Hey there! My name is Jared, just took possession of a 13' Trillium! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-01-2021, 10:10 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Jared
Trailer: Trillium
Ontario
Posts: 7
Hey there! My name is Jared, just took possession of a 13' Trillium!

Hi,

Just got myself a 70's Trillium, 13'. Zero experience with RV's, however, I do cabinet making and construction for a living, and also did 4 years of autobody repair and painting! So I'm looking forward to rebuilding this beauty. Any tips and tricks will be greatly appreciated, I've spent the evening reading posts and have already learned tons! Thanks in advance for all the guidance...
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Old 05-01-2021, 11:58 PM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 10,199
Registry
Welcome to the forum, Jared, and to RV ownership!

Being new to RVs, my advice would be to do as little as possible, for now at least. Get it clean, make it safely towable, bypass any non-functional appliances (eg, if the fridge doesn’t work buy an ice chest). Use it for at least one full season before you start your rehab. You’ll get to know the trailer much better, and more important, you’ll know yourself and your camping style and preferences.

Vintage Trilliums have a few well-known issues that may need attention before you get to your own wish list.

Above all, stay away from Pinterest. No real campers look like that, not after two weeks of boondocking!
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Old 05-02-2021, 06:58 AM   #3
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,820
Registry
You picked a brand with a ton of information on them here on this forum. Click on the manufacturers tab near the top right of the page, then pick Trillium, and you are there. Randy Bishop and David Tilston are two that have posted some in depth threads on repairs.

Recognize the interior plays a key role in the structural integrity of the trailer, so avoid removing interior pieces.

I like Jon's idea, make it safe and usable and just camp with it for a while before doing anything major.

I found my propane piping was broken in several places, so don't fire it up without carefully inspecting it first. Prior owner also crimped the end of the line for the furnace, surely would have leaked propane into the interior had I tried it. Electrical system was also bad, so replacing the power control center was an early project. In my case, the 120V AC pigtail was shorted out. On these trailers that are 40 years old if not more, its not a good idea to fire up stuff without inspecting first.

Don't try to find shortcuts. Read the various threads on common. repairs, like the belly band, and then mimic the one you like best.

Keep it under cover, prefer a carport or a garage, until you have redone belly band, windows, and all body penetrations. Don't move the trailer until you have replaced body to frame bolts.
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Old 05-02-2021, 07:22 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Name: Jared
Trailer: Trillium
Ontario
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Welcome to the forum, Jared, and to RV ownership!

Being new to RVs, my advice would be to do as little as possible, for now at least. Get it clean, make it safely towable, bypass any non-functional appliances (eg, if the fridge doesn’t work buy an ice chest). Use it for at least one full season before you start your rehab. You’ll get to know the trailer much better, and more important, you’ll know yourself and your camping style and preferences.

Vintage Trilliums have a few well-known issues that may need attention before you get to your own wish list.

Above all, stay away from Pinterest. No real campers look like that, not after two weeks of boondocking!
Those are good suggestions! I'm starting with giving it all a good clean, inside and out, then I'll start with the mechanical and electrical system, making sure everything is functioning for now.
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Old 05-02-2021, 07:25 AM   #5
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Name: Jared
Trailer: Trillium
Ontario
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
You picked a brand with a ton of information on them here on this forum. Click on the manufacturers tab near the top right of the page, then pick Trillium, and you are there. Randy Bishop and David Tilston are two that have posted some in depth threads on repairs.

Recognize the interior plays a key role in the structural integrity of the trailer, so avoid removing interior pieces.

I like Jon's idea, make it safe and usable and just camp with it for a while before doing anything major.

I found my propane piping was broken in several places, so don't fire it up without carefully inspecting it first. Prior owner also crimped the end of the line for the furnace, surely would have leaked propane into the interior had I tried it. Electrical system was also bad, so replacing the power control center was an early project. In my case, the 120V AC pigtail was shorted out. On these trailers that are 40 years old if not more, its not a good idea to fire up stuff without inspecting first.

Don't try to find shortcuts. Read the various threads on common. repairs, like the belly band, and then mimic the one you like best.

Keep it under cover, prefer a carport or a garage, until you have redone belly band, windows, and all body penetrations. Don't move the trailer until you have replaced body to frame bolts.
Thanks thriftyBill, I currently have it under my carport, and I'm going to be giving it a thorough once over to see what i have. The PO removed the fiberglass cabinet that housed the sink and fridge etc, and had made one out of wood, which doesn't look great. So once the mechanics and electrical have been addressed I think that will be my first custom piece, but again, I'll use it a bit to know what I will find most useful for my own use, thanks in advance for all the help!!
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Old 05-02-2021, 07:38 AM   #6
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,820
Registry
Too bad on that kitchen cabinet, as one of the better features on a Trillium 1300 and 4500 are the fiberglass cabinets. Now making one out of wood can look very nice and it gives you more options as to depth, number of drawers, and so on. I'd go a lot more drawers for sure!!!

So its the one cabinet that replacement is not so bad. Pay attention to refrigerator options, as one problem with the original Trillium kitchen was the lack of depth, making finding a fridge to fit, difficult. Good time to think about compressor fridge options. Also the same issues on modern furnaces. So you have a chance to accommodate both!

Now the shallow original cabinet also made the center aisle wider, which is a nice plus.
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Old 05-02-2021, 07:50 AM   #7
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Name: Jared
Trailer: Trillium
Ontario
Posts: 7
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Too bad on that kitchen cabinet, as one of the better features on a Trillium 1300 and 4500 are the fiberglass cabinets. Now making one out of wood can look very nice and it gives you more options as to depth, number of drawers, and so on. I'd go a lot more drawers for sure!!!

So its the one cabinet that replacement is not so bad. Pay attention to refrigerator options, as one problem with the original Trillium kitchen was the lack of depth, making finding a fridge to fit, difficult. Good time to think about compressor fridge options.

Now the shallow original cabinet also made the center aisle wider, which is a nice plus.
Yeah, its not ideal, but it will give me opportunity to add drawers and depth as you mentioned. The other cabinet beside the door, is also missing, except for the bottom section. The top section, the piece that runs to the ceiling, is also missing, so I'll be looking for some ideas or dimensions on the original one to make a replacement. I've seen a few where that has become a chest of drawers, which interests me as storage is minimal in these.
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Old 05-02-2021, 08:37 AM   #8
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,820
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaredjbell View Post
Yeah, its not ideal, but it will give me opportunity to add drawers and depth as you mentioned. The other cabinet beside the door, is also missing, except for the bottom section. The top section, the piece that runs to the ceiling, is also missing, so I'll be looking for some ideas or dimensions on the original one to make a replacement. I've seen a few where that has become a chest of drawers, which interests me as storage is minimal in these.
The closet beside the door is CRITICAL to supporting the structure of the trailer. A tall drawer section would be ideal. My 1300 has a small lower cabinet, above that the closet, and above that a small cabinet. All in line with each other.

I added shelves to the main closet to make it more useful.
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Old 05-02-2021, 05:45 PM   #9
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300
New Brunswick
Posts: 160
Hey there! I just took possession of a 13' Trillium

Hi congrats on your purchase. I too have a 1300 Trillium (1976), the first repair I did was the wood replacement around all the windows. Remove all the cushions and hose down each window looking for leaks below them. Check the roof vent as well. I relied on members on this site for information and tips to make repairs too. Bolts that hold the body on the frame must be checked to ensure all 6 are not rusted away. The propane and electrical systems should be a priority to check too. Also look at the frame itself for weakness /cracks .

The forum has tips on repairs for many different items. If you don't find exactly what you need ask on here , no doubt someone will be able to help.
Good Luck with your new trailer ! Be safe and enjoy your travels ! Duane
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:58 AM   #10
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Name: Martha
Trailer: Currently shopping
Pennsylvania
Posts: 20
Thrifty Bill, I need shelves like that and it looks simple to do. How did you make your shelves?
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