Trillium 4500 in Altadena - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-17-2018, 07:47 PM   #15
Senior Member
Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 1,701
Is that a ground wire hose clamped to your copper propane lines? If it is might want to rethink that.

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Old 10-21-2018, 08:30 AM   #16
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Name: Mikael
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 8
Trillium 4500 in Altadena - Converter/Propane, Window leaks

Thanks for the welcome, Diane, Steve, and Mike & Gail !

I agree, Steve, the proximity of the propane and the electrical converter is a concern. (photo posting previously in thread). If any of the more experienced folks know what's going on here, I'd love to hear about it.

And yes, Steve, the previous owner LOVED her Trillium. She's a friendly acquaintance, and I just mentioned how adorable her trailer is and she brought me inside, radiating warmth & enthusiasm, and told me it's for immediate sale (... the new rig she's getting is a little larger). Just the night before, my dearest Cindy and I had talked about getting to a few National Parks this year. The ideas converged and suddenly I was figuring out what a 7-way plug is, what a brake controller does, and where do I get a hitch ball! Turns out my 2000 Ford F-150 is great, you can order a pre-made wiring harness online, the brake controller plugs right in under the dash, and the V8 engine has plenty of pull.

Some high wind recently knocked out our home's power for a day. Trillium fridge & freezer to the rescue! We had NO food spoilage -- the ice cream didn't even melt! Having a self-contained survival pod in the driveway sure comes in handy.

We recently got a little rain too, revealing 3 places where water is getting in. I suspected the rear window, cleaned away the silicone and removed the snap-on plastic edging. I found each of the rusty-looing screws on top comes with it's own fiberglass crack or two! This seems like a job for some super-strong marine sealant in the cracks. Then I plan to re-caulk with window using Sikaflex 221 or Pro Flex RV to make it through this winter. The larger project of removing and reinstalling the windows with fresh butyl tape will have to come later.

Next weekend's rally at Lake Casitas sounds like a hoot, but we have plans already for Friday night. Were still considering driving the 100 miles up there on Saturday with no reservations and taking our chances!

Thanks again, folks, for the advice and encouragement,
-- Mikael, the Trill
(from 20 years ago in just one episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine where I played the brother of Ezri Dax, who is also a Trill :-)
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:04 AM   #17
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Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
Posts: 4,628

Love the new rig, it looks a lot like mine did when I got it 13 years and many thousands of miles ago. I'm planning some major projects/repairs this winter since as the cowboys say it's been rode hard and put away wet- I've always been too busy USING it to actually work on it.
My opinions for what they're worth:
-The location of the new converter near the gas lines is no cause for concern, as David points out many converters mine included were installed right next to the gas line that feeds the heater. That said, I'm mystified by the use of it as a ground connection for the converter. Better to just swap that to the trailer ground or better yet ground it directly to the frame as is likely the case with the original converter. Which in my opinion should just be removed, it likely only serves as a junction box now and may in fact interfere with the efficient operation of the NEw converter.
- Per the catalytic heater: replacing the original gravity fed heater with a catalytic was one of my first mods and I love it for its far more efficient use of fuel and better heat production. But the condensation produced is a real drag. . The main difficulty is that in colder weather the water condenses on the walls and gets the bedding wet, if you're not a cold weather boondocker this wouldn't be a problem for you. This problem is limited to trailers like the Trillium with smooth, washable walls, those finished with fabric wallcoverings don't seem to have it. My heater's installed in the same location as yours but in a recess created by a steel box. It's also hard plumbed directly to the trailer gas line, the hinges shown in your pic seem to indicate to me that yours may be on a flexible line of some kind, probably rubber- is that right? If so that's definitely a safety hazard, not "code" so far as any such things exists for trailers and should be changed to hard plumbing.
Per the door hinges:
DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!!!! DO NOT ENTER THE DEATH SPIRAL OF TRYING TO MATE THE MOLDING LINES TO THOSE ON THE TRAILER!!!! lol, just kidding, a little. There's a defect in the trailer mold that prevents this from being possible so don't be distracted by it. Your hingebolts definitely need tightening but maybe little more. If it closes/latches/clears the lower lip of the frame just leave it as is. I wish I had!
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:34 PM   #18
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
North Carolina
Posts: 1,683
Window removal, reseal and reinstallation should take four hours or less, depending on the condition of the wood framing underneath. I did an easy window, no serious problems, in about two hours. For the worst (front window) which also required removing the rock guard/awning, it was more like four hours (two wood frame pieces rotted out).

Cracks look superficial, just in the gelcoat. Pull some of the screws, if some of the threads are rotted away, then the wood is wet and leaking.
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Old 11-29-2018, 08:35 AM   #19
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Name: Mikael
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 8
Trillium 4500 in Altadena - caulking, propane hose, door hinge

Thanks so much for the comments, Francesca and Bill!

Frankly, Bill, I'm chicken to pull out the windows because of the whole "can of worms" factor. Since I'm brand new here, I'm afraid of starting a job that I may not be able to finish neatly. I'm sure I'll get to them one day.

Since I had only found a few drips in the trailer, I opted to apply Sikaflex 221 in Colonial White around the windows and belly band to make it through this winter. We just had our second rain of the year and I'm happy to say it's bone dry in the Trillium! Attached are a couple photos of my caulking job. Have plenty of paper towels and paint thinner around when working with this stuff. Once applied, you have a limited time to smooth it out with your paint-thinner-soaked finger. Touch it maybe 2 or 3 times to smooth it ... if you continue to mess with it, I found it can start catching on your finger and getting bumpy.

Once you open the Sikaflex 221 tube, you have just use it and throw away the remainder, no saving it for later. I did the caulking on two separate days, and had an easier time working with the material when it was 75 degrees (Fahrenheit) than when it was 60 degrees out. I'm so happy I read in the forums to use painters tape -- this really helped me keep it neat.

About 18" of the belly band had a sizable gap where it had pulled away from the shell. Another tip from the forum suggested some super strong 2-sided tape (or mounting squares) in between, then pressing the belly band back in contact with the shell. I did my best and it worked, but I don't know how long it's going to hold.

Francesca, you guessed right! Behind my heater is a bit of hose in the propane line. Having the heater on a hinge allows it to be used pointing at the kitchen sink, or with the heater swung open pointing at the dinette. The previous owner mentioned this feature, and how nice it is to sit at the front dinette and have the heat radiating right on your legs. The hose seems to flex in a reasonable spiral without stressing the attachment points to much. Any chance this could be safe to use? Or is hose in the propane line always a bad idea?

One major concern remains and that's the door. It's about to fall off the hinges. Top hinge has one screw holding in the door and one screw holding in the shell. The other screws are stripped out and loose and wobbly. Many have been replaced with fatter screws already. Bottom hinge just as bad. No worries, Francesca, I won't be concerned about matching up the molding lines in the door, I just don't want the thing falling off. I like to have a backup plan in mind, and I don't really know how I might re-attach the door temporarily should it get pulled off during a trip.

I have seen several detailed forum posts about the Trillium door, and some kits available. I have plenty of reading and more learning ahead from you more knowledgable folks as I figure out what steps to take next.
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Old 11-29-2018, 08:46 AM   #20
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
North Carolina
Posts: 1,683
I'm debating door repair options myself. Do I go all out, cut through the fiberglass on the inside, replace the surely rotted out plywood with something not affected by water, or do I do something less involved.

In the end, I'll probably do the involved solution.

With these old Trilliums the choice is either do it yourself or pay someone you trust to do it for you. There is no one in my area that I would trust so it’s on me.

The third choice is to find one of those really rare ones where a former owner did all the work for you. I had a chance 3 years ago or so to buy one from Randy Bishop. My mistake.

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