1976 trillium no lights - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-16-2018, 05:36 PM   #1
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1976 trillium no lights

Hi! I have a 76 trillium 13 ftwith power converter and everything was working fine. I left the interior lights on last night while plugged into my garage and this morning all interior lights wonít work. Both electrical outlets work fine as well as furnace, but no lights. I have no inline fuse in the front compartment and just one fuse on the power converter which I canít get out. Any suggestions as to why all my lights went out. Thanks!!!
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:27 PM   #2
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Since they worked last night the most likely explanation is that fuse that you cant get out blew. (This presuming that nobody switched the converter from shorepower to battery of course) The fact you can't get that fuse out signals trouble there IMO, do what ever you must to get it out and replace it.
Side note: You don't say what converter you have, but the one in my '78 Trillium has TWO fuses, one on each side of the face. The one on the left is shorepower, I've blown that one more than once and got the results you describe here.
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:31 PM   #3
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Afterthought per getting fuse out, they're usually spring loaded, you have to push in and turn at the same time in order to remove them. Good luck
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:20 PM   #4
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76 trillium

Thanks for your kind reply. My converter has one fuse on the right side which says 12 v. It is square shaped and hard to remove. Itís probably original and Iím wondering what I can replace this with ? The converter is getting 120 shore power because the electrical outlets both work. If this 12 v fuse on converter is blown would that be the issue with my lights? I canít find any other fuses anywhere on wiring harness.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:05 PM   #5
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Jamie,

In my Trillium 4500, I have the original power converter that has a 110 VAC circuit breaker button, a 12 VDC circuit breaker button, a toggle switch for switching between shore power and battery, and a 110 VAC built in outlet. There are also several other 110 VAC outlets in the camper as well as several 12 VDC light fixtures.

When I first tested and used the camper, I found that the 12 VDC light fixtures would only stay on 20 or 30 minutes, and then shut off. As I recall, the problem was that the 12 VDC circuit breaker button was popping, even though the power load was light. Also eventually I determined that the 110 VAC circuit breaker would also pop with a light load (7 amps), even though it was rated for 15(?) amps. In any case, I replaced both the AC and the DC circuit breaker as well as the toggle switch (also faulty). That solved the problems. Later I determined that the transformer was not compatible with the new LED buibs, so I removed the transformer and diode and replaced them with a small (15 amp) electronic power supply.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:06 PM   #6
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Yes, the converters only job is to produce 12v power, it may well be getting 120 just fine but if that fuse is blown it cant do so. The outlets working is irrelevant, they're not connected to the converter system at all. I'm perplexed by your statement that the furnace is working tho- is there some connection between it and the 12v system?
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:08 PM   #7
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Jamie, post a pic of your 12 vdc circuit breaker. If its the same type as mine, you can purchase at Amazon or an electronic supply shop. I bought all replacement components (circuit breakers, toggle switch, power supply) at Amazon.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
Jamie,

In my Trillium 4500, I have the original power converter that has a 110 VAC circuit breaker button, a 12 VDC circuit breaker button, a toggle switch for switching between shore power and battery, and a 110 VAC built in outlet. There are also several other 110 VAC outlets in the camper as well as several 12 VDC light fixtures.

When I first tested and used the camper, I found that the 12 VDC light fixtures would only stay on 20 or 30 minutes, and then shut off. As I recall, the problem was that the 12 VDC circuit breaker button was popping, even though the power load was light. Also eventually I determined that the 110 VAC circuit breaker would also pop with a light load (7 amps), even though it was rated for 15(?) amps. In any case, I replaced both the AC and the DC circuit breaker as well as the toggle switch (also faulty). That solved the problems. Later I determined that the transformer was not compatible with the new LED buibs, so I removed the transformer and diode and replaced them with a small (15 amp) electronic power supply.
VERY interesting, yours is the same system as mine and you may have solved a mystery for me too. My ever helpful husband decided to "upgrade" my interior lights to LED's and I've had a lot of trouble with them. I'm thinking your solution is exactly what's needed. Is there some place you've gone into more detail about the fix? Hubs would be most grateful for a path to a fix, this has been a cause of a certain amount of marital discord especially since I was perfectly happy with the still working incandescents he took out and threw away
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:58 PM   #9
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Hi Francesca,

I replaced all of the components inside the my old power converter. Specifically:

- 12 vdc circuit breaker replaced (amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
- 110 vac circuit breaker replaced (amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
- SPDT switch replaced (can't find the link)
- Mean Well SP-150-12 power supply replaced old transformer (and I think there was also a diode which I removed) (amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I believe the reason I needed to replace the transformer was that the led bulbs were flickering, burning out, etc. but don't remember for sure. All I know it that now everything works and has been working ever since (two and a half years).

What problems are you seeing with the led lights?

-John
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:28 PM   #10
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the 'power converter' is a battery *charger* as well as DC power supply. it should be outputting about 13.6V to maintain the battery charge state whenever the camper is plugged into 120VAC power.

LEDs are very low power devices, the sorts we might use inside our campers are likely around 0.1 amp each and even with a half dozen on, the total DC power consumption should be less than one amp.

now, its possible this 40 year old power converter is outputting nasty noisy DC, that would not make an LED happy at all. If I had one of those trailers, I would likely be looking to rewire it using a modern smart charger like the PD4600 series in a modern power distiribution box with multiple circuit breakers and fuses for various circuits.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:51 PM   #11
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Yep, could do as John in Santa Cruz suggested and just replace the old converter with a modern converter with integrated smart charger, and a power distribution panel.

I made do with the old converter box. The SPDT switch on the front of the old converter allows one to switch between "TRANS" and "OFF" and "BATT" (transformer, off and battery). When replacing the old converter, I wired the SPDT switch so that when one switches to OFF or TRANS, the battery is completely offline and isolated. I use a separate smart charger or solar panel to charge the battery.
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
Hi Francesca,

I replaced all of the components inside the my old power converter. Specifically:

- 12 vdc circuit breaker replaced (amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
- 110 vac circuit breaker replaced (amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
- SPDT switch replaced (can't find the link)
- Mean Well SP-150-12 power supply replaced old transformer (and I think there was also a diode which I removed) (amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I believe the reason I needed to replace the transformer was that the led bulbs were flickering, burning out, etc. but don't remember for sure. All I know it that now everything works and has been working ever since (two and a half years).

What problems are you seeing with the led lights?

-John
^^^^^^^^^ This is GOLD, John. May I suggest you start a stand alone thread for the purposes of passing it along, not to mention further discussion? I'm sure lots of people have had similar problems and (like me/my husband) had no idea a retrofit to the original unit is even possible. I've considered the replace-with-new option suggested by some but like the quiet of this unit (no fan) and am thrilled to find that this is one more unit from a past where things were made to be REPAIRED rather than simply disposed of and replaced. A dedicated thread properly titled and tagged for searchability would be an invaluable resource for many, I'm sure. Suggested title something like "Retrofit/ restoration of original power converter for LED compatibility" or something like that. I'll be one of the first to post I assure you lol, now i think about it my lighting troubles started when I first installed new LED running lights, which of cpurse one would presume had nothing whatever to do with interior lighting. But they DID lol,
I'll save that story for later.
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:09 AM   #13
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Francesca, sure I will start a thread about this, but first please tell me what problems you've been having with your internal LED lights.
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Old 10-17-2018, 03:19 PM   #14
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I would want to investigate that 'transformer' DC power supply with a digital multimeter... see what DC voltage its outputting, see how stable that DC voltage is with different loads on it, also see how much AC voltage (aka ripple) is on the DC output, with and without DC loads. its quite likely a lot of LED lights will NOT like a lot of ripple on their power supply.
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