1984 BIGFOOT B17 Restoration - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-04-2020, 12:38 PM   #21
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Name: Mark Bradley
Trailer: 1976 Boler B-1300 1980 Bigfoot B-17
Manitoba
Posts: 10
I have started a thread called "1980 BigFoot B17 Restoration" and will update that as work progresses.

Thanks for the great information posted here to help me along.
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Old 06-07-2020, 07:38 PM   #22
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Name: Martin
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by Mark Bradley View Post
I have started a thread called "1980 BigFoot B17 Restoration" and will update that as work progresses.

Thanks for the great information posted here to help me along.
I checked out your post...

I love it buddy... I am an electrician too and it had never occurred to me to use EMT to sore up the roof that is a great idea!
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Old 06-07-2020, 07:52 PM   #23
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Name: Martin
Trailer: Bigfoot
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
I'll have to remember all of you! I hope to never gut my Bigfoot...but having you around to ask about how things are put together (and come apart) will be really helpful if I ever need to pull cabinets or counter tops or anything. Which I probably will...
I can tell you now that the counter tops are screwed and glued... They do not come off very easily
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Old 06-09-2020, 09:39 AM   #24
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Name: Martin
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Yesterday I was able to remove the power converter, fridge, stove, and the sink. I tried to get the furnace out too but the exhaust vent pipe seems to be rather stuck. From doing some research it seems the furnace vents become quite corroded over time and the bond from the corrosion is what is holding it in. The fridge came out relatively easily... simply four screws on the front flange screwed into the cabinet plus the connections in the back for 12V/120V/propane. Although I did need to take the door off to get at the screws on the hinge side. The stove was very easy to get out you I simply took element grills off and then the bottom cooktop cover. This exposes the four screws and the propane connection. Then it just slides out! I was surprised that there was no support underneath the stove at all This had over the years made the countertop on the left side start to flex down because of the weight. Also the metal trim that is part of the stove that rest on the countertop was cracking at the front corners from the weight. I will try to fix this when I reinstall it likely with a new unit. The sink simply has the tailpiece nut and four L brackets with wind nuts holding it in.

Previously I had taken the hot water tank out. It was more trouble some and I ended up tearing the insulation off of it to get it out. Also my bucket under the pipes was not big enough for the volume of water that came out when I cut them. So I had a little flood Either way the project is coming along.
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:25 AM   #25
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Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft (21RB25)
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Bigfoot rebuild

Hi Martin :
I believe that you are on the right track to do a total gut and start from scratch pretty much. Glue and screw as you start to rebuild . Use stainless nuts/bolts, screws and power gun staples. . The idea of using your old cabinets as basic templates is a sound one if you don't want to make changes from the original setup. When gluing inside roof supports to reinforce the roof ; screw jacks work great with at least a foot square pad support on the bottom to support the weight. Not sure what they did way back for the floors but pull the lino and take a look . If you had considered
on replacing the single fridge with a double door ; worth the cost I think;
but you may have to mount it on the opposite side to balance
as you don't want one side real heavier than the other. Might be worth the effort to weight the components as they are installed ; I guess is what you would call preplanning in other words. A very, very big job but if done well will be worth it.
Good Luck.


Forgot to mention that while the inside is gutted you might also check the steel trailer frame to see if any work is needed. Would be easier to lift and block the glass body like they do when moving trailers from boats on dry land.
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:36 AM   #26
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Trailer: 91 Bigfoot 17
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Looking good!

I've had my furnace out multiple times and yeah, I could see how a little corrosion could make it pretty tough. The vent pipe coming out of the stove slides pretty far into the exterior vent pipe. It's a tight fit that takes a little wiggling and pulling even without corrosion.

I also found out the oven is just sitting there, even less secure than the fridge. I came around a blind corner on a through street in town and someone had decided (nicely, but not wisely) to stop for some bikes who were waiting to cross. Not enough time to slam the brakes so luckily I had an escape route down a side street, but I had to turn at 25mph and jump a curb to avoid rear ending them.

That jostled the stove enough that any incidental "seal" that had formed over the decades broke loose, and now I can tell there's nothing holding the oven there other than it's own weight.
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Old 06-10-2020, 06:14 PM   #27
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Trailer: Bigfoot
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Originally Posted by Marty_3000 View Post
Let me know how you make out!
I have stripped our Bigfoot down to the fibreglass shell. A lot of water damage since 1987 For the floor, I used poplar strips with styrofoam infill, glued to the shell, then 1/2” plywood, glued and screwed, with vinyl flooring.
I then rolled aluminum 1.5” sq tube to match the radius of the roof and epoxied them in place. I ran wires through the tube for a power vent and the lights. I removed the AC unit, will not replace, as it was the cause of a lot of water damage.
Next job is to glue the styrofoam to the roof shell.
I also replaced all of the wood ribs and added a few to stiffen the walls.
I removed the frame and sand blasted and painted, going to add Jacks to the corners.
I’ve stopped for the summer, too many outside projects.
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Old 06-23-2020, 04:16 PM   #28
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Name: Martin
Trailer: Bigfoot
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Originally Posted by aggoddard View Post
I have stripped our Bigfoot down to the fibreglass shell. A lot of water damage since 1987 For the floor, I used poplar strips with styrofoam infill, glued to the shell, then 1/2” plywood, glued and screwed, with vinyl flooring.
I then rolled aluminum 1.5” sq tube to match the radius of the roof and epoxied them in place. I ran wires through the tube for a power vent and the lights. I removed the AC unit, will not replace, as it was the cause of a lot of water damage.
Next job is to glue the styrofoam to the roof shell.
I also replaced all of the wood ribs and added a few to stiffen the walls.
I removed the frame and sand blasted and painted, going to add Jacks to the corners.
I’ve stopped for the summer, too many outside projects.

I am debating dropping the frame down to do the same. How did you support the body to get it off. I can't think of a way to do it that isn't labourious and involved. Please let me know what you did.

Wow rolling aluminum stock would be amazing for the radius for sure! Did you extend the square stock down to the floor and across the ceiling or just for the radius'?
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Old 06-23-2020, 04:40 PM   #29
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Name: Martin
Trailer: Bigfoot
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In my absence from this thread I have not been completely idle lol... I have almost finished gutting the interior of the trailer only the walls and floor left to go. I am thinking about doing away with the wet bath and putting in an outdoor shower faucet. This way I will build a real bathroom with a vanity and sink. Do away with the two piece fiberglass enclosure and you actually gain a bit of space in that corner of the trailer. I haven't decided yet but that is the way I am leaning...
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Old 06-23-2020, 04:46 PM   #30
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Name: Martin
Trailer: Bigfoot
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
Looking good!

I've had my furnace out multiple times and yeah, I could see how a little corrosion could make it pretty tough. The vent pipe coming out of the stove slides pretty far into the exterior vent pipe. It's a tight fit that takes a little wiggling and pulling even without corrosion.

I also found out the oven is just sitting there, even less secure than the fridge. I came around a blind corner on a through street in town and someone had decided (nicely, but not wisely) to stop for some bikes who were waiting to cross. Not enough time to slam the brakes so luckily I had an escape route down a side street, but I had to turn at 25mph and jump a curb to avoid rear ending them.

That jostled the stove enough that any incidental "seal" that had formed over the decades broke loose, and now I can tell there's nothing holding the oven there other than it's own weight.
Wow!! Glad you didn't get in an accident... I am a little surprised by how flimsy the construction of the trailer is actually. I guess it was built with weight savings and economy in mind. Oh well now that I've seen how it was all put together I can make it that much better when I re construct it.
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:47 PM   #31
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Name: Martin
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by Len S View Post
Hi Martin :
I believe that you are on the right track to do a total gut and start from scratch pretty much. Glue and screw as you start to rebuild . Use stainless nuts/bolts, screws and power gun staples. . The idea of using your old cabinets as basic templates is a sound one if you don't want to make changes from the original setup. When gluing inside roof supports to reinforce the roof ; screw jacks work great with at least a foot square pad support on the bottom to support the weight. Not sure what they did way back for the floors but pull the lino and take a look . If you had considered
on replacing the single fridge with a double door ; worth the cost I think;
but you may have to mount it on the opposite side to balance
as you don't want one side real heavier than the other. Might be worth the effort to weight the components as they are installed ; I guess is what you would call preplanning in other words. A very, very big job but if done well will be worth it.
Good Luck.


Forgot to mention that while the inside is gutted you might also check the steel trailer frame to see if any work is needed. Would be easier to lift and block the glass body like they do when moving trailers from boats on dry land.
I ended up buying a Dometic rm 2354. It is the modern version of the old fridge that was in there. I actually wanted to buy a nova cool compressor fridge but the constant drain on the battery is not ideal for me. I never camp with shore power so I would be relying on solar and or a generator to keep the batteries topped up. In the pacific north west you can't always count on the sun so... 3-way fridge it is.
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:51 AM   #32
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Trailer: 91 Bigfoot 17
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Huawei camera?

Crazy. Looking good. Careful leaving that toilet out in the yard. Some passerby is bound to try out it. It's happened...

Yeah the last thing I needed was to rear-end someone into pedestrians. Still not sure how I managed to jump that curb without hitting the stop sign or anything else.

It's always that way tearing into these things. I've done one camper myself and seen enough photos of others. If you want to see how the sausage is made...It's pretty cheap work, even in high-quality trailers.

Interesting thought on the bathroom. It'll definitely help reduce the weight which is all on that one side. If I didn't spend time living in my camper, I could manage fine with an outdoor shower.
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Old 06-25-2020, 07:38 AM   #33
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Name: Gord
Trailer: Bigfoot
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Probably a little late but I jacked up the trailer with a number of jacks and wood blocks, removed the wheels, dropped the frame and slid it out sideways, moving the supports as I had to. I added extra supports after the frame was removed, 11 in total, to ensure I had good support when gluing in the floor ribs and Styrofoam. When I ripped out the old floor, I discovered an ant colony and the Styrofoam was still wet after a number of weeks in my barn.
I did not extend the tubing to the floor, figured the cabinets and wall ribs will give the support. Looks like you have progressed a lot!
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Old 06-25-2020, 11:54 AM   #34
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Name: peter
Trailer: Bigfoot B17
British Columbia
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b17 query

1989 B17 with one yet to be identified switch on lhs of door (facing outside)It is not the "Propane Tank/Hitch light or the gas alarm.....
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Old 06-25-2020, 12:12 PM   #35
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Name: peter
Trailer: Bigfoot B17
British Columbia
Posts: 12
b17 query

1989 B17 with one yet to be identified switch on lhs of door (facing outside)It is not the "Propane Tank/Hitch light or the gas alarm or the "Porch light".
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:50 PM   #36
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Name: Roger
Trailer: 1986 Bigfoot B17 dlx
British Columbia
Posts: 26
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Originally Posted by AnnieSnyder View Post
Hi Martin, Yes we did speak over facebook on our Bigfoot projects.

Yes, I am planning on making a laminated beam for the ceiling but haven't had a chance to start on it yet. The weather here hasn't been helping me get my project started plus I need to replace some fence at my house before digging into the Bigfoot further.

Since I haven't opened up the whole ceiling yet I am not sure what my process will be on connecting the beams to the walls yet. If I opened up the walls I would add posting down each wall to support a roof support. If I don't open up the walls I think the laminated beam should be ok resting on top of the angled piece of wood that is attached to the top of the paneling. That way the paneling and the foamboard behind it will be supporting the laminated roof beam. I don't believe the roof load will be enough to damage the exterior walls since it will be close to how it was constructed at the factory but with some added supports. I may run some calculations depending on what my final choices are for the roof interior.

Hopefully that all makes sense. I will try to take pictures once I am able to get that part started. Hopefully demo will be done soon, so I can start the rebuild.
A couple of years ago I totally rebuilt a Ventura with sagging roof, worked out the curve then cut 2x4 spruce into 1/4in strips, made mold out of 2x6 then laminated 4 strips with epoxy [ messy] & clamped to mold, when cured, cut to size then made supports & epoxyed the new rafter pushing it into correct shape, very messy, but worked well, hope that helps, Roger
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Old 07-03-2020, 06:52 PM   #37
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Trailer: Bigfoot
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A couple of years ago I totally rebuilt a Ventura with sagging roof, worked out the curve then cut 2x4 spruce into 1/4in strips, made mold out of 2x6 then laminated 4 strips with epoxy [ messy] & clamped to mold, when cured, cut to size then made supports & epoxyed the new rafter pushing it into correct shape, very messy, but worked well, hope that helps, Roger
Thank you for the suggestion. I think I am going to do something almost exactly like that. I plan to use 1" plywood and epoxy 2 pieces together. I was going to cut them to shape and then sandwich them together but I like your idea of sticking them together and then cutting to the final shape. Once I have the ribs built I am going to use thickened epoxy to stick them to the roof. The ribs should push the sag back into place as you say!
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Old 07-03-2020, 07:21 PM   #38
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Name: Martin
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by pter View Post
1989 B17 with one yet to be identified switch on lhs of door (facing outside)It is not the "Propane Tank/Hitch light or the gas alarm or the "Porch light".
I don't know? I don't think my trailer had a switch there. I had the porch light switch on the rhs of the door.
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Old 07-13-2020, 01:18 PM   #39
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Name: Roger
Trailer: 1986 Bigfoot B17 dlx
British Columbia
Posts: 26
paint

This is a little of topic, but does anybody know colour of main frame, thanks Rogerfb
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Old 07-18-2020, 10:09 PM   #40
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 6
Question bigfoot restore

Hey there Best of luck with the redo. I am currently prepping my B19 for a paint job and interior retro fit. I will put some photos to show what was entailed as I am gutting it and redoing entire unit.

I have a question and hoping you may have the right reply, I am looking for the size and length of the gas shocks that open the fiberglass front window cover.
I have not been on the site for a while and forgot where to post requests, but you are the closest person.

Let me know if this is something you can respond to.

Best of luck. Gerry
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