I hate to ask this. Have a 13.5 Big Foot - Fiberglass RV
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:05 PM   #1
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Nomad
Nevada
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I hate to ask this. Have a 13.5 Big Foot

Ok I know this has been beaten to death but I can't any you tub videos on gutting a Big foot trailer. I bought this trailer a couple of years back its been sitting in the yard and I sold the Nomad its time to restore this little jewel .I know wiring and RV repair I can service the three way fridge and the heater but I have no clue how to pull out the cabinets I want to gut it completely fix any wiring issues and service all the appliances and redo the rat fur I want to put in thin out door carpet instead of rat fur how do you take out the cabinets in a Big Foot I want to do this right . This one has factory AC never seen one with factory AC so I know this is a higher end trailer when it was new oh its a 1989 sorry almost forgot the year and yes I am taking off the AC unit before I gut it I don't want to damage the fiber glass or crack anything is the rat fur hard to do? thanks guys
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:35 AM   #2
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Don't 'be afraid' to ask for help from this site. There are many experts available to assist, and we've found they are most willing to get involved. That's what 'family' is all about. - ask away ! You do have a prized 'treasure', and you do sound like you want to forge ahead. Therefore, you're already in 'first gear'.
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:23 AM   #3
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Name: Roger
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Don't 'be afraid' to ask for help from this site. There are many experts available to assist, and we've found they are most willing to get involved. That's what 'family' is all about. - ask away ! You do have a prized 'treasure', and you do sound like you want to forge ahead. Therefore, you're already in 'first gear'.
Thanks for the support much appreciated. I just felt kind of bad because this one been covered so much I don't to screw it up
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Old 08-20-2018, 02:21 PM   #4
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I think if you can't find information on it, then it hasn't been beaten to death.




My approach to gutting has been to start taking things apart, and learn as I go. Just go slow and easy.
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Old 08-20-2018, 02:50 PM   #5
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Name: Roger
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I think if you can't find information on it, then it hasn't been beaten to death.




My approach to gutting has been to start taking things apart, and learn as I go. Just go slow and easy.
that is what I usually do but these big foots are scarce I was really lucky to find it. I have no clue how to gut the cabinets I will wait until I get some info I don't want to break something finding parts for this old of a trailer would be next to impossible
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Old 08-20-2018, 03:45 PM   #6
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I can't argue with being cautious. Good luck! There are a couple Bigfoot 13 owners on this site, but I haven't seen any gutting projects. Hope you find someone.
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:25 PM   #7
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Just take a flashlight and inspection mirror and look inside the cabinets for fastener locations.. They are likely to be visible. It is without a doubt going to be fastened to the floor along the face frame at front edge or cabinet ends. There might also be fasteners to the outside walls just below the countertop. Installation of wood cabinets is generally done in a logical way to make it easy on the installers.
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:00 PM   #8
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Name: Roger
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Just take a flashlight and inspection mirror and look inside the cabinets for fastener locations.. They are likely to be visible. It is without a doubt going to be fastened to the floor along the face frame at front edge or cabinet ends. There might also be fasteners to the outside walls just below the countertop. Installation of wood cabinets is generally done in a logical way to make it easy on the installers.
I do know there are bolts through the roof I think somebody told me they are anchors for the top of the cabinets, I would be happy to talk to a scamp or casida owner I think they are similar if this was standard RV I wouldn't sweat it
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:07 PM   #9
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Roger, you may have better luck posting on the BF site and asking there. The bolts you see on/through the shell are going to be what's holding the interior pieces. I'm guessing glassed in tabbing is probably not in the original build . But you'll know for sure after you remove the bolts. Have to ask, what makes you think this one isn't standard?
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:09 PM   #10
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casitas, everything inside is pop-riveted through the shell, you can see all the white 'bumps' on the outside from the rivet caps. the cabinets and benches and stuff are all similar fiberglass to the shell.

escapes, the cabinetry is all wood, and there's no through-fasteners on the hull, I think everything is attached to wood strips that are glued to the inside of the fiberglass hull (but I'm not actually sure as I've never seen one stripped out)
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:41 PM   #11
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Name: Roger
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Roger, you may have better luck posting on the BF site and asking there. The bolts you see on/through the shell are going to be what's holding the interior pieces. I'm guessing glassed in tabbing is probably not in the original build . But you'll know for sure after you remove the bolts. Have to ask, what makes you think this one isn't standard?
What I meant is I have worked on travel trailers but not any of these fiberglass trailers they are a different breed . If this was the old Nomad I wouldn't be so concerned
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:43 PM   #12
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casitas, everything inside is pop-riveted through the shell, you can see all the white 'bumps' on the outside from the rivet caps. the cabinets and benches and stuff are all similar fiberglass to the shell.

escapes, the cabinetry is all wood, and there's no through-fasteners on the hull, I think everything is attached to wood strips that are glued to the inside of the fiberglass hull (but I'm not actually sure as I've never seen one stripped out)
John I think you might be right there are no rivets on this on the out side thebolts through the roof I mention earlier are rusted that is why I was seeking help on here but I think you are right
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Old 08-25-2018, 03:55 PM   #13
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Trailer: 13' Lil Bigfoot and Escape 15a
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I have a 97' 13' LitBigfoot. The privious owner had gutted it out, then replaced with a mix of new home made and orig cabinets. The lower cabinetry is attached to the plywood floor with long screws. The orig cabinetry leaves a lot to be desired on jointery, fit and finish. Poorly constructed in my opinion.
The upper cabinets appear to be hung a couple different ways. There are four bolts through the roof fiberglass, but there is also some bolts that thread into wood blocks, glued or laminated to the fiberglass ceiling.

If you are going to gut it out, I don't think you're going to have much problems taking it apart. Don't be afraid to improve on the design when putting it back together.
We changed out the 3 way fridge to a 12v Truckfridge. It gave us more fridge space and is more efficient. Wish we could have fiberglassed closed the old vents from the 3 way, but that would have required paint and body.
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Old 08-25-2018, 07:17 PM   #14
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Name: Roger
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Originally Posted by Kevin Dawson View Post
I have a 97' 13' LitBigfoot. The privious owner had gutted it out, then replaced with a mix of new home made and orig cabinets. The lower cabinetry is attached to the plywood floor with long screws. The orig cabinetry leaves a lot to be desired on jointery, fit and finish. Poorly constructed in my opinion.
The upper cabinets appear to be hung a couple different ways. There are four bolts through the roof fiberglass, but there is also some bolts that thread into wood blocks, glued or laminated to the fiberglass ceiling.

If you are going to gut it out, I don't think you're going to have much problems taking it apart. Don't be afraid to improve on the design when putting it back together.
We changed out the 3 way fridge to a 12v Truckfridge. It gave us more fridge space and is more efficient. Wish we could have fiberglassed closed the old vents from the 3 way, but that would have required paint and body.
The cabinets are actually in good shape I kind of want to leave it original . I lucked out and got a packet with it and in side was all the factory booklets that came with the camper. I want to leave the three way fridge. Like I said I want to gut it then completely restore all the appliances and pressure test the propane lines and rewire it where needed. I am a little nervous about gutting this camper I know how valuable they are. How hard is the rat fur to replace? I want to replace it with thin outdoor carpet thank you for replying
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:16 PM   #15
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The cabinets are actually in good shape I kind of want to leave it original . I lucked out and got a packet with it and in side was all the factory booklets that came with the camper. I want to leave the three way fridge. Like I said I want to gut it then completely restore all the appliances and pressure test the propane lines and rewire it where needed. I am a little nervous about gutting this camper I know how valuable they are. How hard is the rat fur to replace? I want to replace it with thin outdoor carpet thank you for replying
The privious owner replaced the rat fur with 1/4" inexpensive closed cell foam, topped with ribbed indoor/ outdoor carpet. The fiberglass shell is sort of translucent without the carpet. It looks like he used contact glue to attach the foam to the FG, and then carpet to foam. There are seems but they are tight and not really noticable.
About the fridge. We bought a 2011 Escape that had a classic Dometic 3 way. It took hours to get cold on 110, would drain the battery quickly on 12v, and not stay at a low enough temperature on propane. I read all the manuals and on line discussions boards. I also own a 87' Vw Westy. The Westy has a 2 way Dometic that had the same issues. The Vanagon club has beat the subject to death and the best solution is changing out to a modern compressor cooled 12v fridge. There is a realatively new highly efficant compressor called a Danfoss. It has very low power draw and gets the fridge really cold, quickly. It also takes up less room, so the refridgerated compartment can be much bigger. When I upgraded the fridge in the Escape, we gained a full cu ft., which was a 25% gain in the same space. We bought the Truckfridge TF 130 with the two way option. It runs 12v or 110v. Just had to widen the cabinet opening 3/4" and cap off the propane line. The 12v and 110v lines were already there from the Dometic.
We were lucky the owner had all the original manuals for the Bigfoot. Nice but not as helpful as the manuals that came with the Escape.
Escape has continued to improve the manuals they provide to new owners, and those manuals are available for download on their web site. Worth a look just to have a nice overview of mantnance instructions. They also have a very detailed video of how they construct their trailers. That might give you some ideas too.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:32 PM   #16
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Nomad
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The privious owner replaced the rat fur with 1/4" inexpensive closed cell foam, topped with ribbed indoor/ outdoor carpet. The fiberglass shell is sort of translucent without the carpet. It looks like he used contact glue to attach the foam to the FG, and then carpet to foam. There are seems but they are tight and not really noticable.
About the fridge. We bought a 2011 Escape that had a classic Dometic 3 way. It took hours to get cold on 110, would drain the battery quickly on 12v, and not stay at a low enough temperature on propane. I read all the manuals and on line discussions boards. I also own a 87' Vw Westy. The Westy has a 2 way Dometic that had the same issues. The Vanagon club has beat the subject to death and the best solution is changing out to a modern compressor cooled 12v fridge. There is a realatively new highly efficant compressor called a Danfoss. It has very low power draw and gets the fridge really cold, quickly. It also takes up less room, so the refridgerated compartment can be much bigger. When I upgraded the fridge in the Escape, we gained a full cu ft., which was a 25% gain in the same space. We bought the Truckfridge TF 130 with the two way option. It runs 12v or 110v. Just had to widen the cabinet opening 3/4" and cap off the propane line. The 12v and 110v lines were already there from the Dometic.
We were lucky the owner had all the original manuals for the Bigfoot. Nice but not as helpful as the manuals that came with the Escape.
Escape has continued to improve the manuals they provide to new owners, and those manuals are available for download on their web site. Worth a look just to have a nice overview of mantnance instructions. They also have a very detailed video of how they construct their trailers. That might give you some ideas too.
Om last RV I had Nomad it had a two way Dometic I rarely ran it on electric about 99% of the time I ran it on propane. Before preparing for a trip I blew out all the flue pulled out the burner cleaned the burner blew out the dust on the control system. it worked excellent ! They say never run a Ammonia based system on 12 volts it pulls way to many amps to run the heating element it will kill your battery damn quick . I am going to stick with the original system propane its the only way to run these systems. My old dometic ran so well after I serviced it that it was freezing the food I constantly had to turn down the cold control to get it regulated. Don't want buy expensive appliances and take away the originality of the trailer they have to rebuild all the cabinets to compensate for larger or littler appicances I don't have that kind of money to spend anyway. We have a Joannas down here I am going to see if I can find some carpet to put in the trailer for the rat fur. Thanks for the reply
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:40 PM   #17
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Name: Michael
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Folks who have removed rat fur inside Scamps have stated that it is a job and a half. It is stuck on really hard. No idea how it will be in your BF though.
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Old 08-27-2018, 01:04 AM   #18
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Name: Roger
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Folks who have removed rat fur inside Scamps have stated that it is a job and a half. It is stuck on really hard. No idea how it will be in your BF though.
A lot of it is sagging down from the heat and is rotten I kind of expected it was going to be a job. That is why I posted on here for help . Thanks for the reply
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Old 08-27-2018, 06:58 AM   #19
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Name: Jimmy
Trailer: 1991 Lil Bigfoot
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I have a '91 13.5 bigfoot and I also have the bolts through the roof fiberglass for the upper cabinets. The bottom of the front upper cabinets are also attached to a wooden structure that's glued/glassed to the front wall. The cabinets have a wooden frame sandwiched between thin boards that make the exterior and interior of the cabinet bottom. This is where it's attached to the wall.

The inside board is held to the frame with tiny nails and are fairly easy to pull up. Just watch out for wiring that's in this space. You'll find screws holding the the frame to the wooden structure that's on the fiberglass wall.

I haven't seen how the back upper cabinets are mounted, but I would guess it's similar.

That's how mine is put together anyway. They may differ a bit over the years. Keep us posted on how it goes. I'd like to hear about your experience as we're planning to reno our's too!
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Old 08-27-2018, 01:51 PM   #20
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Name: Roger
Trailer: Nomad
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I have a '91 13.5 bigfoot and I also have the bolts through the roof fiberglass for the upper cabinets. The bottom of the front upper cabinets are also attached to a wooden structure that's glued/glassed to the front wall. The cabinets have a wooden frame sandwiched between thin boards that make the exterior and interior of the cabinet bottom. This is where it's attached to the wall.

The inside board is held to the frame with tiny nails and are fairly easy to pull up. Just watch out for wiring that's in this space. You'll find screws holding the the frame to the wooden structure that's on the fiberglass wall.

I haven't seen how the back upper cabinets are mounted, but I would guess it's similar.

That's how mine is put together anyway. They may differ a bit over the years. Keep us posted on how it goes. I'd like to hear about your experience as we're planning to reno our's too!
I bet yours and mine are identical in mounting I got a ladder one time and looked on the roof and seen the bolts they are very rusty I am sure I am going to have to cut them off. I assume these are carriage bolts go through the wood frame up through the roof? I guess I am going to have to get my little snap on driver and get in there and take screws out to learn after I strip every thing out can you post some pics of your little jewel ? Can we get repop sticker for out trailers ? Thanks
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