Frame strengthening - Fiberglass RV
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Old 12-19-2020, 12:19 PM   #1
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Name: Lloyd
Trailer: Trllium
Ontario
Posts: 20
Frame strengthening

Hi its me again , looking for opinions on possibly strengthening the frame on our 1976 Trillium 1300 , while the body is off and we are installing a Flexiride axle .
The frame looks solid but can anyone tell me were the weak points are on these frames ? Any input is greatly appreciated. Lloyd
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Old 12-19-2020, 02:34 PM   #2
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21, Lil Joe
Florida
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Might be worth checking out.
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Old 12-19-2020, 10:23 PM   #3
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
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Everywhere it is bent. Near the front the frame bends inward and then upward. Four spots total, two per side. You can see the frame tubing is collapsed at both of these bends. In addition, IF the front body mounting bolts are drilled through the frame, that makes a third spot pretty much in the same area. There was a recall on Trillium frames back in the day, later models like my 1977 had the front bolts attach to angle iron clips on the side of the frame. I am thinking 1976 was prior to recall.
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Old 12-20-2020, 02:07 AM   #4
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Name: Elliott
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Everywhere
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Generally speaking, the transition from the square portion to the front "A" seems to be the weakest point on older molded fiberglass trailers, but sometimes also the front of the square part (like around and in front of the door).
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Old 12-27-2020, 01:25 AM   #5
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Name: Callum
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The frame on our '77 cracked on each side where the front of the cabin bolts to the frame.
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:57 AM   #6
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Name: James
Trailer: trillium
Morriston
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I trussed my frame when I extended it out the front 36 inches - There is no flex in the frame now.
Trussed by adding a 2in. strap set off by 2' long 1 1/4 tube spacers
I also put a doublers in the bends at the front.
You an see the trussing in this image https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...cture13496.jpg
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Old 01-15-2021, 10:06 AM   #7
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Name: John
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500, 1979 Boler 1700
Michigan
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Not sure about the 1300, but the 4500 has another weak point: At the point where the axle is attached to the frame rail, the frame rail is "split" into two pieces of rectangular tubing that are overlapped and welded together. To overcome this weakness, when my axle was replaced a large plate was welded to the overlapping tubing joint and then the axle was bolted to that plate. So now I have a bolt on axle.

My 4500 also came to me with "fish plates" reinforcing the bends in the tongue portion of the rails. Also came to me with angle iron tabs and cross members to which 8 body bolts are attached.
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Old 03-17-2021, 07:22 PM   #8
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Trailer: 1986 Boler 1300 Voyager
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My frame was in pretty decent shape prior to refinishing her but I wanted to future proof her from possible damage...

I adhered 1/4" steel bar stock with industrial strength panel adhesive with cross bolts to my front frame rails and under the camper... all known weak points have been strengthened prior to sealing the entire tongue and under-frame with spray-on bed liner. I contemplated having the bar stock welded to the frame rather than adhered but learned of how, given the thinness of the frame among other issues,, welding could cause weak spots, so I opted to go rely on chemistry with a helping hand from grade 8 bolts. While I was at it I also changed out the hitch to a heavy duty one.

Pretty sure I can now carry a Clydesdale in her, albeit a tinny one. Click image for larger version

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Old 03-18-2021, 08:21 AM   #9
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Name: JD
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Remember that every place that the frame is bent to shape the frame that frame has already failed at that point.
I doubt that a 1/4" cross bar at the front vee will make any difference in the strength. Welding in a frame sized cross member at the bend and adding fish plates would do the trick.
The weak points are where there are bends in the frame rails and the twisting from the differing stiffness in the frame from side to side. The entry door with the frame rail turned sideways will flex more than the solid frame on the other side.
Adding a second frame member (also laid flat) does not replace the bending strength either. Not only that reinforcing the attachment at the ends of these pieces under the door is important as well. I found cracking on each end of mine.
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Old 03-18-2021, 10:01 AM   #10
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Trailer: 1986 Boler 1300 Voyager
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Agreed, merely adding cross bars wouldn't strengthen the frame, especially at the bends. This is why we bent the steal around the bends and joined to the frame along the entire length of the run.
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
Remember that every place that the frame is bent to shape the frame that frame has already failed at that point.
I doubt that a 1/4" cross bar at the front vee will make any difference in the strength. Welding in a frame sized cross member at the bend and adding fish plates would do the trick.
The weak points are where there are bends in the frame rails and the twisting from the differing stiffness in the frame from side to side. The entry door with the frame rail turned sideways will flex more than the solid frame on the other side.
Adding a second frame member (also laid flat) does not replace the bending strength either. Not only that reinforcing the attachment at the ends of these pieces under the door is important as well. I found cracking on each end of mine.
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