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Name: Trish
Trailer: Trilliium 4500 "Fiber McGee"
Ontario
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Door hinge detached

Raz, Thank you! This is exactly the step-by-step help I need. Your directions are so clear, I may even be able to do it myself. (Did I mention that I'm not handy?) I'll report back on progress. I notice you suggest replacing the screws with bolts. Is that only if I use a metal plate?
Trish
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Old 05-11-2019, 01:18 PM   #6
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Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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Sounds like you bought a project. A good covered work area can really help. I bought my 1977 Trillium last September as a project, and I am still working on it. I've done quite a bit but more to follow. Just finished the belly band, it took me longer than others for sure.

Projects are best suited for people with the time/tools/aptitude/covered workspace. Hard to find people that will do the work for you, and it can get expensive fast. In my area, none of the RV repair people would know what to do with a FG trailer. So I would be stuck seeking out boat repair people. Likely repair labor rates would be between $75 to $100 per hour. Lets see, so far I have about 200 hours into my Trillium. 200 x $100 = WOW!

Working on these trailers can be fun. Trilliums did have some known flaws unique to Trillium: door hinge mounts, belly band; and then some flaws that are common to most of the vintage FG trailers: body to frame bolts, worn out axles, leaking windows, mediocre electrical system, use of particle board on cabinet doors, etc.

Replacing the furnace is a big ask as the room is limited and the old furnace was based on a gravity system that is no longer used. Trilliums have wider aisles than some other trailers out there. The aisle is wider because the cabinets are shallower. New RV stuff (like refrigerators for example) are deeper and do not fit without modification to the cabinet.

I would like to put a propane furnace in my Trillium 1300 but its way down the list.

Painting the outside is my very last choice of what to do on the outside. First, it is very time consuming to prep it right. Secondly the paint is not cheap. Third, you lose the "permanent" outside finish the trailer came with: gel coat. Endless threads on polishing the outside.

Go to the Trillium section of this forum (see upper right tab: manufacturers) and start reading the threads. Lots of people have refurbished their Trilliums.

On my hinge replacement/repair, I used a combination of screws and bolts.
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanukid View Post
Raz, Thank you! This is exactly the step-by-step help I need. Your directions are so clear, I may even be able to do it myself. (Did I mention that I'm not handy?) I'll report back on progress. I notice you suggest replacing the screws with bolts. Is that only if I use a metal plate?
Trish

worth a thousand words....

Look here:
Trillium Hinge Repair
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:32 AM   #8
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Name: Trish
Trailer: Trilliium 4500 "Fiber McGee"
Ontario
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Trillium door hinge

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. After careful consideration of my deficiencies (no covered place to work, no tools, and no skills) I have decided to take my Egg to an experienced fibreglass repair guy who works on boats, RVs and Ski-Doos. It will cost me his bench rate, but it will save me endless hours of aggravation and frustration and probably a trip to him eventually to clean up my mess. For him, it's a quick, easy job; for me, it would be weeks and weeks of struggle when I could be on the road, enjoying myself.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:45 AM   #9
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Trish, definitely post info on the craftsman you are using and the results with pics, etc. Thanks. Oh and good luck!!
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:56 AM   #10
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Name: Trish
Trailer: Trilliium 4500 "Fiber McGee"
Ontario
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John,
The guy's name is Marc Beaudin, and his company is FibroMobil. His shop is located north of Gananoque, Ontario, which is about halfway between Toronto and Montreal. I live half an hour away, north of Kingston. Marc works on some very high end boats and RVs, and what I saw of his work leaves me no worries. He promised to send me pix as the work progresses, as he does with all his customers. I'll pass them on here. Trish
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Old 05-20-2019, 01:08 PM   #11
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Name: Trish
Trailer: Trilliium 4500 "Fiber McGee"
Ontario
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Trilllium door hinge

Thanks everyone for your suggestions, but I'd rather be camping than fixing my Egg. I have neither the tools, the workspace, nor the skill to do this myself. Hence my decision to hire a professional whose bench rate, $110/hr., is very reasonable, especially considering the high level of craftsmanship. (He mostly works on VERY expensive boats.)
Here is his step-by step description of his process. I have photos but don't know how to post them.
Trish
"We cut through the outside skin to expose the rotten wood, all of which we removed.
Then we refilled the space with 3M V-ester reinforced filler, which is like liquid rock.
Then fiberglass over the filler with 3 layers of roving with polyester resin.
Shape fill, prime and paint.
The paint is just brushed on but looks good.
I then drilled new holes into the solid core, which is fully water proof.
I used stainless steel screws to re-install the door and adjusted the latch."
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Old 05-20-2019, 02:52 PM   #12
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At an hourly rate of $ 110 for your trailer repairs, the cost can mount quickly out of control. Pictures these days are simple when everyone has a cell-phone. That does not make me feel any more comfortable. Just maintain a tight budget control on that project, or it can quickly end up costing more than a newer one.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:34 PM   #13
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Name: Trish
Trailer: Trilliium 4500 "Fiber McGee"
Ontario
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Trillium door hinge

George,
You're right. However, the job is finished and cost $300, even though it took Marc longer than he originally expected. My Egg looks as good as new and the door latch works even better. End of project, and worth it. I didn't have much choice; I couldn't use the trailer with the door hanging half off. Minor stuff i can do; this was anything but.
I appreciate that so many folks here are ferocious DIYers, and I admire that. But I'm not one unless it's a straightforward fix.
BTW, his bench rate is the same as the local rate charged by auto mechanics. I don't work on my own car, either.

As for posting pix, I don't have a cellphone, but I have a digital camera and a new laptop. I find this web site confusing to use.
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:35 PM   #14
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Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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If they haven't been done lately, three items that always come up on vintage Trilliums"

1. Body to frame bolts. They will be rotten.

2. Belly band, known leak source.

3. Window seals, known leak source.

Removing the belly band, grinding it down, removing the rotten metal plates, patching the fiberglass, painting, and finally added body side moulding took me about 40 hours. And it is a very messy job. Removing windows, replacing rotten wood, installing new butyl tape and reinstalling windows was probably at least 20 hours. Body to frame bolts, more like 4 hours. But I also had to get tabs welded to the frame.

Some can probably do this work faster. On the other hand, my estimates of time may well be understated as I did not carefully log time spent.
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