How to diagnose Trillium Suspension? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 03-30-2023, 12:28 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: April
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 2
How to diagnose Trillium Suspension?

1975 Trillium 1300.
I'm pretty sure the axle is original, so that might just guarantee I need a new one...but maybe not.
It sure is a big, expensive job I'd prefer to avoid.
I have the body off and have repaired/reinforced the frame, so this would be a good time. to diagnose the condition of the axle/suspension?
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Old 03-31-2023, 08:27 AM   #2
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David Tilston's Avatar
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1976, 1978, 1979, 1300 - 1977, and a 1973
Posts: 6,926
April, If it is original, then yes it needs to be replaced. A torsion axle is good for about 20 years or so.

There are two common failure modes. If the trailer has been used on bumpy roads, then the rubber in the axle may have disintegrated. The swing arms on the axle will be angled up, a lot.

If the trailer has been sitting for a long time. The rubber becomes rock hard. To confirm this, requires two people. Get your heaviest friend to bounce up and down inside the trailer. Try to get the bouncing at the trailer’s natural harmonic frequency. Then someone should stand outside the trailer and see if the wheel moves, or if all the bounce is only in the tires.

Replacing the axle should not break the bank. Find a shop that specializes in trailer repairs. I can't give you a price range since I'm Canadian. The prices for service are typically higher here. I would recommend getting a new axle with brakes, or at least one with the mounting plates for brakes.

I would pull the coach off the frame before you get this done. It will be easier to do the work. Also, you will see that the bolts that hold the coach to the frame have failed. This is part of a list of five items for restoring Trilliums.

The list:
- Plywood frames that the windows screw into. Typically, condensation has caused some of these to rot.
- The door. Originally the door was screwed into some thin plywood inside the post at the hinge side of the door. The wood rots out and the door no longer hangs straight, or it falls off.
- The belly band. It is complicated, but the belly band will eventually leak / fall off.
- The Axle
- The bolts holding the cab to the frame.

Each of these have multiple solutions. I should do a thread on this.
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Old 04-01-2023, 08:46 AM   #3
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Trailer: 2008 Casita 17' SD
Posts: 2,078
If the axle is original, it's on its last legs, and it is long overdue for replacement. And no better time to do it than with the trailer shell off of it. I'd tow it to the nearest farm/horse/utility trailer sales place you can find and have them install a new one. Don't take it to an "RV" repair place that will charge you double, (and probably do crappy work,) for a replacement. People with animal trailers tend to replace them more frequently, and the people at those trailer shops understand how to install them. They do it regularly.

You're probably looking at roughly ballpark $1K for the axle, with installation labor, to replace it, and you'll be good for the next 20 years or more.
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