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Old 01-24-2021, 05:31 AM   #1
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Name: Vanessa
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Trillium 4500 experts needed:) :)

Need advice on price of trailer please

Trillium 4500 - 1976

Looks mainly original but good shape - fibreglass interior and ensolite in good shape, original fridge sink etc look good and they think they work?! I’ll have to see

The main issue is the front window leaked above the gaucho on the side near the kitchen and had to have all the corner floor plywood removed and refiberglassed under the bench. They said the floor in the main trailer felt good and were not worried about under the fridge and kitchenette being affected but they have never removed the fridge to check. Is it a deal breaker to have that plywood affected or is this normal and happens often? If the floor in the trailer feels good is that a good sign on it being ok now?
They resealed the whole trailer since also and did it properly with butyl tape

I wish I was closer but I’m trying to avoid the 7 hour drive if this is a huge deal! I’ve been waiting so long I don’t want to buy one with bad bones but I also really want to start adventuring!

10,000 CAD

Thank you for your time and help!
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:36 AM   #2
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typical Trillium 4500 problems

Vanessa,

That's a typical price in the current market. Typical problems in the Trillium 4500:

- Rotten plywood in the floor: Always check this in any trailer, but in the Trillium this can be a MUCH BIGGER problem because fixing it can require SAWING OUT the fiberglass cabinets and benches. Do a thorough check. Check the floor plywood under all benches, inside the tilt out hamper next to the entry door.

- "Belly band" buckling and leaking: This is a Trillium unique problem. Requires grinding out over 40 rusted out plates and repairing fiberglass seam. The 4500 is more difficult than the 1300 because there is no fiberglass reinforcement tape backing the seam below the rear window but instead a plywood strip that's rotten.

- All exterior fittings tend to leak after 40 years: Exterior fittings must be removed and resealed with butyl or other sealant. Applies to any travel trailer, but on the Trillium this is more difficult because the wood window are often rotten and need to be replaced.

- Frame: Check for rot and splitting. Check whether "fish plates" have already been welded at the curves in the tongue.

- Body-to-frame bolts (any molded fiberglass trailer): The Trillium 4500 has eight bolts. They rust out.

- Axle (any old trailer): If original, definitely replace. Paul Neumeister in Sebringville replace mine.

- Also, other basic trailer concerns: Wheel bearings should have been recently serviced. Tire condition. Coupler condition. Towing lights.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:42 AM   #3
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Fridge condition??

Concerning the fridge, definitely have the previous owner turn it on in electric mode well before you arrive. After a few hours there should be frost on the coils in the freezer. Definitely don't assume it works. Getting it working in propane mode will be challenging. To operate the fridge, stove and furnace using propane, the propane lines and fittings need to be leak tested if this hasn't been done recently.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:44 AM   #4
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Power converter?

If the power converter is original, probably need to replace it. In the Trillium 4500, (at least in mine) its BELOW the furnace.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:48 AM   #5
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Thank you so much John! Wow so detailed I appreciate that!

Where is the plywood located under the kitchen? Is that the reason you would need to cut it all out? They had to replace and refiberglass the plywood under the front bench seat due to window leak causing wood erosion there, they said it did not go under the kitchen as far as they know and the floor in general feels good. Is this a likely scenario? I read the only wood under the kitchen is under the fridge which can be removed? Is this correct?
Iím not worried about the water at the back end and under the closet as much as they are far away

Thank you youíre the best!
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:48 AM   #6
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They don’t have a furnace but they have updated the inverter
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:51 AM   #7
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Plumbing?

The Trillium 4500 plumbing is basic. There's a fresh water tank under a removable panel below the dinette floor. At the sink there is a hand pump faucet and a shore water hookup faucet. Gray water drains from the sink out the side of the trailer.

On my Trillium 4500, I had to replace both faucets, the sink trap, the city water connection. Also resealed the gray water drain. I don't use the fresh water tank. Instead I use a fresh water jug under the sink.
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanessaB View Post
Thank you so much John! Wow so detailed I appreciate that!

Where is the plywood located under the kitchen? Is that the reason you would need to cut it all out? They had to replace and refiberglass the plywood under the front bench seat due to window leak causing wood erosion there, they said it did not go under the kitchen as far as they know and the floor in general feels good. Is this a likely scenario? I read the only wood under the kitchen is under the fridge which can be removed? Is this correct?
Iím not worried about the water at the back end and under the closet as much as they are far away

Thank you youíre the best!
Yes, the fridge can be unbolted and slid out if necessary. You CAN check the condition of the plywood under the rear of the fridge by removing the vent panel on the outside of the trailer. I just looked under the sink and there is no plywood exposed there.

Definitely check the plywood under both rear benches. If any rot, do not buy. Also if the rot under the front bench was extensive, the problem is that the roof would have sagged, for example, at the door frame. If the door frame is not reasonably square, this is a concern.
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:20 AM   #9
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The floor plywood rests on the frame and "holds up" the body walls and roof. That support can be compromised if there is extensive rot, and for Trilliums it can be very difficult to fix because the benches and cabinets are permanently fiberglassed in place. So check to make sure the floor is flat. One check mentioned on this forum is to check for flat floor from the front of the fridge to the entry door opening. Also as I mentioned in previous post, make sure the door frame is reasonably square.
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:21 AM   #10
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Thank you so much for checking that John! So no plywood under the fridge! Does the triple layer of Fiberglas and plywood cover the whole base layer or just under the gaucho?
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:21 AM   #11
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Don't buy or put down a deposit until you have thoroughly inspected it inside, outside and underneath.
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:30 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by VanessaB View Post
Thank you so much for checking that John! So no plywood under the fridge! Does the triple layer of Fiberglas and plywood cover the whole base layer or just under the gaucho?
Oh yes there is bare plywood under the fridge. You can't see it or access it from under the sink because the fridge is installed in an airtight compartment. Check the plywood by removing the fridge vent panel outside the trailer.

The only place there is a "triple layer" is small area of floor when you step into the trailer. In all other areas, there are cabinets and benches formed of fiberglass interior shell.
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:32 AM   #13
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Can I PM you?
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:33 AM   #14
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Sure!
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:38 AM   #15
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I don’t see the message after I send it, did you get it?
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:48 AM   #16
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yes just responded
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:48 AM   #17
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Best way to get a super fast education on Trilliums including the 4500 is to go to the manufacturers tab on the upper right, click, then choose Trillium. Many commonalities between the 4500 and the 1300.

As far as the drive, thats par for the course. I walked a seller through EXACTLY what I was going to inspect, had them do the checks in advance. "Hey, we both are really going to be disappointed if I find this problem (detailed to them) when I arrive, as I will walk away at that point." Seller assured me they carefully did ALL the checks I asked. So I drove, not 7 hours, but 16 FREEKIN' hours (one way). Arrived excited until I made my very first check. "Hey, this floor is rotted out, didn't you notice?" "Oh really?"

Turned around and drove home..... Deflated and jaded. Finally found one, another 12 hour drive (one way).

My basic guidance, regardless of what the seller tells you, YOU are in charge of inspecting carefully. Its your money, its your job. I'm on a vintage trailer group, and the number of people almost every day that report "the seller told me there we no leaks", "the seller told me everything works". Wish I could be more upbeat about the buying experience.

Common places for floor rot: inside the dinette benches (rear) and the floor in front of the kitchen. All of the 4500s I have seen have a seam in the fiberglass floor in front of the front gaucho, which can allow water into the plywood. Look inside every lower bench and every lower cabinet, and probe the floor for rot. The refrigerator lower outside access door allows you to see the plywood. Floor should not have ANY soft spots! I find the Trillium floor to be very firm. A soft area means ROT and rot is hard to fix on a Trillium. Although floor rot on a Trillium is unusual, the first two Trilliums for sale that I looked at both had serious floor rot.

Right now, $10,000 CAD is an attractive price.
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:53 AM   #18
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what thrifty bill said
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:55 AM   #19
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Honestly I appreciate your honesty Bill

All so true! Congratulations on finding the right one!
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Old 01-24-2021, 10:31 AM   #20
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Hi Vanessa, if you want to see a T4500 in person and are in the GTA, You can come and see mine. I have mine in the driveway and it is certainly not perfect. I can show it to you and give some of my comments about ownership of a 40+ year old trailer. George
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