Trillium trailer 12V wiring - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-06-2011, 01:39 PM   #57
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I would suggest installing not less than a 10 gauge stranded conductor wire for the battery charging line, even an 8 gauge wouldn't hurt. A lot of folks are not seeing sufficient current flow making it back to their trailer battery to provide effective charging current. Much of this problem can be attributed in large part to the voltage drop (resistance) experienced from using undersized conductors.

Don't forget, that your poor alternator will be doing "double duty" having to provide charging curent to two batteries now, in addition to all your tow vehicles electrical demands while underway, (i.e. radio, ac fan, heater blower, lights, etc.)

As far as the added weight on the tongue, I'd have to defer to someone else, who owns a Trillium, as I'm not familiar with their tongue/frame load capacity. Perhaps another Trillium owner can give you some input on that issue.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:49 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Rick G View Post
...I also put in an ATO-style fuse block ($9 at Princess Auto) and wired all the 12V interior wiring through it for my 3 circuits...

Hi Rick,

Is this what you put in as a fuse block?:

http://www.princessauto.com/trailer/...-circuit-panel

~Rod
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:58 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
As far as the added weight on the tongue, I'd have to defer to someone else, who owns a Trillium, as I'm not familiar with their tongue/frame load capacity. Perhaps another Trillium owner can give you some input on that issue.
Now THIS is something I DO know about!

Rodre,

Be sure to check out the thread at RECALLED TRILLIUM 1300's?.
There was a front-frame-related recall of Trilliums during your trailer's era- 1978 isn't specifically named, and you may be O.K., but it's worth a look, anyway. The thread is a big help in understanding the issues involved.

Francesca
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:16 PM   #60
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Thanks for the Heads Up! Francesca, That was something I knew to look for when buying the trailer. I *think* after they resolved the issue the two front bolts no longer go all the way through the frame and end inside the tube, I will have to double check mine when I get home to see if this is the case, but I know mine also has the "fish plates" added to the sides of the frame tubing for re-enforcement as well.

~Rodre
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Old 05-06-2011, 02:43 PM   #61
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Sounds like you're good to go- at least in THAT department
I'm carrying a 20lb (5gal:40lb. full) propane tank and a deep-cycle battery side by side on my trailer tongue. I've been told that the tongue will easily carry a second tank too, but for the sake of my 4 cyl. Kia Sportage tow vehicle I try to keep the total tongue weight at or below 175 lbs.

Francesca
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:14 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Rodre View Post
Hi Rick,

Is this what you put in as a fuse block?:

http://www.princessauto.com/trailer/...-circuit-panel

~Rod
Yes, that is the one. I must have got it on sale. I am very happy with it. The main positive power wire goes onto the big lug, then you have 6 possible circuits branching off. I only used 3.

Rick G
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Old 05-06-2011, 03:36 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Really cool diagram and great-looking plan but AAARGH !!!
I see you have two separate and distinct ground connections.
We just got very thoroughly taught that this is BAD BAD BAD.
Plus, it's BAD.
The thread is a "current" discussion at Lights flicker when furnace is on, page two is the explanation.
I'm going to go lie down with a wet rag on my head while the controversy goes on.
Later!


Francesca
Hi Francesca,

Do not worry, as explained above, the diagram simply shows the wiring paths. However, you are correct that I have two grounding points to the frame in my trailer, and this is how the Trillium folks factory-wired it back in 1980, and (as seen by my first post at the top of this thread) is correct as far as the Trillium RV folks are concerned. In your other thread on lights flickering, I have respectfully disagreed that the trailer frame grounding points for 12V and 110V must be the exact same point, although I would agree with that for a house. In fact, I would say that, because that trailer frame is a large metal structure and the battery is only a few feet away from the 110V input, wiring the two ground cables near the battery for 12V and near the 110V input for 110V (whether a converter or not) is the preferred grounding method. I don't have anything against running a wire from one point to the other to ground everything at one place, except that then all your grounding takes place in a wire, a small metal tube, when a big metal tube (the frame) is available right next to it.

With a metal trailer frame of this size you do not have the concern that exists in houses or commercial buildings; that the earth actually has a different ground potential at different places around it. That is why houses, power stations, etc. are always grounded by a single point, usually a long metal stake driven into the ground or some similar thing.

Although I am not a licenced electrician, I am a qualified electronics technologist and have had several decades of experience with residential wiring, and I am confident that either method of grounding will result in the same amount of safety for your trailer.

Hope that helps,
Rick G
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:08 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Rick G View Post
Yes, that is the one. I must have got it on sale. I am very happy with it. The main positive power wire goes onto the big lug, then you have 6 possible circuits branching off. I only used 3.

Rick G

Hi Rick,

I think I am going to follow suit and install one of these to help manage and cleanup the wiring in that area. You mention that you are currently only using 3 circuits off of this fuse block, how much load do you think the main positive lead from the 7 way will take?

~Rod
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:12 PM   #65
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Hi Greg,

I am thinking to mount the battery around the hitch area, probably in the place of one of my propane tanks. I would need to run positive and negative leads from inside the trailer back out to this area (and possible back in?). I really wish I could see how a factory job was wired so I could just replcate it.

I think it would have to look something like this:

power from 7 way connected to vehicle -> wired out to battery -> wired back into trailer to 15amp fuse -> trailer wiring harness

and the negative would be the same minus the inline fuse.

Does this sound about right?

~Rod

~Rod
Hi Rod,

I have the original factory wiring on my Trillium 4500 with a battery on the front hitch, so here goes:

It uses a 7 pin connector for the trailer end. All 7 wires are wired up at the connector and eventually come into the trailer under the front seat on the driver side. Most of the wires come into the trailer directly from the 7 pin trailer connector, but a couple do not. All of the wires end under the front seat, and have crimp connectors that connect them to whatever wire they are supposed to be connected to inside the trailer. Clear as mud so far?


The three wires for the stop lights, turn signals and marker lights come directly from the 7 pin connector into the trailer, then on to their respective lights. The marker lights have two wires connected to that wire, one running to the back for the rear ones, and one running around the front for the front ones.

The blue brake wire also comes directly from the 7 pin connector into the trailer, then on to the brakes.

The yellow wire for pin 7 (the center terminal) also comes into the trailer from the 7 pin connector and is connected to a yellow wire, but on my trailer the wire goes nowhere since I did not have backup lights. I have disconnected this wire under the front seat since I have nothing to connect it to, but could use it in the future.

The white ground wire is not connected directly to the trailer connector. Instead, the wire runs from pin 1 of the trailer connector to a lug for the negative terminal of the battery. A separate white wire then runs from the battery into the trailer for the circuit ground wire. Another separate white wire runs from the negative terminal of the battery to the trailer frame beside it, forming the trailer ground. As noted in earlier posts, this is the factory installed ground system.

This caused me some problems when I was trying to test the running lights without the battery connected, because I forgot to clamp the two white wires together that would normally be joined at the battery. I tried a bunch of different things for a couple of hours until I finally slapped my head for being so stupid not to notice it.

The black +12V wire is also not connected directly to the trailer 7 pin connector. Instead, the black wire also runs from the 7 pin connector to the battery. A separate black wire then runs from the battery to the inside of the trailer, where it meets up with the auto reset breaker and then goes on to the internal wiring.

Below is a diagram showing standard trailer wiring and the recommended gauges for the wires. I believe that this diagram corresponds to the Trillium factory wiring.

Hope that helps,
Rick G
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Wiring Code 7 way Trailer End.pdf (50.7 KB, 62 views)
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:20 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Rodre View Post
Hi Rick,

I think I am going to follow suit and install one of these to help manage and cleanup the wiring in that area. You mention that you are currently only using 3 circuits off of this fuse block, how much load do you think the main positive lead from the 7 way will take?

~Rod
I can't remember but I think it was 60 or 70 amps for the main input. It will say on the box. Of course, my main +12V wiring is only 10 gauge, so it will only handle about 30 amps, which is why the auto reset breaker where the wires come into the trailer (or a 30 amp fuse) is a good idea. Each of the branch circuits will handle 30 amps.

That does not mean you should run 30 amps on each branch, and I have installed all my circuits at 15 amps, which can be done with standard 14 gauge wiring. It just means that your fuse block will not be the component that blows up first at higher loads.

Rick G
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:30 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Rick G View Post
...The white ground wire is not connected directly to the trailer connector. Instead, the wire runs from pin 1 of the trailer connector to a lug for the negative terminal of the battery. A separate white wire then runs from the battery into the trailer for the circuit ground wire. Another separate white wire runs from the negative terminal of the battery to the trailer frame beside it, forming the trailer ground. As noted in earlier posts, this is the factory installed ground system.
...

The black +12V wire is also not connected directly to the trailer 7 pin connector. Instead, the black wire also runs from the 7 pin connector to the battery. A separate black wire then runs from the battery to the inside of the trailer, where it meets up with the auto reset breaker and then goes on to the internal wiring....
Hi Rick,

I really appreciate the detailed explanation. I almost have a complete picture of how to set this up. The two parts that I am having a hard time picturing is when you say: "The white ground wire is not connected directly to the trailer connector.", I don't quite understand this. Is it connected to the hitch side outlet?, or is it outside of the 7 way wire bundle, along with the black positive feed? I understand that these are connected to the battery, but how? Do they have special 2 and 3 way clamps or something? I know my deep cycle battery has 2 types of posts on it, screw in and clamp on, so I can proabable make use of this but I am not sure if the second white wire that forms the ground needs to be on the charge side or the other side. Also, the second white wire running from the negative battery terminal towards the trailer, is it just screwed into the trailer frame? Should I try to run this back to the inside of the trailer and screw it down to one of the existing grounds? If you have any pictures that would probably really help. I can message you my email address if that helps. I really appreciate your time with this. I like doing things the right way and the way the factory would have done it, so I really, really appreciate this. Thanks!

~Rodre
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:39 PM   #68
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Hope that helps,
Rick G
Believe you me, it ALL helps, though switching () back and forth between the two threads I'm following on this subject is taxing my VERY limited understanding of the Marvels and Wonders of Electricity!
Just so you know what you're up against in terms of my ignorance:
Allow me to direct your attention to the attached James Thurber drawing of his maternal Grandmother.
All her life she went around the house screwing lightbulbs into empty sockets in order to prevent electricity from leaking out therefrom.
!!!This makes perfect sense to me.!!!
...........................................Click image for larger version

Name:	Thurber's Mother0001.jpg
Views:	2
Size:	140.9 KB
ID:	35716


SO! You see what you have to deal with here...
I'm going to take some time to look over my so-called system and attempt to apply my new-found knowledge, if as it turns out I've retained any.
I'll be back with more questions, and I hope you'll all be here to answer!

Francesca
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:50 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Believe you me, it ALL helps, though switching () back and forth between the two threads I'm following on this subject is taxing my VERY limited understanding of the Marvels and Wonders of Electricity!
Just so you know what you're up against in terms of my ignorance:
Allow me to direct your attention to the attached James Thurber drawing of his maternal Grandmother.
All her life she went around the house screwing lightbulbs into empty sockets in order to prevent electricity from leaking out therefrom.
!!!This makes perfect sense to me.!!!
...........................................Attachment 35716


SO! You see what you have to deal with here...
I'm going to take some time to look over my so-called system and attempt to apply my new-found knowledge, if as it turns out I've retained any.
I'll be back with more questions, and I hope you'll all be here to answer!

Francesca

Yeah, when electricity leaks out it has a tendancy to bite you. I remember that cartoon when I was a kid where it had pitched that electicity as a little devil that was trapped in some jail that was always looking for a way to get out.

~Rod
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:05 PM   #70
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Hi Rick,

I really appreciate the detailed explanation. I almost have a complete picture of how to set this up. The two parts that I am having a hard time picturing is when you say: "The white ground wire is not connected directly to the trailer connector.", I don't quite understand this. Is it connected to the hitch side outlet?, or is it outside of the 7 way wire bundle, along with the black positive feed? I understand that these are connected to the battery, but how? Do they have special 2 and 3 way clamps or something? I know my deep cycle battery has 2 types of posts on it, screw in and clamp on, so I can proabable make use of this but I am not sure if the second white wire that forms the ground needs to be on the charge side or the other side. Also, the second white wire running from the negative battery terminal towards the trailer, is it just screwed into the trailer frame? Should I try to run this back to the inside of the trailer and screw it down to one of the existing grounds? If you have any pictures that would probably really help. I can message you my email address if that helps. I really appreciate your time with this. I like doing things the right way and the way the factory would have done it, so I really, really appreciate this. Thanks!

~Rodre

Sorry, it is a foggy explanation. Both the black (+12V) and the white (negative return) wires are inside the bundle of wires. There are only 7 wires in total. The bundle of wires is interrupted in spots near the battery to allow for wires to enter or leave it during its length from the 7 pin connector to the inside of the trailer. There are always just 7 wires, but the black and white wires may be different wires at different points along the length of the cable. (Oh boy, I am probably making it worse!).

The white wire inside the trailer runs to the battery, where it ends in a lug that connects to the negative battery terminal. There is a separate white wire that runs from pin 1 of the 7 pin trailer connector to the battery, which also ends in a lug at the negative battery terminal. These two wires join together when they are both put on the negative battery terminal, and that is how the connection is made between the white wire inside the trailer and pin 1 of the 7 pin connector.

The black +12V wire is similar. It runs from the 7 pin connector to the positive terminal of the battery and ends in a lug. Another black wires runs from inside the trailer and ends at the battery with a lug at the positive terminal. The two black wires are connected together at the battery by attaching them to the positive terminal.


The ground wire, which is also white on my trailer but probably could be green, also connects with a lug at the negative battery terminal. It then runs a short distance, about a foot or two, and is bolted onto a bare patch of the trailer frame. I would suggest a bolt rather than a sheet metal screw, stainless steel or brass if available, and this point has to be cleaned and scraped every year or so because it will inevitably rust. The ground point must be bare metal, not painted, and a clean connection. If you can find a spot where it doesnít get rained on, that would be good, but otherwise just a cleaning every spring will do. Some people cover the connection with Vaseline or something similar. The length of the wire is not important, just the connection points. Electricity travels at about 2/3 the speed of light in metal, so a few feet makes no difference at all.

Let me know if that clears it up.

I see a point on a previous post in this discussion which is a good point. If the first fuse or circuit breaker is inside the trailer, then there is no protection for the wiring from the battery until it gets to that point. If, for example, the wiring frays away outside the trailer before it gets into the trailer, it could short out the battery. However unlikely this is due to the exterior rubber coating of the wiring harness, it could be prevented by attaching a fuse to the positive battery terminal. This is exactly what I did on my old Boler, as I was looking for a cheap way to disconnect the battery completely from the trailer easily. I installed an inline ATO type auto fuse with insulated casing, then put a 20 Amp fuse in it. Not only did that protect all the downstream wiring, but I could just pull the fuse to disconnect everything. For my new trailer, I bought an actual switch to do this, but I think the fuse actually is a better idea as it performs both functions. A good point, whomever said that in one of the previous posts.

Rick G
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