Question for Bigfoot owners - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-31-2017, 04:59 PM   #1
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Question for Bigfoot owners

A question for those of you who own Bigfoot travel trailers (or any that are 8' wide). I would love the width inside the travel trailer, but wonder how difficult it may be to pull. I googled to see the width of a traffic lane on a regular highway, and they start at 9'. I am wondering if I would have trouble keeping it in the lane. . . and how (if) the width would create a problem on the little secondary roads I want to take. . .

Thanks for all the help,
Tonie
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:21 PM   #2
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Tonie,

I went from a Casita 17' to my current 17.5' Bigfoot (it's actually 18.5' stem to stern). I also like the width of the Bigfoot inside but find I have to be more mindful of how the trailer tracks on 2 lane roads. The Casita was the same width of my full size truck but the Bigfoot is about 17" wider (body vs body, not counting mirrors). The Casita just mirrored the truck's lane position but I have to keep a closer eye on the Bigfoot inside tire so I don't drift over the center line. It isn't a 'problem' per se, but something I pay closer attention to compared with the Casita.

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Old 01-31-2017, 06:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tidewater View Post
Tonie,

I went from a Casita 17' to my current 17.5' Bigfoot (it's actually 18.5' stem to stern). I also like the width of the Bigfoot inside but find I have to be more mindful of how the trailer tracks on 2 lane roads. The Casita was the same width of my full size truck but the Bigfoot is about 17" wider (body vs body, not counting mirrors). The Casita just mirrored the truck's lane position but I have to keep a closer eye on the Bigfoot inside tire so I don't drift over the center line. It isn't a 'problem' per se, but something I pay closer attention to compared with the Casita.

jack
Thanks, Jack. Do you take it down narrow roads? Is it harder to get into a camping space than the Casita?
Thanks,
Tonie
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:36 PM   #4
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Tonie,

Yes, I take it down narrow roads but, again, I pay closer attention to where my inside and curbside wheels are and slow down appropriately to let others pass on narrower roads.

I have had no difficulty getting into camping spots at all. Trailer length would be more of an issue in this regard than the few extra inches in width.

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Old 01-31-2017, 06:41 PM   #5
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Bigfoot

Thanks, Jack. Nothing like real experience. . . I appreciate the info.

Tonie
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:44 PM   #6
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I take my Bigfoot down roads about as narrow as they come. It's fine. But yes, you absolutely notice the difference.

When traveling down a road like I-15 through the SLC corridor, 4 lanes of traffic each way with traffic on both sides of me, I have to be very conscious of my placement in the lane. If I drift even a little to either side, I'm sure it makes people nervous.

BUT, this is the case with most stick-built trailers. We just happen to be lucky with the narrow width of most fiberglass trailers.

I get my Bigfoot anywhere I've wanted to get it.
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:48 PM   #7
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Tonie,

I don't know what your tow vehicle is but the Bigfoot is a heavy trailer for it's length. This is true for all 2500 series Bigfoots, that is those since 2005 or so, because they are full 4 season trailers with insulation, dual pane windows, ducted heating etc. Folks cite a lot of weight numbers (dry weight, loaded weight, etc.) but my trailer is 4400 lbs. ready to hit the road totally loaded with 31 gallons of water, groceries, and camping gear. A comparably loaded 17' Casita would probably be close to 1000 lbs less.

I have a full size diesel truck so it's a non issue for me but if you have a smaller or mid size SUV, for example, it might be a concern.

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Old 01-31-2017, 07:32 PM   #8
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Bigfoot weight and TV

Zach, thanks for your info. I appreciate it very much.

Jack, about weight - I have a 2016 Odyssey, tow capacity 3500, and I am looking at perhaps an older Bigfoot, which, as I understand it, is lighter. . .

I am concerned to get a trailer that is within the tow capacity of my van. I respect those numbers. . .

Thanks for all the help. I truly appreciate your taking the time. . .

Tonie
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Old 01-31-2017, 07:40 PM   #9
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Yes, the older 17' Bigfoots (vs the 17.5' like mine) are lighter and comparable to the 17' Casita as I understand it. I've met several people on the road who towed Casitas and Scamps with an Odyssey or Toyota minivan and were very happy with the combination.

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Old 01-31-2017, 08:43 PM   #10
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Tonie, I agree with what Jack says. We tow our 2016 17.5 Bigfoot with a F-150, full size with a 3.5L Ecoboost engine. When towing, I have add-on mirrors to have a better view around the trailer. In addition, we have a camera in the rear window of the trailer that is monitored via wifi on Wife's iPad.
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:10 PM   #11
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My 1991 Bigfoot 17" I'm pulling right around 3400 pounds with my Astro van V6. I do use mirror extenders. Tighter roads are not an issue as I stay to the center anyway. Drift does come into play on twisty roads though, when the curve say's slow I really do slow as I don't have the play for drift.
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:19 PM   #12
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I tow my 17' Bigfoot with a 2011 Toyota Sienna. Former tow vehicle was a 2006 Sienna. Our 1980 weighs 2300 lbs. empty and approx. 3000 lbs. ready to camp. The tongue weight is 340 lbs. when loaded. Extension mirrors are needed to safely see around the width. Current mirrors are Milenco which replaced McKesh. I use a Draw-Tite single bar weight distributing hitch. I've had no problems with the size in traffic and we love the space inside when we camp. For me the biggest compromise is gas mileage but we live with it.

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Old 02-01-2017, 09:47 AM   #13
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3500lb capacity is definitely pushing it. Many people are fine with that so you'll just have to decide. I pull with an older, smaller Tacoma. 1998. With the hitch it's got a 5,000lb capacity. It's a pretty decent match, but I wouldn't want anything smaller or with less power. One of the newer, larger Tacomas with the larger V6 would be a perfect match, but my truck does fine.

I also use mirror extensions, and put airbags in my rear suspension. Not because I think they add weight capacity, but to keep the rear end from sagging so much that it throws the tongue angle and weight off. The Tacomas are known for having fairly weak rear springs. I just use the bags to keep the back end level.

The only time I've felt the width of the Bigfoot might be limiting is on narrow desert and mountain two-tracks that I arguably might have been better off not pulling the camper down anyway...

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Old 02-01-2017, 10:57 AM   #14
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My trailer is 8' wide and the awning adds another 3 or 4 inches for a total width of 8'4"
Yes, in tight urban areas I have to be very alert.
Yes, I have extended mirrors in my 07 Tacoma.
Yes, on some narrow dirt roads I did have contact with brush. I refer to the marks the brush makes as "Utah Pin stripping" Some remote places are fabulous and worth it.
Yes, I would put up with all the above again with another Bigfoot.
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Old 02-01-2017, 11:15 AM   #15
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I own B19 Bigfoot re: towing

Hi to All - I have a 1988 B19 that I have towed with my Wrangler Unlimited. Yes, you do have to be mindful of your width. But with the dual axels, and short body I had no problems even off road and narrow winding roads. I now own a Ram 1500 and just camped Joshua Tree with my little bucket. Manuals say 2500 dry.

I want to give you all a heads up that I will be selling my beloved RV this month and will advertise here before craigslist or any other sites...to ensure a great new home. I will probably regret because they are so hard to find and I have really enjoyed this little gem. Once I clean out my stuff and take pictures I will post my for sale notice. Maybe in two weeks. If any of you live in the San Diego area and want to take a sneak peak you are welcomed. asking $8,200 title in hand, original manuals as well.
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Old 02-01-2017, 11:24 AM   #16
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watch turning on curbside

My only issue towing our 25' BF was not allowing enough room turning right against a curb and I put a serious gash in the sidewall of trailer tire that forced me to buy 2 new ones. Gotta take a wide turn with these trailers! On the road it's no problem as I have a weight distributing hitch set up with Reece anti-sway bar attached so no sway.
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Old 02-01-2017, 11:35 AM   #17
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We have the largest Bigfoot ever made, the 28' Silver Cloud. We tow it with a Ford Expedition with the full tow package, allowing us to pull up to 9200 lbs. We use a ProPride hitch for ant-sway and weight distribution. This hitch was a must for us since the length and weight of the Silver Cloud resulted in a lot of sway on busy roads and high winds. The Silver Cloud is about 8'6" wide and weighs about 5600 lbs. loaded. We have pulled it on interstates, state 4 lane and 2 lane highways, and town streets. Our mirror extenders about match the width of the trailer. We are very careful to watch our lane placement and allow plenty of room for turns! No problems to this point but narrow streets in Chicago neighborhoods often mean we have to wait our turn to get through.
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:42 PM   #18
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We're now traveling with our new Escape 19 but still own a 1987 17' Bigfoot. Here are a few of the differences we're noticing between the two trailers: The Escape is 2 feet longer but at least a foot narrower. We need extension mirrors on the Bigfoot, but not on the Escape. The Escape weighs about 3,700 lbs. fully loaded while the Bigfoot weighs about 3,000 lbs. Our tow vehicle is a Honda Ridgeline with a tow capacity of 5,000 lbs. and with either trailer we like having that extra towing capacity as a safety margin. Personally we wouldn't want to tow either trailer with a vehicle that had a lower towing capacity, but lots of people do tow closer to their capacity. You'll have to decide if you're comfortable with that.
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:22 PM   #19
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Wink 8 feet wide is a big footprint~

Now we know why it's called 'Bigfoot'.
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:13 AM   #20
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Thanks Debra! If I had different finances and a larger tow vehicle, the 19' is exactly what I'd want. Sounds like someone will get a great a trailer.

Yep, Bigfoots have big feet. I read it here in some thread a while back. Basically built like a stick built trailer, but out of fiberglass. For the right type person, it's so nice. I love the extra space, even though it doesn't have quite the "cool" factor the eggs do. Though I'm always surprised at the heads it does turn. To me, yeah, it looks kinda cool, but just looks like a camper. But it actually does seem to draw some attention.

Either way, 8' wide is really just normal camper trailer width. It's only when you get into fiberglass units that it suddenly seems wide.
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