Bigfoot roof strength - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:06 AM   #1
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Name: Greg
Trailer: Bigfoot
New Mexico
Posts: 45
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Bigfoot roof strength

Again I go to the well of knowledge!
On my new(to me) 2001 BF 17, it has a rear ladder and a rack around the out side edge. I have been up there to look at the solar panel and the condition of all penetration flashing. It seems quite firm and solid. This is good news because I will at some point replace a missing AC. How stout is the roof for the purpose of moving around for service work, cleaning etc.?

Thanks

Greg
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:38 AM   #2
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Name: Bill&Laura
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Fiver
Kentucky
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Greg, we've recently bought a Bigfoot fifth wheel that we are planning to take delivery of very soon so my experience is very near zero. I do know that the roof top a/c unit was removed from our new-to-us trailer as well so we'll be addressing this issue very soon too.


From my reading, the roof is/was one of the weak points in the shell and I'm guessing that's why lot's of previous owners have opted to remove the a/c. There are several threads here that report sagging roofs and we don't want to have to deal with that issue if it can be avoided. The trailer that we've acquired has a two part system installed inside the main cabin but we'll prolly be looking to replace that unit very soon, at least before next camping season. I also intend to be extremely careful with any rooftop activities including storing anything up there...jus' sayin'.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:46 AM   #3
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Trailer: Sasquatch
Montana
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The reported weak roofs on Bigfoot trailers were the earlier models. Definitely earlier than Apltrez '01. I think pre-90.

In general, Bigfoot seems to have the stronger roof of the fiberglass trailers. Everything we hear on this site from owners of 90's + models is that the roof needs no additional structural support when adding AC.

My roof has some weird ripple thing going on with the fiberglass, but seems structurally solid. I've spent a good amount of time up there replacing the roof vent, and it feels solid.
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Old 10-31-2017, 10:24 AM   #4
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Name: Josh & Sonya
Trailer: '97 Casita SD 17; 03 Bigfoot 25RQ
Arizona
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Bigfoot roof strength

We have a 2003 25RQ that we purchased used in 2015. Roof is very solid; been up there lots of times.
Josh
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Old 10-31-2017, 11:25 AM   #5
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Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
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that's right....

sometime around 88 production must have changed some....the "wavy roof" complaints seem to all be prior to that date.....don't know the exact date for sure but if the trailer was/is branded "1500 series" it probably has the sturdier roof...if the rock guard supports are INSIDE the rock guard it's a 1500....as always it's "caveat emptor"....an 85 might be just fine too depending on how it's been used/abused

the only real problem with "wavy roof" is that some owners reported that the flex in the roof, presumably after somebody walked on it a lot, caused the roof "sandwich" (FG outer shell / styro insulation / thin plywood / ceiling finish) to separate from one another (become unglued) causing deformation of the ceiling

I'm over 200lbs and I can walk around on my roof all day

(pictures of a 97 roof, taken at bathroom vent area)
Attached Thumbnails
roof2.jpg   roof3.jpg  

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Old 10-31-2017, 12:19 PM   #6
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Name: Greg
Trailer: Bigfoot
New Mexico
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Thanks to all...the answers are what I had hoped for

Greg
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:04 PM   #7
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Trails West
Oregon
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As far as working up on the roof the key is to distribute the weight of your body over a wide area rather than point loading it in a concentrated area with knees, elbows, feet, rear ends and such. A piece of plywood set on top of a piece of nonskid carpet backer will help with doing that. The non skid carpet backer is something you purchase from the Home Center stores for putting under your throw rugs. It will will keep the plywood from sliding while you lay across it and protect the roofs surface from scratches.
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:41 PM   #8
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
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Excellent suggestion 'k. corbin'

That is what I do on the roof of my Trillium. I spent a lot of time on it doing the repairs. I had no problems.

The key is keeping your weight spread out.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:28 PM   #9
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Name: phil
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Hi guys: I bought my Bigfoot 17' new in 1993 and still have it. Been a great trailer. First year we had it I put a 15 K Dometic A/C unit on the roof. Just replaced it with the newer version of the same a/c unit. Replaced the vinyl floor with engineered mahogany wood, the h.w unit, and fridge. Appliances wear out, but, the body of the trailer and the frame is very durable and still look like new. Good wax X2 per year and covered in the off season keeps them as good as new. Weak roof? As previously stated: some early models, but I never thought about how I walked or worked on the roof of the Bigfoot.
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