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Old 05-27-2015, 06:16 PM   #1
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Name: Sue
Trailer: 17ft Bigfoot Travel Trailer
British Columbia
Posts: 15
Hi I am

New to the fgrv world have tented all my life and
I am now looking forward to dry bedding and
sleeping on a bed.
I have purchased a 1984 17ft Bigfoot Trailer just 2 days
ago and can't wait till my holidays.
I'm sure I will be asking a lot of questions, as I have
never owned a trailer before.
Thank-you for having this web page available.
Can't wait to meet others on this site.
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Old 05-27-2015, 06:49 PM   #2
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Welcome to the group Sue, ask lots of questions, all are welcome.


For starters, let us ask you a question; What will you be towing that BigFoot with?



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Old 05-27-2015, 07:10 PM   #3
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Trailer: 17ft Bigfoot Travel Trailer
British Columbia
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Towing my Bigfoot

Hi
I am towing with a 2011 Ford Escape 4x4
3.0 litre. XLT. Towing 3500GVW.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:20 PM   #4
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Hi Sue. I am familiar with the 80's Bigfoots. They are really nice. With your Escape consider a WDH for added safety and be sure it is set up correctly.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:35 PM   #5
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Sounds like you are off to a great start,
BTW: We always ask


WDH = Weight Distributing Hitch, which you may or may not need. Most with 17'ers seem to be towing without using them.



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Old 05-27-2015, 07:49 PM   #6
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Name: Sue
Trailer: 17ft Bigfoot Travel Trailer
British Columbia
Posts: 15
I was thinking of getting one but wasn't sure, some people say yes, some say you won't need it. I drove it home without one and was doing about 80 to 90Ks had no problems. I think for my own piece of mind I will get one. Any suggestions? Not sure how that works? There is different weights and different
sway bars... Some with chains, some without. I really do not want to pay a fortune, if I really don't need one.
Thanks
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:01 PM   #7
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Hi Sue... With a WDH your rig will be much more stable/comfortable to drive. You will feel less stress from passing big rigs and when towing on those days with cross winds. Look at the Reese. Many of us are safety conscious and won't leave home without one.

http://www.reeseprod.com/fit-guides/all-in-one-selector
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:08 PM   #8
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Name: Sue
Trailer: 17ft Bigfoot Travel Trailer
British Columbia
Posts: 15
Thanks, going to check out a few.
Now what about tires? I will need some new ones and they are
205/75R-14, which are good ones, some are 4ply and some are
6ply. When I go camping I travel for an hour up a gravel road?
I am also looking at solar panels, I saw one at a dept store and
15watts with a controller? Will this be good enough, as I will only
be using the interior lights for maybe 1/2 at night.
Thank-you
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:17 PM   #9
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SW Virginia
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Sue
As you've already seen this is a topic with a lot of different opinions. So here is mine.
If you have problems passing or being passed by big rigs, and/or in cross winds, that would be sway problems and a simple $30-$40 anti sway bar is what's needed. A WDH set is used to redistribute the weight loads between the front and rear axles of your TV. If your tongue weight is well within the specs for your TV and you don't find the rear of your TV dropping a lot when you hook up, I usually don't see the need to spend several hundred dollars for our small trailers. But yes, others will disagree.
A WDH will include an anti sway system, so yes, it will help with that issue as well.

Walt
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:13 PM   #10
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Name: Sue
Trailer: 17ft Bigfoot Travel Trailer
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It's going to get confusing really fast.
Lol.
Any advise on solar panels and tires?
Would appreciate everyones advise.
Thank-you
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltP View Post
Sue
As you've already seen this is a topic with a lot of different opinions. So here is mine.
If you have problems passing or being passed by big rigs, and/or in cross winds, that would be sway problems and a simple $30-$40 anti sway bar is what's needed. A WDH set is used to redistribute the weight loads between the front and rear axles of your TV. If your tongue weight is well within the specs for your TV and you don't find the rear of your TV dropping a lot when you hook up, I usually don't see the need to spend several hundred dollars for our small trailers. But yes, others will disagree.
A WDH will include an anti sway system, so yes, it will help with that issue as well.

Walt
Spot on. A WDH redistributes weight from the back to the front of your tow. Proper weight distribution means better handling, and 'may' reduce sway, but if you don't need to redistribute the weight, there are much simpler and cheaper ways to reduce sway. And by the way, the number one cause of sway is LOW tongue weight, not high. A WDH addresses high tongue weight.
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan View Post
And by the way, the number one cause of sway is LOW tongue weight, not high. A WDH addresses high tongue weight.
Spot on again Brian. Thanks for that addition.

Walt
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:50 AM   #13
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Safety Conscious?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
Hi Sue... With a WDH your rig will be much more stable/comfortable to drive. You will feel less stress from passing big rigs and when towing on those days with cross winds. Look at the Reese. Many of us are safety conscious and won't leave home without one.

Reese - Fit Guide Results
That sounds like a not so thinly veiled suggestion that those that don't have a need for a WDH are not safety conscious, which couldn't be further from the truth.
The person posting is an Airstream owner pulling a heavy trailer and I can agree that a WDH is appropriate for those bigger and heavier trailers, but it's certainly not a safety requirement for pulling a 17' FGRV with a vehicle having more than adequate towing capacity. Wait until you hear from those actually pulling your size trailer with similar sized TV's before you spend the extra money.



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Old 05-28-2015, 07:17 AM   #14
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Name: Sue
Trailer: 17ft Bigfoot Travel Trailer
British Columbia
Posts: 15
I won't be pulling the trailer fully loaded, I will not be filling the water tank before I go so will be me, my dog and reg. camping items. I know I do have some cross winds in a stretch of road I will be traveling and we have a fair amount of big rigs. I think I would need just sway bars.
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:31 AM   #15
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SW Virginia
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Something like this

http://www.amazon.com/Curt-Manufactu...ords=anti+sway

is a popular, effective, inexpensive choice.

This same unit can be found with various brand names and a range of prices.

Walt
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:34 AM   #16
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Good plan Sue
In case of any unexpected sway, you will find that the manual control on the trailer brake controller is your best friend. DO NOT try to use your TV's brakes to stop sway. As an alternative, accelerating will also stop most sway issues, but that is counter intuitive.



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Old 05-28-2015, 08:01 AM   #17
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Name: Sue
Trailer: 17ft Bigfoot Travel Trailer
British Columbia
Posts: 15
Thank-you Walt and Bob
Some good info and at least I know what the sway bar looks like that I should be looking at, there are soooo many different types and being a female some times led down the wrong path at a RV centre.
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Old 05-28-2015, 10:09 PM   #18
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Name: Sue
Trailer: 17ft Bigfoot Travel Trailer
British Columbia
Posts: 15
Well called around to some hitch places and they say go with the weight distribution hitch and sway bars, then I call a could of RV places and they said for my vehicle and trailer that, that is over kill and suggested just the sway bars, so getting that installed in a week.
Thanks to everyones suggestions and info helped a lot.
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Old 05-29-2015, 02:37 AM   #19
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Hey, that's great. Sounds like you've got a trustworthy RV shop, not one that'll try to soak you.
Now get out there on the road and have some fun.

Walt
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:16 AM   #20
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Name: Sue
Trailer: 17ft Bigfoot Travel Trailer
British Columbia
Posts: 15
Solar Panels

What is you suggestions on buying solar panels
I know there are other posts but I'm so new at
this. I would ONLY use the lights for maybe an hour
at most nothing else I would use. I go dry camping
so no hook-ups.
I saw some at a dept. store and they were 15w. Would this
be enough for what I would be using.
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