Newbie looking info - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-20-2015, 10:20 AM   #1
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Newbie looking info

Hi, I'm Bob. I am looking forward to retiring soon and my wife and I want to do some extensive traveling. We want to purchase a fiberglass travel trailer and after doing a lot of reading on the subject we are leaning toward an older Bigfoot. I am wondering if they have always been built as 4 season units. If not, can anyone tell me when they started the 4 season construction. We have camped, backpacked and canoed extensively but have never spent even one night in an rv so any advice will be appreciated.
Best regards,
Bob
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Old 09-20-2015, 10:59 AM   #2
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Your descriptor doesn't say where you are from but the best advice I could give is to attend or minimally visit a fiberglass rally.
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Old 09-20-2015, 11:03 AM   #3
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We are just North of Baltimore, MD
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Old 09-20-2015, 11:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. We will look for a rally near us.
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Old 09-20-2015, 11:57 AM   #5
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The insulated windows and heated tanks started becoming popular in 2005. There might be some earlier units. I just checked the Bigfoot website and they refer to a "multi season" feature. Maybe they dropped the 4 season nomenclature.
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:04 PM   #6
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Thanks

That is a big help. It appeared to me after viewing the Bigfoot website that all current production includes heated/insulated tanks but I did not know when that became standard.
Bob
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:04 PM   #7
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I totally agree.... Look for a rally to try and visit.... This will give you a great opportunity to see some options
Check out the rally forum on this site
Good luck in your search


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Old 09-20-2015, 01:49 PM   #8
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Thanks,
Bob
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:51 PM   #9
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A question just occurred to me about the rallies. Will we be able to attend even though we do not currently of a fiberglass rv?
Bob
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:32 PM   #10
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I went to and it was never a problem
Remember most owners are more than willing to show off their trailers
Don't be afraid to ask..... Very friendly folks


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Old 09-20-2015, 02:33 PM   #11
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Sorry fat fingers
I meant to say i went to three rallies before making our first purchase


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Old 09-20-2015, 04:25 PM   #12
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Thanks, maybe we can still find one relatively close this fall.


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Old 09-20-2015, 05:03 PM   #13
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Here's the list of rallies. Note there are a number within driving distance this fall. Usually they have a scheduled open house however egg owners are always willing to chit chat at these rallies and show you their rigs. Before we had our Scamp we attended the Scamp Camp in FL in Feb and went thru 3 dozen trailers.
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Old 09-20-2015, 05:34 PM   #14
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I can't say that I have ever seen an earlier BigFoot in the lower 48 with the all seasons package. But that package comes with some minuses also:

They are a lot heavier. The 17' 1500 series is about 800 lbs lighter than the same size 2500 Series that has the 4 seasons kit. And the BigFoot trailers are a bit on the heavy side to start with


There are a lot more expensive. Primarily because the ones with the 4 seasons kit are almost always later units and BigFoot is now in the luxury price class. Two weeks ago I looked at a 1500 series 17' Bigfoot in central WA for $6000. A same size 2500, although newer, would run about 2-3 times that price.


Why don't you give some additional info:
Where are you located
What will you be towing with
What condition and age can you accept
Is there a specific need for the all weather package
How far are you willing to travel to look/buy
What is your approximate budget.


Good Luck



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Old 09-20-2015, 06:41 PM   #15
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Thanks to all for the great responses

.We are in Maryland, just North of Baltimore. We are not in a hurry to purchase as my retirement is still 4+ years away, however, if a unit becomes available that suits our needs we will purchase it for weekend use until the big retirement day arrives and we hit the road. I currently have an F150 Ford pickup which I plan to replace with something similar prior to retirement and that will be our tow vehicle. We are both very handy with doing repairs and building but would rather buy a trailer that has been well maintained and does not need to major restoration. We plan to use it for quite a few years.
We like the idea of a trailer that can be used in colder climates simply because it gives us more flexibility in when and where travel.
Bob
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Old 09-20-2015, 08:15 PM   #16
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We just came home from a three week trip VT -> ID -> CO -> VT. Many miles and varied weather, from overnight temps of about 75 down to three mornings well below freezing. That is typical for our shoulder season travels. Our 5th wheel Deluxe Scamp fares well under those conditions.

Here are some of my improvements related to cold weather survival: I added removable closed cell foam fillers to all roof vents, about 1 inch thick, have inside covers for windows which attach with sown-on Velcro strips to the rat fur. They are made of aluminized glass reinforced material from some packaging I scavenged. In order to distribute the warmer air from the downstairs to the loft I have two 12V computer power supply fans that turn on by a temperature switch (kick space heater) that makes on hot and is attached to the furnace vent. They are mounted above the bathroom door and push the air through the upper storage cubbyhole. You say you are handy, so you should be able to do at least three season camping without springing for the "four season" or factory winterized, expensive camper.

On our outbound leg of the above mentioned trip we spent one night at the Des Moines West KOA and happened to get a tour of an Oliver Legacy Elite II. That is a real four season rig, double windows and all the rest. Most of what is steel on others is aluminum on this one, so even salty roads should be less of a problem. But, you get what you pay for...
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Old 09-20-2015, 08:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyH View Post
.We are in Maryland, just North of Baltimore. We are not in a hurry to purchase as my retirement is still 4+ years away, however, if a unit becomes available that suits our needs we will purchase it for weekend use until the big retirement day arrives and we hit the road. I currently have an F150 Ford pickup which I plan to replace with something similar prior to retirement and that will be our tow vehicle. We are both very handy with doing repairs and building but would rather buy a trailer that has been well maintained and does not need to major restoration. We plan to use it for quite a few years.
We like the idea of a trailer that can be used in colder climates simply because it gives us more flexibility in when and where travel.
Bob
I don't know how cold or for how long you might want, but many of use boondock at temps well below freezing and get by just fine with the Atwood Everest Star Furnace and maybe an extra LP tank and a second battery.
Everest Star 7900 II Series Heating System - Atwood Mobile
A lot less expensive than the 4 seasons insulation package equipped trailers.



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Old 09-21-2015, 04:21 AM   #18
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That's all good info. Thank you. Have you ever stayed in areas where daytime temperatures remain below freezing? If so have you made modifications to protect the tanks and plumbing beneath the trailer from freezing? One of our goals is to spend a few months in Alaska. I anticipate we will run into some cold weather there even though our visit will be during the warmer seasons.


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Old 09-21-2015, 05:58 AM   #19
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From June to September one would have to do some serious looking to find 24 hr sub freezing weather in Alaska. With 20+ hours of sunlight it's a lot warmer than many think it might be.


When in he Navy, I was in both Anchorage and Adak Alaska several times in the summer months and it was short sleeve shirt weather, heck, even the Air Force guys could survive outside.... LOL


There are lots of websites on travel to Alaska at different times of the year, check those out before limiting yourself to only looking at a 4 seasons FGRV. They not only cost more to buy, they will, due to additional weight, cost more to tow, and that can make a substantial difference on those really long trips.



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Old 09-21-2015, 06:58 AM   #20
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Most people travel to Alaska in the summer, you'll be fine, Bob's right, it seems to be bright all the time, you need to force yourself to go to bed.

As to tanks, the most critical tank is the water tank and even on the rare occasion where we've camped where it did not get above freezing for a day we've never had a freezing situation, except possibly milk and eggs in the fridge. I just checked my fridge and it was down to 36 even though the night time temp only got down to 47 F.

We have never had the black tank or grey tank freeze, at least that we've known. Generally we attempt to keep them relatively empty on freezing days.

We rarely are away from our trailer on really cold days for more than 8 hours and the thermal inertia of the trailer is generally enough to keep the insides above freezing. The coldest day time temps we've experienced was in the teens.

Even when we're away from the trailer, since in cold weather we tend to stay plugged in, the hot water heater is on and represents 6 gallons of hot water and a 600 watt electric heater. We have never had a water line freeze in the any of our trailers.
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