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Old 11-20-2020, 10:05 AM   #1
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: maybe Trillium
Virginia
Posts: 12
Maybe a Trillium?

Hi, I'm Jamie. I drive a Rav4Hybrid with a tow capacity of 1750. Getting a tow hitch on it - (any recommendations on that?) Once that is done I may have the opportunity to get this family trailer a day's drive away. 1970s Trillium 1300 from my grandparents, who towed it with a little corolla wagon. It hasn't been used in 5+ years. What would I have to check out before attempting to use this? Could I take it to a regular car mechanic to check brakes or ? New to all this!
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Old 11-20-2020, 11:45 AM   #2
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Trillium 1300
Oregon
Posts: 17
An RV dealership with a good service department will generally do a top-to-bottom inspection for a nominal fee. Be careful not to let them upsell you on things that aren’t essential. But a close look at the tires and bearings, frame condition, brakes, LP lines and fittings, and plumbing is a good idea before you take your Trillium out on an adventure. Have fun!
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Old 11-20-2020, 01:50 PM   #3
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
Posts: 5,915
Registry
Jamie, You are one lucky duck! That appears to be a well-equipped Trillium 1300. I would guess it is a 1976 or slightly earlier model. The kitchen window is not very common on a 1300, (mandatory on a 4500). They came with a 2000 lb axle and were rated as 1500 lb dry weight. Seems like a perfect match for your tow vehicle.
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Old 11-20-2020, 01:58 PM   #4
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Name: Alexander
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1300
New Hampshire
Posts: 789
If you haven't already, determine how many pins are on the plug of the cable from the trailer (typically 4 or 7). Whatever wiring is installed on your tow vehicle will either need to match or you may need an adapter. I personally would make sure a 7-pin connector is wired on the tow vehicle. If the trailer only has 4 pins, you can get an adapter cheaply. Once you have the trailer, if it has a 4 pin connector, you may want to consider rewiring it for 7 pin. If the trailer came with a 4 pin connector from the factory, then brakes were not installed. They may be installed on the current axle if it has the flanges for them. Otherwise, you would need to replace the axle to get brakes. The previous owner of my trailer cut the 7 pin connector off the trailer and replaced it with a 4-pin connector so I had to rewire when I replaced the axle with a new one that had brakes. I did it myself so it is not too difficult.

Take the trailer to a place specializing in trailers to have the brakes checked if it has any.

Take the trailer to an RV place for propane and any other RV specific system.
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Old 11-20-2020, 03:30 PM   #5
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,224
Registry
Fresh tires, get wheel bearings serviced, replace body to frame bolts, and test the lights. When I picked up mine, I took a set of wheel mounted tires and a set of temporary magnetic trailer lights. Good thing as lights did not work, and the tires were close to 30 years old. While I was installing the new tires, I serviced the wheel bearings. I then bought it home over 600 miles, no problem. Once home, I started addressing the typical Trillium issues.
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Old 11-20-2020, 04:54 PM   #6
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: maybe Trillium
Virginia
Posts: 12
Thanks everyone for the ideas and tips. I don't see a way to "like" your comments but I really appreciate the information!
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Old 11-23-2020, 04:29 PM   #7
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: maybe Trillium
Virginia
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Jamie, You are one lucky duck! That appears to be a well-equipped Trillium 1300. I would guess it is a 1976 or slightly earlier model. The kitchen window is not very common on a 1300, (mandatory on a 4500). They came with a 2000 lb axle and were rated as 1500 lb dry weight. Seems like a perfect match for your tow vehicle.

BIL reports that it is a 1978 and says I'd be welcome to use it!
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:35 PM   #8
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
Posts: 5,915
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie June View Post
BIL reports that it is a 1978 and says I'd be welcome to use it!
It may very well be 1978, but the orange stripe has me dubious. If you have access to the serial number, please compare it to the list found here:
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...tml#post680419

The point of that list was to determine the year of manufacture of a trailer that I bought that the PO identified as a 1979, but I knew when I bought it that was the wrong year for that trailer. It turned out to be a 1972. Hey, what’s 7 years?
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:56 PM   #9
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: maybe Trillium
Virginia
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
It may very well be 1978, but the orange stripe has me dubious. If you have access to the serial number, please compare it to the list found here:
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...tml#post680419

The point of that list was to determine the year of manufacture of a trailer that I bought that the PO identified as a 1979, but I knew when I bought it that was the wrong year for that trailer. It turned out to be a 1972. Hey, what’s 7 years?

I will def check when I am in the presence of the trailer, though that might be a while! Funny you should say that because I was guessing around 76 or 77. I wonder if it's a 78 sold in 77, like they do cars today. I am sure it's not a 72 though! They brought it east a few times when I was a kid but nothing that early.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:16 PM   #10
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Trillium Manufacturing
Arizona
Posts: 58
Trillium Wiring

All Trilliums/Jubilees left the factory with a 7 pin connector. 4 pin is only for U-Hauls & snowmobile/boat trailers, etc.
If there's a 4 pin on the trailer, then a previous owner did the modification. You'll find all the original wiring inside to power the interior lights, and a blue wire for brakes.
If the original axle is still under the trailer, then it will have brake flanges installed to attach electric brakes. (Approx 4" square plate, with 4 holes, behind the hub.)
If you have specific questions, you're welcome to email at Parts@TrilliumRV.com
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:44 PM   #11
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: maybe Trillium
Virginia
Posts: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomA View Post
All Trilliums/Jubilees left the factory with a 7 pin connector. 4 pin is only for U-Hauls & snowmobile/boat trailers, etc.
If there's a 4 pin on the trailer, then a previous owner did the modification. You'll find all the original wiring inside to power the interior lights, and a blue wire for brakes.
If the original axle is still under the trailer, then it will have brake flanges installed to attach electric brakes. (Approx 4" square plate, with 4 holes, behind the hub.)
If you have specific questions, you're welcome to email at Parts@TrilliumRV.com
BIL tells me it has a 7 pin connector on the trailer, and there are no brakes currently. I'm pretty sure it's all original under there, so hopefully it's as you say and I may be able to add. Thank you for the help! We will have a look at it in the spring!
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:45 AM   #12
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
Posts: 5,915
Registry
I have yet to find a Trillium, with the original axle, that doesn't have the brake mounting plate.
But if it is the original axle, it is more than 40 years old. That is about 20 years older than it was designed to last. It would probably be a better investment to get a new axle installed, with brakes.
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Old 11-28-2020, 02:26 PM   #13
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Name: john
Trailer: bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 14
trillium 13 1977

We had a Trillium once.... one of the best little trailers ever... The windows are an especially smart design...
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Old 11-28-2020, 03:37 PM   #14
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1960 Mobile Scout
New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie June View Post
Hi, I'm Jamie. I drive a Rav4Hybrid with a tow capacity of 1750.

Hi Jamie! Nice trailer you are getting yourself into. I'm responding because stated tow capacity of a vehicle manufacturer can be deceiving. Towing is not about just one number.

To start, I would be more concerned about tongue weight. That is the weight that your trailer puts down on your tow vehicle at the coupler/ball union. Your RAV4 is a light weight, uni-body constructed vehicle. Light uni-body does not like excessive, or even much tongue weight at all. Most hitches you see on small vehicles like yours, are for attaching accessories, like bike racks, etc. See if you can find your manufacturer's published tongue weight limitations. In many cases, that will make the "towing capacity" moot. Laying too much weight on the back of your RAV can warp the uni-body frame. You may not know it, but you may find that you have difficulty getting your car to be aligned after that (like after you get your frame straightened out after a bad collision... sometimes it's never the same again!) Maybe you find that your doors don't close so tightly anymore... or you get long cracks in your windshield. So, remember that a 1970 VW Beetle can probably pull a 3000 lb. trailer, one mile on perfectly flat terrain... but that doesn't mean it has a 3,000 lb. tow capacity... and would you want that level of instability and destructive forces on your tow vehicle for 100's or 1,000's of miles of travel? Troublesome, unbalanced towing is super stressful. On some towing/trailer forums, some speak of reducing the stated tow capacity by 50%. But read on, because the context of your towing (elevation changes, outdoor temperature, length of trip, your speed, etc.) will affect your vehicle's towing capacity.



Next, you will want to know your trailer weight when wet and loaded. You can do this on a truck scale (you can do the tongue weight as well). For your Trillium to be balanced and safe to tow, you will want your tongue weight to be about 10% of the total trailer weight. Too much, and it starts to make the front end of your tow vehicle too light and unstable (esp. in wet conditions)... too little, and the front end of your trailer can start to wag like a dog's tail and create a very dangerous situation. If that 10% I speak of (tongue weight) is more than your tow vehicle can safely allow, without damaging the frame, then I do not think you have the right tow vehicle.


Other tow vehicle considerations: if you have automatic transmission, that transmission will probably overheat before your engine will if you put too high a demand on the vehicle. The ambient outdoor temperature will affect that as well. If you live in the flat, level parts of Virginia, overheating may not be too much of an issue. But if you live or are traveling to mountainous terrain, forget about the RAV as a tow vehicle. You'll kill it fast. With that said, consider the age/mileage of your RAV... and what you can afford to spend on maintaining it. With towing you want reliability. Most importantly, speed is the enemy in simple coupler to ball set ups, especially if your tow vehicle and trailer have not been properly balanced. This is true for lightweight set ups as well as super large ones. I'd bet the Trillium has a basic leaf spring (or similar) suspension. With that, you shouldn't really travel faster than 55 to 65mph. With the trailer having a higher profile than your RAV, it is subject to crosswinds and wind resistance. Under calm, flat, straight, cool towing: 65. With crosswinds, terrain changes, heat and curves: 55 (or less if the road is wet).


More than you wanted to think about, huh? We want your experience with your new Trillium to be fun!
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Old 11-28-2020, 03:48 PM   #15
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Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
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Quote:
Once that is done I may have the opportunity to get this family trailer a day's drive away. 1970s Trillium 1300 from my grandparents, who towed it with a little corolla wagon. It hasn't been used in 5+ years. What would I have to check out before attempting to use this?
Congratulations. Job one is the get the trailer home safely.

Read up on tire date codes. Tires will "age out" and can suddenly fail when they are older, even if they have very few miles on them.

https://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle-Sho...20manufactured.
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:40 PM   #16
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: maybe Trillium
Virginia
Posts: 12
Thanks for these comments, I will definitely keep them in mind! We do live in tidewater and any initial trips would be pretty coastal too. We also plan to learn all we can about the process and capabilities so we don't screw up the car. My grandparents towed it for a long time with a little bitty 1970s tercel station wagon, and that car was still in operation until maybe 5 or 6 years ago, so they didn't destroy it driving XC, but I'm sure they were cautious drivers too. We definitely want to be careful of the car and would prob consider making our next vehicle a truck if the trailer ends up being something we want to do much at all. The trailer would also be a loaner for now as it's still registered to my siblings family and they may want to start using it again at some point. But we will see! Thanks again.
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:50 PM   #17
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: maybe Trillium
Virginia
Posts: 12
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Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
Congratulations. Job one is the get the trailer home safely.

Read up on tire date codes. Tires will "age out" and can suddenly fail when they are older, even if they have very few miles on them.

https://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle-Sho...20manufactured.

Agreed, thank you!
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