First Trailer - 1979 Trillium 1300 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-18-2020, 11:02 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Jamie
Trailer: Currently shopping
Ontario
Posts: 5
First Trailer - 1979 Trillium 1300

A little over a month ago I made a post in the "Hi, I am" section about looking for our first trailer. Last night we bought a 1979 Trillium 1300. It looks to be in pretty good shape, but definitely needs some work. I followed David Tilson's checklist of things to walk away from and this seemed to pass the test.

It's probably easiest to get right into the pictures!

https://www.flickr.com/gp/188022427@N04/n9sL6k

I haven't been able to find the information sticker anywhere, so it must have been removed. I also haven't been able to find a serial number.

This one is the front dinette configuration, which is great since it'll likely be two of us staying in it most of the time.

Here are a few questions I have:

1) Is the storage above the bed original? It looks out of place to me, so I'm wondering if it was added by a previous owner. I'm thinking it was.

2) It looks like there is a hot water tap next to the sink. I haven't been able to test it out or trace where it goes yet, but was that ever a factory option?

Here's a list of repairs I need to do, but please feel free to post anything I might have missed or any tips. I'm definitely going to be going over all of the other repair posts for tips.

1) Door needs to be remounted. It sags and is difficult to close. Not sure if it's the hinges or the wood, but I'm guessing it's the wood due to some small cracks in the FG near the hinges.

2) Elephant skin and t-molding are sagging or falling off in a number of places and need to be re-attached.

3) Rear window has a leak which has caused some mould on the elephant skin in the back right corner near the bed. I'm thinking I'll need to redo all of the window frames. Do people normally redo every window at the same time? The window above the sink seems like it would be harder to do since it's behind fiberglass.

4) Cooktop is very rusty. I might clean it up, but I'm also leaning more toward replacing it with a different one.

5) One pane of the front jalousie window is cracked/broken. I'm just starting to look for a replacement pane right now. Not sure if I can just get one from a local glass shop or if I need something specific.

6) It came with some snap on leather pouches that need to be cleaned and hopefully restored. They're pretty dry and stiff, so if anyone has any tips on that please let me know.

I haven't tested the furnace yet, but I'm considering just removing it to use a space heater. Any reason other than keeping it original that I should leave the original furnace?

Aside from that, we're likely just going to freshen the inside up with some paint, new cupboard doors and some new upholstery.

Any tips or advice are much appreciated!
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Old 04-19-2020, 06:34 AM   #2
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Name: MJ
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Washington
Posts: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieT View Post
A little over a month ago I made a post in the "Hi, I am" section about looking for our first trailer. Last night we bought a 1979 Trillium 1300. It looks to be in pretty good shape, but definitely needs some work. I followed David Tilson's checklist of things to walk away from and this seemed to pass the test.

It's probably easiest to get right into the pictures!

https://www.flickr.com/gp/188022427@N04/n9sL6k

I haven't been able to find the information sticker anywhere, so it must have been removed. I also haven't been able to find a serial number.

This one is the front dinette configuration, which is great since it'll likely be two of us staying in it most of the time.

Here are a few questions I have:

1) Is the storage above the bed original? It looks out of place to me, so I'm wondering if it was added by a previous owner. I'm thinking it was.

2) It looks like there is a hot water tap next to the sink. I haven't been able to test it out or trace where it goes yet, but was that ever a factory option?

Here's a list of repairs I need to do, but please feel free to post anything I might have missed or any tips. I'm definitely going to be going over all of the other repair posts for tips.

1) Door needs to be remounted. It sags and is difficult to close. Not sure if it's the hinges or the wood, but I'm guessing it's the wood due to some small cracks in the FG near the hinges.

2) Elephant skin and t-molding are sagging or falling off in a number of places and need to be re-attached.

3) Rear window has a leak which has caused some mould on the elephant skin in the back right corner near the bed. I'm thinking I'll need to redo all of the window frames. Do people normally redo every window at the same time? The window above the sink seems like it would be harder to do since it's behind fiberglass.

4) Cooktop is very rusty. I might clean it up, but I'm also leaning more toward replacing it with a different one.

5) One pane of the front jalousie window is cracked/broken. I'm just starting to look for a replacement pane right now. Not sure if I can just get one from a local glass shop or if I need something specific.

6) It came with some snap on leather pouches that need to be cleaned and hopefully restored. They're pretty dry and stiff, so if anyone has any tips on that please let me know.

I haven't tested the furnace yet, but I'm considering just removing it to use a space heater. Any reason other than keeping it original that I should leave the original furnace?

Aside from that, we're likely just going to freshen the inside up with some paint, new cupboard doors and some new upholstery.

Any tips or advice are much appreciated!

Congratulations on your new addition

Others will be along shortly with more info, but here’s some to start.

Be sure to check both sides of the plywood that covers the openings to the under seat storage for your info sticker.

The shelves you mentioned look original, but as though the white ”wallpaper” which covered the doors and underside of the shelves is missing. The sliding doors are also not in the correct position. Check some pics on the internet, you’ll see what they should look like.

Of the two faucets, from what I can see in the photo, the one with the white spout, on the left should be hooked up to “city water” (a hose supply from outside). The other chrome spigot on the left does look a lot like an Insinkerator hot water tap, but it should be a hand operated pump (no electricity) connected to your onboard water tank

For your window needs, to start, try Vintage Trailer Gaskets (not affiliated with Vintage Trailer Supply). Others have said they are helpful and willing to answer questions.

As for the snap-on door pocket, yours looks just like the one which came with my ‘79 4500 Trillium. Once you’ve searched enough pics of trilliums you’ll see there are several different styles and locations where these storage pockets were installed. Mine too were a mess, but made of a heavy duty vinyl ( think boat seats), which allowed me to scrub and soak it in the bathtub. I used a firm brush with soap, and later sprayed with diluted bleach. Worked well. To restore some of the suppleness, you can try a product meant to condition/restore automotive/boat vinyl. If your item really is leather, then forget everything I just said.

Lastly, a good cleaning of all the interior wall covering (ensolite) with Tilex cleaner worked wonders for me. Made the walls look great, and made me feel better about eventually eating and sleeping in there.

Sounds like you are on the right track with your intention to gather lots of info about your new trailer. The more you research, the better able you’ll be to evaluate the recommendations you receive, and the more satisfaction you’ll get from the work you do on your Trillium.

Enjoy the journey, as well as the end result. Best of luck, and health.

MJ
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Old 04-19-2020, 08:03 AM   #3
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Name: Larry
Trailer: trillium4500
New York
Posts: 89
Registry
trillium

i have restore 10 trilliums live in buffalo n.y. if i can help call 716 825-7026 Larry
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Old 04-19-2020, 02:41 PM   #4
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Name: Martin
Trailer: Triiiium 13'
British Columbia
Posts: 49
You can get the glass made-up at any Glass shop! I would then take all windows out and replace the wood they mount to, bet they are rotten. its then a good time to reseal.
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Old 04-19-2020, 07:55 PM   #5
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,169
Registry
Very desirable front dinette model. Most of the 1300s you see have the front gaucho.
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Old 04-20-2020, 06:20 AM   #6
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 9,439
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Congratulations! Looks great and mostly original, a great starting point. Should clean up well. Happy camping!
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Old 04-20-2020, 06:56 AM   #7
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: Currently shopping
Ontario
Posts: 5
Thanks for all of the replies! We started cleaning it over the weekend so Iím thinking about turning this into a build thread (do I do that here or start a new thread?).

I have some new pictures that I took after the cleaning, so Iíll post those later today.

I noticed some small holes in the bottom of the fiberglass in a couple of the storage areas. One is under the kitchen side rear dinette seat storage and the other is on the same side under the front dinette seat storage. It has caused some water to get in there, but it hasnít rotted the floor. Is that normal or should I be patching those? Also, are those storage areas usually pretty easy to keep clean, or do you normally store tools or other things that you donít mind getting a bit dirty down there?
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Old 04-20-2020, 07:50 AM   #8
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,169
Registry
Define small holes. Trillium has a unique perimeter pontoon design. As such, the pontoons n need small holes to drain properly, I'm talking under 1/4 inch or so. If they are bigger than that, the main threat is MICE, not water intrusion. Google the size hole a mouse can get through, its amazing!

There is a Trillium section, upper right corner, click on manufacturers, and select Trillium.

Anything I store in the benches is either in a duffel bag or plastic tub of some kind, mainly for convenience to get in and out. I typically store very little in those areas as I have ample storage in my TV. One section of my gaucho has drawers (factory option). They are pretty cheaply made, but handy. I store underwear and socks there.

Most of my clothing goes in the closet, I copied others and put shelves inside.
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:00 AM   #9
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: Currently shopping
Ontario
Posts: 5
They are almost definitely the 1/4” holes you’re talking about. It sounds like I just need to give them a good cleaning and leave the holes as is. I don’t have pictures of the holes, so i’ll get those tonight and post them along with some updates after giving the inside a good cleaning. Really fun project so far.
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Old 04-25-2020, 10:41 AM   #10
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Name: Lee
Trailer: Trillium
AB
Posts: 12
I get far more heat than a 1500W space heater from the propane furnace if I throw a small fan in front of the furnace. If you ever go out below freezing temps I would keep the propane. We have gone out under -10C (14F) pretty comfortably. I tape up seals around most windows for winter too.
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Old 04-25-2020, 10:55 AM   #11
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Name: Gina
Trailer: In the market
New York
Posts: 11
1300 Trillium

Congratulations on your purchase.
I bought a Trillium 1300 that was already completely renovated except the lining was coming apart badly in 2 corners.
The buyer took that into consideration when I offered my price.
Nevertheless, I bought it and did some serious boondocking all winter with it.
It pulled like a gem and served me well.

About yours, it's a great special edition model with the front dinette.
It appears to have all original interior.
It just needs some TLC and you are good to go.

The biggest issue with mine was the lining.
One professional came out and did an assessment on the situation.
So the Trillium is fiberglass, as you know, and although that has it's advantages it's a huge disadvantage when it comes to lining.
As it was explained to me, the molds for the kitchen, the cupboards, and the interior are molded into the fiberglass so fixing lining is a huge undertaking.
It can be patched up, but that won't look good at all.
The professional explained to me that in order to properly fix the lining everything has to come out and be stripped down.
It's a huge an expensive job.
Plus they have discontinued that exact lining although you can buy it on some sites.
So I didn't fix it, and I ended up selling it to a couple who didn't mind doing their own work.
I love my Trillium, was happy for the experience, but I've since bought a 1969 Shasta all original.
I had it stripped down to the frame, completely renovated by a professional and if I had a choice between the two I would take the Shasta any day.
However, like the Trillium the Shasta has its disadvantages.
Simply put, it's made of wood so any small leak causes rotten wood and has to be taken right out to repair it.
In contrast, the Trillium never has that issue because it's fiberglass.
I just found the Shasta to be so much more brighter, with more windows, and I came to dislike the middle kitchen in the Trillium once I started living in it. I didn't like the layout at all because the kitchen is always "in the way" sort to speak.
With the Shasta it's an end kitchen with a ton of storage.
So it doesn't interfere with the living/bedroom space.
So both had pros and cons.
I never would have been able to compare until I've owned and lived in both.'

All the best with your Trillium.
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Kitchen.jpg  
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Old 04-25-2020, 11:19 AM   #12
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Name: MJ
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Washington
Posts: 37
Hey JamieT,

Here’s a phrase you’ll likely see posted multiple times, “search the forums”. Often it is offered as a helpful nudge towards info, and points you to many, many solutions already tried and tested. Detailed explanations can allow you to compare and contrast the feasibility and accuracy of the approaches.

Enjoyed the additional photos of your trailer. The faded “Trillium” graphic on the window rock guard is stylish.

Need to reattach ensolite and T-molding?.... search the forums.

Good luck.
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:00 PM   #13
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Name: phyllis
Trailer: Trillium
Canada
Posts: 2
Trillium in Ontario

Quote:
Originally Posted by lables View Post
i have restore 10 trilliums live in buffalo n.y. if i can help call 716 825-7026 Larry
Hi from Phyllis - have Trillium looking for a home. Do you know of someone who wants one? Buffalo is not too far from where I am. Contact me at hibbardpw@gmail.com
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Old 04-25-2020, 01:45 PM   #14
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Name: DANIEL
Trailer: Trillium
GOODYEAR
Posts: 8
A good resource is Tom Young, a former owner of Trillium.
He is located in Scottsdale AZ. He has a small selection of parts, stickers, etc. His knowledge on Trillium trailers is invaluable. I have him in my contacts as Trillium Tom. I was able to obtain some new door hinges for my 1300 from him recently. His # 602.394.1756
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:43 PM   #15
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Name: Alan & Barb
Trailer: Bigfoot 25RQ
Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hibbardpw View Post
Hi from Phyllis - have Trillium looking for a home. Do you know of someone who wants one? Buffalo is not too far from where I am. Contact me at hibbardpw@gmail.com
Donít forget the US/Canada border is closed for the foreseeable future.
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