17 or 19 Bigfoot - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-12-2005, 07:47 PM   #1
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Trailer: Bigfoot 17 ft
Posts: 31
hi, new member here,
Have opportunity for 93 17 or 88 19 bigfoot.
I've seen both and there are major differences. (on 19, Double axle, heavier, more space, smaller fridge), (on 17 newer, lighter and brighter,), Cost will be about same.
Anyone out there have opinion on this???
Thanx,
Jeff
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Old 12-12-2005, 08:04 PM   #2
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Name: William
Trailer: 1999 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe ('Inn EggsIsle')
Florida
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What do you plan to tow this camper with, we have a 17' casita and it really has enough room for the 2 of us, I'd be tempted to go with the 17'er
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Old 12-12-2005, 08:11 PM   #3
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Trailer: Bigfoot 17 ft
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:conf What do you plan to tow this camper with, we have a 17' casita and it really has enough room for the 2 of us, I'd be tempted to go with the 17'er :yep
Hi Bill,
Have 2005 toyota tundra,
Jefh
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Old 12-12-2005, 08:13 PM   #4
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Trailer: Former 1989 Bigfoot owner
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My opinion as an ex-17'r, go for the newer, lighter and brighter.
Easier on the tow vehicle, less maintenance, and really - does the 19 foot have all that much more "usable" space? If it had a separate bed for two, then thats only reason I would go for the bigger unit.
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Old 12-12-2005, 08:16 PM   #5
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Forgot to add in the post that we are two adults, 3 yr old and 14 yr old small dog, heading from Northwest to Louisiana this month.
Jefh
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Old 12-13-2005, 07:14 AM   #6
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Welcome to FiberglassRV! We're glad you're here

Which to buy, which to buy....hummm. I'd purchase the trailer that best fits all my needs. With two adults, depending on the length of time you like to be out camping and the type of cooking you typically do, then the bigger refrigerator could be a real plus. The interior layout and how comfortable the entire group would be inside (if it's pouring down raining outside) would ultimately be the deciding factor.

I can't offer any suggestion about which would be the best to pull with your tug. What does your owners manual say about maximum towing weight?

I don't think you'd go wrong with either trailer. BigFoot makes very nice units
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Old 12-13-2005, 08:35 AM   #7
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
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Hi Jeff!

This is always a nice dilemma! Which one of two good trailers does one buy?

Your Tundra is rated at some 6500lbs (conservative, rated up to 7100lbs at the top end properly equipped) will handle either trailer nicely. I pull a Scamp Deluxe 16' (the heaviest Scamp) with my '02 Tundra V6 easily. I'd base my decision on a number of factors, and you'll have to decide which is more significant for you:

A tandem axle trailer will be inherently more stable on the road. Not that a single isn't, as my Scamp has been absolutely a dream to pull. The downside is that a tandem also has twice as many tires, wheelbearings, and (potentially) brakes to maintain (some tandem axle trailers only have brakes on the front axle.)

Next... which of the two has been better maintained? An older unit that has been cared for is almost always a better buy than a newer one that hasn't been used or that has been abused. A refrigerator that sits for years will likely be problematic. One that's used, and on the road will last for many years. It's always a trade-off... use and wear vs. maintenance. The five year difference between an '88 and a '93 at this point isn't all that significant. The '87 Burro that I had was in perfect condition cosmetically. But it sat for nine years essentially unused. I had to replace nearly all of the systems (including the refrigerator, axle, tires and wheels, and part of the water system) but it was still a good buy because I bought it for the right price, I knew what it needed when I bought it, and it was in such good condition cosmetically that it was worth putting the money into.

So, then onto floorplans... which one suits you better? Frankly, if you don't like the floorplan of one as well as the other you'll never be satisfied with the trailer. Then, the systems condition come into play.

So, after you consider the layout and features (BTW the big fridge and full bath are a HUGE plus in MY book), the maintenance issues (both what's been done and what it's likely to need immediately), and overall condition of each... balance all of that against the respective price of the unit and it'll probably quickly be clear which of the two is more desireable for your needs than the other.

Roger
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Old 12-13-2005, 07:55 PM   #8
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Trailer: Bigfoot 17 ft
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Hi Jeff!

This is always a nice dilemma! Which one of two good trailers does one buy?


Roger
Thanx all for your input, a question I fogot to ask with all of you pulling these lightweight 17 footers is, whether you installed a brake control (prodigy) and the necessity of this. I understand that the current owner of the 17 bigfoot did not add this controller however with the hill we are traveling and the distance, it may save wear and tear on my TV (tundra) and be safer in the mountain passes. Also any comments on those sway/EQualizer hitches appreciated. I am happy to have found your site and look forward to contributing,
Jeff
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Old 12-13-2005, 08:31 PM   #9
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
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Jeff... you've certainly hit the trifecta here! Which trailer do I buy, do I need brakes, and which sway control, if any... !!!

There have been about a million discussions of these very issues across practically every board that deals with RVs. My recommendation is to get a Prodigy or other computer-controlled brake controller. Brakes are a necessity on a 17' or 19' trailer, even with a heavier tow vehicle.

Whether or not you need sway control will depend on your combination. I think sway control is necessary for some trailer/tow rig combos and perhaps not for others. I'd suggest before investing in sway control that you try your combination and see how it does.

I used a Reese Dual-Cam setup with my '94 Toyota compact truck and '87 Burro 17' widebody. I am currently not using sway control on my Tundra/Scamp 16' setup, and it seems so far to be quite stable.

The factors that contribute to sway are having a trailer that is too light on tongue weight, inappropriate side-to-side weight distribution, soft sidewalls/low tire pressures either on the tow vehicle or trailer or both, and suspension on the tow vehicle that allows for side to side ovement of the axle under the tow vehicle (rear end steering). The heavier the trailer is in relation to the tow vehicle, the more likely the trailer can have it's way with a tow vehicle in a sway episode.

If your trailer is properly balanced with 10-15% tongue weight, tires appropriate for the load aired up to near max, and your load is balanced properly you may not need sway control. That said, there are some trailer/tow vehicle combos that are just inherently unstable and need sway control.

Roger
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Old 12-13-2005, 10:38 PM   #10
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Trailer: 2000 Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe ('Millenium Eggloo')
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Hi Jeff, to have the opportunity for a choice is great!! Sounds like your tow vehicle will handle either trailer when the proper driving skills and attitude are applied. As far as the brakes go, if the trailer has em, then use em. For less than $100 and a couple of hours wiring time, you can't buy any cheaper insurance or comfort level. Even if you go to a high end RV shop and drop $500 the peace of mind and margin of safety is well worth it. Every safety device you add has value, and hopefully you never need to collect on that value, but if you do, your chances of coming out ahead improve with every device that is properly connected and adjusted. Due diligence is the best backup you can have at any time!!!
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Old 12-13-2005, 10:48 PM   #11
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Trailer: 2000 Bigfoot 17 ft (15B17CB)
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Thanx all for your input, a question I fogot to ask with all of you pulling these lightweight 17 footers is, whether you installed a brake control (prodigy) and the necessity of this. I understand that the current owner of the 17 bigfoot did not add this controller however with the hill we are traveling and the distance, it may save wear and tear on my TV (tundra) and be safer in the mountain passes. Also any comments on those sway/EQualizer hitches appreciated. I am happy to have found your site and look forward to contributing,
Jeff
It is dangerous as well as illegal in most places in North America to tow a trailer of this weight without working trailer brakes. Remember, either of these Bigfoot trailers can approach two tons if fully loaded with gear and water. Why fry your Tundra's brakes and suffer with a doubled stopping distance for the sake of a $120 controller? I use the Prodigy controller, and it works fine, better than the Kelsey Hayes I used in the past and vastly better than the Voyager that came with my truck. The Voyager was so poor - jerky and difficult to adjust, that I just assumed it was defective and chucked it. I have also read good things about the Jordan and the Brake Smart controllers, both of which are reputed to surpass the performance of the Prodigy. The Jordan is similarly priced and owner's reports have been very positive.

A weight distributing hitch should be considered be mandatory, and if you have to buy new it may be worth considering a hitch with sway control built in (Reese dual cam or Equal-i-zer). A bit more expensive, but added insurance against sway. This being said, I don't use sway control with my Bigfoot - a standard WD hitch was included (free) when I purchased my previously owned trailer. So far, I have had zero sway problems with this trailer but I realize that unusual circumstances could occur. I have not yet had to violently swerve to avoid a collision nor have I had to make an emergency stop on a steep downhill grade, so can't claim my set-up is absolutely stable. I think if I was now starting out, I would choose a better hitch for the peace of mind that the larger safety margin would bring.

Good luck with your Bigfoot choice!
Steve.
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Old 12-14-2005, 01:22 PM   #12
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Trailer: 1994 20 ft Bigfoot 5th Wheel / Toyota Tacoma SR5
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We had a 93 Bigfoot 17' and now we own a 85 20' Bigfoot. We considered the 20' "trading up".

The interior of the 93 was a beautiful light oak while the 85 has a dark walnut. We miss the light oak, but we enjoy the additional room.

We use a break controller...always have, always will. When towing the 17' we had a WDH. The tow vehicle could handle it without one, but once you have one you realize how wonderfully the redistributed weight changes the ride.The 20' is a 5er so we don't need the WDH. I would recommend it in your case.

Honestly, the newness of the 93 is worth considering. We've had to replace a few things in the 85 that were just plain too old.

Good luck with your decission...glad I don't have that problem anymore.

Paul
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Old 12-15-2005, 10:32 AM   #13
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Trailer: 2000 19 ft (formerly 17 ft) Casita Freedom Deluxe ('Nuestra Casita') / 2000 4WD V8 Tundra
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Welcome Jeff,
FWIW, we tow a 2 ton Casita with a 2000 Tundra, weight distribution hitch (WDH), sway control, and Prodigy controlled brakes. We've experienced a blow-out at speed, high winds (not just from passing trucks), torrential rain, etc. and wouldn't be without the whole array of, what I regard as, safety equipment. Admittedly initial cost may seem exorbitant, but it's too late during an emergency when one may wish they'd made a different decision. I also don't know of anyone who regrets the expense when they have been through an emergency.

You are beginning a great stage of your life, enjoy all the many adventures this will make available. Camping at fully equipped campgrounds, boon docking, rallys of same brand TT's (Travel Trailer), or FGRV's (FiberGlass Recreation Vehicle), or those which focus on musical themes or other hobby interests are just some of the possibilities. Personalizing your TT is also very enjoyable. Many folks discover they have talents beyond their imagination. This forum is wonderful about answering questions. Keep in touch and share your experiences, because they remind us of similar ones we've encountered.

We pray you enjoy every step of the process! We are!
Kurt & Ann K.
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