1990 Bigfoot 20' dual axle 5th wheel - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-25-2012, 02:53 PM   #1
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Shopping
British Columbia
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1990 Bigfoot 20' dual axle 5th wheel

I found a 1990 Bigfoot 20' dual axle 5th wheel for sale that I am interested in buying. I have not driven the 3 hour one-way to look at it yet. I know that the hot water tank is cracked and needs to be replaced. A roof top vent has previously leaked and been fixed. The awning has never been used, but the owner thinks that the material needs to be replaced. It comes with a hitch that is not a roller type. I have a 4X4 Chevy crew cab 6'6" box. Can I use this hitch?
How difficult is the hot water heater replacement? I have read some information on this site, but I would appreciate any reccommendations of problems to look for on this unit. My truck is not lifted, but it is a 3/4 ton and sits a little higher than a 1/2 ton; does this create any problems for getting the unit to tow level? Also, what is involved in "flipping the axles"? It seems like this might raise the unit higher off the ground, and may be better for gravel roads (maintained FSR). Thanks for taking the time to look at my post.

Tom
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:48 PM   #2
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Trailer: 1979 13 ft Boler, 1987 & 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
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Hi Tom, we have heard from people here that have roller hitches and have never rolled them. We have a Superglide automatic hitch in our shortbed Dodge truck, it works wonderfully. As for a non slider it would depend on where it was mounted, the design of the hitch and your truck axle placement. I have heard of people mounting a non sliding hitch a few inches to the rear of "normal" mounting to gain turning space.

Replacing the water heater should be easy enough if you have some DIY skills. In our 5th wheels it is located under the bathroom fiberglass unit making the connections a bit challenging to reach.

As for "fitting" you need to see what your bed side measurement is and see what the hitch height and under the overhead measure on the trailer you are looking at. Comparing those things will let you know if it will hitch to your truck as is and have bedside clearance issues.

As for flipping the axle it depends on how it is already mounted. Many have been modified in the passing years. Dual axle Bigfoots stock ride is pretty low!

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:17 PM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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Hi Tom, welcome to FiberglassRV. I can't help with any 5th wheel answers, but always suggest someone looking to buy a molded trailer download and take the Buyers Checklist when looking to buy. It will help you to remember to look at specific items.

Buyer's Checklist Download it's a PDF.

And again, welcome
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:13 PM   #4
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Name: Tom
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British Columbia
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Thanks for the welcome.

I like the idea of the fibre glass shell because I have owned and lived on a glass boat. I am a DIY with most things, from electronics to glass repair. I spent a few summers of my youth towing a 30 ft sailboat around the country to races. I don't have any experience with a fifth wheel hitch. I don't think I can swing this deal if I have to buy an expensive hitch. Do you know what make/model the water heater might be? I would like to price the part before I go and look. Thanks again!
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:36 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1979 13 ft Boler, 1987 & 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
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I would have to go out and look and it's pouring rain right now. Pretty sure it is a 6 gallon and they run about 250.00 to 300.00. You would have to see what the measurement are on the existing heater and match them. We hardly ever use ours.

You don't need an "expensive" hitch. I know new roller hitches can be had for maybe 300.00 to 500.00. You can also look around and get a used one. Our Superglide was bought used but it was still more than a new roller hitch. If you don't already have a brake controller you will have to get one.

Towing a 5th wheel is very nice!
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:48 AM   #6
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Tankless?

I did some research last night, and I am looking at the tankless option. Had anyone tried one of these on demand tankless style heaters? Has anyone changed the fabric on their awning?
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:54 AM   #7
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I have a tankless water heater in my new Lance 1575- Girard is the manufacturer, works like a charm.
here is one for sale
Girard Tankless LP Propane RV Water Heater - $489.98
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