1980 17' Bigfoot issues; wall/roof wavyness/sagging. Pricecheck? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-11-2015, 04:01 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Kyle
Trailer: Shopping
British Columbia
Posts: 3
1980 17' Bigfoot issues; wall/roof wavyness/sagging. Pricecheck?

Howdy folks,

I'm in the market for a cheap egg, I'll be living in it for the summer at least.

Trying to find something that I can resell later without too big a loss, and without it becoming a project. I don't need another project!

Went to view the first one today, a 1980 17' bigfoot. Love the layout and it seems like a good amount of space.

However, there are quite a few issues.

The most alarming is, looking along the outside walls, they are very far from smooth curves or straight lines; Lumpy, wavy... The roof has sagged substantially, there are puddles. Seller says 'it's normal, they all do that, nothing to worry about'. Is this true? Or am I looking at structural damage?

No decent pictures, like an idiot I didn't take a camera. Ad is here: 1980 17' Bigfoot Lightweight fibreglass travel trailer North Saanich & Sidney , Victoria.

It looks a lot rougher in person, pics don't show any of the worst areas.

Other than that, I used the buyers checklist, a great help. Spent over an hour poking, prying, and crawling.

The fridge died last night, stinks of ammonia so I can't smell for mold. The furnace and hot water tank are long dead and disconnected. None of these are deal-breakers to me.

However, it looks like there is minor water damage in quite a few places below the windows, which all need re-caulking. The ceiling has been redone, poorly. Step is mangled. A hand-sized repair with unknown material on lower right rear, and a ~1'+ fibreglass patch on left near the front, neither well done. Battery very old. Propane tanks shot. Cushions badly worn.

Stovetop and oven work OK. Electrical all works fine. Roof vents recalked with Sikaflex, looks thorough if messy. Rusty all over the frame, but nothing jumped out as structurally unsound. Tires ~5 years, look good, no spare. To my shock I didn't find any obvious rot in the floor.

Seller wants $4500 CDN$.

Price is high, right?

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Old 03-11-2015, 04:12 PM   #2
Senior Member
Name: kootenai girl
Trailer: 2005 Casita Spirit 17
British Columbia
Posts: 1,260
If you are not looking for a project and want to get your money back when you sell I would run from this one. Most people like to have working appliances.
There are a lot better ones out there in that price range or a tad higher.

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Old 03-11-2015, 04:15 PM   #3
Junior Member
Name: Kyle
Trailer: Shopping
British Columbia
Posts: 3
Well that was fast, thanks!

Guess I should have specified that I already own a portable 2-way compressor fridge, and don't expect to need the furnace... But I feel like the problems aren't priced in; it seems more like a $2500 trailer to me!
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:35 PM   #4
Senior Member
Name: Kathy
Trailer: 1987 Bigfoot B17
Posts: 562
Well, you said in your original post that you aren't looking for a project, but from all the issues you've enumerated, this one sounds like it would definitely be jut that. If it were me, I'd keep looking.
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Old 03-11-2015, 11:29 PM   #5
Senior Member
Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
Posts: 478
I would only buy that as a project and then would not pay more than 2000.00 TOP'S if the frame & structure are OK.

Looking at the photo's the cabinets look really bad.

Keep in mind that a 1980 in really good condition already redone might bring 6-7 thousand.

This unit could easily cost 5000.00 in time and parts.
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Old 03-11-2015, 11:47 PM   #6
Senior Member
Name: Fred
Trailer: 13 ft Boler
Kootenay's of BC
Posts: 540
That is a project! Worth about half of the asking price,,,IMO.
Needs everything!,,cept maybe taillights but I don't like those either.
I'm looking for a trailer that size to replace our boler 13 and Bigfoots are on my list. I wouldn't be interested in it at half the asking, it is too tired.
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:54 AM   #7
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Bob Miller's Avatar
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,914
I like projects and can usually at least break even on them. In the case of that BigFoot, which is exactly what I am currently looking for, I'd also grab it... for $2500 CDN.
Don't walk away...... Run!
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:44 AM   #8
Name: Jeff
Trailer: 17' Big Foot
British Columbia
Posts: 65
If your looking for ready to go BF. Then I think you should be looking at one a lot newer then A 1980. Maybe in to the 2000. also a lot more $$$$$. Unless your really lucky.
I had to travel to Duncan on the island from the lower mainland at a moments notice get mine, because BF's don't seem to come up that often here on the wet coast.
You buy cheap you sell cheap. Good luck.
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:09 PM   #9
Senior Member
Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot 17' DLX
Posts: 347
As other have said, if you don't want a project, but you still want to be able to sell this one for a decent amount of money when you are done with it, I'd run fast and far away from this one.
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Old 03-12-2015, 09:19 PM   #10
Senior Member
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 676
one thing don't make sense to me.....

you're on the Island....the furnace don't work but that's ok cause you don't think you're going to need it????? think again....there are only about three months a year you will not be needing a furnace...being cold in a tent is sort of expected...being cold in a trailer is miserable...JMO of course
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Old 03-17-2015, 03:38 AM   #11
Junior Member
Name: Kyle
Trailer: Shopping
British Columbia
Posts: 3
Thanks everyone, that's a pretty unanimous chorus of NOPE! I'll be passing on this one.

I didn't see the furnace as a dealbreaker because I expect to have finished my van, with electric and diesel heat, by winter; a trailer is supposedly a way to get on the road sooner.

Plus, I figure every original appliance in a 35 y/o trailer is not a thing one should count on... and if it was already dead, it couldn't break and lower my resale value! Problem being, the fact that it's broken doesn't really seem to be in the asking price.

In the near term I've got a spaceheater, an extension cord, and a vague conviction that I was comfortable enough in an unheated, uninsulated van anywhere from April to October, though admittedly for short periods of time...

I was most shocked at the condition of the shell; I was expecting it to be substantially sturdier... Guess it comes with the very low weight of the Bigfoots of that era.

I didn't have a brand in mind when I started looking, I just want a fibreglass shell. Since I'll be towing with a 7.3 powerstroke, I don't mind heavier in exchange for sturdier. Maybe Boler or Trillium is a better bet in my age/pricerange?

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