Bigfoot - Question about separation on the roof - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-17-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
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Question Bigfoot - Question about separation on the roof

Hi everyone,

I am new here and interested in purchasing a molded fiberglass trailer. I was able to check out one of the Bigfoot 2-hull molded trailers the other day, and found something on the roof that resembles separation.

It feels like there is a small gap between the outer fiberglass layer and whatever is underneath. You can push the fiberglass down, and whatever is underneath felt firm. It was not the entire roof area, just two spots (fairly large) - front left corner and rear right corner.

Is this something that is common? Caused by possibly a leak?
The seals around roof openings did seam cracked and due for replacement.

I've always read on here that de-lamination on fiberglass eggs is not a problem, which is why people love and buy these, and these little units command a premium.

Please help me understand if this is a big problem, should I walk away from the unit? If not, then what is the reasonable price to negotiate down, to help fix this? Is it a fixable issue? Will it always look like there was something wrong on the roof, even if fixed.

Thank you so much for any input and help.
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Old 10-17-2013, 12:39 PM   #2
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Gene, what year and size of Bigfoot did you look at? that may help in answering your question.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:45 PM   #3
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Carol it is a 2008, 21 foot. Its very new, gel coat is in great shape. No cracks or holes.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:20 PM   #4
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Will have to leave it to someone else to comment as to whether it is common or not but if I am not mistake the Bigfoots do have some sort of foam insulation sandwiched between the fiberglass exterior and paneling inside, You can by the way if push hard enough be able to cause the fiberglass to flex on most of our trailers - thus the reason putting your full weight on the roof is not recommended.

Perhaps if you as a moderator you could change the title on this thread to include the Bigfoot and size - might get more knowledgeable/helpful responses.

BTW Luv the trailer you are looking at!!
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:05 AM   #5
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same thing????

I can't be sure that the build was the same in 2008 as it was in 1997...but I suspect that it is. In my 97 I have the "symptom" you describe in one spot, about a foot square above the stove...

at first I thought I would address this problem in the future (it's not obvious and had to be pointed out to me during the sale process) by drilling a small hole in the roof, injecting some adhesive in the cavity and applying pressure from the inside...

then I found out while dealing with a loose trim piece in the bathroom how the roof is actually built....my fix would not have worked because of the layer of insulation between the roof and the headliner...It could still work I guess but I'd have to account for the insulation in the fix.

the pictures should be self explanatory...FG roof, thin plywood backed foam insulation (in sheets, I'm guessing an inch thick) and the headliner glued to the insulation "sandwich"....

it would be nice to hear from a more recently built BF to confirm the above (it's easy to do...just take a roof vent partially apart from the inside)

good luck, F
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roof3.jpg  
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:28 AM   #6
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and one more thing about "fixes" in general....

I'm new to this RV thing....but I've dealt with numerous "fixes" in boats (probably why I bought a BF...LOL)

when a fix cannot be achieved without leaving an obvious "scar" inside (or outside for that matter) you can usually come up with some sort of addition that will hide the fix altogether...(more than that the "addition" can even make the fix easier to execute).....in your case think of an extra light fixture in the ceiling in the problem area as an example....in boats it could be an extra piece of deck hardware or interior fitting.....you gotta use your imagination.....and nobody will ever know you had "the problem" in the first place......Cheers, F
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:42 AM   #7
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Franswa,

Thank you so much for very informative information! The pictures really help understand what is going on underneath that shell.
Do you think that what happened above your stove was caused by water intrusion?

When I pushed on these two areas, I was able to hear the sound of glue un-sticking. What I know for sure is that there is a gap there, and whatever was supposed to be glued is now un-glued.

If this was caused by water intrusion, then I am worried about rot/mold.

The owners seem very nice, but the caulking around everything on the roof is long overdue for replacement, very cracked and dry. I would not discount a water leak that has not shown itself on the inside yet.

On the ceiling inside, right next to the Air Conditioner, there is a hard fold in the carpet, it almost feels like a wire for Air Conditioner is running behind the carpet, its firm, does not give, but sags in the form of something underneath, its about half an inch wide, and runs the entire length of the ceiling in that area. There is also another one of these between the bedroom and hallway separation on the ceiling.
In all pictures that I have seen from owners I have never seen that on the interior ceiling.

I was browsing rv.net last night and found a picture posted by one of the members there, of a 2002 Bigfoot roof construction.

Hoping other Bigfoot members chime in...
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:59 AM   #8
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Here is the image I was talking about in the previous post
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:18 AM   #9
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well Gene...

I'm thinking if you did have water intrusion (as a cause) you would have a stain... big time....the water would have picked up glue coloring and on a white ceiling (I'm guessing here) it would be OBVIOUS....

what you describe is exactly what I am experiencing when I push up on my problem spot....it's like the glue did not stick in that location....the headliner is pretty stiff material and I'm thinking it takes a lot of "coaxing" during the build to perfectly form to the concave shape of the roof.....sometimes it just don't stay there I guess....or pops back out after a while....

wish my trailer was 10 years younger.... I'm thinking you have a pretty good bargaining chip there....you might even amplify the "problem"...the seller might "buy it"...

so far, and that's just a month, I'm REAL happy with the build on my BF....no surprises no disappointments....

the running gear sure got a good workout on my first "sea trial" this week....everything from freeway speeds to high speed gravel roads to ten kilometers of the worst potholed road I've seen in a long time...of course in that last instance EVERYTHING in the trailer got "rearranged"...LOL...but beside that no problem at all....hubs ran cool to the touch the whole time, the towing hardware creaked and groaned a few times but that was it....if something's going to break I'd rather have it break early......cheers, F
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:23 AM   #10
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ok, just saw your picture.....

no wonder they say BFs got heavier over time....that thick layer of plywood between the FG and insulation is just not there in my "boat"

you could probably dance a little jig on your roof....LOL
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:39 AM   #11
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Beautiful pictures, your rig looks awesome!
I am not one of those people that likes to bargain, just don't want to buy a problem child.

I guess by reading these forums and always hearing about "sticky" build problems, and how molded fiberglass units are very superior in build, I was shocked to find what I found. After experiencing de-lamination on my first rig, I'd prefer not to deal with that again.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:57 AM   #12
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My Bigfoot has similar issues. The foam and the fiberglass have an air pocket between them and I suspect it was this way when the trailer left the factory. My trailer shows NO sign of water leaking and I personally do not feel that the structural integrity of the trailer is compromised. I've thought about injecting insulating foam into the gaps but am afraid I would make a big mess.

If you can get a better deal because of this. go for it. I consider the situation on my trailer to be cosmetic only.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:41 AM   #13
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Gene, I suspect Jack is correct. If you cant see a sage on the roof on the inside or water marks its mostly likely that the glue holding the insulation to the roof has failed in that area . Insulation glued on the walls of other fiberglass trailers has been known to fail as well - suspect it *may* have to do with how much time the trailer has spent in a really warm climate & not enough glue used in that area at install time. As the Bigfoot has something to keep it from coming completely down on the inside that may not be a big issue.

If you havent already done so a call to Bigfoot to inquire about the cause and possible fix *may* be of help. Yes the company has new owners but they were all managers with the old company so they know how the trailers prior to their ownership were constructed and they do repairs on older Bigfoots as well.
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:07 PM   #14
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Thank you for everyone's responses. If its just glue failing over time, and not a water intrusion problem, that's better.

The carpet fold on the ceiling is what I thought was also caused by water.
I've never seen any other Bigfoot, so don't know if that is like that from the factory, or not. The owners said they bought it with it looking like that.
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