Bigfoot 25B25RT Concerns - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-12-2020, 04:22 AM   #41
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Name: Tom
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Originally Posted by Geronimo John View Post
I also always wanted an Airstream. Until I saw first hand what 3/8" hail did to one in Texas.

The Airstream web site is a good read:

Hail damage pictures finally♦ - Airstream Forums

IMHO, if you are planning on being where hail falls, go fiberglass.
Thanks for that hail link. It got me on the Airstream site and there is a lot of information on ACs there.
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:38 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Ken in Washington View Post
I am new to this forum and will admit upfront that I have always wanted an Airstream since I could remember. Having said that I was also curious about molded fiberglass trailers and know that the molded fiberglass trailer owners are every bit as enthusiastic about their trailers as the Airstream crowd. The major stumbling block for me was size, most are just too small for extended camping, at least for my taste. Several months ago I came upon Bigfoot in my online research and was immediately intrigued with a molded fiberglass trailer that was 25' with decent width.

There is a dealer only a couple hours North of us in Abbotsford, BC, Get-Away RV, that just happened to have a couple 25' units on their lot so we recently drove up there to have a look. The gentleman who showed us the unit was very gracious and helpful. From viewing the trailer online my wife and I already kind of knew what we would like and would not like. We must have shown our distaste for the interior because the individual showing us the unit joked that we always say "Grant, you need to have some women help you out with your interiors" before we even uttered a word. My wife laughed and said my husband said the same thing earlier today. Actually what I said was "I think Oliver and Airstream must be the only manufacturers with women on their staff otherwise how do you explain the interiors of most units." I mean no offense here, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My wife and I have tastes that run towards clean and modern. The Oliver Elite II and the International Serenity are both good examples of our taste in interiors. I even like the Escape 21' with the white walls and the blond wood cabinetry, cute as a button, too small. I had a nice conversation with Anita from Oliver and I told her "Please, please, please build a 25 or 27' with a little more width." She has probably heard this once or a thousand times and I have seen the same sentiments expressed on the Air Forums as well. If a 25 or 27' Oliver existed, I would be negotiating with them. Back to the Bigfoot though, The unit appears to be a very sturdy build with a lot of thought put into the operative aspects of the trailer, the additional storage unit in front of the trailer is brilliant. My heart tugs toward Airstream but my head is telling me pretty loud and clear that the Bigfoot is the more competent trailer in the long haul. The Airstream would likely be a beautiful PITA on wheels.

There was a recent thread on this trailer that answered a lot of my questions, but not all of them. First, has anyone out there done any interior modifications on one of these units? I know Get-Away RV does van conversions and the individual that showed us the unit said they could do interior modifications and that Grant may be open to some customization on a special order basis. We kind of left it at that. I would suppose you can do anything if you are willing to separate yourself from your hard earned cash. We are good with the Birch colored cabinets but the vinyl wall coverings, the carpet on the ceiling, and the window treatments just don't work for us. The Bigfoot is not an inexpensive unit by any means but remember we have budgeted for an Airstream and a 3/4 ton diesel truck so we are a little jaded in that regard. I think the Bigfoot would be worth the additional investment, within reason.

Do the exteriors of these units maintain their shiny gelcoat appearance over the years if properly maintained and stored. The AC unit at 11,000 btus seems a little smallish for a 25' trailer. We would want to go to the East side of the Cascades in the Summer and you will see triple digit temperatures in the Columbia basin. Anyone had any experience with this unit in very hot temperatures? Is the onboard Onan LP generator adequate to run the AC unit? Is it very noisy? I had always thought I would get twin Honda or Yamaha gas generators but the idea of not having to carry gasoline or going out in the cold to start and connect generators is kind of appealing. Is the Solar package worth the cost or might an aftermarket solar system be better?

Finally, we like the Twins configuration, we looked at the sideways Queen arrangement on the lot. We also would not bother with the ladder or the rack on the roof. I would appreciate any insight offered here. I also want to reiterate that I mean no offense regarding the interior of the trailer. The Bigfoot appears to be a very well constructed unit and you have every right to be proud of this unit if you are a current owner. Our plan is to retire in Whatcom County which is just South of the border so we would be within 30 miles of a dealership, Get-Away RV, and less than 300 miles from the factory which is another consideration for us.

Thank you all for your time.


First of all and most importantly, if you are not happy with the decorations and construction of the Bigfoot, IE the carpet on the ceilings, of the window treatment etc, then shop for a different travel trailer.those kind of changes to the trailer would be very expensive and in my opinion would detract heavily from the quality of fit and finish of the trailer.

The bigfoots are very well insulated, rated from -20 Fahrenheit to 120. In 95-degree Florida Sunshine the AC will freeze you out. Typically in the winter in 40 degree weather, we generally do not turn the heater on. The trailer will stay fairly warm up all night. On occasion we have used our furnace in our 21 foot Bigfoot and it is quite adequate, heating are trailer up in less than 3 minutes.

To keep the gel coat shiny, smear on 3M high performance marine wax and wipe off with a towel. This is a wax only product and will not remove oxidized gelcoat but we'll keep your gel coat from oxidizing for at least 6 months. If your gelcoat is oxidized use some aqua buff 2000 cleaner.

Lastly, go with the factory installed solar and the factory-installed generator.

As a footnote, do not consider buying a Dodge truck. Read consumer reports reliability ratings and you will see why.
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:40 AM   #43
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Airstream? Pshaw! Here's the Bowlus Road Chief! (actually did see one of these at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada)
https://bowlusroadchief.com/

As to the maintenance of the gelcoat: an aircraft painter with much knowledge of these things imparted me with the following two pieces of wisdom:
1) Gelcoat is porous, however slightly
2) the best way to seal gelcoat is with automotive paint - if you decide it's worth $2-3K to have that done.
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:56 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by LindaandPat View Post
Size is a important consideration. New RV owners think they need more and that is better . I guess they will find out on their own . Pat
As I understand it, RV sales folks often use the line, "buy your last RV first," meaning that folks will buy a first unit, find it too small, and then buy another (so you're saving money buying the big one right off the bat). I've talked to a few RV sales folks and haven't yet heard that line, but there might be a grain of truth to it. We thought very carefully about the minimums we needed to spend weeks on the road, considering the tradeoffs Raspy mentioned with respect to large tow vehicles, etc. So far (2.5 years/20K miles) our choice is working. I ask the better half if it's still the case, and she says yes, though she finds the Alto F2114 appealing. https://safaricondo.com/en/caravanes-alto-serie-f-2114/
Folks down the road from us bought one, so we figure we'll check in with them in a couple of years to see how they like it. It's not currently in our budget.
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:26 AM   #45
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There seems to be a belief in the FG community that smaller is automatically better and that those who don’t want to travel the country in a 13 ft broom closet are unenlightened . We chose to purchase a larger trailer not because bigger is always better but because our 17 ft Casita did not fit the type of travel we wanted to do
Sometimes I wonder if the minimalist religion that permeates these forums does more to discourage than encourage
We have friends / acquaintances who have toured our 21 ft Escape .
The most common remark is ,” It’s cute but too small and too expensive “
I respect their opinion ,
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:36 AM   #46
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Very well stated Steve, and directly on point. Each to his own.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:29 AM   #47
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For the solar setup, I'd say it depends a lot on exactly what you need. My 25RQ came with a 170W panel, which would be plenty for lights and such and probably enough to run the furnace fan most days without losing much if any ground. If that's all you need, it's probably simplest and cleanest to just go with the factory option. I use a lot of power and went with a significant upgrade (4x200W plus 500Ah of Lithium batteries), but that's probably overkill for most needs.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:13 PM   #48
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Yes, I have friends with a 43 foot Class A motorhome, it has 3 tip outs and 1 1/2 baths! With their tow behind pickup, they are about 70 foot long overall.

Once they arrive at a campground and set up, they are so much more comfortable than we are in our Escape 19. And their used motorhome cost about the same as a new Oliver.

Maintenance is another story...... Tires: lots of them, at a big price each. Fuel economy, worse than my F150 towing the Escape. Campsite limitations: too big for lots of state and national parks. Turning their 70 footer around = major undertaking.

But once they arrive, SWEET! Could they handle an Escape 19, or even a 25 foot Bigfoot? No way.


There is no perfect size. Even on trips, the best size for one trip may be the worst size for another. Its all about compromises.
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:34 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Yes, I have friends with a 43 foot Class A motorhome, it has 3 tip outs and 1 1/2 baths! With their tow behind pickup, they are about 70 foot long overall.

Once they arrive at a campground and set up, they are so much more comfortable than we are in our Escape 19. And their used motorhome cost about the same as a new Oliver.

Maintenance is another story...... Tires: lots of them, at a big price each. Fuel economy, worse than my F150 towing the Escape. Campsite limitations: too big for lots of state and national parks. Turning their 70 footer around = major undertaking.

But once they arrive, SWEET! Could they handle an Escape 19, or even a 25 foot Bigfoot? No way.

There is no perfect size. Even on trips, the best size for one trip may be the worst size for another. Its all about compromises.


"Its all about compromises." There is NO perfect camper, much less a perfect camper for everyone. Our 2003 25' Bigfoot knocked us out of numerous campsites, got 2 mpg less gas mileage, and at 6,300#'s, with a 950# tongue weight, was at the edge of our F150 with max towing and springs. However, we foolishly sold it (a long, stupid story) and would have accepted those compromises. We can't afford a newer one though.

Our Escape 5.0 fifth wheel ticks our boxes for our style of camping. We can get in any campsite, gets about 13.5 mpg pulling, and weighs 4,800 pounds. Our F150 doesn't even know it's back there.

The extra room in the Bigfoot was nice though. The current owners of our Bigfoot have removed the queen and installed two twin beds. They also removed the dinette and installed a loveseat Lazy-Boy type couch.

Fiberglass campers are not for everyone. If it's not for you, sell it. If it is, learn to love it. If you can't handle the constant repairs of RV onwership, there is no camper for you, so sell it and get a motel.

We're currently in Gallup, NM with our 5.0 starting a three month trip in the sunny SW. Life is good!

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:56 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post


"Its all about compromises." There is NO perfect camper, much less a perfect camper for everyone. Our 2003 25' Bigfoot knocked us out of numerous campsites, got 2 mpg less gas mileage, and at 6,300#'s, with a 950# tongue weight, was at the edge of our F150 with max towing and springs. However, we foolishly sold it (a long, stupid story) and would have accepted those compromises. We can't afford a newer one though.

Our Escape 5.0 fifth wheel ticks our boxes for our style of camping. We can get in any campsite, gets about 13.5 mpg pulling, and weighs 4,800 pounds. Our F150 doesn't even know it's back there.

The extra room in the Bigfoot was nice though. The current owners of our Bigfoot have removed the queen and installed two twin beds. They also removed the dinette and installed a loveseat Lazy-Boy type couch.

Fiberglass campers are not for everyone. If it's not for you, sell it. If it is, learn to love it. If you can't handle the constant repairs of RV onwership, there is no camper for you, so sell it and get a motel.

We're currently in Gallup, NM with our 5.0 starting a three month trip in the sunny SW. Life is good!

Enjoy,

Perry
Ok....as a owner of a 25 rq (2020), what s the “ long stupid story!”???
We want to know! Lol
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:38 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Defenestrator View Post
For the solar setup, I'd say it depends a lot on exactly what you need. My 25RQ came with a 170W panel, which would be plenty for lights and such and probably enough to run the furnace fan most days without losing much if any ground. If that's all you need, it's probably simplest and cleanest to just go with the factory option. I use a lot of power and went with a significant upgrade (4x200W plus 500Ah of Lithium batteries), but that's probably overkill for most needs.



Defenestrator...
I'm planning to add solar capacities similar to yours. I'm considering placing lith batts, inverter, solar charge controller either under the bed or in the 4-drawer space under the closet. I need to not add hitch weight forward of the axles at this point. Where'd you put your internal solar goodies in your 25RQ?
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:19 AM   #52
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I went with added hitch weight. They're all under the passenger-side dinette bench. Wiring goes through the fridge vent, through the driver's side dinette, and across behind the front panel.

If you put stuff under the bed, make sure you're not subtracting too much tongue weight for stability. Behind the drawers would be way more work, but should be fairly neutral for weight balance. Also keep in mind the weight of the battery being removed and how cool far forwards that is.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:42 AM   #53
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Thanks Defenestrator.
I'm already a tad over 1k lbs hitch weight.
Would like to position internal components in same space that you did.
I don't think that subtracting the factory hitch battery will give me enough hitch weight back to cover the adds in the front dinette bench.


Did you go with 3k or 2k inverter?


Did you wire your solar panels in parallel or series?


Would you have done anything different with your solar design after using it?
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:11 AM   #54
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You're right, it definitely won't balance out entirely. The 60lbs way out front is probably the equivalent of 100lbs under the dinnete though, so it'll help noticeably.

I went with the 3K Multiplus.

The solar panels are connected in parallel to limit the impact of shading, and the main line from panels to controller is 4AWG to limit voltage drop.

So far there's nothing I'd change, but I've only really spent about 5 days depending on the solar so far.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:13 AM   #55
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Defenestrator, I'm probably going with the 3k multiplus as well.
I'll probably stick with Victron for charge controller as well.
Battleborn for the lith batts.

Did you document your complete install in another thread?
I'd like to learn more about what you have.
Did you do the system design and install yourself?
Thanks.
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:06 AM   #56
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I haven't written it up. Carpal tunnel problems lately prevent long paragraphs. I did a good chunk of the design, bit ended up needing to hire someone else to do the install because I couldn't find a storage place that allowed work on it.
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:12 PM   #57
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There's a simple way to determine the change in tongue weight caused by adding an accessory or cargo.

You just need the weight (W) of the accessory or cargo, the proposed distance (Dp) from the center of the weight to the axle, and the total distance from the axle (Da) to the center of the ball at the coupler on your trailer.

Multiply the weight times the proposed distance in front of the axle, then divide the result by the distance from the axle: (W x Dp) / Da

Example with a 99 lb weight to be located 50 inches in front of the axle on a trailer that measures 150 inches from axle to ball:

(99 lbs x 50 inches) / 150 inches = positive 33 lbs, which is additional tongue weight.

If the distance is behind the axle, use a negative sign:

(99 lbs x (-50) inches) / 150 inches = -33 lbs, a decrease in tongue weight.

Likewise if you are removing something in front of the axle, use a negative sign for W which will result in a reduction of the tongue weight.

If you are removing something heavy that was installed behind the axle, you have two negative signs, so the result will be positive, meaning that removing this item will increase the tongue weight.

This will work for batteries, bikes with racks, and anything else you can put in or on a trailer. You can determine the impacts of different items at different locations and add them all up to determine the total impact on tongue weight.

For a bundled pop-up canopy, you can probably safely use the middle of the length as the measuring point because the weight is distributed pretty evenly through the length of a bundled canopy.

If you have something lengthy that you want to carry inside the trailer, but it's heavier at one end than the other, try to find the balance point and use that location as the measuring point for distance from the axle.

You will have to measure the distance from the axle to the center of ball for your trailer; I used 150 inches above just as an example. For dual-axle trailers, you can measure the distance from the center of the ball to the midpoint between the two axles.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:27 PM   #58
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I had posted about WHY there was a transfer switch for the microwave and hot water heater. Thankfully, Grant added an breaker in our trailer and the switch moving forward has been eliminated from the "that's the way we've always done it" category.
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