Question on Bigfoot ground clearance - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-06-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
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Question on Bigfoot ground clearance

We recently bought our first camper, a 1981 17' Bigfoot. It is great, other than the fact that it seems to sit very low to the ground. I can't even back it into my driveway because the back bumper hits bottoms out. My current hitch is a bit high, so the camper does not tow level. I went to my welder who made the hitch and asked him to make a new one with a further 2-3/4' drop to level it out, and he suggested flipping the axle leaf springs instead.

I am totally new to towing and campers in general, so I am asking: does this make sense?

His logic is that even with the camper level, it will be very low. He can flip the springs for $300-400, and it will raise the whole camper about 4". Welding a new hitch would cost about $50.

He seems to know what he is talking about ( his business is primarily welding hitches and prepping tow vehicles), but I would like to hear any other opinions.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:35 PM   #2
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Hopefully this picture works. It's a link to Dropbox...
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:42 PM   #3
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No photo. To add a photo go to advanced settings and click on the Paper clip icon and upload it that way.

If the Bigfoot is riding that low it is most probable due to the axle being shoot which based on the age of your trailer is a good bet. Although flipping the axle will give you more clearance I would not bother with flipping an axle of that age and would consider just putting a new axle on the trailer which should result in as much of a lift if not more as he is suggesting you will get by flipping the old axle. You should if you call around be able to get a new Dexter axle installed for only a couple of hundred more than what he is quoting you to flip the old one.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:14 PM   #4
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Aha, I installed the android app on, my phone, this is much easier to navigate and attach pix.

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Old 06-06-2013, 03:30 PM   #5
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If you go with another axle, upgrade to a 5500 lb with 15" tires.
And yes you need a axle.
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:39 PM   #6
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Thanks! I'll call around and see what I can find.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
I went to my welder who made the hitch and asked him to make a new one with a further 2-3/4' drop to level it out,
Sounds like you need a different drawbar or need to flip the one you have over. That would be cheaper than getting a new hitch.

This will explain what I mean: http://www.easternmarine.com/Trailer...unts-Drawbars/
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:12 PM   #8
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Your trailer's ride height looks just like my 1980. If I measure the distance from the top edge of the steel wheel to the lower edge of the fender flair, it's 3". I don't think the steel springs have fatigued and sagged on mine. I think that is how Bigfoot made it. Of course, you can raise the trailer with stiffer springs or a straight axle. Only you can determine if it's worth the cost.

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Old 06-06-2013, 04:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Sounds like you need a different drawbar or need to flip the one you have over. That would be cheaper than getting a new hitch.

This will explain what I mean: http://www.easternmarine.com/Trailer...unts-Drawbars/
I would if I could, but I'm working with a vertical hitch, and limited retail options.


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Old 06-06-2013, 07:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tom Trostel View Post
Your trailer's ride height looks just like my 1980. If I measure the distance from the top edge of the steel wheel to the lower edge of the fender flair, it's 3". I don't think the steel springs have fatigued and sagged on mine. I think that is how Bigfoot made it. Of course, you can raise the trailer with stiffer springs or a straight axle. Only you can determine if it's worth the cost.
I measured 2-1/8" clearance from steel to flair, and there is about 7" clearance from the bottom of the spare tire to the ground.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:16 PM   #11
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Thats a unusual way to make a drawbar, never seen on like that
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:03 PM   #12
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This discussion on axles might help you. I'm going to lift my 1989 BF 17-footer this summer with a straight axle. Seems to be the way to go.

Axle replacement on Bigfoot 15B17CB
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
Thats a unusual way to make a drawbar, never seen one like that
Draw-Tite Invisi-Hitch Vertical Trailer Hitch Receiver

Chrysler products have them, I saw one once on a Dodge Magnum.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:23 PM   #14
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Draw-Tite Invisi-Hitch Vertical Trailer Hitch Receiver

Chrysler products have them, I saw one once on a Dodge Magnum.
If that's what it is, I wouldn't tow a Bigfoot with it. That's a class 1 hitch, only good for 2,000 gross and 200 lb. tongue. An older 17-ft BF comes in at almost 3,000 lbs. dry, more for the newer ones.
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