Towing Bigfoot - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-16-2014, 09:58 AM   #1
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Name: Carl
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Question Towing Bigfoot

I have a few of questions? What is the width of the Bigfoot trailer? Also, with them being so wide, how hard are they to tow and back up? Is there a narrow and/or wider model Bigfoot trailer? Will a 6 cylinder truck be a good tow vehicle? Are they well built?
Thanks for any help!!!
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:46 AM   #2
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Hmmmm Not enough information for most of your questions:

Easy ones: Bigfoots are a very high quality built, buying a used one is all abut condition, condition and condition.
Backing up almost all trailers is about the same, but some have expressed that if the trailer is longer it is the easier it is to back up. But that shouldn't be a primary reason for your selection
All BigFoot trailers over 13' long are about the same width, the 13' Lil'Bigfoot is an Egg shaped exception.

What length Bigfoot are you looking at?
Single or double axle or 5th wheel?
Exactly what 6 cylinder truck (year make and body style) do you want to tow with?
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:56 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Hmmmm Not enough information for most of your questions:

Easy ones: Bigfoots are a very high quality built, buying a used one is all abut condition, condition and condition.
Backing up almost all trailers is about the same, but some have expressed that if the trailer is longer it is the easier it is to back up. But that shouldn't be a primary reason for your selection
All BigFoot trailers over 13' long are about the same width, the 13' Lil'Bigfoot is an Egg shaped exception.

What length Bigfoot are you looking at?
Single or double axle or 5th wheel?
Exactly what 6 cylinder truck (year make and body style) do you want to tow with?
Bob,
Thanks for the information! I am looking at a used 21 ft Bigfoot. It has a double axel, are they harder to back? I have a Toyota Prerunner 6 cyclinder. It is a 2 wheel drive. I read some forum where folks were having a problem seeing around behind the Trailer due to the width of the trailer. They had to get extra mirrors and attach them to their truck mirrors to see behind them.
Just wondering! Thanks.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:15 AM   #4
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I tow a 17 foot Bigfoot and yes, they are wide. My tug is a full size Tundra and I have the optional tow mirrors but it's still difficult to see behind. Does it really matter? No. I tow it nearly 10,000 miles a year and the lack of rearward visibility isn't much of an issue to me. If it is for you, you can always go with one of those rear-mounted cameras.

The bigger issue is whether your V6 will be up to the task. It will probably work but how well is relative to your expectations. My Tundra has the 5.7L V8 and while the 17-foot BF is a dream to tow, I feel it and so does my gas gauge. I take about a 40% hit on mileage when towing. I think most of that is due to the wide/tall stance of the trailer causing miserable aerodynamics. Be prepared to make a lot of fuel stops.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:21 AM   #5
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We have a listing for actual real world trailer weights here:
Trailer Weights in the Real World

I suggest that you look at the weight for a 21' Bigfoot, it appears to be well over the highest towing rating I could find for a Toyota pre-runner. But check your owners manual for the exact weight yours can pull. If you don't have the original manual, contact Toyota customer service with the VIN and they can help you.
My own experience has been that local dealer sales and service peeps are not an always an accurate source of this information.

That said, except for the smallest Eggs and some other 13-17 footers, most hereabouts have to add some sort of extensions to their stock mirrors. Trailer mirrors have been the rule of thumb almost since the first trailers were built.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by trainjunkie View Post
I tow a 17 foot Bigfoot and yes, they are wide. My tug is a full size Tundra and I have the optional tow mirrors but it's still difficult to see behind. Does it really matter? No. I tow it nearly 10,000 miles a year and the lack of rearward visibility isn't much of an issue to me. If it is for you, you can always go with one of those rear-mounted cameras.

The bigger issue is whether your V6 will be up to the task. It will probably work but how well is relative to your expectations. My Tundra has the 5.7L V8 and while the 17-foot BF is a dream to tow, I feel it and so does my gas gauge. I take about a 40% hit on mileage when towing. I think most of that is due to the wide/tall stance of the trailer causing miserable aerodynamics. Be prepared to make a lot of fuel stops.
Hey Train,
Thanks for the information! 40% is a big hit on towing, with your Tundra. So how many miles per gallon are you getting with your Tundra loaded with your Bigfoot?
thanks,
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:42 AM   #7
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I can't give you a totally honest MPG number because when I do these trips I always have the bed of the truck pretty full as well so it's not just the trailer weighing me down, but also the bed load, and the SnugTop cap on the bed.

But in this configuration, I get about 10 mpg highway. With no trailer and no load I get about 17 mpg highway. I honestly don't think the weight of the trailer/load is as much an issue as the fact that the trailer is about as aerodynamic as a brick. But that's just speculation on my part based on the fact that when I've really loaded the bed down with building materials and such in the past, there wasn't nearly as much of a hit on the mileage as there is towing the BF.

To compensate though, I have a 46 gallon fuel tank in the Tundra so I don't have to stop every 200 miles for gas, which is impossible on much of the route I drive between California and Alaska. There are few gas stations across northern BC and the Yukon in Canada, especially in the winter months.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:05 PM   #8
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I tow a 17' Bigfoot with a 3.3L, 215 hp,v6 Toyota Sienna. I use McKesh towing mirrors to see what is beside me in traffic. Gas mileage is about 12 mpg which is a 50% reduction from not towing. All 1500 series Bigfoot trailers are 8' wide. I've towed round trips from DFW to Dayton, OH; DFW to Durango, CO; and DFW to Orlando, FL and many trips within Texas with no problems. By the way, also towed a 6' wide Compact Jr with the same Sienna and mileage was only 14 mpg. We happily traded 2 mpg for much more room inside the trailer.

http://s293.photobucket.com/user/tom...tml?sort=3&o=0
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tom Trostel View Post
I tow a 17' Bigfoot with a 3.3L, 215 hp,v6 Toyota Sienna. I use McKesh towing mirrors to see what is beside me in traffic. Gas mileage is about 12 mpg which is a 50% reduction from not towing. All 1500 series Bigfoot trailers are 8' wide. I've towed round trips from DFW to Dayton, OH; DFW to Durango, CO; and DFW to Orlando, FL and many trips within Texas with no problems. By the way, also towed a 6' wide Compact Jr with the same Sienna and mileage was only 14 mpg. We happily traded 2 mpg for much more room inside the trailer.

Lake Bardwell, TX Photo by tomNjo | Photobucket
Tom,
Thanks! Is there anything about your 17' Bigfoot that you would change? Has it given you any problems? If you used a diesel to put your camper, do you think that would improve your mpg?
What is the weight of your camper loaded?
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:21 PM   #10
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We bought a Standard model and it lacks a shower. That's all we would change. It weighs 2700 lbs. loaded due to being a very early model. No problems that any 33 year old trailer might not have. Fridge and furnace are tired.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:26 PM   #11
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I've posted some of my experiences here

As I posted, I only have two complaints about my situation.
-Visibility - which can be remedied by towing mirrors/camera. I just haven't gotten a good set of mirrors yet.

-Fuel economy - but this is relative based on your expectations. I was hoping for 12-14 mpg under ideal conditions, but I'm seeing 10-11 mpg real world.

One option I was exploring was a newer Tundra as tow vehicle, as there is a larger tank offered (as mentioned earlier in this thread) that would extend range. I believe it is made by Transfer Flow. Other than those two factors above, I've got nothing but good things to say about my 4Runner as a tow vehicle. I wouldn't consider any 4Runner to tow a Bigfoot other than a 4th generation with a V8. Any other generation/engine don't have the towing capacity.

As far as backing the trailer up, my only complaint was that my wife and I are towing newbies. So I was slow to get things sorted out and she wasn't well versed in communications for guiding me. I need to show her that Youtube series of videos I ran across on the Escape forum. Otherwise the vehicle & trailer seem to backup just fine.

I like the Bigfoot trailer, but am considering something a bit more minimal. The wife may cancel that plan though, if it means going to a smaller wet bathroom, we'll see
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:15 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tom Trostel View Post
I tow a 17' Bigfoot with a 3.3L, 215 hp,v6 Toyota Sienna. I use McKesh towing mirrors to see what is beside me in traffic. Gas mileage is about 12 mpg which is a 50% reduction from not towing. [/url]
Tom, our 3.0L, 150HP V6 Nissan van was similar but we averaged 16MPG (imp gal) (13 US gals) towing our 23' Airstream. I would suggest the aerodynamics has something to do with it. It was a 40% reduction from running solo.

The vans do have better aerodynamics than his pre runner so the OP needs to consider that.

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Old 06-17-2014, 11:34 AM   #13
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Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2011 Toyota Sienna
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MPG towing Bigfoot 17

I have a similar package as Tom Trostel, with my 1993 BF17CB towed with a 2011 Sienna XLE.
Normally, non-towing, I get 20-23 MPG (10-12 l/100km), but towing my 3500 lb, 2 sheets of plywood windbreak, I get 10-12 mpg (20-24 l/100 km).
Headwind or tailwind , and speed make big differences. BUT, I haven't had any trouble or problems in the 4 years and usually put about 2500 miles (4000 km) per year on the package.
YMMV!
Mike .....>
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:24 AM   #14
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yep windage is huge....

I'm thinking that windage is, in my case, an equal if not bigger issue MPG-wise than weight is.....

3.7L V6 Nitro 4x4.....looking at a front view shows that the Nitro has to displace probably TWICE as much air when it's towing the trailer compared to when it's not...

rear visibility wise, yeah it's not great but workable so far.....I find I can see about 2-3 car lengths back behind the trailer (not the whole lane but enough of it to know if the lane is clear....for that length).....end result is that if in doubt I elect to do "three right turns instead of a left".....that's in traffic and I don't do much of that so not much of an issue.....on country two lane roads every curve is an opportunity to check if there's somebody behind me....and I take every one


backing up a short, eight feet wide trailer with a flat front is and always will be a challenge....I found that adding backing up targets to the front of the Bigfoot has helped BIG TIME....(like "night and day" difference almost) of course if one had extension mirrors one might see the sides of the trailer in them and know when the trailer is starting to turn going backwards....that's what the targets do for me
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