Missing black rubber in belly band - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-20-2021, 05:59 PM   #1
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Name: Alix
Trailer: Trillium
BC
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Missing black rubber in belly band

Hello all,
I am still looking at buying a Trillium trailer that has been rebuilt and renovated. Thanks for previous advice on the roof vent!

I just received a photo of the driver's side and realized there is a bit of the rubber (?) material in the belly band missing. I have been reading threads about this but I would like to clarify whether this would be a big problem.

Does this mean I would need to replace the bellyband? Would this missing piece allow water to enter and rot out the screws and metal plates?

Is there a way to check this? What would I look for?

Thanks for letting me know your thoughts on this. I really appreciated the drawing of the bellyband on David Tilston's thread. Very helpful...

Any advice and thoughts would be much appreciated!
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Old 10-20-2021, 06:55 PM   #2
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On mine the gap was actually caused by shrinkage.
The good news is that you can buy it in several colors at RV supply stores
Another solution is to cut it where you could stand gaps such as at the rear then get small LED lights or reflectors to fit in the relocated gaps on both sides of the rear of the trailer.
That trim can be moved in the groove so you can choose where to put it.
Hey or you could replace it with LED light strips.
Even a strip of red in the groove across the back of the trailer wired to the marker lights.


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Old 10-20-2021, 10:05 PM   #3
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Thanks, Floyd! Interesting ideas! So you think it's just a cosmetic issue?
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Old 10-21-2021, 08:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix F View Post
Thanks, Floyd! Interesting ideas! So you think it's just a cosmetic issue?
The only purpose that the black plastic serves is to cover the rivets that hold the belly band on. In fact, the belly band itself is completely cosmetic. Personally, I prefer to remove the belly band altogether.
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ead-58763.html
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ead-59580.html
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Old 10-21-2021, 09:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix F View Post
Thanks, Floyd! Interesting ideas! So you think it's just a cosmetic issue?
The plastic insert is just cosmetic.
The belly band itself is screwed into (if I recall) a wooded strip which is molded into the seam. As long as the belly band is solidly attached its fine.
I did find a couple spots where the wood rotted on mine and it was a simple repair using "Kitty Hair" fiberglass reinforcing compound... only on the loose spots.

Yours is likely just fine as it is.


EDIT...I may have misremembered the substrata or I found someone else's repair, so it may have been rusted clips instead of wood (or both)
At any rate I simply filled the local spot behind the belly band with the Aforementioned "Kitty Hair" to give the fastener a solid purchase.

The black strip itself is purely cosmetic the belly band is not.
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Old 10-21-2021, 04:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
The plastic insert is just cosmetic.
The belly band itself is screwed into (if I recall) a wooded strip which is molded into the seam. As long as the belly band is solidly attached its fine.
I did find a couple spots where the wood rotted on mine and it was a simple repair using "Kitty Hair" fiberglass reinforcing compound... only on the loose spots.

Yours is likely just fine as it is.


EDIT...I may have misremembered the substrata or I found someone else's repair, so it may have been rusted clips instead of wood (or both)
At any rate I simply filled the local spot behind the belly band with the Aforementioned "Kitty Hair" to give the fastener a solid purchase.

The black strip itself is purely cosmetic the belly band is not.
On a 1300, there is no wood associated with the belly band. The belly band is strictly a tool that the factory uses to line up th top and bottom half’s of the trailer. On the inside, the classic Trilliums used a metal plate. The trailer in your picture looks like a Trillium/Outback. They use large washers. The factory puts a rivet through the belly band on the outside and either a metal plate, or washer on the inside. This pulls the top and bottom shell into alignment. Once they are lined up, a band of fibreglass is laid down on the inside of the shell. Once that hardens it is the structural component that holds everything together.

On a 4500 the back of the trailer has a 1/2" sheet of plywood that the factory screws through the belly band into. The wood rots and the screws release.
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Old 10-21-2021, 05:25 PM   #7
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Name: Alix
Trailer: Trillium
BC
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Hi David,

It's actually a 1975 Trillium 1300 that had windows replaced and a lot of rebuilding done to it. So you would agree that the missing or shrunken black rubber/plastic in the bellyband is not a problem?

Thanks very much for your advice!
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Old 10-21-2021, 05:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
On a 1300, there is no wood associated with the belly band. The belly band is strictly a tool that the factory uses to line up th top and bottom half’s of the trailer. On the inside, the classic Trilliums used a metal plate. The trailer in your picture looks like a Trillium/Outback. They use large washers. The factory puts a rivet through the belly band on the outside and either a metal plate, or washer on the inside. This pulls the top and bottom shell into alignment. Once they are lined up, a band of fibreglass is laid down on the inside of the shell. Once that hardens it is the structural component that holds everything together.

On a 4500 the back of the trailer has a 1/2" sheet of plywood that the factory screws through the belly band into. The wood rots and the screws release.
I had a trillium 1300 some years ago and it was well used, so whether it was a former owner's repair or just rusted fasteners the point is the same.
The plastic strip is strictly cosmetic while , like Scamp and many others the aluminum belly band was designed to avoid doing after-mold body work after attachment.
Just like when new, it is much easier to repair a few minor flaws and keep the belly band than to remove it and do the required body work and match the aged gelcoat.
The Kitty Hair worked great to reattach the belly band where the original fasteners failed.
Here is an old photo after a few spot repairs but without a new insert strip.looks like the original strip is gray.
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trillium unfinished 009.jpg   trillium unfinished 014.jpg  

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Old 10-21-2021, 05:34 PM   #9
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David is quite correct in that Trillium Outbacks come with that black plastic stip. Alix--you say it isn't an Outback but instead, is an older Trillium. I would bet that the previous owner purchased the black stripping from Joe at Outback.

Actually, our black band, never having caused us any problems, decided for some crazy reason to loosen and almost fall off completely during our trek to Winnipeg for the 50th anniversary celebrations.

I noticed it flapping out of the side-view mirror. We had stopped the day previously and washed the trailer in a u-wash bay......and it was perhaps loosened during or following that "experience".

My husband simply cut 1" from it, reconnected it and it hasn't caused another problem since.
Yes, it is cosmetic only. Dirt does collect underneath it but does wash out easily with the spray from a hose.
I think that Joe at Outback could send you the connectors and small amount of black strip that you need to make it complete.
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Old 10-21-2021, 06:06 PM   #10
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Name: Alix
Trailer: Trillium
BC
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Is it an Outback or a Trillium 1300?

Hmmm, I am looking at pictures of the Trillium Outback and the trailer I am considering buying. It sure looks identical... Very odd. It was sold to the current owner as a 1975 Trillium 1300... I am very confused now! Thanks for mentioning that. I have read very negative things about Trillium Outbacks and the company that built them. So now I am not sure that I am so keen. Does anyone have first hand experience with Outbacks?
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Old 10-21-2021, 06:15 PM   #11
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Name: Alix
Trailer: Trillium
BC
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Hi Theresa,
Thanks for your comment. The trailer I am considering does very much look like an Outback Trailer, both in the interior and exterior now that I am comparing them. You seem to have an Outback built in Alberta. Has yours been well built? Have you had any other trouble with it? Would you recommend them? I have read very negative things about the company and am a bit hesitant. I don't necessarily need an original Trillium and could be happy with an Outback as long as it is quality built. Thanks for letting me know!
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Old 10-21-2021, 06:41 PM   #12
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Ours was a 1977 Trillium 1300, It is a brilliant , low maintenance design with a lot of plusses.
There are some minor issues...
1] it has a bit of an "Odie" complex when towing which acn be mitigated by adding an inexpensive friction anti-sway device to the tongue.


2] The body of the trailer is mounted to the frame with about 6 maybe 8 bolts in the same manner as a prewar automobile.
It would be wise to check and/or replace these bolts as they can rust in the middle leaving the nut and the head looking normal.
Lift by hand on the corners of the body then look underneath to be sure all the bolts are still in place.
This is a simple job and inspection may be all you need to do.


3] Be sure that the windows don't leak and the floor stays dry. The floor is fiberglass but it has a wood floor encapsulated in it. Keep it dry.
Mine had small drain holes in the four corners , if yours does, just keep them clear.


4] Hang on to your key and see if you can get duplicates, if I remember the latch is a bit rare now so keep it oiled and don't abuse it. The door is a really good feature compared to its contemporaries.


You have a great little trailer which is made to last and due to its shape it feels a lot roomier than some others of the same nominal size. It also brings in lots of light and ventilation. If you still have that 9" vent you can enlarge the hole and install a fullsized exhaust fan/vent... Also here's Odie...
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Old 10-21-2021, 06:49 PM   #13
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Thanks Floyd!!!
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Old 10-22-2021, 08:30 AM   #14
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Alix, It is my understanding that Trillium/Outback make a good trailer, however any time estimates from Joe Thoen should be considered suspect.

They did a lot of work on my first Trillium 4500. I consider their work to be of good quality, and reasonably priced. Though they will try to sell you questionable modifications. I saw a trailer that they convinced the owner to glue a strip of rat fur on the Ensolite. Looked like s__t.
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Old 10-22-2021, 10:17 PM   #15
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Name: Alix
Trailer: Trillium
BC
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Hi David and Floyd and Theresa,
Thanks so much for all your input. It was super helpful. I am learning a lot from you all!
I went to Vancouver to check out the trailer. It was a 75 Trillium but was rebuilt with parts of the Outback trailers. There were some issues with it that concerned me so I returned without buying it!
The search continues. A good learning experience!
I am sure I will ask again about other trailers...
Enjoy your weekend!
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Old 10-27-2021, 08:46 PM   #16
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Name: Terry
Trailer: Gulfstream
Memphis
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re: screw cover?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix F View Post
Hello all,
I am still looking at buying a Trillium trailer that has been rebuilt and renovated. Thanks for previous advice on the roof vent!

I just received a photo of the driver's side and realized there is a bit of the rubber (?) material in the belly band missing. I have been reading threads about this but I would like to clarify whether this would be a big problem.

Does this mean I would need to replace the bellyband? Would this missing piece allow water to enter and rot out the screws and metal plates?

Is there a way to check this? What would I look for?

Thanks for letting me know your thoughts on this. I really appreciated the drawing of the bellyband on David Tilston's thread. Very helpful...

Any advice and thoughts would be much appreciated!
If this is standard vinyl RV screw cover, comes in 25, 50, 100-ft rolls in multi colors, very cheap and easy to install w/ fingers and scissors
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Old 10-28-2021, 06:14 AM   #17
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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While the screw cover is easy to replace, that is not the issue in regards to Trilliums. Its a major design flaw in these trailers, and to repair properly, the band needs to be removed, all the rotten plates need to be removed as well, and the seam refiberglassed.

David Tilston has provided good tutorials on this topic. Its not as big of a repair as it might seem time wise.
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Old 10-30-2021, 10:32 PM   #18
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Bigfoot
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Yes its cosmetic..But...it can also hide nasty stuff. Like, rusted out or missing screws. This allows water to enter the channel (which it will) and go all around the belly looking for ways to get in. I replaced my screws with stainless and sealed each one with caulking. Note that the fitting of the belly band itself against the fibreglass is not critical and not perfect...water can just pass underneath where it wants if it enters from behind/top.
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