While I don't own one I have been researching Bigfoots pretty extensively for the past couple of years. Here is what I have found. If anyone here sees an error in any of this please speak up.
came out of a bankruptcy in 2005 and all trailers since have been the 2500 series and come standard with the winter package of thermal windows
, extra insulation and enclosed heated tanks. Prior to 2005 the winter package was an option and the trailers are designated as a 1500 series.
Also I want to mention that in my experience not all sellers are familiar with what was included with this package and there has been some confusion. I don't think anyone is deliberately misleading anyone. It's just that some owners are more informed than others and I think some folks assume they have a winter package because their trailer is insulated in some way. I have seen at least one post that stated that you can tell if the tanks are enclosed and heated as the underside of the trailer is all fiberglass. In contrast on the regularly equipped 1500 versions the tanks are exposed underneath. I'm not 100% sure on this point. Hopefully a Bigfoot
owner here can help. It would be a pain to travel several hours just to find that the trailer your looking at is not what your looking for.
Also I don't want to discourage your dream and I'm sure that there are deals out there that don't make the internet. But I have checked this site and fiberglass-rv-4sale.com every week for the past year and the lowest listed price for a 2500 series 17.5 foot I have found was $15,000. So if $12,000 is a firm ceiling I would concentrate my search on a late 90's 17ft 1500. At that price they are definitely available but you may have to travel to find one. The good news is that you are in Oregon which is the area of the country that most of them seem to be.