1983 17bigfoot - belly band, roof sag and wavy walls - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-16-2021, 01:11 PM   #1
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Name: Thea
Trailer: Shopping
Alberta
Posts: 1
1983 17bigfoot - belly band, roof sag and wavy walls

After jumping on a sale of a 1983 Bigfoot 17 in our area… we are learning about it and what kind of improvements and repairs we must do…
We know to reseal or replace our windows. They seem dry but we noticed lots of silicon caulking around our whole exterior / hatches etc.

We want to pull our vents and replace with fans. Inspecting this has us noticing that the roof sags to the left of the vent. I guess this is a Bigfoot design flaw but I do not know if we should live with it or pull down the ceiling and figure out how to support it? Anyone do this before? Or lived with it? How has it held up? What are the long term implications?

Next- when you push on the exterior wall to the right of the door, the wall pushes in and out? Is this normal “flexing” of the fibreglass or is this a sign of delamination? The shape appears normal but when the door stop pulls out from the stop the wall moves with it up and down a little? Is the fibreglass supposed to be pop in and out anywhere or be solid?

Lastly, I noticed our belly band is coming away from the fibreglass on the underside of the band? ( located on back corner of trailer.) Please see photos- is this repairable? Really worrisome? Why would this happen? It doesn’t look like the black vinyl but rather the metal of the band…

Lastly, the gaps of the brown vinyl in the exterior of the window are normal right? Can I purchase black vinyl lining and reline the windows when I pull them ( when resealing the window ti the fibreglass with butyl ..) I hate brown
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Old 07-24-2021, 12:19 AM   #2
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 41
Just wanted to respond on the belly band part, as I did mine recently. I would remove the vinyl as its probably aging and brittle by now. I bought some online, about 1" wide and works great (I think it was 'RV Designer' brand). An important reason for doing this is to check all the screws behind the vinyl. Mine were getting rusted and one was missing. As this band cavity is a major highway for water to collect and travel along unnoticed, you want to be able to check for issues. I replace every screw with stainless replacements (of slightly larger diameter to get a good seal) as well as use a sealant on their shafts.. It's not important to actually seal the metal banding to the fibreglass shell, as you've noticed there are some areas where it doesn't follow the shell exactly. You just need to make sure the screw perforations are taken care of, water can pass behind the metal band with no consequence. You've probably noticed the band sits just directly above the shell seam, and there is about an inch overlap of the top shell to the bottom shell, so water intrusion isn't an issue with water behind the band.

Bob T
1989 17 BF DLX
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1983, belly band, bigfoot, bigfoot 17, delaminate, delamination, fan, new owner, newbie, rebuild, roof, roof sag, sag, structural integrity, vent, wall, wave


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