1988 Bigfoot Modifications & Updates - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-04-2007, 06:25 PM   #1
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V'sGlassSleeper's Avatar
Name: Val
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Deluxe B19 19 ft / 2007 Nissan Frontier V6 NISMO 4x4
Posts: 297
Okay, time to list some of the work we've been doing:

1. Had the drop axle replaced with a straight axle (see my prior post about this process for details).

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2. Removed the thick, goopy silicone glop along the bellyband. Removed and cleaned the bellyband, cleaned the cavity (which had moss growing in it), and replaced 95% percent of the rusted screws (used Liquid Wrench and patiently kept coming back to the ones that were stubborn. Those that would not come out were painted over with rust converter paint and caulked around them). Caulked around the base of the new screws (by putting a dab of marine grade caulk on the tip before screwing them in). Sealed the bellyband completely with marine grade caulking (see before and after photos).

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Had already cleaned it up a little, but note rusty screws, and remnants of grunge and goopy still to be removed)

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All done!
That marine caulk is really slow to work with because it's kind of oily and messy, but once it dries, it creates this excellent rubbery surface from which dirt washes off very easily (not like some caulk we've used in the past when doing house painting prep, which attracted the dirt to it until it was painted over).

3. Removed the trim around the door and cleaned and caulked all the screws underneath. Spray painted the trim back to black (it was discolored but in good condition).

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4. Removed all the rusty screws from the awning slide, cleaned it thoroughly, painted over the rust spots with rust converter, and caulked the new screws.
5. Removed and repainted the door rain guard, replaced all the rusty screws and caulked the new ones, used butyl putty under the guard (will caulk around it once the trailer has been vertglassed).

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6. Removed and cleaned the AC. Repaired and repainted the AC shroud (used fiberglass putty to rebuild several broken fins and strengthen some weak ones....looks almost like new). Re-glued the AC opening where a past leak had caused the fiberglass skin to separate from the core, and using insulation styrofoam and lots of marine grade caulk, created a level surface for the AC to sit on, since the past leak also made the roof area around the opening uneven in spots.

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The dark area is not a gap... it's the gasket. All weather tight and level now (though now we need to figure out why, since doing all this, the AC seems to not be grounded... we already retraced our steps and had put everything back the way it was... so we are posting separately about this issue to see what forum other members can suggest).

7. Replaced both tank valves and the sewer outlet. They do not leak now! Hallelujiah!
8. Replaced the toilet seal and supply valve. No more water dripping from under the toilet
9. Cleaned both storage areas thoroughly and caulked edges and a few areas where linoleum was ripped.
10. Replaced the LP gas detector.

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The new one, installed

11. Repaired cracks and chips in the fiberglass and around the front door window trim using fiberglass repair epoxy of various types (putty, goop, depending on surface being repaired).
12. Thoroughly cleaned and sprayed lube as needed on the equalizers and tires/hubs (they were thickly caked with mud).
13. Replaced the tongue jack with an electric tongue jack with weight capacity of 3,000 lbs.
14. Tonight, will install an "awning" protector roller on the door to prevent the awning from getting ripped when the door opens.

There is still much to be done and we have tons of little do-dads to put here and there, lot of equipment we had to purchase (the leveler blocks, the scissor levels, the water and sewer hoses, the water hose nozzle attachment, air compressor, etc.)

We will post more updates and mods as things progress! Thanks to everyone who has shared their suggestions and provided guidance to the two newbies that we still are!

Val & Kayla

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Old 10-04-2007, 07:49 PM   #2
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Name: Frederick
Trailer: Fiber Stream
Posts: 8,125
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Good work! That Belly Band looks brand new!

Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:29 PM   #3
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19
Posts: 1,821
Awesome work.
Sounds like your ready to get campin.
We got the last space at Rancho Sedona this weekend, for the Columbus day holiday.
May see you around AZ shortly!
Scamp Owners International
2005 Escape 17-B
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:09 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1989 Bigfoot 17 ft and 1989 Li'l Bigfoot 13 ft
Posts: 538
I am tired just reading about all you have accomplished in a relatively short time.

Good work

The belly band looks great!
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Old 03-24-2016, 03:37 PM   #5
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Name: Val
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Deluxe B19 19 ft / 2007 Nissan Frontier V6 NISMO 4x4
Posts: 297
Update several years later: I do not recommend the 3M Marine Grade Caulk - it was supposed to be UV-resistant and it was not (at least not here in Phoenix, AZ). I am having to clean it all off and re-caulk because it turned to chalk dust in some areas and in other areas, it just got gooey. Yuck! Total waste of time and money.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:33 PM   #6
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Name: Darnelle
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp
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Thank you!!

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