"Porch light" plastic cover - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-30-2013, 05:34 PM   #1
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"Porch light" plastic cover

Oh, the joys of finding parts for an older Bigfoot! After reading a few posts, I see I'm not the only one having trouble finding replacement parts. I contacted Bigfoot in Armstrong & they had a whole lot of sympathy, but no solution for my problem.

Like most of the plastic light covers on the interior of my 1988 Bigfoot 17DLX, the exterior "porch" light cover has not only yellowed, but I discovered while replacing the bulb that it's very brittle & has started cracking.

I got it screwed back on with the help of a piece of hard plastic as backing, rubber washers, & holding my breath the whole time. Any ideas on how to fashion a new cover or maybe a source for an authentic replacement? I'm not having much luck on the internet so far. I want to keep this Bigfoot as close to original as possible, but maybe that won't be possible??

Thanks!
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:14 PM   #2
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I have a lens that came off a 1995 BF17. But it is not like yours. Yours looks like a 1985. No longer made anymore. Some parts for Bigfoot's are no longer available. Look with a flashlight behind the handle their might be a number and name stamped in the metal retainer. It could be made by Bargman if you can see any numbers it might help you find one.
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by FTTRV View Post
I have a lens that came off a 1995 BF17. But it is not like yours. Yours looks like a 1985. No longer made anymore. Some parts for Bigfoot's are no longer available. Look with a flashlight behind the handle their might be a number and name stamped in the metal retainer. It could be made by Bargman if you can see any numbers it might help you find one.
Chuck
Thank you, Chuck. I couldn't find much in the way of brand name, etc., but I'm sure it's there; just need to drag out my magnifying glass along with a flashlight.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:06 PM   #4
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If, and this is a big IF, you're using a non-heating bulb, it MAY be possible for Charlie to make you what you need. It looks more like a light defusser instead of an actual lens.

Here's Charlie's profile: Fiberglass RV - View Profile: tractors1 He's in Hillsboro, OR... if that helps.
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
If, and this is a big IF, you're using a non-heating bulb, it MAY be possible for Charlie to make you what you need. It looks more like a light defusser instead of an actual lens.

Here's Charlie's profile: Fiberglass RV - View Profile: tractors1 He's in Hillsboro, OR... if that helps.
Ev,

I think I could make a mould to duplicate your part, but you'd have to send me the old one to use as a template. It looks like a fairly simple part to vacuum form. Biggest problem would be finding the right material if light is supposed to shine through the part - but the fixture design looks like the light is supposed to be shining below the part.

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Old 12-31-2013, 09:22 AM   #6
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Ev,

I think I could make a mould to duplicate your part, but you'd have to send me the old one to use as a template. It looks like a fairly simple part to vacuum form. Biggest problem would be finding the right material if light is supposed to shine through the part - but the fixture design looks like the light is supposed to be shining below the part.

Charlie Y
I second your idea. There is a guy on TDIclub who built a kit car. It took him a while to form the headlamp covers. The final product was thermo molded, I think. I doubt you would need a lens that robust.

I think the light fixture is on top and light diffuses out the lens and the bottom part is a grab handle.

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Old 12-31-2013, 11:04 AM   #7
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lens

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Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
Ev,

I think I could make a mould to duplicate your part, but you'd have to send me the old one to use as a template. It looks like a fairly simple part to vacuum form. Biggest problem would be finding the right material if light is supposed to shine through the part - but the fixture design looks like the light is supposed to be shining below the part.

Charlie Y
Charlie the lens for the grab handle light should be clear or white to let light through it.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
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If the lens was originally white translucent acrylic materials are readily available. I think clear would be kinda ugly...

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Old 12-31-2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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Wow, lots of knowledgeable folks here! I appreciate the feedback. I'm including a few more pictures without the cover installed. I would be delighted, Charlie, if you'd agree to take on this task. The cover is supposed to be white opaque, but as I said before, it's yellowed with age. The light shines thru the cover as well as below it, but the majority of the light shines thru the cover. In the new pictures of the cover, you can see metal "clips" on top that slide into the 2 slots on the top of the light fixture frame. The only other thing that holds it all in place is a very small screw at the bottom of the cover; the sides of the cover just rest flush against the fixture frame.

Charlie, I can definitely mail the cover to you, probably next week sometime...if you're still interested after seeing these pictures!

Thanks, all. Every time I visit this site I learn just how much I don't know.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:09 PM   #10
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One more thing...

Thank you, Donna -- see what you started!
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:25 PM   #11
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Ev,

Looks like a fun challenge - let's take it offline. Email me at tractors1@helvetia.us and we'll get this in motion.

Charlie Y
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:56 PM   #12
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I hope this is a win-win! Evelyn, you have a need. Charlie has the skills and with a template made he'll be able to market to other Bigfoot owners too.

Evelyn, do yourself a favor. When/if you get the new lens, change the bulb to an LED. They don't generate the heat like the incandescents and I'm thinking the lens will last longer.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:01 PM   #13
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I hope this is a win-win! Evelyn, you have a need. Charlie has the skills and with a template made he'll be able to market to other Bigfoot owners too.

Evelyn, do yourself a favor. When/if you get the new lens, change the bulb to an LED. They don't generate the heat like the incandescents and I'm thinking the lens will last longer.
Great minds think alike, Donna. I've been pricing LED lenses online & eventually hope to change all the fixtures to LEDs. I have all kinds of plans for the Bigfoot now that I have it back in my clutches...a winning lottery ticket would help right about now.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:07 AM   #14
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OUr '89 is similar except that it has two screws in the middle of the sides that hold it in place. Just something to consider.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:31 AM   #15
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I need a better pic with the lens off, but it looks like a flat lens would work if you went the LED route.

It maybe possible to remove the incandescent lamp socket. Attach a flat panel of LEDs. Either hard wire the LEDs or use a plug of your choice. Then there would be clearance to put a flat lens on.

But this hinges on more details about the lamp and handle assembly. It is a little hard to see if this would work where the bottom of the lens mounts.

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Old 01-01-2014, 06:51 PM   #16
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. It's always great to brainstorm & see where things lead. I'll be mailing the cover to Charlie next week so he can work his magic.

This sweet trailer hasn't had any maintenance at all for 7 years. It sat ignored under redwood trees in my sister's driveway in the Santa Cruz, CA mountains (not her fault; I still love her). I'm determined to bring it back to life because an un-used trailer is a very sad trailer.

Happy 2014!
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:45 AM   #17
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As mentioned before, the later model Bigfoots had a slightly newer version of this part. If it's the same size hole, you may be able to replace the entire handle with the newer part, although they too seem to be a little difficult to come by. It's a Bargman 74-32-001, which is what is on my 1989 Bigfoot.

Other Lights - Bargman

A lot of places list the part, but few seem to actually have them. But they are out there.
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:33 PM   #18
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As mentioned before, the later model Bigfoots had a slightly newer version of this part. If it's the same size hole, you may be able to replace the entire handle with the newer part, although they too seem to be a little difficult to come by. It's a Bargman 74-32-001, which is what is on my 1989 Bigfoot.

Other Lights - Bargman

A lot of places list the part, but few seem to actually have them. But they are out there.
I sent you a PM, but I wanted to post this for other folks in case they ever need this part for their 1988 Bigfoot.

The Bargman you referred to is smaller than what's on my Bigfoot (by 1", both height & width). If push came to shove, a modification could probably be made to install the Bargman. I, however, have zero talent in that department, & I don't have the proper tools.

Luckily, Charlie has graciously agreed to fabricate a cover for me. I'm trying to replace parts with as-close-to-original as I can; we'll see how long that idea lasts. I'll post pictures when it's in place!
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:27 PM   #19
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There's a hero amongst us!

[QUOTE=Ev in Oregon;435572]Oh, the joys of finding parts for an older Bigfoot! After reading a few posts, I see I'm not the only one having trouble finding replacement parts. I contacted Bigfoot in Armstrong & they had a whole lot of sympathy, but no solution for my problem.


YAY! Today I installed the new light cover that Charlie (AKA tractors1; Fiberglass RV - View Profile: tractors1 ) fabricated for me. It absolutely amazes me that he was able to create a new one, long distance no less, when all he had in hand was the old broken cover along with just pictures of the frame it needed to fit into. It fits like a glove, it's much higher-quality plastic, and I'm sure it'll outlive both the Bigfoot & me. I'm so grateful to Charlie for his fine handiwork & his outstanding work ethic.

I'm convinced Charlie is not only a talented engineer, but he's a magician, too. So, if you're in need of either, Charlie's your man. (Oh, & be sure to ask him what SWAG means.)

I also appreciate all the suggestions, advice, and moral support from forum members. I'm sooo glad I stumbled upon this site!
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:20 PM   #20
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LOL Ev,

Also, I want to thank Donna D for the referral. A most interesting challenge!

Charlie Y
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