Brakes on Bigfoot TT? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-08-2010, 10:49 AM   #1
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Brakes on Bigfoot TT?

I did not see any information on the Bigfoot site about the types of brakes installed on their TTs. Does anyone know if they are all drum for the 21' made after 2002? Did anyone replace their's with disc brakes?

Any reported problems with Bigfoot brakes (I searched the forum and did not find anything)?

Any information would be great - thank you!
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:02 PM   #2
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Don't discs require hydraulics and more complex breakaway failsafes? I can totally see them on boat trailers that will be getting wet, but I think drums are my friends!

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Old 12-09-2010, 08:06 PM   #3
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They are drum brakes. I have never had any trouble with mine.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:34 PM   #4
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They are drum brakes. I have never had any trouble with mine.
Thanks, Bruce. About how many miles are you towing per year (or overall)? We will be full-timing across the US and it was suggested I upgrade the Bigfoot brakes (once I buy one) since I am towing it with a lighter weight truck (Tundra 4.7L V8). I have a Prodigy controller, new transmission, and good brakes on the truck but I want to make that any needed upgrades are done before we drive the Rockies, etc...
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:54 PM   #5
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You might also ask your brake question at the Bigfoot Owners site.

Bigfoot Owners Club International
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:30 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestion but I don't think I am allowed to post there. My understanding is that the club is only owners and I have not bought my Bigfoot yet.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:33 PM   #7
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Thanks, Bruce. About how many miles are you towing per year (or overall)? We will be full-timing across the US and it was suggested I upgrade the Bigfoot brakes (once I buy one) since I am towing it with a lighter weight truck (Tundra 4.7L V8). I have a Prodigy controller, new transmission, and good brakes on the truck but I want to make that any needed upgrades are done before we drive the Rockies, etc...
I believe the stock brakes will be fine as long as the shoes and drums are not worn out. Those do need to be replaced periodically.

I don’t ride the brakes much. I pull from 4000 to 8000 miles per year. I made a run to Alaska in 04 which was probably more than that. I do believe you should clean and repack the wheel bearings every 5000 miles. Get slowed down before you start down a long grade and keep it slowed down. You will still get to the bottom at 35 mph. Be watching in your rear view mirror for runaway trucks. Braking at 60 or 70 mph is what really heats brakes up. I bought new shoes and drums right before I sold the trailer. I decided not to install them because the old ones still had around 40% left when I took them apart. That was at 25000 miles. I gave the new brakes to the buyer and told him to finish wearing the old ones out before he installed them.

A word of caution: They will stop ok but expect a Bigfoot trailer to be hard to pull. I don’t know why but my 21’ trailer was harder to pull than the 25’ is. I started out pulling the 21’ with a Ford F-250 diesel with automatic transmission and it worked great. I traded for a new Chevy K-1500 4WD with a gas V8 and HD trailer tow package in 2006. I loved the little truck but the 21’ was too much for it. Even with a .370 rear end it would never run in high gear. If you gave it more than about 30% throttle it would downshift to 2nd gear so the power of the engine was not useable. Plus the trailer pushed it around. The 21’ Bigfoot front bed is a little unstable. Eleven months later I gave up and traded for a new 07 Ford F-350 with a gas V8 and a 6 speed manual transmission and trailer tow package. The trailer couldn’t push the truck around but it did not have enough power to maintain highway speeds without really throttling and straining the motor. It did fine running about 64 mph in 5th gear which was about 2600 rpm. Since I sold the trailer. I decided to trade my big F-350 for a new F-150. Being me I ordered The same size 5.4 V8 as the 350 had plus the HD trailer tow package, the new 6 speed automatic transmission and the .370 rear end. Ford has this marketing gimmick that their half ton pickup is rated to tow more than any other half ton. The way they do that is essentially put an F-150 body on a ton chassis. The HD package has a rated payload capacity of 3030 lbs in the bed of the truck. The F-250s are not even rated that high. You have to order the 150 set up like this. You will never find one on a dealer’s lot. After I got the truck I found my current 25’ Bigfoot. I headed right into the Rockies with it and I was amazed at how well this truck does pulling. That new Ford 6 speed automatic is the cat’s meow. I got out on I-80 west of Salt Lake City one evening, talking on the cell phone and looked down and I was running 74 mph. I wasn’t giving it more than about 20% throttle and the wind was not blowing. I had to set the cruise control to keep from over speeding.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:47 PM   #8
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How weird that the 21' was harder to pull than the 25' - I had read about issues with the earlier models 21FB but nothing about the RQs. I wonder what was going on.

Thanks, again, for telling me your experiences - you have given me a lot to think over.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:00 PM   #9
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How weird that the 21' was harder to pull than the 25' - I had read about issues with the earlier models 21FB but nothing about the RQs. I wonder what was going on.

Thanks, again, for telling me your experiences - you have given me a lot to think over.
I own a 2005 Bigfoot 21 ft front bed trailer. I tow it with a 2000 Toyota tundra 4.7 L. I have had no problems towing. I even venture thru the mountains of Montana and Idaho.
The optium tow speed for this rig is between 60 and 65 miles per hour. Road conditions greatly affect towing. The biggest problem encountered is the 'push' one gets on the interstate from the big 18 wheelers as they come up from behind. Going down hill in the mountains, I just put it in 2nd gear and let it coast. No problems. Biggest thrill is going down White Bird summit in Idaho, which is a 7% grade of about 13 miles. Its scary to me because there are no switchbacks, only a few gentle curves. It's almost straight down hill. The truck handles it better than I do. LOL.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:55 PM   #10
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I did not see any information on the Bigfoot site about the types of brakes installed on their TTs. Does anyone know if they are all drum for the 21' made after 2002? Did anyone replace their's with disc brakes?

Any reported problems with Bigfoot brakes (I searched the forum and did not find anything)?

Any information would be great - thank you!
I just fitted all new brakes on my 19' Bigfoot. The originals were Standens but I believe that all parts are interchangeable with Dexter I have fitted all Dexter parts, it is almost as cheap to replace all the backing plates complete with shoes and magnets as just with magnets.For 4 10x21/4 brake assemblies and 4 drums the cost was $544 Can with tax. You may be looking at 12" drums.One reason that I changed them was that the inner surface of the drum where the magnet rubs was scored badly, I searched around but it was cheaper to get new drums than have a machine shop set up to machine them.(each drum complete with bearings was $61.00. It is an easy job although I had to drill out some of the four bolts holding the backing plates on.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:00 PM   #11
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I just fitted all new brakes on my 19' Bigfoot. The originals were Standens but I believe that all parts are interchangeable with Dexter I have fitted all Dexter parts, it is almost as cheap to replace all the backing plates complete with shoes and magnets as just with magnets.For 4 10x21/4 brake assemblies and 4 drums the cost was $544 Can with tax. You may be looking at 12" drums.One reason that I changed them was that the inner surface of the drum where the magnet rubs was scored badly, I searched around but it was cheaper to get new drums than have a machine shop set up to machine them.(each drum complete with bearings was $61.00. It is an easy job although I had to drill out some of the four bolts holding the backing plates on.
I forgot to mention that when towing the 21 ft Bigfoot, a weight distribution hitch and anti-sway is critical.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:05 PM   #12
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Thank you, Jim. Hearing your experiences (except the downhill part!) is very reassuring since I also have a Tundra 4.7L. And, yes, I completely agree with you about the w.d. hitch + anti-sway - probably will get the Equalizer since I had it on an early trailer and it worked great.

And, Thank you, Tony for the information. The Bigfoot I am looking at is a 2007 so I am hoping the brakes are still okay - but it sounds like they have had no maintenance in three years so they need to be checked out before we hit the road.
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:54 PM   #13
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Thank you, Jim. Hearing your experiences (except the downhill part!) is very reassuring since I also have a Tundra 4.7L. And, yes, I completely agree with you about the w.d. hitch + anti-sway - probably will get the Equalizer since I had it on an early trailer and it worked great.

And, Thank you, Tony for the information. The Bigfoot I am looking at is a 2007 so I am hoping the brakes are still okay - but it sounds like they have had no maintenance in three years so they need to be checked out before we hit the road.
I would even question whether disc brakes are an upgrade,I think that most if not all commercial trailers are drum brakes. I find that when I leave one vehicle at home when away for a couple of months, that it is the calipers or the pads frozen to the discs that are a problem.No such issues with the drums.
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:57 PM   #14
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I would even question whether disc brakes are an upgrade,I think that most if not all commercial trailers are drum brakes. I find that when I leave one vehicle at home when away for a couple of months, that it is the calipers or the pads frozen to the discs that are a problem.No such issues with the drums.
Humm caliber shouldn't clamp down and allow the pads to freeze to the rotor all on it's own ... did you apply the parking brake? The brake piston has to be moved for the pad to touch the rotor.

Technically the same thing would happen if using drum brakes. Apply the parking brake and the shoes press against the drum and could likely freeze there.
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