Exterior trim advice - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-08-2018, 01:05 PM   #1
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Trillium 1300 (1976)
New Jersey
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Exterior trim advice

I have a vintage 1976 Trillium 1300. Recently the "trim" on the exterior popped off. I'm not sure what to call this "trim" or what its purpose is, but it wraps around the Trillium about 3 feet from the ground. There is a metal strip riveted to the Trillium, with a soft rubber piece inserted into it.

Either through vandalism or just product fatigue, several of the rivets popped off the Trillium body. I have no idea how to fix it. Or, if it is even necessary.

Can anyone enlighten me? See attached photo.

--Jim in New Jersey
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Old 07-08-2018, 02:34 PM   #2
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
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Originally Posted by james.c.robertson View Post
I have a vintage 1976 Trillium 1300. Recently the "trim" on the exterior popped off. I'm not sure what to call this "trim" or what its purpose is, but it wraps around the Trillium about 3 feet from the ground. There is a metal strip riveted to the Trillium, with a soft rubber piece inserted into it.

Either through vandalism or just product fatigue, several of the rivets popped off the Trillium body. I have no idea how to fix it. Or, if it is even necessary.

Can anyone enlighten me? See attached photo.

--Jim in New Jersey
Go to your local hardware store, buy a rivet puller and a bag of assorted rivets. Match the rivet to the hole in the shell. If it got oversized from the rivet pulling out you might need to put in one size larger which will mean drilling the hole in the metal trim larger to match the size of the rivet. Going one size larger of a rivet is not a big deal, it is a standard repair solution.
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tip. What is the reason for this trim? It appears purely decorative to me.

And, is it common for these rivets to pop off like this after 40+ years? Or should I suspect vandalism?
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:16 PM   #4
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Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
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the pop rivets need regular replacement on trailers... Casita owners find themselves replacing a few rivets a year...

when installing pop rivets be sure the piece and rivet are firmly seated *before* squeezing the riveter, as they won't 'pull' things together the way machine screw+nuts can. if the hole goes all the way through the shell (and it probably should), put a dab of non-silicone sealant on the rivet before inserting it... if theres a nut cap or whatever on the inside of those rivets, have a helper hold the cap tightly down prior to clamping the new rivet
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:52 PM   #5
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Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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This is an issue for Trilliums which is different than belly bands used on other trailers. It appears the backing plates are rusted and that's why it let go. There's been several Trillium owners that just did away with the belly band, filled and painted:


http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...-in-67999.html

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ead-58763.html

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ead-59580.html
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Old 07-08-2018, 05:32 PM   #6
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500, 1979 Boler 1700
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Trillium center band problem

Yep, I'm in the process of removing the center band and metal plates, and repairing the center seam on my Trillium 4500 right now. Check out my Trillium 4500 link below. The rivets are aluminum but the metal plates to which they are fastened are steel. The plates rust and eventually completely disintegrate. If you make the mistake of using longer fasteners you will likely punch through the interior horizontal strip of fiberglass holding the top and bottom together, likely resulting in leaks.

On the other hand, if your center seam does not have any bulges from rusting, expanding metal plates, you could probably permanently arrest the problem as follows:

1. very carefully remove the rivets and aluminum trim
2. seal the seam so that its watertight
3. re-attach the aluminum trim using a strong adhesive instead of rivets.

That's my $.02...

John
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:12 PM   #7
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indeed, most trim on modern cars is attached with very thin 3M VLB double-sided super-sticky tape. key is to really clean the surfaces before bonding, and you only get one chance to put it in the right place.
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:58 AM   #8
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Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
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Originally Posted by james.c.robertson View Post
Thanks for the tip. What is the reason for this trim? It appears purely decorative to me.
Decorative and an easy finished look. A lot of folks have eliminated it.
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:35 AM   #9
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Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james.c.robertson View Post
Thanks for the tip. What is the reason for this trim? It appears purely decorative to me.

And, is it common for these rivets to pop off like this after 40+ years? Or should I suspect vandalism?
I truly doubt it was vandalism. Old stuff often tends to fall apart especially on objects that get taken over bumpy roads.
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Old 07-09-2018, 12:50 PM   #10
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Name: Kathleen (Kai: ai as in wait)
Trailer: Amerigo FG-16 1973 "Peanut"
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We, too, expect the only vandal involved was mother nature aging the materials.

We screw ours on as an Amerigo is built for that...but we didn't replace the rubber inside the aluminum channel. Instead, once well-seated and sealed, we painted the channel black inside.

How clean Peanut looks without any trim!

Marking out exactly where the trim will go and screws were set before.

With trim on and channel painted with black enamel.


Best to you with your renovations & later travels!
Kai
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Peanut 8 2016 C.jpg  
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:38 PM   #11
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Trillium 1300 (1976)
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Thanks, all. You have given me a lot of good information here so that I have a decent starting point to figure out what strategy I can take.
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:44 PM   #12
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Best luck to you with your redo!

Send us photos if you can? Let us know how this goes?


Happy travelling.

Kai
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