Escape vs Bigfoot towing ? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-16-2019, 09:29 AM   #41
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I think you Ram 2500 suspension could be the culprit. The 1500 Ram has a coil whereas the larger Rams have the multi leaf spring set up. The 1500 is more car like and smoother whereas the 2500 rides rough empty and smooth with a load in the rear (more than the tongue weight) Put some firewood in the rear and tow once and see if the extra weight makes a difference. Hate to see you purchase a new trailer and have the same issue.
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:21 PM   #42
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Jim:

This could be the case. However, we have a lot of stuff in the back of the RAM. I'm having trouble getting individual axle weights so not sure of those. But there is some weight back there. We had a similar rough ride when towing with an XTerra.

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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I think you Ram 2500 suspension could be the culprit. The 1500 Ram has a coil whereas the larger Rams have the multi leaf spring set up. The 1500 is more car like and smoother whereas the 2500 rides rough empty and smooth with a load in the rear (more than the tongue weight) Put some firewood in the rear and tow once and see if the extra weight makes a difference.
The ride of the Escape isn't a real problem. We've learned, for the most part, how to pack. Sometimes we're surprised, but for the most part it's OK. I was just curious if the Bigfoot would give a smoother ride.

But the ride is only a small consideration. The bigger ones are:


- We are living in the trailer and the Escape 19 kitchen is really small. Great for short trips of a month or two, but not years. #1 consideration is a larger kitchen, counter space and an oven.

- More interior room and storage, same as above.


- Better insulation and freeze protection. Insulation would be nice in heat and cold.

- With the 25RQ: walk around bed, larger holding tanks, bigger bathroom.

Hate to give up the narrow width of the 19 and the short length when getting into small campgrounds. But overall we're thinking a larger trailer would be good. An Escape 21 would be nice, but the front bed with front door is a no go. Also really like a front dinette.

So we've decided to search out some Bigfoots and assess layout, feel, quality, etc.

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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Hate to see you purchase a new trailer and have the same issue.
Thnaks.
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:53 AM   #43
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Yes, the Bigfoot has leaf springs and shocks on each wheel. I have the 25RQ and it tows like a dream. I never have anything flying around. A drawer might come open if we neglect to shut it but that is about the only thing that moves. The cabinets are still in order when we get to our next destination.

I have always run the air pressure within 5 pounds of the max pressure rating on the tire on everything I drive and pull. I have run all my tires like that for the last 50 years and never had an issue with tire failure. Low tire pressure in a radial tire creates heat and heat creates tire failure.

The extra width is not an issue if you have the tow mirrors on your tow vehicle.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:17 PM   #44
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I had KO2 load range E tires on my Tacoma, and when I ran them at 5 under their load range E pressure, thats 75 PSI, the ride was *AWFUL* and so was the traction. I ran them at the Toyota recommended pressures, which nicely matched up with the gross axle ratings of the tacoma, and they rode great, and with 20,000 miles still had 70% of their tread left. Since i was loading that truck way up, probably past its ratings, I'd run a bit more in the rears when towing, but no more than 40 PSI. I also had airbags and beefier-than-stock shocks.

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Old 08-17-2019, 12:52 PM   #45
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A guy can do whatever he wants with his tires. Its his stuff. I Have been selling and installing truck tires, road grader tires, car tires and motorcycle tires for years. I have never seen a tire fail when the pressure is close to max. If a tire fails and there is enough of the tire left to inspect, we normally find a nail or something that caused the tire to loose air. Inadvertently now we had low pressure and then tire failure. Now if you want to run your tires low then have at it. Me I am staying with what has worked for me for a long time. As far as the ride, i'll agree the ride gets rougher when the pressure is up, thus that's when I get better shocks. 3/4 and 1 ton pickups ride rough that is just the nature of that beast.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:59 PM   #46
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I'll go out on a limb and say the problem with most trailers and associated rough ride has to do with relatively short leaf springs/suspension travel. I had a small custom haul trailer built a few years ago and we used Toyota 60-Series leaf springs (~45") and the ride was smooth even on rough gravel/dirt roads. The springs, relative to the 12' total length of the trailer were long by trailer standards.

I doubt if the typical short leaf springs, that lack much vertical articulation, are going to be significantly different in ride quality than the Dexter TorFlex axles.

Which brings up a question: How long do the rubber rods apart of the TorFlex axles last?
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:29 PM   #47
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well, a 3/4 or 1 ton truck calls for load 'E'....

my point is, the pressure should be appropriate for the actual load on the tires, not the maximum rated load in the case where you're using too heavy of a tire for the vehicle... I had "E" KO2's on my Tacoma because that was the rating they came in. I also have "E" KO2's on my F250 diesel, and that vehicle specs them at around 70PSI.

our fiberglass trailers mostly spec around 50 PSI.
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Old 08-17-2019, 02:41 PM   #48
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We are running a 21 ft bigfoot with 1500 ram ecodiesel amd Hensley type hitch. Very smooth ride in the trailer using 40 lbs in Maxxis tires. Almost nothing moves.
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:38 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstreight View Post
Which brings up a question: How long do the rubber rods apart of the TorFlex axles last?
15-20 years, according to the manufacturer. Many remain in service well beyond that, with gradually diminishing ride quality.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:45 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
well, a 3/4 or 1 ton truck calls for load 'E'....

my point is, the pressure should be appropriate for the actual load on the tires, not the maximum rated load in the case where you're using too heavy of a tire for the vehicle...
Absolutely correct.

Running around with tires at full pressure, all the time, even though they would carry the load very efficiently at a lower pressure, is not a good idea.

It means they will skate around on rough surfaces and will ride very rough. Tires are part of the suspension system, along with shocks and springs, and they must flex to work properly. They are what gives you traction, by interacting with the road surface and not just bouncing over it. On gravel, or frozen highway surfaces, over inflated tires seriously reduce traction. Tire manufacturers provide load/pressure charts to help determine the correct pressure for the job, instead of simply recommending full pressure all the time.

A blanket recommendation that all tires should always be at maximum pressure is bad advice. It's only right if they are carrying their maximum rated weight. But under lightly loaded, or poor traction conditions, those numbers can be uncomfortable or un-safe, and can add more stress to the suspension system.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:38 AM   #51
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I'm sure Mickey is right in that if you run at full pressure you won't have a blowout (barring any kind of defect or something similar). But...

I agree, my experience with load range E tires is that full inflation = a dangerous ride unless your loaded down enough. When I had new tires put on a work truck and took it back into the place I worked (30 miles down a dirt road), I noticed I was "floating" every time I hit any part of the road that wasn't hard-packed dirt. Very unstable. When I dropped the tire pressure down from 70 to 50, it rode great. And no flats.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:39 PM   #52
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We had a chance to view 21RB and 25RQ Bigfoot trailers at Clickit in Spokane yesterday. They did have leaf springs with shocks. They also have an "equalizer" between the front and back leafs to spread out the load to both axles. They don't do this with a rubber supported swing arm, so I suspect the Bigfoot suspension will be smoother than an Escape, if anything. Some evidence recently (above) indicating the Bigfoot ride is quite smooth.

Some more data. I found a closed weigh station and was able to get weights on our rig. With a little calculation I found the RAM front axle carrying 5050lb and the rear axle at 4750lb. The trailer axle weight came in at 4100lb and hitch weight of 450lb. Thus the RAM is considerably under max and the trailer slightly over loaded.

Put new tires on the RAM. The placard suggests 60psi front and 80psi rear. The tire guys, whom I trust, suggested 60psi all the way around with our light trailer. This makes sense, the load is similar front and rear. The front will take more side wall deflection due to steering. I set the back at 60psi and the ride is about the same, or slightly better, in the truck. I doubt it affected the trailer ride. The only problem is the "smart" tire sensors on the RAM complain about the low pressure.

I agree the short travel of trailer suspension isn't ideal. Like a washboard road, when speed increases the ride smooths out. The washboard is created by the average suspension moving up and down when traveling at the average speed. The worst speed to go with a car is the speed everyone else goes. If one goes faster the input frequency is higher and the suspension can't respond fast enough to keep up. Thus it doesn't and the ride smooths out. Same idea with off road racing vehicles that have very long travel suspensions, thus very low frequency. The short travel of trailer suspension will give a high natural frequency that can follow faster frequencies. Very hard to go fast enough to smooth out the trailer ride. We've found it best to just go VERY slow. But your mileage may vary.

Thank you all again, I keep learning.
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:36 PM   #53
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We have a 2007 BF 25RQ and it came stock with shocks. A friend had a 2002 BF 21RB that also had shocks. Our 2005 17.5 does not. I assume the ride isn’t too bad as when we arrive the fridge and everything else is fine, unless there was an extreme emergency braking incident or some other class 4 maneuver! We run 8 ply load range E Les Schwabs at 50#. Currently upgrading to 6000# axles so looking forward to seeing how that works. The original 3500# axles are too under capacity for this trailer, IMHO. They were getting sacked out. Towing with a 2007 Duramax crew cab. I wouldn’t tow it with a half ton for anything.
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:25 PM   #54
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Alan & Barb:

This may have always been the case, 2002 is going back a ways. I see that now the 21 and 25s come stock with shocks, while shocks aren't available on the 17.5s.

You mean by sacked out that they are sagging, taking a set, on the 25RQ? Do you know what the trailer weighs loaded? Please let me know how the new axles work out. Interested since we're very interested in a 25RQ.

Thank you.

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We have a 2007 BF 25RQ and it came stock with shocks. A friend had a 2002 BF 21RB that also had shocks. Our 2005 17.5 does not. I assume the ride isn’t too bad as when we arrive the fridge and everything else is fine, unless there was an extreme emergency braking incident or some other class 4 maneuver! We run 8 ply load range E Les Schwabs at 50#. Currently upgrading to 6000# axles so looking forward to seeing how that works. The original 3500# axles are too under capacity for this trailer, IMHO. They were getting sacked out. Towing with a 2007 Duramax crew cab. I wouldn’t tow it with a half ton for anything.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:18 PM   #55
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Alan & Barb:

This may have always been the case, 2002 is going back a ways. I see that now the 21 and 25s come stock with shocks, while shocks aren't available on the 17.5s.

You mean by sacked out that they are sagging, taking a set, on the 25RQ? Do you know what the trailer weighs loaded? Please let me know how the new axles work out. Interested since we're very interested in a 25RQ.

Thank you.


I meant sagging. Check my new thread on the upgrade. Loving it so far.
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:25 PM   #56
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We have an Escape 19 that we're quite pleased with. However, the ride in the trailer is very rough. This shown by stuff flying around the interior when traveling. I once road about a mile in the trailer to see why stuff was flying. It was a very rough ride. I believe Escape uses a short swing arm with rubber sleeve for suspension and shock. The 19 is a dual axle trailer.

We're thinking of moving to a Bigfoot, 21RB or 25RQ. These, I believe, use a standard leaf spring and separate shocks. Is the Bigfoot less susceptible to giving a rough ride? Do owners have trouble with stuff flying around the trailer? Can anyone compare the Bigfoot ride to an Escape.

Thank you for any help.
I bought my 06 21FB Bigfoot

new and have been extremely happy and nothing flys around at all when traveling.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:02 PM   #57
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We have an Escape 19 that we're quite pleased with. However, the ride in the trailer is very rough. This shown by stuff flying around the interior when traveling. I once road about a mile in the trailer to see why stuff was flying. It was a very rough ride. I believe Escape uses a short swing arm with rubber sleeve for suspension and shock. The 19 is a dual axle trailer.

We're thinking of moving to a Bigfoot, 21RB or 25RQ. These, I believe, use a standard leaf spring and separate shocks. Is the Bigfoot less susceptible to giving a rough ride? Do owners have trouble with stuff flying around the trailer? Can anyone compare the Bigfoot ride to an Escape.

Thank you for any help.

Hugh, Now that you've purchased your 25RQ, what do you think? How is it compared to the Escape?
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:42 PM   #58
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Hugh, Now that you've purchased your 25RQ, what do you think? How is it compared to the Escape?
Hugh do you purchase a Bigfoot ? Pat
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:57 AM   #59
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I never had any issue with stuff flying around in my Escape 19, nor do I in the Escape 5.0TA, and I have driven a lot of rough roads. If this is happening, I would definitely look at why one specific trailer has this happen, and not much for others.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:52 PM   #60
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Pat:

We did. Life moves fast around here. After looking at Bigfoots in Spokane we decided to get a 25' Rear Queen Bigfoot. Then Denise remembered an email she received about one for sale. Amazingly it was still for sale after two weeks. Put a small amount down and started driving to Los Angeles. Picked Sassy up the end of August. As with our Dora (Escape) we bypassed all the stress about which options to get. (But it does have most of the options we wanted.)

We'll have the 19 up for sale in a month or so. Need to stop traveling long enough to clean her and advertise. Traveling full time we can't justify keeping both.

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Hugh do you purchase a Bigfoot ? Pat
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