Distorted Fiberglass (Trillium) - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-03-2016, 10:46 AM   #1
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Name: Tim
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British Columbia
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Distorted Fiberglass (Trillium)

Hey Y'all,
We have a '73 Trillium 13', I need to know if the trailers were built with bottom cupboard, sink and stove, counter top leaning to the outside ? The above cupboard also leans down. It appears as though the whole wall has been pushed out, Which I suppose is possible, if it sat under snow load for many years. Yet on the outside looking down the length of the trailer it looks fine. I've also wondered if maybe the roof could be pushed down, it might give the same appearance. Anyone else have this going on ?
Cheers, Tim
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:23 AM   #2
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I thinks some pics would help trouble shooting your issues


Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tim from BC View Post
Hey Y'all,
We have a '73 Trillium 13', I need to know if the trailers were built with bottom cupboard, sink and stove, counter top leaning to the outside ? The above cupboard also leans down. It appears as though the whole wall has been pushed out, Which I suppose is possible, if it sat under snow load for many years. Yet on the outside looking down the length of the trailer it looks fine. I've also wondered if maybe the roof could be pushed down, it might give the same appearance. Anyone else have this going on ?
Cheers, Tim
The walls on the fiberglass trailers are created with angled sloping sides. They have to be designed that way or else they could not lift them out of the mold due to friction and binding. Most folks are used to everything being squared up so it looks to them like it got squashed in a snow load and is bulging outwards. Not to worry, it is perfectly normal.
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Old 12-03-2016, 05:10 PM   #4
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I'm having great difficulty trying to download a picture here.
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Old 12-03-2016, 05:17 PM   #5
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I am having great difficult trying to post a picture here.
I appreciate the response and I do understand the fiberglass mold process, but if I could get this picture on this thread, you would see the extreme to which the angles are in my trailer.
I will keep trying get it downloaded.
Thanks, Tim
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Old 12-03-2016, 05:20 PM   #6
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Posting photos.

These illustrated instructions are at the Escape Forum, but same process as here:

Posting Photos - Escape Trailer Owners Community
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Old 12-03-2016, 06:30 PM   #7
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
Maine
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My 79 Boler is getting that spread also but down low.
I noticed that a gap is developed between the back of the driver side seat and the wall and the lower cabinet and the wall.
I think this is just die to age like myself getting a bit out of shape around the middle area.
I found that the seat was attached to the wall by screws going into a plywood shelf built into the side...
Is there some where that the shelf or counter top is screwed into the wall in this fashion?
If so, try taking out the screws and making sure the wood shelf you going to screw into is still sound, have some one push the wall from the outside, while you put in new screws, prehaps longer or even in a new location.
It worked for my Boler
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:01 PM   #8
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I don't think it's normal for the cupboards to lean outward! Sounds like the egg is somewhat squished out of shape.

There is a picture-posting tutorial somewhere, I just don't have the link, but if you search for it....
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:33 PM   #9
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Hey Tim,
My 4500 has the same problem. My guess is that it is from snow load at some point in it's life. If you site along the roof line, from the exterior, fore-to-aft, you will see an obvious bow. This has caused the interior moldings to be crunched.
The good news; this isn't really a "problem" outside of aesthetics. Mine does puddle water on the roof but, it has never been a problem.
The bad news; the real fix to this looks to be a huge can-o-worms. I've entertained the idea of strategically jacking things back into place, and adding glass to keep things there but, the possibility of it going horribly wrong looms large.
My cheap and dirty fix (I haven't done this yet) is to add install a countertop, that is shimmed to level, on top of the existing one. This makes it easy to add a modern cooktop and sink as well. The upper cabinets would still be off kilter but I think I could live with that.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:04 AM   #10
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Name: George
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Hi Tim,

I have a 4500 in Toronto that had the roof sagging on the left (drivers) side and many other problems. I fixed the saggy roof with a vertical 2 X 2 support that I attached to the left side of the upper cupboard and also on the bottom cupboard with large shims on the ceiling and floor to spread the weight. I also use a centre support (from Princess Auto) with lots of plywood top and bottom to spread the load of the snow when parked outside in winter. I can send pix if you need or contact me in a week at jokra@hotmail.com. The problem is that the fibreglass is not really strengthened in a lot of places like a boat is and the skin seems to be thinner with the later models.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:11 AM   #11
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
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Thanks for the replies,
I haven't looked for the picture download instructions yet - I figured it might be straight forward like click and drag or cut and paste, but apparently not.
I believe the issue I have is two fold; one is the way the trailer was manufactured originally the other is 43 years of sitting outside year 'round. As Scott mentioned I too get water pooling on the roof above the sink area.
At this point I am either going to turn a blind eye, live with it and carry on enjoying our camping adventures or let it bother me to the point that I make an attempt to push up the ceiling / roof and build a post & beam skeleton to support it.
Which once again will add more weight, weight is not our friend.
That sounds like another project.
Cheers Tim
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:18 AM   #12
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Name: Randy J.
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Ontario
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The upper cupboards of our '76 Trillium 'droop' a little towards the front and if you look along the top roof line on that side you will see a slight hollow towards the back. The structure is perfectly strong with no cracks or impairment of function. So I'm figuring that attempting to correct this small imperfection with say a pilaster and jack might do more harm than good. One guess is that it has always been this way. Or like most of us, perhaps the old egg has developed a few endearing wrinkles over the years.
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:19 PM   #13
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Posting pictures
At the bottom of the "quick reply" window, click on "go advanced", then the usual paper clip icon. That should give you a window with several attachment openings.

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Old 12-04-2016, 12:25 PM   #14
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I posted a link to illustrated instructions on posting pictures, but the OP can't be bothered to follow it.
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim from BC View Post
Hey Y'all,
We have a '73 Trillium 13', I need to know if the trailers were built with bottom cupboard, sink and stove, counter top leaning to the outside ? The above cupboard also leans down. It appears as though the whole wall has been pushed out, Which I suppose is possible, if it sat under snow load for many years. Yet on the outside looking down the length of the trailer it looks fine. I've also wondered if maybe the roof could be pushed down, it might give the same appearance. Anyone else have this going on ?
Cheers, Tim
The '76 1300 I worked on had this issue too. I think a lot of it is the way it is constructed. The outside is prone to sinking, and with there being no solid support up to the roof as the closet on the other side provides, it also allows the front of the cabinets to hinge forward. Snow loading probably added to the effect. What has happened is that side has dropped, and the roofline sink in. In the case of my trailer, it was at least 1/2".


This photo shows how the roof is sloping to the middle on the drivers side.




With it being near impossible to completely remedy, what I did was to lift the roof with a few 2x4's along that side, lifting a little every day until the roofline would drain nice, and look good.

I then added support from the frame all the way up to the roof, holding the roof in it's raised position, and pretty much levelling out the upper cabinets. The slop outward remained on the countertop, and what I have done there is to just add a new countertop that is level to the frame so things on the stove don't run to the outside of the fry pan.

This is the finished braces installed. You can see in this photo that there is an angle bracket welded to the support that attaches to the upper cabinets to help stabilize things.





As I definitely wanted to go all the way to the frame with the support, I had to transfer the load to the inside. This photo shows the connection through the side of the galley wall to the piece that goes all the was down.




This shows the outside of that connection.



And a shot of the brace at the ceiling. I built this to offer a fairly broad support, and to hold on both the cabinet and the roof fiberglass.

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Old 12-04-2016, 01:41 PM   #16
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I posted a link to illustrated instructions on posting pictures, but the OP can't be bothered to follow it.
The instructions (pictures) on that link are only visible if you are an Escape forum member.
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Old 12-04-2016, 02:05 PM   #17
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The instructions (pictures) on that link are only visible if you are an Escape forum member.
Then join. Escape forum is also owned by Social Media, which also owns this forum. Doesn't cost anything to join and the information you may give is already in possession of Social Media.
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Old 12-04-2016, 02:40 PM   #18
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Name: J.A. MICHEL
Trailer: TRILLIUM 1500
Quebec
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Originally Posted by Tim from BC View Post
Hey Y'all,
We have a '73 Trillium 13', I need to know if the trailers were built with bottom cupboard, sink and stove, counter top leaning to the outside ? The above cupboard also leans down. It appears as though the whole wall has been pushed out, Which I suppose is possible, if it sat under snow load for many years. Yet on the outside looking down the length of the trailer it looks fine. I've also wondered if maybe the roof could be pushed down, it might give the same appearance. Anyone else have this going on ?
Cheers, Tim
Quebec City. No such problem with our own T-4500 1979, but we noticed this slant with our daughter's T-1300 bought a few years ago in S-E Ontario. It was used as a hunting shelter in Quebec. Wrote to the new manufacturer in Calgary and they replied that they had never heard of such anomaly.

In September, while checking a T-4500 just bought by a friend, I discovered that the belt seam between top and bottom shells was not sealed as I always thought, but just kept in place by the aluminum molding. That should partly (*) explain the significant water leaks and the reason why the sandwiched plywood in the floor was rotten where the fiberglass felt spongy. No other solution but to peel off the top fiberglass skin, remove the rotten plywood and patch up with a mosaic of crossed and glued layers of 3/8" plywood strips, with a new fiberglass skin on top.

So it is that I intend to seal that seam on both T1300 and T4500 next spring, and probably discover the secret behind the sloping kitchen module... which I thought was a "unique" faulty assembly when fabricated.

(*) I also found that water leaks around windows causes the wood screwing frames to rot. This is simply because moisture condenses on the aluminum frame within the empty space between window frame and wood strip. Filling the void with urethane foam makes condensation impossible.

So, wish me "bonne chance" and a lot of patience for next spring. Michel
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Old 12-05-2016, 02:40 PM   #19
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Name: Randy J.
Trailer: Trillium
Ontario
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This thread got me thinking this AM as I pushed the new (wet) snowfall off Little Green Trillium. Someone had mentioned snow load. I'm thinking it might not be a bad idea, if one is away for a long period in the winter, to brace the roof from inside, especially on the side that doesn't have the tall closet in the middle to support it. True, these eggs have withstood a lot of winters. But lately we get a lot of alternating snow and freezing rain that builds up, instead of blowing off and is HEAVY.
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:05 PM   #20
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Name: J.A. MICHEL
Trailer: TRILLIUM 1500
Quebec
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As Quebec City can get ten feet or more of what Mother Nature can produce in winter, we put on the floor of our two Trillium 4500 and 1300 a 12x12 plywood and stick up a 4x4 with another 12x12 plywood sheet plus a 4 inch thick foam cushion on top to protect the skin. But we still remove the snow regularly as it also puts a strain on the frame resting on blocks (tires removed and stowed in the trailer). Our first significant snowfall last Thursday left over one foot of wet snow which soaked down and froze to about a nine inch crust forming a nice dome on top of the hedges. As we were at home, the snow cover never built up on our daugther's T-1300 stored on its blocks on the driveway, but you can imagine the stress it could have applied to the shell. In short... if there is a risk for you to get that kind of snow, even only once a year, better brace up the top to avoid damage.

Et nos meilleurs voeux pour Noel et 2017.

Michel
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