Miss Trilly

We discovered our Trillium in December. The entire episode was full of lovely surprises and good karma. A little history: We had been looking for a fiberglass trailer for at least two years. We sought Scamps, Casitas, Burros, and any other type of older molded small trailers. Fiberglass-RV-4sale.com was our primary hunting ground. We eventually decided that a vintage Trillium was what we wanted. We loved the big jalousie windows all the way around for the wonderful visibility and ventilation they afford. We also decided that we would prefer the 4500 model, which is 15 feet including the tongue. It offered a bit more elbow room for the two of us as we traveled for weeks or months at a time. Our pie-in-the-sky hope was to find one with the front mini dinette. How long would we have to wait for one to appear?

Trillium trailers were made in Ontario up until 1983 and they hold their value very well because they are so well designed and constructed. They are molded as two halves, then fiberglassed together to form a monocoque structure. The interior components are also molded and installed as one would build a fiberglass boat. The result is a very strong “egg” with no rivets or attachments through the outer skin.

Most Trilliums are to be found in Canada, but a few have found their way south of the border. Our desire for a Trillium was so great that, if need be, we were prepared to import one from Canada. The fact that we didn’t want to buy a trailer sight unseen was one impediment to acquiring a Trillium 4500 quickly. A prospective egg had to be within reasonable driving distance. We were patient, waiting for the right Trillium to come along. Throughout our entire search, we had never even seen a Trillium up close. We just knew somehow that we would settle only for a Trillium.


Miss Trilly at our very first campsite, Clear Creek, Camp Verde, Arizona.

We spent six months aboard our trimaran, mostly in Desolation Sound, British Columbia, between May and October 2012. As soon as we arrived in California after putting Rikki-tikki-tavi to bed for the winter in Roche Harbor on San Juan Island, we rekindled the search for a Trillium of our own. Logging onto the web, we noticed that there was a likely 1300 in Coos Bay, Oregon. It wasn’t a 4500, but it was at least close enough to inspect. We called and agreed on a price should the trailer be as advertised. The next morning just as we were walking out the door to begin the six-hour road trip north, the owner called to say he had sold the trailer to another couple. Such is life.

Disappointed, we began preparing Mr Higgins for his own road trip. No particular destination in mind, which is our modus operandi, we started out by driving to Yosemite, where we hoped to find a spot in the campground. It being the first week of November, we figured chances were good. The weather was wonderful and we stayed for four days. On the fifth day, we folded Higgins up at dawn in order to get over Tioga Pass before an approaching winter storm closed it down. Our aim was to drive into Death Valley’s Saline Warm Springs, taking us and Higgins on our first back-road adventure together.

To get on with the story, we found ourselves heading farther south than we’d ever been, then crossing into Arizona at Yuma and ending up near the border with Mexico at Parker Lake. When we turned north again, we passed the east side of Tucson and stopped near Apache Junction. We recalled that we had met a Canadian couple on a catamaran who spent winters there. We hailed them on Skype from our campsite at Lost Dutchman State Park, where we had an unobstructed view of the Superstition Mountains! We enjoyed a short but lovely visit with them over tea.

As we drove closer and closer to Phoenix from Parker Lake, both of us were thinking about a Trillium 4500 with a front dinette on Fiberglass-rv-4sale.com that had been posted for sale since October 2011. The ad did not offer much detail, but said the trailer was located in Florence, which was only 30 miles away from Lost Dutchman SP. Surely it had been sold. But… was there the slightest possibility that this Trillium was still available? We had never called because last year it had not been possible for us to drive from California to see the trailer. Clark had spent four months in Bellingham, Washington, working on our trimaran. I had spent two months caring for my mother while she recovered from a knee replacement. We were not able to get out camping.

“Now that we find ourselves nearby, should we call?” we wondered. I said that the owner had probably forgotten to remove the ad when he sold the trailer. After all, the ad had been there for over a year. Clark said we should call to make certain the trailer had been sold. There were two phone numbers, one in Washington State, one in Arizona. We called the Washington number. A gentleman answered and Clark asked whether he’d reached someone in Washington. No, he was told, “We are in Arizona.” Tentatively, Clark asked if, by any chance, the Trillium advertised was still available. To our complete amazement, the response was, “Yes, it is.” “May we come see it? If we were to come in about 40 minutes, would that work for you?” “Sure would,” was the answer! Lloyd gave directions, we programmed it into our iPad Maps app, and off we went– excited as little kids on their way to an amusement park!

As we turned into the mobile home community where Lloyd and Judy live, Clark told me not to expect too much, not to be too disappointed when the trailer turned out to be a dud. After all, it had not sold in over a year! We stopped in front of the carport where the Trillium serenely awaited our arrival. Lloyd greeted us with a handshake and introduced us to Judy. Unable to contain ourselves, we opened the door to the Trillium. OMG, she was wonderful. Clark whispered to me, “This is REALLY NICE!” Over ice water and hours of conversation, we knew this Trillium would become ours and that these two delightful people would become fast friends.

We came back the following day and the day after that, sharing stories, wine, and meeting new friends. The coincidences and connections were not to be discounted. Perhaps Lloyd and Judy, without their knowing, had been saving Miss Trilly just for us.

May what you seek come your way.
Clark & 9ah

3 thoughts on “Miss Trilly”

  1. Thanks for posting this. I’m looking for a Trillium and had not thought about the possibility that an old ad may still be valid.
    I’m glad you found “Trilly”.

  2. We have a 13′ Scamp. Looks a lot like “Trilly”. but I do love the crank out windows much better than the sliders we have. No way to keep them open on rainy days.

  3. Sharon LaBarge said:

    Great story. We are recently retired and looking for a fiberglass trailer. Interesting that you were interested in a older model. I will look at the Trillium now , thank you. Sharon

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