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Old 10-03-2017, 12:11 PM   #1
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Name: Mark
Trailer: In the market
Oklahoma
Posts: 8
Hi I am... (Insert drum roll)

Well just me, Mark.

Been looking at FRV for a month or two now and have come to really like your website. As with some I do not have a FG Trailer "yet" because I have been studying the the heck out of them. Would love to find a nice used one for my first time trailer. Love the Oliver hate the price and very few used ones out there, which tell you a lot. The Casita is nice but want dual axle rig, all season. Have seen some nice Big Foots that fit the bill and 25 foot seems jusst right a Goldie Locks once said. SO if anyone is a Big Foot GURU and can fill me in on all the pros and especially the cons, I'd love to hear from you (all of you). I do want my first time to be a great experience, not a root canal.

TY for a great website

Mark in Oklahoma
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:45 PM   #2
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Name: Mitzi
Trailer: LilSnoozy 12/01/16, Tug 2012 Dodge Citadel
Florida
Posts: 406
FWIW I lurked on the RVTRAVELS.COM boards for 12 YEARS before ordering my Snoozy. Takes a while to discover what is out there and if it will meet your needs or not.
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:57 PM   #3
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Name: Mark
Trailer: In the market
Oklahoma
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lol

Lurking can be illegal in some states... ty
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Old 10-04-2017, 01:29 PM   #4
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Name: Josh & Sonya
Trailer: '97 Casita SD 17; 03 Bigfoot 25RQ
Arizona
Posts: 80
Bigfoot campers

Quote:
Originally Posted by M9rk13 View Post
Well just me, Mark.

Been looking at FRV for a month or two now and have come to really like your website. As with some I do not have a FG Trailer "yet" because I have been studying the the heck out of them. Would love to find a nice used one for my first time trailer. Love the Oliver hate the price and very few used ones out there, which tell you a lot. The Casita is nice but want dual axle rig, all season. Have seen some nice Big Foots that fit the bill and 25 foot seems jusst right a Goldie Locks once said. SO if anyone is a Big Foot GURU and can fill me in on all the pros and especially the cons, I'd love to hear from you (all of you). I do want my first time to be a great experience, not a root canal.

TY for a great website

Mark in Oklahoma
Hi Mark,

We have a BF25RQ and like it very much. I'm tied up for the next few days so don't have time to write much right now. Just wanted to get into the conversation so I can keep up with new posts.

Could you tell us a bit more about what kind of camping you plan to do? Also, 25ft BF is pretty big, especially for this forum; is this trailer just for you, or do you have traveling companions? Do you already have a tow vehicle, if so what kind? All of these things will help others in giving you ideas and recommendations?

Regards,
Josh
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:57 AM   #5
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Name: Mark
Trailer: In the market
Oklahoma
Posts: 8
Size matters

Hi Josh! TY for your input. I have several reasons for wanting a Fiberglass RV, some normal, some maybe not so normal. I am retired from the Army and then the USPS. Its just the wife and I and I have a Ford F250 Super Duty. I believe the tow cap is around 9k lbs and 800lb tongue weight. I am not a tiny guy so a <16" kinda scars me, I am very interested in boon-docking and solar or anything that is self supporting. We are sudo preppers and the home is not just for traveling (though we DO want to see some parks etc.) it is also for bugging out and an emergency back-up residence. We live in SW Okahoma close to Texas and we do get the tornadoes and lousy weather. BUT we do get tons of sun, enough to charge a solar system for 8 to 10 hours a day. After 25 years in the military I have traveled a lot, we don't need to see a whole lot more, except the beauty of some our national parks.

Hope I'm not the only weird-o and did not scare you off. TY!
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:33 AM   #6
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 1,337
Mark in Feb we took off with our A-Liner drafty thing but fun. We hit 20d wx 2 times we drove 6k miles in a month and toured Texas and N. M. what fun. we dodge hurricans in Texas by heading to N. M. the wind blew so hard I tied a rope on the A-Liner to keep it from blowing apart.


Got back to Ks. 20d again and wind blowing fierce we boonedocked at a Walmarts and the next morning we had to find a semi to park next too to tear the A-Liner down. Scared us to death wind snow and sleet wow!


Not running anything down but take a look at the Scamp you will see them listed more and a 16 will probably work for you. Being bareboone campers we have a 13f no bath or water!


You will figure things out be cautious on used trailers the biggest thing is rotted floors you can check them out yourself usually around a sink, bathroom or door!


Life is good in a Scamp


bob
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Old 10-06-2017, 03:20 PM   #7
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Name: Josh & Sonya
Trailer: '97 Casita SD 17; 03 Bigfoot 25RQ
Arizona
Posts: 80
Bigfoot campers

Quote:
Originally Posted by M9rk13 View Post
Hi Josh! TY for your input. I have several reasons for wanting a Fiberglass RV, some normal, some maybe not so normal. I am retired from the Army and then the USPS. Its just the wife and I and I have a Ford F250 Super Duty. I believe the tow cap is around 9k lbs and 800lb tongue weight. I am not a tiny guy so a <16" kinda scars me, I am very interested in boon-docking and solar or anything that is self supporting. We are sudo preppers and the home is not just for traveling (though we DO want to see some parks etc.) it is also for bugging out and an emergency back-up residence. We live in SW Okahoma close to Texas and we do get the tornadoes and lousy weather. BUT we do get tons of sun, enough to charge a solar system for 8 to 10 hours a day. After 25 years in the military I have traveled a lot, we don't need to see a whole lot more, except the beauty of some our national parks.

Hope I'm not the only weird-o and did not scare you off. TY!
Hi Mark,

Definitely didn't scare me off, we always used to tell our kids that we are weird, and weird is perfectly OK. Still running behind but will get back in touch again over the weekend. F250 will have no problem at all with a 25ft Bigfoot.

Josh
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:41 AM   #8
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Name: Mark
Trailer: In the market
Oklahoma
Posts: 8
Nioce!

I'd been scared the semi would have blown over and crushed us. Do all FGRVs have wood floors? I should have thought of that. TY for the tip. Mark
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:55 AM   #9
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 5,558
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by M9rk13 View Post
...Do all FGRVs have wood floors?...
Most do. Some treat the wood and leave it exposed, some have a fiberglass underbelly and put the wood on top, others completely encapsulate the wood in fiberglass above and below.

The no-wood exceptions include Lil Snoozy, Happier Camper, and Oliver.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:14 AM   #10
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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The last word I read I think it was on Scamp just leave everything alone and it will be just fine. The worst thing you can do is park it on grass!


bob
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:17 PM   #11
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Name: Fred
Trailer: Bigfoot
Delaware
Posts: 9
Mark,
Sorry for delay in responding to your request for comments on Bigfoot ownership. We have owned four campers. The first a Casita. It was a tad toooo small. We have a few dogs and you need space to put your feet! Then over the past few years we have owned 3 Bigfoot trailers! The first was a 21 rear bed. It is as nice unit and enough room for two people. When dog population went up we decided we needed larger unit. Wife also wanted a sofa in the trailer. So we sold the 21 and bought a 25 front bed model with sofa. We really enjoyed it. Family circumstances changed and we could no longer leave home too go camping. Two years ago we purchased our current Bigfoot. It is a 25 rear queen bed model. This model has a more open space floor plan. I would be glad to answer any questions you might have. E- mail me and I will try to provide some answers. I am sure there are many. They are great trailers and isn't much need for modifications.
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:19 PM   #12
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Name: Josh & Sonya
Trailer: '97 Casita SD 17; 03 Bigfoot 25RQ
Arizona
Posts: 80
About a Bigfoot 25RQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by M9rk13 View Post
Hi Josh! TY for your input. I have several reasons for wanting a Fiberglass RV, some normal, some maybe not so normal. I am retired from the Army and then the USPS. Its just the wife and I and I have a Ford F250 Super Duty. I believe the tow cap is around 9k lbs and 800lb tongue weight. I am not a tiny guy so a <16" kinda scars me, I am very interested in boon-docking and solar or anything that is self supporting. We are sudo preppers and the home is not just for traveling (though we DO want to see some parks etc.) it is also for bugging out and an emergency back-up residence. We live in SW Okahoma close to Texas and we do get the tornadoes and lousy weather. BUT we do get tons of sun, enough to charge a solar system for 8 to 10 hours a day. After 25 years in the military I have traveled a lot, we don't need to see a whole lot more, except the beauty of some our national parks.

Hope I'm not the only weird-o and did not scare you off. TY!
Hi Mark,

Oops, it's past the weekend, but here goes.

My wife and I started with our first FGRV in 1997, a 17ft Casita that we purchased new. We still have it, one of us thinks we might still need it some day. It's a great little trailer, and for various reasons, one or both of it spent a lot of time in it, both traveling and living. On at least one cross country trip, we had our two, college age boys with us, and on shorter trips, the two boys plus a full grown boxer. That was tight.

I worked for Texas A&M for four years in Corpus Christi. Was not interested in setting up a second household, so just took the Casita to Texas and lived in it quite happily the entire time. My wife and I also lived in it for almost 9 months in VT during the warmer parts of the year. I also lived in the Casita for a little over two years working for an algae biotech company in Gilbert AZ.

We knew that on retirement, we wanted to spend a lot of time driving around the US and Canada, seeing all the things we hadn't had time to see while I was working. Like you, we spent a lot of time overseas (shrimp aquaculture).

Thinking I would retire in March 2016, we began our hunt for a larger trailer in 2015. Both my wife and I are pretty small, but we are lousy dancers and got tired of squirming in the aisle. Based on our experience with the Casita, we knew we wanted to stay with all fiberglass, and wanted a little more space.

Also, my wife got tired of me climbing over her getting in and out of bed, though I swear I didn't kick her more than a few times in all those years. So having a walk-around queen bed, as well as serious insulation, were #2 and 3 on the must-have list (all fiberglass being #1).

We looked at a lot of trailers, including Escape and Oliver, but for various reasons, decided a Bigfoot 25RQ was really what we wanted. That wasn't an easy decision to reach; we had a lot of discussions/disagreements about length weight, slides, Class-C RV's etc.

Once we agreed on the make and model, it was also not so easy to find a used 25RQ. New price and wait list just didn't seem to be in the cards for us.

We finally found what we thought was a good unit at a reasonable price. After talking with the owner, we bought it sight-unseen, and went to pick it up in Idaho in May 2015. We towed it back to Gilbert AZ, where I was working and living during the week. Since I still had months to go before retirement, we parked the Bigfoot in Gilbert and took the smaller Casita back to our home, a couple of hundred miles to the west. Why not live in the lap of relative luxury?

February 2016 rolled around, and I was having such a good time at work that at the last minute, I decided to put off retirement until end of March 2017. So I've also spent a lot of time living in the Bigfoot, driving home on weekends.

Getting back to your question (finally), here are some things to think about, some based on at least some of what we overlooked or wished we had been able to get when we were buying our 25RQ:
  1. Double Pane Window Spacers: Bigfoot had problems from about 2003 to 2006 with defective spacers between the double window panes. Defect was from window manufacturers, not Bigfoot. What happens is that the spacers begin to expand into separate layers, and "wander" into the viewing area of the window. It's not fatal, it doesn't cause leaks, but it is kind of ugly. For that reason, we wanted to avoid getting anything older than 2006, but had no luck with that. We eventually purchased a 2003 that does have that defect. We normally have the lighter layer of the window screens down for privacy, so we don't really notice the defect. I contacted the manufacturer of the windows, and they estimated about $2,500 (Canadian) to replace all the windows. We decided we could live with the problem for now.
  2. Inspect Everything, or Hire a Pro to do This: Regardless of how honest the seller seems to be, unfortunately, they may still depend on you not noticing some things that they might "forget" to mention. This happened to us (though we still feel we got a very good trailer for the price). Somewhere in the FGRV site, there is at least one very good checklist you can use yourself, or ask a pro to go through for you. I can't find it now; hopefully one of the other readers knows where it is.
  3. Creaky Floors: Ours did not creak at all when we first got the trailer, but over the following two years, it has developed an annoying creak, mostly between the refrigerator and the stove. I've corresponded with Grant at Bigfoot about this problem. He can't say what might be causing this, and to find out would be a very big job, involving either gutting the inside of the trailer, or doing a lot of disassembly work from underneath. So I think we may have to live with the creak as well. Still, that's something you want to avoid, and we thought we did. Creaking can be the result of water damage. Our plumbing is tight, and from what I describe in #4 below, Grant does not think that water damage is the cause of the squeeking.
  4. Weep Holes: One of the first things you should do is clean them out, and then do that on a regular basis thereafter. Our trailer had been kept mostly undercover by the PO. Still, it turned out that the weep holes were plugged up, and after a relatively few rains in Arizona (during the monsoon season), I noticed some buckling of the outer layer of the material that lines the walls (which is also the insulation), just under the headboard window. By that time, water had already gotten onto the carpet under one of the cabinets, as well as into the outside storage compartment. I did a lot of drying and spraying with Isopropyl alcohol for a few days, and managed to avoid development of mold.
  5. The Dump Plumbing: Our discharge pipe looked a bit strange to me from the start. However, it wasn't until I damaged it myself by hitting a large boulder while making a turn, that I realized it had probably been damaged before. It's worth taking a good close look at that plumbing when you are checking out your unit. In my view, the discharge pipe hangs down really low. Having seen the plumbing after I pulled the Y loose from the gray tank valve, I'm not sure there is any way to lift it, other than flipping the axles to give more ground clearance.
  6. Battery: The Bigfoot only comes with one battery, and there really isn't space in the hitch area for more than one, unless you have the extended frame that goes with the larger, front storage "cone". The PO of our trailer had replaced the battery in 2013, but he put in a regular lead acid heavy duty truck/tractor battery, not a deep cycle one. I had that battery checked out by NAPA before taking our first significant off the grid trip in August, and it passed the load test without a problem. Didn't take long to find out that it was not holding a charge, even after days of pretty good sunshine on our portable 160 watt Zamp solar array. So check what you are getting with the trailer.
  7. Solar: If you are interested in solar, start studying batteries and solar arrays now. It would be great if you can find a 25RQ that already has all of that installed; we were not that lucky, so before that first 5wk trip, I decided to purchase a portable unit, before committing to major work on the roof. A few weeks ago, I did come across a showroom model of a Reliant 300 amp hour Lithium battery for a good (though still ridiculous) price, and just had that installed a couple of days ago, under one of the smaller seat compartments in the dining area. We don't use a lot of electricity (no TV's in the trailer or at home), don't use the microwave much, though it would be nice on occasion. Even with the dying lead acid battery, we were able to limp through with lights and use of the water pump without any problem. The 300 Ah battery should last us for days, especially since you can take it down to 20% before recharging, compared to only 50% for a lead acid battery. I suspect we will eventually want to add one 320 Watt Panasonic solar panel on the roof, to boost our charging capacity. I would definitely urge you to go solar, self sufficiency for relatively extended periods is a very liberating feeling.
  8. Gas Tanks: Check the age of the tanks. Though not used much, ours were the originals and had to be replaced immediately. (Could have had them inspected and re-certified for another 5 years, but decided to just go with new ones.)
  9. Tires: Same thing; they looked great with very good tread, but they were already 12 years old, i.e. the original tires from the factory. So they had to be replaced right away.
  10. Electric Heat Systems for the AC and the Water Heater: Though we plan to primarily boondock in our future travels, I did live in the Bigfoot for almost two years at an RV park near where I worked. I almost never used the heat, and took my showers in the RV park bathroom. Still, when my wife came to visit, she likes it warmer, and also likes to use our own shower. Our unit did not come with the electric option for heat and hot water, which was too bad, because electricity was included in the park price. I did go out and purchase a small stand alone electric heater, but it would have been nice to have that built into the AC. For hot water, we had to use gas. As I said, it's not something we really need, but it would be nice to have for those few occasions we stay someplace with fool hookups. Note: I'm not suggesting electric instead of gas, many RV AC's and water heaters come with the option of including an electric strip for the AC for heat, and a coil for the water heater, in addition to gas.
  11. Front Bed or Rear Bed?: We quickly decided we wanted the RQ rather than the FB. If parked in a campground, we prefer to have our bed as far back as possible from the road. Also, the front bed model has two entry doors, which I don't really understand. To us, that seemed to break up the floor plan, costing more space for cabinets and storage.
  12. Floor Plan and Cabinets: The older (pre-bankrupcy) 25RQ's have a really useful "pantry" cabinet between the fridge and the dining area. The "new-era" 25-footers (starting 2010) seem to have eliminated that cabinet and instead, have an extended seating area beyond the table on the drivers side. To us, the cabinet is much more useful than a little extra seating room. That's just a personal preference.
  13. Check the Lift System Under the Bed: There is a lot of storage space under the queen bed. I did check it when we were doing our inspection in Idaho, and noticed that the gas lifts were detached. I figured that was an easy fix, all the screws were there, just needed to put things back together. The PO didn't say anything, and I stupidly didn't ask why the lifts were not connected. When I finally got around to making the repair, I discovered there were a lot more problems than I thought, chief among them that the platform on which the mattress sits had been completely pulled free of the wall at the headboard end. That's critical, in order for the platform to bend at the hinge when you lift it to access the storage area. It took a lot of work and reinforcing to get that structure back into operation. The trailer did come with a very good mattress; we don't know if it is the original, or a replacement. In any case, it's extremly heavy and not very bendable. It's possible that the structural damage was done trying to lift the heavier mattress. Once I did the reinforcement work, I changed out the 50psi lifts for 150psi units, and now the system works great.
  14. The "Control Panel" Over the Stove: Don't expect any the indicators to give you accurate readings, except perhaps for the fresh water tank.
  15. Spray Ball in Black Tank: Try to get a unit that has this already built in. Again, this was an option back in the older units, and I think it has been standard after Bigfoot went back into production in 2010. If they do a good job choosing and installing a spray ball, that would make a heck of a difference in ease of cleaning out the black tank.
  16. Dingbat Design of Outside Access Door to Small, Underseat Compartment on Passenger Side: On our unit, there is a nice, small access door from the outside of the trailer to one of the compartments under the dining room seat. The problem is that the front arm of the awning is directly in front of this door when the awning is not in use. We hardly ever use the awning, so that door is pretty much useless. We would have been fine with a slightly shorter awning, so that the door would free for use at all times. Not much you can do about this, just see if you are "lucky" or not with the unit you decide to make your own. This was certainly not a deal breaker for us.
There is probably is more, but that's all I can think of for now. Sorry about the length; being overly detail oriented has always been a problem for me.

Hope this helps.
Josh
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Old 10-11-2017, 01:00 AM   #13
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Name: Josh & Sonya
Trailer: '97 Casita SD 17; 03 Bigfoot 25RQ
Arizona
Posts: 80
By the way Mark, I hope you didn't get the impression we don't like our 25RQ, in fact we love it. But like buying anything else used, it takes a while to find all the "little" problems and get them ironed out, and make modifications to make it your own. Considering how rare it is to find used 25 Bigfoots, I'm sure we'd do the same thing again, but now, with a bit better insight about what to look for.

Regards,
Josh
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Old 10-11-2017, 04:48 AM   #14
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
California
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Your post # 12 is very good Josh.
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