A&E awning loose on Bigfoot trailer - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-26-2017, 12:01 AM   #1
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 46
Angry A&E awning loose on Bigfoot trailer

I am going thru my new to me 2005 17 ft bigfoot TT and today realized there are some major problems with the A&E (8500) loose awning mount brackets. I think the problem originated at the factory when Bigfoot mounted the awning too low and it eventually started sagging down close to the top of door and door shock??

Both upper brackets are loose with stripped out/loose screws and the awning tube roll is sagging down and touching the door "shock" that is mounted above the door. There are 2 different size screw heads, guessing someone has changed out lag screws after they loosened. only 2 of the 4 screws had any bite into the threads and silcone was holding the other screws from falling out.

It looks like someone tried to "jerry rigg" the awning higher forcing it up by adjusting the "stop" screw in the vertical rail up one hole higher than it probably should be. It was very difficult to put the lower foot into the lower clip/mount, I had to pull up very hard and force the upper mount to pull up away from trailer in order to get the lower foot into the lower clip. Guessing the upward force combined with the vibration and shock while driving helped to pull the upper mount screws loose.

I am betting others have dealt with this problem. I could try going one size fatter lag screws, but might still have the original problem of awing sagging into door and door shock and not sure if there is anything to hold the screws but fiberglass and air space.

Maybe I shim under the lower part of the upper mount to raise it some, it is loose. Maybe the weight and years have flattened the profile and shimming might help get it higher, but it might just pull out the oversized screws if they are only being held by the fiberglass of trailer body.

Probably best fix is to fabricate some steel plates that match corner profile of the trailer and epoxy and pop rivot them down just above location of existing upper mount. Then reattach the upper mounts onto the plates and have fresh metal and fiberglass to anchor the lag screws. The awning might drag a bit when it is down and roll on the door roller, but at least when it is rolled up it will not be sagging onto the door shock and when traveling on gravel/dirt roads it will not fall off TT. Really the long ridge clamp piece that attaches the actual awning fabric to TT needs to be moved up as well to match the new mounting location of the tube roll, big pain in butt for 13 year old awning???

Maybe I just get rid of it before it falls off TT at freeway speeds and causes a wreck?? Not like I do not have bunch of tarps lying around in my camping gear I could easily attach to TT for protection.

Anyone have any tips or help?
__________________

mcmars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 01:39 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Borrego Dave's Avatar
 
Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
California
Posts: 3,739
Marcia it would help us out a lot if you would post a few pics of what the problems look like. I've had a number of roller awnings on stick rigs but on FG I can't see the mountings just being screwed into the fg without some inside backing. Standard RV awnings are pretty much bullet proof.
__________________

Borrego Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 08:36 AM   #3
Member
 
Name: Greg
Trailer: Bigfoot
New Mexico
Posts: 37
Registry
EZ UP alternative

Marcia,
I just picked up a "new to me" 2001 17 and the original 8500 awning frame is gone. I bought, sort of, from the original owner. It appears he may have had some of the same problem since almost all the hardware is gone save for the 2 clips at the bottom edge and the vinyl cover.
The area where it all mounted has been patched and sanded so, for the moment there is no going back. In the near term I will use an EZ UP but until I hear what the weakness is in that mounting point I won't be pitting a new awning on.

I hope to hear from others with their experiences.

Greg
Apltrez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 08:49 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
ststefan's Avatar
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: 1979 Boler1700
Maple Ridge, B.C.
Posts: 348
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apltrez View Post
Marcia,
I just picked up a "new to me" 2001 17 and the original 8500 awning frame is gone. I bought, sort of, from the original owner. It appears he may have had some of the same problem since almost all the hardware is gone save for the 2 clips at the bottom edge and the vinyl cover.
The area where it all mounted has been patched and sanded so, for the moment there is no going back. In the near term I will use an EZ UP but until I hear what the weakness is in that mounting point I won't be pitting a new awning on.

I hope to hear from others with their experiences.

Greg
How about putting threaded screws right through, fender (extra large)washers and nylock nuts? That way it is bolted and not screwed, the fender washers distribute the weight better so they don't pull out. If you go this route I would recommend all stainless steel.
ststefan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 10:39 AM   #5
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 46
Here are pictures

Thanks for the interest and help! Here are some pictutures so you can visualize the problem with awning being mounted too low. I have no idea what is under the fiberglass where the top and lower mounts are attached, maybe Bigfoot inserted some other material in between the inner and outer fiberglass, but I have a feeling it is just the foam?? But, just noticed on my pictures, the front upper mount does have a "raised" area where the screw bite into TT, but not the rear mount?? Maybe that is a shim to bring the awning out from the trailer??

I do not have an RV place near me, 2 hour drive, but I would not be surprised if prior owners ( I am 4th owner of this TT) might have taken it to different shops who tried using different bolts and forced the awning up by adjusting the lower arm height adjusting screw up a a hole.

I am DIY type person, I have west system epoxy at my home and some kevlar/S glass cloth. I could try strapping the awning to the top railing or even my 2nd level deck while I undo the upper mounts and build up the area above and below the current mount with 3-4 layers of FG cloth and epoxy resin?? That might be a good fix. I also have a great local metal fabricator/welder, Eddyline Welding, who specialized in white water rafting frames, boxes and custom dories. He is very talented and could bend some thick aluminum plates to match the profile of the upper mount for me. I will take it over to Mike at Eddyline this week and have him assess my problem, bet he will have a solution.

Looks like they could have moved the awning up another 2 inches from the get go when it was originally installed, you gotta know the weight of awning and bouncy roads will eventually drop the awning a bit??











https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Ej...=w1272-h954-no
mcmars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 11:22 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
Washington
Posts: 1,457
The fiberglass in the wall and roof is very thin, and offers little for the fastener to grab. Backing it up with something would be a great idea, but require some interior wall covering removal.Also, the curve of the wall, and slant of the roof forces you to mount the awning lower on the wall to get a somewhat flat, straight surface, which makes awning to door clearance an issue.
Jack L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 12:01 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: lee
Trailer: trailswest campsterl, 1996 Scamp 16 foot
Idaho
Posts: 498
Awning

Unfortunately I don't have a solution for you but apparently this is a fairly common problem on the Bigfoot trailers. We had a 17 foot gaucho model with awning ( which we never used ). About 2 years ago while driving thru Caldwell, Idaho the entire awning assembly fell off in the middle of town. I had to scamper all over the main drag retrieving small parts and some so large that it was quite a challenge to get them into the trailer. Solved the problem for us , since we never used it we just left it off. Actually gave the trailer a cleaner look in my opinion. Lee
Lee Senn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 12:47 PM   #8
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 46
OK, thin like I thought!

That is what I was suspecting. You would think Bigfoot would have reinforced the awning mount plate area, kinda like pouring a concrete slab and not including "footers" where the structural posts will be later located on the slab. I will look into the idea of pulling down the interior covering. I still think the mount could be raised at least and inch and half before the roof curve. I like the idea of fabricating an outside metal reinforcing plate and save the hassle and risk of messing up the interior, but some big stainless steel washers on inside do sound much stronger. I will go look at it today and see what is involved with interior cabinets and such.

Anyone know what resin Bigfoot uses, polyester, vinylester or epoxy? Casita told me epoxy resin, which surprised me as poly is cheaper and what most boat manufactors use. Poly = cheap brittle and epoxy= more expensive and stronger. I know to always use epoxy for repairs as it bonds to poly (or anything) very well, but poly does not bond well and lacks some strength. The toxic catylist for poly is horrific for me to use, even with full chemical mask, I get ill, (west sytem)epoxy not so bad for me.

Epoxy does not bond to plastics, but few years ago west system developed "G flex epoxy" which is amazing and it sticks to plastics and anything else, is flexible and can even set up under water. It is pricey, but when you want to fix your plastic cooler or kayak, it is the product to use when you do not have a plastic welder handy. I might use it to build up outside with bunch of layers of kevlar and s glass approach as it will allow the patch to flex some as the weight of the awning bounces around when you are on washboard rough roads?? And I could first epoxy and pop rivots custom contoured aluminum plate onto the FB shell and then add bunch of kevlar and other cloths, but may be stronger just to build up a few layers of structural cloth and then screw into my patch for better adhesion with the cloths than with metal onto the FB shell??

Most places get $23 for the small 8oz kit of gflex, but I found it here on close out deal and ordered some fresh kevler, dynel and triaxel cloth for this project and some other repair projects I have. Retail me not has a free shipping offer as well. This gflex kit with a bit of cloth would be great for your repair kit so when you need it on a trip, you can make easy repairs to your egg or your cooler, refrigerator plastic, etc. I always include some in my raft repair kits so I have good repair s for long river trips when things break and you need to repair frames, coolers, tables, and other essential gear. Maybe this helps others.

Gflex:https://www.jamestowndistributors.co...uid+Epoxy+Kits

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
The fiberglass in the wall and roof is very thin, and offers little for the fastener to grab. Backing it up with something would be a great idea, but require some interior wall covering removal.Also, the curve of the wall, and slant of the roof forces you to mount the awning lower on the wall to get a somewhat flat, straight surface, which makes awning to door clearance an issue.
mcmars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 04:40 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Name: Ed
Trailer: Casita 17 ft SD
Colorado
Posts: 108
On my friends big foot those screws are lag bolts. I put in the next size larger lag bolts with some silicone glue on the threads before I screwed them in. So far so good.
ehoepner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 05:27 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,157
Registry
old awning....

as you will see in the pics, the awning on my 97 is in dire need of replacing...I've delayed that job as much as possible with the use of tape...

when I do it... next summer hopefully...I will be removing the lag bolts (rusted) and going down to a fastener place down the street to buy same number of slightly larger SS ones (I do this all the time whenever I remove fasteners for something)...then put them back in with a generous application of Sika-Flex... I don't use Silicone anymore for a few reasons... S-F keeps expanding for quite a while after application, it stays quite flexible forever and it does not turn black (see the pic of my battery vent cover under window..that was slilicone)

your idea of backing plates does not sound easy or practical to me. First the area is real close to a rounded corner of the hull...you'd have to make holes in the wall covering and the roof covering, remove/chip insulation...pheeew! getting tired just thinking about it......AND you'd be doing this work INSIDE overhead storage cabinets front and back .....

if you were dead set on backing plates and bolts with nuts on the inside....I'd be tempted to drill holes from the outside (old lag bolt locations)...see where they come out on the inside of the compartment (trough the wall/ceiling finish) and then make good size backing plates out of 5/8 plywood. The bolts/backing plates would use/squeeze the whole wall thickness. The styro used for insulation is pretty stiff...don't think it would deflect..... Inside the cabinets, nobody would see them...

(didn't see your pics, I don't do "accounts")

good luck
Attached Thumbnails
awn1.jpg   awn2.jpg  

awn3.jpg   awn4.jpg  

Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 06:48 PM   #11
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 46
After assesing things today, I readjusted the 2 "stop screws" back to the higher postion to lift the awning the door shock. I am seeing I could easily strap the awning up off my upper deck for a few days and then move the mounts up exactly 1 inch which would place the lower edge of upper mount against lower edge of the rail that holds the awning mesh in place. Before I drull new holes for the mount I will lay down a bunch of kevlar, dynel and triaxal cloth with the g flex epoxy and let it set up for about 3 days. I think that will last longer than than the awning and avoid issues with coming from behind or having stress points related to the washer stressing the inside. THis location is still an inch before the sides round up to the lid, so it should be a good solution and a pretty easy fix.

I do not use silicon much anymore and it makes it hard for fiberglass resin or poly or wax to stick. I like the sasco product, "through the roof" for my home roofs vents and skylights. But I see people like some other RV specific products, dicor and good old butly caulk.

Educate me on how I can post pictures so others can see them. I use google photos and load them onto my PC then copy the address to this site using the picture icon. Is there another way so they show up?
mcmars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 08:03 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,157
Registry
easy.....

once reply screen shows up...click on attachment icon....

opens browse screen....click and go select a picture from you files....

it will appear on browse list....you can do this three more times.....

then click on upload.... and wait till they will show up in lower window....yu can to this again too... (max ten I think)

keep your picture sizes around a thousand wide or so and they show up pretty good when a reader clicks on them (I made these 800 wide)...

good luck
Attached Thumbnails
$2.jpg   $3.jpg  

$4.jpg   $5.jpg  

Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2017, 08:23 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,157
Registry
BTW....

I use IrfanView picture editor...free download... works well for me

lots of features... resize, color correction, screenshots, slideshows...etc
Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2017, 01:29 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
Posts: 2,518
Remove the awning.

Measure the size of the exterior mounting blocks that are part of the awning assembly.

Using some Aluminum 6061 T6 plate that is .25" thick create the appropriate number of backer plates making them slightly larger than the size of the exterior mounting blocks. Opt for using whole inches for the measurements as a matter of convenience. If you don't have the material and can't cut your own backer plates you can have plates cut to size and shipped to you from onlinemetals.com or you can have a local sheet metal shop cut them for you. The cost per plate at onlinemetals will be around $5.00 each plus shipping cost. If you sign up for their email they will send you a discount code to use when you order. You do want specifically to use 6061 T6 aluminum as it is the proper type for this work. It is structurally strong enough but also friendly for cutting and drilling.

When you get the plates you may need to use a metal cutting file or sandpaper to smooth the edges. I like to round over any edge that may against the fiberglass shell.

To prepare for the installation of the backer plates:
Drill the bolt holes from the outside through the shell.

Inside the cabinets at those hole locations mark out a rectangular shape that is the same size of the backer plates you will be using using the drilled holes as a reference so that the hole layout is centered top to bottom and side to side.

Remove any interior finishes inside the perimeter of your markings and clean the surface of the fiberglass

Using a purchased Epoxy Putty stick knead a sufficient amount of that material to spread onto the backer plate to secure it in position. Any surface variation of curvature of the shell will be taken care of as you press on the plate pushing it hard against the shell distribute the putty evenly. The Epoxy putty spreads out to fully support the backer plate which distributes the load from the awning, keeps stress from the edges of the backer plate from digging into the shell etc. What it is doing for you is self forming a strong, solid curved filler between the backer plate and the shell. This is an easy way to handle the slight curvature without having to create a custom curved metal backer plate. If you are concerned if you have enough putty for a full distribution just pull the plate off and look for voids, add more putty if needed and push the plate back into position. You can brace the plate in place while the epoxy cures by using some sticks that push against the plate and the inside of the cabinet This is known as the spring pole clamping method. The Epoxy putty kicks off fairly quickly. However leave the sticks in place at least overnight and do let the backer plate cure in place for a couple of days after that before drilling through it.

Next step now that the backer plates are well secured in position go outside and drill the bolt holes through. Use a very sharp bit. Let the drill bit do the work, use firm pressure but do not apply brute force. Aluminum drills best at very high speeds so set your drill motor for its fastest possible speed. It still won't be equal to how fast the high speed drill motors made specifically for aluminum turn but it will do the job.

Install the awning using stainless steel fasteners and Nylock nuts and of course whatever type of sealant you choose to prevent water penetration.

If you wish to dress up the interior of the cabinet with some type of covering over the backer plates and fasteners you can do so.
k corbin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2017, 02:04 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Borrego Dave's Avatar
 
Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
California
Posts: 3,739
Very good write up K C.
Borrego Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2017, 04:30 AM   #16
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 46
Thumbs up Thanks K Corbin!

This sounds like how they should be installed! I have not used epoxy putty before, I have mixed up my own blend of cut fiberglass and silica beads to make a putty consistancy of peanut butter. Mike at Eddyline Welding has tons of 1060 T6 plate aluminum as it is what is used for making river gear, boats, frames. Thank you!
mcmars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2017, 12:36 PM   #17
Member
 
Name: Greg
Trailer: Bigfoot
New Mexico
Posts: 37
Registry
Well Done

Nicely described KC and it all makes sense. Am I correct in thinking there is a "C" channel or rail that attaches to the shell and then the actual awning mounts to the "C" rail?

Also the cabinets will conceal most of the mounting points except those forward of the cabinets, across the door and beyond that to the front. How does one access the inner shell in this area. and then how is it concealed and finished off after mounting?

Greg
__________________

Apltrez is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
awning, bigfoot


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Inspection Of New Casita Trailer Roof Reveals 2 Loose Snap Buttons ? John Cole Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 7 12-15-2012 05:35 PM
Loose Dometic refrigerator water drain tube on Bigfoot 08, 21RB GeorgeR Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 4 06-08-2009 02:58 PM
BonAir Oxygen Windows Vibrate Loose Rhea and Kirby Coolen Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 4 10-17-2007 06:36 PM
loose rivit? Christi V. Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 2 04-30-2006 11:42 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
×