Escape or BigFoot? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-18-2010, 11:07 PM   #1
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I thought I'd start a new thread. I did decide against all the stick-built trailers by the time over 30 people replied to my other topic.
I stumbled upon a ton of used BigFoots (or is it BigFeet?) and realized the Escape isn't the only option for us. How do the two compare? They both seem well insulated, which is very important to us. We like that the Escape has the only 80" long Queen bed, one more inch of head room, and is a bit lighter than the BigFoot. But we like the look better of the Bigfoot, and there seem to be lots of used ones about. With the Escape we'd buy new. It looks like there was even a fifth wheel BigFoot, but I don't think it was recent (maybe just the 80s or 90s?).

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Old 06-19-2010, 06:19 AM   #2
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Lisa, before buying my Escape 19, I had looked very seriously at a Bigfoot. They are a very well made trailer, a true 4 season unit.

The biggest drawback in any of the models under 19' that could be towed with a 6 cylinder engine was the beds. They had the dinette and the gaucho that made in to a bed, but neither was really big enough for two, which was really a no go for us. My wife only had two things she insisted on, a bathroom of any size, and a permanent bed. I did have the thought of getting an older used one for a good price and stripping it to build it into what we wanted, but reality had it that I had WAY too much to do as it was. I also wished that the bathroom was smaller, using a wet bath. We rarely use the shower, but would like one, and that is why we preferred a smaller compact bath. No bathroom sink would be fine with us too.

Who knows, maybe some day I may still get an older Bigfoot to rebuild, but when Escape announced the 19 with all the features we wanted, we jumped. Quality wise, I do believe the Bigfoot's were built every bit as good, but the Escape quality is very good in its own right.

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Old 06-19-2010, 03:11 PM   #3
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Overall, Bigfoots are my personal favorites so far. You have to make sure that the one you're looking at does have the four season package which was an option, but they did build the only true four season egg.

The beds are a problem in the smaller Bigfoots, and you have to find a Fifth Wheel, 21 or 25 to get into the decent beds.

There is a very unusual 17 floor plan at Gibs RV, but they have a premium price on it. Never had seen one of those front bedroom 17's before, and I like it.

Bigfoots are heavier trailers, especially if they're four season which doesn't always accomodate smaller TV's.

Escape has a nice option in the 19 with the fixed 80" bed and lighter weight, but they won't be four season.

Having been in both the Escape 19 and all the Bigfoot models, I personally like the roomier feeling and the fit and finish in the Bigfoots a little better, but I do like the Escape 19 and Fifth Wheel models and could definitely see that as an option someday.
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Old 06-19-2010, 06:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I know Escape's trailers are only R-5 insulation. But with the insulation upgrade (that comes with the thermo-pane windows) you get R-14 insulation. Is the Bigfoot really more than that? Their website says R-8 normally, but I know they also have the 4-season upgrade. They don't mention how much insulation that is though. Does anyone who owns one know what the R Value is on the upgraded Bigfoot? They sure are cute looking trailers. But they have to have a lot to beat out Tammy and Rease's good service, and that big queen bed in the Escape 19'.
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:33 PM   #5
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What makes Bigfoot a true 4 season trailer is not the insulation or even dual pane windows but the enclosed and heated storage tanks, which is standard on the 21' and 25' models. I believe it's only the 17.5' or earlier 17' model that had it as an option. The insulation thickness is the same regardless. I think there are some exceptions to this with some of the earlier models. Maybe someone can fill in the blanks with those.
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:26 PM   #6
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I stumbled upon a ton of used BigFoots (or is it BigFeet?) and realized the Escape isn't the only option for us. How do the two compare?

It looks like there was even a fifth wheel BigFoot, but I don't think it was recent (maybe just the 80s or 90s?).
Bigfoot had a factory fire in the early 90's and lost the molds to their 19' (similar floor-plan to the 17' gaucho/rear bath) and 5th wheel trailers. They decided to discontinue those trailers at that time.

From my perspective, I would view the Bigfoot 25' Rear Queen as the ultimate full-time trailer. The extra width, separate bedroom, and optional front sofa in lieu of dinette booth make it very livable inside. Since the bed is an "Island" configuration, the standard 74" queen (as listed on the Bigfoot website) could be replaced with an 80" long queen easily for those that need it.

Bigfoot's 21' Rear Bed model is somewhat of a compromise. The 74" Full Bed is confined by the refrigerator placement at it's foot, and the bathroom at it's side. I like it however, but I'm only 5'6" tall. The width of the trailer makes it roomy.

I remember back in the 1960's when Mobile Homes enlarged from 10' wide to 12' wide. That width made a huge difference. I think this is why I like Bigfoot so much.

Having said that, I really like the Escape 19' vinyl wall covering. I spoke with Tammy at last year's Oregon Gathering and she told me they have "accordion" partition available to close off the rear bed from the rest of the trailer... (making it a "Bed Womb.") That Bedroom separation would be important to me in a full-time rig.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:41 PM   #7
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This is a great thread!

Anybody have diagrams on where the Escape 19 or 17 tanks are situated? I wonder if it would be possible to mod them so that they wouldn't be susceptible to freezing.

I'm one of those oddballs who wants to use her trailer primarily in the winter.
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:20 AM   #8
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... Bigfoot's 21' Rear Bed model is somewhat of a compromise. The 74" Full Bed is confined by the refrigerator placement at it's foot, and the bathroom at it's side. I like it however, but I'm only 5'6" tall. The width of the trailer makes it roomy....
Having a Bigfoot 21RB I can attest to this. One side of the bed along the outside wall is confined by the refrigerator. My wife sleeps on that side. The bed width just fits our needs. Anything less would be a problem. The only negative is the difficulty in making the bed. In some respects we liked our previous Bigfoot 17.5CB better than the 21RB. Unfortunately we couldn't figure out comfortable sleeping arrangements.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:05 AM   #9
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I agree that the biggest Bigfoot would be really nice for full-timing because of that separate bedroom. Maybe we could extend the length of the bed, I hadn't thought of that. And the larger bathroom would be great too. All the Escapes have wet-baths I think. I might have to just give up the idea of a lighter trailer. We want something that can be comfortable down to 25 degrees (in Northern CA we have cold nights in the winter, but not so much in the days) and also a rig tough enough to last 20 or 30 years of constant use. No parking it in the garage. This does narrow down the choices. The Egg Camper's height is better than the Bigfoot's, but that trailer is really better for camping than full-timing.
I've been in contact with Tammy asking questions the last few days. They are very nice people. Last night I asked her about the possibility of enclosing all the tanks. I know they can put the freshwater tank inside under the bed in the 19' (I saw a thread about that on the Escape forum). But I have no idea if all the tanks can be enclosed. I imagine it's a good idea for us to try to have all enclosed. I still might want to go see that unit 3 hours from us, just out of curiosity.
Most of the Bigfoots will be in Oregon and Washington I imagine. I see lots for sale online, mostly up north. Is the company up and running again yet? I wondered about asking questions directly, or just asking on this forum instead. I was curious about the materials used on the inside of the trailer. Do they use particle board at all? Escape stopped using it recently and uses plywood instead now. How do the wall coverings compare with Escapes?
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:41 AM   #10
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and also a rig tough enough to last 20 or 30 years of constant use.
Choices, choices, choices. I still hope to full time in a molded trailer, but am looking at about 5 years... not 20-30 years. Twenty years is 7,300 days/nights... minus those vacation trips by plane to Hawaii and other points I'm single and will full time alone, if I was looking to do it for 20-30 years, I wouldn't be happier with anything smaller than the 25 foot BigFoot (or other trailer of that size). The one thing that I haven't been able to work out, is inside seating that is truly comfortable (for 20-30 years), right now I'm only really comfortable outside in my Lafuma. The rest of the time is "make do." But a larger trailer, I could probably figure out a way to get a La-Z-Boy horned into the space.
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:59 AM   #11
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Our Bigfoot 21RB doesn't have any particle board. Everything is either solid wood or true plywood. The construction is really quite nice. My only complaint is the vinyl film used on the solid wood framing for the cabinets. It looks nice but I would've preferred a real wood veneer. The cabinet doors are solid oak though. The 17.5' Bigfoots all have wet baths while the 21' and 25' models have separate shower areas.

One more thing on the Bigfoot four season trailers for your consideration. The 17.5CB and 21RB that we've owned both had the fresh water tank above the floor line. The black and gray water tanks are down below and separately enclosed. We have never used our trailer in freezing conditions but I recall some that do saying they use a catalytic type heater for the cabin. While that would probably protect the fresh water from freezing it probably wouldn't do much good for the other tanks below the floor line. These are normally protected by furnace ducts extending into the tanks enclosure. Because there is insulation in the floor, cabin heat from a catalytic heater may not reach there.

Lastly, I can't imagine fulltiming in any trailer but I can relate to certain things that would irritate me in time with the two trailers we've owned.

Sleeping arrangement - no permanent bed, small and somewhat uncomfortable for one and almost impossible for two
Can't sit at the dinette and lay back against the wall
Limited closet space (wife's complaint, not mine)

Comfortable bed even for two but difficult to make
Same problem with dinette sitting and closet space as 17.5CB

Strangely enough, I found no inconvenience in the bathrooms even with the smaller 17.5CB wet bath.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:15 AM   #12
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I can't help commenting about the Bigfoot 17.5FB that Greg mentioned. Based on our experience it seems to satisfy our complaints about the 17.5CB while still retaining the good points. The permanent bed is certainly larger and since the back wall is vertical, sitting at the dinette should be more comfortable. Although the asking price may seem high it's considerably less than what it originally sold for new or what Bigfoot will sell them for in the future if that ever happens.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:55 AM   #13
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We are on our 4th Bigfoot ( 2- 17 fts. -one gaucho model and one with the center bath), a Bigfoot 5th wheel, a 21 ft. Bigfoot Front bed, and a 21 ft. Bigfoot rear bed, also owning a Boler, a Scamp, and a ECO, just proves there is no perfect trailer for all of your needs. My husband is 6'2" and our son is 6'5" and they have both been comfortable in all of these trailers because they come in and sit down. As some of our friends ( who have a stick-built trailer) commented recently, " We noticed you egg people do everything outside." That is because most of us only go inside to sleep or use the bathroom ( if we have one.)

We go on rock digs into very remote areas with groups and we sure can't justify pulling that 21 ft. Bigfoot into some of the areas where we go. I would say if the size of the tow vehicle doesn't matter to you and you plan to full time for long periods is the plan go for the Bigfoot 25 ft. with the rear walk around bed.

FYI: A call to the Bigfoot factory recently confirmed that they are going to start building the Bigfoot truck campers only and have parts available- no plans on the drawing board for any trailers at this time.
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:28 PM   #14
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Thank you everyone for all your help. The Bigfoots sound great and are on the list. Too bad they won't be making any more trailers though. That limits the choices. Not that we can afford a new Bigfoot. We might be able to scrape up enough for a new Escape if we don't get many options. Though there are a lot of used Bigfoots around, I noticed none are the 25'. We might have to make do without the separate bedroom. There are a couple 21' that look OK, one for $26,000. Not too bad for a 3 year unit. I don't know if the 17' is big enough for us. There are certainly a lot of those for sale everywhere. There's a brand new one for sale only one hour from here (he has to sell it after only owning it a for a few months). Maybe we should see it since not very many come up for sale in CA. It's beyond our budget, but at least would give us an idea of what a Bigfoot looks like.

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