Looking to buy 1993 Bigfoot. - Fiberglass RV
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:51 AM   #1
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Looking to buy 1993 Bigfoot.

Tomorrow I'm looking at and probably buying a 1993 Bigfoot 17. Does anyone have any info they can share with me? What is the weight, do they tow well, are they finished well? I'll be paying a premium and driving several hundred miles for it but from what I can see it looks pretty good. Is there anything I need to know or look out for? Tell me now or forever hold your, uh, comments lol!
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:05 AM   #2
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
Washington
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Mine weighs 3400 pounds with a moderate load. About 400 pounds of the 3400 on the tongue. There is lots of storage so packing more weight would be possible. Mine tows well and I saw some improvements in stability when I put 15 inch wheels and 225-75-15 tires on it. The frontal area is large so fuel consumption is not the best. Best fuel mileage was 14.5 and worst was 7.5. The 7.5 event took place on an extremely windy day. My 07 Tacoma 4x4 gets 18 or 19 when not towing. The trailer is wider than the truck, so extension mirrors are necessary. The bottom of the door (not the doorframe) was bad so I replaced the wood that was sandwiched between the exterior fiberglass panel and the interior aluminum panel.
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:37 AM   #3
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Thanks Jack

I'll be towing with a new Colorado diesel 4x4 z71. I've been getting 30mpg on the highway without a load. I towed a big 25' stick built with tipouts from Spokane to Vegas and averaged 16-18 so I'm thinking similar or a bit better with the Bigfoot. I currently have a Scamp 19 I'm going to be selling when I come up with a new, to me, bumper pull.
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Old 07-23-2017, 02:38 PM   #4
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Name: Francois
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tough....

tough would be one way to describe BFs....the biggest asset to what you're contemplating buying is a thick fiberglass shell....with no rivets. Basic construction starts with gluing thin plywood backed styrofoam insulation panels (1") to all outside surfaces....cleats are screwed to the plywood at prescribed intervals and all funrniture, partitions, lockers are fastened to these cleats....IME it's a very strong/stiff end product....

there are three distinct production runs....inception (late seventies) to about 88 or 89..... then what I like to call "second generation" and labelled "1500 series" about 89 to 2004.......in 2005 the 2500 series (17.5) was introduced and that is a heavier, better insulated, fancier, more expensive unit

if I was considering a first generation unit I would be doing a very close inspection of all wall/ceiling surfaces etc as some have experienced some seperation of the styro material from the shell....

second generation units don't seem to generate those kinds of occasional complaints.....I have a 97 and the only complaint I have in that department is that a small section of the fabric headliner (not used in first gen.) has become seperated from the ceiling in one spot (not enough glue, very stiff material and it "popped out" of the concave surface it was glued to)....it's hard to notice, it's on my "list"....dunno if I'll get to it

Bigfoots used good old Magnatek power centers that have a bad reputation (deserved)....if you can ascertain that the charger is working within limits that would be good....other wise you might be looking for a replacement converter/charger as many others have done

Bigfoots are wide and square....this makes them not very good aerodynamically speaking (gas mileage)....the flip side of that is TONS of useable storage in those same high, square areas

the two possible beds in a Bigfoot 17 are only 41 inches wide....many owners devise ways to augment this with creative solutions of their owm

bottom line is....you can buy a 15-20 year old Bigfoot for what seems to be a big price....use it for 3-5-7 years, spending money on regular stuff that breaks/wears out every year like any other trailer....and you will be selling it again for what you paid for it in the first place.....they don't make 1500 series units anymore....and the 17.5 brand new sells for 45k.....

you certainly won't have trouble towing with your TV in any situation....a thing I really like about my trailer/TV combination is how short the turning radius is....I'm a fan of single axle trailers for this reason

Now I hope you're not driving to Canada and snatching another Bigfoot to take out of this country......THAT has got to stop!.......

good luck
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Old 07-23-2017, 02:50 PM   #5
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Not Canada, lol this one has been in the USA for quite some time. Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:07 AM   #6
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I bought it!

Well I bit the bullet and bought the little Big Foot. It truly is solid and very well appointed with lots of storage. The tires on it are like new but 14". I saw a post on here where someone changed the tires on their Bigfoot to 15" and it rides a lot better. Mine rides well with the 14's but I just bought a beautiful set of 15's with fancy wheels for my Scamp and they have zero miles on them. I'd like to put them on the Bigfoot but the clearance looks pretty tight. Anyone have any tips on getting more clearance? I'll post this in other forums also. Thanks!!!
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:22 AM   #7
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
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A 1993 Bigfoot probably came with a 4"drop axle. My 94 did, so I changed to a straight axle and 225-75-15 tires fit fine. From the photo you posted, it looks like your trailer is sitting higher and might have already had some axle modification. If you post a picture of the inside of one of wheels and axle I can tell you more.
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
A 1993 Bigfoot probably came with a 4"drop axle. My 94 did, so I changed to a straight axle and 225-75-15 tires fit fine. From the photo you posted, it looks like your trailer is sitting higher and might have already had some axle modification. If you post a picture of the inside of one of wheels and axle I can tell you more.

Someone else must have posted a picture. I haven't posted any yet. Just ran out and looked and It looks like you are correct as far as the drop axle. How about just putting the axle under the leaf springs. Is that a recommended procedure?
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:39 PM   #9
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I had the axle on my 2002 Bigfoot changed from a drop axle to a straight axle and gained good clearance. New brakes, bearings, drums etc. were included in the axle swap.

I still have the 14" wheels/tires but someday I might get 15's which requires 3 new wheels and 3 new tires. Maybe later if I feel the need.
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:57 PM   #10
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pictures....

of a 97 with original springs....and "axel flipped" (I think) by a previous owner

second picture is of new, beefier springs (six leafs instead of five)...

third picture where/how it sits now....still on 14" tires....
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Old 07-25-2017, 11:33 PM   #11
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Question Advice on a Bigfoot 25 ft motorhome - 2003

Hi there. I hope I can ask about a motorhome and not just an egg. I have a 17 ft. Casita, but my husband really cannot use it with me. I am looking at a 2003, 25 foot Bigfoot motorhome with 22,000 miles (like for the all season capability), V10. I would be the 3rd owner. It would allow my husband to join me camping. Are there some words of advice - I love my egg but....Thank you all. I have gotten many a great word of advice from the members of this list. Karen

All papers are with it. I have not seen the roof - if there is any drying out of seals. It has not been covered. I know my mileage will be poor. Can one pull a smaller vehicle behind it?
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Old 07-26-2017, 01:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artsykaren View Post
Hi there. I hope I can ask about a motorhome and not just an egg. I have a 17 ft. Casita, but my husband really cannot use it with me. I am looking at a 2003, 25 foot Bigfoot motorhome with 22,000 miles (like for the all season capability), V10. I would be the 3rd owner. It would allow my husband to join me camping. Are there some words of advice - I love my egg but....Thank you all. I have gotten many a great word of advice from the members of this list. Karen
All papers are with it. I have not seen the roof - if there is any drying out of seals. It has not been covered. I know my mileage will be poor. Can one pull a smaller vehicle behind it?
Hi Karen, small TTs don't workout for everyone. I've had many folks that after the "tour", comment about my SD being so small. My standard answer is "yup and I have to outside to change my mind". Anyway, to the RV. The V10 will tow a car/truck easily and the mileage is very low. To me the 25-29' range is very good. If it has been based/stored in an area that's dry with little rain you most likely won't have water damage. On the past stick RVs I've had, I would check all the seams once a year for condition. The roof seam I resealed around the 3 year mark. They were all aluminum or one piece FG roofs. Really, your check list would be the same as looking at an egg, just add an engine, tranny and maybe a slide. BTW, the V10 is a nice motor and good luck to you.
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Old 07-26-2017, 04:31 AM   #13
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
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Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
Someone else must have posted a picture. I haven't posted any yet. Just ran out and looked and It looks like you are correct as far as the drop axle. How about just putting the axle under the leaf springs. Is that a recommended procedure?
If you mount the 4' drop axle under the springs, you will raise the frame, and body of the trailer about the same amount as you would if you changed to a straight axle mounted above the springs. This would give you room for the larger tires and wheels but your ground clearance (the distance from the axle tube to the ground) would remain the same. If you are never going to leave improved (smooth) roads, this will work fine, but if you are going to explore BLM and Forest Service roads, that extra ground clearance is a real plus on rough terrain. When I did mine a few years ago, the cost of the straight axle was just under $100 and the new U bolts and other hardware was about $50. I felt the little extra cost was well worth it, I bought the parts from Six Roblees, a very large Dexter distributor and they have lots of inventory.
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:25 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
If you mount the 4' drop axle under the springs, you will raise the frame, and body of the trailer about the same amount as you would if you changed to a straight axle mounted above the springs. This would give you room for the larger tires and wheels but your ground clearance (the distance from the axle tube to the ground) would remain the same. If you are never going to leave improved (smooth) roads, this will work fine, but if you are going to explore BLM and Forest Service roads, that extra ground clearance is a real plus on rough terrain. When I did mine a few years ago, the cost of the straight axle was just under $100 and the new U bolts and other hardware was about $50. I felt the little extra cost was well worth it, I bought the parts from Six Roblees, a very large Dexter distributor and they have lots of inventory.

Jack do you happen to recall the size of the axle (in length) that you purchased. I'm in Spokane and there are several axle distributors around here. You are correct that at that price I may as well go with a new axle if going through the hassle of changing it to begin with. From your post I'm assuming you did the work yourself, was it a tough job or fairly easy? Thanks
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
of a 97 with original springs....and "axel flipped" (I think) by a previous owner

second picture is of new, beefier springs (six leafs instead of five)...

third picture where/how it sits now....still on 14" tires....
Did you change the springs and or axle yourself?
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Old 07-26-2017, 10:14 AM   #16
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Name: Francois
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more often than not....

spring/axle work is a b***ch of a job for the usual backyard mechanic....often a cutting torch is required, the components having "welded" themselves together over years.....

Just what I think....and I used to work in the business....a spring/axle shop is all set up for the challenges....and they are quick (low labour component)....YMMV

on the ground clearance front, yes my axle is still the same distance from the ground...but the main goal of all this was/is to increase the height of the frame so the back bumper doesn't make contact with the ground....as for running off-road, I do it all the time and the logging roads are mostly flat side to side....it's not as if I'm going to be running on roads with deep ruts or steer around boulders....if things get that bad I'll park the trailer and just take the TV over such terrain.....when in doubt I'll unload the electric bike and go scout out the road up ahead....making sure there's at least a turn-around spot available somewhere up ahead
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Old 07-26-2017, 10:44 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
Jack do you happen to recall the size of the axle (in length) that you purchased. I'm in Spokane and there are several axle distributors around here. You are correct that at that price I may as well go with a new axle if going through the hassle of changing it to begin with. From your post I'm assuming you did the work yourself, was it a tough job or fairly easy? Thanks
I'm sorry, I can't find the original receipt. Keep in mind that yours could be different from others. I believe Six Roblees has a warehouse in Spokane and they should have what you need off the shelf. Other shops are Dexter dealers but they probably get the axle from Six Roblees and mark it up some. As far as difficulty, I thought it was pretty easy. Some physical labor, but not too much for me and I have bad knees. Some very simple welding is required.
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Old 07-28-2017, 08:28 AM   #18
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Name: Jack L
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Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
Jack do you happen to recall the size of the axle (in length) that you purchased. I'm in Spokane and there are several axle distributors around here. You are correct that at that price I may as well go with a new axle if going through the hassle of changing it to begin with. From your post I'm assuming you did the work yourself, was it a tough job or fairly easy? Thanks
I found the original receipt. The Dexter part # is TS3585EZ. It is a 3500# axle with 85" hub face to hub face. I paid $99.47 for the axle with spring seats that had to be welded to the tube. U bolt kit and other necessary small parts ran the total to $148.55. These prices were in effect 4 years ago. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:42 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
I found the original receipt. The Dexter part # is TS3585EZ. It is a 3500# axle with 85" hub face to hub face. I paid $99.47 for the axle with spring seats that had to be welded to the tube. U bolt kit and other necessary small parts ran the total to $148.55. These prices were in effect 4 years ago. Hope this helps.

Thank you! Every little bit of info helps!!
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:45 AM   #20
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Jack did you go over mount or under mount?
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