Go BIGfoot or Go Home - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-19-2018, 07:11 PM   #1
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Go BIGfoot or Go Home

Apologies if this is in the wrong subsection.


So I am looking for a suitable Cabin shell to mount on a Fuso FG 4x4 for Ski Resort travel.


Besides Bigfoot, and Escape (or the rare as a Polar Bear (Northern Lite) are there any other FG units good for sub freezing ?


Travel will be in the PNW and Interior BC so nothing below 0˚ and mostly much warmer. Major snow only occurs above 15˚ so I would have the rig in the barn during those weeks.


Speaking of Bigfoots anyone know how to spot a 2500 vs a 1500 easily on say a CL posting lacking the info ? Will be mounting on a skid for removal and will insulate the belly even further.


TIA


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Old 06-19-2018, 07:40 PM   #2
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Bigfoot trailers built before 2004 are 1500 models. 2005 and later are 2500's. If all you have is a photo. the seam (belly band) is about equal distance from the top to bottom of the trailer on 1500's. On the 2500's the seam is much lower. About 1/3 of the distance from the bottom.

I believe Oliver trailers have a winter package that is more extensive than Bigfoot.
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Old 06-19-2018, 07:50 PM   #3
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Bigfoot trailers built before 2004 are 1500 models. 2005 and later are 2500's. If all you have is a photo. the seam (belly band) is about equal distance from the top to bottom of the trailer on 1500's. On the 2500's the seam is much lower. About 1/3 of the distance from the bottom.

Excellent Info Jack. Best scores on these are from someone who doesn;t know what they got !




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I believe Oliver trailers have a winter package that is more extensive than Bigfoot.

Oh I love the Oliver's but no one here wants to see me rip out much of the interior and install bunks in their place. An older BF sure but that would be blasphemous indeed...


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Old 06-20-2018, 04:27 AM   #4
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How does one know if their Bigfoot has the winter insulation package?
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:36 AM   #5
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How does one know if their Bigfoot has the winter insulation package?
I do not think an of the 1500's have a winter package. On the 2500's it's my belief that some do and some do not have it. Hopefully someone with a 2500 series will have an answer.
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:42 AM   #6
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While I love my Escape, it is not as winterized as the Bigfoot or Oliver. Good for the corner seasons, and freezing overnights, but I wouldn't attempt to use the water systems in constant freezing weather.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:37 AM   #7
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While I love my Escape, it is not as winterized as the Bigfoot or Oliver. Good for the corner seasons, and freezing overnights, but I wouldn't attempt to use the water systems in constant freezing weather.

Thanks.



Was hoping to hear better reports on insulation as they claim it to be. Do most of the Escapes have Dual Panes ?

Might be hard to score a BF as I need to keep it under 19' and likely 17.5. Rear side bed is my preferred layout.


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Old 06-20-2018, 10:41 AM   #8
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I do not think an of the 1500's have a winter package. On the 2500's it's my belief that some do and some do not have it. Hopefully someone with a 2500 series will have an answer.

Thought most of them would so might be a crapshoot.
Since I will be removing the wheels and putting this up skids I may do my own belly insulation. Maybe even spray foam it one section at a sticky icky time. Better see if I can get elbow length disposables as this will get messy !
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:01 AM   #9
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It would be easier and a lot less work to mount a Bigfoot or Arctic Fox overhead camper on your truck frame. Trailers are generally more expensive and you would literally have to butcher one to mount it on a truck frame. With an overhead camper you would need some kind of fairly simple flatbed or cross brackets to set it on. Then you would have the option of simply jacking it up and driving the truck out from under it when you didn't need it or it was time to sell.

Water and waste water in cold weather requires more intensive management. The Bigfoot (and I believe the Arctic Fox) have interior heated tanks for both. You have to remember to keep the water heater going often enough to keep it from freezing also.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by skpiste View Post
Thanks.



Was hoping to hear better reports on insulation as they claim it to be. Do most of the Escapes have Dual Panes ?

Might be hard to score a BF as I need to keep it under 19' and likely 17.5. Rear side bed is my preferred layout.


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All Escapes are available with dual pane windows, an extra layer of insulation, and spray foam on the bottom. In addition, heating pads can be installed on the tanks (they are 12v, but draw enough that you will need hookups to run them any length of time). Still, Escape does not claim their trailers are 4 season. Exterior tanks and a single wall shell limit their cold weather comfort, although the furnace in my 21 has no problem keeping me comfortable at an overnight 25F temperature.

Again, the difficulty is the outside tanks. I know Escape owners use their trailers in sub freezing temperatures for skiing, etc, but they don't use the water system, flushing the toilet with RV antifreeze.
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:32 PM   #11
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I actually think that with the vehicle in question, a travel trailer would require less modification than an overhead slide-in camper. It would honestly just be a matter of bolting it on.


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Old 06-20-2018, 03:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bruce H View Post
It would be easier and a lot less work to mount a Bigfoot or Arctic Fox overhead camper on your truck frame. Trailers are generally more expensive and you would literally have to butcher one to mount it on a truck frame. With an overhead camper you would need some kind of fairly simple flatbed or cross brackets to set it on. Then you would have the option of simply jacking it up and driving the truck out from under it when you didn't need it or it was time to sell.

Water and waste water in cold weather requires more intensive management. The Bigfoot (and I believe the Arctic Fox) have interior heated tanks for both. You have to remember to keep the water heater going often enough to keep it from freezing also.

I have looked at those setups but the sleeping configs do not suit my needs. I need to sleep 4-5 people for tours and even a HOST Mammoth sleeping submarine style will never work. Most RV's are Cuddle Buddy sleepers and that's not going to be the focus for my operation.


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Old 06-20-2018, 03:43 PM   #13
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Again, the difficulty is the outside tanks. I know Escape owners use their trailers in sub freezing temperatures for skiing, etc, but they don't use the water system, flushing the toilet with RV antifreeze.

Don't plan on using any waste tanks. I use Dr Bonners only and always drain to waste.



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Old 06-20-2018, 03:45 PM   #14
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I actually think that with the vehicle in question, a travel trailer would require less modification than an overhead slide-in camper. It would honestly just be a matter of bolting it on.
Yep that's it and I will have it made with a Stake Bed so I can haul ... well pretty much anything I want with the camper slid off. Way easier in my opinion.


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Old 06-20-2018, 04:21 PM   #15
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Guess I should flesh this out

So here would be the plan of action for my Snow Resort Tour biz:

Purchase a unit like this and hopefully as a 2500.

Unit will be mounted backwards for better ergonomics and door placement etc.
Stake bed will have cargo boxes for ski/board storage and extra propanes.
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:22 PM   #16
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Interior:
Remove upper cabinets in sleeping areas. Replace with bunks.
Remove water waster toilet. Replace with composter
Remove Black Water tank and replace with something useful (like firewood for a Dickinson wood stove).

Exterior:
Remove wheels but leave axles intact. Likley to use U-Bolts for mounting the axle to the bed for Flexy Lexi action.
Install PT skids around trailer frame/ Insulate entire belly as it will now be framed.
Mount rear bumper to stake bed (Vinyl coated cable might work).


Cut tongue off at end of propane tank mounts. Weld steel cage on end @ 90˚ and enclose tanks. Install wood bumper at top of tanks and add a hook for pulling.
Use hook for dismounting onto a dock. Use wood bumper to push unit back on truck bed. Signal lighting can be mounted on wood bumper as the cabin will extend past the bed.


So the general idea here is that the water lines will be drained for most hours of the day. Most eating, drinking. #1 and #2 will be done in the lodge. Most actual hanging out will be done in the lodge or any of the eateries at the resort. Day time hours will be spent ripping up powder turns.
Water will be turned on Apres Ski (the warmest hours of the day) for showers and pumped drained for the remaining 18 hours. Gray tank will be bypassed but available. Unless client needs to use his miracle bald hair cure shampoo Castile soap is fine to drain to waste. Will be directed away from the tires cause that's just rookie stuff.

Repeat as client base grows and improve designs.


Keep in mind this is the PNW and its rather balmy in the Winter.
Pretty sure I can make it work even with a 1500 or Escape. Between the Dickinson wood burner and the house heat it will be Roasty Toasty.

My alternative is to build a Reefer box from scratch but I am going to be building out a 20 acre property. Homestead takes priority here and this is a couple of weeks vs a couple of months work.


So any other units I might consider utilizing with the ability to install bunks ? If I can seat and sleep 6 that would rule. Kitchen area 100% optional as only coffee will be served this flight !


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Old 06-20-2018, 05:10 PM   #17
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Rutger Hauer outfitted a complete semi truck/trailer for his sometimes months-long sojourns at movie sites...are you sure you're thinking big enough?

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Old 06-20-2018, 05:46 PM   #18
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Rutger Hauer outfitted a complete semi truck/trailer for his sometimes months-long sojourns at movie sites...are you sure you're thinking big enough?

Kai

Yeah but I'll get 14 MPG especially tooling up Rt 97...
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Old 06-21-2018, 08:21 AM   #19
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skpiste: true, it's unlikely he's happy about the gas mileage! For him, perhaps it's not really an issue. For those who count our dollars, it is an issue.
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Old 06-21-2018, 08:30 AM   #20
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Depending on where you are, draining the grey water isn't actually an option, but if you've got a business plan with this then I'm sure you've looked into that. I was just at a Bureau of Reclamation dispersed, free camping area and the posted rules say no dumping dish or shower water.

"Lodge" and "Resort". Is this a private place owned by someone you're working with, or an actual ski resort and lodge that the public comes to, on forest service land? Dumping the water into the parking lot isn't going to work if it's the latter...

But this is stuff I'm sure you've thought about and not why you came here!

I hope you find what you need cause I'd love to see it come together. I parked next to an outfitted Fuso a few weeks back and it looked like a really fun motorhome.
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