Trillium 4500 replacement converter? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-24-2011, 01:50 PM   #1
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Name: Sherman
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
Pennsylvania
Posts: 32
Trillium 4500 replacement converter?

Hi All,

I recently acquired a 1977 Trillium 4500. The old 12V converter no longer works. It's been pried open in an attempt to fix it (I guess). I want to replace it with a new, modern unit anyway.

I'm looking for something that will fit in the old converter location and automatically switch between battery and shore power. I also want it to charge an onboard battery when connected to shore power.

So (to me) it looks like I need a converter/charger, but here's the thing... the camper also has some 110V AC outlets. I could just have these only available while on shore power, but there are lots of "little" things that it would be nice to have even when you're only running off the battery (a laptop charger, for example).

I found this: Progressive Dynamics PD9260CV Inteli-Power 9200 Series 60 Amp Converter/Charger with Built-in Charge Wizard on Amazon. I think it'll fit where the old converter was, but it doesn't seem to include an inverter.

Does what I want exist? Is there some way I can simply add an inverter to my setup? Such that, when I'm on shore power, the AC outlets use shore power, but otherwise they are powered from the inverter (which is powered from the battery).

Thanks and I love this forum!
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:30 PM   #2
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Name: Larry H
Trailer: Trillium
Arizona
Posts: 303
Hello Sherman,
I believe the 60A unit is too big... the battery should be charged at about
Capacity (amp hours) / 5... so a 110A battery should be charged at about 20A
or less. I put a new power center into my Trillium 1300. I had to make an
aluminum plate to mount it to cause the hole from the old converter was too big.
The one i got was a WFCO WF-8935 which I bought from these people
BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics
Randy was very helpful and answered any questions I had about the installation.
The unit has several DC circuits with fuses and a 30A AC main breaker. Of
course the installation involved taking out all of the old DC fuses and a fair
amount of rewiring. So far, the unit has been dependable and met all the needs
of my little Trill. Good luck on your project. Larry H

BTW, most converter/power centers for small RVs don't include an inverter.
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:54 AM   #3
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Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2002 Casita Freedom Deluxe,The driveway is a Dark & Lonely Place now!
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Sherman

Welcome.

The converter in a 4500 is really nothing more than a transformer in a box.
It provides ac power when plugged in to shore by simply passing it through and 12vdc from the transformer.
It provides very crude battery charging(boiling) as there is no real regulation or charge tapering of any kind.

That said,any modern converter that you can get in the hole it occupies will likely do a better job.

As Larry said there are almost no small Rv like ours that include any inverter/chargers as a stock item.
Bigger rigs and motorhomes do as do boats.

A popular quality line of them is from Xantrex

Inverter Charger, RV Inverter Charger | Power Products | Xantrex

They are pricey but nice and as with most things you will get what you pay for.

Most units with both converter and charger will feature true sine wave inverters which provide a much closer ac signal to the one you get at home and are less likely to kill your electronics.

Most of us here would likely use much less pricey and more crude modified sine wave or square wave inverters which are usually ok for pure resistive loads and will rarely damage them but are harder on sensitive electronics.

Also inverting is a fairly power consuming process and you will run through the useful output of a battery pretty quickly using one for any big load. Again I think many of us will use small ones but judiciously.

Ed
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:44 AM   #4
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Name: Sherman
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
Pennsylvania
Posts: 32
Thanks guys. I was getting the feeling that there was no such thing as what I'm looking for, which is why I posted here to ask .

I think I'll forget about trying to find something with a built-in inverter and just make that a separate add-on to give me one or two outlets that work when shore power isn't available.

I hadn't realized that I could go too big (too many amps). I guess the charging part of these converters are designed for particular battery capacities. That's good to know.

The WF-8935 looks great, but it's too tall to put it where the old converter was located. The furnace is right above. I can't seem to think of any other good place to put it. I really want something that'll fit in the old spot.

What about this one: Parallax Power Supply 6730 30 Amp Electronic Converter/Charger?
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:46 AM   #5
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Name: Normand
Trailer: Trillium 5500 1980
Posts: 121
Hi, have a look at this Website : Progressive Dynamics for RV and Marine electronics and lighting.

These are the makers of the Intellipower.

I've thrown away the old and noisy converter and installed (in my case with 2 X 6 volts golf cart batteries in series) the PD4045 model in my Trillium 5500 two years ago.
(The Intelli-Power 4000 Series AC/DC Distribution Panel and Intelli-Power Converter with Charge Wizard.)

This is all what you need. It is a compact all in one system including an AC/DC distribution panel. The Inteli-Power converter with charge Wizard will keep your batteries at full charge and MAINTAIN them perfectly year around. This is an intelligent charger, a top quality one with all the belles and whistles.

You keep your GF trailer plugged all the time. You will have many 12 volts circuits protected with fuses available and 110 V. circuits also for all your needs including A/C, all on beakers (that you will have to buy apart). All this in a compact and easy to install unit.

Works perfectly and easy for a do it yourself installation. Took me an afternoon to do. This is the perfect replacement for a converter and for a modernized and safely organized trailer. Check on e-Bay there are sometimes good deals on them.

P.S. if you want 110 volts from your 12 volts battery you will need an inverter. Pure sine wave are the bests and safe for electronic and medical equipment. But they are much cheaper now than a few years ago. I would now go for them at least 750 watts. If you need a reasonable amount of battery power go, at least, for a Group 27... and over.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spotcatbug View Post
I think I'll forget about trying to find something with a built-in inverter and just make that a separate add-on to give me one or two outlets that work when shore power isn't available.
This is the only practical way to go.


Quote:
I hadn't realized that I could go too big (too many amps). I guess the charging part of these converters are designed for particular battery capacities. That's good to know.
You can't go too big but you can be over capacity. A 45 amps or 60 amps won't do any harm as if this is a good quality charger and an intelligent one. This intelligent charger will adapt to your batteries need and won't over charge them, boil them or charge them too fast. 45 amps is a good compromise for a mid size and modernized trailer. Don't forget that you will most probably add to your electrical needs as years go on.

Also don't mix the amps for the AC circuits ans amps for the charger. These are two different things.

Quote:
The furnace is right above. I can't seem to think of any other good place to put it. I really want something that'll fit in the old spot.
The fact that the furnace is above would not be an issue. May be you will have to relocate as there may be not enough space to fit the new equipment. I had personaly to make some adjustments but everything fitted where the old converter was.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:01 AM   #7
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Name: Sherman
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
Pennsylvania
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That PD4045 looks really nice. The spec sheet says it's 8.875 inches tall. That may be a little too tall to fit under the furnace. I'll have to check it out.

Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:46 AM   #8
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The other ting to consider is that the converter you have now is really onthe wrong side of the trailer?
I have never seen a power pedestal on that side. So maybe moving it is a good idea anyway.
On my 4500 is also installed a detachable cord set and connector so I could stop cramming the cord back into the hole,it was a nice mod.
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:36 PM   #9
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Name: Normand
Trailer: Trillium 5500 1980
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By the way I remember seeing the PD4045 or a very similar Intellipoint model in a new 2011 Trillium 1300 made in U.S.A..
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:43 PM   #10
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Name: Sherman
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
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Update: what I ended-up doing...

I meant to update this thread earlier.

As I posted earlier I don't think the Progressive Dynamics 4000 series would have fit in the old space, and I really didn't want to put it anywhere else. The 4000's want more than 8 inches of height (on the front at least). That's just too tall for that spot.

I ended-up buying a PD4645. The 4600 series are upgrade kits for a specific set of older converter chargers. Being an upgrade kit, it splits the converter/charger into two separate pieces that end up connected together inside whatever converter/charger is being upgraded (it replaces the guts of these older converter chargers). Obviously I wasn't upgrading anything, so it seemed wrong, but looking at the measurements on the Progressive Dynamics web site, it looked like the main part of the upgrade kit would fit in that space below the furnace and then I could fit the other piece of the upgrade behind it where I could get to it from the access door on the side... so I went for it.

It worked perfectly. I had to slightly enlarge the hole where the old converter was in order to slide in the new converter. The depth was exact - the back wall of the converter sits against the wheel well. The front sticks out from the wall an eighth to a quarter inch, but it appears, from where the mounting holes are located on the front, that it was meant to do that. I covered the front with a baseboard vent. The vent has some depth to cover the sticking-out converter. Home Depot had the vent. It looks great - like it was meant to be.

That was only part of the install, though. The other piece of the upgrade kit is a circuit board for the 12V connections and fuses and for the battery connection. I mounted that board to a piece of wood which I then stuck to the wheel well behind the converter with epoxy. This way, I have access to the circuit board from the door on the side, beneath the closet (the one right at the trailer entrance). You need that access to make your connections, replace fuses and to see the charge status light. There's a green LED on the circuit board that lets you know what it's doing to your battery (it blinks slow or fast or not at all, depending on the charge status).

I'm super-happy with how the installation turned-out and it works really well.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:53 PM   #11
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Pictures would be good.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:52 PM   #12
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Pictures would be good.
Agreed,
Sounds like an great mod!

What did it cost Sherman?

Links to product and instructions:
http://www.progressivedyn.com/pd4600...placement.html
http://www.progressivedyn.com/4600_operation_guide.pdf
http://www.progressivedyn.com/PD92201_for_PD4600.pdf
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:08 PM   #13
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Name: Sherman
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Pictures would be good.
Gee, I thought I explained it so well!

Yeah, OK, pictures are coming.......
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:12 PM   #14
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Name: Sherman
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
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Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
What did it cost Sherman?[/URL]
I got the PD4645 on Amazon for about $200, shipped. It definitely wasn't cheap. The only other thing I needed was the vent cover. That was about $5, I think. I already had blade fuses, some wire and screws.
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