installing roof air 1990 B19 Bigfoot. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-15-2020, 01:15 PM   #1
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installing roof air 1990 B19 Bigfoot.

Have been in contact w/ Grant and was told that not likely this unit was pre-wired to the roof vent, but that probably (?) there is a channel in the foam leading to a junction box, so that I could relatively (?) easily feed the wiring for a small roof a/c. I travel with 2 small dogs, and can't take the chance if I have to leave them inside when I have to head out for a while, during the summer. MUST have a/c.

My assumption would be that this junction box will be somewhere directly across the ceiling on the driver's side wall in the cabinets. Not seeing anything out in the open there.

Before I begin removing the vent to check for a channel, and pulling aside the panelling inside the cupboards hunting for the box, can anyone confirm that, if there is such a junction box, that is where I would find it? Hate to start removing anything in the roof right now - still raining at least every other day up here - Oh Joy

I have a line on a very nice Coleman Mini-Mach coming out of a small Winnebago. I'm going to get it anyway (great price, can't turn it down!), and even if I have to get someone else to do the installation, still cheaper than buying new (plus I would STILL have to get someone to wire it in).
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Old 06-15-2020, 04:28 PM   #2
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There is a channel, which you can see in the linked thread. Never did find a "junction box", unless by junction box they mean crappy clam-style splice connectors. I spliced into wires running to the light, but this was for a fan.

I'm curious about the AC power needs, though. What good is a 12v junction box for a 120v appliance? I don't know anything about an AC unit so I may be completely off track here, but to me it seems like you're going to be running a devoted wire all the way to power center, rather than tapping into existing 12v wires. Unless you already have a microwave or something.
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Old 06-15-2020, 04:40 PM   #3
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Pull off your refrigerator vent cover on the roof. That is usually where they will run the wires. also pull down the inside cover from the vent you are planning to use.

Here is a photo of my refrig vent removed. I was looking for my solar pre-wire. The Red and Black are for solar but look to the right and you can see a yellow piece of Romex that goes to my AC.
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Old 06-15-2020, 05:18 PM   #4
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Thank you very much. Now I know where to start looking maybe I can get somewhere. If I canít find a junction or a line (for 120) I can easily run a line to the main panel. New control panel and still have space for 2 or 3 more circuits. My rig has no microwave or fan or any bells or whistles so may not have anything up there. But at least, if thereís a channel, I can feed a circuit for the a/c.
This little a/c unit will run happily on a 15A breaker.
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Old 06-15-2020, 06:46 PM   #5
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Code calls for a dedicated 20 amp breaker don't know if your service is 15 or 30 amp. If its old 15 amp you would be better off upgrading it.
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Old 06-15-2020, 06:49 PM   #6
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No problem. That can be done. It’s 30A service so I will do 20A breaker. Thanks.
Tracked down the specs document for this unit and it does call for a 20A breaker. Thanks for the headsup.
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Old 06-16-2020, 01:14 AM   #7
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installing roof air 1990 B19 Bigfoot.

Hi Deb Welcome to the Bigfoot Forum. In your case if you are looking for a junction box if it is even there, it will be very visible and tagged AC Power in your upper cabinet. Another way to check if you have AC feed is open up your 120 volt side where your breakers are, if the feed is in your trailer it will be in the panel board.If the wire is not there it looks pretty easy fish job.Out of panel, under sink,under oven then up behind the fridge,up to the ceiling. You might even be able to come out vent and if needed surface mount a weather proof tech cable to the AC unit where the AC cover will cover all connections. But the best would be to slowly router out a channel in the styrofoam insulation. Anyway good luck in your adventure..
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:41 AM   #8
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So you have the full size fridge? I've seen photos of 19' that are no different than mine, with the dorm fridge. I think...Maybe not. Anyway I don't have a roof vent for my fridge; side vent.
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:55 AM   #9
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Thanks Rick. Well there is most definitely no visible junction box in my cabinets. So I woud then say there is no 120V feed anywhere. I am hoping that there is a channel in the styrofoam. Would make things a bit easier.

Zach, I have RM2401 fridge 3-way, and it has a side access panel to the rear of the unit, but it does have a roof vent. I wouldn't call it full-sized but a bit bigger than a dorm fridge. Which reminds me, it does need a new piezo element. On the hunt for that little part. Probably relatively standard bit, I'm hoping. Gives intermittent spark.
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Old 06-16-2020, 09:19 AM   #10
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And while I'm in query mode, if I do have to router a channel, is the ceiling/roof one solid sandwich? Or does the ceiling "headliner" come away at all? If it is a solid sandwich, how does one router the styrofoam? Figured I would ask this question now, before I start trying to do anything else.
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:14 AM   #11
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There is a channel, which you can see in the linked thread. Never did find a "junction box", unless by junction box they mean crappy clam-style splice connectors. I spliced into wires running to the light, but this was for a fan.
Thanks Zach. Checked your Fantastic Fan thread. I figure if I can just find a channel, I can hopefully get the rest done. Just hoping to find one. Nice to see what it looks like. Seems to go (from your description) directly across to the driver's side wall - pretty much 90 degrees from the vent opening?
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:07 PM   #12
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installing roof air 1990 B19 Bigfoot

Hi Deb i am sending you two pics of 19ft Bigfoots that did not come with an AC unit installed. So I guess this is proof that your trailer will hold it no problem. Also when I owned my 17ft Bigfoot I replace my fan with a fantastic fan and my Bigfoot had no problem with me upon the roof working up there. Also Grant the owner of Bigfoot told me that when they take one of their trailers to a RV Show one thing they do to show the strength of the Bigfoot Roof is have 5 men stand on top of the trailer. So I don't think you will have a problem with your AC unit being to heavy. One of the trailers looks like it still has its vent up there and the other looks like the AC is back farther maybe over the vent hole. Good luck Rick.
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:18 PM   #13
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Thank you so much, Rick. I found a couple of pictures too that were non-factory installations, so I was pretty confident that I would be OK, but it sure is nice to have some more concrete evidence to show the nay-sayers . The Mini-Mach is coming Thursday morning, and is going on my project list.
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:20 PM   #14
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So you have the full size fridge? I've seen photos of 19' that are no different than mine, with the dorm fridge. I think...Maybe not. Anyway I don't have a roof vent for my fridge; side vent.
Zacho on the older 19ft Bigfoot They came with the short fridge it was the same as in the 17ft just raised up and in a different location. The newer units all have the two door fridge with the vent on the roof.I think looks like only the 1992 models had larger fridge. Top picture is a 1992 lower is a 1990.
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:30 PM   #15
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installing roof air 1990 B19 Bigfoot

Deb If you want real proof and maybe some ideas on how to get it done. You could contact Gilmay RV in Vernon The owner is the son of the original owner of Bigfoot. And in his website he even says that the Bigfoots are his specialty. He was around Bigfoot,s his growing up. You never know he might have a real easy way for you to install your wire. But if you can get it to your fridge vent you are 90% there. Cut the whole for your ac or are you putting it over your roof vent either way take a long small 1/4 bit and just slowly channel a hole to your fridge vent and if you need it bigger for 12 gauge wire just go a little bigger each time till your wire will fit. It worked pretty well when I had to run a wire for my fantastic fan. Let us know how it goes with pics..

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Old 06-17-2020, 07:57 AM   #16
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Thanks again Rick. I will get in touch with Gilmay in Vernon.
And I am putting the ac in place of the vent. If I want to move air around, I can pop a small fan into a window for circulation. But rather than cutting a hole in the roof, I figured I would use the existing from the vent. Though leaving the vent and installing the unit a little farther back would keep the weight distribution closer to what it is now.

I'll have to chew on that one a little bit.
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:01 AM   #17
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BTW, where in BC are you Rick?
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:09 AM   #18
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Ah I see. I'm jealous. While I'd love a bigger fridge, mostly what I'd like is a top-vent fridge. Having it more at head level would be nice too. I really do like the 19s and 5th wheels Bigfoot makes...But my trailer is what works for me for now.

I'm 90% sure you'll find that channel in the insulation. And yes, it heads in a straight line from the vent the driver side.
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:47 AM   #19
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Thanks Zach. Yeah I would love a bigger fridge too. But the old knees and back are very grateful for the counter level installation! I can reach everything easily

I'll check to see how big a challenge it will be (for me) to channel it toward the fridge vent as well. Since there is already easy access to wiring there down to the floor, I may go that route. Lots of time to figure it all out.
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Old 06-24-2020, 02:04 PM   #20
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Trailer: 1996 Bigfoot B-17-Gaucho
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Originally Posted by Deb Mac View Post
Have been in contact w/ Grant and was told that not likely this unit was pre-wired to the roof vent, but that probably (?) there is a channel in the foam leading to a junction box, so that I could relatively (?) easily feed the wiring for a small roof a/c. I travel with 2 small dogs, and can't take the chance if I have to leave them inside when I have to head out for a while, during the summer. MUST have a/c.

My assumption would be that this junction box will be somewhere directly across the ceiling on the driver's side wall in the cabinets. Not seeing anything out in the open there.

Before I begin removing the vent to check for a channel, and pulling aside the panelling inside the cupboards hunting for the box, can anyone confirm that, if there is such a junction box, that is where I would find it? Hate to start removing anything in the roof right now - still raining at least every other day up here - Oh Joy

I have a line on a very nice Coleman Mini-Mach coming out of a small Winnebago. I'm going to get it anyway (great price, can't turn it down!), and even if I have to get someone else to do the installation, still cheaper than buying new (plus I would STILL have to get someone to wire it in).
Hi I just installed a max air fan in my 1996 17 ft Bigfoot, I would suggest to take off the cover plate on the inside of your vent . I did just that and it was already prewired for AC . I spliced into ceiling lights for my power. Cheers
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