Tim in Portland - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-15-2017, 01:49 PM   #1
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Trillium
Oregon
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Tim in Portland

Hi, I'm Tim in Portland. I discovered the excitement surrounding these little fiberglass trailers (mostly through this forum) this summer and decided that a dinette+bunk type setup under 2000 lbs would be perfect for my family of four. I managed to get myself a used/classic one - a 77 trillium 4500. It looks like it's In great shape for a 40 year old rig, but has mostly original components so I'm sure there will be at least small things to fix up.

Are there any trillium owners or fanatics in the Portland OR area that would be interested in giving my egg a once over and advice for getting it in optimal camping shape? I for sure want to make sure it's safe before I decide to tow it very far or run the ancient gas appliances with family inside or drink water from the funky looking holding tank.

Thanks in advance!
Tim
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:08 PM   #2
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Tim in Portland

Welcome, Tim, and congratulations on the new Trillium!

You would do well to take it to an RV tech to pressure test the LP system and check all LP appliances. That's one thing best left to a certified technician unless you have the training yourself. Install smoke, CO, and LP detectors, and you're set.

Nice looking trailer. I'm a little jealous of the extra room in your 4500, not to mention the vintage jalousie windows. Enjoy!
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:01 PM   #3
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Trillium
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Thanks Jon!

I'm really happy with the design of this one. It seems really well taken care of to boot. My kids have named it Bella... short for beluga.

I assumed that RV shops in general are more geared to the newer/larger variety of RV and see few of this type. I guess an LP tank is an LP tank though and has not changed much through the years. I will find a local RV shop to check the lines as you suggest. The detectors also are a great suggestion in case any hoses lose their integrity.

I'm sure I'll be back on here with questions for the trillium forums as I get to know the ins and outs.

Cheers
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:01 PM   #4
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What a nice looking rig you got there Tim. The 4500 is just a great trailer all around. You'll find lots of expertise on here from your fellow Trillium owners, and I haven't seen a question they can't answer. Happy camping!
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:26 AM   #5
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
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More suggestions:

- Get the wheel bearings checked/greased if this hasn't been done
- The fresh water tank, fill line and line to the sink faucet should be cleaned if you plan to use this for washing dishes, etc. Many folks don't use fresh water tank for drinking and cooking.
- One procedure for cleaning the fresh water tank is to use a quarter cup of household bleach for every fifteen gallons of water, leave in the tank for at least 12 hours, move the solution inside the tank by towing. Then flush the solution out the faucet(s).
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:03 AM   #6
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Hi Tim in Portland, from Donna D. in Portland.

Nice find, sorry I can't help much as I don't really know a whole lot about Trilliums. BUT if you want to know much more, think about coming to the Fall NOG in October held at Silver Falls State Park. You'll meet several people who have lots of information about the brand because they're former owners. Find all the information you need here:

2017 Fall NOG - Oct. 5-8 - Northern Oregon Gathering, Silver Falls State Park
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimtice View Post
...I assumed that RV shops...see few of this type. I guess an LP tank is an LP tank though and has not changed much through the years. I will find a local RV shop to check the lines as you suggest. The detectors also are a great suggestion in case any hoses lose their integrity...
The Pacific Northwest seems to have more than its share of small, vintage molded fiberglass trailers, so you may be surprised. In any case, LP systems haven't changed much in 40 years, so they will know what to do.

One thing that has changed is RV furnaces. It appears from the vent by the door that yours has one, and it looks like it might be an old-style gravity furnace. I've heard reports some shops will not touch them, but others will. They were phased out in favor of modern forced air furnaces because the surface of the grille can get hot enough to cause injury if touched. Other than that, they are a desirable way to heat a trailer because they are vented (exhaust gases go outside), quiet (no blower motor), and unpowered (no battery draw). Boondockers love them. Obviously it's important that it be in good working order, no rust or damage to the heat exchanger, clean burners and functioning control unit. If you do have one, it would be worth the trouble to look for a shop that is willing to take a look at it.

Just an FYI... you can easily buy battery-powered smoke and CO detectors at Walmart or any hardware store and install yourself. LP detectors have to be hardwired into the 12V system. Smoke detectors are mounted high, CO detectors mid-level (CO is neutral in relation to air; sleeping level is best), and LP detectors are mounted low (propane sinks). Make sure to get a kitchen-type smoke detector with a "snooze" button because even a simple thing like boiling water in a small trailer can set it off.

Looking forward to more pictures of Bella!
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:55 AM   #8
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Name: Deb & Chuck
Trailer: Bigfoot, Boler, Trillium, ECO, U-Haul, Burro, Escape, Trailswest, Compact Jr., Casita, Scamp
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Weight.......

First get it weighed on state certified scales to verify it is really under 2,000 pounds as you state for safety sake of your family and others on the road dependent on your tow vehicle. Number 2 - don't drink from the water tank.

Deb
( Previous owner of a Trill 5500)
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:45 AM   #9
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Name: Karl
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First get it weighed on state certified scales to verify it is really under 2,000 pounds as you state for safety sake of your family and others on the road dependent on your tow vehicle. Number 2 - don't drink from the water tank.

Deb
( Previous owner of a Trill 5500)
I got mine weighed at a place that sells landscape rock here in Ridgefield, WA.. just across the river from you.. no charge for that.. when I got our 2002 Casita I took it to RV Pro in Vancouver (just off I-5 at the 78th st Exit) and they tested everything, including the Brakes, flushed things, and only found a weak Water pump and a shorted out (rust) light fixture...the Techs there seemed to know what they were doing.
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Old 08-16-2017, 01:26 PM   #10
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It is stated to have a dry weight of 1250 and pulled easy when I brought it home. Have you found these to be inaccurate?

Deb, why no drinking from the tank? Is this a general practice or just with old plastic tanks? I had planned to bleach it out and put in new lines with a top notch filter, but definitely don't want to drink scuzzy water.

Thanks again for all the tips.
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Old 08-16-2017, 03:22 PM   #11
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That dry weight sounds low. We weighed our 1978 Trillium 4500 on a certified scale. 1480 lbs. dry and empty without propane tank.
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