After drooling over many fibreglass 13 footers on the road, we finally found a trailer in our price range. Of course our low budget necessitated finding a trailer that needs plenty of work. Our yet-to-be-named trillium
came with registration
as a 1971 and it appears to be an accurate date based on the few early 70's photos I could find. The telltale signs seem to be the sealed oval windows
on the front and the rear.
We purchased it from someone who had plans to restore it but did not get around to it. Fortunately, they did a few important things already which made it easy to pull home. The wheels, tires
and bearings are new and it included a new spare tire. The lights
are fully functional. The frame looks like it's in good shape and the front dolly wheel looks like a recent replacement.
The rest of the trailer looks like it has been through quite a life however. The exterior has been painted - probably a spray-bomb job. A bit of the original gelcoat is peeking out in places. There are a few fibreglass repairs (and a few places that will need further minor repairs) however, so bringing it back to original gelcoat is not in the cards for this little guy. The front window has been spray painted too
The rear jacks are included but I haven't pulled them out to look at them. One thing I noticed is that the trailer has jack points at the front as well as the back - and the fibreglass around the front curbside jack point is cracked. We don't plan to use the front jack points but I'll have to fix that for water tightness. It seems like a bad design decision for them to have mounted the jack points to the body instead of the frame. I may have to have the rear ones reinforced just to be sure the same thing doesn't happen. We plan to level it with two rear jack points and a single on the tongue.
Inside - well - it has been basically gutted. There is an ugly aftermarket countertop and no appliances. Cupboard doors all look like aftermarket afterthoughts. The dinette table is missing and there are no cushions. Most original wood looks like it was replaced with plywood roughly cut to shape. The entire driver's side wall has had its covering removed.
and top hatch appear to work but who knows if they'll keep water out. We have not had rain yet, but this week's forecast says we should find out how leaky it is soon!
This trailer will not likely ever be brought back to factory original. The bright side is that we are working with a blank canvas for modification. We just picked this up yesterday so we are still early in the brainstorming phase, but so far we are thinking about the following:
Exterior: Sand and paint
, probably two-tone (maybe dark red bottom and mustard top
). I think we will roll on thinned tremclad gloss as spray is out of the budget. Info about this process can be found here: How to paint your car for $50 - beyond.ca car forums community for automotive enthusiasts
- The goal will be a durable and presentable finish. We aren't gunning for showroom-smooth.
Interior: We will probably get creative here. When we were eyeing these up on the road, we always had in mind a small sleeper trailer with a couple of seats. We don't plan to cook inside the trailer. I think we will modify the dinette to be a permanent bed. To compensate for the loss of seating, I thought it would be interesting to modify the front bench into either a mini dinette (2 person dinette) or to add a fold down table. I'm not too sure about the kitchen counter - I'm inclined to remove the entire assembly so that we can customize the layout even further, but not too sure where to take it. I just don't see us cooking inside at all and there's not enough space to justify wasting it on unused countertop.
The interior walls - well - I'm not sure how to handle them but have been searching around here for ideas. I have a bunch of reclaimed reflective bubble wrap that could be an insulating layer. My friend suggested cork as an interior wall material and I really like that idea. I suppose I'll be on and off here bouncing ideas around for the duration of the renovations.
I have no idea how I'm going to fit all of this work into an already busy life, but somehow it will come together.
Hopefully you enjoy these preliminary pictures - if you have any ideas or comments, please share :-)