From Trillium to Bigfoot? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-28-2008, 06:54 PM   #1
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1989 17 ft Bigfoot Deluxe / 2004 Ford Ranger
Ontario
Posts: 115
Hi All
Currently, we own a 13 ft '73 Trill with many upgrades, and I am very happy with it, but my better half has issues with the size of the bed, and the somewhat confined space overall.Our trips are usually 2-3 wks in duration.
I'm considering selling the Trill and getting a 17 ft Bigfoot, if I can find one, but I 've heard they are heavy; my tow vehicle is an '04 Ranger 4x4 (4.0 L /auto) with factory tow pkg(includes trans. cooler)My towing capacity is over 5000 lb according to Ford.I've seen weights for the BF ranging from 1875 lb to nearly 3000 lb
What is tongue weight ? Is a Wt. Distr. hitch necessary, if the truck's payload rating is over 1000 lb ?
Any BF owners out there who can clear the fog for me?
How comfortable(wide) is the BF bed, and how heavy is the trailer...Dry, and/or GVWR, or both. We're impressed with the luxury appointments of the BF, and so we'd like to hear from BF owners about the features they like, or dislike(if any) about the trailer.
Any feedback would be appreciated, before we start beating the bushes for our BF !
Joe
Peterborough, Ontario
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:47 PM   #2
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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 Joe!

I had a 15B17CB for a couple of years, and another member here, BobB has it now. You have good questions. I loved my Bigfoot; in fact, we have a 25B25RQ now. The bed arrangement in the CB is a little small. They're short and narrow. Perhaps Bob can give you the exact dimensions as I don't recall what they were any more. I think that the rear bed version was a little larger bed.

The Bigfoot tows harder than Scamp or Casita because of the frontal area, and if you had the Trillium 4500 you probably wouldn't notice much difference. I've not towed a Trill 13', so I can't do a direct comparison for you. I did tow my Bigfoot 17 with a 3.4l V6 Tundra Access Cab. It would have been a much better tow with the V8 Tundra, but it did OK. I would recommend weight distribution just for levelling. The Bigfoot is a little heavy on the hitch, and you'll find your rig much better behaved with WDH/sway control, but I did tow mine both with WDH and without. The 17' weighed in at a little over 3k lbs give or take. It has a 3,500 lb GVWR, and loaded it probably comes pretty close to that.

The winter package is what Bigfoot is all about. I wouldn't buy one without it. The interiors are nice, but the winter package is really what makes the trailers worthwhile. After three years of Bigfoot ownership, I have really nothing bad to say about either the 17' or 25' trailers. We like 'em!

Roger
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:10 AM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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If bed size is the major concern for the change, you may want to look for a Casita Liberty Deluxe. Many bed choices can be made from twins, to double to king size... all within the same trailer depending on the table configuration you choose to use.

Casita Liberty Deluxe

Here's a topic that discusses bed sizes in several different charts:
Bed sizes, What are the dimensions of the main bed in your egg?
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:29 AM   #4
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Hi: Joe... If you can attend Bolerama(or drive in) at Emily P.Pk. July 10-12th. just down the road from you there were a couple Bigfoots and several Casitas there + An Escape or two in the mix of 110 or so Fiberglass trailers there last yr. and everyones door is open on sat am. for a looky see!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:11 AM   #5
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
Ontario
Posts: 207
Joseph;
I have owned a 1993 Bigfoot 17CB for 2 years and can make a few comments about it for you.
I tow it with a 2003 Honda Odyssey minivan and have had the trailer weighed. With it loaded, it comes in at a few Kg short of 1590 Kg or 3500 lbs, which is the maximum towing capacity of the Honda. Actually, with a standard load and myself and my wife, we came in at 10 Kg below the GVWR recommended by Honda.
I have installed the tranny and power steering coolers, and a weight distribution hitch. I'd 'NEVER' tow without one - it is a significant improvement in towing. The pumping up and down of the minivan is almost gone. I get about 11 l/100 km not towing and about 19 l/100km towing. I've towed about 8000 miles and am very satisfied with the towing. I live near Barrie and have been to Quinte Isles, Dayton Ohio, North Bay, Killbear park and several other local trips without any problems.
I have owned a Trillium 13, L'il Bigfoot 13, and a Starcraft Pop-up before this one.
The beds are small, but my wife and I cope OK. The other features - hot water, toilet, shower, fridge with freezer, 4 burner stove with oven, furnace, AC, etc. more than make up for that minor annoyance. We've always slept well.
These units are fairly rare and hold a good price, so don't expect to be flooded with low cost units. You'll have to search far and wide, I suspect. I was lucky in that I was able to swap my Pop-up with extra cash and got a decent deal! $8 - 10K is probable for a mid 90's unit in good condition.
Good luck in your search.
Mike

Quote:
Hi All
Currently, we own a 13 ft '73 Trill with many upgrades, and I am very happy with it, but my better half has issues with the size of the bed, and the somewhat confined space overall.Our trips are usually 2-3 wks in duration.
I'm considering selling the Trill and getting a 17 ft Bigfoot, if I can find one, but I 've heard they are heavy; my tow vehicle is an '04 Ranger 4x4 (4.0 L /auto) with factory tow pkg(includes trans. cooler)My towing capacity is over 5000 lb according to Ford.I've seen weights for the BF ranging from 1875 lb to nearly 3000 lb
What is tongue weight ? Is a Wt. Distr. hitch necessary, if the truck's payload rating is over 1000 lb ?
Any BF owners out there who can clear the fog for me?
How comfortable(wide) is the BF bed, and how heavy is the trailer...Dry, and/or GVWR, or both. We're impressed with the luxury appointments of the BF, and so we'd like to hear from BF owners about the features they like, or dislike(if any) about the trailer.
Any feedback would be appreciated, before we start beating the bushes for our BF !
Joe
Peterborough, Ontario
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:55 AM   #6
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Here in British Columbia it is fairly easy to find a used 17' Bigfoot (probably because they were made in BC).
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:51 PM   #7
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
Quote:
The Bigfoot tows harder than Scamp or Casita because of the frontal area, and if you had the Trillium 4500 you probably wouldn't notice much difference. I've not towed a Trill 13', so I can't do a direct comparison for you.
Roger,

As background, I started a thread some time ago asking people to compare the towing of a Boler/Scamp 13' with a Trillium 13'. Of course I also responsibly gathered some empirical data for myself by buying one of each

So, from general curiosity, would you mind clarifying something in what you said above? I can't tell for sure if you're saying that your Trillium 4500 towed like a Scamp/Casita, or like a Bigfoot (i.e. "harder" than a Scamp/Casita). I can't tell for sure how the "probably wouldn't notice much difference" applies.

Thanks,

Raya
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:53 PM   #8
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Bed size in our 2004 Bigfoot 15B17CB is 70 by 40" for the couch bed and 78 by 42" for the dinette bed. Neither is roomy for two! FYI a twin bed is 72 by 36, a double is 72 by 48 and a queen is 78 by 60". Sorry, I can't remember the dimensions for the gaucho bed in the other 17 foot model.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:44 PM   #9
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,014
Quote:
Bed size in our 2004 Bigfoot 15B17CB is 70 by 40" for the couch bed and 78 by 42" for the dinette bed. Neither is roomy for two! FYI a twin bed is 72 by 36, a double is 72 by 48 and a queen is 78 by 60". Sorry, I can't remember the dimensions for the gaucho bed in the other 17 foot model.
Are the "twin," "double," and "queen" sizes Bigfoot specific? I believe that the "house" dimensions are as follows:

Twin = 39" x 75"
Double = 54" x 75"
Queen = 60" x 80"

Of course we all know that trailer manufacturers have their own definitions The "double" in most of the 13-footers is the same as the old-fashioned "three-quarter" in house sizing.

Raya
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:30 PM   #10
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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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Quote:
Roger,

As background, I started a thread some time ago asking people to compare the towing of a Boler/Scamp 13' with a Trillium 13'. Of course I also responsibly gathered some empirical data for myself by buying one of each

So, from general curiosity, would you mind clarifying something in what you said above? I can't tell for sure if you're saying that your Trillium 4500 towed like a Scamp/Casita, or like a Bigfoot (i.e. "harder" than a Scamp/Casita). I can't tell for sure how the "probably wouldn't notice much difference" applies.

Thanks,

Raya
A fair question. The best answer is "I'm not sure.". I only had the Trill a very short time, and towed it with an Excursion. Not much of a trial, and certainly a poor comparison in towing with a 4.0L Ranger. The Scamps I had (and similar trailers, Burro and Love Bug II) towed more easily than the Bigfoot 17, primarily I surmise because of the frontal area of the Bigfoot, as the weights were very similar for all of them. Now with that said, the Bigfoot tows pretty easily... so maybe I'm splitting hairs.

I'd guess that the Bigfoot 17 and the Trillium 4500 might be similar in their towing characteristics, similarly equipped.

Of course the bottom line is that Joe has a Trill 13, so it's in a whole different class.

Roger
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:11 PM   #11
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Name: Rachel
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
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Thanks, Roger,

I think it was just a punctuation confusion on my part, but thanks for elaborating. I know you've towed a selection of rigs, so I didn't want to miss your point.

On the last note, I would actually expect a Trillium 4500 and 1300 to tow pretty similarly, since they have the exact same shape and size, but just 18" longer and 200# heavier for the 4500. I didn't notice as much difference between the Boler 13 and the Trillium 1300 as I thought I would, although it wasn't really a fair comparison since the Trillium had a much higher tongue weight (due to two large propane tanks), and I never did try it with that weight reduced. What I did notice (in addition to the "folding" motion that the tongue weight caused) was just a tad more "buffeting" when, say, a semi-trailer went past. But not as much as I thought I would. The Boler just happens to seem perfectly balanced, tongue-wise, and exhibited virtually no "buffeting," so it was a hard act to follow.

I suppose the Trillium 4500 might be just a touch more "see-saw-ey" than the 1300 since it's a bit longer and heavier and still only a single axle - or maybe it just takes a bit more attention to balance; but like you say, I think the frontal area contributes a lot to the behavior at highway speeds.

And now that I've taken the thread completely off track... I'll stop (*roll at self).

Thanks again for the addtl. information,

Raya
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:17 PM   #12
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1989 17 ft Bigfoot Deluxe / 2004 Ford Ranger
Ontario
Posts: 115
Hi to all
Thanx for all the input...a fine picture is starting to evolve about the 17 ft Bigfoot, and I just hope there is one out there with my name on it.
No real probs/concerns have come out, and I'm feeling more confident about towing one with the Ranger 4.0 L 4x4, utilyzing an equilizer hitch.
I think our Subaru Forester will be relegated to towing lesser units, such as our utility trailer; kind of a shame, since it has the 7-pin wiring harness, and towed the Trillium like a breeze, although without a brake controller installation, unlike the Ranger.
Keep the comments coming...I look forward to hearing from all current/former BF owners.
Joe
Peterborough, ON
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:32 AM   #13
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Trailer: 2004 Bigfoot 17 ft ('Beastie')
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Joe,

I hesitate to say anything about the weight of a Bigfoot 17, as I still haven't weighed ours. You should plan on a towing weight of at least 3500#, unless the one you buy is an older model with fewer options. If you buy a 2005 or later model, your towing weight will be more than 3500# (GVWR is 4400# with a higher capacity axle and loaded with options). Ours has about every option I can think of and I would bet that it would be over gross with the tanks full and loaded for camping. We try to be careful about loading it. I did estimate the tongue weight using a bathroom scale and that appeared to be over 500#. Despite these statements, the trailer tows just fine with our Jeep GC, equipped with a 6500# factory towing package. The Jeep has a stiff suspension to begin with and I added AirLift suspension bags to the rear coil springs. The Bigfoot 17 is 8 feet wide, so you will need extension mirrors to tow one of these trailers (try the cheap ones first). An Equal-i-zer WDH might be a good idea, depending on how your ranger handles the Bigfoot. If you decide to go with the Equal-i-zer, it is possible to weld the brackets onto the tongue in a way that won't require cutting the fiberglass covering the LP tanks and battery. The Equal-i-zer WDH is the one recommended by Bigfoot dealers, particularly for the 21 footers with balance/sway problems.

The Bigfoot 17 footers are not for large people! Besides looking closely at the bed size, make sure you can get into the dinette and the bathroom. If you have a choice when you buy, I would recommend not getting any of the options you don't really want, because of the weight issues. I just might start removing a few of the options if ours weighs over 3500#!
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:10 AM   #14
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It's funny reading about people complaining about bed size. We moved from a tent sleeping on thermarests so our Trillium bed (30 year foamies and all) seems luxurious - even with me at 6'2". It's all what you are use to I guess =)
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