Rebuilding a Bigfoot 5th Wheel - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-22-2012, 07:21 PM   #15
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Lizbeth's Avatar
Name: Liz
Trailer: 1979 13 ft Boler, 1987 & 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
Posts: 2,027
My mouth is hanging open.... Bigfoot made three different 5th wheel trailers at the same time. I was aware of two because we own them, Don P's is a third kind. His is a single axle in the body style of our dual axle which is different than our single axle.

To me that means they were running at least three different molds with at least three different interior layouts...which means which means at least 9 (?) different interiors. What a crazy way to do things.

Nita thank for the link to the slideshow, I have never seen that one before. Nice to see you here. Maureen and Chris too. We 5th wheel owners need to stick together there are so few of us!

1979 Boler B1300 | 1987 Bigfoot 5th Wheel | 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel | We officially have a collection!
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:30 PM   #16
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 41
Posting photo link of the Bigfoot 5th wheel rebuild

Good Day again,
Earlier in this thread there was some interest in checking out photos of the rebuild of our Bigfoot 5th wheel project, so I finally got around to putting some of the photos of the progress online. So far some of the wall paneling that was delamed is replaced, I spent a lot of time in what I will call the Utility cabinet, which on our Bigfoot houses the Power center / converter at the bottom, then the propane furnace is in the next layer up, then the fridge goes in the upper cabinet. That area was in pretty bad shape, needed lots of wood replaced, ceiling and walls re-laminated, and the utility hookups upgraded. Though the fridge is not back from a rebuild the cabinet is now ready, heater and power center is done also.
I'm currently rebuilding the bathroom ceiling, which was the worse shape of all the areas. The foam insulation is rebuilt, much epoxy work, I added a wooden support beam to the ceiling and replaced the wood around the roof vent. I am installing fiberglass bathroom panel on the ceiling in there, much better than the origional wood ceiling, should last the remainder of the life of the trailer.
So the link to the photos is:

There is lots of photo files at this site, just scroll down to the Bigfoot 5th wheel folder, you will find what photos I have taken of the rebuild there, with captions, and I will continue to update that file as the work continues.
BTW, I'm a sailor, and there are lots of good photos of sailing trips around Washington and BC, along with the rebuild of our sailboat, done in the same boat shed that the Bigfoot is now residing in during it's rebuild.
Your welcome to browse any of those photos if you like. There is a slideshow feature for any of these photo files available once you have clicked on a photo within a file.
Have a great day,
Tom Y

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Old 02-22-2012, 06:47 AM   #17
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Name: Dave and Shelly
Trailer: 2001 Spirit Deluxe Casita "New Name: Eggspensive"
Posts: 378
Congrats on your new camper. You will have alot of fun fixing it up. Would love to see inside pics!
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:10 AM   #18
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Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 604
You are obviously a very handy guy with a lot of drive. Great work, the trailer will last a very long time once the foam is epoxied. Did you consider clamping by just screwing through the wall from a board on the outside to a board on the inside of the delam and dealing with the cosmetics of the screw holes later? (If you had access to the inside, I suppose). For the areas for which you don't have inside access, inserting a long hose from, say a removed window, to the bottom of the delam, pumping epoxy as you pull the hose up and out, perhaps a few times, then bracing the outside wall straight? I realize you have done a great job with the correct and thorough methods you are using, but with your experience, I value your thoughts on alternate repair strategies.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:08 AM   #19
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 41
Hi Shelly,
Alas, the interior is still not very "pretty", it will be though, and I'm used to documenting the progress, so keep the above link handy and check back. As the interior comes together, more photos will be posted in that Bigfoot 5th wheel pic folder. After the bathroom renovation, the entire ceiling will get done, then the wall "Dressing" will go on, basic contact paper from the seam line down will be a pattern, and above will be plain contact paper above. Our goal is to lighten up the interior from the old dark wood colors that was in it from the factory. The floors will get either bamboo or cork vinyl flooring planks, and new carpeting on the upper level.
Tom Y
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:29 AM   #20
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 41
Hello Cam,
There really was not that much re-laminating to be done on the old paneling, the large area that I replaced the interior paneling on had delamed wood paneling and a bit of rot along the bottom, so that panel had to be replaced. Also I have found that when the foam is delamed from the fiberglass the glass is terribly weak, allowing the body shape to be a issue. The roof is cambered so it is tough to hold the shape correctly while the epoxy sets, but the outside to inside clamping would work fine on the walls, their pretty flat. I have been using the giant syringe with a plastic tube idea quite a bit, anywhere the paneling is in good shape but delamed from the foam. The glue the factory used is still holding the fiberglass to the foam well, except in the bathroom ceiling, there the foam was broken up from stress applied from the roof, with no paneling left bonded to the foam. That makes the foam the critical structrual component. The fiberglass, foam, paneling when bonded properly makes a very strong structure, but take away that paneling on the inside and it is very weak.
Something for everyone to be aware of, Bigfoot DID NOT use waterproof glue paneling during the construction, so allowing moisture to reside in these campers is a real bad idea. I really got lucky this one was in as good a shape as it was, very little rot in the paneling, none in the floor. I've replaced all the necessary paneling, and still have half a sheet of the paneling left.
The bolt thru the wall clamp idea is good, I just can't bring myself to drilling more holes thru the body, something that is left from my boat building era I suppose.
Tom Y

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