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: 3
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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Old 08-06-2021, 06:24 PM   #3
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Name: Jeff
Trailer: Shopping
Washington
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Hi Theaszewczuk,
I'm taking a look at a trailer very similar to yours tomorrow. I suspect it has similar issues and I can see in the photos that a window has been or has leaked before.

Did you manage to get all of your issues fixed? Any tips? Hopefully it's not the exact same trailer that you gave up on. ��
https://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com/...0-vancouver-wa
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Old 08-07-2021, 06:49 AM   #4
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
Washington
Posts: 1,516
Having owned a 94 Bigfoot 17, I will share my experiences.

Wavy roof. Mine had a similar issue. It never got any worse. Yoyr trailer is 38 years old and the roof has probably been like that for almost 4 decades. IRepair would be a major project.

Belly band. My 94 had exactly the same issue. It's not seperation. It's that it fit that way when it was built. The trim is just there for looks. It was put there to dress up the seam in the fiberglass top / botom seam.

Vinyl window trim. Mine shrunk too. I would have replaced it but never found a source for the material.
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Old 08-07-2021, 08:27 PM   #5
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Name: Thea
Trailer: Shopping
Alberta
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGSparks View Post
Hi Theaszewczuk,
I'm taking a look at a trailer very similar to yours tomorrow. I suspect it has similar issues and I can see in the photos that a window has been or has leaked before.

Did you manage to get all of your issues fixed? Any tips? Hopefully it's not the exact same trailer that you gave up on. ��
https://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com/...0-vancouver-wa
We actually still own ours. We simply put profiled in the belly band for now as on the Facebook group we were assured the separation is normal. The waves/roof sag we are waiting and seeing. Some ppl said if it doesn’t leak then why bother supporting the typical roof sag in this generation of Bigfoot , others supported with installation of a beam system of some sort
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Old 08-07-2021, 08:28 PM   #6
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Name: Thea
Trailer: Shopping
Alberta
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
Having owned a 94 Bigfoot 17, I will share my experiences.

Wavy roof. Mine had a similar issue. It never got any worse. Yoyr trailer is 38 years old and the roof has probably been like that for almost 4 decades. IRepair would be a major project.

Belly band. My 94 had exactly the same issue. It's not seperation. It's that it fit that way when it was built. The trim is just there for looks. It was put there to dress up the seam in the fiberglass top / botom seam.

Vinyl window trim. Mine shrunk too. I would have replaced it but never found a source for the material.
Thank you for this- very reassuring and confirms what others have said on the Facebook Bigfoot group.
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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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