How bad is this? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-02-2021, 11:02 AM   #1
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Name: Dave
Trailer: trillium
Ontario
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How bad is this?

We recently purchased a Trillium 1300 for a road trip and upon closer inspection and some tough lessons, we had to sell due to safety concerns and the workload. We just looked at a Trillium 5500 that is very well priced. Everything looked great and the inside floor seemed fine but the it was cracked like a boiled egg in a couple of areas underneath. It seems quite brittle. Is this a huge job? Thanks
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Old 07-02-2021, 11:07 AM   #2
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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Not nearly enough information, but with a wood interior. the 5500 generally can be a lot more work than the 1300. The fiberglass interior cabinets on a 1300 are nearly indestructible.

The exterior fiberglass should not be brittle. Use what you learned on the 1300 and apply those lessons to your inspection of the 5500.

Having restored a 1300, I feel like I kind of cheated when I go to vintage trailer shows, as everyone else has done SO MUCH MORE work.

With a 5500, you are talking a trailer close to 40 years old. Inspect carefully, do not assume everything is OK. And do not trust owner's comments. Not to say all sellers lie. Some just don't know. I've shown several sellers defects they overlooked and never mentioned.

The number 1 item needed for any older trailer ownership is TIME. People without a ton of spare time may be better served buying something a lot newer.

Go to the upper right of your screen, click on Manufacturers, then choose Trillium. Read all the 5500 project threads you can find, along with other Trillium discussions. With this knowledge, you can be an expert inspector. Then decide what you have the time for.

Trilliums are hard to find, 5500s even more so. But unless there are obvious signs of recent restoration work: belly band and windows for example, assume that work falls to YOU or whoever the new owner ends up being.
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Old 07-02-2021, 11:43 AM   #3
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Name: John
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1700
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it depends

If the cracks are limited to isolated patches in the FG shell on the bottom of the trailer then it may not be a big problem. Repairing those patches does not have to be a huge effort because its on the bottom. You could just grind, apply fiberglass and/or epoxy patch and then using a bottle jack press a piece of plywood covered with wax paper against the patch until it cures. As long as you don't care about the appearance.

BUT, the real question is what is the condition of the plywood subfloor above the FG shell. If the plywood subfloor is rotted, how extensive is that? What caused it?

I have seen isolated patches of cracked FG shell bottom where the plywood subfloor and the rest of the trailer was intact. On the other hand, I have seen cracked FG shell bottoms where the plywood subfloor and the rest of the trailer had major problems.
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Old 07-06-2021, 06:14 AM   #4
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The advantage with the 5500 is that the plywood of the floor is much more accessible for inspection than in a 1300/4500 with the FG interior. If there's wood rot, chances water was leaking from the windows and/or belly band (typical Trillium issues), down along the walls to the plywood, where any damage can be seen. In a 5500 the plywood goes all the way to the wall and is glassed to it (pontoons are closed).
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