Bigfoot update - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-20-2007, 11:04 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1989 Bigfoot 17 ft and 1989 Li'l Bigfoot 13 ft
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Since I brought the Bigfoot home almost one month ago here's what I've done with her (unfortunately the 'to do' list still has many items on it):

Completely cleaned and scrubbed every nook and cranny, although the previous owner had it quite clean, it’s nice to ‘know’ it’s clean. Found $1.02 (maybe that was someone’s 2cents worth, after 19 years inflation ), a wooden spoon (I presume to beat myself over the head with if I contemplate doing any mods), and two previous owners registration papers under the cutlery drawer.

Steam cleaned all the upholstery outside on a tarp and let everything air dry out in the sun to refresh. It is all in amazing shape considering it's age, really, most of it looks about 5 years old. I love the colours too and find them quite classic, not dated, and easy to work with for accessories.

Scrubbed the exterior and did a full body Gel Gloss application. Most of the body beads water now! I figure a couple more coats this year, then one or two annually should keep it in check.

Removed and installed a new roof vent over the bathroom.
Forgot to close roof vents, backed into some branches and ripped the cover off the new vent, thought it would need a new one, but it was saveable (won’t ever forget and do that again!)

The old vent:

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and the new:

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(photo taken after the Gel Gloss application)

Decided that the gravel guard is fairly pitted and might make a great canvas for a painting… I think it is Ken James' Bigfoot that I saw a picture of that done on. Thinking about that…
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:06 PM   #2
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A few other items:

Had a new spare tire mounted on the existing rim as the old one was cracking on one sidewall. Now that should ensure I will never need to use it I hope, but of course if I didn't replace it, I would need one for certain.

Put on a carpet step cover.

Installed deck ports to the tank cover to access the propane easier.


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Bought a new Deep Cycle Marine 24 battery (Costco) and an 'intelligent' charger (Can. Tire). Still need to install the battery though.

Starting work on shelves for the closet. I will be installing them tomorrow if all goes as planned. Here is my mock up.


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Old 08-21-2007, 06:53 AM   #3
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Wow, Lainey! Nicely done!

Roger
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:47 AM   #4
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Very nice work Lainey. I really like the access job on the propane tanks, great idea. Nice job on the exterior polish too...umm, wanna do mine?
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:51 AM   #5
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If I bring mine over.......?

Is that one of those 9x9 Elixir vents like I have on mine? After replacing mine it became obvious that it would again slowly turn into a sickly dusty/ochre/dull/yucky color. UV rays I suppose. Since they don't seem to make a cover that can stay white I'm thinking of painting mine with a can of white paint meant to be applied to plastic. I'm also thinking of jury-rigging and grafting on a clear center portion to that lid so that the bathroom doesn't go dark inside. Anyone with a good solution?

Where did you get the deck ports? Looks like a useful and possibly waterproof device for a variety of applications.

Very nice work! I got tired just reading about it, vicariously speaking.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Nice job on the exterior polish too...umm, wanna do mine?
Umm let me think about that...
Besides, my ladder is barely tall enough to reach the top of a 17'er

Quote:
If I bring mine over.......?

Is that one of those 9x9 Elixir vents like I have on mine? After replacing mine it became obvious that it would again slowly turn into a sickly dusty/ochre/dull/yucky color. UV rays I suppose. Since they don't seem to make a cover that can stay white I'm thinking of painting mine with a can of white paint meant to be applied to plastic. I'm also thinking of jury-rigging and grafting on a clear center portion to that lid so that the bathroom doesn't go dark inside. Anyone with a good solution?

Where did you get the deck ports? Looks like a useful and possibly waterproof device for a variety of applications.

Very nice work! I got tired just reading about it, vicariously speaking.
The vent was in need of replacement when I bought the trailer. The previous owner had already purchased this one, so it got installed. Wouldn't have been my first choice either, for the same reasons you mention Per. It would be nice to have some daylight in the bathroom area. I may cut in a larger vent opening in the future if I can't get a translucent replacement when it's time (or maybe you'll have created your own solution, patented it, and be marketing it by then ). The white paint idea may help slow the brittleness that the UV seems to create on this type of plastic, may be worth a try.
The existing one wasn't quite as bad as it looked in the picture - the trailer roof was covered in a thin layer of coal dust from Grande Cache.

I wanted to put some sort of access panel on the tank cover and Keith posted a great reply to my enquiry showing the deck ports that he used. It was a very slick idea! Thanks Keith
One small mod I'm going to do with them is to install a small piece of cable to act as a retainer so that I can't misplace the covers. I got them at a local boating shop, $10/each.
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Old 08-21-2007, 11:37 AM   #7
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Wow! You ROCK, Lainey!

I am so impressed! That looks fantastic!

And now for a question that will surely reveal my still-newbie status... how did you accurately place the deck ports to lign up exactly with where the propane handles are?

How about the stainless steel screws under the belly band? Mine are all corroded and I would like to replace them...

That gel gloss coat is gorgeous!

Awesome job!
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:58 PM   #8
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Thanks

The deck plates (in minute detail):
To start, I found a center point for each tank on the cover by measuring from the middle of the trailer was out horizontally to the center of each propane tank and measuring the distance from the trailer straight out towards the tongue to the centerline of the tanks. Transfer these to the tank cover, extend the lines on the cover with a straight edge and the intersections are the centers (hopefully)
I drilled a small pilot hole in the center of each of the tank locations on the cover, ran a piece of string though to make a crude compass as I couldn't find mine at the time, tied a pencil on at the radius of the deck plate cut out to trace the cut line. Then I drilled a pilot hole so that I could get the jigsaw going, and cut the circles out with the jigsaw.
Insert the deckplates and drill out for the screws (NOTE: have the covers IN for this step, I didn't on the first one and it is a bit too tight). I used s.s. screws with lock washers and nuts. I'm not too concerned about the watertight aspect here, but I did put a small layer of butyl tape around the cutout before screwing it down. Someone else used rivets to hold it on, which would also be a good method for this application. I will be adding a dummy cords attached to one of the screws and the bottom of the covers so I don't lose them.

I've been too afraid to take the rubber molding off of the body band to have a look yet (I'm in denial ) I'm sure the belly band area will need to be redone, then it will be good for another 20 years I hope. It's on the long list...
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Old 08-21-2007, 01:02 PM   #9
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Thanks for the Step-by-Step! I am definitely going to install them on ours--very practical and looks nice too!
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Old 08-21-2007, 09:34 PM   #10
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Now featured in the Bigfoot production... Shelves!

Closet Before:
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Support rails:
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All wood was unfinished hemlock casing material from Home Depot. I put a light coat of all in one stain/varnish on just to seal. The support rails are attached to both sides of the closet, glued and screwed. The back rails aren't attached yet, but will be attached to the side rails, not the back of the closet due to the sloped interior. The front trim piece holds the shelf from sliding out and adds a more finished look. I may attach the front rail in a removable fashion, just in case I ever want to hang anything, especially for the upper shelf. The shelves were 16" deep linen closet material, installed upside-down so that the overhang becomes a bit of a retaining lip on the front edge.

Total project weight: 3.5 lbs!
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:25 AM   #11
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Nice job Lainey!

You will absolutely love having those shelves. It changed our world when we did ours....
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Old 08-22-2007, 07:02 AM   #12
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Very impressive work on those shelves Lainey. I see that many of the trailers here have this type of mod done. Do most folks find that the closet space is wasted and adding shelves makes it more useful?

I hesitate to do this mod as the closet is the only storage with some height to it in the trailer so I'm curious to hear why so many opt to go with shelves.
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:07 AM   #13
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Scott,

Maybe it relates to how things are stored and carried. When we were in CO, a Scamp was in our campground. We each toured each other's trailers. They kept their cooking supplies in their tug while using closets in the Scamp for their clothes. We keep cooking things in the trailer and carry our clothes in the van. They would not want shelves in the closet while we need them for cooking things (including the microwave).

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Old 08-22-2007, 09:15 AM   #14
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Very impressive work on those shelves Lainey. I see that many of the trailers here have this type of mod done. Do most folks find that the closet space is wasted and adding shelves makes it more useful?
Exactly!

When I'm camping I don't bring the good clothes, so nothing needs to be hung up, just folded. On our first trip out, I had so much room in the closet that all my clothing fit in the bottom of the closet, then the upper part was just wasted space. The shelves will let me have things more reachable and organized. I may add one more in too...
The closet has a sloped back and each shelf was made the same size, so the bottom one actually sits further back than the top shelf. If I had something tall and narrow to store, it could still fit in front of the shelf. The gaucho area also has a longer storage compartment in mine, but really the only thing I have that would need longer storage is my axe. Also, I don't want to carry anything in this closet besides clothing as I don't want to add additional weight to the rear of the trailer for towing.
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