Bigfoot 5th wheel bunk area delamination - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-02-2011, 07:02 AM   #1
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Bigfoot 5th wheel bunk area delamination

A friend of mine had a small, horizontal crack in the nose of the bed area, on either side of the bed light. (see picture, bed light removed) An initial attempt to fix the crack failed. with the able assistance of Mark Holmes, we discovered the entire bunk area had delaminated, perhaps as a result of rough roads. The nose and bed area had to be stripped to the fibreglass and the wood and foam relaminated; not that big a deal if you are handy and knew what you were getting into. If you are looking at a trailer with this crack, be sure you price the repair into the equation.
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:26 AM   #2
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I would be interested in how it was repaired, what materials and glues were used because we (finally) are getting ready to tear into ours. We hope to just have to do the middle section of the roof from the bathroom door to the rear upper cabinets.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizbeth View Post
I would be interested in how it was repaired, what materials and glues were used because we (finally) are getting ready to tear into ours. We hope to just have to do the middle section of the roof from the bathroom door to the rear upper cabinets.
In this 1987 deluxe model, the bed area is framed with 1x2, with plywood in the forward 1/4; the lower half of the angled forward nose was also plywood. The framed area was filled with 1' blue styrofoam, and the whole thing was held together with some sort of sprayed pink adhesive. We plan to epoxy plywood to the fibreglass in the bed area, and put the blue foam over top for insulation. On the sides of the bunk area, the panel board was pink glued to the 1" blue foam which was glued to the exterior fibreglass. While the interior is stripped to the fibreglass, the epoxying in of the wood has not yet started... we plan to follow the usual procedure of wetting out both sides (wood and fibrelgass) and spreading a little thixotropic epoxy to the fibrelgass to bed/gap fill the plywood. Overall, things came apart fairly well; the foam stayed in one piece. Working overhead will be somewhat tougher, but things should go well.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:29 PM   #4
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Would it be possible to document the repair with pictures? This seems to be a common problem in that era Bigfoots. Are you doing the work or having it done?

Our "floor" in the overhead is quite flexible. We assume it was that way originally and it was not meant to have foot traffic on it because the bed covered it. We have changed it to a twin bed set up and may redo at least the floor.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:15 PM   #5
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OK, so things are taking longer than expected. The wood is all dry-fitted, but with low temperatures of 1-2 degrees C, we're waiting for the warmth to return before the expoxying begins. Pictures are in the works.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:40 PM   #6
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Here are some pictures from the renovations. The delaminated plywood, sticks and foam were removed from the bunk area. The inside of the fiberglass shell was cleaned. The original horizontal crack in the lower front bunk area was filled and covered with two layers of 6 oz fibreglass cloth on the inside. Several 1x2's were glued to the side panels and aft/stair area to support the edges of the plywood. The first layer of 1/2" plywood (in three sections) was wetted out with epoxy, the fibreglass was wetted out and a thin layer of thixotropic expoxy spread. The plywood was bolted down to the frame points, screws were installed upwards from the propane tank cover, and also from several point under the bunk; to ensure that the fibreglass was in contact with the plywood. A second layer of 1/2" plywood was expoxied down over the first. The nose forward, angled section) plywood was expoxied down using the same proceedure as above. A 1" layer of blue foam was glued (PL300) to the bunk plywood, and a final layer of panelling was glued to the top of the foam. Then everything, including the steps were re-carpeted, and the cupboards reinstalled. While the finished product looked marvelous, unfortunately, I don't have a finished picture, because as soon as it was completed, the mattress was put back in and my friends departed on a test camp. The repaired bunk area is utterly solid, looks great, and should easily last the life of the trailer.
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delamintated foam removed with sticks still in place.JPG   sticks and foam removed from bunk area.JPG  

Delaminated plywood, sticks and foam removed.JPG   Cleaned down to the fibreglass.JPG  

1by2 sticks glued and screwed to support ply edges.JPG   First layer of plywood epoxied down.JPG  

panelling over blue foam over plywood.JPG  
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:17 PM   #7
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Trailer: 1986 Bigfoot FT20
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A little off subject but, does anyone have the paint color code for a Bigfoot?
I see some outside repairs in this post and was hoping someone might.
Thanks, Mike
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:52 PM   #8
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Since Bigfoot isn't painted and gelcoat changes color overtime, I'd doubt you'd find two of them the same "color" so a color paint code may be meaningless.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:18 PM   #9
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Thanks Donna,
Your right after posting I remembered I have the tire cover I can use to match the color.
Thank you for reminding me,
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