Hello, I am... - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-13-2019, 05:19 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Jenn
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Posts: 13
Hello, I am...

Hello everyone, I am Jenn and my husband and I just purchased a 78 Trillium and are looking forward to learning all about this little fiberglass trailer. It's in pretty good condition, we think, and look forward to learning how to take care of it, decorate it to make it ours and making new memories with the many new adventures we will take her on. We do need to remove the blue strip and maybe replace it, clean and wax the outside, and I also noticed the mirror on the inside needs to be removed but appears to be riveted on (looks very dirty behind it). Any ideas on how to remove the strip, clean/wax the outside and remove the mirror and possibly paint the ensolite/interior are welcome. I'm sure we ill find many other minor fixes as we get to know Penelope better.

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Old 08-13-2019, 06:42 AM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 8,979
Welcome, Jenn! Love those old Trilliums!

Regarding the stripes, removing old decals can be a chore. Itís best done on a warm day. A hair dryer may help some, but with old, brittle decals I didnít find it helped much.

The most important tool is a plastic razor (available at hardware stores) with a good supply of blades. Use it to lift the corners and coax it away from the shell as you pull.

Some have had good results with a 3M eraser wheel (available online or at an auto parts store). Itís a soft rubber wheel you put in a power drill and it lifts off decals. On my Scamp I had trouble with the red dye on the decals getting into the wheel and staining the gelcoat, but it may work better for you as it has for others.

You may find removing the stripe leave a ďghostĒ image behind of unweathered fiberglass gel coat that contrasts with the surrounding fiberglass. Not much you can do about that, which may influence your decision about whether to replace the decals or not.

For wax, Iíve has good results with the Meguiarís Marine/RV Fiberglass Restoration Kit, which includes an oxidation remover, conditioner/polish, and wax. Itís about $35 on Amazon.

To remove rivets, drill out the center of the top, separating the head from the shaft, using a drill bit the same size as the shaft diameter. You might need a helper to grip the other end with vise grip pliers to keep it from turning (if itís accessible).

Before you get too deep into cosmetics, verify that your frame is sound and your axle in good condition. Trillium frames are vulnerable where the rails curve upward at the front of the cabin.

Best wishes!

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Old 08-13-2019, 06:56 AM   #3
Senior Member
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 2,867
I would do some reading before you get too far. Near the top of the screen on this site to the right you will see a tab: "Manufacturers". Click on this tab, then select Trillium. You will find hundreds of threads on Trillium, lots of them concerning repairs.

Some common issues on Trilliums are rotten wood where the windows mount, leaking belly band, door sag from hinge wood rot (hinges are screwed into wood blocks inside the fiberglass), body to frame bolts (always rotted out).

Unless you see clear signs that these repairs have been done, you should expect to face them in the near future.

Love my Trillium, its an awesome trailer, but there were some design flaws. And compared to other 40 year old trailers, the issues are quite minor.

Other issues common to all vintage trailers include worn out axles. These original axles were designed to last 15 to 20 years. At the 41 year point, they tend to be well past an useful life. There are threads on this topic too.

Consider most of your issues others have faced in the past. So with some reading you will find hundreds of approaches to addressing these problems.

Removing rivets is easy. You use a drill to remove the head on the rivet. Drill sized should be based on the shank on the rivet, not the diameter of the head. When reinstalling stuff inside, you either replace the rivet, or place a small block of wood behind the fiberglass and use a wood screw. I've done both.

There is a close to 80 page thread on polishing Trilliums titled "Not Poliglow". Choice of method and material to polish a vintage FG trailer is like getting agreement on religion or politics. Not going to happen. I am in the Zep floor polish camp.

The one thing I did wrong is I polished the trailer BEFORE fixing the belly band and the door. Mistake! Needs to done AFTER all other outside work.

After Zep:

1977 Trillium Outside Clean and Polish by wrk101, on Flickr
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:26 AM   #4
Junior Member
Name: Jenn
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Posts: 13
Thank you for the advice! Will definitely take our time to read through many posts. Ron may tackle the blue stripe and take a look at the axle this fall. Your Trillium looks great!
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:04 AM   #5
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WaltP's Avatar
Name: Walter
Trailer: 2017 Escape 17B
SW Virginia
Posts: 1,788
Bill. Nice pic. Pretty Trillium.

Past owner of 1995 13' Casita, 1994 16' Casita, 2012 Parkliner, 2002 17' Bigfoot.
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