Trillium 5500 will be towed by flat-4 truck...which adapter do I need? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-27-2011, 10:31 AM   #1
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Trillium 5500 will be towed by flat-4 truck...which adapter do I need?

A good friend is going to help me collect my new Trillium 5500 from a seller in BC Canada.

She has a truck with the correct ball, but her connector is a flat four.

The Trillium takes a narrow 6-pin round, so which adapter does she need to buy?

This is a great friend to help me out. We are basically going to "relay" trek the trailer, here's how it's working:
Seller will drive from Kelowna across border to Oreville WA.
Friend 1 to pick up trailer in Oreville and drive to Portland OR.
Friend 2 is driving to Portland and will deliver to San Francisco.
I'll pick it up in SF and drive to new home in Santa Cruz.

So need to make this as painless for all my drivers as possible...
Thanks in advance!
Laurie
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:35 AM   #2
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I think you can get that adapter at Napa, but I don't think the trailer brakes are going to work. The four pin from the truck has no wires to operate the brakes.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:41 AM   #3
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Yeah, no brakes and no charging. It's a seven hour drive for her "leg" of the journey, so we were gonna chance it...you think that's a bad idea?
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:00 PM   #4
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My 13'er was built with out brakes so I don't miss them, just remember to watch your following distance.
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Old 05-28-2011, 12:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurie View Post
we were gonna chance it...you think that's a bad idea?
Considering the size and weight of a Trillium 5500, I would say yes, it's a bad idea to tow it without brakes.
See Line Item #55 in my spreadsheet
In thinking of the HUGE risk they are taking, how big is the truck, and how experienced at towing is the driver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurie View Post
So need to make this as painless for all my drivers as possible...
They are putting their lives at risk for you! I once had to try to stop my Fiber Stream going downhill in the mountains on a 2 lane country road, and discovered that my trailer brakes were not working. When I finally, finally got the rig stopped, I couldn't stop shaking and had to step out and vomit! I had to sit on the side of the road for a half hour before I could muster up the courage to get back behind the wheel and crawl at 5 mph the rest of the way down that road. The Odyssey needed all new brakes when I got home, NOT cheap.
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:29 AM   #6
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Here is a couple of IF's.

If you have the money $350 @ etrailer.
If I understand this product correctly it would solve your problem I believe.

Brake Controllers - Tekonsha

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Old 05-28-2011, 09:53 AM   #7
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Most trailer places have adapters that go the other direction... like a vehicle with a 6 or 7 pin, going to a trailer with a 4 pin. To go the other way, they probably would have to cobble something up. I went looking for a 4-to-7 adapter a few years back and my trailer place put one together for me in about 5 minutes.

The fact that they are not commercially made speaks to the concern mfrs would have about liability... enabling someone to tow a trailer that has brakes on it with a vehicle not equipped to actuate those brakes.

I tow a cargo trailer about 20,000 miles/year. For about 6-7 years my cargo trailer had no brakes. After several close calls in 'accordion' traffic during rush hour, I'd had enough. Now I have a cargo with brakes. (The adapter was in case I had a breakdown with my usual tug and had to tow temporarily with the old brake-controller-less van.)

If the person doing your towing has some experience at towing trailers and feels like he can be cautious enough about leaving plenty of room ahead of himself for stopping, shifting down on grades, etc, chances are they will be ok. But stuff can happen, and being without trailer brakes does increase the risk.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:15 AM   #8
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Thanks everybody. All info is very informative. The current owner doesn't have a brake controller in his truck but my friend is having a controller installed in her truck.

We won't need the adapter when they install the new controller...life is good!
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:44 AM   #9
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Yeah, no brakes and no charging. It's a seven hour drive for her "leg" of the journey, so we were gonna chance it...you think that's a bad idea?
In addition to the safety issues that have already been raised you should be aware that some vechiles require brakes to be used if the tow is over x so many pounds. Your friend should check her trucks manual to see if there is a weight restriction if the trailer has no brakes.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:01 AM   #10
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Not to mention the laws of the states you are passing through!

If an accident occurs and someone is killed or seriously injured, not having brakes could give you a first hand look at your state's penal system.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:16 AM   #11
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Brake controller= sway controller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurie View Post

The Trillium takes a narrow 6-pin round, so which adapter does she need to buy?
Hi, Laurie

I'm puzzled by the "narrow 6 pin round" trailer connector.
I'm pretty sure that all Trilliums of that era came with the fatter 7-pin round connector. It's possible that the tug-to-trailer connection has been redone, and it's hard to predict if that wiring will be compatible with TV's other than the present owner's.
Your friends should be prepared for difficulties in that department.
See the standard Trillium diagram here at
Fiberglass RV - Document Center - trillium 1300 wiring diagram
and the trailer end plug diagram here at Fiberglass RV - Document Center - WiringDiagram_7-Pin_TrailerEnd

I agree completely with the (unanimous?) opinion that the 5500 is equipped with brakes as necessary equipment. Not only must your friends' (various?) TV's each be equipped with a brake controller, the drivers must know how to use it.
It's especially important that they be familiar with manual application of the brakes in the event of a sway condition, which they'll almost certainly encounter along the route you describe. Especially with this particular trailer.
Unless, of course, they're planning to keep to the old U-haul no-brakes-on-the-trailer speed limit of 45mph!
I can't emphasize enough how important this is, especially since you're talking about (multiple?) simple ball hookups, without mechanical sway control. This is just like my setup, and my Trillium's only a 4500. My manual slide has saved my bacon more than once in a sway event.
And a nice woman from a town near me would still have a husband if she had known how to use the brake controller on the terrible day described in the following newspaper article.
Passenger in I-90 crash dies of injuries | Yakima Herald-Republic
(BEGIN QUOTE)
POSTED ON Monday, August 10, 2009 AT 08:09AM
SEATTLE A Sequim, Wash., man has died from injuries suffered in a pickup crash on Interstate 90 last week, the Washington State Patrol reported.
Alfred Crampton, 65, died Sunday evening at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to a patrol news release.
Driver Theresa Crampton, 61, was also taken to Harborview after the crash 19 miles east of Ellensburg on Thursday. She was listed in satisfactory condition, a hospital spokeswoman said Monday.
Troopers said the Ford F-150 pickup was eastbound when the 26-foot travel trailer it was towing begin to swing back and forth. The trailer disconnected and landed on its side, blocking both eastbound lanes.
The pickup went through the guardrail, rolled down the embankment and came to rest on its wheels, troopers said.
Both occupants were wearing their seat belts. Intoxicants were not involved, authorities said.
Troopers said they expected to issue Theresa Crampton a ticket for allowing the trailer to oscillate.
(END QUOTE)

Good luck

Francesca
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
I'm puzzled by the "narrow 6 pin round" trailer connector.
I'm pretty sure that all Trilliums of that era came with the fatter 7-pin round connector.
I believe that the big 7-pin round connector is a more recent standard due to more trailers having back-up lights installed.
Laurie is probably referring to this:
Pollak 6-Pole, Round Pin, Trailer Wiring Connector - Trailer End Pollak Wiring PK11604
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:55 AM   #13
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Mine had a small round 6 pin.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
I believe that the big 7-pin round connector is a more recent standard due to more trailers having back-up lights installed.
Laurie is probably referring to this:
Pollak 6-Pole, Round Pin, Trailer Wiring Connector - Trailer End Pollak Wiring PK11604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg H View Post
Mine had a small round 6 pin.
Yours is a Boler, Greg! And aren't you a Fiberstream/Boler man, Frederick?
I think those trailers were made here in the States. If you take a look at the Trillium wiring diagram in the document center (used for all the original Trillium Models) you'll see that the 7-pin connector is clearly indicated.Fiberglass RV - Document Center - trillium 1300 wiring diagram Of the three original Trilliums I'm familiar with including my own, all have the factory installed 7-pin round.
The 7th wire was originally identified as a "foreign car" provision- perhaps since Trilliums were originally made in Canada, they adopted the standard earlier than American manufacturers.

Francesca
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