Trillium Outback Review Jan 2019 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:05 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Barrett
Trailer: Trillium Outback
British Columbia
Posts: 15
Trillium Outback Review Jan 2019


current review from a customer of Trillium Outback Trailer Company:

i just got my custom ordered 2019 trillium outback trailer from the outback trailer folks (joe thoen and family) in rockyview alberta (near calgary) and the trailer was just great and also the entire experience dealing with the trillium outback folks was really very good

joe thoen (the head of the trillium outback outfit) was endlessly patient and helpful answering all my questions, giving advise on the best customizing choices and explaining everything in a way a newcommer can understand

the company is a small family business who must operate within certain restraints on cash flow (ie advance down payment deposit and final payout at time of fabrication completion) and really, this is only to be expected for a little business this size but they were very reasonable and accomoding every step of the way no matter what came up on scheduling, making payments, adjusting the custom order spec and so forth

because they can only fabricate a limited number of units at one time i had to schedule a 'winter build' when i placed my order in the summer of 2018

this turned out to be a real good deal because they included some 'no-charge' upgrades because my order was a 'winter build' and so i got some nice upgrade extras i wasn't originally going order because of the costs

i drove out to their business place outside calgary to take delivery and enjoyed meeting joe and his sons and other staff and they even loaned their shop license plate for me to tow the trailer back to bc

all and all a very positive experience

last thoughts-

this is the most common sense trailer out there for those that don't want to lug a huge unit everywhere plus it is endlessly customizable and comes in at what i thought was a fair and reasonable price

i got the front dinette option (place to sit when main dinette is still made up as the double berth) with electric brakes, twin propane tanks, twin 6v batteries, solar self-charging (all for max non-hook-up camping) and the portapotty modification (portable chemical toilet in special underseat cabinet)

mine sleeps 3 adults or 2 adults + 2 kids

hope this review of the trillium outback company and their awsome little trailer helps you

all the best

mr b
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:43 PM   #2
Senior Member
theresa p's Avatar
Trailer: Outback (by Trillium) 2004
New Brunswick
Posts: 1,550
Hi! I am so pleased to read your review of your recent experience with Joe Thoen.

Despite recent negative reports, it is good to know that, once again, things seem back on track for his team to not only build good trailers but to provide good customer service.

Perhaps it is, in some small way, a reflection of those negative reviews and comments making their way back to him and him making serious efforts toward improvement.

Either way, I am happy to know that you have your new trailer and wish you nothing but happy memories and safe travels with it. Congratulations!
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:41 AM   #3
Junior Member
Name: Barrett
Trailer: Trillium Outback
British Columbia
Posts: 15
I too noticed some earlier negative postings on this web site about this manufacturer

but i also found some fairly recent positive postings and prior to placing my trailer order had good communications experiences via emailing and phoning with Joe Thoen

also Joe never pressured me to make the decision to purchase, a sure sign they have respect for their customers

I chalked up these earlier negative postings on this web site as likely being by some testy, difficult individuals who ended up by ruining their relationship with Trillium Outback
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:45 AM   #4
Senior Member
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
Name: Glenn
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B
British Columbia
Posts: 8,049
Look up "Trillium Outback on Calgary Better Business Bureau".
Unresolved issues are mainly from 2017. That may mean that the company has improved it's customer relations, or it could mean potential customers are staying away. I'm not in the market, so it doesn't affect me. Whichever trailer you are looking at, you should check BBB ratings.
Parkliner had a very poor grade and then closed / sold.
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:19 PM   #5
Senior Member
Name: Curt
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Posts: 103
Trillium Outback

Last year my wife and I took a serious look at our 1978 Trillium 4500, and what it would take to get her in a state that we would be happy with, including professional painting.

One option was possible replacement, but we were DEFINITELY not interested in the RV's that were being sold by most of the RV sales outfits in the Edmonton area.

We WERE very happy with the space and the layout in the Trillium, however, and decided to take a trip to Calgary to meet with Joe and take a look at what he had to offer. There was still snow on the ground and his yard was somewhat of a mess, but he had a few trailers on the go, and what he offered looked really nice. We thought that we could be happy with one of his trailers.

However, Joe pointed out some of the significant differences between the 1300 and 4500 trailers, and suggested that we keep our old unit, and that he would be able to provide assistance in any upgrades or repairs that we might need.

We took him up on his offer and bought new door hinges from him, but basically decided that we could handle the necessary changes on our own, and so far are very happy that we did!

From our visit, I can understand how some might not be happy with Joe and his service. Getting the hinges shipped out took a little longer than we had anticipated, but we got them. Others with tight time schedules and minimal flexibility could get frustrated and I understand that. But it always helps to be reasonable, on BOTH sides of the fence!

I hope that Joe and crew are able to keep their operation running, and maybe build it up to the point that someone might be willing to buy it off them and keep it going once he is finished with it!
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:18 PM   #6
Name: Ian
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 31
Outback Experience

Our experience with Joe Thoen et. al. and Outback trailers has been very good. We took our 77 Trillium 4500 there despite the negative reviews because he did good work for us on a Boler about 8 years ago. No regrets.
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:58 PM   #7
Junior Member
Name: Barrett
Trailer: Trillium Outback
British Columbia
Posts: 15
re past woes posted at FRV and at Calgary BBB

I have found that if one is reasonable and treats others with respect then one is almost always treated reasonably well

in any case, I prefer not to dwell on any unfortunate occurances in the past

I can only tell you about my own experiences with Trillium Outback
I was treated well and I love the RV they built for me

hope this helps anyone considering one of these classic little RVs

all the best and good luck
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:23 PM   #8
Junior Member
Name: Steve
Trailer: Custom Outback Trillium
Posts: 4
I got my Custom Outback Trillium Trailer in October 2018 brand new from Calgary. I had to wait longer than anticipated but it is a great design with good components and well built. I have had excellent dealings with Joe.
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Old 01-26-2019, 01:18 PM   #9
Name: Ron
Trailer: 2004 trillium outback 13ft
Posts: 65
We have a 2004 that we bought used and are very happy with it. We have stopped by the factory a couple times on the way back home to have modifications done or just to see what is new. Joe has always been very helpful and friendly. His new location is an improvement from the old one which was cramped and crowded in an industrial area.
All eggs are special but we chose this one because of the spacious feeling inside with ample windows and ceiling height.
While at the factory this summer, we looked at what the new models that are being produced. We drooled a lot! Joe is always looking for new improvements to this product and there are many. If I ever replace the one we have, it will be with one of Joe’s current models, customized just like we want. The new “retro” color schemes are pretty cool too!
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Old 01-26-2019, 01:36 PM   #10
Junior Member
Name: Rudy
Trailer: Little Big Foot
Posts: 3
I am one of those people with bad experience; with Joe and his son. Absolutely terrible. Back in 2013 they did a small modification, raising the frame, on my Li’l Big Foot. Towing home the brakes didn’t seem to work right. I found his son hooked only the left side brakes, dragging the cable to the right side on the road. I measured alignment because new holes in the spacers didn’t match the old ones in the frame, it was off by 1/2”. Industry standard is 1/8”. Joe refused to fixed it, saying if it’s ˝” or less he won’t do anything. Had it fixed by Standen’s here in Calgary for $250. Naturally, Joe refused to pay. BBB tried to do something about it but nothing happened because Joe ignored their letters, calling them and their clients idiots. Joe is a very nice guy when he smells money, after that not so good. I talked to owners of the Outback the last winter in Arizona, they were from Pennsylvania. They had nothing nice to say abut him. It was a washer for the faucet. They could’t get it anywhere because it’s imported from EU. They finally ordered it from Joe, super expensive. They got it after nearly 2 months, but the part was wrong. Outback looks nice but I don’t trust them. Do they still install only 2-way fridges, 110V and 12V, claiming it is new superior technology? Completely useless for camping in the wild under the trees.
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Old 07-23-2020, 12:45 PM   #11
Junior Member
Name: Peter
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Posts: 3
Hi there! I have found these reviews, both the positive ones and the negative ones, quite useful. I am considering getting a new trailer from Joe so I am happy to get both sides of the story. Pete

PS: Is financing available for trailers or do you have to organize that yourself through the bank?
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