1981 Bigfoot 17 tow vehicles - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-16-2016, 10:13 AM   #1
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Name: Joanne
Trailer: 1981 Bigfoot 17 ft
British Columbia
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1981 Bigfoot 17 tow vehicles

Hi, I am new to this and may be posting in the wrong area etc.. I just purchased a 1981 Bigfoot 17 foot and have been looking at tow vehicles and am wondering what people with this trailer are towing with? I prefer to get an Suv however it seems I would have to get the giant ones or a truck.. Wondering if anyone tows with something like a Ford Edge or a Santa Fe size? Thanks in advance for any info.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:59 AM   #2
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
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Welcome to the forum. Your Bigfoot probably weighs 3000 to 3500 pounds with 300 to 400 pounds on the tongue. I feel it's best to stay considerably below the manufacturers published maximum capacity. I tow with a Toyota Tacoma 4X4 with tow package and it's a great combo. Different options on tow vehicles and different models of the same vehicle will change the tow capacity. My truck with tow package is rated to tow 6500# but the same truck without the tow package is rated to tow 3500#
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:49 PM   #3
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Yeah those have a pretty short wheelbase and low tow capacity.

I tow my Bigfoot 17 with a 98 Toyota Tacoma, 4x4. It has a 5,000# limit with the "tow package". They didn't really have a tow package back then but with a hitch and brake controller installed it has a 5,000# tow capacity and 500# tongue weight limit.

In a perfect world I'd have a little more reserve between those capacities and my Bigfoot weight, but I'm still well within the safety margin. I wouldn't want to haul my trailer with anything less than what I've got, though.
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Old 04-16-2016, 03:27 PM   #4
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If your looking at Fords, I think you will need a Flex or Explorer. Toyota Highlander or Nissan Pathfinder will also do nicely. Check websites for tow packages and engine sizes vs. tow rating. I tow with a Toyota Sienna, currently 2011 and prior a 2006.

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Old 04-16-2016, 05:58 PM   #5
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Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
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I tow my Bigfoot with an Astro van V6. Whatever you get you will likely need mirror extenders as the trailer is much wider than most tow vehicles.

The only road I avoid is the coquihalla did it once and it was a struggle making the climb.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:46 AM   #6
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Name: tony
Trailer: Bigfoot 25B21RB
British Columbia
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Towing 17' bigfoot

We just sold our 2007 model. Found that towing with our 2015 Nissan Pathfinder is just fine. 5000lb tow rating. It is factory equipped with tow mode on the transmission. Just add a $100 brake controller just above your left knee under the dash and you're good to go. Don't forget the equalizer hitch - the anti sway one because you will need that for safety. These trailers will sway on you if you don't have the anti sway hitch.
I have a spare anti sway system complete for $350 if you need one. We're in Abbotsford BC.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:06 AM   #7
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I installed my brake controller over my right knee!!

I think whether they'll sway "depends". My 91 had no sway control when I bought it. 25 years without, but obviously I can't know how much the previous owners actually towed it. I drove it home over 200 miles, in some high winds, and it never swayed.

But all the same, in my very limited experience but more in-depth reading, some type of basic sway control is a very good idea, especially if you're trying to "get away" with a smaller tow vehicle. One of the first things I bought was an inexpensive (under $40) friction sway control bar, because: why not?
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:10 AM   #8
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If you have ever experienced a trailer sway where the pendulum increased until the tires were burning rubber and your heart was in your throat you would immediately install the best anti sway bars money could buy. I didn't mention service the electric brakes on the trailer.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:17 AM   #9
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Yeah it's funny that if you buy your first trailer and install anti-sway on it, you'll likely never know what "could have happened" without it. You'll be blissfully ignorant of why you have it.

On other forums, there is actually debate on whether they really do anything, or just mask improper balance and trailer loading. So clearly there are a lot of people who have towed their trailers with no problems without them.

I'm with you, though. I prefer to be on the safe side. Luckily just anti-sway bars aren't very expensive. If you want a weight distribution system included in that, then it gets expensive. My Tacoma manual says not to use weight distribution.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:07 AM   #10
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My Tacoma manual says not to use weight distribution.
I bet it doesn't say that. I bet it says WDH is not recommended. That's what my RAV4 manual says and Toyota Canada told me the reason for that sentence is that they don't have a 'relationship' with a WDH manufacturer, so they haven't tested and can't recommend any one.
Note that it isn't highlighted in yellow nor carry a warning.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:16 AM   #11
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Name: Daniel A.
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[QUOTE=ZachO;582210]I installed my brake controller over my right knee!!



Mine is also just right of my knee but I am right handed. Setting the controller properly so that the trailer brakes start first when on the peddle is the key.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:33 PM   #12
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Yes, I just looked back and you're correct. They "don't recommend" it.

For me, I don't see the use, either way. My trailer pulled pretty good on its first drive home, and even better since the lift (probably better tongue weight/angle). I'm sure the friction anti-sway bar is doing something, but it's hard to say. Right now I like how my trailer pulls and rides, so I don't see recommending a couple hundred dollar weight distribution system to someone before they see how theirs tows when set at the correct hitch height and loaded properly.
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:13 PM   #13
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Name: Jony
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Hi - I have a 2006 Jeep Liberty 4x4 with a Diesel motor. Granted, the Jeep has a short wheel base but has a tow capacity of 5,000 lbs. My TV pulls great with the 10,000 lb equalizer hitch I have on it. That is a little overkill perhaps, but no sway problems pulling my 2001 17 ft Bigfoot over the Rockies. (I too would stay away from the Coquilhalla.) Otherwise there is nowhere I would not venture to go.
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Old 04-28-2016, 06:23 AM   #14
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My "info card" on my 1981 17' Bigfoot states that the Gross Trailer Weight is 1875. I pull with a 2011 Ford Explorer.


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