New '73 Trillium Owner in BC, Canada - Our Project Begins - Fiberglass RV

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Old 09-26-2017, 12:19 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Scott
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
Posts: 8
Talking New '73 Trillium Owner in BC, Canada - Our Project Begins

Hello all,

We just bought our first fiberglass trailer, a 1973 13' Trillium, after lots of searching and brainstorming for our winter ski chalet / adventure-mobile. I've been trawling through these forums in the lead up to buying for quite some time now, getting ideas for how we will tackle repairs and upgrades.

Structurally, it seems to be in very good shape with no rust or cracks on the frame, and axle, the wheels looks good. We're towing with a 2010 Toyota Matrix, rated 1500 lb towing capacity, and it surprised us how well it did on our hilly, twisty drive home from Kamloops to Vancouver.

Some preliminary water testing shows us that there are two minor leaks (one at the rear tail light, and one under the front window), which we'll seal up with caulking temporarily before fully sanding down the exterior, removing windows, door, fittings, belly band and repainting, resealing everything. Very excited to give it a fresh new look!

As for the interior, it's overall very clean and there are no signs of water damage or mildew. The ensolite and most of the fiberglass cabinets/benches have been painted a light purple (see photo), which we're keen to get to a more neutral white. For repainting the interior - we plan to remove the cabinet doors, hinges, all fittings etc, give everything a solid clean (different forums have recommended different products (Tilex?) and then wipe down with water), then prime and repaint the ensolite and cabinets.
- Q1] I've read that KILZ is a good primer for the ensolite, can this also be used for the original cabinets? Is it ok to prime over the painted ensolite (and cabinets)?
- Q2] What type of paint do you recommend for the Ensolite / Cabinets? I've read about using latex based for the ensolite, and enamel paint for the cabinets?
- Q3] I read this thread which seems to have found a good solution to retaping the ensolite seams with a product called "permastik anti skid tape" and "3M Super 90" spray adhesive, but it seems to be either out of stock or only available in black anywhere I look for it. Any thoughts on using the black tape and painting it? Willing to prime and apply a few coats, but not keen on black coming through. Anyone have any thoughts on alternatives?

The cushions for the back table/bed have been recently recovered and the foam is in good shape (looks pretty new, no stains). There is a sink that has been disconnected (likely just had a bucket underneath drain) icebox/fridge has been removed, and there is no furnace. There is a 2-burner stove connected to a propane tank, but previous owners said they've never used it and I'd like to get it checked before trying. As we plan to use it in the ski season primarily - getting a furnace / heater system working is a priority. We'd also like to hook the sink up to a hand pump system, and eventually to reinstall an icebox.

- Q3] For the furnace/heater, from what I have read it sounds like the Atwood Everest 7900 series is what may have originally been used in the Trillium, but it seems to be fairly large (21.5" long), and im not sure that would fit in the cabinet (either under sink / stove or tall cupboard next to door). I will measure the depth of both tomorrow. Any idea where the original would have fit (did all Trilliums have a heater / furnace)? We will be using it in the winter and would like a heater of some kind, but have also winter camped and have warm sleeping bags.. would we be able to get away with an alternative to a full-on furnace? Currently there is no battery system, but that's also on the list as we plan to primarily use it without service connection ("boondocking"?). I know that if using a system that isnt directly vented to the outside that we would need to leave a window open a crack for ventilation with an LP system. In any case we will be using CO / LP / Fire detectors.

Other items on our project list include:
- complete exterior refinish (remove windows/doors etc, sand, reseal, prime and repaint).
- replacing vinyl flooring with something durable, but decent looking (will be putting ski boots on in there!)
- replacing foam padding / recovering the back bench/bunk (previous owners kindly left us some left-over material from the main cushioning recovering, we'll need to measure to see if there's enough).
- Adding a sink faucet, and removable water tank (weekend size that we can bring up in the car so that it wont freeze while we're away) with a hand pump system.
- replace kitchen table
- make solid wood counter top block/sink cover
- replace curtains
.... likely more to come!

Thanks to everyone in advance for the help, will be sure to take photos throughout and to document the process.

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Element89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 05:33 AM   #2
Junior Member
Name: Brenda
Trailer: Trillium
Prince Edward Island
Posts: 4
Excited to see your progress

I just purchased a '77 Trillium 1300 on the east coast of PEI. I am excited to see the transformation of your camper and hear the advice you get. I am taking on the same project as well but not as a ski lodge.

b4240m is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2017, 07:49 AM   #3
Senior Member
Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Posts: 2,739
your trillium

Best of luck to you and have fun out there

best regards

k0wtz is offline   Reply With Quote


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