Looking for real world experience towing a 21' Bigfoot - Fiberglass RV
Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-05-2022, 09:27 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: J
Trailer: Escape
Colorado
Posts: 6
Looking for real world experience towing a 21' Bigfoot

Currently have an Escape 17B which we can barely feel when towing even in the mountains, but I know Bigfoots are significantly heavier and more wind resistant. Our tow vehicle has a 7500 lb tow capacity and 1500 lb payload sticker.

I've been eyeing a B21RB, but there is only one entry in the Trailer Weights in the Real World thread, and it has a surprisingly high tongue weight, as it is over 18% of the trailer weight when the usual target is 10%-15%. I know that many Bigfoots have an extra 2' tongue area extension with a storage box that adds weight and which I do not plan to get.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has experience with a 21' Bigfoot, particularly one without the extended tongue and storage box.
SquirrelsGoneWild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2022, 09:45 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 11,505
Registry
Just out of curiosity, why not the Escape 21C? Layout is similar (but reversed front-to-back).
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2022, 09:56 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Name: J
Trailer: Escape
Colorado
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Just out of curiosity, why not the Escape 21C? Layout is similar (but reversed front-to-back).
We are considering Escape's larger models as well, but we are interested in four season camping, which Escape trailers aren't quite equipped for with the exposed tanks. The dry bath is another nice perk, though not a dealbreaker.
SquirrelsGoneWild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2022, 10:35 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Jon Vermilye's Avatar
 
Trailer: Escape 17 ft Plan B
Posts: 2,323
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrelsGoneWild View Post
Currently have an Escape 17B which we can barely feel when towing even in the mountains, but I know Bigfoots are significantly heavier and more wind resistant. Our tow vehicle has a 7500 lb tow capacity and 1500 lb payload sticker.

I've been eyeing a B21RB, but there is only one entry in the Trailer Weights in the Real World thread, and it has a surprisingly high tongue weight, as it is over 18% of the trailer weight when the usual target is 10%-15%. I know that many Bigfoots have an extra 2' tongue area extension with a storage box that adds weight and which I do not plan to get.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has experience with a 21' Bigfoot, particularly one without the extended tongue and storage box.
Check the spreadsheet version at my website. There are 7 25' Bigfoots. You can use the filter to choose a specific trailer & it calculates the averages.
Jon Vermilye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2022, 11:11 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Name: J
Trailer: Escape
Colorado
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
Check the spreadsheet version at my website. There are 7 25' Bigfoots. You can use the filter to choose a specific trailer & it calculates the averages.
Thanks for the link Jon. Unfortunately only the single 21' Bigfoot I mentioned above is listed in that spreadsheet. I do find it interesting that multiple 25' Bigfoots are listed as being lighter than the 21' Bigfoot, but without more data it's hard to know if the 21' entry in the spreadsheet is an outlier.
SquirrelsGoneWild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2022, 12:09 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 11,505
Registry
One of the 25' BFs is actually a 21'er (model is 25B21RB.). Not surprisingly it is lighter than all the others (by a lot). It is also lighter than the other 21'er and might be a better guide as to what to expect for your situation, since you won't be getting the extended tongue and loading it to the hilt. Here's a snip from the database (click to enlarge).

Click image for larger version

Name:	Bigfoot Weights.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	81.9 KB
ID:	147573
Jon in AZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2022, 12:30 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Jon Vermilye's Avatar
 
Trailer: Escape 17 ft Plan B
Posts: 2,323
Registry
Sorry- I misplaced the Bigfoot 21 in the 25' section. Corrected...
Jon Vermilye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2022, 08:34 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Name: J
Trailer: Escape
Colorado
Posts: 6
Thanks Jon and Jon! Those numbers are much more in line with my expectations for a B21RB.
SquirrelsGoneWild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2022, 09:18 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 122
Registry
I have a 25B21RB. Do you have any specific questions about it's tow-ability? While I have no direct experience towing an Escape 17 I have had two 17' Casitas which may, by assumed weight similarity, compare.
Tony O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2022, 09:36 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Name: J
Trailer: Escape
Colorado
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony O View Post
I have a 25B21RB. Do you have any specific questions about it's tow-ability? While I have no direct experience towing an Escape 17 I have had two 17' Casitas which may, by assumed weight similarity, compare.
Hi Tony, the Casitas are likely very similar to my Escape 17B in terms of mass and aerodynamics. I do have several questions about your rig and experience towing:
  • Do you have the extended tongue and storage box?
  • What tow vehicle and hitch do you use?
  • Have you measured your axel and tongue weight when loaded?
  • How do you find that it handles on major freeways with 75 mpg limits and passing traffic, particularly in comparison with your Casitas?
  • How fast do you feel comfortable driving with it?
  • Have you had any issues with sway?
  • What sort of mileage do you get, and how does that compare with your Casita?
  • Have you taken the Bigfoot into any somewhat rough terrain (two-tracks, rough gravel, etc.)? If so, how did it handle?

Also, I'm curious if you have camped in freezing temperatures and what your experience has been, as I see that as a major advantage of Bigfoots over Escapes.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my long list of questions!
SquirrelsGoneWild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2022, 09:53 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
ThomasC's Avatar
 
Name: Tom
Trailer: BigFoot 25B25RT
Massachusetts
Posts: 568
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrelsGoneWild View Post
Currently have an Escape 17B which we can barely feel when towing even in the mountains, but I know Bigfoots are significantly heavier and more wind resistant. Our tow vehicle has a 7500 lb tow capacity and 1500 lb payload sticker.

I've been eyeing a B21RB, but there is only one entry in the Trailer Weights in the Real World thread, and it has a surprisingly high tongue weight, as it is over 18% of the trailer weight when the usual target is 10%-15%. I know that many Bigfoots have an extra 2' tongue area extension with a storage box that adds weight and which I do not plan to get.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has experience with a 21' Bigfoot, particularly one without the extended tongue and storage box.

One of our members has one.

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...nga-64400.html
ThomasC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2022, 10:19 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 122
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrelsGoneWild View Post
Hi Tony, the Casitas are likely very similar to my Escape 17B in terms of mass and aerodynamics. I do have several questions about your rig and experience towing:
  • Do you have the extended tongue and storage box? No.
  • What tow vehicle and hitch do you use? - 5.7L Toyota Tundra
  • Have you measured your axel and tongue weight when loaded? No, never felt the need to. My experience is that the trailer is very well balanced. Tongue weight is somewhere around 600lbs.
  • How do you find that it handles on major freeways with 75 mpg limits and passing traffic, particularly in comparison with your Casitas? It tows beautifully, I pay more attention to stressed-out drivers who are exceeding any posted speed limit.
  • How fast do you feel comfortable driving with it? I generally avoid driving 75mph roadways and stick to secondary roads - which generally have less traffic and lower speed limits. If I have to use a 75mph highway I stick to the right lane and try not to exceed 65mph, mostly to keep my fuel consumption reasonable.
  • Have you had any issues with sway? None whatsoever, even when passed by semi's pressure wave on a two-way I barely detect much influence. My rig has an Equal-I-Zer anti-sway system which has never given me any indication that it was actively correcting or compensating for a sway problem.
  • What sort of mileage do you get, and how does that compare with your Casita? I towed the Casita with an earlier vintage Tundra with a smaller V8 (4,7L) My larger Tundra averages 13.7MPG when fully loaded with camping essentials stowed in the camper shell covered truck bed, mostly full water tanks and propane bottles. I tend to drive slower (55-60) and avoid pedal-to-the-metal acceleration. Also, it should be noted that my travels are usually in western Rocky Mountain states which necessitates yanking the rig over high passes. Average altitudes are 7-8K ft.
  • Have you taken the Bigfoot into any somewhat rough terrain (two-tracks, rough gravel, etc.)? If so, how did it handle? Oh yes, all the time. Common sense driving at slow speeds is the answer, often in low range, on particularly nasty or steep forest service roads. That said, I have a lot of experience "Jeeping" without a trailer on crazy FS roads so I have a pretty good handle on what is possible and what is "asking for it."

Also, I'm curious if you have camped in freezing temperatures and what your experience has been, as I see that as a major advantage of Bigfoots over Escapes.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my long list of questions!

(Comments inserted in your bullet list.)
Tony O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2022, 07:41 AM   #13
Member
 
Name: Ben
Trailer: Bigfoot
California
Posts: 35
I had an Escape 17b before I bought my Bigfoot B21RB. I had a Tacoma and it pulled the Escape without a problem but when I tried it with the Bigfoot, it was white-knuckle due to lack of power and sway. The Tacoma is just too light and under powered for the Bigfoot so I upgraded to a Ford F150. It is much nicer pulling the trailer but I still had some problems with sway; the B21RB has too little weight on the tongue. I wrote at length about it on the Bigfoot forum but you need a subscription to read it. I think you can get a temporary subscription if you tell them that you are researching to buy a Bigfoot.

There are a few problems, with the main being that the fresh water tank is in the far rear. Attached is my trailer's weight (from CAT scale) as I tried to quantify the problem. I have alleviated most of my sway problems and now have a tongue weight between 650-750# most of the time.

But to answer your question, yes I weighed the trailer and it was right on 6000# fully loaded.

Ben
Attached Files
File Type: pdf F150BigfootWeights.pdf (67.5 KB, 10 views)
btroxell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2022, 07:50 AM   #14
Junior Member
 
Name: J
Trailer: Escape
Colorado
Posts: 6
Thanks everyone, that's all really helpful information. Ben, do you know what year and engine your Tacoma had?
SquirrelsGoneWild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2022, 09:44 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 122
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrelsGoneWild View Post
Currently have an Escape 17B which we can barely feel when towing even in the mountains, but I know Bigfoots are significantly heavier and more wind resistant. Our tow vehicle has a 7500 lb tow capacity and 1500 lb payload sticker.

I've been eyeing a B21RB, but there is only one entry in the Trailer Weights in the Real World thread, and it has a surprisingly high tongue weight, as it is over 18% of the trailer weight when the usual target is 10%-15%. I know that many Bigfoots have an extra 2' tongue area extension with a storage box that adds weight and which I do not plan to get.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has experience with a 21' Bigfoot, particularly one without the extended tongue and storage box.
Sorry, I forgot to answer your question about camping in freezing temps.

One of the reasons I bought the trailer was to make camping during the cold months more pleasant and safe for extended boondocking stays. BTW, I also had the larger 25' BF trailer for a while which I found to be too large for my boondocking adventures, which is why I downsized to a 21'.

That perspective in mind I would say the following based on extended freezing temperature camping with my current 21' Bigfoot, which, BTW, does NOT have double-pane windows.

The lowest overnight temperature I've recorded (so far) while camping was 3 degrees. On that same trip other nights consistently dipped into the low double digits. Daytime temps were in the low to mid 30's. Also, I was out there for nearly a month and never moved the trailer.

During that trip I experienced that despite heat ducts running mostly right along side interior plumbing, water can start to freeze up where heat ducts do not run right next to water pipes, especially from the FW tank through to the location of the water pump.

OK, well, what to do now that I'm suddenly quite concerned about something truly ugly happening? I did this:
  • Removed most everything from the storage space hiding the FW water tank and keeping the access door into the trailer wide open to help warm cabin air to freely move into the storage space unencumbered by "stuff."
  • Kept all window shades closed and the front window rock guard closed.
  • Ran the thermostat at a higher setting to help thaw out the freezing part of the system. (My normal MO is to keep the thermostat at it's lowest setting to help conserve propane. This setting generally allows the cabin to drop no lower than about 53 degrees, which I find perfectly tolerable for comfortable sleeping with an extra blanket.)
  • I also lit the hot water heater and let it run until it shut off before heading to bed and firing it up again when I got up. In doing that it appeared that fully heated water in the tank took all night to cool down to where it might again become susceptible to freezing, keeping in mind that this non-measured observation is really just a guess because everything worked fine thereafter.
  • Keeping cabinet doors open where plumbing runs through the back also helps.
After that trip I made some adjustments. I bought and installed a 12volt tank heating pad that is now permanently installed underneath the FW tank. It's wired all the way to the front of the cabin, through a lighted switch that indicates it's on, into the power panel. It should be noted that I haven't yet tested the efficacy of that heating pad in similar conditions to what is described above.

Should you decide to buy a 21' for true 4-season use I would highly recommend opting for double-pane windows. I had them in my 25 but I do not have them in my 21. A lot of heat escapes through single-pane windows which will frost up much faster than double-pane windows, adding to the perception that you're camping in a refrigerator.

Lastly, it should be noted that even though a BF trailer is well insulated; that is to say it's insulated in more areas than most stickies are, BF insulation is still only 1.5" inches thick, excluding it's skin and interior panels - not all that different or thermally more effective than other trailers. By design it's just a much better trailer for cold weather camping than every other trailer I've owned because more of it is insulated.

Bottom line is this: BF trailers are a superior camper for cold weather camping. I've had eight other campers over the years, a Boler, Scamp, two Casitas and a handful of stickies. None of them have been absolutely flawless cold-weather units. That said, I suspect that design improvements could certainly be made to any trailer brand to edge them ever closer to 4-season perfection.

Hope this helps...
Tony O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2022, 11:38 AM   #16
Junior Member
 
Name: Bill
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 3
Hi,
We've had a 2007 21ft BigFoot since 2010. Initially towed with a 2003 Toyota Tundra 4x4. It did the job but was underpowered and a pain as it only had a 4 Spd automatic. Moved up to a 2014 Ram LTD with air suspension and 3.0 L diesel. This has been a great tow vehicle but sway was a problem initially because as BTroxell points out in another post the hitch weight is a bit too light. Load appropriately for highway travel and make sure the hitch is at a height that shifts the centre of gravity a bit forward and you're good to go.

All of BTroxell's comments are on the mark. Our measured weight fully loaded was 5600 lbs.

Cheers
Silverback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2022, 12:39 PM   #17
Member
 
Name: Ben
Trailer: Bigfoot
California
Posts: 35
My Tacoma was around a 2013 3.5L. I strongly recommend against this truck for pulling a 21' Bigfoot. It just isn't safe; the truck is too light and if you get into any problems like sway, you will be in trouble.

Ben
btroxell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2022, 01:59 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 122
Registry
IMO, btroxell & Silverback are both correct. When I bought my 21' BF I towed it back from Washington state with my 2000 Tundra equipped with a 4.7L V8 engine. It did the job getting it to CO but I immediately learned that a newer Tundra with the larger V8 was needed. The smaller V8 had the heart to get it done but going to the 5.7L was the perfect solution to towing the bigger, heavier trailer.

Another important caveat is that the brakes on the bigger Tundra are far better suited to hauling a larger, well, anything. Ideally everything must be well matched to work in harmony with everything else. Maximum safety is only assured when trailer and tow vehicle are harmoniously married.
Tony O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2022, 09:12 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Perryb67's Avatar
 
Name: Perry
Trailer: 2018 Escape 5.0
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
Posts: 541
So it appears that those with sway problems don't use a anti-sway control hitch?

Enjoy,

Perry
__________________
2018 Escape 5.0 TA - 2019 Ford F-150, 3.5 V6 Ecoboost,

Previous Eggs - 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, that we regret selling, 2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ, that we also regret selling
Perryb67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2022, 10:37 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 122
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
So it appears that those with sway problems don't use a anti-sway control hitch?

Enjoy,

Perry

Not necessarily.


Tow vehicle size may be a factor. (Potential tail wagging the dog scenario.)
Anti-sway hitches can and do help, tremendously, in fact when sway is introduced in unusually severe driving conditions.

Unfortunately, I learned this lesson the hard way on more than one occasion. One incident involved fresh snow falling on a remote paved secondary highway that had no shoulder to speak of. Two other instances where when I encountered (and had absolutely no choice but to continue driving), on rain saturated, deeply muddy mountain roads going downhill with steep drop-offs and no guard rails. I attribute my anti-sway system as primarily responsible for helping me avoid a very serious accident on those two unforgettable days when the trailer felt like it was pushing me, instead of just sedately following. (Part of my solution in avoiding disaster was riding my brake controller lever to essentially drag the trailer down those muddy roads thus eliminating the trailer's push effect. I was in 4X4 low range, too.)

If fresh water, grey and black water tanks are large, at or near capacity and the trailer is traveling, that trailer's ideal traveling balance has changed. As well, if the propane tanks are nearly empty when the water and waste tanks are full, that can also affect tongue weight and overall balance.

Another common factor contributing to sway is improper loading of the trailer. Too much heavy stuff loaded in the back of the trailer adds to the probability that sway will occur, especially if full storage tanks are part of the same equation.

There are tongue weight scales available at modest cost which will greatly help determine whether a trailer is loaded according to a manufacturer's recommended tongue weight. If a manufacturer's recommended tongue weight is used as a target when testing tongue weights an owner will quickly learn what to do to properly keep their rig optimally balanced for safe transport.

Again, these measured weights are based on the assumption that road conditions are relatively normal. As pointed out above, adverse conditions change everything and nothing becomes predictable, easily planned for or can mechanically be compensated for. My near death driving experiences during horrible weather conditions taught me to pull over at the first opportunity, camp and wait it out. Having the option to stay safe and comfortable, after all, is one of the reasons I bought the trailer.



Hope this is helpful...
Tony O is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bigfoot


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trailer Weights in the Real World Frederick L. Simson General Chat 449 10-24-2022 12:16 AM
Real world solar power colliewagon Modifications, Alterations and Updates 13 09-08-2012 03:42 PM
Trailer brakes in the real world? Darrell O Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 44 07-26-2012 10:27 PM
A "Real World" Bed Size Listing? Cathy P. General Chat 3 05-21-2012 05:54 AM
Real world weight issues Legacy Posts General Chat 2 05-02-2003 05:52 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.