Bigfoot GW T-Handle came off - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-05-2007, 10:48 PM   #1
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Trailer: 17 ft 2004 Bigfoot / 2005 4Runner
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Hi all,
Just returned from a 5 week 7500mi shake-down cruise with my BF. All went well except that in a South Dakota dump site I pulled the gray water T-handle and it, and its shaft, came out of the fiberglass enclosure in my hand.

Was wondering if anyone knew of a simple method of re-threading the T-handle and shaft onto the threaded end on the enclosed (and hidden) gate valve?

Has anyone ever had to replace/repair the BF waste gate-valves? How did you gain access?

Thank you for any and all help.
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:12 AM   #2
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Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
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Wow, Wally... that's a toughie. I've never had that happen (thank goodness)!

Unless you're a really good plumber and have lots of PVC stuff lying around, I might suggest that may be one for a dealer to handle.

Roger
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:54 AM   #3
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When I replaced my gate valve I found out there are different quality levels. Mine was dripping and so we replaced it. The new one had much better seals.

Good luck on your repair.
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:33 AM   #4
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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I replaced one of the dump valves in my Boler. The reason it was required is too long a story for here, but the actual installation is just four bolts (with nuts) clamping flanges around the valve body... the old flanges can even be reused if only the actual valve mechanism needs replacement. Watch out for rusty hardware, though...

The Boler's valves hang out in the open. While enclosing them would be good for cold-weather operation, I can imagine that it would make access difficult, and I hope some other Bigfoot owner has a suggestion there.

A dealer is an obvious answer, but it's entirely possible that even a dealer may not have encountered this problem before. Can the factory help with instructions? Bigfoot does respond to e-mail and phone queries.

I hope there is some easy way to get the shaft to thread back in, and since I don't think the gate can rotate in the housing, it should still be lined up. Unfortunately, I don't have any tips to share.
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Old 09-09-2007, 06:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Hi all,
Just returned from a 5 week 7500mi shake-down cruise with my BF. All went well except that in a South Dakota dump site I pulled the gray water T-handle and it, and its shaft, came out of the fiberglass enclosure in my hand.

Was wondering if anyone knew of a simple method of re-threading the T-handle and shaft onto the threaded end on the enclosed (and hidden) gate valve?

Has anyone ever had to replace/repair the BF waste gate-valves? How did you gain access?

Thank you for any and all help.
I have a contact name at Bigfoot you can email. It is; "Mark Holmes" <mark@bigfootrv.com>

Drop him an email, and he might be able to answer your question. If the threads are stripped on the part you can't see, before taking it apart, I would put some epoxy (not the 5 min stuff), but use the paste type that you knead to mix (auto parts stores sell it). Put it on the threaded end and slide it into the part that is hidden, closing the valve. Leave it alone for 24 hrs and it should work.
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Old 09-10-2007, 04:29 PM   #6
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
Ontario
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Quote:
Hi all,
Just returned from a 5 week 7500mi shake-down cruise with my BF. All went well except that in a South Dakota dump site I pulled the gray water T-handle and it, and its shaft, came out of the fiberglass enclosure in my hand.

Was wondering if anyone knew of a simple method of re-threading the T-handle and shaft onto the threaded end on the enclosed (and hidden) gate valve?

Has anyone ever had to replace/repair the BF waste gate-valves? How did you gain access?

Thank you for any and all help.
Hi Wally;
The 1993 Bigfoot 17CB that we bought a couple of months ago has been dripping the Black Water since we got it.
Finally, today, I decided to take the valves off and replace them. What a messy, dare I say s....y, job.
In your case it'll be simple to take the valve off, since your bolts are relatively new. Mine were ALL rusted, and EVERY one snapped when I got the wrenches on them. They were both badly worn and so were the rubber seals - no wonder they leaked!
I'll get new valves, a 1 1/2" and a 3" one, and really silicon grease them up and really lube the bolts before assembling.
Actually, there is enough flex in the plumbing to remove the grey valve without much trouble. Mine was easy - it was the Black that was the pain.
Use lots of lube on the new one.
It's probably only a hour or two to do.
Good luck.
Mike
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Old 09-11-2007, 03:30 PM   #7
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
Ontario
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Quote:

Hi Wally;
The 1993 Bigfoot 17CB that we bought a couple of months ago has been dripping the Black Water since we got it.
Finally, today, I decided to take the valves off and replace them. What a messy, dare I say s....y, job.
In your case it'll be simple to take the valve off, since your bolts are relatively new. Mine were ALL rusted, and EVERY one snapped when I got the wrenches on them. They were both badly worn and so were the rubber seals - no wonder they leaked!
I'll get new valves, a 1 1/2" and a 3" one, and really silicon grease them up and really lube the bolts before assembling.
Actually, there is enough flex in the plumbing to remove the grey valve without much trouble. Mine was easy - it was the Black that was the pain.
Use lots of lube on the new one.
It's probably only a hour or two to do.
Good luck.
Mike
FOLLOW-UP Report
I picked up 2 Valterra (Sp?) Replacement Dump Valves and threw away the bolts and nuts that came with them. I bought Stainless Steel replacements (a little longer at 2" instead of 1 3/4") and installed them. I used lots of silicon grease on the valves and lithium grease on the hardware.
It took an hour and was awkward, uncomfortable, but not difficult.
Should be good for the life of the trailer, or me!
All done.
I wonder what other trailer failure awaits in my future.
Mike.....>
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