17 foot Boler vs Bigfoot - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-01-2013, 12:14 PM   #1
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Name: Miriam
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Manitoba
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Question 17 foot Boler vs Bigfoot

Hi! Just sold my tent trailer and am looking for a 17 foot with the goal of fulltiming with my partner and a small doggie within 5 years. I want to just get my feet wet to buy and try (and sell and buy again if I have to)! I will be doing Canada for sure so being warm is important (thus the Bigfoot option.) I am also interested in renovating over time if I can get one at a good price. In my local area, I found two 17 foot 1978 Bolers for sale. One is selling for $4900 and another is $8900 (seems more extensively renovated and has an oven, although that is storage lost). Yikes! Huge difference in price. And one 1984 Bigfoot (sleeps 6? Really? Is that possible?) with a new fridge, tires and springs. I am guessing it's a 1500 series and the windows are single pane in this era. The wide price range is confusing. Any opinions on the pros and cons and what I should be looking for? MiriamJ
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:31 PM   #2
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Hi Miriam, to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here

There are lots of kind and helpful people here on the forums to answer your questions.

The only thing I have to offer is to tell you dual pane windows were an option on the Bigfoot. Don't count on any particular to automatically have them.
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:35 PM   #3
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Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Ontario
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Hi Miriam,
Fiberglass RV - View Profile: Don N has had both, previoulsy had a 17' boler and since moved onto the bigfoot. You may want to contact him for specifics.

The price ranges can be geographical, seasonal or reality vs. dreaming. For the latter it is not hard to add $3-4K to the value of a trailer in parts alone that a newbie does not normally see. That is where the buyers check list in the document center comes in handy. Download it and learn how to use it.
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:40 PM   #4
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Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
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I think you really need to figure out your wants and needs both are reflected in the price. From now till the end of the year will offer the best bargaining.

Any well cared for unit will command a premium price and lack hidden surprises.
The cheaper you go the more opportunity for surprises.

As far as the difference in the two units the bigfoot offers more interior space as it is the widest unit. Newer Bigfoots have true four season insulation meaning the tanks are protected.

If your planning on fulltiming in Canada in the winter I don't think the little bit of insulation will help its going to be expensive for fuel.

I know a guy with a big fifthwheel that winters in BC his cost of fuel is 500.00-700.00 a month and he is skirted.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:40 PM   #5
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Name: Karen
Trailer: Formerly Bigfoot 25RB21 and Scamp 19
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I have owned both Scamp and Bigfoot and one big difference between those two trailers (besides the winter capabilities of a Bigfoot that has the relevant options, which I love) is the width. If I were full timing, I would appreciate the extra interior space that the width of the Bigfoot provides. I don't know, though, how that compares to a Boler.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:12 PM   #6
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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I wouldn't consider our B1700 for winter use; even in Vancouver it would be marginal due to the minimal insulation.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:26 PM   #7
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Name: Miriam
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I agree. I would want the 4 season but not camp in winter. Even this summer, it was hovering 10 degrees above freezing.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:31 AM   #8
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Name: Roy
Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Ontario
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We regularily camp in the celcius teens, the gravity furnace keeps the edge off at night in both the boler and trillium. Comfy on the occasional below freezing night. Would not want to "winter" camp though. There are not too many places in Ontario open for winter camping though.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:29 PM   #9
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot
Alberta
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I have had my bigfoot out in Alberta in winter it is good to -14/15 C the furnace wont keep up at - 20 So i built a truck camper from an old oilfield shack it is good to- 35c ,at -35 c outside it stays about +23 c /70 F inside .it has a gravity furnace and a 12v fan and the furnace on medium
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:48 PM   #10
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Name: Kathy
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We have a 1989 17' Bigfoot and I would say that sleeping six would be pretty iffy. Bigfoot counts the front convertible dinette bed as a double, the gaucho bed as a double, and the drop down bunk as a single. Realistically, think of them all as singles (with the bunk bed being suitable only for a child). Both the gaucho and the convertible dinette bed are narrow, really more like the size of a twin bed. My husband and I split up, with one of us sleeping on one of the beds and one of us sleeping on the other. Not all couples are willing to do that. Some have made modifications to make one or both of the beds bigger. Some don't mind sleeping really cozy!

We do love all the roominess of our Bigfoot and have camped in temperatures down around freezing but I wouldn't want to camp in it in really cold weather. Newer Bigfoots are much more well insulated, but will also be more expensive. Will you be boondocking or camping in campgrounds/RV parks with electrical hook-ups? If you have electricity, a small electric space heater will usually be enough to keep things warm. If you're boondocking you'll need a catalytic heater (they have their pros and cons) or you'll have to run your furnace. The fan on the furnace is a big electrical draw and will run your battery down pretty quickly if you have to use it a lot. Just some of the things to consider!

Also remember that many people who fulltime migrate with the seasons, spending the warmer months in northern parts and going south for the winter. One of the pleasures of fulltiming is you can go wherever you want!
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:05 PM   #11
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Name: george
Trailer: Trillium 1300
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I have a 1986 19' Deluxe Bigfoot. I dry camp in it April/May and mid-October/November.
My experience has been that the tanks and lines freeze at very close to below 0 C. Condensation has been an issue in the past overnight or when cooking indoors. My furnace works hard at close-to-freezing temps and I need to supplement with a small ceramic heater. I think the newer 21' ones are more energy efficient than the older ones. Even the 19' tandem model would be crowded with 3 bodies in it!
If you are set up for a few days outing, it's a real pain to daily tear down and re-do the dinette for sleeping. The Gaucho is great for 2 cozy folk ... as long as both are under 75K, or so. I'm 100K and it's crowded with 2 moving around!
I'm coming up from a 13' Trillium... Now that was crowded and, iMHO, unmanageable!
A second point about the larger boler: check for soft floors and frame issues.
Sometimes it is difficult to project an image of a space with all of the gear necessary for cold weather. There is no space unless everything is put away and that is a real challenge with cold weather gear!
I personally would look at an Arctic FOX (Yeah, I know, not fiberglass!) with the winter package or a newer Escape, or Bigfoot 21.
Stay warm!
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