New Member here with bigfoot questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-23-2007, 11:42 AM   #1
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Trailer: Bigfoot 20 ft 5th Wheel
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I will be picking up my parent's '85 20ft. Bigfoot 5th wheel at the end of this month in B.C. and bringing it back to Alberta. It has been stored at my brother's property in central B.C. for 3 years along with the 89 Ford stretch cab they used to pull it.

My mother wants this combination either sold, or one of us boys to take it (Dad passed away 2 years ago). I've told her I will take care of this as my brothers have no interest and indeed the brother who is storing it told me he thought the trailer was only worth about $2500.00 and the truck (89 Ford F150 extra cab with 178,000 km) was worth less than the tires he put on it... Yeah...he doesn't have a clue.

So..I'm in the position of having to bus out to Kamloops where he'll meet me with the truck and trailer, then bring this unit back to the Edmonton area. I've never driven a trailer besides utility ones. What in heck should I check out before pulling it? I know the tires are old for one thing. My brother assures me it was all fine when he parked it 3 years back.

He has installed a new toilet and removed the floor covering in the bathroom so I have to replace the flooring when I get back, that's a certainty.

I expect he hasn't maintained the water tanks other than draining them so I assume I'll have to flush them and use something to purify them too. What would work for that?

I plan to take along a camping stove for the trip back as I'm certain he hasn't filled or used the propane system in the 3 years he's had it. Should I fill a tank when I get back and use liquid soap to check all the fittings?

I plan to put 2 new tires on it, what would be best for a trailer like this? Do trailers take radials?

Should I plan on repacking the bearings if I'm going to use this trailer myself? Mom doesn't know what maintenance was done on it.

So...here I am. About to tear up my back yard to make a parking pad for this trailer. Thinking I might just keep it, and without a clue as to what I would ask if I decide to sell the truck and trailer. What's it worth? Certainly much more than $2500, heck the last two Boler's I looked at were priced at $2000 and needed work.

Help?
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:39 PM   #2
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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...What in heck should I check out before pulling it?
There is a Buyer's Check List in FiberglassRV - see the link on the left side of the page - which may be useful. A recent topic, Checklist 7.0, provides suggestions for specific pre-travel items.
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:40 PM   #3
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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Should I fill a tank when I get back and use liquid soap to check all the fittings?
Yes, I think a leak check is in order.

A propane tank doesn't need to be full to check for leaks... it just needs some liquid in it so it maintains pressure. When you fire up the appliances to check them out (after the leak check), you'll need more propane, but nothing in the trailer uses it as rapidly as a common home barbecue.

In addition to the soap method to check connections, you can get a pressure gauge (usually sold as a "safety" gauge or mis-named as a level gauge) which screws in between the tank and trailer hose; you open the tank to supply pressure, then close the tank valve and see if the pressure drops due to gas escaping (it shouldn't for quite a while). These gauges are typically $50 or more at RV places; go to Costco and get one for $15 ($30 at Canadian Tire or Home Deport).

Checking the propane system may be one thing you want to pay someone to do. RV shops routinely do relatively full RV condition checks (propane, water tanks and plumbing, waste water system, all appliances) for a flat rate, although that may be their way to fish for more work... if you know you need new brakes, for instance, don't take it to them so they can tear it down and announce that you must buy all the parts to be able to take your trailer home.
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:42 PM   #4
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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I plan to put 2 new tires on it, what would be best for a trailer like this? Do trailers take radials?
This is a popular topic for intense debate in this forum. I suggest doing some searches (using the Search tool near the right side of the page, a row down from the top)... "radial" might be a good search keyword.

The short answer is [b]yes, trailers can use various types of tires, and the ones specifically designated for trailer use are now more common as radials than as bias-plys.

Since you're starting in a city (not the middle of nowhere), you might want to just buy tires there. If you are using the stock size in common trailer or light truck tires, they should be readily available, but the specific size may need to be ordered ahead of time.
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:42 PM   #5
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Should I plan on repacking the bearings if I'm going to use this trailer myself? Mom doesn't know what maintenance was done on it.
Repacking the bearings couldn't hurt, and would be a good opportunity to inspect the condition of the bearings when you get home. If they turn nicely without excessive play, I would just tow home on them as they are now... but that's just my opinion.
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Old 06-23-2007, 07:19 PM   #6
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To sanitize the fresh water put 1/4 cup chlorine bleach in for every 15 gallons of fresh water. Let it run trough all the faucets until you smell bleach and then let it sit for a couple hours. Drain, fill with fresh water, run the fresh water through the taps, drain and repeat.
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Old 06-23-2007, 07:31 PM   #7
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Trailer: Bigfoot 17 ft (15B17G)
Quebec
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I will be picking up my parent's '85 20ft. Bigfoot 5th wheel at the end of this month in B.C. and bringing it back to Alberta. It has been stored at my brother's property in central B.C. for 3 years along with the 89 Ford stretch cab they used to pull it.
Congrats on grabbing this sought after Bigfoot fifth wheeler. I'm sure that if you put some time and TLC in it, you'll end up with a nice and valuable trailer. But before you head back home with the trailer, you should definitely take a look at the condition of the tires, the brakes, the trailer wiring, and also, check the wheel bearings, and repack them with grease, if the need be. And DRIVE SLOWLY on the way home. If something happens, and you're driving slowly, you'll be OK.

Yves.
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:01 AM   #8
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....if it were me, I'd get the bearings looked after before headed back east just for safety sake, worrying about the other issues after you get SAFELY home

While you're at it, take a close look at the tires for signs of aging/cracking, you don't need a blow out on a busy mountain highway, do ya
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Old 06-24-2007, 03:42 PM   #9
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Trailer: Bigfoot 20 ft 5th Wheel
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Thanks very much for all the tips! I've removed a 30' spruce from my backyard and pulled out a section of fencing to allow this to back into the yard. Now I'm ready to place two rows of cement sidewalk blocks to park it on...but...

Anyone have any idea how wide the wheelbase would be on this?
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Old 06-24-2007, 04:11 PM   #10
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Thanks very much for all the tips! I've removed a 30' spruce from my backyard and pulled out a section of fencing to allow this to back into the yard. Now I'm ready to place two rows of cement sidewalk blocks to park it on...but...

Anyone have any idea how wide the wheelbase would be on this?
Scott, my best guess is that the trailer would be 8" wide. It would probably be safe to assume that the tires would be something like 7' on-center on the axle.

Roger
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Old 06-24-2007, 04:22 PM   #11
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Scott, my best guess is that the trailer would be 8" wide. It would probably be safe to assume that the tires would be something like 7' on-center on the axle.

Roger
Roger, Did you mean 8í (foot) wide?

(OK, Iíll go to my room... )
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:46 PM   #12
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No, no... Mike... it's only 8" wide... I measured it myself...

GO TO YOUR ROOM!!!!!

Rog
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Old 06-24-2007, 06:49 PM   #13
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Trailer: Bigfoot 20 ft 5th Wheel
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8" wow!.... darn, I coulda left that tree after all.


Thanks guys!
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:04 PM   #14
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No, no... Mike... it's only 8" wide... I measured it myself...

GO TO YOUR ROOM!!!!!

Rog


(itís hard to ever catch Rog...)

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