How big, function vs ease of use?? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-16-2007, 12:02 PM   #29
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I personally wouldn't get to fussed about the dry weight in general except to presume that it is low and to know that what really matters is the wet weight as you have it (and tow vehicle) loaded for the road.

A more useful number to use for planning, until you have actual scale weights, is the GVWR of the trailer, which tells you what the maximum load on the axle(s) can be, usually determined by the axle(s), wheels and tires, and it doesn't include the tongue weight (estimate 15% for planning).

Of course, that assumes the manf has equipped the TT with the right axle set, which is not always a valid assumption in the stick-built world.

I believe at least one state (Indiana?) has a law that requires the manf to weigh EACH rig as it goes out the door, with all the ordered options, and that weight goes on the title and the sticker.
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:42 PM   #30
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I would be surprised if any manufacturer added 275 lb of ballast - if only because 275 lb of anything cost money... and then there's the cost of installing it. It seems far more likely that Bigfoot either moved something, or changed the base configuration of components so something near the front is now included and something near the back is not. I could be wrong, of course, but unless you find two identically equipped 25B21FBs - from before and after the change - and compare them you'll never know.

Like Ed, I would far rather carry 275 lb of stuff I want, than just ballast.
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:42 AM   #31
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I would be surprised if any manufacturer added 275 lb of ballast - if only because 275 lb of anything cost money... and then there's the cost of installing it. It seems far more likely that Bigfoot either moved something, or changed the base configuration of components so something near the front is now included and something near the back is not. I could be wrong, of course, but unless you find two identically equipped 25B21FBs - from before and after the change - and compare them you'll never know.

Like Ed, I would far rather carry 275 lb of stuff I want, than just ballast.
I was also surprised but they added ballast (as opposed to adjusting the load). Here is part of a response I got from the BF design people:

<span style="font-size:10pt;line-height:100%">"the B21FB is presently being produced, with the weights that have recently been discussed.
On older units, Bigfoot Industries has determined that when B21FB trailers are towed behind small tow vehicles, the hitch weight may not be as high as is desireable. As a result the trailer could become unstable when completely empty and towed at high speed.
Bigfoot Industries initiated a campaign, with the approval of NHTSA, and has provided to any customer at no charge a Ballast kit that will bring the hitch weight of an older B21FB trailer up to that of our current production. Which explains the weight differential on the two models of B21's as only the Current B21FB require the kit.
Letters of notification have been sent to all affected B21FB owners, as well as to the entire Bigfoot dealer network which outline this scenario as well as the corrective action required.
As part of our ongoing customer satisfaction program, we've also included the second time buyers to this campaign, and if you purchase the used Bigfoot, you would be able to make contact with a local Bigfoot dealer and arrange for the appropriate kit to be sent to the dealership for installation on your unit. Assuming that the original owner did not install the kit as offered. This kit will be installed on the used Bigfoot at no charge to you the second owner."</span>

I am now trying to determine where the ballast goes and how easy it is to remove if an owner can proplerly manage the weight distribution on his/her own. This is about safety under specific conditions and also about corporate liability exposure so I am not sure if BF will want us to have the ability to remove this ballast once it is installed --- it amounts to 5 or 6% extra weight to pull (and stop) so I think it is a significant "weight tax" on the owner that is willing to proplerly manage the tongue weight. Ed
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:31 PM   #32
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<span style="font-size:10pt;line-height:100%">"... a Ballast kit that will bring the hitch weight of an older B21FB trailer up to that of our current production...."</span>
The retrofit is clearly ballast. Does the "current production" design include ballast? I'm still not sure from this statement, although the 400 lb higher dry weight of the FB (versus the R - for no other obvious reason - does suggest ballast.

Regardless of Bigfoot's method, I would look for a better solution.

Tongue weight by itself seems unlikely to fix anything. Image a block of iron fastened to the coupler - it would increase tongue weight, without changing anything about the dynamics of the trailer any more than if you mounted that same iron block on the bumper. Is ballast on the bumper a good thing?

If the "tongue weight is too low", then the polar moment of inertia is too high for the mass of the trailer. If there's anything in the back which can be located to somewhere in the middle, I would expect that to help more. Unfortunately, a candidate is not obvious to me in the floor plan. The kitchen (other than refrigerator) of the FB is further back, but I can't see moving the oven. Where's the water heater? How about the fresh and grey water tanks (which are somewhat bigger in the F?
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:31 AM   #33
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Umm, it all depends on where the ballast is located, and likely that's not on the bumper or coupler, but further back on the tongue. That will affect the moment. Imagine the ballast as a second battery added to the tongue to reduce the effect of the behind-axle weight on the before-axle weight.

It's far from an ideal solution, but it is one the manf can implement. In later models the ballast could simply be some extra steel in the tongue...
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:30 AM   #34
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Umm, it all depends on where the ballast is located, and likely that's not on the bumper or coupler, but further back on the tongue. That will affect the moment. Imagine the ballast as a second battery added to the tongue to reduce the effect of the behind-axle weight on the before-axle weight.

It's far from an ideal solution, but it is one the manf can implement. In later models the ballast could simply be some extra steel in the tongue...
Good assessment Pete,
Here is a response from the BF design manager in response to my question asking how and where they were adding the ballast and if it was removable:

"Typically if we install it...we weld it....but if the customer would like, the kit is actually set up for mechanical fasteners....meaning that if he chooses to at a later date, he could remove the hitch or A-Frame inserts (there are two) at a savings of 30 lbs per insert set. or remove the additional x-member located near the front cross member it's fastened to the main rails and the A-Frame....which would reduce the weight by about 187 lbs."

It seems they are adding about 250 lbs of ballast. Some of the weight difference between the two models (front and rear bedroom) of the 21' trailer are due to different cabinets, tank mountings/size etc. Probably not a big deal, but it is a lot of weight to carry around that in most cases is providing no benefit. Being this model (fr bdrm) has a big outside accessible storage area under the front bed, more productive weight could be provided by an owner but that would still leave the mfg exposed to liability if an owner did not provide weight when needed.
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:41 PM   #35
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Umm, it all depends on where the ballast is located, and likely that's not on the bumper or coupler, but further back on the tongue. That will affect the moment...
That's what I meant. When people talk about "tongue weight" being good for stability it oversimplifies the situation, because simply tongue weight is not very useful.
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:45 PM   #36
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Given the nature and installation method of the ballast, I think if I purchased this model I would take the ballast, have them bolt it in, and later eliminate as much as possible of it as I found and corrected the root problem, starting from the bits nearest the coupler.

By the way, based on showroom tours, the 25B21FB is the Bigfoot model which I find most appealing, and much more desirable (for us) than the rear-bed version; it would be worth sorting out the balance issue. In response to the original concern of the topic, this is unfortunately too big for our current tow vehicle, and not functional enough to justify a replacement tug.
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:50 PM   #37
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By the way, based on showroom tours, the 25B21FB is the Bigfoot model which I find most appealing, and much more desirable (for us) than the rear-bed version; it would be worth sorting out the balance issue.
Hey Brian, just wondering which showroom you toured to see the new Bigfeet? I was in Edm. looking to see both floor plans of the 17', but the one dealer I went to didn't even have a single 17'er to look at. Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:05 PM   #38
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Hey Brian, just wondering which showroom you toured to see the new Bigfeet?
Otto Mobiles on Argyll Road usually has a selection of Bigfoot product, including the motorhomes, truck campers, and both trailer ranges (2500-series moulded and 3000-series panel-built). In the 2500 series, they usually have more than one model, but in several visits I found the 25B21RB usually but the 25B21FB only twice.

A 25B17.5CB was featured in the showroom for quite a while, but when they sell a unit they don't necessarily replace it immediately; like any dealer of any RV, it is not practical to have one of everything.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:19 PM   #39
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Thanks Brian, that's where I was. Do you know of any other dealer in the area?
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:37 PM   #40
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Do you know of any other dealer in the area?
The Bigfoot site has a Dealer Locator, which shows only Otto Mobiles in the immediate Edmonton area. I haven't seen new Bigfoot units anywhere else, although like any brand they show up used anywhere.

The only other dealership source of eggs around here would be the Team Trillium Outback dealers; Arrkann may be the only one of those. Woody's used to carry Escape, but I think Escape is factory-order only now.
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