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Old 06-18-2019, 07:13 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Chantal
Trailer: Trilly 1300 1973
Posts: 4
Exclamation Where do I start?

Hello everyone! This is my first time in here and not the last. I am a full-time worker, wife and mother of an almost 8 yo girl. Interest a Vintage Trilly started after looking at a Boler of a friend, a few weeks ago. I thought: this is perfect for visiting friends, sleepover and outside camp without frills.
So I Bought a Trillium 1300 1973 3 days ago, thinking of a plug-and-play new toy. Took me 1 hour and a few people to find a 1' cord in order to connect on 110v, hidden under the bed, and the extension would enter through Water Tank 3" flap, who knew... I'm a little scared to turn power on. There a 2 heaters, original under the sink and a newer one in the bottom of closet. Anyone would have a plan I could follow to verify electricity, I would surely appreciate your help. Questions will come but I am a quick learner. Thanks.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:46 AM   #2
Senior Member
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Name: Z
Trailer: Sasquatch
Posts: 2,550
Congratulations! I sincerely hope your new toy is plug and play. Most times, at that age, they aren't...but we'll cross that bridge if we come to it.

I don't know enough about trailers of that vintage to be much help, but I'd say look for a power center. Find what that cord connects to in the trailer. Look for loose wires, damaged wires, frayed wires. Make sure there are fuses. Do you have a multimeter? A way to check for power, and check to see if fuses are blown?

Does the trailer have a battery?

What kind of heaters? Electric? Are there any lights in the trailer?
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:21 AM   #3
Senior Member
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 3,812
Where to start? Fastest learning opportunity? Read every thread you can in the Trillium section. Trilliums are great, but have their share of issues that must be addressed: belly band, window seals, body to frame bolts, door hinges, just to name four. Make sure floor is solid, no soft spots, and no rot in the dinette benches either. Make sure you have drain holes in the pontoons.

I followed this method before buying my 1977 Trillium 1300. I was able to avoid some major problems, passed on a couple of trailers even though they were so hard to find. Both were sold to others, hope they are happy.... Finally found a good one, that needed work, but no insurmountable issues. I didn't know what to watch out for, but there are several very knowledgeable people out there, so by reading their threads, I became an "expert". Sort of, kind of, OK, not an expert but knowledgeable.

Google is your friend, as many knowledgeable people have been there before. Trailer is 46 years old, so stuff wears out, like the axle. While molded FG trailers are the most durable in the RV business, its the body that is durable (and the cabinets in the case of Trilliums). The rest of the stuff: frames, windows, wiring, appliances, are no more durable than other RVs. Its not like FG trailers used unique wiring, plumbing, or appliances.

I would not use any of the systems: propane, water, or electrical, until you have verified them. Old power centers on these trailers are also a common fail point. There should be a small flip up door (hatch) where the power cord enters. It will be marked. Check the 12V fuse on the power center, mine was fused into place (bad).

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Old 06-18-2019, 09:02 AM   #4
Junior Member
Name: Chantal
Trailer: Trilly 1300 1973
Posts: 4
I found a centralpack manual in pdf for it on Web. I will buy a multimeter today and make measurements (fuse) and watch for wires before to plug it. There are a few lights, 3 electric outlets, a small fan, 3 way fridge, 2 heaters (older has to be removed and cut gas) and a marine battery.

The seller turned on the gas burners, the new furnace, but the fridge would not lit with gas. And I will list the components tonight and reply. Step by step. Have a great day.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:49 AM   #5
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Posts: 3,579
Generally not going to fry anything if one plugs into a garage or outdoor outlet that is GFI (square outlet with a test & reset button) That outlet will trip really fast if there is an improper ground or short back to ground.

So after I saw that there was a fuse box in trailer at the end of the trailer power cord and that the fuses or circuit breakers were not over 15 amp. I would not hesitate to connect it to a GFI style outlet typical for outside plugs in houses. If no GFI available then I would just use a power strip with a circuit breaker. Those will trip before the house circuit breaker would.

Don't cut gas line. Just cap the connection at whatever joint it makes the most sense to disconnect the gas line at. May be right at heater or there may be a short connecting gas line that can be removed and the connection capped. Tip all gas line work requires 2 wrenches. One to hold the fitting and one to turn the connection being tightened or loosened.

Gas lines connections are tested by wetting with dish soap and water. Looking for bubbles getting blown by a leak. Checking each connection that way in the spring is generally a good idea. They seldom work loose but good to check.

My guess is you have an electric heater for when plugged in and a gas heater for when in a rustic campground or "boondocking" off grid. Having both can be a really good thing. If you remove the heater you might list it for sale here in the forum for sale section in case someone else needs it. I still have the original heater in my 77 Scamp because hey it works if needed.

RV refrigerators need to be level to function correctly. You might try getting trailer/fridge level and if available option using the electric (AC plug in power) to see how well it cools. Expect it to take many hours to reach full cooling. That will confirm AC power feature works and refrigerant is good. Note I always use the fridge as location I put a short level on since if fridge is level trailer is level enough and fridge really cares about being as level as possible.

Fridge propane burner is small, may well need to be cleaned of rust and can have problems from something as simple as flame isn't heating up probe that lets gas valve know burner is lit and it should stay on. Or spider nests in the chimney or vents that are blocking air flow. Clean burner with good airflow should have a mostly blue flame. Burner not working fully can mean temp probe not getting hot enough and burner will go out when you release the manual valve.

BTW - on most gas burners I think you have to turn the valve to a "Run" position after you hold it in a "Light" position until the temp probe heats up. Turn it to run before probe heats up and it will go out. Don't turn it to run after manually holding to light and it will go out when you let go.

That temperature probe is the "safety" feature. It shuts off gas if flame goes out so gas doesn't keep running and fill up room. Probably have same on heater unless it is newer model. They have even more safety features.

If you have a battery for running some stuff you might want to disconnect it until you can be sure it is in good shape. Many auto parts stores will test them for free. You don't want any built in charger to be charging a battery that has a short in it or is totally shot. If you at lucky some circuit breaker or fuse will blow, if not some wires might get really hot and melt plastic insulation. Don't ask how I know that one. Call it a live and learn moment and leave it at that.

good luck!
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:29 AM   #6
Junior Member
Name: Chantal
Trailer: Trilly 1300 1973
Posts: 4
Yes, gas not cut but capped. Will do bubbles test. Leveling fridge makes much sense for ignition. Will have battery disconnected and tested for now, I printed your replies and will follow. This site is awsome, have a great day.
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:15 PM   #7
Senior Member
Name: George
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 205
Hi Chantal, remember that these trailers were never meant to live for 45 years, think of them as if they were a car that is 45 years old. You would have every thing checked by a qualified technician, especially with an 8 year old daughter aboard. I have owned and renovated 2 trilliies. My recent one is a T4500 from 1978. Good luck and have fun with it. If you take it on the road, don't forget to check the lights, tire age and bearings.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:26 AM   #8
Junior Member
Name: Chantal
Trailer: Trilly 1300 1973
Posts: 4
I'm bringing it this week-end to my garage for tires and bearings inspection. I found out that there is no power converter, just an 4"x4" octogonal electric box... very basic it is. I plan to upgrade it up with a converter, solar panels and pimp up the sleeping areas.
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