New Bigfoot Owner - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-22-2015, 12:44 AM   #1
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Name: David
Trailer: Bigfoot
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New Bigfoot Owner

[ATTACH]Attachment 90020[/ATTACH]Hi Everyone, My name is Dave and I live on the California Central coast. My wife Vicki and I just acquired a 1986 Bigfoot B17 Deluxe which is are first trailer. The unit had not been cared for and was quite dirty but after several weeks it's cleaned up very well. Still has some kinks to work out, one being the original Dometic RM361 fridge which doesn't work with propane. Looking to replace it with a Dometic RM2354 hopefully this week.

I did have a question. One of the previous owners put some tacky tape over the original graphics so we've been working to get them off to be replaced with new graphics. I've been using an eraser wheel on my drill which has worked pretty well but under the existing graphics there is a white graphic image of the original graphic that is raised and won't come off with anything I use. Has anyone come across this issue and been successful in removing it? Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-22-2015, 02:08 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dave Gray View Post
[ATTACH]Attachment 90020[/ATTACH]Hi Everyone, My name is Dave and I live on the California Central coast. My wife Vicki and I just acquired a 1986 Bigfoot B17 Deluxe which is are first trailer. The unit had not been cared for and was quite dirty but after several weeks it's cleaned up very well. Still has some kinks to work out, one being the original Dometic RM361 fridge which doesn't work with propane. Looking to replace it with a Dometic RM2354 hopefully this week.

I did have a question. One of the previous owners put some tacky tape over the original graphics so we've been working to get them off to be replaced with new graphics. I've been using an eraser wheel on my drill which has worked pretty well but under the existing graphics there is a white graphic image of the original graphic that is raised and won't come off with anything I use. Has anyone come across this issue and been successful in removing it? Thanks for your help.
Welcome to the group Dave. The ghost graphics you see are the factory gel coat as it has not been affected by the UV like the rest of the shell. Nothing can be really done about that easily. Most folks that replace the graphics just use those ghost lines for a good pinpoint for the new ones.
Kind of surprised that an 1986 refer won't work on LP as that's not all that old. Have you looked into cleaning/blowing out all the LP lines. It only takes a VERY small piece of something to keep it from working. There are a number of threads here that deal with that same issue that you can find with a search. I would certainly do some checking and cleaning before I would be spending the $ for a new unit as long as it's in overall good condition.
Being this is your first trailer I've got a few questions for you. Have you checked and/or repacked the bearings and checked the date codes on the tires? Those two things are pretty much the biggest things for a new owner to do on any "new to me" rig. It also gives you a starting point for future maintenance. Most folks here use the 5 year age for tires no matter how they look on the outside. Kind of funny, when I got my SD17 the uncovered spare didn't look like it had ever been on the ground. Two months later as I walked by the egg I noticed the spare. The tread had totally split across the top, lifted 1/2 inch. Wasn't a problem as I was going to get three new tires anyway before the first trip. I never did look at the date code. Others will be along soon to give you more info on the refer problem.
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:15 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response Dave. I'm wondering if the graphics left behind are actually the adhesive layer? I can feel that they are raised slightly from the Gel coat. I saw a product online during research called "Rapid Remover that's supposed to remove graphic residue.

I did have have the drums and backing plates replaced on the trailer and the trailer brakes are now working properly. The 2 tires were recently replaced but I will check the date on the spare, thanks for that info.

It certainly makes sense to check the LP lines on the fridge first. I'll check other threads concerning this matter before I spend the bucks.
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:50 AM   #4
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Welcome, Dave!

Sounds like a nice trailer you've got there. Hope you'll post some pictures when you have time. I think Dave is right about the ghost lines. It's an area of thicker gelcoat that was protected from the sun. If you replace identical graphics, you'll have no trouble getting them in the right spot. And if you don't, I suspect regular waxing over time will make it less noticeable.

There's really nothing you can do to bring back lost gelcoat (at least nothing simple or inexpensive). The conventional wisdom is to protect it as long as you can with regular application of automotive or marine wax, and when it's too far gone, or there is fiberglass repair work to hide, paint. Some people with heavily oxidized but undamaged gelcoat choose to use a liquid floor wax (Zep) to bring back a more gelcoat-like gloss. It lasts longer than paste wax but has to be stripped and reapplied every couple of years or so, depending on environmental conditions.

Happy travels!
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Old 10-22-2015, 09:49 AM   #5
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 2000 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe...Tow vehicle 2015 Toyota Tacoma Dble Cab V6 Prerunner
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Let me welcome you also
There is a great fiberglass rally over halloween weekend at lake casitas near Ojai

Great group and lots of fun


Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:15 AM   #6
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Name: Tom
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Washington
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Removing / replacing graffics

Welcome Dave,
I had the same problem, as I am sure lots of others have too. The first responder is right on, your looking at the original gel coat that has not been affected by weather since new. I had pretty good success by wet sanding with 1800 grit wed/dry sandpaper on a hard flat sanding block, then buffing out the entire camper with 3M compound before reapplying the graphics. The sanding levels the surface, but nothing completely fixes this issue, whoever makes your replacement graphics should try to remake them the exact same size, tough to do but looks best when done.
Pretty sure your not looking at left over residue.....
Enjoy your Bigfoot, there great little campers.
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Old 10-22-2015, 02:09 PM   #7
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Same issue on my 1989 BF 17. As Tom Y said, wet sanding is the only solution but it will never totally eliminate the appearance of the original graphics since the gelcoat will be whiter than the surrounding gelcoat.
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Old 10-22-2015, 02:31 PM   #8
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If your refrigerator works on either 12 VDC or 120 VAC it's a lot less expensive to get the LP section fixed. It's when it doesn't won't on any that you know that you have a bad cooling circuit and they are generally consider not repairable.


And those ghost images, live with them. I have seen them pop-up through new graphics , even after wet sanding and using all the removers.
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:31 PM   #9
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I have 1992 Bigfoot and i remove decalc and graphic ghost

I have sand the gelcoat whit wet sand paper 600 grid and repolish with buffer and compoud
When i sand the ghost graphic the gelcoat come same color as the wall
Now i cannot see where the old graphic was where

I reseize pic and post it later
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Old 10-22-2015, 07:32 PM   #10
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Welcome to the world of the Bigfoot! We recently purchased a 2003 21' having traded up from a 16' Scamp(which we loved). We are hoping to get out this winter & do some short trips in our local area(AZ). Have fun fixing your trailer up. It will be worth all the hard work in the end.
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Old 10-22-2015, 07:54 PM   #11
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reseize pic without decalc
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Old 10-22-2015, 09:10 PM   #12
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Name: David
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Wow! Thank you to all who responded to our questions so quickly. We are amazed at how helpful everyone on this forum is.

We have decided to try and get decals made to match the ghost graphics. Seems like that is the easiest fix. Thank you Yvon for sending the photo of your Bigfoot. It looks great!

Thank you to Borrego Dave for all your suggestions. We are going tomorrow to get new tires as the ones on are 5 years old. We also have an appointment next week to have the lp lines to the refrigerator checked out. Thank you to all who suggested that.

We will keep everyone posted on our progress with our new old Bigfoot. And thank you alan H. for the heads up about the Ojai Lake Casita rally. We might make it there. If we do, hope to see you!
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Old 10-22-2015, 09:55 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=Dave Gray;555090]Wow! Thank you to all who responded to our questions so quickly. We are amazed at how helpful everyone on this forum is. QUOTE]

No problem Dave, that's the beauty of this site, you get answers.....sometimes too many
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:40 AM   #14
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Name: David
Trailer: Bigfoot
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Hi Alan, my wife and I got a camp spot this Friday and Saturday at Lake Casitas. It will be our first trip with the Bigfoot. Looking forward to meeting members of the group and seeing other folk's rigs. We'll be away from the group as the closest camp spot we could get is #F26. See you there.
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