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Old 03-20-2018, 04:54 PM   #21
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500, 1979 Boler 1700
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Ok, I pulled the left drum off and inspected the brake. Didn't take long and I noticed a serious problem: The magnet hanging loose and on further inspection I determined that the magnet retaining clip is broken, i.e., it is not holding the magnet in position. So I will replace the retaining clip, finish inspecting both brakes, adjust both brakes, and then re-test.

Any idea where to buy just the retaining clips (Dexter 046-121 retaining clip)? Etrailer doesn't seem to have them although they have retaining clips suited for other brakes sizes, brands, etc.

Other online shops have the Dexter 046-121. Its a $1.25 part, but with shipping and the other parts you have to buy with it, and shipping, winds up costing at least $20.
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Old 03-23-2018, 04:55 PM   #22
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Found replacement magnet retaining clips, replaced retaining clip and re-assembled LEFT brake assembly after cleaning and lubing. Readjusted left and right manual brake adjustments. Now ready to repeat road test. Here are photos of LEFT brake broken and new clip, magnet, etc.
Attached Thumbnails
magnet a.jpg   magnet clip a.jpg  

magnet clip b.jpg   brake a.jpg  

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Old 03-25-2018, 09:10 PM   #23
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road testing after replacing left magnet clip

Cool but sunny and dry today, so rolled the camper out of the garage. Took off the 8" wheels/tires (which allow the camper to fit in the garage) and put on the 13" wheels/tires, and re-installed the vent dome (again, too tall for the garage).

Drove to a local parkway with gravel parking lot and re-tested the brakes by repeatedly braking. This time the results were better. The right wheel no longer lurches when braking, indicating that the left wheel brake is functioning. Both wheels click when engaging and when releasing the brakes. The left brake is now getting slightly warm, while during the previous road test it remained cold. The right brake is still getting very warm.

I'm not concerned that the right brake is getting very warm. I have brake controller (Prodigy 3) power turned to 14. Also, engaged the brakes several dozen times during testing.

Tomorrow I will tighten the left brake and loosen the right brake to attempt to equalize braking power. Also may try to repeat the common procedure of tightening both sides all the way down, then backing off 10 clicks. The left brake had not been operating correctly since new last year, thus it needs to be broken in. This may also explain the difference between left and right braking strength.

After doing the above brake adjustments, we will take the camper for an extended road test, also tomorrow. In a couple of weeks, we are hoping to travel with the camper.

At this point, I believe the problem is solved and just fine adjustments are needed. Thanks to everyone for your support!
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:39 AM   #24
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lots of work

good job john complicated some!

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Old 04-14-2018, 11:39 AM   #25
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Check that the shoes are installed properly.
On the front(leading) shoe the friction material is shorter than the rear (trailing) shoe
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:28 PM   #26
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Thanks Rick. Just pulled the wheels yesterday to check condition of brakes. Will double check this next time I pull off the wheels.

I did replace the broken magnet clip on the left brake and the new clip is holding well. Now the left and right brake temperatures are much more similar after towing 1000 miles.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:02 PM   #27
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trip summary and brake status

Just returned from a 2 1/2 week vacation. Stops were:

- Levi Jackson SP in KY, 1 night
- Lake Powhatan Campground at Pisgah National Forest, 2 nights
- Skidaway Island SP in Savannah GA, 5 nights
- Huntington Beach SP south of Myrtle Beach SC, 6 nights
- Lake Powhatan Campground at Pisgah National Forest, 2 nights
- Big Bone Lick SP in KY, 1 night

We really enjoyed all of our stays. All were clean, well maintained facilities. Lake Powhatan Campground is a hilly and forested with large sites, and a short drive to a NC arboretum and Biltmore Estate. Skidaway Island SP is wooded with large sites, located near salt marshes, and a short drive to historic Savannah and beaches. Huntington Beach SP in SC is on a vast pristine ocean beach and is next to Brookgreen Gardens, a vast garden with thousands of sculptures throughout. Big Bone Lick State Park is the site of a salt spring, and large bones of animals dating back thousands of years. An enjoyable vacation from beginning to end.

Throughout the trip, we checked to brake drum and hub temperature at every stop. We found temperatures between left and right side much more close to the same, and are no longer concerned with this.

John
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:09 PM   #28
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trip follow up - maintenance

During our trip south, we did notice some water leaks during two heavy down pours (1+ inch rainstorms). As a result we've decided to remove, grind and fill our Trillium 4500 belly band! We have already removed the belly band AND the rear window, and are now in the process of grinding/removing rusty plates, also, cleaning and polishing the rear window. We have also removed the wood backer behind the belly band directly below the rear window. It was wet ...

We've been re-reading Trillium belly band threads to help guide us through the process.

Also during the trip, we updated our project list (things to fix, replace, etc).
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Old 05-07-2018, 04:08 PM   #29
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belly band and rear window progress

Belly band:

Aluminum molding has been removed. After donning a filter mask and safety glasses, used a dremel with reinforced cutting discs to cut all fiberglass bulges (approx. 45) along the belly band flush with original molded surface. Then removed ALL (approx. 50) steel plates along the belly band. So based on these counts, about 5 of the steel plates were NOT rusting to the point that the fiberglass was bulging! Many of the rusted steel plates had disintegrated to reddish brown powder and gravel, requiring much picking and digging to remove.

Then using a random orbital sander, began sanding the belly band.

Rear window:

Removed the rear window. Uppermost vinyl molding needs to be replaced (cracked, disintegrated). Only way to get it out is to remove aluminum top/cap, managed to remove after spraying wd40 in tiny philips head screws. Must replace worn out torque operator/searching for replacement. Cleaning aluminum window frame pieces using barkeepers friend with green pad, and narrow brass brush for corners and grooves. Next will attempt to polish with dremel buffing bits and polishing compound bars from Ace Hardware.

Also removed soggy strip of plywood behind belly band below rear window. Scraped and cleaned out remains of this strip of plywood, then cleaned out adhesive that held it in place between the belly band and the rear interior FG panel. Plan to replace it with strip of 3/4" pvc trim.
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:11 PM   #30
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belly band and rear window progress pictures!

And pictures! As you can see in the pictures, there are no steel plates on the rear of the camper, but instead a now rotten and removed strip of plywood between the belly band and the interior FG rear panel.
Attached Thumbnails
4500belly1.jpg   4500belly2.jpg  

4500belly3.jpg   4500belly4.jpg  

4500belly5.jpg   4500belly6.jpg  

4500belly7.jpg   4500belly8.jpg  

4500rearwindow.jpg  
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:25 PM   #31
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belly band next steps

Found that on our Trillium 4500, the fiberglass strip behind the belly band is very thick and sturdy, and as strong as the rest of the camper body. So no need to strengthen the belly band.

Now that all FG bulges and steel plates have been removed, plan to finish sanding with a random orbital sander (40 grit, 80 grit) then fill with bondo glass, sand w/80 grit, fill with bondo, sand with long board (and probably palm or random orbital sander as well) with 80 grit in steps up to 400 grit, then paint with matching paint.

After painting BB, may apply vinyl side molding or striping tape.
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:56 PM   #32
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A bit late now, but using a dremmel tool with a cutting disk, to cut the plates in half, before you pull them, makes it much easier to pull them out.

The belly band below the rear window on my 4500's is the same. Not sure why Trillium didn't just use the fibreglass strip there as well. They did on the 1300's.
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:12 PM   #33
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David, thanks for the input.

I did actually cut many of the plates in half before removing, particularly in spots where there was no bulge to be carved down. While other plates were corroded to nothing but bits of rust, and those I sucked out with the shop vac. Some of the disintegrated ones literally poured out while I was carving out the bulges. And finally some of those bits expanded greatly inside the pockets and had to be picked and scraped out with a small screw driver.

For the rear end of the belly band where there is no FG backing, I plan to sandwich in a PVC trim board.

I must say I have benefited greatly by reading and re-reading the threads posted by you and others. Thank you!!

John
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Old 05-28-2018, 01:26 PM   #34
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belly band progress ...

Making progress with inserting backer behind belly band seam below rear window (recall that on the 4500, the belly band seam is fiberglassed except in the section below the rear window).

Tested my idea of using a piece of cellular pvc exterior trim by applying Loctite PLt max premium construction adhesive to a test piece. Says on the Loctite label that its compatible with PVC, but it did not hold.

Decided to use 2 strips of 1/2" aluminum c channel joined together with a 3/8" x 1" wood strip. The c channel assembly has been sandwiched between the outer FG shell and the inner FG shell, centered along the belly band seam. I glued the c channel assembly to two steps. First glued to the inner FG shell and the lower edge of the seam, clamped and let dry 24 hours, then glued the upper edge of the seam, clamped and its now drying.
Attached Thumbnails
bellybandbacker.jpg  
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:53 PM   #35
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Wow, glad you got the brakes sorted out. The belly band project looks like a small nightmare. I hope I don't have to do anything like that with my Scamp. Knock on fiberglass. :-)

Harold
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:18 PM   #36
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Harold, fortunately for you the center band problem is specific to vintage Trilliums. I knew my Trillium 4500 had this problem when I bought it. Still the wonderful design makes the camper great deal. Fix the center band and the camper is good for another 40 years...

The Trillium center band problem is widely documented on this forum, and of course other issues specific to Trilliums, as well as those specific to other FGRVs. This is great, because if you do some research on this forum, you can check for problems before buying a camper. Then you can make an offer or keep looking.

For our last two FGRV purchases, we spent a lot of time examining, poking around, etc before buying.
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:45 PM   #37
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Good to know. Although my Scamp is quite old, it looks like it's never been abused. I'm pretty confident that other than small issues needing fixing, it should serve me very well for a very long time. The axle is maintenance, brakes and everything else are upgrades.

Hopefully someday we will cross paths in our fiberglass rvs
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:59 AM   #38
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Okay this week I finally finished filling the center band with bondo glass and then bondo filler. Now sanding with a long board with 80 grit in steps up to probably 400 grit (?). I found an auto paint supply shop to match the paint. Went there today and left the door for precise paint matching. Here's what I am buying from the shop:

- Topcoat: PPG JE acrylic enamel paint (matched color) to mix with JH6001
hardener
- Primer: PPG JP202
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Old 07-02-2018, 01:07 PM   #39
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painting the center band

Decided to use PPG ALK-200 industrial alkyd paint instead of PPG JE paint. Reason is that the PPG JE paint when used with JH6001 hardener contains isocyanate which should only be applied with a ventilated suit. I don't have a ventilated suit, paint booth, etc. and don't want to go this route. I also don't want to take the camper to a paint shop to have the center band painted. I will also not be using ALK-201 hardener (contains isocyanate) with the ALK-200 paint. The paint will be matched using the exterior side of the door.
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Old 07-02-2018, 02:16 PM   #40
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I do hope you plan on using a mask, maybe one with positive pressure....
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