Need some help with '89 Bigfoot17DLX sorting out - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-30-2020, 12:22 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 13
Need some help with '89 Bigfoot17DLX sorting out

Hello,
Iíve just bought an í89 Bigfoot trailer and am having fun doing some fix-ups and resealing this and that.
Iím trying to get the ísystemsí in order as a first priority. They are in decent shape but need some fine tuning and I may need a little assistance from fellow owners:

Exterior:
Some usual water-in-clearance-lights (Iíve brought the trailer from a dry area to the wet coast)..no biggie.
Rear window leaked a littleÖresealed with butyl tape/no problem. Others look good.
AwningÖthree of the four mounting arm locations have shown signs of past leakage. Iím surprised Bigfoot used lag bolts and not some type of through-bolt attachment. Iíll monitor this over time, but Iíve replaced the bolts with larger ones and resealed all the perforations. The awning itself is pretty slick, so Iíve decided not to remove it. Also replaced 30 rusting awning top edge attachment screws with stainless.

Interior:
Water- I was pleased to see the water pump and an accumulator look brand new (installed just a few years ago). It really puts out a strong stream. Of all the Poly B fittings, there was one that seeped and a second was Ďmissingí (had a hose clamp) right at the hot water tank. I replaced those two with a Poly B compatible PEX clamps,, which have held fine.
The hot water tank seems fine, but removing the drain plug is a PITA because of propane line being routed right out in front of it. The square ended plug is an odd size, so I might have to make up some kind of T bar that fitsÖor ??

Heat- The furnace puts out good heat, but for the first two minutes its screams like a banshee, and from what Iíve read, sounds like the compressor wheel. It is usually quiet, once things warm up. I need HELP in getting that furnace out, as Iím not sure how to undo the outer vent plate. It has three stainless tangs protruding from it, that donít seem to be part of the actually outer plate, but something seems to be holding things solid there, even with the screws removed from the inside and outsideÖ?? I think Iím missing something that Iím sure someone else has figured out.

Stove top (Elixer) seems to be out of production, so Iíll probably have to bead blast and repaint with heat paint.

Fridge- All three-way fridge functions work fine, which kinda surprised me since the trailer has been sitting unused for 3 years.

Sorry for the long post. Thanks for any assistance!

Bob T.
Victoria, BC
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Old 09-30-2020, 06:17 AM   #2
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Trailer: Bigfoot
Posts: 224
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Fellow 1989 Bigfoot 17DLX here.

I replaced all the old exterior clearance lights with sealed LED lights. No more bulbs and they are easy to change if they do fail. Lights were bought at Princess Auto.

We removed all the windows and resealed them as well as repainted the exterior frames which were looking rough.

Our awning leaked around the bolts but they were through bolted with nuts inside. We removed the awning replaced the fabric. Replaced the bolts with stainless ones. Inside there are blocks of would to spread out the load. Resealed them like the windows with butyl then Dicor around the outside.

AwningÖthree of the four mounting arm locations have shown signs of past leakage. Iím surprised Bigfoot used lag bolts and not some type of through-bolt attachment. Iíll monitor this over time, but Iíve replaced the bolts with larger ones and resealed all the perforations. The awning itself is pretty slick, so Iíve decided not to remove it. Also replaced 30 rusting awning top edge attachment screws with stainless. We also went around and replaced every exterior screw with stainless steel screws.

Our furnace wasn't working properly so I removed it and replaced with a new one which meant covering old vent holes and putting new ones in. I don't remember having trouble getting the vent off maybe you have some rust holding it on. I think there was a set screw inside the holds the furnce pipe to the vents pipe.

We also painted the stove top flat black as the chrome was rusty and wouldn't clean up. Used bbq paint on it and then painted the exhaust fan to match.
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Old 10-01-2020, 01:24 AM   #3
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 13
Thanks Doug, that was good info. I'm thinking I might go the LED router also, as I can see I'll be chasing leaky clearance lights all over the place otherwise. I like some of the type I see on the newer Bigfoots's - more rectangular. We have a Princess Auto in the area, so will check what they have.

I gave my furnace another tug today, with no luck. If there is a set screw, I can't see or feel one, but I'll try again tomorrow. I noticed on a youTube video, there was no mention of a set screw for this furnace, but its not uncommon for the tube-within-tube situation to have a bit of rust making them stick together. The squeal is too loud to be ignored, so I'll press on.

thanks agiain!
Bob
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Old 10-05-2020, 03:55 PM   #4
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Name: Derek
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 61
Hi Bob. Sounds like a series of compassionate previous owners - lucky you. My only contribution to your queries is the screaming furnace fan. I have an '89 Bigfoot Gaucho layout. The screaming is from the fan bushings. Sometimes it'll go away after a minute or two but if you have to use it at night on the thermostat the noise will levitate you from your bed. I did manage to squirt some lubricant in there - NOT WD 40! and it hushed it up for awhile but I finally found a similar vintage furnace on Facebook Marketplace and swapped over the fan. I'd love to replace it will a low amperage pancake style 12V fan but it looks like a nightmare to exchange them. The original fans are available through some RV parts sites but I remember them being pretty pricey.
An easy winter project if your feeling up to it. I replaced all the steel screws on the outside and inside of my windows with stainless. Looks 100% better. Busy swapping out all steel screws for ss.
Send me a p.m. if you're coming through the Comox Valley.
Derek
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Old 10-05-2020, 03:58 PM   #5
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Name: Derek
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 61
Hi Bob. Another opinion on LED's - this time on interior lights. Yes it's a huge amp saver but the quality of the light can be pretty harsh. Our interior looked like an operating room - bright and cold light. Changed some of the LEDs for incandescent and it feels better.
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:17 PM   #6
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 13
Thanks for fan info...I'm STILL trying to pull the %^&&&^ furnace exhaust out, with no luck...its either rusted in or someone has put in some kind of sealant. I fear I'll have to destroy the vent area to really get at things. And yes, the screaming fan is just not tolerable, even if short lived.
I figured it was bushings based on other things I've read too. Reminds me of an old Beattie dryer we had, that actually had an oil nipple on the drum shaft bushing (that's how old it was). Anyway, I tried various oils and they all just carbonized in the small clearance area and were useless. Someone in-the-know said to use Turbine oil only, and low and behold it worked fine henceforth. I still have some...maybe I'll try that on the fan motor should I ever get in that far.

Sounds like we are on some parallel tracks, as I'm also doing the change-over from old fasteners to stainless. I just ordered a full stainless piano hinge for the front rock guard, even though the old aluminum one was serviceable.

Just about finished putting vinyl plank flooring down...nice improvement.

thanks again,
Bob



Quote:
Originally Posted by burrorojo View Post
Hi Bob. Sounds like a series of compassionate previous owners - lucky you. My only contribution to your queries is the screaming furnace fan. I have an '89 Bigfoot Gaucho layout. The screaming is from the fan bushings. Sometimes it'll go away after a minute or two but if you have to use it at night on the thermostat the noise will levitate you from your bed. I did manage to squirt some lubricant in there - NOT WD 40! and it hushed it up for awhile but I finally found a similar vintage furnace on Facebook Marketplace and swapped over the fan. I'd love to replace it will a low amperage pancake style 12V fan but it looks like a nightmare to exchange them. The original fans are available through some RV parts sites but I remember them being pretty pricey.
An easy winter project if your feeling up to it. I replaced all the steel screws on the outside and inside of my windows with stainless. Looks 100% better. Busy swapping out all steel screws for ss.
Send me a p.m. if you're coming through the Comox Valley.
Derek
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:24 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by burrorojo View Post
Hi Bob. Another opinion on LED's - this time on interior lights. Yes it's a huge amp saver but the quality of the light can be pretty harsh. Our interior looked like an operating room - bright and cold light. Changed some of the LEDs for incandescent and it feels better.
That is helpful...as I really don't mind the stock lighting inside...and your comment convinces me to stay with it, as I really don't like that harsh LED colour. For the exterior LED is probably preferable and more rugged.

On a different matter, the brochure for my trailer mentions that a gas detector was 'standard equipment', but I'm sure there is none in my trailer. Do you have one? I know it wouldn't be a big deal to install, just curious about this.

Thanks Derek,
Bob
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