Hi! Newbie w 17 ft Bigfoot travel trailer - Fiberglass RV
RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-20-2017, 10:04 PM   #1
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 48
Talking Hi! Newbie w 17 ft Bigfoot travel trailer

Hello all, I am looking forward to this forum to help me figure out improvements, tips and mainteinance of the 2004 17 ft Bigfoot travel trailer I just bought this week. ON way home to Moab from Albuquerque, I figured out the axle is bent as I noticed the tires were just slightly cambered inward. Looks like it is common problem on RVs where the cheapskate manufactors install smallest axle then can and leave you with no carry capacity. I have all the original paper work and turns out with the 330 pounds of options, including only the freash water tank and propane, there is only 130 pounds left for carrying capacity. Forget grey/black water, gear, food, dogs and potholes! I got a bid to install new 6000 lb axle, raise springs above the axle for 4 inches of clearance, new larger hubs/brakes, 5 to 6 bolt rims and recyce the almost new 15" maxxis load range e tires I have on bigfoot. Bid will be about $1000, but will be way to go to get the bigfoot reliable for some off pavement camping and travel. Everything works great, 6 cu ft fridge, huge heater. ac, fully insulated top, sides and bottom, insulated glass, 3 burner stove, oven, awning, outdoor shower, etc. Thinking I get Zamp solar set up eventually?? Might go south this winter, big bend natl park and friends in arizona and texas. I will do some homework and see what I can learn, not sure how to fully winterize it and it will be freezing soon, any tips will be apreciated. Thanks all in advance!
mcmars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2017, 11:34 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
David B.'s Avatar
 
Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Arizona
Posts: 2,213
Registry
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia, welcome to the FGRV forum family bunch.
Dave&Paula
David B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2017, 11:39 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,159
Registry
congratulations.....

You'll find a lot of answers around here....

but first something does not quite compute.....2004, insulated windows ????

Would help if we knew what model it is too.....pictures are the best to narrow things down....especially the winterizing bit....

Welcome!
Attached Thumbnails
reflex.jpg  
Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 12:26 AM   #4
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 48
I have 2004 bigfoot 15B17CB

It has the winterizing package, thermal pane windows, upgraded furnace, heated and insulated tanks and fantastic bath fan. From looking at the list of options, I suspect the original owner bought every available option, awning, propane hood, outdoor shower, spare tire cover/carrier, 3 burner stove, 11K BTU ac, 6 cu ft fridge, chrome wheels, elctronic ignition hot water, day/night pleated shades, skylight, rack/ladder, stabilizers, 2 fantastic fans, etc.. The whole package of extra adds 270 pounds of weight to a claimed weight of 3020, then add 35 lbs of water and 37 lbs of propane, the CCC capacity is only 140lbs. The new 2500 version of this same configuration comes with a 4400 lb axle, probably as they realized the axles could not handle the loads (?). The fellow who is helping me with the axle upgrade at springworks suggested the 6000 lb axle over the 4400lb axle for a few reasons. He says the 4500 lb axle is not very common , so if you have issues on road later, you might be waiting for parts. And the 6000 lb axle allows an upgrade from a 10" to 12" brake, so that made sense. He is installing a "rockwell" brand axle and says even though it is called a 6000lb axle and meets the specs of every other 6000 lb axle, rockwell says the real load capacity is 5200lbs. I will try to load some photos, let me know if they work.


mcmars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 12:30 AM   #5
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 48
It is 15B17CB

I wrote a more detailed reply with some attached pictures, but got message a moderator must approve it before it posts. I am new here so probably have to get a few posts before I can post pics?? Thanks for your help and interest! I am very excited about my new Bigfoot TT.
mcmars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 02:23 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,159
Registry
same...

same model as mine, a 97.....I'll take and post three pictures tomorrow that will show / explain how I winterize mine....

geez, a thousand bucks for all that work in CO ??? that is Ssoooo cheap compared to here

there are a lot of owners here who have put new axles on their 17s...hopefully they will chime in...all I did was put new/bigger springs on mine. FULLY loaded for a trip there is 3240 lbs on my axle (rated for 3500)....starting in 2005 the new model, the 17.5, has a 4500 axle

cheers, F
Attached Thumbnails
sooke.jpg  
Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 06:48 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 3,075
welcome

Welcome glad you are here nice rig too!

good luck

bob
k0wtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 08:20 AM   #8
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 48
thanks for winterizing tips!

Thanks so much! Yes, I saw the 2005 brochure with the bigger axle and now I realize why, it really needs the bigger carying capacity to avoid the inevitable . Even if you manage to keep it below 3500 total weight,
one good pothole or curb would put enough load to damage axle,
spindle or bearings. I wrote up more detail on bid and some pictures, but waiting for mod approval. Basically, the Springworks guy, Brian, was very good and he sold me on the 6000lb over the 4500lb axle because it allows upgrading to 12" from 10" brakes and he also said the 4500lb axle is not common like the 6000lb, so no waiting for parts down the road if I get into trouble.

Any comments on raising the bigfoot so the springs sit on the axle? I know I will sacrifice some stability and increase the wind resistance and the axle itself will still be at same height, even lower due to the increase in diameter, but thinking it is worth it to avoid hitting the bottom of trailer when on rough roads, entering steep drives, etc.

I thought the quote was pretty good as well, mostly parts, only couple hours of labor ($175), axle ($155), hub and drum($141), brake backing plate ($106), 2 new leafs ($106), u bolt kit ($18), greaseable bolts X6 ($18), and few extra small parts. He is letting me bring in new wheels and recommended the nice alloy ones from Etrailer ($100 each). So his bid totals $729 and I pay $300 for new wheels and whatever the mount and balance charge will be. He said I could bring in new rear shocks and they would get those on for me, might be a freebie (?).

I will report back to let others know how the work goes, but I think they have their act together and he knew all the specs, measurements, leaf thicknesses from his head because this is all they do. They are going to re arch my 98 suburban sagging rear springs, add a thicker leaf and raise height to proper level same day. And he even offered to let me come down day before and hook up to their 30 amp plug night before so they can get everything done for me on both vehicles in one day. Now that is some nice service with some added value thrown in, hard to find this kind of help these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
same model as mine, a 97.....I'll take and post three pictures tomorrow that will show / explain how I winterize mine....

geez, a thousand bucks for all that work in CO ??? that is Ssoooo cheap compared to here

there are a lot of owners here who have put new axles on their 17s...hopefully they will chime in...all I did was put new/bigger springs on mine. FULLY loaded for a trip there is 3240 lbs on my axle (rated for 3500)....starting in 2005 the new model, the 17.5, has a 4500 axle

cheers, F
mcmars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 09:42 AM   #9
Member
 
MurrayC's Avatar
 
Name: MURRAY
Trailer: Ventura
British Columbia (BC)
Posts: 92
Bigfoot

Welcome Marcia
Yes when you buy used there will be some surprises.
I just bought a 1976 Ventura.
The previous owner put new flooring in. Looked good.
When I got home and started to do a some renos I noticed that the two sheets of plywood under the new floor were soaking wet. I now have it all removed and will carry on.
You will get over your unforseens and go camping.
Enjoy
MurrayC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 01:36 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,159
Registry
winterizing....

you will need to buy a gallon of "RV anti-freeze"....it will be PINK in color

once you're all set up, you turn on the water pump and open ALL your faucets, ONE BY ONE, until you see the pink stuff running out of the fixture...(don't forget about the shower drain as there is a P-trap below it)

I will assume that your black and grey water tanks have been "dumped" (empty)...that's not always possible though....the grey tank can be "handled" quite easily....regardless I always leave the black tank (toilet flush) for last to get a large amount of AF in that tank (see second pic)

pictures of a 97 CB model BF17 (1500)......regards, F
Attached Thumbnails
winter1.jpg   winter2.jpg  

winter3.jpg   winter4.jpg  

winter5.jpg   winter6.jpg  

winter7.jpg   outable1.jpg  

Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 01:50 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
Posts: 3,075
well

I have been so lucky I bought 2 campers sight unseen. took a quick tour hooked up and on my way.

what are you out a couple of pieces of plywood and some labor. I wouldn't worry in the least but I would track down the leak and move on.

you will love you camper!!

keep going


bob
k0wtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 02:14 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,159
Registry
and to avoid confusion....

in the pic below (left side, outside access, bathroom area)

the Tee on the drain was installed backwards must have been on a monday morning trailer....no problems with it though

the isolation valve is there in case the grey tank get overfilled and starts backing up into the shower pan (Ooops!).....one would close it before driving to a dump station (no sloshing/splashing in bathroom while driving)
Attached Thumbnails
winter5.jpg  
Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 02:25 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,159
Registry
about your " hard to find this kind of help these days."

I'll say......I'm guessing he'll be asking you on a date next.....
Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 08:37 PM   #14
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 48
This is awesome! thanks for the pictorial step by step. I also have an outside shower, so must be some water in that line to drain backwards.
mcmars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2017, 10:00 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,159
Registry
to be safe....

having no idea how that plumbing would run (low spots in the lines?)....
I would treat it just like the bath and kitchen faucets = run the cold tap til pink shows up and close...then run the hot tap til you see pink from there as well.....you're done!
Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2017, 08:30 AM   #16
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 48
Thanks, I get it!

I get it, you pump the RV antifreeze through every outlet till pink and shower is same as rest of em. This look so simple and I so appreciate your great help with the pictures and text. The prior owner already showed my how to dump the tanks an that is done. I will give it a go today and see how it works.

I fixed a couple other things already while cleaning it in the dark. The kitchen window would not latch shut, it just had a couple of pine needles in the slide channel, duhh. The piezos were not sparking, just had to pull of connector and push on/off couple times to make better connection.

Next thing is to clean it up on outside and probably just rub it out with rubbing compound and apply new wax. Prior owner left it outside in NM sun for couple years and it came from tucsun before her ownership. It has some oxidation and (2) 3 " areas with spider cracks in finish. I saw people are using Zep floor wax for protecting the finish. I might pick up a gallon and try that before messing with paint or new gel coat. I just want to have some UV protection from strong SW UV rays as I know that will damage fiberglass over time. I know how to do fiberglass work from years of kayaking in the dark ages before the new plastic boats came out and then doing all kinds of fiberglass repairs on vehicles, oars, coolers, homes, etc. Maybe I get some white pigment and put some eglass patches over the 2 spider spots. I have couple qts of west system epoxy resin , so I could just paint on new gloss coat on the bigfoot and that might be good idea on the lid where it bakes in sun?? Or just use it for winter trips and figure out next spring best plan?? I know once I put wax on, I will need to strip it off, as any wax will mess with epoxy or paint I might want to put on.
mcmars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2017, 12:48 PM   #17
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 48
Also want to learn about best solar options....

Maybe some links to help understand solar better to help me figure out best options. I see the Zamp's are popular. Going out to mess with trailer, might try a camping this week down the road along Colorado River north of Moab. Looks like a week of weather before it will freeze, so gonna wait on the winterizing and test out the water systems first. Found a very nice Sterling brand stainless sink at thrift store, I am going to swap out for the white plastic one and upgrade the faucet to a nice high stainless one.
mcmars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2017, 03:21 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 1,159
Registry
cracks, roof, solar....

sounds like you're off to a great start!

I second your idea of a quick "shake down cruise" before winterizing. Like you I bought in the fall...one quick trip before putting it away told me a LOT.....and lengthened my "project list" by a lot as well....LOL...but that's all good, you got all winter and some issues can be worked on outside/away from the trailer....then you just pop them in when the snow is gone.

cracks in gelcoat....if you know FG you know that gelcoat cracks have no bearing on structural integrity, water proofing and do not affect the FG in any way except for looks. A PO must've backed into something that resulted in small cracks near the belly band in right rear corner...I know they are there, I'm not doing anything about it. FG is bendy, gelcoat is brittle...end of story.

My roof is something I don't worry about much....it is strong enough that I can walk around up there (to clean it and inspect everything once a year) and not cause any deflections. The only people who can ever see it is the people who ride in the buses.

Solar...you're about to acquire a great new hobby....FWIW...I started with a 40W panel stored inside trailer....given my use (I tend to move every day) I then added 40W fixed on the roof. That worked well enough and covered a few bases well (on the road during the day and being parked in shady spots)....after a year of that ("real world use"), I added a 30W panel to the roof part of the system.

For my energy use that combination is just about perfect for ME....if I'm parked in the open on a sunny day... with the 40W deployed as well... I seem to be able to recover all the energy I used the night before by about noon or soon after. (Being able to aim the 40W deployable perfectly to the sun's rays should not be discounted....perfect angle to the sun is a HUGE factor....I found out)

Now I have an electric bicycle....on a "perfect day" I put it on charge (through a small inverter) in mid afternoon....no point wasting the power produced...whether the bike needs or not....

You're going to have LOTS of fun....good luck
Attached Thumbnails
adoneb.jpg   spnew.jpg  

blo2.jpg   wossaaa.jpg  

sooke.jpg   bodb.jpg  

Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2017, 07:13 PM   #19
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 48
Thumbs up Great tips!

Yes, things to fix! Today I went around and sprayed triflow on any outside hinge, lock or other moving part to looses everything up. I realized the sping loaded pins that hold down to front window cover need replacement, one is gone and the pin came out into my hand after I sprayed some tri flow in to loosen up the coroded aluminum, the other loosened up so it works after the tri flow, but I think I find replacment parts for both if I can figure out the part?? I am thinking the PO was not the most honest person, she went to great lengths to show me how the fantastic fan worked, but today I tried the one in the bath and it will not tuen on at all, fuse works fine in other fan, will check for power/ground tomorrow. PO also failed to mention the front window cover, but gave me huge detail on everything else, typical, just like the bent axle she probably knew, ugghh!

Good info on the solar. I am thinking maybe I just splurge for the 160 watts zamp they are selling on amazon for $790. Would it not make sense to get some batteries and have roof mounts so you could be charging while traveling? I get it being parked in shade, so you want the panels portable with some cords. Might try camping monday if the water hose comes in from amazon, like to flush out the system anyway before I shut her down.
mcmars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2017, 09:27 AM   #20
Member
 
Name: Marcia
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
Posts: 48
follow up on bigfoot

Hello all, I am going to flush out the hot warter tank today with the "wand" I got from amazon and then go ahead and winterize her after the flush. I bought a hose adaptor so you can set an air compressor down to 20PSI or so and just open all the water outlets and then blow out the water, but a bit nervous about blowing up 14 year old plumbing. I will do the traditional method this time as fully detailed by Franswa's awesome pictorial description, thank you very much!

Been messing with small details, I found some replacement latches for the front window cover latches as one side had broken due to corrosion. Bought the rhinolite black water drain hose, and some needed accessories as all that was missing.

Bought a new kenwood cd/BT receiver as one one included in trailer was totally DOA, the new kenwood plugged right into existing harness and mount and was a 30 second plug and play fix. Crutchfield had a "scrath and dent" unit that was like new and I got the entire mounting/harness kit to fit my 98 suburban TV for free so I can easily rull the reciever and use it in the suburban. I love crutchfield and always buy the return units for cheap price and they have incredible tech help. The bigfoot oem speakers are total junk and sound blown, but I found some new 6 1/2 infinitys new in my stock pile of usefull hoarded items in my garage.

Plan to install a 1" larger SS sink I found at local thrift store with a new nice delta faucet, on the future project list. Tuesday is my day to have axle swapped out for a 6000 lb axle and get new wheels/hubs/brakes and upgraded spring pack. The BF trailer is going to Moab Folk Festival this weekend to be used by the artists as their "hangout" before/after they perform.

Kinda hate to admit this, but thinking I might look for a black friday deal on the 2000 watt honda generator for bondocking use. The solar looks complicated, expensive and underpowered in big picture if I ever want to use AC, small plug in heater or microwave type high amp accessories. Still working on plan for winter trip and thinking the honda might be way to go. I saw harbor frieght has their "preditor" generator that they claim is same as honda for 1/2 the price, but I am guessing it is junk compared to the honda. My motto with harbor frieght, is avoid about anything that has moving parts, although my 220 compressor I got for under $100 is going on 10 years of use and just now starting to smell of burnt oil/bearings, lol.
mcmars 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
2001 BIGFOOT in Colorado 2001 Bigfoot 21' Travel Trailer Camper 25B21RB Wacenturion Referrals: Molded Fiberglass Trailers 2 02-25-2018 12:46 PM
2008 BigFoot Travel Trailer 25B21RB GeorgeR General Chat 17 03-22-2014 02:22 PM
1991 17' Bigfoot Travel Trailer Joe Mielke Classified Archives 7 08-06-2007 10:39 AM
Bigfoot Travel Trailer or not? Lucie Bee General Chat 13 03-08-2007 12:47 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 03:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.