1989 Bigfoot 17' Leaking Belly Band - Please Help - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-02-2020, 10:09 PM   #1
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Name: Simon
Trailer: Bigfoot 1989 B17
British Columbia
Posts: 2
1989 Bigfoot 17' Leaking Belly Band - Please Help

Hi,

I have recently purchased a 1989 Bigfoot 17í that leaks like a sieve (was assured by the previous owner that it didnít leak). Everything is pointing to the bellyband leaking (we've been experimenting with tarps) so my question is how do I reseal the bellyband or how do I remove it and reseal it? Do I remove the black strip? From what I can tell the water is coming in at the front passenger side corner.

Any advice or help would be very much appreciated as my wife and I are pretty bummed and donít really know very much about trailers.

The belly band looks like this: https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...7&d=1370545292

Thanks for reading... we haven't really got a clue.

Simon
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:04 AM   #2
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Name: Wayne
Trailer: Scamp
New York
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Don't depair! I suspect this is a minor--and fixable--problem. Note: I would not pull off the entire belly band, unless absolutely necessary.

1. I suggest you first test that this is the place where water is leaking. You may be able to do this by pouring hot (or perhaps colored) water on the exterior, to see or feel if it is coming into the interior at that place.

(From the photo, it appears to me that there may be a "hole" under the caulk extending the white band into the tight corner, and perhaps another under the black band in that same corner. So you might "spray" water into those areas.)

2. If water is coming in through one or both of these "holes,"caulk them closed! If water is leaking more generally in this area, pull back both the white and black bands at this point to the corner. (You may have to cut through the caulk lines with a razor-blade knife.) Then clean off the old caulk and apply new caulk both on the trailer wall and inside the belly bands, and reposition the bands.

Hopefully, your leak problem is solved!
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:18 AM   #3
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Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
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When fixing it use Butyl Rubber Caulk not silicone .
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:29 AM   #4
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Name: John
Trailer: Bigfoot
Alberta
Posts: 30
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I have a 87 Li'l Bigfoot. I removed the black vinyl (?) strip and removed all the rusting screws around the belly band. I replaced the old screws with slightly beefier ones. I noticed they sucked in the sides to provide a better seal. I used ProFlexRV sealant in the screw holes and over the new screw heads.


I know a complete belly band overhaul would have been better but more work and time. My fix has kept the water out for 3 years now, hoping for several more.


Added comment: I removed all the old silicone around the band. Lots of work but worth it. I replaced with a small film of ProFlexRV sealant (color matched). I did this to the entire band, to save me doing patches later.
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Old 03-03-2020, 01:38 PM   #5
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Name: Simon
Trailer: Bigfoot 1989 B17
British Columbia
Posts: 2
Hi Wayne,

The image is not of my trailer but the belly band is the same, apologies if that wasn't clear. The leak is at the front passenger side corner. How do i remove the black part of the belly band to access the screws. It feels like it is aluminium?

Thanks in advance,

Simon
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Old 03-03-2020, 01:50 PM   #6
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Name: John
Trailer: Bigfoot
Alberta
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The black part is plastic or vinyl on mine (1987 vintage). I just waited for a warm day and it pulled out, no problem. I wouldn't attempt it when cold, as it might crack. Once removed, you will see screw heads. The real rusty ones might be hard to remove. If you can re-use the black strip, make sure it's warm and it should pop back into the aluminum 'C' band strip.


It might not look pretty but it keeps the water out. The black plastic strip shrinks over time (as per the picture). Mine was one continuous strip. I secured each end with a washer and screw so it can't shrink again.. The screw head can be painted black to blend in.
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Bigfoot belly band1.jpg   Bigfoot belly band2.jpg  

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