Interior electrical for a 1974 Trillium 1300 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 09-20-2018, 03:52 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Benjamin
Trailer: Trillium 1300
Posts: 17
Interior electrical for a 1974 Trillium 1300

I am the recent owner. The wiring harness works. Standard four pin to my truck, and all of the brake bulbs work. So I can drive!

But none of the interior electrical works. I plug the external plug outside the door into city power, and everything inside is dead.

My goal when I have city power is to be able to access 120volt through a standard electrical outlet (for a laptop, small box fan, etc) and then have 12volt for some LED lighting. I prefer the low profile of LED bulbs, anyways. I would like to use the existing wiring as much as possible.

When I am off-grid, I would like a tiny battery, just enough to power LEDs at night for a weekend trip. I would love for the switch over to “off-grid” mode to be as painless and easy as possible.

If anyone can point the way on how to set this up I would be grateful. I have seen recommendations for a WFCO WF-8735 unit. I like that the fusebox is accessible. Seems smart. How would this work with a tiny battery? Any recommendations?

At the outset, I am uncertain on how to access the area beneath the closet where the exterior electrical comes in. I have absolutely no idea what's in there. The whole area seems designed to be unserviceable. I am really reluctant to dremel a hole in the base of the closet just as an exploratory mission. Does anyone have photos of how to approach this in the most unobtrusive way possible?
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Old 09-20-2018, 06:39 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2009 19 ft Escape / 2009 Honda Pilot
Posts: 6,233
It is good to hear your trailering lights work. They are independent from the interior electrical. You mention the brake lights work, do the tail lights and marker lights work as well?

I am assuming by information you give this trailer is in original condition.

I don't believe you will have a converter, so when you are plugged into 120V AC, all that works are the light over the dinette and the duplex outlets. This does not run any of the lights. There also should be a breaker in a small door on the lower galley, is this turned on? With the breaker on and the trailer plugged in to 120V AC, you could try plugging something into the outlets.

The way the lights worked on many Trilliums of this vintage is that they run of the tow vehicle battery. Do you have this connection? If so, I would meter it out to see if there is 12V supply there. You can always spice in a battery to the cable and run the lights off of it. I would look into getting replacement LED bulbs, and your draw will be minimal.
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Old 09-21-2018, 05:22 AM   #3
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Trailer: 1982 Fiber Stream and 2001 Casita Spirit Deluxe (I'm down to 2!)
Posts: 1,989
Are there any 120vac lights or outlets inside anywhere that you can tell?
If I remember correctly mine had a light above the sink area that also had an outlet in it but that was about all of the 120vac powered electric anyway.

I would imagine the shore power cord comes in under the closet as you say but then get t=routed under the bench next to it and then around to the other side,can you see the cord under the bench and maybe see where it splices to a more normal power cable for 120 vac? Again mine was over the kitchen I think on the side of the overhead cabinet from the factory.

Once you find this wire and if it goes around to the other side it is pretty simple to put a simple battery charger and as huge or small of a battery as you want under the front bench or under kitchen as needed.I can not imagine why you want a tiny battery though?
Once you have a battery and can charge it then you can wire 12vdc lights and devices from there and thus be able to use them while connected to shore power and while not connected as well.

But first things first I would find where the shore power goes after entering the trailer both for use and safety if it were my trailer.
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:02 AM   #4
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1976, 1978, 1979, 1300 - 1977, and a 1973
Posts: 6,926
Please post pictures. Specifically of whatever light fixtures and any electrical outlets that there may be. Also please post a picture of your kitchen, from the floor to the bottom of the upper cabinets.

This will let me figure out what you currently have, and what steps are required to achieve your goals.
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:49 PM   #5
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Name: Chris
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
Posts: 138
There is a good chance..

There’s a good chance that if you open up the closet door across from the sink and lift up the front left corner of the elephant skin on the bottom of the closet that you will find an octagonal electrical box there.. This box should contain the connection between your 120volt external power cord and the electric 120 volt appliances inside .. Start here and follow the lines but Don’t have the power cord plugged in when you do this the first time 😉

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Old 09-21-2018, 08:18 PM   #6
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Name: John
Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
Mid Left Coast
Posts: 2,942
If I had a vintage trailer like that I would want to modernize the electrics, similar to how they are in Casitas, Scamsp, etc, by using a power center w/ converter, like the WFCO you mention, along with a decent sized RV battery.

1) 120VAC power cord goes to the AC breaker side of the power center. various breakers go to any 120V accessories like outlets.

2) 12V marine/rv battery (or dual golf cart batteries in series) go to the DC fuse panel side of the power center. LED lighting, fan(s), water pump, etc get their power from various DC fused circuits on this fuse panel

3) power converter in the power center takes the 120VAC from the shore cord, and generates 13-14V DC charge voltage to both recharge the battery and power any 12V accessories.

4) (optional) Solar panel on roof or portable external panel goes to solar charge controller which then goes to the battery and charges the battery any time you have solar.
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