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Old 03-08-2023, 08:06 PM   #1
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Name: Dan
Trailer: In the market
California
Posts: 68
Buying a Bigfoot

Hello,

After a year or so of spinning around, having started being attracted to fiberglass, then deciding Airstream, we’re back to fiberglass. Beautiful as the Airstream are we just realized we are more practical minded than that and so fiberglass here we come.

Escapes are great but max out at 21’, with a 23’ coming - we want a 25’. Oliver look nice, but I’m not fond of the company and I don’t understand why they did a double hulled design, it’s a heavy inflexible design.

So it looks finally like Bigfoot which was one of the first I looked at. Love the insulation, should be quiet and easy to live in. We want the 25 twin bunk version.

Questions
  • Other than fabrics and such, how much can you customize from the factory? Things such as changing a fan or fridge? I’d like a pure electric fridge and no TV.
  • I’d like the 25’ with the front storage, which is effectively a 27’ or so. Any issues with the length in the parks, do you still effectively fit in a 25’ spot?
  • They don’t say anything about an inverter, is there one and what are the specs? I’d want at least 1.5kW and ideally 2kW
  • Any other thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2023, 12:06 AM   #2
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Name: John
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RQ
Ohio
Posts: 338
Ordered my Bigfoot in 2021 and received it 14 months later in Dec 2022. You can customize a lot but not decor
Fans compressor fridge solar or solar prep are all items that Grant will do. Inverters are not a factory option but a pre wire and battery relocation inside for lithium is (I did that). I installed my own inverter but any decent solar installer or electrician can do it. The trailer is very well built. We will be crossing from coast to coast so I’ll get a better idea about fitting in campsites (we have the extended box) this June
If you’d like to speak at length about our experience buying process pm me and we will connect on a phone call
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Old 03-11-2023, 12:06 AM   #3
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Name: Perry
Trailer: 2016 Bigfoot 25RQ
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
Posts: 764
We've owned a 2003 and now a 2016 25RQ.

We have run into a number of sites where our 25' barely fits (and I mean BARELY), and some campgrounds 25' is the max they will accept. We boondock most of the time, so it depends if you camp in state/federal lands or glamp at an RV resort.

I definitely would get the rear ladder but no the wraparound luggage bars on the roof. This is our second 25' and the first had neither but we wished we'd had at least a ladder to the roof.

Unless you're really tall, I'd skip the shower sunroof, since it heats the camper, as well as a kitchen sunroof that really heats the camper.

I'd get 10 speed Maxxfans, not three speed so you can have the fan on super low to exchange air. Also wish we had a Maxxfan in the kitchen instead of the hot sunroof for better kitchen ventilation.

Put as much solar on the roof as possible, with at least a 100/30 Victron solar controller. You can't have enough solar!

We've been traveling since January 11th, mainly in Arizona and New Mexico, and our 160 watts on the roof and 100 watt portable solar panel is barely enough for boondocking. I already have two 200 watt panels, shipped and received at our condo in Minnesota, and will be installed in May, so we'll have 560 watts on the roof (465 watts on the roof of our previous camper was fine). I wouldn't want any less than 350 watts. We are on our 28th day with lows below freezing (24F tonight) and your furnace is your largest user of power.

Food for thought,

Perry
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Previous Eggs -2018 Escape 5.0 TA, 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, 2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ, that we regreted selling
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Old 03-11-2023, 10:44 AM   #4
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Name: Dan
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Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
We have run into a number of sites where our 25' barely fits (and I mean BARELY), and some campgrounds 25' is the max they will accept. We boondock most of the time, so it depends if you camp in state/federal lands or glamp at an RV resort.
Great thanks for the info Perry! On your 25’, do you have the front storage?

Quote:
I definitely would get the rear ladder but no the wraparound luggage bars on the roof. This is our second 25' and the first had neither but we wished we'd had at least a ladder to the roof.
Agree, glad I can drop the luggage rack as I’d prefer better aero and would never use it anyhow, but the ladder just seems like a sensible addition

Quote:
Unless you're really tall, I'd skip the shower sunroof, since it heats the camper, as well as a kitchen sunroof that really heats the camper.
I’m 6’3”, almost 6’4” - good enough? I’m used to scrunching a bit if I need to. We’re going for the trailer due to the practicality and insulation so dropping that sun roof makes sense. My 6’8” grown son will have to deal with it

Quote:
Put as much solar on the roof as possible, with at least a 100/30 Victron solar controller. You can't have enough solar!
Yeah I have a reservation for a Silverado EV next year with 200kW 240V/7kW off the bed so power won’t be a problem, for cost and aero I won’t get solar at all. But we like to cook with induction so I’ll put in a big 2kW Victron inverter with a couple Lithium for buffering. The EV will need to be on for bed power, so I’ll probably just have it plugged in and charging periodically for the solar. Or, maybe I’ll find some low profile aero solar and use the truck as a top off.

Tongue weight is a little tight, don’t have final specs on our TV carrying capacity but the RST edition is 1300 lbs. We won’t get that - probably a LT version without a lot of extra gear which should up that however.
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Old 03-11-2023, 05:39 PM   #5
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Grant will work with you on most things. Give him a call.

Lol. . The Bigfoot factory is about 12 kilometres from our house.
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Old 03-11-2023, 09:58 PM   #6
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Name: Perry
Trailer: 2016 Bigfoot 25RQ
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
Posts: 764
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDan View Post
Great thanks for the info Perry! On your 25’, do you have the front storage?
Since the introduction of the extended front storage, most Bigfoots owers choose the extended storage. Depending on who you believe, it adds from 400 to 700 pounds to the camper (ass u me ing 200#'s or more for added gear). Plus it extends the camper by over 2 feet, so now you have a 27-28' camper. Those with the extended storage should really be called 27RQ's. Because of the added length and added weight we did not want an extended box.

Already on this trip alone we encountered two sites (site 2 in Chiricahua National Monument and site 10 in Chaco Cultural Historical Monument) that were nearly impossible to get our 25RQ into, so forget getting a 27RQ in there. No thanks.

Over the years we've learned to leave many items at home and don't miss them. When we traveled to Vancouver Island to pick up our 2016 25RQ the only item that we couldn't get into the F150's 6 1/2' box was a simple table.

I also knew there would be electrical work needed so 1-2 cu/ft of space was taken up with my electrical gear, that will be reduced to about 1/3rd cu/ft. Our folding Lufauma chairs go on our bed for travel.

We carry two 47 pound folding Tern bikes behind the drivers seat, and about 200 pounds, if that, in the truck bed with plenty of room to spare.

We don't carry the kitchen sink!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDan View Post
I’m 6’3”, almost 6’4” - good enough? I’m used to scrunching a bit if I need to. We’re going for the trailer due to the practicality and insulation so dropping that sun roof makes sense. My 6’8” grown son will have to deal with it
FYI, I just measured our shower and there is 6' 9" of headroom with the skylight. At 6' 4" you're probably good without the skylight, but if that was my choice, at your height I'd get the shower skylight. However, at 5' 9" I'm not vertically challenged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDan View Post
Tongue weight is a little tight, don’t have final specs on our TV carrying capacity but the RST edition is 1300 lbs. We won’t get that - probably a LT version without a lot of extra gear which should up that however.
The one item that we accidently left in our garage stall is the Sherline Tongue Weight Scale. By shifting weight in the camper and weight from the camper to the truck bed I got our previous 25RQ down to 900 pounds. Most don't know how to accurately weigh their tongue (a CAT scale will not be that accurate for tongue weight measurement).

Download the Trailer Weights in the Real World Spreadsheet
( https://lakeshoreimages.com/spreadsheets/Weight.xlsx ) or visit the Trailer Weights in the Real World thread. The tongue weights there are scary!


Enjoy,

Perry
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Previous Eggs -2018 Escape 5.0 TA, 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, 2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ, that we regreted selling
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Old 03-12-2023, 05:35 PM   #7
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Name: Bruce & Kathryn
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RQ
North Carolina
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I agree with keeping ladder, deleting roof “rack.” Skylights add light and heat. I have blackout covers on mine for hot sunny days. You may want to consider what A/C unit you order. We ditched Dometic for a super quiet Houghton with a heat pump. Works fine on 2,000 W Yamaha genset. I did this myself and sold Dometic. Also see if the factory can add backsplash material same as behind stove all around galley. More practical. I did ours, was a real pain.
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Old 03-12-2023, 05:37 PM   #8
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North Carolina
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One more thing. We have front storage and can get into any 25 foot site. Rear of trailer sits high, so you can usually reverse ( with a spotter) over the rocks and logs that limit many sites.
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Old 03-12-2023, 06:03 PM   #9
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Name: Perry
Trailer: 2016 Bigfoot 25RQ
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
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Quote:
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One more thing. We have front storage and can get into any 25 foot site.
So far! However you can’t get five quarts of milk in a four quart container, at least I can’t.

I would challenge you to get into site 2 at Chiricahua National Monument and even if you did (you won’t though) you would have nowhere to park your truck on your site. There is a reason they give max lengths. We’ve been in a number of 25’ listed sites where our 21’ Escape 5.0 had issues and we barely had room for our truck.

On the east side of the Chiricahua’s there is a campground about 5 miles up the road from Portal and there are few sites we can fit our 25’ Bigfoot.

At Big Bend’s Cottonwood Campground a 27’ Airstream couldn’t fully get into the site by about 18” (into the road) and they had to leave, since there were no other sites available. They wouldn’t listen to the Volunteer host and a Ranger had to be called. We rarely camp in commercial sites, but choose to camp in National Parks, Monuments, BLM, Forrests, State Parks, forrest land and other state wilderness sites, where sites can be iffy.

I could go on and on about places where a 27’ camper won’t fit.

We’re already on day 61 of this winter’s trip and we usually camp around 150 nights a year, so we see more than most.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Previous Eggs -2018 Escape 5.0 TA, 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, 2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ, that we regreted selling
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Old 03-12-2023, 06:15 PM   #10
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Name: Dan
Trailer: In the market
California
Posts: 68
Thanks all around guys, really appreciate the help. Bigfoots are a rare beast (ha ha) so it’s hard to find info. And since I won’t be talking to a dealer until next year it’s all thinking and searching now.

Here’s my list, keeping notes for myself …
  • Twin 25RQ
  • Houghton AC w/heatpump (I’ve heard good thing about it)
  • Leather decor
  • Curtain
  • External propane hookup

Special options
  • Backsplash if addable
  • 10 speed MaxFans
  • Electric only fridge if available
  • No skylight (Great advice Perry! Also wife not a fan of skylights)
  • No skylight in shower
  • No Roof Rack but yes ladder
  • No external shower (another hole in the camper with little use)
  • No TV mounts (we use our iPads/etc)
  • No door ‘bannister’ (don’t need it or want it)
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Old 03-13-2023, 05:37 PM   #11
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Name: Bruce & Kathryn
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RQ
North Carolina
Posts: 165
Fitting into a campsite is more like becoming a “site whisperer.” Our “27 foot” 25RQ has settled into Chisos Basin twice, as did our Oliver. Both were deemed too big by most campers (20 foot max). Up and down the West coast we routinely slipped into 23-24 foot maximum length sites. Helps to have grown up backing equipment on a farm, and career as a pilot. Just take it slow and never lose your temper. Now a Bigfoot can “rub” some branches if needed. For an Airstream, that’s a way to total the whole rig. You will have no problems in most State, National and Provincial parks. We have hit most in US and Canada. 25RT will be a great trailer for you.
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Old 03-13-2023, 06:13 PM   #12
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Name: Dan
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Fitting into a campsite is more like becoming a “site whisperer.” Our “27 foot” 25RQ has settled into Chisos Basin twice, as did our Oliver. Both were deemed too big by most campers (20 foot max). Up and down the West coast we routinely slipped into 23-24 foot maximum length sites..
Bruce, thanks! OK here’s the deal - call me foolish - but I really like the look of the front storage, and it seems like it might be more aero. Also, I’ll be doing some battery and inverter upgrades with portable solar, which at least one video showed it used for that. So I was thinking of it as an electrical closet mostly - main battery runs to the front, I’d keep a couple lithiums, big inverter and MPPT with some portable panels in there. What I’ve found doing electrical like this is to give yourself plenty of space and easy access. So it’s more for convenance than actual storage space - I’d also keep some light misc stuff in there like flagpole, weather station and the like.

I worked on a winery and hauled boats all over the West coast up to Alaska with my Dad, so backing up doesn’t bother me. One Airstream sales guy I talked to (nice guy who was very knowledgeable generally) said that the deal was 24 feet was the original state/national park standard, which has seen been upped to 28-30 or something. But in practice the number of available spots goes from something like 95% to 85%, so there’s still plenty to go around.

Anyhow you got to my question which was given the high tail and whatnot, seems like it could hang off the back end of a shorter stall if you were willing to work it. Sooooo, I think the front storage is back on the list.

Here’s the shot of using the front for battery storage

https://youtu.be/NpzPtN_UpC0?t=552

Four batteries and a few oddments fills it up pretty quick
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Old 03-13-2023, 07:18 PM   #13
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Name: Perry
Trailer: 2016 Bigfoot 25RQ
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
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Grew up farming and spent 23 years of my working life farming. Like others here I have no problems backing up two four wheel steerable trailers. Trouble is, where we like to camp as many as 50% of the sites may be unavailable because of the 25’ length limit, including Chicos in Big Bend. We’ve had trouble in some sites with our 17’ Casita. Many sites we go to have huge boulders to stop you from hanging over the max theoretical pad. We’ve hung our 21’ Escape over many pads in the 500 nights we stayed in the camper. Many of those sites would have been impossible with our 25RQ, much less a 27RQ. Again, you can’t get 5 quarts in a 4 quart container. “Site whisperer”? LOL! No, just actual experience.

On another light, this winter has been the coldest winter we’ve had in the SW. We’re using easily 50 ah’s most nights and we don’t have an inverter (yet). Our average lows are probably around 25 F, and our Bigfoot’s Dometic 16,000 input BTU’s is a pig, using well over 7 ah’s when running and mostly running 30-50% of the time, according to our Victron BMV-712. It adds up. Our Escape had the smaller version (12,000 BTU input) and only used 4.5 ah/hour, and our daily low was easily under 40 ah’s for replacement. Having a manifold to direct heat to the bedroom, bathroom, living area, and to heat the tanks in a 25RQ takes a much larger fan. Our Escape’s heat only had to go 10” to fully exhaust all it’s heat into the kitchen area, and from there to move to the front and back.

We started out with our lithium batteries in our Bigfoots battery compartment. They were quickly moved inside after a month of travel because of temps. The SOK’s stop charging at around 34-35 F, BUT don’t start charging until they reach 41F and that can be 1 pm or later when the highs are only in the 40’s. That’s why we moved our lithiums inside. We also boondock as much as possible. So I’d think again about having lithiums in either Bigfoot’s traditional battery area behind the LP tanks or in the storage box.

Dan, I have no idea where you will be camping, when, or how cold. However, if you camp in places with mostly large pads or in private RV campgrounds, you’ll be just fine. Also if you are not a four season camper your batteries will be just fine outside. So, you’ll never see what we experience.

Food for thought,

Perry
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Previous Eggs -2018 Escape 5.0 TA, 2001 Scamp 16' Side Bath, 2007 Casita 17' Spirit basic, no bath, water or tanks, 2003 Bigfoot 25B25RQ, that we regreted selling
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Old 03-13-2023, 07:19 PM   #14
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Name: Dan
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Well my post just disappeared off the forum due to some glitch, sigh …

Anyhow thanks Bruce - great advice. I like the look of the storage - call me silly - but mainly I want to use it as an electronics cabinet for a handful of batteries and inverter. Linked to the place in a walkthrough video where you see four batteries and some oddments fills it up.

https://youtu.be/NpzPtN_UpC0?t=552
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Old 03-13-2023, 07:29 PM   #15
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We started out with our lithium batteries in our Bigfoots battery compartment. They were quickly moved inside after a month of travel because of temps. The SOK’s stop charging at around 34-35 F
Forum software ate my previous reply, probably didn’t like posting to a YouTube video. Anyhow do your batteries have climate control? Lithiums need it, at least heating strips which the Battle Born come bundled with. Anyhow should be easy to insulate the front box and put a simple temp controlled heating element in there.

Well I don’t know what to say about the trailer size debate. Completely respect your experience Perry, but if they’re selling so many, and so many 28’ SOB’s are sold they must be working for people. Personally I really like the look of the front storage (yeah OK) but mainly want it as an electrical closet - with insulation and climate control.

And thanks Bruce for your feedback!
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Old 03-13-2023, 07:36 PM   #16
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Forum software ate my previous reply, probably didn’t like posting to a YouTube video.
Yup. Once you accumulate 10 posts it will allow you to post links. You'll be there before you know it!
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Old 03-13-2023, 08:06 PM   #17
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Name: John
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RQ
Ohio
Posts: 338
Lithium placement in 25B

Grant will wire the trailer for the batteries inside, the problem with heated batteries is that the continuous output is less, I went with unheated installed under the passenger side bench. I got two 200 ah SOK and run a Victron multiplus inverter charger transfer switch. I will say this if I had it to do over I’d buy the more expensive victron batteries, they have a 400 amp continuous output, versus 100 amp output with the internal bms SOK (or Battleborn). I had to put two in parallel to run the inverter. I would have gone with 1 200 or 320 amp hour Victron instead, less capacity but better output. The external bms allows the greater continuous output. Expensive though.

I wouldn’t want to lose my front storage space for batteries, much rather lose the under seat storage. The front box is excellent. Adds weight and length though.
I can’t say enough good things about the Victron multiplus, if your a heavy user of AC go with the 3000 va (2400 watts). I bought the 2000 va (1600 watts) which should be enough for our needs.
If I wanted a more modest budget friendly model I’d get the Progressive dynamics 2000 watt inverter transfer switch for 1/2 the money, though it doesn’t include the charger function.


Many ways to to do this. Ymmv
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Old 03-13-2023, 10:39 PM   #18
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Name: Perry
Trailer: 2016 Bigfoot 25RQ
Lanesboro, Minnesota, between Whalan and Fountain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDan View Post
Anyhow do your batteries have climate control? Lithiums need it, at least heating strips which the Battle Born come bundled with. Anyhow should be easy to insulate the front box and put a simple temp controlled heating element in there.
No, we don’t need “climate control”. We controled the climate by installing our lithiums underneath the passenger side dinette; no heat strips needed. I had to do some fishing of wires, but Oldwave had his done at the factory, so if you’re going to buy new, let Bigfoot do the work.

There are two types of heated batteries available:
Self heating batteries like BattleBorn sells. Trouble is, in cold weather they may drain your battery more than you wish. We knew we were going to install our batteries inside from the get-go, so didn’t need to spend the money for heated batteries.

Heaters that only heat when you’re connected to shore power. We boondock as much as possible, so worthless for us.
Currently it’s 42 degrees outside and will drop below freezing tomorrow morning. I just looked at SOK’s bluetooth app and the batteries are 59 F underneath the dinette bench, because we set the thermostat at 64 F and the furnace is running. By tomorrow morning, when the temp will be below freezing, it may get 55 F underneath the dinette bench. By installing the batteries underneath your dinette, you don’t need the expense of heated batteries, and it just plain works with no additional fuss.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDan View Post
Well I don’t know what to say about the trailer size debate. Completely respect your experience Perry, but if they’re selling so many, and so many 28’ SOB’s are sold they must be working for people. Personally I really like the look of the front storage (yeah OK) but mainly want it as an electrical closet - with insulation and climate control.
The reality is, most don’t camp like we do.

The second half of my working life I was a business teacher and THE computer department in a small school. My job was to help students think, so they can solve their problems on their own. I NEVER answered a question, but merely asked a question back that would help them solve the problem. That’s how I write here.

Reasons we didn’t want a 27RQ or a 27RT:
We have learned over 16 previous campers not to carry the kitchen sink.

We have a 2019 F150 Lariat with 1730#’s of cargo carrying capacity. Depending on who you want to believe, the extended storage box is 2-400#’s added to the tongue side, and then add the weight of the gear. Probably two thirds of that weight is added to the tongue. By keeping the weight off, our F150 will be well under the CCC.

A couple of times a year we will be too long to get in some sites. We’ve already had it happen with our 25RQ, but we knew that when we moved from a 21’ Escape to our 25RQ.

On a personal note, we don’t care for the looks of the extended storage box, but that’s just us.
Oldwave and I have discussed lithium batteries, chargers, inverters, DC-DC, solar panels and charger controllers. Both of us were involved with low-voltage installations in our careers, but not this type, however, enough to make us dangerous. I had a Minnesota Low-Voltage Electricians license (now called Power Limited) for my school’s computer, TV, and audio systems.

Because Oldwave’s 206 ah SOK only had a 100 amp limit, Oldwave suggested I buy two 100 ah SOK’s to get a 200 amp limit, better for an inverter. When we get home I’ll probably be buying another 100 ah SOK, so will have plenty of overhead for a 2000 watt or larger inverter.

Just as there are reasons for us not to have the extended storage box, there are reasons for others to have the box. Everyone is different, and camp different, so in the end you should choose what’s best for you.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 03-14-2023, 05:25 PM   #19
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Name: Dan
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Well I asked for opinions and I got ‘em! Thanks folks, appreciate the diverse viewpoints. You know one thing I’m realizing is that the Bigfoot is actually more expensive than it seems, since the base trailer comes without basics such as AC, an inverter and batteries. Nice in that you can spec those to your heart content, but after the pandemic panic buying ‘let’s hike prices ‘cause we can’, now they’re getting quite up there.
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Old 03-14-2023, 05:58 PM   #20
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Name: John
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RQ
Ohio
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Well I asked for opinions and I got ‘em! Thanks folks, appreciate the diverse viewpoints. You know one thing I’m realizing is that the Bigfoot is actually more expensive than it seems, since the base trailer comes without basics such as AC, an inverter and batteries. Nice in that you can spec those to your heart content, but after the pandemic panic buying ‘let’s hike prices ‘cause we can’, now they’re getting quite up there.
Yes, but some dealers will discount quite a bit, we did not pay list by any means. Still price an equivalent Airstream if you want sticker shock.

I'd say get quotes from Trailer World in Denver or Apache Camping in Oregon which I where we purchased ours.
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