Hi! I'm Dena & hopefully about to become a lil bigfoot owner! - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-24-2013, 02:03 AM   #57
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Name: Dee
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Thumbs up Yay for me!!

We are back from our journey and we did not come back empty handed. It was a most excellent adventure today. The gentleman who sold us our new Lil Bigfoot was very kind and patient. He knocked off 100$ from the price because the right tail light was being not working 100% and one of the wooden beam/edges/boards for supporting the table bed is cracking. Otherwise it was pretty much as the photos showed. The spots where the photos showed possible water damage were just lighting tricks because upon inspection all looked fine. it definitely needs a cleaning and the wall furry stuff is kind of sagging in spots and it seems the previous owners did a hack job at trying to fix it in one spot under the cushions. The awning was found and included although we didn't bother opening to see if it was torn or anything. the inside is really just some cosmetic fixes and upkeep. yay!!

AS for the outside, where the previous owners painted the bottom half, it is a really bad job. you can use your fingernail to scratch off the paint and the original paint underneath that shows looks wonderful. so you can guarantee i will eventually be hunting down ideas on how to get that crappy white job off without wrecking the original paint job underneath. The outside also needs some cosmetic fixes and all that but as far as we can tell all is sealed well enough to prevent leaks. (actually driving home we hit a severe thunder shower that poured buckets so we could barely see road for about 1/2 hr. result of trailer when we checked it as soon as it stopped...dry as a bone!)

my mom, who drove, said it pulled like a dream, she often forgot it was there it was a smooth ride and made the what turns out to be 3 hour trip just fine.

my mom is the one who checked out the underside because #1 she is more knowledgeable on that kind of stuff and #2 im such a girly girl... ewwww bugs and yuk. hahaha, no way i was getting down there on my back (feel free to poke fun at me, my mom sure did). Anyways, she said it looked good floor wise. her and the owner were chatting up a storm about a bunch of stuff i am sure all of you would care to know and totally understand but went over my head. (seriously i will learn to be an rv girl, just give me time.)


downside...

i do not like how low the trailer sits to the ground. i am unsure if it is normal as a quick forum search showed many posts about low bigfoot ground clearance and solution being flipping axle, or something is up with this trailer/axle but i bought it being ok with the possibility of that added expense.

Also, we did not have the opportunity to test the electrical and water and such as there was no where to do it. risky business buying without testing but sometimes you just gotta go with your gut. The owner was a wonderful man, so very helpful. our hitch ended up still being too tall and so he took my mom around to the neighbours to see if anyone had one that would fit, borrowed one and lent us the ball as well trusting that we will mail it back to him and his neighbour. He also returned an extra 100$ when i ended up overpaying him, actually stopped us as we were driving away because he was recounting and realized two 100$ new bills were stuck together. i missed it and he missed it when we counted it out the first time.

So now that we are home, with our new little baby all snug in our driveway i am going to read through all the documents and stuff he gave me that came with the trailer originally. i think i even saw the original brochure for it in the pile too.

Thanks everyone for making it through my very long post

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Old 08-24-2013, 07:27 AM   #58
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Good for you Dena Glad it turned out to be as good as the pictures showed.

BTW, your Lil Foot didn't come from the factory painted, that's gel coat under that flaking paint. There are ways to get it off. Some solutions involve paint stripper, some may involve sanding (then repainting). We're here when you're ready for that...
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:17 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
You will need to know the height of the coupler on the trailer when it is level. You then measure from the ground up to your receiver on your hitch. You will then need to buy a drawbar that when inserted into your receiver will be at the correct height that your trailer when attached to your vehicle will be level.
Keep in mind that the tongue weight will lower most tow vehicles rear ends a bit, nose down does not hurt.

Comparing the pictures you posted here: Hi! I'm Dena & hopefully about to become a lil bigfoot owner!

There is quite a difference in where the center of the spindle is located in relation to the body. Yours appears to be sitting quite low. Worthy of investigation by comparing to other pictures and an axle inspection.

Congratulations on the purchase! Now get her fixed up before you get twofootitis, a common ailment among FGRV owners. Right Jim?
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:36 AM   #60
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Congratulations. You really scored a good deal, regardless of any small issues that need to be taken care of.

Although the temptation is to start off with cosmetic stuff like curtains and paint, I'd go over all the mechanical, electrical and plumbing with a fine tooth comb. If the tires are over 5 or 6 years old (date code is on the side), replace them regardless of how much tread is on them. Make sure that the battery takes and holds a charge. Repack the wheel bearings. Check out the frame for cracks, especially where the tongue meets the body. Make sure that the suspension has adequate travel and is sound. Double check for leaking with a garden hose on windows, and any other pass through the body, like vents. If it leaks, you want to know now, not in the middle of a fun trip.

Once you have a good, sound trailer, go crazy with making it your own.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:38 AM   #61
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Trailer: Bigfoot 13'
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Dena the canopy support rail is a little long, not wrong! We have an 8 foot, yours is perhaps an 10 foot. Our canopy extends about 6 inches, front and rear, in performs very well. Our egg is 10.25 inches at the bottom of the entrance door, to the ground. Our egg looks the same as yours when one looks at the top of the wheel, rim to the out side of the wheel well, ours has never bottomed out and hit the top of the inside wheel well. Other brands have a step to enter, ours does not, they are higher off the ground. The bottom of the egg is one piece fiberglass, just like the top, and has no out side exposure very safe for good flooring. If I haven't been in the egg for awhile, I still hit my head when getting out of the entrance.

Later Kenny
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:39 AM   #62
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Congrats on the new additon to your family. Here's a few notes to add to the many you will get:

1. Almost all of the Lil'Bigfoots I have seen ride about where yours is when unloaded. If it sinks more than an inch or so loaded it might be a concern, but not as of yet. The Lil'Bigfoot was a unique model that didn't appear to share much with other Bigfoots (BigFeet?) of the time. It also has a leading arm axle arrangement, meaning that BigFoot elected to install the axle in the oposite manner as most builders in order to get to the widest part of the chassis, yet anothe design unique to the Lil' BigFoot.

2. Whitewall tires usually indicate that passenger car tires are installed. These may be OK in the short run, but be sure to check the age dates and keep them at the maximum pressure indicated on the sidewall.

3. If the repainted part comes off with a fingernail that's good news, and it should be easy (?) to remove at a future date. But... don't try sanding just yet as that will damage the gelcoat (not paint) that may be under the paint. Fiberglass will withstand almost all chemical attacks so using a print stripper and/or a heat gun may make short work of the existing paint and you may be able to restore the entire exterior with a good application of ZEP Wet Look wax...... See if you can get a local auto painter to identify that's on there now before you start.

4. Check out each of the coach systems one at a time and, if something doesn't work, post a note on the board. A lot of seemingly broken items ofter just need a slight tweek as a result of not being used. That said, for now, DON't leave it plugged in when not occupied. BTW: There is a switch on the converter under the left dinette seat, be sure that's in the "Conv" position when plugged in. There is also a circuit breaker and 1 fuse in the same area. Check those first if something doesn't work.

5. For the above, before applying any power, remove all of the cushions and covers inside and look under the seats for any signs of wire damage from rodents etc. Leave everyting open for visual and smell inspections when you first start testing both power and water systems.

6. Check the water system for leaks, especially the filler tube going to the tank under the right dinette seat. I don't believe yours has a pressure system, just a simple water pump that you have to turn on and off when opening the faucet. Be sure to turn it off when not actually running water. The inside water pump is usualy connected to the left faucet, the outside water connection to the right faucet. Don't look for a water heater, you won't find one.....

7. Get some "Gas Leak Detector" at the local hardware store and, after turning on the LP tank, check all gas line connections for leaks. Do this before trying to light the stove or furnace. A gas laek fire can ruin an otherwise good day.

8. Set a realistic "Fix Up" budget for: a) needed repairs and b) changes and additions you want to make.
You will get to spend some money, so setting some aside up front will remove the temptation to bypass or short cut fixes. It always costs less to do it right the first time, than having emergency repairs made on the road a second time.

9. A few things I would do were it mine to update: a) If it wasn't done already, get the wheels pulled and the bearings repacked and new seals installed. All new bearings are cheap if done at the same time, but insist that they also replace the "Races". What grease is in there now may have turned to peanut butter and may well lubricate about as well. b) c) Plan on removing and resealing the side windows. It's an easy job when planned, but a real PITA to fix it starts to leak, same for the roof hatch. Be ahead of problems. c) install a new power chassis, the Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 will replace the dated converter/charger you have as well as give you a 3 stage battery charger that will protect and prolong the life of the new battery you will have to buy anyway. It wil also give you the ability to add just about anything you will need/want in the future.

OK.... I guess that will about use up your first weekend of fun. Let us know what you find and how it goes....
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:43 AM   #63
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Wow, great story. Sound like really nice previous owners you lucked out for sure - great trailer at an even greater price. Congratulations.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:49 AM   #64
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Ooops.... I had to rewrite/revise the priorities in Post #62. My Bad...
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:00 AM   #65
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Oklahoma
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Yahoo! Happy day!
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:05 PM   #66
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Name: Dee
Trailer: Currently shopping
Saskatchewan
Posts: 54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Good for you Dena Glad it turned out to be as good as the pictures showed.

BTW, your Lil Foot didn't come from the factory painted, that's gel coat under that flaking paint. There are ways to get it off. Some solutions involve paint stripper, some may involve sanding (then repainting). We're here when you're ready for that...
Thanks Donna! So you are saying that the creamy colour of top of shell and what is showing under bad white paint job is just gel coating and nothing else? is that a good thing in regards to repainting or does it not really matter in the grand scheme of things?? Either way, i am very thankful for this forum because i truly have no clue what to do and where to start and i am so over my head already but strangely excited about it all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
Keep in mind that the tongue weight will lower most tow vehicles rear ends a bit, nose down does not hurt.

Comparing the pictures you posted here: Hi! I'm Dena & hopefully about to become a lil bigfoot owner!

There is quite a difference in where the center of the spindle is located in relation to the body. Yours appears to be sitting quite low. Worthy of investigation by comparing to other pictures and an axle inspection.

Congratulations on the purchase! Now get her fixed up before you get twofootitis, a common ailment among FGRV owners. Right Jim?
Thanks Roy!,
sigh, off to google what a spindle is and figure out what you just posted hahaha. ps - what is twofootitis?
sounds serious

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Congratulations. You really scored a good deal, regardless of any small issues that need to be taken care of.

Although the temptation is to start off with cosmetic stuff like curtains and paint, I'd go over all the mechanical, electrical and plumbing with a fine tooth comb. If the tires are over 5 or 6 years old (date code is on the side), replace them regardless of how much tread is on them. Make sure that the battery takes and holds a charge. Repack the wheel bearings. Check out the frame for cracks, especially where the tongue meets the body. Make sure that the suspension has adequate travel and is sound. Double check for leaking with a garden hose on windows, and any other pass through the body, like vents. If it leaks, you want to know now, not in the middle of a fun trip.

Once you have a good, sound trailer, go crazy with making it your own.
Thanks Tom, right now i am a little overwhelmed and i think in a bit of shock. Spent the morning on our front patio just staring at her and smiling. No idea where to start so will just continue to smile till i get it figured out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Strong View Post
Dena the canopy support rail is a little long, not wrong! We have an 8 foot, yours is perhaps an 10 foot. Our canopy extends about 6 inches, front and rear, in performs very well. Our egg is 10.25 inches at the bottom of the entrance door, to the ground. Our egg looks the same as yours when one looks at the top of the wheel, rim to the out side of the wheel well, ours has never bottomed out and hit the top of the inside wheel well. Other brands have a step to enter, ours does not, they are higher off the ground. The bottom of the egg is one piece fiberglass, just like the top, and has no out side exposure very safe for good flooring. If I haven't been in the egg for awhile, I still hit my head when getting out of the entrance.

Later Kenny
Thanks Kenny! I too noticed how long the awning rail is. Doesn't bother me in the least as long as it works. still haven't pulled out the awning to check it out. Was curious so just ran out and measured. ours is 9.5 inches from bottom of door to ground.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Congrats on the new additon to your family. Here's a few notes to add to the many you will get:

1. Almost all of the Lil'Bigfoots I have seen ride about where yours is when unloaded. If it sinks more than an inch or so loaded it might be a concern, but not as of yet. The Lil'Bigfoot was a unique model that didn't appear to share much with other Bigfoots (BigFeet?) of the time. It also has a leading arm axle arrangement, meaning that BigFoot elected to install the axle in the oposite manner as most builders in order to get to the widest part of the chassis, yet anothe design unique to the Lil' BigFoot.
thanks so much for the lenghty suggestions and info. much appreciated. I will be sure to check out what happens when loaded up.

Quote:
2. Whitewall tires usually indicate that passenger car tires are installed. These may be OK in the short run, but be sure to check the age dates and keep them at the maximum pressure indicated on the sidewall.
thanks, will check that out too
Quote:
3. If the repainted part comes off with a fingernail that's good news, and it should be easy (?) to remove at a future date. But... don't try sanding just yet as that will damage the gelcoat (not paint) that may be under the paint. Fiberglass will withstand almost all chemical attacks so using a print stripper and/or a heat gun may make short work of the existing paint and you may be able to restore the entire exterior with a good application of ZEP Wet Look wax...... See if you can get a local auto painter to identify that's on there now before you start.
sure am hoping its an easy fix. the tongue thingy was professionally painted by the guy i just bought off of so that part will be a different story to the egg itself.

Quote:
4. Check out each of the coach systems one at a time and, if something doesn't work, post a note on the board. A lot of seemingly broken items ofter just need a slight tweek as a result of not being used. That said, for now, DON't leave it plugged in when not occupied. BTW: There is a switch on the converter under the left dinette seat, be sure that's in the "Conv" position when plugged in. There is also a circuit breaker and 1 fuse in the same area. Check those first if something doesn't work.

5. For the above, before applying any power, remove all of the cushions and covers inside and look under the seats for any signs of wire damage from rodents etc. Leave everyting open for visual and smell inspections when you first start testing both power and water systems.
thanks, i will definitely do a good and complete walk through check of everything.
Quote:
6. Check the water system for leaks, especially the filler tube going to the tank under the right dinette seat. I don't believe yours has a pressure system, just a simple water pump that you have to turn on and off when opening the faucet. Be sure to turn it off when not actually running water. The inside water pump is usualy connected to the left faucet, the outside water connection to the right faucet. Don't look for a water heater, you won't find one.....
thank you, i have yet to check anything out with the water system. will get to that sooner rather than later.
Quote:
7. Get some "Gas Leak Detector" at the local hardware store and, after turning on the LP tank, check all gas line connections for leaks. Do this before trying to light the stove or furnace. A gas leak fire can ruin an otherwise good day.
thanks. will do

Quote:
8. Set a realistic "Fix Up" budget for: a) needed repairs and b) changes and additions you want to make.
You will get to spend some money, so setting some aside up front will remove the temptation to bypass or short cut fixes. It always costs less to do it right the first time, than having emergency repairs made on the road a second time.

9. A few things I would do were it mine to update: a) If it wasn't done already, get the wheels pulled and the bearings repacked and new seals installed. All new bearings are cheap if done at the same time, but insist that they also replace the "Races". What grease is in there now may have turned to peanut butter and may well lubricate about as well. b) c) Plan on removing and resealing the side windows. It's an easy job when planned, but a real PITA to fix it starts to leak, same for the roof hatch. Be ahead of problems. c) install a new power chassis, the Progressive Dynamics PD-4045 will replace the dated converter/charger you have as well as give you a 3 stage battery charger that will protect and prolong the life of the new battery you will have to buy anyway. It wil also give you the ability to add just about anything you will need/want in the future.

OK.... I guess that will about use up your first weekend of fun. Let us know what you find and how it goes....
thank you again for the wealth of information. it is a lot to start off with but i am looking forward to learning and doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kootenaigirl View Post
Wow, great story. Sound like really nice previous owners you lucked out for sure - great trailer at an even greater price. Congratulations.
thanks so much. i feel very lucky. overwhelmed, but lucky

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Yahoo! Happy day!
yes indeed!! Thanks
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:12 PM   #67
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Name: Dee
Trailer: Currently shopping
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Posts: 54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
Keep in mind that the tongue weight will lower most tow vehicles rear ends a bit, nose down does not hurt.

Comparing the pictures you posted here: Hi! I'm Dena & hopefully about to become a lil bigfoot owner!

There is quite a difference in where the center of the spindle is located in relation to the body. Yours appears to be sitting quite low. Worthy of investigation by comparing to other pictures and an axle inspection.

Congratulations on the purchase! Now get her fixed up before you get twofootitis, a common ailment among FGRV owners. Right Jim?
ok i googled, and figured it out. yay me.

now, could the differences in spindle location between the two compared photos be due to the fact that the 1st image the trailer is jacked up way high in the fromt and the photo of mine, the trailer is just sitting straight/level on the little wheel thingy????? (i swear i will learn proper terminology some day but for now, thingy and doodads are the kind of language you will get from me lol)
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:20 PM   #68
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Bob Miller----that was a great post! May have to print it out!
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:21 PM   #69
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Lil' Bigfoots don't seem to have as much wheel clearance as others, such as Scamp etc..

You can compare the wheel position on our 94 Lil'Bigfoot in these pics.
advocateone's Library | Photobucket

In the solo pics it is unloaded, in the pics on page 2, when being towed, it is fully loaded. I think that yours is about the same.
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:45 PM   #70
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Name: Dee
Trailer: Currently shopping
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Lil' Bigfoots don't seem to have as much wheel clearance as others, such as Scamp etc..

You can compare the wheel position on our 94 Lil'Bigfoot in these pics.
advocateone's Library | Photobucket

In the solo pics it is unloaded, in the pics on page 2, when being towed, it is fully loaded. I think that yours is about the same.
thanks for sharing the photos. your lil bigfoot is beautiful!! i do see what you mean about the wheel clearance.
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