'86 Bigfoot 17" repair questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-03-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
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Name: andy
Trailer: 1986 Bigfoot 17"
Alberta
Posts: 16
'86 Bigfoot 17" repair questions

Hello everyone.

We've got ourselves an 1986 Bigfoot, it came with a few surprises among which the toilet water feed. It's leaking badly around the intake valve, somewhere behind the flushing handles.

Before I start taking it apart, does anyone know about or have some instructions for the thing? I have every single manual of the trailer BUT the toilet. I don't know the make / model, all I can say is it's one of the short-base types with two flushing handles inside each other (one for water feed, the other for flushing.)

I'm also looking for an instructable on how to replace the toilet roof vent. It's an old piece of work that barely works anymore, I'd gladly replace it with a fan-equipped one.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:41 PM   #2
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My 1978 Fiber Stream was equipped with a Thetford Aqua-magic-3 toilet as original equipment. It developed leaks, and when I tried to find parts for it several RV store people said that Thetford had upgraded twice since my toilet was installed, and parts for mine were not available. I had to totally replace the whole toilet with a new Thetford Aqua-magic-5. I suspect you might be in the same predicament.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:27 PM   #3
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Bigfoot 1981 Trailer
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by andix View Post
Hello everyone.

We've got ourselves an 1986 Bigfoot, it came with a few surprises among which the toilet water feed. It's leaking badly around the intake valve, somewhere behind the flushing handles.

Before I start taking it apart, does anyone know about or have some instructions for the thing? I have every single manual of the trailer BUT the toilet. I don't know the make / model, all I can say is it's one of the short-base types with two flushing handles inside each other (one for water feed, the other for flushing.)

I'm also looking for an instructable on how to replace the toilet roof vent. It's an old piece of work that barely works anymore, I'd gladly replace it with a fan-equipped one.

Thanks in advance.
Hi Andy,
I cannot comment on the toilet, but on my 1981 Bigfoot 17 foot, I removed the old ceiling vent and replaced it with a new one which does not have a fan, which I think a fan is really not necessary if you just open the new vent fully. It is 9 inch x 9 inch, and available from most RV dealers, and would you believe the screw holes matched up perfectly, so no drilling. The hardest part, of course, was removing all the old caulking from the roof and the new vent went in place with no problem, although the new plastic frame on the bathroom side could not be used, so just kept the old one in place. Hope yours is the same. After installing the vent, just use self leveling caulking and not silicone.
Go to my signature and take a look at the pics....let me know if you need any more help. Jim
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:24 PM   #4
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Name: andy
Trailer: 1986 Bigfoot 17"
Alberta
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Thank you Frederick and Jim!

I wouldn't mind taking the toilet apart myself and see if I can epoxy anything that's cracked before forking the dough for a new one. Not that I'm cheap, but I've epoxied plastic before and I can do a good job at it, to the point where the repair can barely be observed. Problem is I don't know how to remove it from the trailer and disassemble it. The camper van I had came with an exploded diagram of the components, I was wondering if anyone has that diagram available or could scan it?

Jim - we have almost the same trailer, only bathroom / closet layouts are reversed. Congrats on the restoration, that looks like an awesome job. I won't paint mine, I like the 80's wooden look. Once the Edmonton winter goes away I'll climb on the roof and tackle the vent... If I run into any problem I'll probably shout for help here.

But just in case, does anyone know how to run wires up there? Is there any insulation that they have to go through? Any special tools required?

A.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:47 PM   #5
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Trailer: Bigfoot 1981 Trailer
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Thank you Frederick and Jim!

I wouldn't mind taking the toilet apart myself and see if I can epoxy anything that's cracked before forking the dough for a new one. Not that I'm cheap, but I've epoxied plastic before and I can do a good job at it, to the point where the repair can barely be observed. Problem is I don't know how to remove it from the trailer and disassemble it. The camper van I had came with an exploded diagram of the components, I was wondering if anyone has that diagram available or could scan it?

Jim - we have almost the same trailer, only bathroom / closet layouts are reversed. Congrats on the restoration, that looks like an awesome job. I won't paint mine, I like the 80's wooden look. Once the Edmonton winter goes away I'll climb on the roof and tackle the vent... If I run into any problem I'll probably shout for help here.

But just in case, does anyone know how to run wires up there? Is there any insulation that they have to go through? Any special tools required?

A.
Andy, I think you could fish an electrical wire from the bathroom light fixture. If your trailer is the same as mine, there is 1 inch of Styrofoam in the wall. Should not be a big problem fishing, but like I commended in the previous post, a fan is really not necessary, as taking a shower only takes a minute or so, as you do not want to put much water in the small gray water holding tank and taking a shower is not like taking one at home, where you have unlimited water and storage facilities. I did not find that there was a lot of steam created as I just opened the door to the bathroom, put the shower curtain in place and the windows as well as the vent in the living area were open to give it some venting into the bathroom vent. Just my opinion, but if you feel a fan is necessary, why not try it without one first....Jim
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:41 PM   #6
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Name: andy
Trailer: 1986 Bigfoot 17"
Alberta
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OK. So the monster (toilet) is a Thetford Aqua Magic IV. Which is not so bad, as I could find most of the parts online, apparently.

HOWEVER...

I can't seem to be able to reach anything under the bathroom. The toilet is held in place with two bolts, nuts upwards. This of course raises a horrible question: if I remove the nuts, will the bolts drop between the seamless shower cabin and the underbody, or are they fixed in place? And for that matter, how does one access the plumbing under the bathroom?

Thanks.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:48 PM   #7
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Name: Jack
Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Delaware
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If the hopper is on a closet flange, the bolts are in slots in the flange and won't drop out.

jack
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:03 AM   #8
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Name: Tim
Trailer: 1991 17 ft Bigfoot
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While I was able to find a new 9" vent for the bathroom, I found the plastic to be of a brittle variety that would crack easily. I caulked the flange-riser interface right away, before the inevitable crack. You might want a roof-mounted vent cover as insurance against leaks. It also allows the vent to be opened in the rain, which I find helpful when cooking. Some people have enlarged the vent opening and installed a standard 14" vent.
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