Michele's Journal - Refreshing a 1977 Trillium 1300 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-04-2021, 12:17 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Michele
Trailer: 1977 Trillium 1300
Ontario
Posts: 3
Michele's Journal - Refreshing a 1977 Trillium 1300

Hello all,

I'm the new owner of a 1977 Trillium 1300. I'm going to use this thread as my journal in refreshing it to use for me and my family.

She needs a name. Olive and Rhiannon are currently under consideration.

I say "refresh" because I'm not going to completely renovate it just yet. I want to make it safe and comfortable and then see how much we love it before completely doing it over. The other reason is that if we decide it isn't for us, I don't want to have completely changed everything. I would rather make small or impermanent changes for the time being.

I will be attempting a lot of the work myself, with the help of my teens, the man friend, my dad and a trusted carpenter I know. Even my housekeeper has volunteered to help get it clean.

My album of photos and videos is here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/H4QsHBmC2C9g35kE7.
If you decide to watch some of the videos I'm asking questions in some of the videos.

I have a lot of questions, obviously. I will be reading here a LOT.

Immediate things to do (not in order):

- clean, remove mildew, see if I need to paint the esolite if it doesn't come clean

- deal with belly band, it is coming off and bulging in a few places and I think it is causing a leak

- get a key or a new lock

- have someone look at the propane to replace lines, etc if needed

- get all electrical working - currently there is a fuse and fuse cover missing on the inverter, which I have ordered and then will test again - I may replace the inverter completely and get solar panels, but that may not be this year

- get new foam and covers for cushions - they smell like 43 years of sweat, mildew and moth balls

- take off the top bunk and inspect the condition of the wood, consider adding extra poles on the inside and possibly changing the plywood under the top bunk to a plastic with holes in it to redistribute the weight - we will be using the top bunk so it needs to be safe

- the wood under the shelf on the dinette is cracked - replace that and paint it and the sliders or use a peel and stick option so it is temporary

- deal with curtains - need to clean or make new curtains - some of the rod holders are missing and most are rusty - will I screw in new ones, or add some with command strips?

- there are three holes all the way through currently patched with silicone, I will fix that when I do the belly band

- fix the door, seals are missing and it is possibly warped - I will get new seals and likely take if off the hinges to see if there is any rot under the hinges

- replace the water tank and hoses - it is original and is likely unsafe and it may leak

- see if the stove works, clean it up even if it doesn't for this year and then consider replacing next year

- get a mechanic to check the tires and frame, etc for safety

- cosmetic issues - paint or use a peel and stick inside all the cupboards and storage compartments inside; consider a peel and stick on the doors to lighten it up (not ready to paint yet); peel and stick on the table to brighten things up?; get properly fitting carpet or consider flooring that isn't permanent?, consider backsplash, etc.

- generally clean up the outside, remove old stickers, repair any cracks, buff and wax

- replace lights with LEDs

- replace two exterior lights (already purchased replacements from Canadian Tire)

- get a tonge box


Future projects (not in order):

- replace fridge, sink, stove, add new counter, etc.

- add solar, change inverter, replace all electrical (unless immediately necessary for safety)

- new awning (original is in decent shape though)

- paint interior and exterior?

- remove and reseal windows

- remove, sandblast, strengthen and paint frame
Attached Thumbnails
Trillium.jpg  
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Old 04-05-2021, 12:38 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
David Tilston's Avatar
 
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
Posts: 6,106
Registry
A few comments:
You have a loaded, (Deluxe?) Trillium 1300. Very nice!
- Since you have provied such good documentation of your trailer, along with the serial number on the data plate on the door, I will add your trailer to the Trillium serial number list:
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...tml#post680419
Though it has been over a year since the last update, so don't hold your breath.
- The pocket by the door is a factory option.
- I can't figure out the fitting below your kitchen window. What is that for?
- Given the number of imperfections in the exterior gel coat, you may want to consider repainting.
- Repairing your belly band, correctly, will be more work than you may realize:
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ead-58763.html
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ead-59580.html
- Your upper bunk looks to be missing a support bar. Otherwise it would hold the rated load.
- The curtain rods and holders are available at your local hardware store. Not expensive.
- The thing under your furnace is not an inverter. It is a converter, a 12VDC power supply. It is also not a battery charger. It would destroy a battery. Unless you are nostalgic, (I am) it should be replaced.
- The trim on the Ensolite can be pulled off and boiled to smooth it out. Some of it seems to be missing above the curb side of the dinette.
- Ensolite can be cleaned with a brush and a diluted bleach solution.
- The plywood that is used in your rear shelving can be replaced with fiberglass reinforced plastic, (FRP), or thin white Plexiglas.
- Your furnace looks almost unused. No electricity required. Very simple. A boon docker’s dream.
- The light on the side of your closet is a bit redundant, since there is one a few feet away on the overhead shelf.
- Originally there would have been a plywood cover to your silverware drawer on the table.
- The lock on your door is worth about $400. A new key, if you can find it, would be more economical then a new latch.
- The covers on your cushions look good to me. How much do you want for them?
- The door install is also more work than you may realize:
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...air-47624.html
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...air-86366.html
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...now-72563.html
- Many here don’t use the water tank. Instead we use bottled water. Removing the tank would free up some storage space. Though, if you do that, keep the tank. A future buyer may want to put it back in. Black mold tends to form in the tank and hoses, and needs to be cleaned. A diluted bleach rinse for the hoses. Before you toss your existing tank, maybe try a marine deck fitting to facilitate cleaning:
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ank-68586.html
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...all-64849.html
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ing-54000.html
- I sold a friend of mine a Trillium 1300 that had a crushed roof for several years. The stove was not salvageable. I sold him a replacement stove for $40cdn. New ones run around $200, and may require modifications to your kitchen.
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...now-61473.html
- If your tires have cracks in them, they need replacing. If the axle has no flex, than it is probably original and needs replacing. To test if there is any flex, get someone heavy to jump up and down inside the trailer, over the axle. If the only thing moving is the tires compressing, than you axle is shot. Your frame seems to have the recall repair, but on the bottom of the frame, not the side.
- Any synthetic click style floor is perfect for your application. It doesn’t need to be glued down, and can survive getting wet.
- It may be more work than you want to do, but I am a firm believer in replacing the cupboard doors with birch plywood. I am not a big fan of particle board and Mac-Tack.
- There is already a back splash.
- LED bulbs will fit the existing light fixtures. You can get replacement lenses for the existing fixtures, but they are kind of ugly, and not difficult to replace.
- A new counter seems like a lot of work to me.
- Does your fridge work? A replacement could get expensive. Are you considering a 12 VDC compressor version? A bar fridge is not recommended.
- An inverter, and solar charger are another whole discussion.
- If you want to dispose of your awning, please post it for sale.
- Painting the exterior of your trailer is something best done with the windows and the door removed. If you are also going to paint the interior, the cupboard doors should be removed, and possibly mask off the Ensolite, unless you plan to paint that as well. However, the Ensolite is flexible and probably should be painted with vinyl based paint.
- Removing and resealing the windows is actually a fairly easy and inexpensive job, assuming that is all that is required, (the wood frames have been known to rot out and need replacing). If you have any leaks, (test with the garden hose) then you may want to consider moving this job up to a current project.
- Frame modifications are also an entire other subject.

OK, that was more than a, "few" comments. Take them for what they are worth. I expect that your priorities will differ from mine.
David Tilston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2021, 01:43 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,714
Registry
That lock hasn’t been made in decades. It’s a unique size, nothing else will fit. NOS versions can be found on eBay, typically $400 and up from there. I lucked into one new in box for $300 a couple of months ago, if you can call $300 “lucky.”

This lock was used on dozens of brands of trailers back in the day. So limited supply plus high demand. It’s what it is. Myself I have a box of left over parts and pieces for when I need something.

A good locksmith can make a key for around $25.

Addressing the known leaks (design flaws) would be #1 on my list. Whether you can see the leak or not, they are there. And left til later is playing with fire. I would not risk it.

The other item I would prioritize would be replacing the body to frame bolts. Many/most find these bolts are rotted out. In my case, there was basically NOTHING holding the trailer body onto the frame. I am very lucky I didn't look in my rear view mirror and see the body come lose and bounce down the freeway. Dodged a bullet there.

IMHO the old PD6911 power center is garbage and a new modern unit is a wise investment. A lot of electrical stuff does not age well and this one is a good example of that.
thrifty bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 01:11 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Name: Michele
Trailer: 1977 Trillium 1300
Ontario
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
A few comments:
You have a loaded, (Deluxe?) Trillium 1300. Very nice!
- Since you have provied such good documentation of your trailer, along with the serial number on the data plate on the door, I will add your trailer to the Trillium serial number list:
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...tml#post680419
Though it has been over a year since the last update, so don't hold your breath.
- The pocket by the door is a factory option.
- I can't figure out the fitting below your kitchen window. What is that for?
- Given the number of imperfections in the exterior gel coat, you may want to consider repainting.
- Repairing your belly band, correctly, will be more work than you may realize:
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ead-58763.html
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ead-59580.html
- Your upper bunk looks to be missing a support bar. Otherwise it would hold the rated load.
- The curtain rods and holders are available at your local hardware store. Not expensive.
- The thing under your furnace is not an inverter. It is a converter, a 12VDC power supply. It is also not a battery charger. It would destroy a battery. Unless you are nostalgic, (I am) it should be replaced.
- The trim on the Ensolite can be pulled off and boiled to smooth it out. Some of it seems to be missing above the curb side of the dinette.
- Ensolite can be cleaned with a brush and a diluted bleach solution.
- The plywood that is used in your rear shelving can be replaced with fiberglass reinforced plastic, (FRP), or thin white Plexiglas.
- Your furnace looks almost unused. No electricity required. Very simple. A boon docker’s dream.
- The light on the side of your closet is a bit redundant, since there is one a few feet away on the overhead shelf.
- Originally there would have been a plywood cover to your silverware drawer on the table.
- The lock on your door is worth about $400. A new key, if you can find it, would be more economical then a new latch.
- The covers on your cushions look good to me. How much do you want for them?
- The door install is also more work than you may realize:
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...air-47624.html
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...air-86366.html
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...now-72563.html
- Many here don’t use the water tank. Instead we use bottled water. Removing the tank would free up some storage space. Though, if you do that, keep the tank. A future buyer may want to put it back in. Black mold tends to form in the tank and hoses, and needs to be cleaned. A diluted bleach rinse for the hoses. Before you toss your existing tank, maybe try a marine deck fitting to facilitate cleaning:
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ank-68586.html
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...all-64849.html
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ing-54000.html
- I sold a friend of mine a Trillium 1300 that had a crushed roof for several years. The stove was not salvageable. I sold him a replacement stove for $40cdn. New ones run around $200, and may require modifications to your kitchen.
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...now-61473.html
- If your tires have cracks in them, they need replacing. If the axle has no flex, than it is probably original and needs replacing. To test if there is any flex, get someone heavy to jump up and down inside the trailer, over the axle. If the only thing moving is the tires compressing, than you axle is shot. Your frame seems to have the recall repair, but on the bottom of the frame, not the side.
- Any synthetic click style floor is perfect for your application. It doesn’t need to be glued down, and can survive getting wet.
- It may be more work than you want to do, but I am a firm believer in replacing the cupboard doors with birch plywood. I am not a big fan of particle board and Mac-Tack.
- There is already a back splash.
- LED bulbs will fit the existing light fixtures. You can get replacement lenses for the existing fixtures, but they are kind of ugly, and not difficult to replace.
- A new counter seems like a lot of work to me.
- Does your fridge work? A replacement could get expensive. Are you considering a 12 VDC compressor version? A bar fridge is not recommended.
- An inverter, and solar charger are another whole discussion.
- If you want to dispose of your awning, please post it for sale.
- Painting the exterior of your trailer is something best done with the windows and the door removed. If you are also going to paint the interior, the cupboard doors should be removed, and possibly mask off the Ensolite, unless you plan to paint that as well. However, the Ensolite is flexible and probably should be painted with vinyl based paint.
- Removing and resealing the windows is actually a fairly easy and inexpensive job, assuming that is all that is required, (the wood frames have been known to rot out and need replacing). If you have any leaks, (test with the garden hose) then you may want to consider moving this job up to a current project.
- Frame modifications are also an entire other subject.

OK, that was more than a, "few" comments. Take them for what they are worth. I expect that your priorities will differ from mine.
Dave, thanks for adding the camper to the registry.
- the kitchen window fitting looks like something added by a P/O - I think they had a TV mounted and maybe that was cable access?
- I don't have the funds to repaint this year, but it is a future project, possibly next year
- I'm already working on repairing the belly band and I have looked at a lot of the posts. Currently at the grinding the iron bits out stage
- the converter will be replaced, but likely not this year. All our sites are electrical so far and it just isn't in the budget this year, but I know it needs to be done
- ensolite is cleaning up nicely with a "scrub free" bathroom spray
- I'm going to get a locksmith to do a new key
- the cushions are actually kind of gross, some have busted zippers and visible mould. I will post them on here when I'm ready to part with them, but need them for the pattern first. My mother is a seamstress and I got a deal on the fabric yesterday
- I have to research the door - it is useable for now, but needs to be fixed
- still contemplating the water tank issues - some of our sites have water and we can use bottled water if I don't get to it this season
- I think the stove may work, but I want someone to check the propane lines first. I can easily clean it up if it works, and if it doesn't, use other cooking methods until I get around to it (which we will likely do anyway)
- tires are good, definitely newer, still have to check out the axle and bolt situation - a mechanic is going to take a look
- the fridge does work, I do have one that could run off solar, but that is a decision I will make when I look at solar, likely next year or later
- changes to the doors this year would be cosmetic. I may replace them all, but not this season. I don't even know if I will do anything other than clean them this year. Backsplash would just be for cosmetic reasons, to "jazz" it up.
- the clean up is going so well that no interior painting is needed
- the windows repair/redo is a next year problem, unless that is the cause of the one known small leak (but there is a belly band issue right at the spot)


- I am likely keeping the awning for now. Again, budget is a concern. It is still in really good shape. I don't think it was used much
MicheleA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2021, 01:16 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Name: Michele
Trailer: 1977 Trillium 1300
Ontario
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
That lock hasn’t been made in decades. It’s a unique size, nothing else will fit. NOS versions can be found on eBay, typically $400 and up from there. I lucked into one new in box for $300 a couple of months ago, if you can call $300 “lucky.”

This lock was used on dozens of brands of trailers back in the day. So limited supply plus high demand. It’s what it is. Myself I have a box of left over parts and pieces for when I need something.

A good locksmith can make a key for around $25.

Addressing the known leaks (design flaws) would be #1 on my list. Whether you can see the leak or not, they are there. And left til later is playing with fire. I would not risk it.

The other item I would prioritize would be replacing the body to frame bolts. Many/most find these bolts are rotted out. In my case, there was basically NOTHING holding the trailer body onto the frame. I am very lucky I didn't look in my rear view mirror and see the body come lose and bounce down the freeway. Dodged a bullet there.

IMHO the old PD6911 power center is garbage and a new modern unit is a wise investment. A lot of electrical stuff does not age well and this one is a good example of that.
Thanks Bill.

Bringing the unit to a locksmith for a new key is on the list.
Belly band repair is in progress. If that isn't the leak, then I guess I'm dealing with windows this year. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
A mechanic is going to look at the axle, frame, etc. Though I am a grown woman, my retired police officer father has some requirements before he will let me and his grandkids use it, so he has his "guy" he trusts.
If I can't get the power center to work then it will need to be replaced this year. If not, next year. Using the existing one is definitely a temp solution, not a long term one.
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