Deciding on Bigfoot purchase vs Escape? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-23-2018, 11:33 AM   #1
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Name: gail
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Deciding on Bigfoot purchase vs Escape?

We are looking at the 21' front bed model in both brands.

First question does any one one know the fiberglass thickness of the Bigfoot?
And has anyone had cracks or issues with the shell?
Second, how do people find getting out of the bed? is it possible without the climb over?
Third, How comfortable is the dinette in this model? As we camp up to 4 months a year. So we will be using it. WE know the Bigfoot as far as quality and insulation is hands down better the the Escape. It 's the bed and dinette for sitting that the escape get the points and the trailer weight which we like in case we go for a smaller truck. We are also concerned about the fiberglass strength on the escape. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Gail
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Old 10-23-2018, 11:51 AM   #2
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21 foot Bigfoot is approximately double the price. So one would expect it to have more features. Those features come at a higher price and more weight. Just like buying a home, one that cost twice is much is going to be "better". a fairer comparison would be with an Oliver.

Go to the Escape forum. I'm not aware of anyone having fiberglass problems.

Checking floorplans, looks like the bathroom is significantly larger on the Bigfoot, while the dinette is significantly larger on the Escape.

Want four season? The Bigfoot is the winner. Want lower price and lighter weight? Escape for the win. Prefer maintenance free interior? Oliver for the win.

Although I have an Escape, I really prefer the fiberglass interior of the Oliver. If I had the money in my RV budget, I'd probably have an Oliver, although I don't really like the floorplan. If I were "king for the day", I'd have an Escape fifth wheel with a fiberglass interior......

We camp up to about three months a year right now and 20,000 miles. I don't see any fiberglass problems on our 5 year old Escape, despite a recent 11,000 mile trip to Alaska, on a variety of road surfaces.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:13 PM   #3
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Name: gail
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Thanks, that's the input we like to hear. Sometimes you read all the problems, don't hear the positive. We will send the money on the Bigfoot if we feel it is worth it. But we also don't want over kill. we don't care about all the extra's . Just want a good quality , comfortable trailer to dry camp in cool and warm weather.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:47 PM   #4
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Name: John
Trailer: 2019 Oliver Elite II
Texas
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Use this website, go to Manufactures at the top of the page, then click-on Bigfoot Trailer, that will take you to the Bigfoot Forum. Much better info there on a specific trailer, this is more general here. I would rate the three top line fiberglass trailers in this order, Oliver, Bigfoot, Escape, but would buy any of them when we move up to a larger trailer. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the three.


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Old 10-23-2018, 02:49 PM   #5
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Do a google search:

1. "Bigfoot trailer problems"

2. "Escape trailer problems"

3. "Oliver trailer problems"

For fun, you can add Scamp, Casita, Airstream, whatever. With the internet, its never 100% positive. And people seem to be more motivated to post negatives than positives.

Go to the Escape forum, and you will find a lot of happy people that own an Escape 21. Go to a Bigfoot forum (not sure where it is out there, but surely there is one) and you will likely find a lot of happy Bigfoot owners.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gail in PG View Post
We are looking at the 21' front bed model in both brands.

First question does any one one know the fiberglass thickness of the Bigfoot?
And has anyone had cracks or issues with the shell?
Second, how do people find getting out of the bed? is it possible without the climb over?
Third, How comfortable is the dinette in this model? As we camp up to 4 months a year. So we will be using it. WE know the Bigfoot as far as quality and insulation is hands down better the the Escape. It 's the bed and dinette for sitting that the escape get the points and the trailer weight which we like in case we go for a smaller truck. We are also concerned about the fiberglass strength on the escape. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Gail
Gail,

Comfort is something that everyone will have different opinions about. I am looking forward to improving the U-dinette in our Escape 21. I don't yet know what I will be doing, but I will be attempting to make the typical squared-off dinette construction with flat, single-density foam cushions assume more sympathetic proportions to consort with my little backside, a backside which is perhaps surprisingly neither square nor flat.

I have been mulling over a variety of ideas for how to improve this, but don't have any specific plan or immediate action planned at this point. Meanwhile, we are camping and enjoying the benefits of a couple of inexpensive throw cushions. Overall, it's been acceptable or even a bit better than acceptable for the two of us. I understand that some folks put pool noodles behinds the lower edge of the back cushions to provide a bit of an angle there.

The relative merits of floor plans with front and rear beds and dinettes get hotly debated on forums. For us, having the dinette in the back has actually led to several occasions where we have enjoyed really great views out of the rear windows.

As to the bed, we failed to practice getting in and out of it while we were in the showroom, so I spent some eight months during the build process wondering how that arrangement was going to work out for us. Now that we've had a chance to travel in the trailer, we have found that it's actually worked quite well for both of us. You can avoid this kind of suspense by spending lots of time in the trailers in showrooms so you can make your own judgements.
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Old 10-23-2018, 03:07 PM   #7
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Trailer: 2019 Oliver Elite II
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Do a google search:

1. "Bigfoot trailer problems"

2. "Escape trailer problems"

3. "Oliver trailer problems"

For fun, you can add Scamp, Casita, Airstream, whatever. With the internet, its never 100% positive. And people seem to be more motivated to post negatives than positives.
The biggest problems with trailers in general is the dealer network, poor service, takes too long for repairs, and in many cases work not done right, or at all. If I lived in Canada it would be the Bigfoot or the Escape for sure, in the U.S. it would be the Oliver. I purchased the Casita, because it's 93 miles down the road from where we live, if we move up someday others won't be so close.

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Old 10-23-2018, 09:15 PM   #8
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Name: Ben
Trailer: Bigfoot
California
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A year ago we sold our 2011 17' Escape (bought new) and bought a 2018 21' rear bed Bigfoot. To answer your questions:
The fiberglass thickness of the Bigfoot that I have observed is at least 3/16" (at least twice as thick as what I saw on the Escape). I can stand on the roof of the Bigfoot trailer and it does not noticeable deflect.
I know you are asking about the front bed design but my experience is with the rear bed layout so will will relate my experience with it. I can get out of the bed with little problem and my wife doesn't even notice me most times (I sleep against the outside wall and my wife has the open end). The dinette is very comfortable to sit at.
I sleep against the wall since my wife gets cold at night. I would get chilled some nights in the Escape but I have not with the Bigfoot thanks to its insulation. We have not run our heater as much also, because of the insulation. The tanks are protected from the cold and a few times with the Escape, the dump valve froze when I forgot to add antifreeze while camping.
I don't think you need to be concerned about the thickness of the walls of the Escape; they serve the trailer adequately if you know their limitations (like no extra weight on the roof).
The Bigfoot is a much heavier trailer than the Escape. We tried towing the Bigfoot with a Tacoma but immediately realized it was much too small and bought a Ford F150 which we are much happier with its performance.
Both Escape and Bigfoot are good trailers with strong and weak points on both.

Ben
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Old 10-24-2018, 10:55 AM   #9
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Name: gail
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Thanks Ben, That's just just what we wanted to hear. At what temp where you camping for the pipes to freeze? we don't winter camp but do hit lots of cold nights at higher elevations. Do you find the Bigfoot shell better for withstanding rock chips ? We do realize the weight difference that's the only reason we still keep the escape on the list plus the layout. Gail
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Old 10-24-2018, 03:36 PM   #10
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Name: Avey
Trailer: 21' BigFoot, 17 wide body Burro
California
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BigFoot

The bathroom in the BigFoot is what I like the most. But second is the double sink. Third was the fact that I can stand at the sink and my husband can pass by with no problem. Fourth is the storage.
We had a brand new Escape on order when we came across a used 2006 BigFoot.
We bought it on the spot, and came home and cancelled the Escape. We even took a $500 loss on our deposit. But we are so happy with our choice. We even saved enough buying the used BigFoot to almost buy a new Ford pickup truck.
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Old 10-24-2018, 08:27 PM   #11
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Name: Ben
Trailer: Bigfoot
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The valve has only froze a couple of times (that I know of) because we put antifreeze in when we knew it would be below freezing. When it did freeze, the temps got in the 20's F.
We bought our Escape before they foamed the tanks as an option so when camping in cold weather, we were very cautious. We have camped when night temps got in the teens (F) and didn't have any problems but the days were always above freezing.
The Bigfoot is much better at handling the cold weather with better insulation in the walls and ceiling, insulation in the floor (Escape didn't have any), the tanks and dump valve in a heated space, and the heater has its output ducted to different parts of the trailer (which is quieter and better at heating).
Our Escape had the front storage box and I never saw any chips on any part of the trailer or on the Bigfoot. I believe there currently is a conversation about this subject on the Escape forum.

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Old 10-25-2018, 09:32 AM   #12
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Name: Fredrick
Trailer: Escape 21 'on order'
Tennessee
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21s??

We toured the nearby Oliver factory months b4 we bought our 17 Casita Idependence this year. Tour was nearly 4 hours and VERY impressive.
If I had bought a winning lottery ticket we wudda popped for the Ollie 21 IMHO no question it is a 4 season masterpiece made here in central TN..but I didn't have $85,000-$90,000 to spend. Sadly.

WE are just a retired couple and did real well on 7 camping outings since the April pickup at Casita's Rice TX factory, incl 3 weeks boondocking in northern VT last August. For the difference in cost we got a brand new Nissan Frontier V6,long bed, double cab truck to tow the Casita and had about $30,000 left over for travel expenses. WE think we got a deal. Now...IF we win the Lottery .............. we'd pop for the 21 Ollie w all the trimmings and a V8 Nissan pickup to haul it.
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:00 AM   #13
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Per your concerns re condensation in the walls of the Bigfoot:
I agree that a properly sealed vapor barrier should prevent moisture from reaching that area but it may already be there. I don't know much about Bigfoot construction but they have a reputation for attention to unseen details, point being that such a barrier may already be there. If they're using unfaced insulation not taped at the seams, simple seam-sealed sheeting applied before final wall surface may be part of construction, have you inquired? And if it's not SOP and you contemplate a preordered build you may be able to specify that it be installed.
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Fred762 View Post
We toured the nearby Oliver factory months b4 we bought our 17 Casita Idependence this year. Tour was nearly 4 hours and VERY impressive.
If I had bought a winning lottery ticket we wudda popped for the Ollie 21 IMHO no question it is a 4 season masterpiece made here in central TN..but I didn't have $85,000-$90,000 to spend. Sadly. ...
Iím not sure where you came up with those price figures. A very nicely configured 2018 Oliver Elite II 23.5 foot could be had for $60K. Even with every option available from the factory you would come in under $70K. Thatís a lot of money for sure but with your figures you could have bought the Oliver and the Casita.
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Old 10-25-2018, 02:41 PM   #15
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As far as thicker fiberglass being less likely to chip, I am not so sure.

And here is a recent report on a used Bigfoot, with fiberglass chip problems.

I tend to think chipping has more to do with the roads traveled and less to do with thickness of fiberglass. I have no chips on my 2013 Escape, despite a long trip up the Alcan. And my 1977 Trillium only has a few chips, nothing serious.

Side story on chips. We were in a bad hail storm a couple of years ago with our Honda Element. The Element had over $4000 in hail damage. Every steel body panel on the car was damaged. Meanwhile, the Element also has plastic body panels. NONE of the plastic panels had any damage at all. (We had close to 1,000 dents in the steel body panels).


2005 Bigfoot 25B175G Shakedown
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Old 10-26-2018, 04:31 AM   #16
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Trailer: G30 Elite Class C
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
21 foot Bigfoot is approximately double the price. So one would expect it to have more features. Those features come at a higher price and more weight. Just like buying a home, one that cost twice is much is going to be "better". a fairer comparison would be with an Oliver.

Go to the Escape forum. I'm not aware of anyone having fiberglass problems.

Checking floorplans, looks like the bathroom is significantly larger on the Bigfoot, while the dinette is significantly larger on the Escape.

Want four season? The Bigfoot is the winner. Want lower price and lighter weight? Escape for the win. Prefer maintenance free interior? Oliver for the win.

Although I have an Escape, I really prefer the fiberglass interior of the Oliver. If I had the money in my RV budget, I'd probably have an Oliver, although I don't really like the floorplan. If I were "king for the day", I'd have an Escape fifth wheel with a fiberglass interior......

We camp up to about three months a year right now and 20,000 miles. I don't see any fiberglass problems on our 5 year old Escape, despite a recent 11,000 mile trip to Alaska, on a variety of road surfaces.
:I wonder why a person who lives in BC would travel all that way for a Oliver when the bigfoot & Escape are built right in her back yard.
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:24 PM   #17
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Name: gail
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Your right we are not looking at the Oliver. Specially with a 30% dollar difference. Bigfoot and Escape are the only two on are radar. Just having a difficult time deciding. we like going light and the layout of the escape, but question some of the build compared to the Bigfoot . And since we leave home in March at -10c and dry camp in the heat up to 35- 40c with no power. We need to be fairly comfortable and be able to keep fruit and veg from going bad, not getting baked. So just not sure the Escape will do it. But we don't really want all the extras in the Bigfoot.
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gail in PG View Post
Your right we are not looking at the Oliver. Specially with a 30% dollar difference. Bigfoot and Escape are the only two on are radar. Just having a difficult time deciding. we like going light and the layout of the escape, but question some of the build compared to the Bigfoot . And since we leave home in March at -10c and dry camp in the heat up to 35- 40c with no power. We need to be fairly comfortable and be able to keep fruit and veg from going bad, not getting baked. So just not sure the Escape will do it. But we don't really want all the extras in the Bigfoot.
:qhy not phone Bigfoot and talk to them about what you want now or go there as there plant is in Armstrong, BC you could be there in 6-7 hours, worst traffic is getting through Kelowna's rush hour. Escape is located in Chilliwack, BC east to get there, but when at Bigfoot check out Armidillo they are I think in Enderby but I pretty sure they do not build bigger than 14' units. You could also install a pile of Solar panels on the roof if going to Boondock such as a few 250W panels which should keep the batteries charged and the fridge cool for veggies etc.
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Old 10-27-2018, 05:34 PM   #19
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Name: Bruce & Kathryn
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RQ
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Cannot speak to the Escape aside from seeing a few and liking the design. However, we had an Oliver for several years, and this year sold the Oliver and purchased a Bigfoot 25RQ. Since owning the Bigfoot, we can attest to excellent performance in hot (100 plus F) and cold (25 F) weather. We are four season campers, and our old gray Pug likes to stay comfortable while boondocking. Big fridge keeps the ice cream nice and frozen running on propane, and big water and holding tanks keep us independent for quite a while.
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Old 10-28-2018, 04:40 AM   #20
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Trailer: Bigfoot 25B21RB
California
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Hi Gail,
I have a Bigfoot 19, and am seriously considering upgrading to a Bigfoot 21 or Escape 21. The reason is that my husband has recently retired & we need a larger bed that is separate from the dinette.

I really love camping in my Bigfoot. It is wide, has lots of windows & storage, and it’s well insulated. It has a relatively large & well designed marine bath.

I have seen several rear bed models for Bigfoot 21s. They are comfortable, queen beds. The Escape 21 bed size is a smaller, double.

The complaint expressed by BF owners regarding the bed is that it is hard to make because it is against the wall. Have no idea if Escape owners have similar problem with their beds. I have no idea if the BF 21’s front bed model has a different configuration.

The front dinette on the Bigfoot & Escape are similar in design. However, the Escape Industries will customize the tables. If you go on the escape forum site, you can see many discussions surrounding these dinettes.

Based on pictures I have seen, the bathroom in the Bigfoot seems larger & easier to enter. The shower area seems larger as well. I have to say that the older I get the more important it is for me to comfortably navigate the cabin. I do appreciate a well designed bathroom.

I have no reason to believe that the outside fiberglass on either Escape or Bigfoot tends to chip. Both trailers are well built. Obviously, if you brush against another object (ie fence, car, garage opening) you will see chipping.

You really need to see a Bigfoot and Escape ‘21. Both companies have a list of owners willing to show their trailers. My sense is that the Bigfoot will offer more overall comfort.

Now, one thing you should consider is the relative weight of each trailer. The Escape 21 weighs 5000 Lbs max (fully equipped for camping). The BF 21 is 1500-2000 lbs heavier than an Escape (all that extra fiberglass and storage). Accordingly, in addition to the price of gas, you need to think about your tow vehicle. I have a Chevy Tahoe, which has a GVWR of 7200 lbs. The Escape 21 is well within my tow capacity. The Bigfoot 21, however, is at the top end. And, I really don’t want to buy a truck for the trailer. (The nice thing about our Tahoe is we can take it to fancy restaurants).

For me, the weight differential may be a dealbreaker.

Good luck.
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