Hi! Newbie w 17 ft Bigfoot travel trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-20-2017, 11:04 PM   #1
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Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 20
Talking Hi! Newbie w 17 ft Bigfoot travel trailer

Hello all, I am looking forward to this forum to help me figure out improvements, tips and mainteinance of the 2004 17 ft Bigfoot travel trailer I just bought this week. ON way home to Moab from Albuquerque, I figured out the axle is bent as I noticed the tires were just slightly cambered inward. Looks like it is common problem on RVs where the cheapskate manufactors install smallest axle then can and leave you with no carry capacity. I have all the original paper work and turns out with the 330 pounds of options, including only the freash water tank and propane, there is only 130 pounds left for carrying capacity. Forget grey/black water, gear, food, dogs and potholes! I got a bid to install new 6000 lb axle, raise springs above the axle for 4 inches of clearance, new larger hubs/brakes, 5 to 6 bolt rims and recyce the almost new 15" maxxis load range e tires I have on bigfoot. Bid will be about $1000, but will be way to go to get the bigfoot reliable for some off pavement camping and travel. Everything works great, 6 cu ft fridge, huge heater. ac, fully insulated top, sides and bottom, insulated glass, 3 burner stove, oven, awning, outdoor shower, etc. Thinking I get Zamp solar set up eventually?? Might go south this winter, big bend natl park and friends in arizona and texas. I will do some homework and see what I can learn, not sure how to fully winterize it and it will be freezing soon, any tips will be apreciated. Thanks all in advance!
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Old 10-21-2017, 12:34 AM   #2
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
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Marcia, Marcia, Marcia, welcome to the FGRV forum family bunch.
Dave&Paula
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Old 10-21-2017, 12:39 AM   #3
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Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
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congratulations.....

You'll find a lot of answers around here....

but first something does not quite compute.....2004, insulated windows ????

Would help if we knew what model it is too.....pictures are the best to narrow things down....especially the winterizing bit....

Welcome!
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Old 10-21-2017, 01:26 AM   #4
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Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
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I have 2004 bigfoot 15B17CB

It has the winterizing package, thermal pane windows, upgraded furnace, heated and insulated tanks and fantastic bath fan. From looking at the list of options, I suspect the original owner bought every available option, awning, propane hood, outdoor shower, spare tire cover/carrier, 3 burner stove, 11K BTU ac, 6 cu ft fridge, chrome wheels, elctronic ignition hot water, day/night pleated shades, skylight, rack/ladder, stabilizers, 2 fantastic fans, etc.. The whole package of extra adds 270 pounds of weight to a claimed weight of 3020, then add 35 lbs of water and 37 lbs of propane, the CCC capacity is only 140lbs. The new 2500 version of this same configuration comes with a 4400 lb axle, probably as they realized the axles could not handle the loads (?). The fellow who is helping me with the axle upgrade at springworks suggested the 6000 lb axle over the 4400lb axle for a few reasons. He says the 4500 lb axle is not very common , so if you have issues on road later, you might be waiting for parts. And the 6000 lb axle allows an upgrade from a 10" to 12" brake, so that made sense. He is installing a "rockwell" brand axle and says even though it is called a 6000lb axle and meets the specs of every other 6000 lb axle, rockwell says the real load capacity is 5200lbs. I will try to load some photos, let me know if they work.


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Old 10-21-2017, 01:30 AM   #5
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Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
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It is 15B17CB

I wrote a more detailed reply with some attached pictures, but got message a moderator must approve it before it posts. I am new here so probably have to get a few posts before I can post pics?? Thanks for your help and interest! I am very excited about my new Bigfoot TT.
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Old 10-21-2017, 03:23 AM   #6
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Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
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same...

same model as mine, a 97.....I'll take and post three pictures tomorrow that will show / explain how I winterize mine....

geez, a thousand bucks for all that work in CO ??? that is Ssoooo cheap compared to here

there are a lot of owners here who have put new axles on their 17s...hopefully they will chime in...all I did was put new/bigger springs on mine. FULLY loaded for a trip there is 3240 lbs on my axle (rated for 3500)....starting in 2005 the new model, the 17.5, has a 4500 axle

cheers, F
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:48 AM   #7
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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welcome

Welcome glad you are here nice rig too!

good luck

bob
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:20 AM   #8
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Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
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thanks for winterizing tips!

Thanks so much! Yes, I saw the 2005 brochure with the bigger axle and now I realize why, it really needs the bigger carying capacity to avoid the inevitable . Even if you manage to keep it below 3500 total weight,
one good pothole or curb would put enough load to damage axle,
spindle or bearings. I wrote up more detail on bid and some pictures, but waiting for mod approval. Basically, the Springworks guy, Brian, was very good and he sold me on the 6000lb over the 4500lb axle because it allows upgrading to 12" from 10" brakes and he also said the 4500lb axle is not common like the 6000lb, so no waiting for parts down the road if I get into trouble.

Any comments on raising the bigfoot so the springs sit on the axle? I know I will sacrifice some stability and increase the wind resistance and the axle itself will still be at same height, even lower due to the increase in diameter, but thinking it is worth it to avoid hitting the bottom of trailer when on rough roads, entering steep drives, etc.

I thought the quote was pretty good as well, mostly parts, only couple hours of labor ($175), axle ($155), hub and drum($141), brake backing plate ($106), 2 new leafs ($106), u bolt kit ($18), greaseable bolts X6 ($18), and few extra small parts. He is letting me bring in new wheels and recommended the nice alloy ones from Etrailer ($100 each). So his bid totals $729 and I pay $300 for new wheels and whatever the mount and balance charge will be. He said I could bring in new rear shocks and they would get those on for me, might be a freebie (?).

I will report back to let others know how the work goes, but I think they have their act together and he knew all the specs, measurements, leaf thicknesses from his head because this is all they do. They are going to re arch my 98 suburban sagging rear springs, add a thicker leaf and raise height to proper level same day. And he even offered to let me come down day before and hook up to their 30 amp plug night before so they can get everything done for me on both vehicles in one day. Now that is some nice service with some added value thrown in, hard to find this kind of help these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
same model as mine, a 97.....I'll take and post three pictures tomorrow that will show / explain how I winterize mine....

geez, a thousand bucks for all that work in CO ??? that is Ssoooo cheap compared to here

there are a lot of owners here who have put new axles on their 17s...hopefully they will chime in...all I did was put new/bigger springs on mine. FULLY loaded for a trip there is 3240 lbs on my axle (rated for 3500)....starting in 2005 the new model, the 17.5, has a 4500 axle

cheers, F
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Old 10-21-2017, 10:42 AM   #9
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Name: MURRAY
Trailer: Ventura
British Columbia (BC)
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Bigfoot

Welcome Marcia
Yes when you buy used there will be some surprises.
I just bought a 1976 Ventura.
The previous owner put new flooring in. Looked good.
When I got home and started to do a some renos I noticed that the two sheets of plywood under the new floor were soaking wet. I now have it all removed and will carry on.
You will get over your unforseens and go camping.
Enjoy
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Old 10-21-2017, 02:36 PM   #10
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Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
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winterizing....

you will need to buy a gallon of "RV anti-freeze"....it will be PINK in color

once you're all set up, you turn on the water pump and open ALL your faucets, ONE BY ONE, until you see the pink stuff running out of the fixture...(don't forget about the shower drain as there is a P-trap below it)

I will assume that your black and grey water tanks have been "dumped" (empty)...that's not always possible though....the grey tank can be "handled" quite easily....regardless I always leave the black tank (toilet flush) for last to get a large amount of AF in that tank (see second pic)

pictures of a 97 CB model BF17 (1500)......regards, F
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winter3.jpg   winter4.jpg  

winter5.jpg   winter6.jpg  

winter7.jpg   outable1.jpg  

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Old 10-21-2017, 02:50 PM   #11
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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well

I have been so lucky I bought 2 campers sight unseen. took a quick tour hooked up and on my way.

what are you out a couple of pieces of plywood and some labor. I wouldn't worry in the least but I would track down the leak and move on.

you will love you camper!!

keep going


bob
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Old 10-21-2017, 03:14 PM   #12
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Name: Francois
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and to avoid confusion....

in the pic below (left side, outside access, bathroom area)

the Tee on the drain was installed backwards must have been on a monday morning trailer....no problems with it though

the isolation valve is there in case the grey tank get overfilled and starts backing up into the shower pan (Ooops!).....one would close it before driving to a dump station (no sloshing/splashing in bathroom while driving)
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Old 10-21-2017, 03:25 PM   #13
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about your " hard to find this kind of help these days."

I'll say......I'm guessing he'll be asking you on a date next.....
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:37 PM   #14
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Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
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This is awesome! thanks for the pictorial step by step. I also have an outside shower, so must be some water in that line to drain backwards.
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