Awning issues '85 BF - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-20-2007, 04:09 PM   #1
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Trailer: 85 Bigfoot
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Hello,

I've recently purchased a 1985 Bigfoot 17' TT. I decided to go with a BF due to their lightweight, quality construction, and the size and space suits our small family quite well.
And the price was reasonable too.

I was hoping to add an awning to my new old trailer, so, I called Bigfoot and they reccommended a Dometic awning with bent arms, which should work ideally! Unfortunately when the tech at Bigfoot sent me the pdf. file for the mounting locations of the brackets, I realized the previous owner cut out a storage compartment, where there should not be one

In the picture you can see that the outside compartment door conflicts with the front bottom bracket location. Problem being is the blocking has been removed and there is nothing to anchor the bolts to. I suggested mounting the bracket lower than the compartment door and drilling straight through the bottom channel and securing the bolts with nuts on the other side of the channel. This method was seriously discouraged by the manufacturer and no RV mech/tech at any shop will do it this B/C the manufacturer discourages this method.

I guess the obvious solution would be to remove the compartment door, fill in the fibreglass, add the blocking where it was removed to return the trailer to original. Of course that would require substantial work and an unsightly fibreglass patch until I get the trailer painted. There must be an easier and more economical way!

An RV tech. suggested an awning box (crank open type) but the only one he found that would would work can only be used on straight cornered roofs, not rounded ones like the BF.

If anyones knows of a product or solution that would work, please share! I'd be most grateful.

Thanks,

GordM
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:01 AM   #2
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Gord, I think you have a couple of options... one is the good ol' bag awnings that slide into the rail and have their own storage bag and you put up tent poles and stake 'em out. The other might be something like the Carefree of Colorado Freedom III or one if it's variants.

Roger
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:06 PM   #3
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Carefree doesn't have precisely what I need, but while I was lookin at various websites, I noticed the box style on the Casitas would likely work well. I contacted Casita and they informed me that they use Fiamma awnings, If I can get one into Canada at a reasonable price, I'll likely go that route. Thanks

GordM
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:32 PM   #4
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Gord, that's a great choice. Fiamma and Dometic are exactly the same awning (Fiamma only sells wholesale). Here's the Dometic website: Dometic Case Awnings. But you need to know, this is NOT an inexpensive option. You'll be looking at around $800-1,000 US and the awning must be shipped truck freight...which adds to the cost.
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:04 PM   #5
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Can you locate the awning arm bracket in the upper right portion of the compartment? I used to have a foot of that year and can tell you that the awning arms do not have to be the same length. As long as you extend them correctly when you let the awning out. We fitted all of our previous bigfoot trailers with awnings and we used an alluminum plate behind the interior glass and an alluminum standoff bracket on the front or outside surface. That way the trailer only served as a spacer, not as a structual support.

Paul
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:24 PM   #6
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Gord, that's a great choice. Fiamma and Dometic are exactly the same awning (Fiamma only sells wholesale). Here's the Dometic website: Dometic Case Awnings. But you need to know, this is NOT an inexpensive option. You'll be looking at around $800-1,000 US and the awning must be shipped truck freight...which adds to the cost.
Hi Donna,

I don't mind spending up to $1200 for an awning, the trailer was relatively cheap at $5500.
I'll likely update the upholstry with micro fibre and firm memory foam, maybe even AC.

I phoned Fiamma and they won't sell directly to me, but I'm working with an RV tech who will look into getting one wholesale from them, then jacking up the price, and after that charging me 2 hours labor at $90/ hour to install it. The full blown US retail price for the awning I need is $711. The guy I'm dealing with initiallly quoted me $1400 for the Fiamma installed, so I told him this was insane and then pointed him in the direction of dealing with Fiamma directly and not through a supplier. So hopefully he'll come in a little more reasonable with his next quote. My plan is to get the awning installed prior to my July 8th departure to Christina Lake BC, but it's not looking like this going to happen with how busy all the shops are around here. BTW thanks for the tip about Fiamma and Dometic being the same stuff, most dealers won't deal in Fiamma, but all deal in Dometic stuff.

Later,

GordM
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:39 PM   #7
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Absolutely, the bracket could definetly go there!

What exactly do you mean by "aluminum plate behind the window?" Are you saying aluminum plate behind and BELOW the window?

Also did you use aluminum plating for the top brackets as well, or just the bottom ones?

Another question, you must have removed the panelling when installing the plating inside the trailer?

Thanks, for the info Paul, if I decide the Fiamma awning box isn't the way I want to go, I'd really like to discuss this in detail if you wouldn't mind.

Thanks,

GordM

Attached: pictures of Bigfoot trailers with awnings, the one pic sure has the bottom brackets mounted low!
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bigfoot01.jpg   bigfootawning.jpg  

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