'78 trillium converter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-15-2011, 09:35 AM   #1
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Name: Marjie
Trailer: Trillium 4500
New York
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'78 trillium converter

Hi,
We recently bought a '78 Trillium 4500 which has the original converter in it (under the closet). We are planning on installing a battery which will be charged from the running car, and shore power.
Should we keep the original converter? And is there a way to control the output from this converter and use it to charge the battery w/o overcharging?
OR anyone near Long Island NY who would like a home cooked meal in exchange for your priceless knowledge?
Marjie
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:06 AM   #2
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Name: Terry
Trailer: 1996 Casita Freedom Deluxe 17 ft
Colorado
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marjie, I recently changed the converter in my Casita. And even though mine was a '96, I was amazed at the improvements that have been made. The old converter was nothing but a transformer with a few other parts. The new converter (a Progressive Dynamics PD4345) had four different power levels for charging, heat sinks, and was controlled by a microprocessor. With the cost of batteries and the amount of electronics we carry in our rigs these days, there's no way I'd feel comfortable with a 1978 converter.
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Old 01-17-2011, 05:15 PM   #3
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Name: Rick
Trailer: former Boler, now 1980 Trillium 4500
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marjie s. View Post
Hi,
We recently bought a '78 Trillium 4500 which has the original converter in it (under the closet). We are planning on installing a battery which will be charged from the running car, and shore power.
Should we keep the original converter? And is there a way to control the output from this converter and use it to charge the battery w/o overcharging?
OR anyone near Long Island NY who would like a home cooked meal in exchange for your priceless knowledge?
Marjie
Hi, I have a 1980 Trillium 4500 that we bought last fall but have not yet camped in. My converter was a Central Power Pack type (the 1978 manual is in the document centre) which said “Basler” on the converter front. Some of them had battery chargers, some did not. Mine did not. The waveform on my converter was a full wave rectified DC output, but with no discernible smoothing of the waveform. I tested it on an oscilloscope to see. The waveform, which looks a lot like waves on the ocean, would work fine for light bulbs but would likely destroy today’s electronic equipment, or at least give it a loud hum.

You can see from the manual that the “solid state charging circuit” described was only a couple of diodes. I would not trust that to be able to charge your battery correctly.

Since mine did not have a battery charging circuit and I did not want one, I replaced my converter with an older computer power supply that gives a fabulously solid 12 volts DC at 15 amps current. It took a bit of finagling, but gives me great, breaker protected 12 volt power for a total cost of $5.

However, if you are not an electronics type that can build your own, I would suggest that you seriously look at a new converter for your rig, especially if you want the battery charger part of it. I like to just charge my battery then disconnect the charger, but lots of folks like to have it connected all the time. If so, then a good quality charger is a must.

Good luck,
Rick G
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:40 AM   #4
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Name: Marjie
Trailer: Trillium 4500
New York
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HI!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to point us in the right direction!
Once the weather warms up a bit, we will try our hand at a battery charging system (w/o the old converter!).
We will be adding a stereo along with a battery. And hopefully it will all be done before our road trip in March.
Again, thanks,
Marjie
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Old 02-20-2011, 06:49 PM   #5
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Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marjie s. View Post
Hi,
We recently bought a '78 Trillium 4500 which has the original converter in it (under the closet). We are planning on installing a battery which will be charged from the running car, and shore power.
Should we keep the original converter? And is there a way to control the output from this converter and use it to charge the battery w/o overcharging?
OR anyone near Long Island NY who would like a home cooked meal in exchange for your priceless knowledge?
Marjie
Hi-
My Trillium came with a similar converter (no charger), which works fine as far as it goes. I didn't want to discard it, so I bought and installed an itty-bitty (maybe 3x5 in.) charge module- "Newmark" is the brand name. It cost about $75.00 ( in 2007, anyway) and does the job. I stuck it right next to the existing converter ( inside compartment- you don't need access to it as it has no controls). Wiring instructions came with it.
Overcharging hasn't been a problem- the unit tapers back to a very low trickle once the battery is fully charged.
Hope this helps!
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