Screws came loose! - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-10-2020, 07:21 PM   #21
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Howie, I feel your pain. When I had my Scamp, took the wrong road into mojave preserve. Shower & fridge doors fell off. Replaced shower door with a shower curtain & managed to put fridge door back on.

Now I have a very sturdy Escape 17. No further issues even on backroads. Like you, I love the wild places so roads are sometimes rough for a beautiful, isolated campsite.
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Old 01-10-2020, 07:46 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by sagetosummit View Post
So, I take it there is no easy suspension retrofit that can be done?
What's your definition of easy?

The rubber in an older torsion axle will harden and become much less flexible over time. Simply replacing an old axle with a similar unit with a proper weight rating will restore the ability to absorb a great deal more shock in the rubber cords within the axle housing.

Link: Trillium Axle Replacement


There are also some more exotic options available for off-road use such as the Timbren. The second picture is an arrangement used exclusively on the Black Series trailers.
Attached Thumbnails
Timbren Axle-LessMainImage-640x494.png   Black Series hq19-suspension.jpg  

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Old 01-10-2020, 08:27 PM   #23
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The rubber in an older torsion axle will harden and become much less flexible over time.

This shouldn't be an issue on a 2015 trailer, assuming the axle is rated for the weight of the trailer.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:30 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I have often questioned the wisdom of towing a trailer down some abandoned
logging road , risking damage to an expensive vehicle and trailer in an attempt to save $10 in camping fees . I would believe at some logical point camping at Fort Walmart or Cracker Barrel would make more economic sense
We ofter camp at Iowa SP’s , $16 / night with water and electricity . When we bought our trailer I never expected a free lunch when it came to camping fees !!
There is a lot to unpack here. 1. It never has occurred to me to tow my trailer down some abandoned road to save $10. However, the other end of those roads is where many adventures start. 2. Camping at Walmart would probably ALWAYS make more economic sense. But who goes camping and picks Walmart as the preferred destination? Or goes camping just to make economic sense? 3. Not every wonderful, historic, or picturesque place, is alongside the interstate hwy. 4. I don't go camping in search of a "free lunch". It's exploration, seeing new places, visiting friends, and traveling. I seriously don't like high fees, but I'm not asking for a hand out. I just decided against a stop at a California beach because the fee was $65. per night and the list of rules was very long, including "no dogs on the beach". Everyone gets locked in in the evening and the gates are not unlocked until morning. Seemed like it might just be an expensive jail.
Give me the open desert instead.

Here is a pic of what I mean. Dirt road to get there, very quiet, beautiful hot pools. And it costs the same as Walmart or Cracker Barrel.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:38 PM   #25
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I would believe at some logical point camping at Fort Walmart or Cracker Barrel would make more economic sense.

Kind of like mooring at a sewage outfall.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:01 PM   #26
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This shouldn't be an issue on a 2015 trailer, assuming the axle is rated for the weight of the trailer.
Thanks Glenn. I completely missed the "2015". I tend to forget that there are still Trilliums being manufactured what with all the iterations of "who" Trillium has been over the years.

Howie,

Any chance you could run the tires a bit softer? Portable compressors are not very expensive.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:38 PM   #27
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Yup. Back to the beginning, who made this Trillium?
Be interesting to know what those screws are screwed into. Real wood, or a cheap substitute? I'm not familiar with all the iterations, but I know that Escape Trailer Industries was involved in a joint production plan, briefly with a Trillium builder. When the moulds arrived and the condition of them was examined, ETI ended the relationship.
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:18 PM   #28
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Raspy , from my experience my current 21 ft FG trailer does a good enough job tearing itself apart going down the interstate .
I’ve camped at the end of the nowhere but I got there by foot or canoe
I still don’t see the economic sense in destroying a $30K or $40K trailer so one can camp around the next bend or beyond the next tree
As far as Walmart camping I’ve read numerous posts where people bragged about camping across the whole USA for $2 / night by going from Walmart to Walmart or truck stop to truck stop or Cracker Barrel to Cracker Barrel .
Driving 50 miles off my route so I can camp for free doesn’t motivate me
If you enjoy this style of camping go fo it but It’s not for everyone .
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:21 PM   #29
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I wondered that, too. My guess was Trillium Sidekick, which carried the Trillium name and logo, not (Trillium) Outback. The Sidekick did catch some flak for sloppy assembly.

But it could be either.
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:47 PM   #30
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Steve, I guess you missed my points. I will not drive anywhere just to camp for free. That is not a motivation for me to go on a trip. I camp where the beauty is, where the peace is, where I can learn about the area, hang out with friends, etc. I go camping to get out into the wild lands. Basing the trip on being "practical", or not paying for anything is not the point at all. And I'm not afraid to use my trailer by doing what is was built for. That doesn't mean it has to get damaged, or that I have to only camp for free at a Walmart. I'll drive "50 miles" off the interstate to get to places as in the picture I posted, not to avoid fees. It leads to fun times and unforgettable memories. If a bit of trailer maintenance is required because of it, OK.
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:55 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
The second picture is an arrangement used exclusively on the Black Series trailers.
Hey, I resemble that remark!
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Old 01-11-2020, 03:16 AM   #32
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The threads in the screws due to the vibration of rough roads can over time act like saw teeth and enlarge the hole in a fiberglass shell. There is just not a thick enough section of fiberglass in the body of a cabinet to give the screws enough thread engagement to prevent this from happening.



So there are then a list of potential solutions.


1. bond additional material on the inside of the cabinet face for the screw threads to engage into


2. use a machine screw through the hole in the hinge with a washer and nut on the inside of the cabinet to provide a firm grip. This assumes that the existing hole was only minimally oversized when the door fell off.



3. use a rivet through the hole in the hinge that goes through a washer on the inside of the cabinet and then pulls the hinge against the cabinet


4. Relocate the hinge to a different position, it will last for a while but eventually the same thing will happen and the holes will get enlarged


DO NOT DO THIS: try filling the hole in and re drilling it. That won't work for long term because there is not enough filler material in thickness or in the diameter of width to make a good bonding grip into the edges of the hole.



In my renovation work on my fiberglass trailer all places where a screw went through the fiberglass shell had backer block bonded in place for the screws to grip into. The threads on the screws were given a wrap of Butyl rubber tape to keep water from traveling along the threads into the backer blocks and also to resist movement of the screws via vibrations from the rough roads.
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:06 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Steve, I guess you missed my points. I will not drive anywhere just to camp for free. That is not a motivation for me to go on a trip. I camp where the beauty is, where the peace is, where I can learn about the area, hang out with friends, etc. I go camping to get out into the wild lands. Basing the trip on being "practical", or not paying for anything is not the point at all. And I'm not afraid to use my trailer by doing what is was built for. That doesn't mean it has to get damaged, or that I have to only camp for free at a Walmart. I'll drive "50 miles" off the interstate to get to places as in the picture I posted, not to avoid fees. It leads to fun times and unforgettable memories. If a bit of trailer maintenance is required because of it, OK.
I’m not sure Steve “missed” anything here. The (his) post in question was the 9th in this thread. Your first post in the thread comes in at number 16. Unless a moderator deleted something prior to his post, I really don’t understand what Steve could have misinterpreted. And let me make note that it is not my intention to be critical. I can fully understand BOTH points of view. I do not believe very many would intentionally drive over bumpy roads if they knew it would result in trailer damage. I also realize that some people would consider driving over unpaved back roads to see something or to have a remote adventure as not worth it, while others would. I also know some people would “drop” their trailers in a campground and then explore the back country in their tow vehicle. Different choices for everyone is what it is all about and just because someone has or expresses a different viewpoint it doesn’t mean they are being judgmental.

As to the original post, loose screws, most people I know (including myself) have a few “screws loose.” I have seen Locktite and epoxy mentioned; in some cases psychiatry might be the solution!
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:14 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
I’m not sure Steve “missed” anything here. The (his) post in question was the 9th in this thread. Your first post in the thread comes in at number 16. Unless a moderator deleted something prior to his post, I really don’t understand what Steve could have misinterpreted.
I believe the perceived misunderstanding referenced in Raspy's post #30 relates to Steve’s post #28, responding to Raspy’s post #24, replying to Steve original post #9.

I agree with your main point, Carl, which I believe was also Raspy's. There are many reasons people leave paved roads. Avoiding campground fees is just one and probably not the most common. You do have to consider the limitations of a lightly constructed molded fiberglass trailer when making decisions about where to go.

Hardening a molded trailer for extreme backcountry use requires attention to the frame, suspension, and every attachment point. This article shows what can be done. One tidbit: the modifications more than doubled the weight of the trailer! It was for sale a few years back on Craigslist, asking price around $27K. Haven’t heard anything since.

This Scamp 5th Wheel Trailer Is A Boondocker's Dream

Hardening a trailer for occasional short jaunts off the pavement... that's already been covered.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:19 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
I’m not sure Steve “missed” anything here. The (his) post in question was the 9th in this thread. Your first post in the thread comes in at number 16. Unless a moderator deleted something prior to his post, I really don’t understand what Steve could have misinterpreted. And let me make note that it is not my intention to be critical. I can fully understand BOTH points of view. I do not believe very many would intentionally drive over bumpy roads if they knew it would result in trailer damage. I also realize that some people would consider driving over unpaved back roads to see something or to have a remote adventure as not worth it, while others would. I also know some people would “drop” their trailers in a campground and then explore the back country in their tow vehicle. Different choices for everyone is what it is all about and just because someone has or expresses a different viewpoint it doesn’t mean they are being judgmental.

As to the original post, loose screws, most people I know (including myself) have a few “screws loose.” I have seen Locktite and epoxy mentioned; in some cases psychiatry might be the solution!
THANK YOU !!! You hit the nail on the head .
I often look at things as a balance between cost and reward .
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:20 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
I’m not sure Steve “missed” anything here. The (his) post in question was the 9th in this thread. Your first post in the thread comes in at number 16. Unless a moderator deleted something prior to his post, I really don’t understand what Steve could have misinterpreted. And let me make note that it is not my intention to be critical. I can fully understand BOTH points of view. I do not believe very many would intentionally drive over bumpy roads if they knew it would result in trailer damage. I also realize that some people would consider driving over unpaved back roads to see something or to have a remote adventure as not worth it, while others would. I also know some people would “drop” their trailers in a campground and then explore the back country in their tow vehicle. Different choices for everyone is what it is all about and just because someone has or expresses a different viewpoint it doesn’t mean they are being judgmental.

As to the original post, loose screws, most people I know (including myself) have a few “screws loose.” I have seen Locktite and epoxy mentioned; in some cases psychiatry might be the solution!
I typed a reply to Steve's post last night and then deleted it as I also didn't want to appear critical but my take on his comments was similar to John's. The implication seemed to be 'people who take their trailers down rough roads do so only to save money'. That may well have not been the intent but, as the original poster had not stated why they'd chosen to do so, it seemed to be an unwarranted criticism.

Most of our campsites are free or very low cost and frequently down roads that others choose to skip. Not because we're cheap but because they're where we want to be. When in an unfamiliar area, we'll first camp at a public campground, drop the trailer as you suggested, and drive the backroads (USFS, BLM etc.) to see if there's a better spot that's accessible with the trailer. And we've found several where I'd gladly pay the going rate for a high dollar campground if that was the only way we could be there.

To Howie (OP), I'm not of much help. We have a D19 Scamp and an occassional screw does work loose from time to time but nothing to the extent you seem to have experienced. Personally, I wouldn't tavel at 30 mph on washboard with a trailer. Big Bend Ranch SP in Texas comes to mind here. I took me over an hour to drive two miles there once but the end result was well worth it to us.

With our different camping preferences, I don't know if we'll ever share a campfire but, if we do, first round is on me. And I never camp at WalMart either - much prefer the interstate rest areas

Al
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:14 PM   #37
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It is a matter of perspective

We bought our Scamp as a step up from tent camping, but the purpose is the same. The whole idea is to get to places that are interesting, out of the way, and sometimes the roads are darn rough. Not long after we bought it, we made a trip to Chaco Canyon National Park. After our drive out of there, I had to spend almost an hour just to get things back together when we reached the paved road. Then spent more hours to improve things after we got home. Scamp is not built or priced like some of those I would call the "Outback" or off-road trailers, so there is a trade-off to be made here. Every time I find a screw that fell out, or a leak, or something else broken, I try to fix it and make sure it does not happen again. Mine will never be the shiniest one at the campground, but it will be in good working shape otherwise and hopefully will take us to see many more wonderful places.
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Old 01-12-2020, 06:53 PM   #38
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As some other posts have said - Rivets are good for fiberglass attachment. Wood screws are to be used only if they go through the fiberglass into a wood support. The Trillium mold was passed from owner to owner in the past few years. The 2015 was actually called the Outback made by Great West out of Alabama and they stopped production. From what I hear they were good at making van conversions but lacked fiberglass trailer experience and had some issues.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:03 AM   #39
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Does trailer have SHOCKS or can you buy/ add some yourself? Sounds like wud be $$ well spent?
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:41 AM   #40
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Does trailer have SHOCKS or can you buy/ add some yourself? Sounds like wud be $$ well spent?
I can't tell if shocks make any difference on washboard roads. My toy hauler and my Oliver had the little ones that are common on tandem leaf spring suspensions and they both hated washboard. My HQ19 has dual shocks per wheel and they are full sized units like what comes on trucks. It seems to be better, but the entire design is different and has coil springs.

It seems the best way to limit the vibration, besides slowing WAY down, is to air down. It would also be a good idea to have someone ride in the trailer for a bit while on the phone with the driver to talk about what speed works and what speed vibrates everything.

Here is a fun video of my recent trip to Moab. It is all low speeds, but has some good off-road trailer action. The next video in the series will be even better.

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