Belly Band Replacement on Bigfoot B19 - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-06-2024, 05:49 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Jay
Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 12
Belly Band Replacement on Bigfoot B19

Hi guys, I want to replace the belly band screws as they are totally rusted out and replace with stainless screws and also replace the rubber strip.

I have attached a couple pictures of the shape of the screws from the outside and the inside.

It is impossible for them to be unscrewed as they are totally rusted and just basically just strip as soon as I try to unscrew them..

Could I just predrill new holes between the old screws and just screw in new ones?

I hope someone can shed a little light on this for me and or give me some advice.

Thank you soooo much!

Attached Thumbnails
belly band screws 1.jpg   belly band screws inside.jpg  

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Old 05-07-2024, 09:25 AM   #2
Junior Member
Name: Keith
Trailer: Airstream
Posts: 3
I'd imagine you could create new holes... (and I know this isn't what you want to hear...) but the better way is to get the old ones out. There's gotta be a way - however inconvenient! Have you tried starting from the inside?!? Can you grip the screw with pliers and give them a twist to get it moving? Then go to the outside and try unscrewing? A thin piece of rubber between the screw and screwdriver can help grip without stripping. Maybe some penetrating oil on the screws before you try anything...

Best of luck with it!!
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Old 05-08-2024, 12:37 PM   #3
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EllPea in CA's Avatar
Name: Ellpea
Trailer: 1988 Lil Bigfoot and 2006 Bigfoot 17.5 Gaucho
Posts: 1,402
I read on another thread that someone used a tool (Dremel?) to sort of grind in a horizontal slot so the screw could be removed with a flat head.

I've also read about people sort of drilling these out?

It does seem entirely possible to just leave these in place and drill for new stainless screws in between them. If you do this, I would seal with butyl behind the screw. Hopefully the plywood block inside is secure.

I haven't pulled the plastic trim to look at my screws... am a bit afraid to look after seeing your pictures! But I don't have leaks inside, so am keeping fingers crossed.

I'm just working on cleaning and resealing the top of my belly band, so am interested to see how you finish the c-band once you've replaced the screws.
EllPea in CA
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Old 05-11-2024, 10:28 AM   #4
Junior Member
Name: Thom
Trailer: 17' BIGfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1
Been there, done that with my 1985 BF 17
I tried all the tricks to remove the old screws without success.
In the end - I removed the rubber cover and simply brush painted the 'band' (old screws heads and all) with Tremclad black semi-gloss rust paint.
I never replaced the dried, broken rubber / trim cover.
Several years have passed and still looks GREAT !
Simple yet effective fix.
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Old 05-21-2024, 12:37 PM   #5
Junior Member
Name: Jay
Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 12
Thanks guys!

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Old 05-23-2024, 11:40 PM   #6
Bob T's Avatar
Name: Bob
Trailer: Bigfoot 17
British Columbia
Posts: 49
You should get the old screws out with, as one person said, maybe slotting the way or the other, get a little aggressive with a drill even making the hole a bit bigger than stock. Use slightly larger SS screws to replace them. I then used 1" wide replacement belly band rubber that I found on Amazon- perfect fit on my (ex)B17.
Also, the belly band has function, but the only waterproofing you need to actually worry about is the screw holes themselves. I doesn't matter if water gets behind the metal band, as you might notice, the band doesn't even follow the shell tightly around the curved corners. I've worked on 2 belly bands and both had at least one missing screw (but the hole was there), and if water works its way around the thin black rubber insert it can freely flow within that channel looking for rusted out or missing screws, and then the water intrusion begins. But putting unsightly caulking or silicon on top of the band against the trailer is not needed; just put some RV caulking on your new screws when you replace them.
Bob T
1989 Bigfoot 17 DLX
Victoria, BC
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Old 05-25-2024, 05:23 PM   #7
Junior Member
Name: Jay
Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 12
Thank you guys! I replaced some of the wood on the inside and tried everything to get the screws out, ARGH!! In the end I added a few more screws in the front and predrilled holes and put in stainless ones. I then used RV silicone to seal all the other screws and put in new rubber insert.

I tried drilling some out and that just did not work

Thanks again for all your help.

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