Furnace replacement for a 1977 Trillium 4500 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:56 PM   #1
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Furnace replacement for a 1977 Trillium 4500

Does anyone know about replacing a 1977 Trillium 4500 furnace? Ours is not working and the repairmen say there are no parts available. What do you recommend? Thanks for your help.
Bill & Kate on Whidbey Island
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:20 PM   #2
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You do not need to replace it. Your repair man is wrong. It is not cheep, and some tube bending is required, but this will fix it:
Welcome to RV Shop - America's Premier RV Website

It is not so easy to get the furnace out, so putting in a new gas valve should be done with the furnace still in the trailer.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ter-49659.html

A handy reference:
http://www.ntpdistribution.com/PDF/V...kchart1of2.pdf

I think this is in the document center as well.
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:44 PM   #3
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Hi Dave, Could you please be more specific on where to navigate within the "Welcome to RV Shop - America's ..."; i.e. what are you referring to in terms of 'tube bending?'
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:46 PM   #4
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Thanks, Dave for all of your advice.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billkateposs View Post
Hi Dave, Could you please be more specific on where to navigate within the "Welcome to RV Shop - America's ..."; i.e. what are you referring to in terms of 'tube bending?'
The gas connections, on the replacement valve, are located in different places then the original valve. I have the replacement valve on my trailer in Ontario, so pictures will be hard to get.

The same furnace was used in the Prowler brand trailers in the 70's. Some even have the optional fan:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...wer-54226.html

You could get a replacement valve from one of those. The fan is wanted by members of this site, including me. If you come across one that you don't want, please let me know.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:17 PM   #6
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Thanks, Dave. Once we get the trailer this weekend, we'll look into the furnace. Want to find less expensive fixes than what we've been encountering.
Kate
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:14 AM   #7
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That is where I come in. I am value oriented. I mean, check out my ride.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tml#post331743
Having said that, I have paid the folks at Trillium / Out Back ~$500 to repair my furnace. It was a learning experience.
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
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What is exactly the problem ? This furnace is extremely simple and reliable. As opposed to most replacements, it does not require any electric power to run (huge advantage) and remains quite safe to operate (it has a combined outdoor intake and exhaust, so no fumes or oxygen depletion of indoor space). Even a catalytic furnace does not match the safety and convenience of this one. It is worth fixing it out.

In my humble opinion, I'm quite sure someone on this forum will want to buy it for parts or repair if you don't want to fix it. There is simply no substitute to such furnace on the market.
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:46 PM   #9
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Instruction manual, parts and installation instruction are available on the documentation section at http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/d...20furnaces.pdf
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Old 10-20-2013, 04:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by lamimartin View Post
What is exactly the problem ? This furnace is extremely simple and reliable. As opposed to most replacements, it does not require any electric power to run (huge advantage) and remains quite safe to operate (it has a combined outdoor intake and exhaust, so no fumes or oxygen depletion of indoor space). Even a catalytic furnace does not match the safety and convenience of this one. It is worth fixing it out.

.

Just curious as to where you found the info as to it being safe? By what standard? Do you know for sure what model of furnace the OP has in his trailer? - only the year and make of his trailer mentioned that I can see. Due to the trailers age it is very possible the furnace has been changed out.

Some of the old RV furnaces with the combo outdoor intake and exhaust with no fans, stopped being produced as they were deemed unsafe. One of the safety issues with the use of them was if I am not mistaken that the ventilation for indoor use was deemed to be poor - in part due to the fact they used only one small pipe for both intake and exhaust. The burner on them also had some issues by today's safety standards. In fact many a certified propane appliance repairman has refused to work on the no fan and one tube air take type furnace for those reasons.

I would recommend the OP does a google search of this forum on this topic as it has been discussed many times. These types of discussion often lead to some pretty "heated"debates in regards to coaching people to fix a product someone else considers totally unsafe to use.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:05 PM   #11
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I would say it is at least as safe as using the stove in your trailer. Of course you don't use that all night.
Since propane combusts fairly cleen, some heaters, like the old Herman Nelson design, dump the products of combusition directly into the space heated. There are still some direct vent furnaces sold.
DV-20E (20,000 Btu)
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:53 PM   #12
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No argument from me on that David, its just simple in this situation as the OP has not indicated what brand or make of furnace he has and as no photos have been posted - so whos to say it isnt a furnace known to be dangerous or that its not totally rusted out to the point it really isnt safe regardless of make/model. Add that to the fact a lot of folks dont bother to change their Carbon monoxide detectors every 4 or 5 years as they should be.... heck some dont even have one in their trailers.

As they say Carbon monoxide is a silent killer.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:24 PM   #13
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I assume that the OP, who has a 1978 Trillium Delux, would have the orignal, 65512. Might not though.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Just curious as to where you found the info as to it being safe? By what standard? Do you know for sure what model of furnace the OP has in his trailer? - only the year and make of his trailer mentioned that I can see. Due to the trailers age it is very possible the furnace has been changed out. (...)
I would recommend the OP does a google search of this forum on this topic as it has been discussed many times. These types of discussion often lead to some pretty "heated"debates in regards to coaching people to fix a product someone else considers totally unsafe to use.
Hi Carol, We both own the very same trailer model and year. This is a user helping user section, no pretention of professional advice. All I can say is that mine is original and still works perfectly fine in 2013 (after 36 years). If it was damaged or too badly corroded I would know because I have taken it out, inspected it and checked for leaks and integrity of the combustion chamber. I installed a brand new gas line and added a propane cut out valve underneath in case of failure considering her age. I may not be a specialist, I'm reasonnably confident we are indeed talking of the Duotherm Gravity Direct Wall Furnace 65810. I'm the one who uploaded the PDF into the document center. I've done my homework and provided very specific common sense information. It is possible the original furnace has been changed, but mine looks like this:
http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/...heatervent.jpg
http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/...illium1977.jpg

I own and maintain myself a 1977 Trillium, a 1980 Honda CM400 motorcycle and a 1983 Sandpiper 565 sailboat with 1983 Evenrude Outboard, my snowthrower is a 1978... and like me, they all work fine, thanks to careful maintenance. In all cases, the current "experts" are often too young to know and give up rather than search for a solution if there is a part to find or anything that requires specific knowledge on that old guizmo. I found out that in order to own and maintain such vintage collection, I've got to invest time to know and become more knowledgeable than the experts on my stuff, simply because the experts freak out or are plain lazy in regard of vintage equipment. In their minds, it would cost more to know than to fix.

I don't blame the experts or make myself an expert. I consider vintage equipement owners are forced to become often more knowledgeable on they own stuff than the repairman who only consider valuable the stuff they can fix with minimum time and risk to compromise a profit.

Safety is a matter of knowledge, common sense for me. Repairmen's safety is based on short term profit margin and minimal risk of being sued down the road.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:08 AM   #15
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I may not be a specialist, I'm reasonnably confident we are indeed talking of the Duotherm Gravity Direct Wall Furnace 65810.
Not to be argumentative, but I am reasonably sure we are talking about a 65512-002. The 65810-002 were installed in Trillium 1300 trailers. They are physically smaller. I just went to my shed to check. I have one of each.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...wer-54226.html
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:48 AM   #16
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Thanks Martin, As I mentioned my concern with this thread was simply that some pretty big and dangerous assumptions where being made in regards to what brand/model of furnace the OP has and its condition.

When I purchased my trailer it was only 16 years old and I know the the furnace and hot water tank that were not original to it, along with a number of other items. Now thats its 21 years old it has had additional items replaced. Would not assume that any trailer of 30 years of age to have its original components or that they are in a safe usable condition without actually seeing them.
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Not to be argumentative, but I am reasonably sure we are talking about a 65512-002. The 65810-002 were installed in Trillium 1300 trailers. They are physically smaller. I just went to my shed to check. I have one of each.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...wer-54226.html
You are right, I just reviewed my notes on a previous post on tha matter I made in April 2011 "Reinstalling a Duotherm 65512 on a Trillium 4500".
Thanks David.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:13 AM   #18
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Thank you Martin. We do not know where to begin to find out what is not working with our furnace.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:38 AM   #19
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Thank you Martin. We do not know where to begin to find out what is not working with our furnace.
After you have checked structural integrity of the combustion chamber (corrosion and gaskets) and for gas flow and leaks, there are two things that may prevent your furnace to ignite:

1- There is a small metal rod sticking just under the pilot that is meant to detect if the pilot is lit. That rod must be heated in order to leave the gas flow to the burner. If the pilot is not burning, you don't want the gas to accumulate and cause a potential explosion. If you hold on the red button to allow the gas to flow, you are bypassing this safety to lit the pilot when it is cold. If that pilot safety is misplaced or defective, your furnace pilot will not remain lit after you release the pressure on the red button. Such safety device is standard on just any propane fridge or furnace. Finding a compatible spare part is likely going to be challenging.

2- Once you have the pilot lit, there is a temperature sensor that controls the flow of gas onto the main burner. If that sensor is defective, the pilot will lit, but the main burner will not go on even if you turn the red button to the highest temperature setting.

By the way, if you have disconnected gas or not used the furnace for a long time, you may have to wait a couple of minutes for the gas to reach the pilot.

Good luck.
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:58 PM   #20
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Gravity vs. forced air

My old WagonMaster gravity furnace gave up a few weeks ago and I put an Atwood 18,000 btu furnace in. Great addition but sure draws the 12 volt solar system down so having to add more power there. It gets rather cold up here so I really wanted a forced air unit. The WagonMaster cracked the propane line on a dirt road and I figured it would be as much to try to repair it than simply replace it.

I am looking to find out if I can put some sort of control on it to slow the fan speed....and the noise. Although after the first night I don't even notice it.
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