Bigfoot age vs. condition - Fiberglass RV
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Old 08-23-2017, 02:35 PM   #1
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Name: Greg
Trailer: Bigfoot
New Mexico
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Bigfoot age vs. condition

I have had an affliction of restoring trailers(1 scam, 1 Casita, 2 argosys, 2 airstreams ) then bought a near new Rpod. I sold the Rpod and I think I am going to return to the fiberglass trailers with a Bigfoot.

So my question is given reasonable care by previous owners, do Bigfoot trailers age gracefully with regard to components, tanks, appliances, exterior skin etc. Currently I am thinking I will aim at a mid 90's to 2000 version.

Would appreciate any input.

Thanks
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Old 08-23-2017, 03:25 PM   #2
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Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
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Well I bought my 1991 17 footer some 6 years ago everything worked as it should and still does today. The only change since has been adding air conditioning which met I had to upgrade my electrical.
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Old 08-23-2017, 03:51 PM   #3
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that's what I got....

I have a 97....but it's not for sale

the systems BF used around that time were all well respected brands (Dometic, Atwood, shure-flo, etc....except for maybe that Magnatek power center but there wasn't many alternatives back then)

My fridge's control board went on the "fritz" and left all the fridge controls/switch-overs sort of "confused". I was able to source one out of a Dometic fridge that had been parted out...cost me 150 bucks... the fridge still works perfectly three years later

The power center mentioned before is long gone

the furnace, water pump and water heater all work flawlessly twenty years after they came out of the factory....I and POs have had no plumbing problems/ need to replace anything including the rather cheap plastic faucets....that have grown on me over time to the point that I no longer feel the urge to replace them...

After breaking a spring (I drive on awful "roads" at times) I replaced both sides with springs that have six leafs (instead of the OEM five)

I'm a little surprised that all window seals (frame to FG) are still there from the factory (NOBODY could do a reseal job as neat as what is on there)....and the rubber seals/sliders still work and drain fine

Door hardware is still very sound although it annoyingly squeaks at times

No cabinetry has come loose/warped/broken and all that functions as when it was new

A small section (about the size of a dinner plate) of the headliner has seperated from a concave area of the foof...it "popped" out, not enough or no glue I figure...but it's not noticeable unless you know where to look

third picture shows roof construction....FG shell, one inch styrofoam with a thin plywood backing (cleats are fastened to this plywood then all cabinetry/partitions are fastened to the cleats)...then the fabric headliner is glued to the ceiling....picture taken in the bathroom, fan area

good luck in your search
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Old 08-23-2017, 03:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for the response.

I've added AC to one Argosy and an airstream. Fortunately AS had the good sense to "plumb" in the wiring...so that was the easy part. having to frame the opening between the inside and outside shell was a bit more challenging, particularly sourcing the materials.
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Old 08-23-2017, 03:58 PM   #5
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Francois,
Thanks so much. Great information and exactly the input I was looking for. I also greatly appreciated the picture of the shell components.

Thanks so much...this tells me alot
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Old 08-23-2017, 04:30 PM   #6
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
Washington
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I bought my 94 Bigfoot 5 years ago. Everything except 1 tire was original. The only major components that needed replacement were the refrigerator and the convertor. Also replaced tires, brakes and battery as expected.
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Old 08-23-2017, 05:20 PM   #7
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Trailer: Scamp 16
Michigan
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Francois, that is a beautiful trailer! You don't see many around here. I've never been inside one. The quality is apparent. I realize they're a little wider than most fiberglass trailers, but your's looks downright roomy! Thanks so much for sharing. You just helped make a Bigfoot believer out of me!

Sorry for hijacking your thread, Appltrez. I wish you luck Finding Bigfoot.

Tom
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:41 AM   #8
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Montana
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I have a 91 and while it's not in as good a shape as some others on here, it's really nice. Like Francois mentioned, the components are all the same components all the other trailer manufacturers use. They have their problems but mostly work great.

Mine is having fridge issues, but everything else is original and works. The interior is in great shape, and the exterior is totally fine. Some day when I actually get around to scrubbing/polishing/waxing the exterior and POR-ing the surface rusty frame, it'll look great.

I saw an older one drive through Dillon, MT around a week ago, and it looked GREAT. Not sure what year, but it was the darker tan color. My 91 is kind of off-white. The older ones were tan. Newer ones are white.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:33 AM   #9
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Name: Rick
Trailer: Bigfoot
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We have an '84 and the 3-way fridge works great. The only component that went bad on us is the furnace and I could not find a replacement anywhere I looked. I ended up putting in an Olympian Wave Catalytic heater and so far I'm happy but haven't tried it on a cold night.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:31 AM   #10
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Name: Mike
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bigfoot

I have a 1983 new water heater and used fridge 2 years ago .the reat is fine replaced all the window butel . Hade to make a new stone sheild as some one stole mine when it was stored. Will be renting it out next year. I could be wrong but i belive that the more you use the apliances the longer they last.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:46 PM   #11
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^ I would agree. An old, lightly used trailer beats an old trailer stored in a garage for two decades and never used any day. At least as far as appliances. Body and general interior on the other hand...

But it's best to find a very lightly used trailer, I think. I get the feeling that a trailer that sat for 20 years inside would look great. You'd get it out and start using it, and within the first year, many of the appliances would start having major issues.
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:29 PM   #12
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details....

just to be clear... I can only specifically talk about BFs produced between 89 (or so) and 2004... prior to those dates the trailers were built slightly differently in ways I'm not sure of...(their weight being lower by 4 or 5 hundred pounds)....and after 2005 it's a totally different animal, weighing much more with different molds, internal tanks and double pane windows.

I chuckled when I read my trailer looked BIG to somebody !....it's still only 14 feet long inside. Maybe that comment was because I took the picture from the open rear window (escape hatch). They are wide (8'), high and square.... so if MPGs are high on your priority list you should maybe give them a pass or put more oil company shares in your portfolio

A couple of pictures show the overhead (fuzzy fabric) and the wall treatment (vinyl wallpaper kind of thing)....and the cleats I was talaking about, fastened every six inches to the plywood backed styro. (I unfastened the bottoms of most overheads to run wires etc...and it makes good storage areas for stuff I don't use often but want to keep in the trailer...like user manuals)

All trailers "evolve" with use and can surprise you....when I got my trailer food preperation area was very minimal....after making a combination tray/counter extension and replacing the original cutting board/sink cover with something bigger....my kitchen is now over 7 feet long when I want it to be ! a joy to work in....and I don't even like to cook that much !!! LOL

Happy trails all...
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Old 08-26-2017, 06:54 AM   #13
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Name: Bobby
Trailer: Trillium 4500, Casita f/d ,1987 boler voyageur,1988bigfoot5er
Ontario
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My wife insisted on buying a 1988 Bigfoot 5er so I finally gave in. To my surprise everything still works except the roof air was removed due to leakage and according to the records supplied with the unit the refrigerator coil was replaced some years ago. The cabinetry , windows , floor , frame are all in good shape.
I will have to replace the water pump and awning at some point but what can you expect after 30 years!
The layout is perfect for two and it feels way bigger than our previously owned Casita F/D especially the shower!
She was right again.
Bobby
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:18 AM   #14
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Name: Greg
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Bobby,
Thanks for the comments. I was really interested in your comments about the shower. After having had self contained shower bathrooms in Scamp, Casita and most recently Rpod, I have always though they were sized for mere mortals. Airstreams were much better.
But you feel yours is larger than a Scamp?

How so?

Greg
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Old 08-26-2017, 09:03 AM   #15
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Name: abcde
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Bigfoots aging gracefully

My general impression is that Bigfoots (Bigfeet?!) age gracefully. We have a relatively new model - a 2008 25B175G - that seems quite like new despite being high mileage. We bought it used last July and the PO had driven across Canada at least a couple of times if not more. Passers by mistake the unit for new.

The upgraded insulation, thermal windows and so on in the "new design" Bigfoot trailers is great, both in hot and cold weather. And the fit and quality of materials is way above average - although the appliances and plumbing use standard products found in pretty much any RV. Whiich is a bonus if you need parts or service for the water pump or the fridge in Boondocksville.

Be aware that the "new design" trailers are over 3000 lbs dry weight with a tonque weight of over 300 lbs and a full 8 feet wide. They need a half ton or a real SUV (as opposed to a mall SUV) as a tow vehicle. The "older design" is considerably lighter.

As for an older design model, they are certainly more affordable and there are a lot of them about here in BC. I'd suggest you contact the Bigfoot factory in Armstrong, BC as they are responsive to emails and will likely tell you the key design differences between the two generations of trailers. Gilmay RV in Vernon, BC specialize in restoring Bigfoots and may well share a couple of key things to look for in an older unit if you call them.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:02 PM   #16
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I think the 5th wheel Bigfoot trailers have a "full size" bathroom. Separate shower area, aka "dry bath".
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:37 PM   #17
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Name: Greg
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Thanks Zach,
That makes better sense. I always have thought the unitized wet baths were similar to each other in size, although I suspect that has to do with the nanuf. and the trailer they are going in. ie. Casita vs Bigfoot...the ergonomics of each trailer is different so the "feel" of each wet bath may be somewhat different.

Just my uneducated take on it.

Greg
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:05 PM   #18
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Ritchie, have you weighed your Bigfoot?
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:22 PM   #19
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Name: Bobby
Trailer: Trillium 4500, Casita f/d ,1987 boler voyageur,1988bigfoot5er
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apltrez View Post
Bobby,
Thanks for the comments. I was really interested in your comments about the shower. After having had self contained shower bathrooms in Scamp, Casita and most recently Rpod, I have always though they were sized for mere mortals. Airstreams were much better.
But you feel yours is larger than a Scamp?

How so?

Greg
Hello Greg.
The shower is separated from the toilet only by a curtain but that means the TP and towels do not get wet and there is an elevation to the rest of the bathroom so the water does not get the entire bathroom wet as well. I am not sure about scamp but I can tell you it is way better than Casita! You cannot swing a cat in there but at least you can bend over to pick up the soap!!
Too bad Bigfoot lost the molds for this 5th wheel trailer because there are so many great ideas!
Bobby
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:33 PM   #20
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Name: abcde
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Bigfoot trailer questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by kootenaigirl View Post
Ritchie, have you weighed your Bigfoot?
Dry weight is 3040 lbs for a 2008 25B175G. That includes two empty 30lb propane tanks and the spare tire but no battery. And no A/C.

Most trips we figure the trailer is around 3600 lbs if we travel with 1/3 to 1/2 a tank of fresh water and empty waste tanks, which is our usual configuration. GVW for the trailer is 4300 lbs. We have a group 27 battery on the tongue, which adds at least 50 lbs in itself.

And to answer another point the 17.5 trailers (model number includes 175) and the smaller Bigfoot truck campers all have wet baths. Design of the wet bath has not changed for years and years as far as I am aware. 21 and 24 foot trailers and the larger truck campers have dry baths. I'm 6ft 1 inch and find the trailer fine for headroom and the wet bath OK. A fantastic fan in the bathroom is a good upgrade. Our trailer had a dinky little & totally useless fan in the bathroom skylight so we simply used that power wiring to run the fantastic fan.
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