Rookie questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-03-2013, 08:05 PM   #1
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Name: Sean
Trailer: Trillium 1300 (1975)
Vermont
Posts: 2
Rookie questions

Hi (finally) to everyone. I've been reading this site for quite a long time, but I now have an egg and my interest has gone from -happily learning anything- to -this. I need to know specific somethings.

First intros:
behold, in my driveway, this '75 Trillium 1300. No name, yet.
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Apologies for condition: it was a less than ideal drive home. My wife and I pulled it half the length of the NY Thruway and over the Green Mts of VT. At night. Snowing and blowing off and on for the whole ride. It could be dirtier(?). Tomorrow it will be 35degrees (F) warm enough so I can wash it (including the frame underneath).

I'm really impressed already. Its a 13' trailer and my 6' self can stand up inside and even stretch a little! My truck got 18.6 mpg driving out and 16.5 mpg dragging the trailer home. When we were on the Thruway with trailer trucks passing and wind blustering she just followed along without swaying or thrashing. Pretty solid for a trailer pushing 40 years old.

1) Was it my driving?
Frost heave season has definitely started in Vermont and the last 50 miles were.. bouncy. I thought I was being careful but on arrival home the stove grates were in the sink. The fire extinguisher was also. The heater face plate was on the floor. Is this normal? Was it my driving? Over inflated tires? Can a trailer be too empty? Do people bolt on little shock absorbers sized for Smart Cars?

2) Cover it?
I hate to re-ask a question that has been covered (almost) exhaustively in the archives, but the _right_ answer seems to be very dependent on locale. When we got the trailer, it had a tarp over it for the winter, so after I give it a bath I should tarp it? The manual says "the permanent coating is impervious to everything but Kryptonite, don't cover the trailer with plastic, the color might fade". That's not really a direct quote but it's close.

I've read many posts about moisture problems from and for folks on the Olympic peninsula and other rain forests. Do owners in the North-East use tarps, dehumidifiers, heaters, incandescent bulbs, Dry-Maxx (that might not be spelled right) or other magic to keep the ensolite from drooping, puddles forming, and mold and mildew forests at bay?

Supports?
Should I stand a 2x4 on the inside in case of more snow? This trailer has ensolite on the ceiling. will I damage that with a 2x6 (on top of the 2x4) pressing against it until spring?

Thanks for any insights,
Sean
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:12 PM   #2
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Bigfoot, Trillium, Scamp 5th Wheel
Spokane Wa. and Las Vegas, Nv.
Posts: 1,312
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Support wouldn't hurt but probably not needed. LOL! They truly are bouncy little guys. I rarely hit a destination, open my rig, and find everything where it is supposed to be. They do make little clips to hold the stove grates in place.

Nice little Trill you're going to have a lot of fun.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:30 PM   #3
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Name: Pam
Trailer: U-Haul 1985
Michigan
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If its not covered, make sure to store it either nose up or down, so the snow melt and any other water runs off. I love those great big side windows you have!
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:57 PM   #4
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Hi Sean, welcome to FiberglassRV. We're glad you're here

I found my Scamp tows better when there's some weight inside. Hopefully you'll find out the same. And yes, there are clips for the grates. What brand of stove? Maybe we can help you track some down.

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Old 03-03-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
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Name: Richard
Trailer: Trillium 1300 Nor'Easter Egg '06 Ranger Supercab 3.0L auto
Newfoundland
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Nice one! These Trilliums are great little rigs...

I opted to not tarp mine this winter - my first with it - I've seen tarps do some nasty chafing on sail and power boats over the year, especially if they get to flapping. I covered the roof vent, but that's all...

I did prop the roof from the inside - I used two 1/4"x4"x 2' pine strips (the wall paneling stuff) lodged against against the Ensolite, with 2x3's gently wedged under them to create two support 'beams'. The thin pine bends to follow the roof curve, and I sand the ends to smooth them so they don't cut into the ensolite. I doubt if even the heaviest snowfall would cause any harm without the props, but a heavy snow followed by heavy rain - well, 15 minutes to do the supports is cheap insurance...
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:32 PM   #6
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Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean in VT View Post
... My wife and I pulled it half the length of the NY Thruway and over the Green Mts of VT...

Pretty solid for a trailer pushing 40 years old.

1) Was it my driving?
...Was it my driving? Over inflated tires? Can a trailer be too empty? Do people bolt on little shock absorbers sized for Smart Cars?

2) Cover it?

Supports?
Should I stand a 2x4 on the inside in case of more snow? This trailer has ensolite on the ceiling. will I damage that with a 2x6 (on top of the 2x4) pressing against it until spring?

Thanks for any insights,
Sean
Congrats and welcome Sean,

Driving? Anything you mentioned might be a possible cause. Add to that if you have the original torsion axle or one that is over 15 years old, the rubber has hardened and you are losing the spring and shock features of a torsion axle. Ditto for tires. Radials will give you a softer ride. You might be missing the clips for the stove grates. I've changed the axle on both my trailers and consider it well worth the value. One thing you may not have considered is the frame. Give it a good inspection for cracks. There was a recall on the early ones. On a RARE occasion you may find one that has not had diamond shaped plates welded onto the frame at the front where they start to curve up.

To cover or not to cover, that is the question. Portable garages are cheap enough. You know your local snow and weather patterns.

In high snow areas, supports would not hurt. I like the flex mentioned above. I've done it with smaller sections of plywood holding up pillows. The ensolite bounces back. The trillium does not have any metal between the counter and overhead cupboards like other trailers, using some 2x2's at the ends will support a good portion of your roof. The other side is supported by the closet. My 4500 if left unsupported will show a depression in the roof at the front where it is flat.
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