Trillium 1300 wiring help - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-23-2014, 08:31 PM   #1
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Trillium 1300 wiring help

Hey,

When we brought our Trillium home, the exterior lights (signals, brakes, running lights) all worked. A couple of weeks in the driveway and one trip in... and they still do, sometimes. But mostly not.

I know some of this is probably loose connections, and some of this is probably old wiring, but does anyone have any tips for someone replacing the wiring from scratch? Any problems I should look out for?

As a bonus: the two lights on the sides of the upper cabinet above the stove don't want to turn on, but they're wired under the insulation at the moment. Any tips and tricks there would be helpful, too.

Option number 2 is taking it somewhere and having them do things for me, but I do so want to LEARN! And do things cheaply. If I was taking it in, does anyone have any ideas of cost to expect?

Thank you to anyone who can help!
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:07 PM   #2
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"During the summer and fall of 2009, I completed re-doing the interior 12 volt system on our 1978 Trillium 1300. The old wiring was a mess. Everything was wired with too light a gauge wire. With more than one light on, the volts droped to a dangerous level. I also wanted to switch to LED lights. So, I decided to gut the whole thing." The preceding is an excerpt of my couple-page document of all I did. If interested in the whole thing, PM me and I'll send you a copy of that along with my schematics. If you take this on as a d-i-y project be prepared to have to learn a lot and do an enormous amount of tedious, trying work.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Lilytrilly View Post
Hey,

When we brought our Trillium home, the exterior lights (signals, brakes, running lights) all worked. A couple of weeks in the driveway and one trip in... and they still do, sometimes. But mostly not.

I know some of this is probably loose connections, and some of this is probably old wiring, but does anyone have any tips for someone replacing the wiring from scratch? Any problems I should look out for?

As a bonus: the two lights on the sides of the upper cabinet above the stove don't want to turn on, but they're wired under the insulation at the moment. Any tips and tricks there would be helpful, too.

Option number 2 is taking it somewhere and having them do things for me, but I do so want to LEARN! And do things cheaply. If I was taking it in, does anyone have any ideas of cost to expect?

Thank you to anyone who can help!
IMO, you should rebuid/re-bolt your ground wires at their contacts to frame. When choosing wire gauge, use the same size if it is installed by manufacturer originally, if not, follow technical references. The issue of your two light bulbs from cabinet, it could be either bad ground contacts or bad contacts of right at the sockets or bad light bulbs' filaments themselves..Should check them out by open the lens. To bring your trailer in shop, believe me, it costs a big bucks, not cheap at all. Better diy or do it with friends' help...That way you could learn something if you wish...Share.
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Old 04-24-2014, 03:49 PM   #4
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The wire on my Trilliums is OK in places, in other places the wire has corroded about an inch under the insulation where the wire is exposed. I think a compete rewire is not a bad idea. Since you are in Canada, check out Princess Auto. They have lots of great stuff.

These lights can be installed inside the Trillium lenses. They go on sale for $40 from time to time. What is nice is that they come with enough wire to replace all the tail light wires :
12V Submersible LED Trailer Light Kit | Princess Auto
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...2-a-52356.html

Wire. There is no problem with going bigger then what is in the trailer, other then cost. I use #12 for anything other then the outside tail and marker lights:
Wire | Princess Auto

The connections can be either soldered, or crimped, or both. This is subject of much contention. I like to do both. Then cover the individual conductors with heat shrink, currently on sale, and an over all cover. The skill here is to remember to put your heat shrink on the wire before you solder the two ends together:
171 pc Colour-Coded Heat Shrink Tubing | Princess Auto

Then remember that the wires should be anchored to something:
Cable Management | Princess Auto
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Old 04-24-2014, 04:13 PM   #5
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Thank you all so much for the info! I really appreciate it. We were definitely planning on a trip to Princess Auto this evening, so I appreciate the recommendation.

I got a couple of quotes from dealers, but diying it (read: relying on the kindness of friends) looks more and more feasible with all your help. I think at least a part re-wiring of the 12v system is in order, and those LEDs look great. Marv, I am sending you a message but would love to read more about what you did. I will post the results!


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Old 04-24-2014, 04:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv Watson View Post
If interested in the whole thing, PM me and I'll send you a copy of that along with my schematics. If you take this on as a d-i-y project be prepared to have to learn a lot and do an enormous amount of tedious, trying work.
Marv, Please post it here. Lets start another wiring discussion.

BTW, I love wiring. Hence my career in instrumentation / electrical. How else can you accomplish so much, with so few tools. There are of course some very expensive tools, but in this case no oscilloscope, or frequency analyzer should be required.

Since you are headed to Princess Auto any way, take a look at the following wiring supplies:
Knife, for stripping wire, I use my Swiss Army Knife for this.
Side cutters:
7 in. Diagonal Cutting Pliers | Princess Auto
Needle nose pliers:
8 in. Long Nose Pliers | Princess Auto
Soldering iron, (I like butane for this)
2-in-1 Butane Soldering Iron | Princess Auto
Crimper
Quick Change Ratcheting Wire Terminal Crimper | Princess Auto

Supplies:
Crimp terminals
338 pc 12-10 & 16-14 Gauge Terminal & Connector Kit | Princess Auto
Wire
Wire | Princess Auto
Solder
3 oz. Electrical Solder | Princess Auto
Rosen Core Solder | Princess Auto
Flux
Orange Crush Paste Flux | Princess Auto
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:16 PM   #7
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I obviously came to the right place!

Any recommendations for sealing the hole where the wiring comes through the floor? It looks like just epoxy right now.


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Old 04-24-2014, 05:29 PM   #8
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Please please please do stick with/adhere to the factory specs per wire color as shown in the Trillium 13 wiring diagram available for download right here at Fiberglass RV.

link to page

I ask this in behalf of all those who've ever encountered someone else's wiring consisting of "whatever color someone had lots of in the garage".
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:29 PM   #9
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Water does not flow up hill. Think of the hole where the wiring comes through the floor as a drain.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Please please please do stick with/adhere to the factory specs per wire color as shown in the Trillium 13 wiring diagram available for download right here at Fiberglass RV.
No brakes on that diagram, they use blue wire. Oh wait, I see blue at the trailer plug.
The wire that comes with the LED tail lights, from Princess Auto, follows that diagram.

There is no mention of fuses on the diagram either, but that can wait.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:51 PM   #11
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These connectors are heat shrink and have solder in the center that melts when heat is applied, as with this little torch.Click image for larger version

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Click image for larger version

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Old 04-24-2014, 06:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post

There is no mention of fuses on the diagram either, but that can wait.
There's a 20 amp fuse indicated on the black (hot) line up front. In my Trillium it's located up front just after the junction where the pigtail joins the trailer wiring.


Also:

Dunno if the O.P. has a Converter, but in my case (so far as that diagram is concerned) that's located at the end of the black/white lines, curbside. The diagram only shows a 12v light bulb there...likely the porch light. Converter is also fused, of course.

Side note:

Yellow wire, though likely present in many Trilliums with original wiring, is unused- probably for future/optional backup lights. I keep thinking I ought to install some of those puppies since there the wire is...another project for another day!
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:47 PM   #13
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Definitely planning on sticking with the colours in the diagram... ideal for future us, as well as for any other future owners. A little confused by the fuses, but hopefully my friend/labour-for-bbq will have a better understanding.

The road trip to Princess Auto is scheduled for Saturday morning, and we now have a whole list of ideas! All is wonderful! I will be extensively documenting, in any case, so if I mess up at least I'll be able to figure out how.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:32 PM   #14
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Since you asked, Dave, I'm attaching my notes for any and all to peruse. (The pdf of my schematic in color is too large a file to upload.) I did the work in 2009, and have had no problems with it.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 12 Volt Re-Do Process.pdf (77.4 KB, 49 views)
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Old 04-25-2014, 08:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilytrilly View Post
The road trip to Princess Auto is scheduled for Saturday morning, and we now have a whole list of ideas! All is wonderful! I will be extensively documenting, in any case, so if I mess up at least I'll be able to figure out how.
Before you go/get too deep into a tear out:
I really recommend that you investigate further the cause of the sudden anomaly you've noticed per erratic behavior of the light/brake wiring. The problems you describe in the threadstatrter sound to me like you might just have a simple bad-ground problem and perhaps one or two bad connections. Completely tearing out/replacing all wiring may not be necessary or even called for.

Assuming that no one's been heavily into the wiring before you and/or torn a bunch of the original out: After the pigtail, all wiring is inside the trailer protected from the elements; and at least in the case of my 1978, mostly further protected from wear/abrasion by plastic tubing. My wiring is in pristine condition except perhaps at the one or two end-points where an individual light had deteriorated. I cleaned up and reconnected those points; I also had my doubts about the junction box between the pigtail and trailer wiring and replaced it with a standard trailer junction box designed for the purpose. I also of course insured that everything is well-grounded.


You may well save yourself a LOT of trouble/expense if you take those simple first steps before completely abandoning/tearing out/replacing wire that is perfectly serviceable/in good working order. You'd be losing nothing in the process, since all those steps must be taken during a full rewire anyway.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
These lights can be installed inside the Trillium lenses. They go on sale for $40 from time to time. What is nice is that they come with enough wire to replace all the tail light wires :
12V Submersible LED Trailer Light Kit | Princess Auto
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...2-a-52356.html
Just got my flyer in the mail, April 29-May 11, 2014. The lights are on sale again but the price is $50. Like it has been the last few times on sale. We must have made them too popular!

On edit, flyer reads 8V. The item specs say 8-14V.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:45 AM   #17
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A similar box to what Francesca has pictured is also available at Princess Auto:
7:6 Trailer Wiring Junction Box | Princess Auto

Francesca is correct that most of your electrical is probably good. I would at least inspect as many wire ends as you can find. If the wire is black and crunchy, or just corroded completely away, strip it back till you find shiny copper. I have found the wire, in places on one of my trailers to be corroded about an inch under the insulation. This is where heat shrink would have helped.

The lights that Roy has linked to are a very good way to convert your tail lights to LED's, and like I said earlier they include all the wire necessary to get from the back of your trailer to the tongue.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:48 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
These connectors are heat shrink and have solder in the center that melts when heat is applied, as with this little torch.Attachment 70235

Attachment 70236
That looks like a good system, and way less work then what I do now.
Where can I get some to try out?
Can the connector be crimped, as well as soldered?
Do the wires need to be tinned before being soldered?
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:30 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post

The lights that Roy has linked to are a very good way to convert your tail lights to LED's, and like I said earlier they include all the wire necessary to get from the back of your trailer to the tongue.
You're referring to the lights at this link (and in pic below), correct?

This puzzles me... unless one cuts off that four-flat connector and direct-wires up front at the pigtail connection I don't see how they can be used on a Trillium. Is the suggestion to just abandon the stock Trillium pigtail in favor of a direct connection to the tug itself?

If so, how would one power the marker lights on the trailer, not to mention the charging line and brakes if so equipped?

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Old 04-25-2014, 12:43 PM   #20
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There are four wires that can be run to the junction box that is under the drivers side of the gaucho. From there you splice into your exterior cable that plugs into the trailer. The marker lights and everything else is not affected. The connectors that come with it are cut off and disposed of.

That also applies to the lenses and housing. What is used is the inside of these tail lights. Besides the rear facing LED's you see, there are also side facing, and lights for the licence plate.
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