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Steve Hague 12-24-2020 03:12 PM

New Trillium owners
 
3 Attachment(s)
Beth and I purchased a 1978 Trillium 4500 two days ago. We have been tent campers, so this is a new adventure. We're looking forward to learning how to travel with this cute little Trillium. Planning to pull with a 2015 Odyssey that I plan to add hitch, lighting harness, brake controller, transmission cooler, and perhaps power steering cooler as well. I would appreciated comment on this plan.
After a thorough cleaning, we have a long to-do list of updates and repairs that should keep us busy this winter.
Steve and Beth Hague, Leo, Indiana

John in Michigan 12-24-2020 03:46 PM

Congratulations! That's a very nice trailer. We have the same model and year. We weighed it empty (no water, no battery, no propane, etc) shortly after purchasing. It was 1480 lbs.

We have since done many repairs and upgrades. Enjoy it!

Steve Hague 12-24-2020 10:01 PM

I read your journal. Wow, hoping that I won't have brake issues like you described, but glad that you shared that experience. I haven't found any evidence of leaks yet, but plan to pull windows and reseal anyway. Hoping to avoid removing belly-band for now.
Thanks

John in Michigan 12-25-2020 07:09 AM

Steve, brakes, bearings and tire age/condition are definitely something to closely monitor. When towing, every stop or two I touch the trailer wheel hubs as a temperature check. If the hub is hot, generally the bearings need to be serviced ASAP. If a bearing fails, the wheel can fall off! Anyway one time I checked and the hub on one side was hot, but the bearings were new. That wasn't the problem. The brake drum was even hotter. The brakes (and axle) were also new, but as described in my thread (link below), the brake magnet clip had broken, and the brake magnet was dragging on the brake drum.

thrifty bill 12-25-2020 08:53 AM

Belly band and windows are known leak sources. Put them on your list.

On wheels, I'd replace bearings unless you know for sure they are not original. I use an infrared temperature gun, check at every stop. Its not just the age of bearings and grease, you also have the adjustment of the bearings. I had a failure once on the road after "professional' service. Never again.

Body to frame bolts and door hinge mounts are also common problems.

Steve Hague 12-25-2020 09:09 AM

Thanks Bill, I plan to replace dust caps with bearing buddies. All good suggestions. I've pulled various trailers (boat, utility, pop-up) to the Florida Keys several times with no issues using the precautions that you listed.

Steve Hague 12-25-2020 09:15 AM

There was a binder in our Trillium that includes a full color sales brochure. Its even stamped with the same dealer name where we purchased. I took photos if anyone is interested.

John in Michigan 12-25-2020 09:31 AM

thrifty bill mentioned the most critical concerns. You could check the frame for rust through and weak joints if you haven't already - my 4500 frame already had fish plates welded at the bends for reinforcement and the whole frame is solid. After 42 years, ideally all through hull fittings should be removed and resealed with butyl tape, i.e, windows, vents, electrical port, water ports - did I forget any?

Steve Hague 12-25-2020 09:44 AM

The frame on our Trillium appears freshly painted with shiny tie-down bolts. There are gussets welded on several locations as well. I crawled under the trailer to inspect it before we purchased and did not see any cracks or other obvious corrosion or flaws. Plan to put it up on hoist to do more thorough inspection before we go on the road.
I really appreciate the suggestions. I would rather find problems while its in my barn than on the road on a cold rainy night.

John in Michigan 12-25-2020 10:49 AM

Well your frame is apparently in great shape. The Trillium 4500 was originally assembled with 8 carriage bolts holding the body to the frame. I have replaced most of mine with 3/8" SS hex head bolts and SS nylock nuts. I used SuperStrut square washers found in the electrical dept at hardware stores. On my Boler 17 I actually used 3x3 square galvanized washers when replacing the body/frame bolts.

Oh I would love to have a barn or at least a LARGE garage. My 4500 is squeezed into my garage on 8" wheels/tires.

Governor Bud 12-25-2020 11:04 AM

hi steve
would be very interested in seeing the brochures
share by message or email?
thnx

Steve Hague 12-25-2020 11:35 AM

Governor Bud,
I found the same document already on this site. Go to the MORE tab, DOCUMENT CENTER, TRAILER BRAND MANUFACTURERS, TRILLIUM, TRILLIUM 1977 BROCHURE-COLOR.
Once you get to this part of the site, you will find lots of Trillium documents.

Martin.P 12-25-2020 12:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Hague (Post 801162)
Beth and I purchased a 1978 Trillium 4500 two days ago. We have been tent campers, so this is a new adventure. We're looking forward to learning how to travel with this cute little Trillium. Planning to pull with a 2015 Odyssey that I plan to add hitch, lighting harness, brake controller, transmission cooler, and perhaps power steering cooler as well. I would appreciated comment on this plan.
After a thorough cleaning, we have a long to-do list of updates and repairs that should keep us busy this winter.
Steve and Beth Hague, Leo, Indiana




Welcome.
Great score with the 4500. Hard to find!

Larry Singer 12-25-2020 01:17 PM

To "John in Michigan"

Just noticed you're from Michigan.
So am I
Curious where in Michigan ?

John in Michigan 12-25-2020 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Singer (Post 801203)
To "John in Michigan"

Just noticed you're from Michigan.
So am I
Curious where in Michigan ?

SE Michigan. I will PM you.

slade 12-30-2020 12:44 PM

I would highly recommend the transmission cooler. As an owner of 2 Odysseys, I can attest to the poor durability of their transmissions, and the cooler is cheap insurance. I pull a 13' Bigfoot with mine, and have had no troubles. Consider it peace of mind, if nothing else, and change your fluid regularly.

Geronimo John 12-30-2020 02:13 PM

Wheel Bearings
 
I've had "difficulties" with some Chinese wheel bearings. I started using the higher quality Timken Bearings and Seals. Peace of mind. Be sure to purchase them from a trusted bearing supply house that can verify they are authentic. I don't use other sources as there are a lot of cheap pirate copies out there.

Phil 4500 12-31-2020 03:42 AM

As owners of both a 77 and 78 4500, the fridge jumped out at me when I viewed your pictures. My understanding was that the kitchen area was modified for the 1980 models for a deeper fridge. Both of our trailers had the flush set RM211 fridge, not the bumped out kitchen counter. Is it possible yours is a later model than 1978?

Steve Hague 12-31-2020 07:28 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Our Trillium 4500 was manufactured in September of 1978.
Maybe they were doing a fall model changeover?

John in Michigan 12-31-2020 05:39 PM

My 1978 Trillium 4500 also has the bumped out counter with larger fridge, ceiling cabinets all four sides, blue stripes.


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