My 1978 Trillium 4500 Build Log - Fiberglass RV
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Old 12-19-2021, 05:14 PM   #1
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Name: Alex
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Tennessee
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My 1978 Trillium 4500 Build Log

Hi All!

I will be documenting my progress on my 1978 Trillium 4500 here!

For our list of repairs and upgrades, we only have a couple items... haha
  • Repack and/or replace bearings
  • Finish wiring and install new trailer plug
  • Install and inspect propane system
  • Install new battery + tongue box
  • Install and check all plumbing, sinks, toilet, tanks, inlet
  • Fix all roof leaks (a couple small areas need some new butyl and hardware)
  • Check status of brakes and replace if necessary
  • Replace all cabinet doors
  • Install flooring
  • Install shelving, storage, shoe bags, etc
  • Roof fan or AC unit
  • Reseal all ensolite seams
Plus a few other things we are kicking around like painting the shell and completely gutting the interior to replace all the ensolite. You know, small things.

Here it is after we gave it a good scrubbing!
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front_view.jpg   rear_view.jpg  

interior_1.jpg   interior_2.jpg  

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Old 12-19-2021, 05:20 PM   #2
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Name: Alex
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Tennessee
Posts: 10
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So the first thing we noticed after we had a chance to get in it and inspect was there were a few roof leaks. One of them I figured must be coming from the awning track as there were several rusty and missing screws and rivets.

I knocked off the rivets and gave it a good cleaning underneath. Then I laid down three rows of 1/8" caulking rod (the messy stuff) and replaced the hardware with stainless #10-24 3/8" machine screws. A few of the holes were a bit wide so I used #12-1/2" self tapping screws for them.
Unfortunately I ran out of screws since I mis-guessed the number I needed and discovered some more water in the trailer this morning. So we will have to wait and see for next rain if that was the issue or maybe my lack of butyl tape (Ace didn't carry the stuff unfortunately). Oh well, easy repair at least.

There's some kind of vent over the bath area with a pretty rough looking patch around it that seems to be leaking quite a bit, so I just tried taping it up with duct tape for the time being. Will have to come back another day to address it.
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old_awning_strip.jpg   old_awning_strip2.jpg  

replaced_awning_strip.jpg   replaced_awning_strip2.jpg  

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Old 12-19-2021, 06:25 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B
British Columbia
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First thing I'd do is replace that ankle breaker step.
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Old 12-25-2021, 02:17 PM   #4
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Name: Rob
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
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So much fun in store for you!
I have a 1979 4500. So far have redone the wiring on the tongue, but lots more to do, too.
Windows and belly band next and might need to look at the floor after all the years(?) of leaks.
So worth it though! Looking forward to seeing your progress.
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Old 01-10-2022, 07:51 PM   #5
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Spent the last couple weeks reading FGRV nonstop basically. After several deliveries from the mailman, I had everything ready for the electrical upgrades. The original transformer was fine I'm sure, but I wanted to be able to charge the 12v battery with shore power, and also add solar down the line.

Here is the stock location for the panel. Randy replaced the shore power cord with a 30a 120VAC plug in the same location which is a great idea.

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The area behind the transformer had quite a bit of space for a new converter.

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Most people swap in a PD4045 but I wanted something that fit in the existing cutout for the transformer. The PD4600 is supposed to be a drop-in replacement for these kinds of things, but I wasn't a fan of how the breakers/fuses were set up on it. I think you'd have to pull it out every time to reach them. So I decided on the PD5000 distribution panel paired with a PD9245 for conversion. Yeah, not the most cost effective solution, but $60-$80 more in the scheme of things didn't seem that bad.

Mixed in with this decision was an obsessive amount of measuring and checking clearances. I wanted to be super sure everything would fit and I'd avoid any crazy workarounds. Once I felt good enough to order everything, the next step was to start hacking away at the fiberglass.

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I estimate I saved about 1.0-2.0 oz in weight with the fiberglass I removed. So that's good. My ultralight backpacking days are paying off.

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I epoxied some wood strips behind the cutout to screw into. I suspect they weighed more than 2 oz. Oops.

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Happy to say the panel fits just fine. And the crushing realization that the furnace cover might get in the way gave me a small heart attack. Luckily that's not the case and there's plenty of room.

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Old 01-10-2022, 08:16 PM   #6
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The PD9245 was a little trickier to install. Triple checking the location told me yes it would fit... barely.. but it would fit. I also needed to make sure all the wiring will be able to reach. Kind of important.

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Luckily the decision for the mount is only as permanent as the 3600psi epoxy I'm using.. So permanent. With all my clamps taken with the dist panel cutout I had to get creative.

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Decided I wanted the prettiest mount around for my converter. I have a couple studs ready for wires. More on that later

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I spent probably way too much time trying to come up with a way to avoid any wire splices or anything kinda sketchy that might burn down the trailer later. Sadly the distribution blocks I had on hand were only rated for 25A, so not gonna cut it with a 45A converter. I also really wanted to avoid forking over another $25 for a pair of distribution blocks. But I probably will. The existing 8AWG chassis ground wire is "enough" but I will be upgrading it to 4AWG whenever I feel like ruining one of my drill bits to get a new frame ground.

But here is the final setup. Haven't checked the circuits yet, so hoping I don't have to pull it back out.

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Clearance is... well.. there's clearance. This trillium did not have any doors so its up to me what I want to do here. I also managed to destroy the small round vent under this panel at some point sadly. I'm thinking either a panel with giant mesh cutout or just complete mesh cover. Maybe something with magnets... Anyway I have plenty of time before I get to cabinet doors.

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Old 01-11-2022, 09:36 AM   #7
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Name: Dave W
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So... No more storage by the door then. I like that spot for a small garbage container that's accessable from inside and outside the trailer. Are you going to put a door over the hole?
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Old 01-11-2022, 10:13 AM   #8
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Trailer: 1979 Boler 1700
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Nice work Alex. I also replaced the original converter with a PD9000 distribution panel. In my Trillium 4500, the opening to the left of the entry door where you installed the new converter had a tilt out hamper. I left that in place. Instead of installing a new converter, I installed a smart charger in the cord port area. Also replaced the cord port with a 30 amp inlet.
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Old 01-13-2022, 09:00 PM   #9
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Name: Alex
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Tennessee
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Ah.. well being new to the Trillium I guess I am still learning new things. I might look at moving the converter where John mentioned, but I would need to run new battery and ground cables since they wouldn't reach. I also could tuck it back in the wheel well but I didn't like how little airflow it would get there.

As for what to do with the hole, I was thinking of putting a vented door over it with a couple of voltmeters to measure the load on the system if and when I get some solar panels. Pretty cheap little displays and some clever wiring and you can have a pretty impressive little display. Figure the door there would be a good place for it.
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Old 01-14-2022, 07:51 AM   #10
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Alex, I installed my AGM battery in the driver's side rear bench. Ran the battery cables just under the dinette floor all the way forward.

I installed the PD9000 in the same location as your PD9000 installation.
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