Question for Trillium 5500 owners - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-09-2008, 03:37 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft and 1980 Trillium 5500
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On 5500's the taillight consists of 2 seperate sockets/lamps on either side, both sockets designed for dual filament bulbs (1157). On mine, both inside bulbs work on turn/stop/running lite application, but the outer only work on running lights. I had to rebuild one lamp due to corroded grounds, found that each stop/turn filament has it's own feed from inside, whereas the running lights run a single feed that jumpers to the other socket inside the lamp unit. My outer stop/turn feeds do not seem to have power. I could trace the outer feeds on the inside, but found that I would have to remove a great deal of very-well-stuck-on ensolite inside the rear bunks to access (very unlike my 1300 where the wiring just flopped loose in the bunk, no ensolite present. As a side comment, this was one of my very few peeves with the 1300 - the 5500 has a much better "fit and finish" in this and many other aspects).

I like very visible taillites and would rewire to allow the outers to work, unless there is some reason I shoudn't. Can someone enlighten me (ouch! bad pun warning) if the outers are supposed to work on turn/stop as well as the inners or are they purposely disabled for some reason (too much draw maybe?). I eventually want to switch the bulbs (or maybe even the whole lamps) over to l.e.d. at some point, which should eliminate any draw issues.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:21 PM   #2
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Trailer: 81 Trillium 5500 (Pearl)
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I'll go out in the morning and hook it up to see what gives.
Check in here tomorrow.

I'm with you, though... I'm very interested in going to LED's to get some brightness happening.

Regards,
Doug
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:18 PM   #3
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I did exactly that with my 5500. It took some patience to slowly remove the ensolite to bare the wiring, but I then made all the connections inside the traier. That was 4 years ago, and no problems or issues so far.
Joe
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Can someone enlighten me (ouch! bad pun warning) if the outers are supposed to work on turn/stop as well as the inners or are they purposely disabled for some reason (too much draw maybe?).
Garth - I hooked up my trailer today and got exactly that result on the taillights. The INSIDE pair operate as turn signal/ brake lights as well as running lights. The OUTSIDE pair are running lights only.


Joe what was it you did; hook up LED's?
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:59 PM   #5
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I have not done any work on my 5500 lately, but when I get to the tailights I intend to replace them with LED fixtures. I did that on my Boler and the difference is great - they really are a whole lot brighter, safer, and more efficient. I would like to retain the same shape as the originals though - I will take a look around and post back here if I come up with a suitable replacement. Cheers, Al
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Can someone enlighten me (ouch! bad pun warning) if the outers are supposed to work on turn/stop as well as the inners or are they purposely disabled for some reason (too much draw maybe?). I eventually want to switch the bulbs (or maybe even the whole lamps) over to l.e.d. at some point, which should eliminate any draw issues.
Garth, on our 5500, the inners operate as running lights, and the outers operate as brake/turn signals -- intersting that yours and Kathy+Dougs are different than ours. All the lights on the outside look like they have the original rivets through the housings, so it looks like nobody has changed anything. We havent had to take ours apart yet, although we did have to spray the contacts with DeoxIT just before our last trip. We are also thinking about replacing all the bulbs in the exterior lights with LEDs, because they are not very bright, and the contrast between running/brake is not great in full daylight.
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:00 PM   #7
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft and 1980 Trillium 5500
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Thanks for all the replies - it would appear that I do not have lamps in need of repair, but rather this WAS a design feature. I'm not really suprised some used the outer lamps for stop/turn while others (like mine ) used the inners (did they make any two of these trailers alike!?!?). Doug's and my trailer are very close in serial number so maybe the same guy did the wiring? Another member PM'ed me wondering if those outer feeds without pwr might be hooked to the non-used 7th wire on the main trailer connector - a potential dedicated stop circuit. I want to redo the wiring where the main connector cable enters the trailer and do away with all the original marettes, switching over to junction blocks. (I did this on my 1300, much easier to add extra circuts such as for chargers, stereo's etc.) I should be able to trace any unused wiring at that time and will post what I find.

As far as led's go, I had changed the lights on my 1300 to led's and loved the results - much more visible and changed the whole look of the rear end (unfortunately no pics of them actually turned on...).


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For the 5500 though, I have been looking at panel-style led bulb replacements- an adapter for the existing bulb socket with wires that feed a flat panel of 36 led's - specifically designed for applications where the bulb sits at a right angle to the housing like on our trailers. This would allow me to use the existing housing/lens and retain the original look of the trailer. Found a few on Ebay, but am going to check out the local trucking distributors to see if there might be something local. If not bulbs, they may have assemblies that I could be happy with - again, I'll post what happens.

In the short term, I was able to get a bit more light out of the present lamps just by polishing the reflectors inside the lamps - 28 years of moisture and dust had tarnished them pretty bad. A good application of the same stuff I use on aluminum trim - Never-Dull - made a world of difference.

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Old 08-11-2008, 08:08 PM   #8
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Mine was inner lamps stop,turn,tail Outer were marker only.
I just re-used regular bulbs, I haven't found led's that are cheap enough and that I like yet.

Joe
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:20 AM   #9
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Garth, I thought that was a picture of your 5500 until I re-read the post.
I wondered why there was such a difference in the stern of our trailers.
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