Hi, we're Anna, Colin and Tilly the Trilly - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-29-2016, 08:12 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Anna
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 1
Question Hi, we're Anna, Colin and Tilly the Trilly

Hello Fiberglass Nation!

We bought a 77' Trillium 1300 recently and are getting her ready to hit the road for a cross country trip in August (Vermont to Oregon). We are virgin RV owners and novice to pretty much everything about it.

My first concern is tow weight. Our vehicle is a 2008 Subaru Outback 4 cyl. We are planning to get a transmission cooler installed. Our title says 900 lbs--which seems verrrry light to me. She doesn't have a fridge, a large propane tank, or any extras, but has a 16 gal water tank. Trying to estimate her weight loaded with gear and water. Ballpark guesses?

I'm also trying to determine whether a trickle solar panel (which was included) will be enough to maintain her charge at the several national park campsites we will be staying in with no shore power. We just ordered a multimeter to try to get a sense of how power flows. Only things using power are lights, fan, and outlets for charging electronics.

She's mostly ready to go, but needs a few things that I'd appreciate affordable recommendations for:

A new group 27 battery--best brand/retailer?
A new spare tire
A solar setup (if trickle won't be sufficient)

Glad to have found this community! So excited to learn more.

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Old 06-29-2016, 09:24 AM   #2
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Jon in AZ's Avatar
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
Posts: 3,570

You might want to check out the thread "Trailer Weights in the Real World" in the "General Chat" section of the forum. Post #297 links to a spreadsheet of the data.

Ballpark, I'd guess 1500-1700 pounds loaded. With a smaller tow vehicle you might want to leave the water tank empty until you arrive at your destination. Bring drinking water in smaller containers if you're concerned about taste or quality.

Check dates on the tires- they should be replaced after 5-7 years regardless of tread. Manufacture date is stamped in the sidewall as WWYY (week and year). Make sure they're inflated to the maximum sidewall pressure. May want to have the bearings serviced, too, if you don't know the maintenance history.

Happy camping!

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Old 06-29-2016, 10:02 AM   #3
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The Minimalist's Avatar
Name: Clif
Trailer: 08 Weiscraft Little Joe 14 Subaru Outback 2.5i CVT
Posts: 556
Welcome to the forum.

That 900 lbs on the title is usually the dry weight before options are added and the trailer is loaded for camping.

The first thing you should do is go to this site:


This spreadsheet is based, for the most part, on actual trailer weights taken at various FGRV gatherings as folks arrived, so they reflect the weights of trailers loaded to travel.

I think there is only one Trillium 1300 listed, but you can get an idea from the other 13 footers; Scamp, Boler, Casita, etc. What you can expect.

The next thing you want to do is check your owners manual to see what your Outback is rated to tow. According to Edmund's the '08 Outback is rated for 2700 lbs. Actually I tow a Weiscraft Little Joe with a 2014 Outback 2.5i CVT. On the 2014 that 2700 lb tow rating is WITH trailer brakes, so you will likely need those if the trailer doesn't already have them, as well a a brake controller in the tow vehicle (TV). Also, current Outbacks and likely your '08 are limited to a 200 lb tongue weight. Your owners manual is your best guide.

In addition to a new spare, you may want to check the age of the tires on the ground. Trailer tires are better changed by age than by wear, as over the years they can dry rot and, despite little tread wear, blow out. Go here to find how to find and read the date code on your tires:

What is a tire date code and where do I find it? | TireBuyer.com

Regarding the battery, how old is it and more importantly how long has it been sitting around. If it has been unused for a number of seasons, it would be best to change it. Get a deep cycle battery. A group 27 Deep Cycle should be good for 85 to 100 amp hours. Some folks are going to AGM batteries, which are great if the battery is inside the trailer, but if it's on the tongue, save your money.

To answer the solar question, you/we need more information. Specifically what is your expected usage. You can find some good information on 12 volt systems, maintenance and usage here:


As regards usage, one of the best ways to reduce usage is to replace incandescent bulbs in the trailer with LED.

Solar will be necessary if you plan to stay at places without electricity. (Note: my Little Joe is solar.) Normally, if you have AC available, the converter charges the battery, but on a trailer that old, you would do better with some sort of smart charger, as the older converters were known to overcharge batteries.

Good luck with your preparations. There are lots of folks here willing to help, when we get more information.
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:08 AM   #4
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WaltP's Avatar
Name: Walter
Trailer: 2002 BigFoot 17'
SW Virginia
Posts: 831
I recommend finding a truck stop and getting it weighed on a CAT scale.
Easy to do and only costs about $10.
One thing that will help a lot is replacing all incandescent bulbs with LEDs.
A trickle charger likely won't help much. They are mostly useful to maintain charge when in storage. A 50 watt solar charger would keep you going indefinitely.

Congratulations on your new egg and all the fun you'll have with her.

Past owner of 1995 13' Casita, 1994 16' Casita, 2012 Parkliner.
Current owner of 2002 17' Bigfoot
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:10 AM   #5
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The Minimalist's Avatar
Name: Clif
Trailer: 08 Weiscraft Little Joe 14 Subaru Outback 2.5i CVT
Posts: 556
Ditto on the bearing service. Check all the running gear for that matter; tires, hitch, safety chains, axle and suspension.

One thing on the tires; check the wear pattern on the tires. Uneven wear, inside or outside or cupping, can point to suspension/axle issues .
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:34 AM   #6
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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
A reasonable estimate of the weight of a Trillium 1300 is about 1500 lbs. How you load it affects this.

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