Question re Bigfoot Weight - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-05-2003, 11:45 AM   #1
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Question re Bigfoot Weight

I just talked to a dealer that has a '93 Bigfoot 17footer. He says the GVWR is only 1800, for a vehicle w/bathroom that theoretically sleeps 5. Is this possible? That seems astonishingly light. I questioned it, but he repeated the claim. Current feets of that size are 3500.

Thanks,

Kitty



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Old 03-05-2003, 11:53 AM   #2
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Kitty ... the old joke is:

How do you know when an RV salesman is lying?

When his lips are moving!

Now, this isn't true of all RV salemen. Some I know are wonderful people.

But if I were you, I'd ask the salesman if he would tow the rig in question to a certified CAT weight scale and let you witness the results!



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Old 03-05-2003, 11:57 AM   #3
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GVWR ....

Dang, I gotta do a better job of reading folk's posts.

Kitty, the saleman (and you) are talking about Gross Vehicle Weight ... meaning, that's the most the trailer can weigh, with all your "stuff" in it, including water, propane, etc.

The limiting "gross weight" factor is the axle.

Most axles have axle tags which state the weight limits.

Now, it's possible the trailer ... with or without your stuff inside ... ACTUALLY weighs much, much more ... but the official "GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RESTRICTION" is 1800 pds.

Meaning the trailer is overloaded and dangerous.

So, once again, I'd have the guy tow it to a certified CAT scale to weight the unit before I'd buy it.



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Charles Watts

The limiting "gross weight" factor is the axle.

Most axles have axle tags which state the weight limits.

Now, it's possible the trailer ... with or without your stuff inside ... ACTUALLY weighs much, much more ... but the official "GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RESTRICTION" is 1800 pds.
I realize that I could overload a trailer and exceed the proper tow limit, but are you saying a trailer manufacturer would tag an empty trailer with a GVWR weight lower than is possible, given the GW of the axel? Or are you talking heavy retrofits?

I won't put down money on anything until I prove I can tow it, but I'm not planning a cross-border drive up to even see a vehicle if I know the weight listing is bogus.

Thanks,

Kitty



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:24 PM   #5
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Now, this is not pointing any fingers at Bigfoot ... but at the RV industry in general.

They all used to play fast-and-loose with weights, and yes, often a rig was build, overweight for its axle, as the rig left the factory.

Kitty ... don't consider me an expert on the subject ... but as I understand it:

Dry weight -- what a rig weighs BEFORE the factory installs options such as a/c, awning.

Actual weight -- what the rig weighs AFTER all options are installed.

Travel weight --- what the rig weighs with all the options AND all your stuff, including water, propane, clothes, food stuffs, etc.

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR) -- the MAXIMUM the rig should weight, period, at any point, at any time. The most limiting factor of the GVWR is the axle rating.



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:26 PM   #6
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The way I read Charles' post

:wave Kitty, I think what Charles is saying is that the RV dealer may be getting his 1800 lbs. figure from the GVWR rating on the axle tag. This wouldn't necessarily mean this trailer is over weight... but, given that we know the later models are MUCH heavier, it does make one skeptical (as you are).

Granted the '93 may have lighter materials in the cabinetry, a smaller refrigerator, holding tanks, etc., but 1800 lbs. still seems awfully low for the GVWR... and I agree merits a trip to a certified scale, as Charles suggested.

That's the only way to find out how much the trailer actually weighs.



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:26 PM   #7
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So when you ask a salesman: "What does this trailer weigh?"

If he answers, "The GVWR is 1800 pounds."

He is not answering your question.

He is merely stating what the manufacturer says is the MAXIMUM the rig should weigh.

What the rig ACTUALLY weighs is still is question.



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:27 PM   #8
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Kitty - for your info..

Specifications Units 15B17CB 15B17G
Overall Length ft./in. mtr 16'-7" 5.05 16'-7" 5.05
Overall Height* ft./in. mtr 8'-3" 2.51 8'-3" 2.51
Overall Width ft./in. mtr 8'-0" 2.44 8'-0" 2.44
Interior Headroom ft./in. mtr 6'-4" 1.93 6'-4" 1.93
Base Dry Weight lbs kg 2615 1186 2615 1186
Hitch Weight lbs kg 350 159 350 159
Axle Weight Rating lbs kg 3500 1588 3500 1588
GVWR lbs kg 3500 1588 3500 1588
Tires Size ST205/75R14C
Fresh Water US gal. Litres 33 126 33 126
Grey Water US gal. Litres 25 95 25 95
Black Water US gal. Litres 9 32 9 32
LPG Capacity lbs kg 2 x 20 2 x 9 2 x 20 2 x 9
Water Heater US gal. Litres 6 23 6 23
Furnace c/w Elec. Ign. BTU 16,000 12,000
Refrigerator 2 Way cu. ft. Litres 6 169 3 85



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:32 PM   #9
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Until 1998, or so (don't quote me on the exact time frame, because I'm probably ... usually ... wrong) ...

Casita used to build its 13 and 16 footers on a 2200 pound axle.

Since the 17 footer's inception (95 or so), the 17 footer was on a 3500 pound axle.

Now, all models are built on 3500 pound axles.



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:35 PM   #10
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Rick ... those are for NEW Bigfoots, right?

The GVWR is the same as the axle rating for the 17 footer, 3500 pounds.

Sounds like they probably did the same thing Casita did ... move everything up to a 3500 pound axle.

Kitty, the thing you need to find out is what Bigfoot was doing in '93. Call the factory! Or climb under the rig and try to find an axle tag.

But, still, none of this answers the question of WHAT DOES THIS RIG weigh.

That requires a trip to a scale.



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:40 PM   #11
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Yup - those are 2003 specifications from the Bigfoot website. I just posted them for reference. It still amazes me that the 2003 weighs about 2600 and Mike T's 1998 only weighs around 1800.


I agree with you Charles - take it to a scale.

(I'm afraid to take mine though! :o )



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:41 PM   #12
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USing Rick's figures:

GVWR (and axle rating) = 3500

Dry weight = 2615

3500 - 2615 = 885 pounds for options (not in standard build), propane, water, you and your stuff.



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:43 PM   #13
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That's why I bought a 21 footer

I carry more than 885 pounds in beer alone.

:o :o :o :o



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:46 PM   #14
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Awning, second propane bottle, and a/c are usually not part of standard build, so you can easily have a couple of hundreds pounds of options that you have to add to the "dry" weight.

885 - 200 pounds of options = 665 pounds

665 - 264 full water tank (33 gallons X 8 pounds) = 401 pounds (also have 48 pounds in water heater (6 gallons x 8), and what you add to black tank, so the remaining weight is even less).

401 - weight of occupants (you do math) = ?? pound left for food and clothes

Now, weight of occupants in a trailer isn't as important as weight of occupants inside a Class A motorhome, because you aren't going to be inside the rig when it's bouncing down the road.

But, when you and your family are inside the trailer, you are part of the total weight ... and yes, over time, that can overstress the axle.



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:49 PM   #15
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>>beer alone

Well, whenever we come to Canada, we've carry a "MAXIMUM" legal capacity of spirits! :) :) Y'all pay an arm and a leg for booze!

Margarita mix is lighter to carry, because you can add ice as you go along!



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:50 PM   #16
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Make that an '83 Bigfoot...

Make that an '83 Bigfoot...

I mis-recollected the year on this pup-- it's an '83. My impression is that the older ones are substantially lighter than the new ones. Less fiberglass jewelry on the exterior, for one thing.

If my &%$#!! tow package gets installed before it sells I think I'll take a trip up to Beautiful British Columbia and give it a test drag to the scales.

My Previa's supposed to be able to haul 3500, but I want to stay very much on the light side of that. This family of sailors knows how to pack light, but water's still a pint a pound the world around, and we are heading for the desert.

Thanks for all the input. :wave

Kitty



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Old 03-05-2003, 12:59 PM   #17
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>>impression is that the older ones are substantially lighter

No doubt, newer rigs are heavier, because people are wanting more and more options, etc .... but I'm not sure the word "substantially" is correct.

As I said, all manufacturers used to really play-loose with the actual weight of their rigs.

While they may have not really been lying ... for example, the dry weight might have just been for an empty shell ... the quoted weight was an unrealistic weight, because no one ever bought an empty shell.

Over the past few years, more and more manufacturers are quoting more accurate weights for their rigs ... because more and more people are wising up to the fact that one of the first things they should do, is go weigh the rig.

Some Class A folks find that even today, while the weight falls within the axle weight restrictions, the "side to side" weight overloads one side over another, and causes tire problems, etc.

This is another reason I really, really thank God that my wife and I are content to run around with a tiny, little, light-weight RV.

Thank God for molded fiberglass trailers!



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Old 03-05-2003, 08:40 PM   #18
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Bigfoot weight

Hi:

I noticed that the 2002 Bigfoot had a tongue weight of 230 lbs, but next year, the exact same model was 350 lbs. I queried Bigfoot, as there was no change in axle placement or equipment, but they did not provide a reasonable answer.

I would have the unit taken over a weight scale, as was suggested.

I think many RV manufacturers have not always been truthful with weights, but perhaps may face liability issues.

Just a thought!



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Old 03-05-2003, 08:47 PM   #19
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Kitty

Kitty the trailer specs will be posted inside the vehicle, most likely inside the closet door. Ask the dealer/salesguy to read them out to you over the phone.



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Old 03-06-2003, 10:45 AM   #20
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Here's a thought...

If the trailer is in Canada, you might be getting a weight that is in Kilograms. Multiply by 2.2 to get pounds.

(Remember, the Mars lander was destroyed because it went off course. It went off course because one team used Imperial units for measurement and one used Metric. Be sure of your measurement system!)

Nathan



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