1988 Bigfoot Dlx B19 Modifications - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-16-2010, 12:52 PM   #1
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Update: I removed the faucet and double sink and Kayla and I planned out exactly how we wanted to widen the dinette bed:

We decided that rather than removing the counter completely, we would cut out underneath it to create a platform which will widen that part of the dinette (where we normally have our feet) and that we will reinforce the top of the counter so that we can still put a dishdrain on it or cut vegetables on it. The double sink becomes a single sink to make that room underneath. Then we copied the existing dinette trim supporting the dinette table when it makes into a bed and used that concept on the sides of the dinette seating area, so that it will hold a flat piece of plywood about 15" wide, to which we will affix removable screw-on legs so that the plywood can be stored flat during travel. We decided to relaminate the counter, dinette and small entry way shelf while we are at this, since the countertop will need to be filled in to cover the half that used to hold part of the double sink.

Having figured out how we wanted to do this, we hired a handyman (who used to be a framer) who is now cutting down the cabinetry and dinette trim to create the platform that will widen the dinette bed so that it will comfortably sleep two adults.

While this is happening, I am also going to have the furnace serviced because the last time we used it, it worked fine -- heated the travel trailer up to a cozy temperature even though it was 7 degrees at night -- but it made a loud screeching sound every time the fan turned on, so I think it needs a good cleaning and maybe a new fan or new bearings, which is beyond my skill level and scope of interest -- thankfully, we just found someone who has experience working on furnaces and is reasonably priced.

I am posting photos to document the process as we go. Will update as it continues and then when it is all done. Photos show underneath the kitchen counter (I have since cleaned under there) where I disconnected the drainage and water supply lines to the kitchen sink, as well as the under-sink storage cabinet area which got half cut off the top (where the platform will go to support our feet. we will still use the remaining storage area underneath, and will cut the existing door down). Also shown is: the drain pipe I removed, which will be replaced with just a single drain pipe/J-joint; the dinette area that will be widened; the trim put on the sides of the dinette seats to hold the 15" wide piece of plywood that will make up the remainder of the sleeping surface; and the trimmed edges of the dinette (to allow for a flat sleeping surface and enough room for pillows at the head); the underside of the middle shelf that runs the width of the dinette area, which we are having cut down to allow more sleeping space (the way it is now, my knees get wedged up under that shelf since I sleep on my side). Kayla and I tore the underside and edge off to make sure it was not a structural component, and it isn't, so it will get trimmed to about 2" - 2 1/2" deep max... leaving a little ledge to keep cool air from coming straight down from the window.

Does anyone know where to get more of the water supply lines, elbows and connectors that are used in the Bigfoot travel trailers or how to connect them to flex lines of the same size? I will check online (I found the single sink and new drain attachment online for a decent price).

I attached a photo of the water supply lines under the kitchen sink -- it's the skinny gray tubing. Since we are replacing the faucet and moving it to the left, the supply lines need to be cut down a little and extended either with the same time of line or a flex line. The water lines have the following information on them: ASTM D-3309 UPC-SDRII 180 degree - 100 PSI B137.8 IAPMOIS22-81 1/2" CTS x 5/8" O.D. 062. tubing 3P

I am working very closely with the handyman because this is his first time working on a travel trailer, so he has had a lot of questions but he is executing our plans perfectly and has been very careful in cutting everything down... it shows because his cuts are beautiful!

Woohoo... it's going to be even more fun after this to take the TT out because we will be able to sleep so much better.
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:44 PM   #2
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[b]Does anyone know where to get more of the water supply lines, elbows and connectors that are used in the Bigfoot travel trailers or how to connect them to flex lines of the same size? I will check online (I found the single sink and new drain attachment online for a decent price).
Your gray water plumbing has a brand name of Qest<sup></sup>. It is not made anymore.

Link to an earlier discussion about Qest Plumbing.

The replacement I have seen is white and that is called Pex<sup></sup>.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:12 PM   #3
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Hi Frederick,

Thanks for the response. Yes, it turns out that it works fine for travel trailers and used to be installed in some homes, where it did not do well because it is very stiff and has a tendency to crack in extremely hot temperatures. PEX is supposed to be the best replacement. I checked the lines I could see and they are all in fine condition, so I see no need to replace them at this point, though if they ever do need replacing, PEX will be the way to go. For the fittings, I ended up going to an ACE Hardware store and getting great guidance from a "Helpful Hardware Man." He sold me these awesome fittings called "Sharkbites" which do not require any compression fitting nor any plumbing tape or putty -- very cool. I have attached a photos of these Sharkbite fittings installed on the old water lines. We cut down the old water supply lines to allow room for the flex lines that will be installed. Also attached, photos showing the progress in making the shelf that will serve as part of the bed extension platform, and in filling the opening in countertop where the double side of the sink used to be. The underside of the counter has been reinforced and we will use a drop-down leg or another type of support underneath to bolster it when we are using the countertop. Our handyman is so detail oriented -- look at how well he matched the original uneven cut-out for the sink... he really does quality work.
Will continue to post as things progress.

Val & Kayla
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:45 PM   #4
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Our handyman is so detail oriented -- look at how well he matched the original uneven cut-out for the sink... he really does quality work.
Awesome!
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:25 PM   #5
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Thanks, Frederick!

UPDATE:

Donn, our handyman (who used to be a framer and carpenter by trade) continues his progress on our mod. Now installed is the laminate (some trimming still to be done) sink in (still to be anchored down), the new supply lines are hooked up, the drainage pipes are hooked up, new faucet is installed, and he removed the furnace for us so that I can send it in for servicing (found a company in Yuma, AZ that says they will service the whole thing for $99, so we'll see how they do -- have to mail it in to them, but I am sure that Camping World would want an arm and leg for servicing this... their service prices are off the map IMHO).
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:25 PM   #6
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UPDATE:

After getting some service and repair estimates, I bit the bullet and just ordered a new replacement furnace online. The online place that advertised the "$99 furnace service" never responded to my emails, did not list their phone number, and may be out of business. The cheapest local service estimate was $150 if it just needed a tear-down and rebuild and $250 if it needed a blower motor (the blower motor itself is only $80 online, but to properly service the furnace, they have to break it down and clean all the parts, which takes some time). For $499, I just ordered a brand-new one. I will probably list the old one for sale locally for $60 and a more mechanically-oriented travel trailer buff can probably do a rebuild and get rid of that screeching noise (the heating element and everything else works great).

Donn is relaminating the dinette table to match the counter, so no new photos for this week, though I can report that he anchored down the sink and we hooked up a hose to the water supply and tested the kitchen faucet that Donn installed as well as the bathroom/shower faucet that I had installed awhile ago -- they both performed perfectly with no leaks from top or bottom.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:01 PM   #7
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Smile Update - Finally!

Hi Everyone,

Here are the photos of the finished dinette bed/kitchen counter remodel. We almost changed out the flooring, but it is still in good condition and we just bought a fixer-upper property, so our efforts are now focused in that area. We took the "Glass Sleeper" up to Precott over 4th of July and Thanksgiving and it was cozy and warm and the new bed is heavenly! Finally enough room for two adults who are side sleepers!

In addition to extending the width of the bed, we replaced the furnace and water pump, had our handyman install a new countertop, installed a new sink and faucet, Kayla made new curtains, and we bought a new wood blind to replace the beat-up aluminum one that was originally with the trailer. We also refinished the wood paneling inside with stain, which spruced it up a bit. The bed is now a Queen sized bed -- YAY!

I took these pictures at night before we headed up to Prescott, so the resolution isn't the best, but oh well...

Hope to see some of you in the New Year -- sending you all blessings and best wishes!

Val
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Bed Extension.JPG   Bed fits under counter.JPG  

new furnace.JPG   New curtains.JPG  

distant shot.JPG   tn_DSC04184.JPG  

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Old 12-09-2010, 10:50 PM   #8
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Very, very nice!!!!!!
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:07 AM   #9
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Really like the photos. Bed extension is a great idea. The trim and fit is great! You must feel good about a job well done.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:40 PM   #10
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Aw Shucks...

Thank you both for the kind feedback!

Vickie ... I just checked out your total refurbishing and renovation -- WOW! That is one HOT looking travel trailer you have now -- and great inspiration for us to refinish the exterior of ours in the new year.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:54 PM   #11
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Val & Kayla, I remember when you were thinking about selling the Bigfoot because you just weren't using it as much as you had hoped. Hopefully these FANTASTIC mods will inspire more travel. Looks GREAT
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:09 PM   #12
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Great job on the bigger bed! That was our biggest issue with most eggs as we are side sleepers too and hubby likes to sleep with his knees up.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:13 PM   #13
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I've been wondering about your mod and was thinking about contacting you. Your finished product looks terrific!

Have you field tested it yet?
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:12 PM   #14
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Looks really nice...wow, queen size bed (sigh!)
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