Help! Need bigfoot size advice today! - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-07-2014, 08:00 AM   #57
MC1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camping_mama View Post

So much for my vision that originally got me into this whole fiberglass world: a small egg pulled blithely along behind my Sienna. My husband is looking for a big Tundra V8 now.
For sure visions change as the process unfolds.

We were in the same boat about 15 years ago. Had the Mini Van and looked at many Bolers, Big Foots, etc. Then we checked out a few Airstreams and found a 23' we had to have. As it turned out the Mini Van towed the 23' fine for many years and we had a lot of extra space, full bath room, etc.
If you go with the Tundra as a tow vehicle you have the advantage of being able use the bed for hauling wood, gravel, soil etc. The Mini Vans don't do that well.

Good luck with the journey. Sounds like its well on it's way to coming together.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:41 AM   #58
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You will be happy with the 2007-2014 Tundra. I towed my 21FB with a 2006 Tundra before buying a 2012. There is a substantial difference. The new Tundra is perfect. I've climbed and descended several paved and dirt passes in Colorado that range from 11,000 to 12,000 feet. Plenty of power and no problem with braking. I also travel to Western Kansas frequently and haven't had a problem with cross winds. I do use an equalizer hitch and moved to load range E tires. You won't be disappointed with the Bigfoot 21FB.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:35 AM   #59
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Name: The Mrs.
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Thanks everyone for your information, encouragement and support. We had our first fun moments with it as a family last night (sitting in it while it is parked in front of our house in the rain) coming up with possible names. Some of the suggestions: Pinkie Tow, Pinkie Princess (my 4 and 7 year old girls' ideas), Dirty Hairy (my husband's), Dolly (mine, since she is heavy in the front )

I'll post pictures soon.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:29 AM   #60
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Yes Pictures please! We love pictures!

Actually camping for a day in the trailer in the driveway is a great way to figure out how everything works and what you need to buy and not buy before your first actual outing.

Plug in the power, hook up the water, fill up and drain the various tanks etc. Try running various items with or without power hook ups. Can't tell you how many times I have pulled into a dump station or a campground and had someone come up to me who is on their first trip with a new to them fiberglass trailer and ask for help as they are frustrated with trying to figure out how something works or why something doesnt work when without power ... not knowing how things work before heading out on the first real camping trip appears to be a great way to create frustration and start a family battle.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:23 PM   #61
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Dolly? My eyes are leaking Oh yes please, pics!
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Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:57 PM   #62
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Picture on its first Voyage

well, we took her out this weekend for a first voyage. photo attached.

The San Rafael Swell in Utah. Beautiful weekend, beautiful place, trailer pulled beautifully. But we had NO battery power! We must have set something wrong so that the battery wasn't charging correctly on the drive (fridge set to "auto" is our guess. But luckily we are used to tent camping, so we ended up using it as a very nice tent for the weekend, with intermittent power when we turned the truck on.

We will have it worked out better for next weekend! Switching out all the lights to LEDs, getting a second battery, and perhaps even a generator (though I am not psyched about that).

Loving the trailer. The 11.5 miles per gallon will take some getting used to though.
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:09 AM   #63
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take it slow...

before you go buying batteries and LEDs I suggest you invest in a voltmeter and find out what's going on....it could be that your power converter is not charging the battery when the trailer is plugged in at home or in a campground.....read the instructions for the fridge carefully....those big fridges will suck a lot of power out of the batteries if run on 12V....it sounds like your truck is sending power to the trailer while towing....my experience with my trailer and TV is that the power from the TV can't quite keep up with the power demand from the fridge (on 12V power setting)....good luck
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:56 AM   #64
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Speaking of tow vehicles what did you end up buying????

Save your money on future operating cost of a generator and buy yourself a good solar set up.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:17 AM   #65
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I second investigating what you have before throwing money at it. Several things to consider:

"IF" your refrigerator automatically switches over to 12 volts when needed, pull the fuse and ferget that mode. IMHO there is almost no real time when it is needed, and it will almost always drag down the battery when towing.

Get the battery checked. If it has been pulled down to "Dead" more than a few times it may be sulfated and will not hold much of a charge anyway. Time for a new one.

Check the charge line from the TV. You may need a larger wire due to length.

When the refrigerator is running it can pull enough current from the TV to drop the charge line voltage below the point where it is charging the battery, resulting in a dead battery after a few hours (Been there, done that).

Start all over again with a few nights of driveway camping, both with and without external power. It's a lot easier to fix things close to home than out in the middle of nowhere.

And, Drive 55, it's good for the MPG's

Good Luck
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:09 AM   #66
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Congratulations camping mama on the maiden voyage and finding a new tow vehicle. Looks like a Toyota 4x4 but can't tell if it's a Tundra or Tacoma. Incidentally, good choice on getting a 4x4. You'll realize it's advantages in time.

In addition to the other good advice you already received above you may want to check if power to the trailer was turned on. There's a small button near the entrance for that. I know, it sounds too simple but I thought since you were a new owner it might help. When you were at home you probably had the trailer plugged in, which automatically turns on the switch mentioned above. You have to manually turn it on if disconnected from AC. Also, although some refrigerators operate on 12VDC the one in your Bigfoot operates only with propane or 120VAC. You can't run the battery down in the trailer or tow vehicle (if connected) because of the refrigerator. Granted the refrigerator needs some battery power to operate its controls but the bulk power for refrigeration is handled by propane or 120VAC. If the battery was just run down and not totally dead the lights would still function, that is if the power switch was turned on. Like others have said, be methodical about checking out the problem and not just throw money at it.

You might also want to check out the Bigfoot owners forum. It's a good source of information, especially the archive section, where you can get ideas on solar, extra battery storage, etc.

Oh, and before I forget, you may want to find out if your Dometic refrigerator had the recall work done on it. It's free and might save you from a major headache like a fire.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:20 AM   #67
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I forgot to add about the refrigerator that since yours operates only on propane or AC you might ask what is done while traveling. It's OK to operate it with propane but if that concerns you or during those times when it's not appropriate, some just travel with the refrigerator off making sure it's cold to start off or packed with some ice. There's plenty of discussions on this here and elsewhere if interested.

And did I mention checking out the Dometic refrigerator for the recall work. Nudge
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:51 PM   #68
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Name: The Mrs.
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Hi, thank you all for the continued good advice. Dometic recall, geez, I thought one recall was lot to work through. I will look into that asap, thank you!

Tow vehicle: we used a 2013 Tacoma for this trip (my brother's). It pulled fine, even up the hills, but we are still planning to purchase a Tundra.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:54 PM   #69
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Carol: Any particular solar set you would suggest?
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:31 PM   #70
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I forgot to mention that not only will connecting AC power automatically activate the power switch mentioned earlier but connecting to your tow vehicle with an appropriate power lead will also do the same thing. In other words, you have to manually push the power switch if not connected to AC power or a tow vehicle if you want DC power inside the trailer.
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