New Bigfoot 17.5 - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-20-2007, 10:54 AM   #15
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Roger wrote:
Not going to happen unless you gut the trailer and start from scratch. There's too much "stuff" and structure in the way. The G rear side bath model would be a much better candidate as the only thing you're really affecting would be the rear closet.

My response:
Darn it! No, we are not about to gut anything. We will take a closer look at the G model... it's just that we need to be able to go pee in the middle of the night, so we have to be able to get into the bathroom.

If Scamp and Casita and Escape all have double beds in some of their models, why on earth doesn't Bigfoot at least make this optional for the 17' models? Based on the posts, we are not the only ones who need a double bed.

Roger wrote:

21' Bigfoot fifth wheel? They make a 21' trailer and ten years ago made a 20' fifth wheel... which model are you actually discussing?

All of the folks I've talked to who have the 21' trailers love them, despite that I find them cramped. I've not heard anyone complain about towing instability with a Bigfoot except for the early 2500 17.5 when it's fresh water tank is filled... and that may have even been resolved by now...


My response:

I was talking about both the TT and fifth at different times. Our carport entryway is only 9.3 feet wide. The BF 21 foot trailer is 8' 4" and 17' is 8' even (I sure hope those measurements include the axle and tires though... if not, then we aren't even in the running for a 17').

I just looked again at the RV Consumer Group fifth wheel ratings... they don't have any ratings for Bigfoot fifth wheels except for 1995 (which must really have been the 1994 models, since there weren't any built after the 1994 fire, right?). They show only a B21- 21 foot fifth wheel with a 2 star rating, highway control being listed as only 51 out of 100. The FW26, which is listed as 27' long got a 4 star rating and 83 ot of 100 highway control, the FWS (slide out model) got a 3 star rating and 65 out of 100 highway control and the FW30 30 ' model got a zero star rating with a highway control of 24.

As mentioned in my prior post, I wonder how many people participated in these ratings?The RV Consumer Group ratings may not be an accurate reflection of most owners' experiences, so I am trying to canvass owners of any units that would meet our size and weight limitations to see what the real-world feedback is--clearly, the 20' Bigfoot fifth wheel could be an excellent option... the only problem is trying to buy one from Arizona, since the majority of the used listings seem to be in British Columbia area and, as someone else noted, it's very difficult to assess condition from online photos and, much as we would love to, we sure can't drive up to BC to check out the listings as they come up.

Realistically, I have asked Escape to put us in contact with any 17' or fifth wheel owners in or near Arizona who would let us look at their units, am doing the same for the 16-17' Spirit Deluxe Casita and the Scamp fifth wheel and tt (and am hoping to hear back from Scamp owners about how well their units hold up on rough terrain). We are bound and determined to find a solid little traveling home of our own and sure appreciate how helpful everyone on this site has been!
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:35 AM   #16
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Val,

You missed an opportunity to view the first Escape 5th wheel while the owners were visiting Arizona in the spring.

In the meantime, I suggest you check out the Scamp 5th wheel with the front bath configuration. It can only be found in the deluxe versions but well worth the search. My husband is 6' tall and I'm much shorter. We sleep in the loft bed with him beside the bathroom wall and me at the front. This model also has a good amount of storage.

Check the For Sale section to see if any are near you.

Best wishes on your search.

Nita
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:53 AM   #17
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Hi Nita,

We will keep our eyes open for a Deluxe fifth with front bath! Have you taken yours on any rough roads? How do you think it would hold up to going over washboards, some ruts and sand (driven carefully, of course)?

Thanks for you input!

Val
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Old 06-20-2007, 12:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
...We've been told that the compact truck we want (V-6 '07 Frontier) is not suitable for towing a fifth wheel--that compact trucks are prone to having their cabs bashed in with fifth wheels and that no fifth wheel hitch company will warrant their product if installed in a compact, but I thought the main issue was bed length and the Frontier does come in a long bed, so we still have some hope...
The moulded fiberglass trailers which couple to hitches in a truck bed (usually called "fifth wheels", even when they have a different type of hitch) were probably all intended for smaller trucks. The Escape 5.0 is specifically intended for compact trucks.

The truck makers generally list compact pickup trucks - and some full-size pickups - as not suitable for fifth-wheel towing. I suspect that this is meant to discourage idiots (or geniunely misguided souls) from hooking up an eight-foot-wide 5-ton trailers with 2000 lb of hitch weight to little trucks. With a common-sense examination of actual loads, ratings, and dimensions, suitable combinations can be found... even with short-box trucks.

This has been the subject of a number of earlier topics; maybe someone can provide links to the more useful examples?
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Old 06-20-2007, 12:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
I just looked again at the RV Consumer Group fifth wheel ratings... they don't have any ratings for Bigfoot fifth wheels except for 1995 (which must really have been the 1994 models, since there weren't any built after the 1994 fire, right?). They show only a B21- 21 foot fifth wheel with a 2 star rating, highway control being listed as only 51 out of 100. The FW26, which is listed as 27' long got a 4 star rating and 83 ot of 100 highway control, the FWS (slide out model) got a 3 star rating and 65 out of 100 highway control and the FW30 30 ' model got a zero star rating with a highway control of 24.

As mentioned in my prior post, I wonder how many people participated in these ratings?The RV Consumer Group ratings may not be an accurate reflection of most owners' experiences...
Val... frankly, I've never heard of the RV Consumer Group, and I've been around RVs for most of my 52 years. That's not to say they're not reliable, but I sure don't know who they'd be surveying... and while I've not been around Bigfoot very long... I've never seen or heard of a FW26, or FW30 or FWS models. They just recently introduced the 3000 series trailers that come in 24' and 28' and are huge and heavy and are of more conventional construction. It would be interesting to see photos of the other trailers you mentioned. I really don't know what they'd be.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I would put more stock in the experience of the folks who are members here rather than some kind of stats that you might find out "there" on the web.

Roger
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Old 06-20-2007, 01:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
...I've never heard of the RV Consumer Group...
... and neither had I, until they came up in an earlier discussion. Their "highway control" evaluation method is based entirely on a formula, not real experience or testing.
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:47 PM   #21
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Val,

We've never towed off road so I can't give you first hand experience. Our hitch is attached to our old Dodge truck's metal box.

Plan on having to re-hang the curtains, pick up the silverware and anything else that may fly out of the cabinets and drawers if you travel off road. I'm not sure these fiberglass campers are designed for that kind of abuse. They flex alot and you may have some trouble with stress cracks. You may also need to reinforce the frame. These are some other things to consider.

Nita

Quote:
Hi Nita,

We will keep our eyes open for a Deluxe fifth with front bath! Have you taken yours on any rough roads? How do you think it would hold up to going over washboards, some ruts and sand (driven carefully, of course)?

Thanks for you input!

Val
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Old 06-20-2007, 03:01 PM   #22
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Quote:
Val,

We've never towed off road so I can't give you first hand experience. Our hitch is attached to our old Dodge truck's metal box.

Plan on having to re-hang the curtains, pick up the silverware and anything else that may fly out of the cabinets and drawers if you travel off road. I'm not sure these fiberglass campers are designed for that kind of abuse. They flex alot and you may have some trouble with stress cracks. You may also need to reinforce the frame. These are some other things to consider.

Nita

Hi Nita,

That makes sense. We have this particular road in mind that we tried to drive in my Nissan Altima (which has nearly no clearance), so we aren't intending to drive over huge boulders, just to be able to take it on this kind of dirt road. There are a few that are actually supposed to be that sturdy, and I just heard back from a couple on the Scamp owners website who said that they take their Scamp Deluxe fifth off-road all the time and haven't had any trouble, so I am hoping that, especially since they are only a couple of hours from us, they may be willing to let us come see theirs, check out what they have done to make it off-road ready, and share their travel experiences in more detail, so we can determine if the Scamp Deluxe fifth would work or if we'd have to go with an Escape instead. If we can feasibly make modifications to a Scamp that will make it more heavy-duty, we would certainly be willing to do so to avoid any damage to it down the bumpy road. If not, that narrows it down to an Escape fifth wheel, which we may have to travel to the company (Canada) to see for ourselves.

We are so excited to hit the road that it's hard to sit still through all the research! When we finally get one, we may have to call our tt/5er "Wigglebottom."

Val
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Old 06-20-2007, 04:22 PM   #23
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Quote:
Hi Nita,

That makes sense. We have this particular road in mind that we tried to drive in my Nissan Altima (which has nearly no clearance), so we aren't intending to drive over huge boulders, just to be able to take it on this kind of dirt road. There are a few that are actually supposed to be that sturdy, and I just heard back from a couple on the Scamp owners website who said that they take their Scamp Deluxe fifth off-road all the time and haven't had any trouble, so I am hoping that, especially since they are only a couple of hours from us, they may be willing to let us come see theirs, check out what they have done to make it off-road ready, and share their travel experiences in more detail, so we can determine if the Scamp Deluxe fifth would work or if we'd have to go with an Escape instead. If we can feasibly make modifications to a Scamp that will make it more heavy-duty, we would certainly be willing to do so to avoid any damage to it down the bumpy road. If not, that narrows it down to an Escape fifth wheel, which we may have to travel to the company (Canada) to see for ourselves.

We are so excited to hit the road that it's hard to sit still through all the research! When we finally get one, we may have to call our tt/5er "Wigglebottom."

Val
Val, you may want to take a look at Ken James's modified Bigfoot.

http://travel.webshots.com/album/145203904pQUXfI

Yves.
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Old 06-20-2007, 04:30 PM   #24
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Update: Heard from a couple in the Yahoo Scamp Owner's Group that they take theirs off-road all the time without any problem.

Called the Scamp company and asked them if it was likely to cause the fifth wheel damage if we took it off-road and spoke with Jim, who said absolutely not, and that they would even put it on a higher hitch if we wanted, so that there is no chance of it hitting the road, ruts or washboards. He said he hadn't heard of any stress fractures happening in Scamp campers--but of course, he was a salesman, so I took that with a grain of salt.

He wanted to know what other brands we were looking at, and hadn't heard of the Escape fifth wheel, which we are also seriously considering, but had heard of Bigfoot (whose 17' G model we are evaluating this Saturday to see if it can be modified to suit our sleeping requirements for a double bed)--he said that he felt that Scamp builds the best quality fifth wheel in the business in that size. Also confirmed that it would tow just fine with our prospective truck, the Nissan V-6 Frontier.

Meanwhile, I got an email from the President of Escape Industries in response to my inquiry that also confirmed that we could safely and easily tow it with the Frontier.

I am impressed that I was able to get questions answered so quickly by both companies. Would very much like to see one of each to compare quality and features in person. The Scamp Fifth it looks as though we will be able to view, the Escape, we are waiting to hear of owner whereabouts for viewing.
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:19 PM   #25
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Quote:
Val, you may want to take a look at Ken James's modified Bigfoot.

http://travel.webshots.com/album/145203904pQUXfI

Yves.
Thanks, Yves, I had come across that modification, but we do not want to take the whole bathroom out...bathroom is important to us. We were hoping we could do that same modification in a Center Bath model by removing the wardrobe located to the left of the sofa in the manufacturer's layout picture... looking at both layouts (the Gaucho and the Center Bath), it looks as though the same amount of space for a bed would be created if one removed that wardrobe, but we've heard that that might not be so because of where wiring and other hookups are located, so we may have to pass on the Bigfoot and go for a Scamp or Escape fifth wheel instead, which both have a Queen size bed.

Val
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:42 PM   #26
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Keith and Dee just purchased a 17' G that had the wardrobe removed. The bath door had an accordian door so it wouldn't need to open out, just across. The bed support slide in or folded in, I'm not sure. I'm sure he'll put a picture up if he chimes in.

Paul
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:17 PM   #27
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Quote:
Keith and Dee just purchased a 17' G that had the wardrobe removed. The bath door had an accordian door so it wouldn't need to open out, just across. The bed support slide in or folded in, I'm not sure. I'm sure he'll put a picture up if he chimes in.

Paul
Excellent to know that, thank you. Very smart way to get around needing to access the bathroom. Would love to see photos of Keith and Dee's modification.

Val
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:38 PM   #28
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Quote:
The Escape fifth wheel is a strong contender, because of it's GVWR, but they are made in Canada and do not have dealerships, so we would not have an easy time viewing one--there are not any units to see in AZ. Also, it is 1.5 feet narrower in width than the Bigfoot travel trailers, so although it has a full queen bed, it also would have a rather constricted galley. If there is a Bigfoot travel trailer or fifth wheel model that would provide at least a full-size bed and still meet our GVWR requirements, then we would much appreciate hearing about it.
I was in a new Escape 5th wheel a few weeks ago. I did not feel constricted at all in the galley area. In fact I was impressed with how much room their appeared to be even with two of us in the galley at the same time. Was also amazed at the amount of storage space there was for food and clothing. The layout is well thought out. Left wishing I had a truck to pull one with.

Carol
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