You've convinced me... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-08-2007, 08:52 PM   #1
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After discussing my decision with my wife and kids we decided that, despite it's large size, we would be silly to sell off the Bigfoot 5th wheel and look around for a Boler or Scamp. So...yes, the adventure continues!

I've finished the pull vehicle after only 15 hours of pressure washing, scrubbing, painting wheels, paste waxing and buffing and frankly I'm amazed at how great the old Ford looks now. Of course my eldest son immediately borrowed it and has driven off laughing at my parting words of.. "I want it back with the tanks as full as you got it!"

Wishful thinking on my part...

Over the weekend I pulled the carpets to check out some soft spots and panicked when I found some rotted plywood and the belly of the trailer flexing when walked on. However a few small test holes drilled into the floor framing cured my panic. It is solid as is most of the floor. Further investigation revealed that the rubber shims between the frame and belly are missing in a large area allowing the floor to flex. I'll pick those up soon.

So...I've put about 16 hours into the interior and it looks like a bomb went off in there. The carpet is gone except on the stairs where 2 hours of steam cleaning returned it to very nice condition. The curtains have all been hand washed and are drying on the line. The cushions have all been taken out and steam cleaned and the mattress hauled to the dump along with 3 loads of branches, logs and old fence boards from when we built the pad for the trailer.

Purchased so far is a new mattress, new plywood, thin plywood subflooring to bring the lino up to the same height as the carpet was, some nifty lino tiles, copious amounts of silicone caulking in various colours, cleaners, screws, paint, tape etc. etc etc....

I'll have to hit one of the Edmonton RV places for a new seal for the freezer, two new caps for the water vents (the old ones blew apart when the pressure washer hit them today), some exterior lights to replace cracked ones and of course the shims for the frame. Go ahead...I dare you...ask me if I'm having fun yet...

Amazingly, I am! Even more surprizing, my wife hasn't thrown anything at me for spending so much on all these bits and pieces. Actually, she has been a tremendous help with this including hand washing all the curtains.

The musty smell is now gone, except of course when I'm inside but hey! It's hot inside those things on a sunny day.

The neighbours are putting up with my occasional bit of colourful language as I work on it and seem to feel the entertainment value makes up for it. Certainly I got some odd looks at dusk last night....

I was out on the gravel driveway with my $800.00 metal detector (my hobby) swinging it and muttering to myself while my neighbour peered at me like I'd gone mad. (Gone? Heck been there, got the t-shirt and a lifetime membership) When I pounced on the ground and laughed and did a happy dance he of course had to ask.."what'd you find?"

To which I replied.. " A 1 cent screw!". He's an odd duck and wandered off muttering under his breath. I had been fixing the forward hitch light and dropped it into the gravel and I just KNEW I didn't have another like it. Talk about treasure! I wonder what he thought I'd have found in a driveway anyhow...

Ah well...the work continues and soon will be complete enough to let me head out on the road for further adventures. You'll note I didn't say the work would be done, I'm beginning to wonder if the word done will ever apply to owning one of these and oddly enough enjoying the thought!

Take care all.
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:23 PM   #2
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Your neighbor didn't share your enthusiasm over finding a special screw? Bummer. Sounds like you need a new neighbor.

Glad you're having fun. You'll have a gen-yoo-wine treasure when you're finished.
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:35 PM   #3
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Yup! You're hooked.
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:43 PM   #4
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Scott! Where were you and your metal detector when I lost the never-find-a-match-for-it Dometic refrigerator vent cover screws for my Boler?

I could get a metal detector... no, no time for another hobby.

Enjoy the adventure!
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
I've finished the pull vehicle after only 15 hours of pressure washing, scrubbing, painting wheels, paste waxing and buffing and frankly I'm amazed at how great the old Ford looks now. Of course my eldest son immediately borrowed it and has driven off laughing at my parting words of.. "I want it back with the tanks as full as you got it!"

Wishful thinking on my part...
This brings back memories of my relationship with my parents and my little brother. When Charlie and I were old enough to drive, we each wanted to borrow Mom's new '73 Chrysler New Yorker. To us, it was a limo, all Midnight Blue with a brocade upholstery. Charlie did the typical teenager thing, and was lax about curfews and vehicle maintenance. I knew that convenience was the key to Mom's heart. I also knew that we didn't actually HAVE TO pay for gas... Dad had an open account at a local fuel distributer, same place we bought our heating oil. Everyone in town knew Dad, and knew me and my brother.

I would borrow the car on Saturday and have all afternoon and evening. On the way home, I would stop by the distributor, fill it up, run it thru his car wash, and just sign the receipt and leave it in the ash tray. Dad got a monthly bill.

Charlie was extremely jealous of my being allowed to use the car almost any time I asked for it, while he was often told, "No."
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:34 AM   #6
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Scott, I'm glad you've stayed the course. After that last tale, I can't wait for more.
Cheers
Ian
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:43 PM   #7
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I would borrow the car on Saturday and have all afternoon and evening. On the way home, I would stop by the distributor, fill it up, run it thru his car wash, and just sign the receipt and leave it in the ash tray. Dad got a monthly bill.
On the way home, I would drive backwards over country roads to reverse the odometer, as that is how my Dad charged me for using the vehicle.
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:07 PM   #8
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On the way home, I would drive backwards over country roads to reverse the odometer, as that is how my Dad charged me for using the vehicle.
Yeah, eventually the auto manufacturers thought of that, and stopped the odo from running backwards. Remember the Ferrari in Ferris Bueller's Day Off?
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:43 PM   #9
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Scott

Could you post pics of your 5er?

Val Zeff is looking to buy a Bigfoot 5er and thought one as old as yours (We had an 85') would be too old to consider. I figured a few good pics might make her realize how well these hold their value.

Paul
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:21 AM   #10
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Trailer: 1987 Bigfoot 20 ft 5th Wheel and 1995 Bigfoot 2500 Shortbox Truck Camper and 1972 Compact Jr ('CJ') and 1974 Boler ('BB')
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Hey Scott,

I'm so glad to hear that you've decided to work on the Bigfoot and not sell. We are really pleased with ours and even though we've put a few extra $$ more into it than what we thought (buying new hitch and flipping springs) it is well worth it. We have completed the cleaning, inspecting and repairing stage, and next week will start to put it back together.

We found a few unanticipated surprises, but nothing that can't be fixed. We still love our 1974 Trill 1300 and the other trailers we have left, but this Bigfoot is quite special.

We will be taking our 1974 Trill (Dewey) to Prairie Bolerama next weekend, but next year maybe Mr. Bigfoot will have to attend.

Brenda Novakovski
Saskatoon, SK
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Old 07-15-2007, 02:19 AM   #11
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Paul, I'll take a few this weekend and post them here. It is a bit torn apart at the moment as I've just finished putting in new flooring and lino to repair the water damage. I just need to put trim on the lino now, which I hope to get tomorrow.

I'm hoping to have it back to usable by next weekend and will be taking it out somewhere for a week's vacation at the end of the month.

Brenda, I'm enjoying fixing this trailer up. By next weekend the interior will be done. I've also replaced both pipe vent covers and re-caulked all the vents on the roof. I'll be painting the frame this coming week as well, and hope to get the exterior washed down. However I have decided not to polish it because I'm considering removing the slightly chipped decals and painting a new stripe on. Also I want to re-seal all the exterior vents and access points before waxing so that the seal bonds properly.

I'm sure looking forward to taking this out again.

Scott
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:35 PM   #12
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Photos of the interior are posted under a new post.. "interior done"... under the forum Modifications and Neat Updates.
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Old 07-21-2007, 01:08 PM   #13
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Wow, Scott. You've been busy! I hope your family has fun with that thing. It looks great!
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Old 07-22-2007, 12:26 AM   #14
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Wow, Scott. You've been busy! I hope your family has fun with that thing. It looks great!
Thanks Mary... My wife turned her nose up at the trailer when I brought it home but was busy today loading up "essentials" and talking about taking some trips. Looks like the results have given her a change of heart.
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