Trillium crack. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-29-2006, 08:12 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium
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Trillium crack.

Hello everyone. While cleaning out our 1978 trillium trailer this fall I noticed a small crack
, about 1/2" long all the way through the fibre glass. the crack is the centre of the door
openning at top under the door seal. I checked the frame just in case it is a flexing problem.
Not sure if I should epoxy or use fibre glass resin for now. Also heard that you should drill a small hole at end of crack to stop it from cracking further. Has anyone else had this crack show up.

Thanks Ian.
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:28 PM   #2
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Hey Ian,
Sorry to hear of the crack in the glass. I have cracks near both top corners of the door frame. One is actual cracking of the fiberglass, the other is just gel coat stress lines.
The cracking is not uncommon in glass this old and would naturally show in this area.
I am new to fiberglass trailers but I have 35 years experience in glass boats and aeroplanes. Epoxy or resin on its own has no structural strength without fibers of some sort. I would recommend peeling back the liner and doing a repair accross the whole top of the door frame and down each door frame a short distance. If you need detailed instructions I would be happy to talk you through it. Its not difficult but there are steps that need to be followed for a proper job. Dave.
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Old 11-30-2006, 07:06 AM   #3
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Hey Ian,
Sorry to hear of the crack in the glass. I have cracks near both top corners of the door frame. One is actual cracking of the fiberglass, the other is just gel coat stress lines.
The cracking is not uncommon in glass this old and would naturally show in this area.
I am new to fiberglass trailers but I have 35 years experience in glass boats and aeroplanes. Epoxy or resin on its own has no structural strength without fibers of some sort. I would recommend peeling back the liner and doing a repair accross the whole top of the door frame and down each door frame a short distance. If you need detailed instructions I would be happy to talk you through it. Its not difficult but there are steps that need to be followed for a proper job. Dave.
I agree with David, my expeance is with corvets and big trucks (all fiber glass stuff) and ya you must give something to bind to on both sides
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:32 AM   #4
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I too work with fiberglass building canoes and the first question I would ask myself is the crack even though it is a crack all the way though, need fixed with structural integraty or just filled in?
The second observation I would want to know is why it cracked?
If it is structual the proper repair is to glass both sides as stated by others.
I had a non-structual through crack in my door on my Boler and I just "V" grooved it out and added epoxy/resin mixture with a recomended fillet from the company I do my fiberglass business with and sanded smooth and in 2 seasons have had no ill effects.
Gerry
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:39 PM   #5
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I too work with fiberglass building canoes and the first question I would ask myself is the crack even though it is a crack all the way though, need fixed with structural integraty or just filled in?
The second observation I would want to know is why it cracked?
If it is structual the proper repair is to glass both sides as stated by others.
I had a non-structual through crack in my door on my Boler and I just "V" grooved it out and added epoxy/resin mixture with a recomended fillet from the company I do my fiberglass business with and sanded smooth and in 2 seasons have had no ill effects.
Gerry

Thanks for the info. I checked to see if it was a structural stress crack but the frame is in very good shape. This last summer I noticed that the door hindges were getting looser every time we went out, and had to retighten. A couple of times when we got off the highway and came to a stop the door would swing open all the way. I'm thinking that the
door swinging open caused the door frame to twist causing this crack to start. I checked the screws used for the door hindges to the shell. They were only about 1 inch long. I checked the depth of material were the hindges mount and it's about 2 1/2 inches thick, so I used 2 inch screws and the door hangs like it did from the factory. The snow is starting to fall here so I will do the repair in the spring.

Ian
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Old 12-02-2006, 06:18 AM   #6
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A couple of times when we got off the highway and came to a stop the door would swing open all the way.

I own an 1980 Boler 13ft and do not know too much about the triliums.
I am sure that is how the crack came about and by no means strucural and can be fixe cosmeticly.
I know that RV dealers sell some sort of tie so doors will not swing open but as a previous owner had installed a hasp with a small pad lock this is what I use.
The hinges on my Boler look original but I am sure that again a previous own put in bolts with nuts and peaned over the tread so it would be locked instead of wood screws
The nut is hidden compleatly by the doors weather striping.
Gerry
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:31 PM   #7
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Also had a problem with the door swinging open, but this would occur while turning a corner.We were 2000 miles from home so I took the cap from a 35 milimeterphoto canister and drove a 1 inch screw through it and the door frame. This quick fix lasted until we got home a couple of weeks later.I had to raise the door almost 1/2 inch but this also solved the problem of the lower edge warp. I also replaced the flat metal piece that the latch closes against. Haven't had any trouble for several yars now.
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Old 12-04-2006, 12:48 AM   #8
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Drilling a small "stop crack" hole at the very end (examine it carefully) of the crack will stop it from spreading (it changes the stresses in the drilled material from tension to compression).
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:54 AM   #9
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Drilling a small "stop crack" hole at the very end (examine it carefully) of the crack will stop it from spreading (it changes the stresses in the drilled material from tension to compression).]

Good point pete. I forgot to mention it above.
Gerry
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:02 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info. I checked to see if it was a structural stress crack but the frame is in very good shape. This last summer I noticed that the door hindges were getting looser every time we went out, and had to retighten. A couple of times when we got off the highway and came to a stop the door would swing open all the way. I'm thinking that the
door swinging open caused the door frame to twist causing this crack to start. I checked the screws used for the door hindges to the shell. They were only about 1 inch long. I checked the depth of material were the hindges mount and it's about 2 1/2 inches thick, so I used 2 inch screws and the door hangs like it did from the factory. The snow is starting to fall here so I will do the repair in the spring.

Ian
Just wanted to point out that the Trill's have wooden door jambs inside the fiberglass. The wood tends to rot out leaving the screws with no purchase and thus the hinges sag and worse. I have filled the jambs with epoxy on two trills and let it all cure before hanging the door with duct tape and repositioning the hinges with bolts through the newly reinforced jamb. It has worked well both times and I no longer get surprised with an open door,plus the seal is much better and it looks more uniform from the outside too.

There is also wood around the windows in a Trill and it rots too but is easily removed and replaced by opeeling back the ensolite once the windows are out.
We had around 8 inches of ice here last week and the 4500 is slowly thawing out and is bone dry inside since I have repaired these areas.

Good Luck
Ed
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:06 PM   #11
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Just wanted to point out that the Trill's have wooden door jambs inside the fiberglass. The wood tends to rot out leaving the screws with no purchase and thus the hinges sag and worse. I have filled the jambs with epoxy on two trills and let it all cure before hanging the door with duct tape and repositioning the hinges with bolts through the newly reinforced jamb. It has worked well both times and I no longer get surprised with an open door,plus the seal is much better and it looks more uniform from the outside too.

There is also wood around the windows in a Trill and it rots too but is easily removed and replaced by opeeling back the ensolite once the windows are out.
We had around 8 inches of ice here last week and the 4500 is slowly thawing out and is bone dry inside since I have repaired these areas.

Good Luck
Ed

Thanks everyone for the info. I just had the front and right side windows out. Their were a couple of screws that were not biting into any wood. wood rotted and screws rusted. I inspected the wood and found it was in very good condition. I picked up some sealant for around the windows and resealed the two windows so far. I also used a larger screw that really grabbed the wood. Plan on doing other windows when the weather warms up again. When I used the larger screw I pre drilled the holes in the shell so that the new screws wouldn't crack the fibre glass.



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Old 11-03-2021, 05:07 PM   #12
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Name: Ramona
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Trillium door cracks and sagging

Hi! Brand new Trillium owner here and I see this thread is quite old but hey, thought I would give it a chance! Please see attached pics, the door sags a bit and I am wondering if water is getting in. I feel a bit of play with the hinges but am concerned if it is a frame issue. Not likely I will get that looked at until next year I think!
Any suggestions?
P.s. on main pic, i circled cracks in yellow
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803058A6-5FDA-4301-AB9B-B5CDB848DD70.jpg  
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Old 11-04-2021, 09:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamonaLee View Post
Hi! Brand new Trillium owner here and I see this thread is quite old but hey, thought I would give it a chance! Please see attached pics, the door sags a bit and I am wondering if water is getting in. I feel a bit of play with the hinges but am concerned if it is a frame issue. Not likely I will get that looked at until next year I think!
Any suggestions?
P.s. on main pic, i circled cracks in yellow
Ramon, I might have some bad news for you. You may have what I call front curb side sag. Typically I see this when there is a rip in upper front corner of the door, (like yours) and the lower back corner of door, (unlike yours). Think of it like the rectangle of the door is being pulled into a parallelogram. The other two corners would be in compression. I have never seen the damage that your trailer has at the bench height. I will have to think about that. There are a few things to look at. Take a straight edge, a 4' long 2x4 will do, as long as it is straight. Put one end on the floor at the door of your fridge, the other end toward the trailer door. Is the floor sagging toward the trailer door? Also, stand on the tongue of the trailer and look down the flat section of the roof. Can you see a high point where the closet is? If the answers to these questions is, yes then I think the section of your trailer that is forward of the door is sagging. The only thing that I can think of that would cause this is the plywood in your floor has rotted. Look in the front gaucho. What is the condition of the plywood on the floor of the gaucho? Another inspection point for the plywood is under the fridge. You would need to remove the fridge to inspect the plywood under it. If the plywood in the floor is badly rotted, this is bad news. The repair for this is difficult, and there is no agreed best way to do it.

I have put lots of thought into this, and the plan that I have requires that the coach be removed from the frame, then cut the bottom of the trailer off, from the step above the axle to where the plywood ends in the front gaucho. On the sides I would cut the bottom of the pontoons. This may not be wide enough, but what is left of the pontoons can be spread as required. The main problem with this approch is that the fibreglass on the floor and the bottom of the trailer are likely glued to the plywood. This would make removing the bottom of the trailer, in one piece difficult.

Another approach would be to cut just the floor of the trailer, after removing the fridge, and furnace, (if you have one). Remove all the fibreglass that is flat to the floor, right up to the door. Leave the kitchen, closet and gaucho walls dangling. This would allow you to remove the rotten plywood in the floor and reinstall new " plywood in sections that are as wide as the hole for the fridge. Each section, once flat would be pushed, (hammered) to the back, up to the step in the floor, (note that the wheel wells will make this piece shorter) and another forward under the gaucho, to where the front starts to bend up. This would probably involve more than one plywood board in each direction. Before each piece was pushed, I would lubricate the path with a liberal application of some slow setting epoxy. Slow setting so that you have time. The last piece would fit between the front and back pieces, ideally the width of the fridge hole. Then fibreglass over where the floor was, connecting the bottom of the kitchen, closet and gaucho to the floor.

It should be noted that the sag should be corrected before any of this is done. Before you pull the coach from the frame, I would support the bottom of the coach, where the sag is. Pushing it up till the floor of the trailer was flat again, for at least a month. Fibreglass is plastic. That is it will retain the shape that is pushed into.

It should be noted that I am looking for a Trillium 4500 with this issue, preferably a front gaucho version. However I would not replace the plywood with wood, I would use pultruded grating:
https://www.grainger.ca/en/product/I...FT-/p/WWG4AUC9
This is 1 thick vs. thick, so my floor would go up . It is also quite expensive. Material costs would be over $1000 Cdn.
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Old 11-05-2021, 09:55 AM   #14
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Name: Ramona
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Bad news indeed

Hi David, well I think you are probably pretty right with your analysis.
Ugh. I have my limitations having no garage and being a handy person but yeesh-this seems a big job, might take it to see who could do the job in the spring or over the winter. Or I will just relax and cover and wait to look at it in the spring.
Much appreciate your very detailed response. It’s a bit of a shock. Might contact you again as I sift thru this Trillium and investigate its crevices.
Thanks again!
P.s. pics posted upside down, but u can see the fridge ona couple of pieces of wood and behind the fridge laying on pieces of wood and a piece of fibreglass just loosely hanging there. Will move fridge out to get a better look
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Old 11-08-2021, 10:22 AM   #15
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Ramona, I am glad to help in any way that someone at the other end of the country can.

Are there any spongy areas on the floor of your trailer?

Also, I have never seen a fridge like yours.
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