Bigfoot Owners of ~2000 to ~2010 Vintage - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-15-2021, 07:55 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Name: Charles
Trailer: Bigfoot
Georgia
Posts: 174
Bigfoot Owners of ~2000 to ~2010 Vintage

Do you have a gas only, or gas electric, WATER HEATER?

Most importantly, do you have a stove vent hood with switches in addition to the usual light and fan switches? Meaning, generator start/stop and hour meter, water heater and water heater fault light. possibly even the water pump switch?

Please post up pics of your stove hoods with these switches.

When I get a few responses, i will post up a thread I wrote for the Bigfoot Owners Club forum about this on my trailer.

Charles
__________________
'03 Ram 2500 CTD and 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB...... My Thor/Dutchman Freedom Spirit 180 is being repaired and will be sold. Long gone now is a 2007 Winnebago View 23H Motorhome.
CharlesinGA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2021, 03:01 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
ThomasC's Avatar
 
Name: Tom
Trailer: BigFoot 25B25RT
Massachusetts
Posts: 532
That will be a nice thread. It will be interesting to see how much interest you get.
ThomasC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2021, 08:35 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Name: Charles
Trailer: Bigfoot
Georgia
Posts: 174
Well, I started looking at archived sales brochures on the BF factory web site and while the pics are difficult to make out details in, some of the stove hoods are the same as mine but appear to have many switches on them. I'm wondering if those have the water pump switch and possibly the levels indicators also.

I'm beginning to think that even though mine is a 30th anniversary edition and should be loaded up, it may have been spec'ed with a gas only water heater but a last minute change installed the gas/elect combo and that might account for the weird switch setup. Mine for certain came from the factory with the conbination WH but what happened before that is any one's guess, and 2008 was at the time of the bankruptcy and restart of the company.

Gotta like the illuminated switches tho.

Charles
__________________
'03 Ram 2500 CTD and 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB...... My Thor/Dutchman Freedom Spirit 180 is being repaired and will be sold. Long gone now is a 2007 Winnebago View 23H Motorhome.
CharlesinGA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2021, 02:21 PM   #4
RJM
Junior Member
 
Name: Rick
Trailer: 2004 Bigfoot 25RQ
Manitoba
Posts: 11
Hood fan

My 2004 25RQ has a gas hot water tank and the pic shows the switches and lights.
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_0714.jpg   IMG_0714 (1).jpg  

RJM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2021, 09:56 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Name: Charles
Trailer: Bigfoot
Georgia
Posts: 174
OK, what Rick posted tells me alot. I have the same stove hood, in black, but my level indicators, and the water pump switch are on the wall next to the stove hood, partially obscured by the hood itself.

What follows is a slightly abbreviated version with less text and fewer pics than is contained in two different threads I posted on the Bigfoot Owners Club forum. I have noticed a lot of older BF owners have not opted to join the club and are missing out on some good stuff, and we are missing out on what you might have to offer also, so I thought I would bring this information over here.

My trailer was delivered with a combination gas/electric water heater. The stove hood has switches for the fan and light for the hood, and a generator start stop switch, and a water heater switch (for the gas) and the fault light is a LED behind a little clear window in the overlay, but the opening is actually a rectangular switch cutout. The switch for the electric side of the water heater..... is..... about five feet away at the far end of the kitchen counter, on the top of the storage compartment. I have a 25B21RB which has a front dinette and a storage compartment on the LH side behind the seat back of the dinette. The water heater is down underneath.

This huge spread in distance of the switches really baffled me. The water heater is the one that was delivered new, going by the dates on it, and is the one listed in the original appliance equipment list in the wardrobe, on the back of the door.

The first pic is not of my trailer but the exact same model, much newer showing the current location of the water heater switches (circled in red) and the location of my switches on the stove hood and the top of the storage compartment, circled in orange and connected by a line. The storage compartment location sucks as the switch is light to touch and twice I accidently activated it with no water in the water heater tank. Thankfully i found it quickly and switched it off. Once I threw a jacket on top of it, another time I bumped it leaning over digging into the compartment. That switch had to go.

I bought a Dometic/Atwood water heater switch panel that has both switches and the fault light in it, and while mounting the 12v charging port/USB charging unit, I installed the new water heater switch panel in the very front of the top of the storage compartment. This is right in the forward LH corner of the trailer and takes some effort to get to it to turn the switches on. I had to extend the four wires on the water heater, but that was easy, and I bundled the wires in split wire loom you can buy at auto parts places (or Harbor Freight). The new switch panel required power and ground so I simply used jumpers from the USB and power socket I mounted next to it. In the stove hood the water heater switches use the same power and ground that supply the fan and light, hourmeter ground, etc. The loads are not that heavy, and I changed the stove light to an LED plate light from M4 Products.

The original wires from the stove hood and the ground were capped off and looped and tied with wire ties on the floor next to the water heater. I knew that someday I would do something different, but for now, I had resolved the accidental activation problem.

The new switch panel is OK but there is no indication that the switches are on or off and you have to remember to check them. I never leave the water heater on, I turn it on to use it and turn it off when done.

One day, messing around in the trailer discovered by feeling the overlay on the stove vent hood that there was an additional switch knockout next to the fault light. I figured out how to remove the front panel on the stove vent hood, and I removed the switch to get a brand and measurements for the switch and opening. It is a Sigma Switches (Elkhart Indiana) Type 2 configuration.

https://www.sigmaswitches.com/PDFs/2SeriesFull.pdf

As I suspected, the switches were also made with illuminated rockers of various colors. I called Sigma and later sent an email, and have never received a response, but did find an Ebay seller (search for Bupps Cards) who carries many of the switches, so I bought two red and two blue switches. (p/n RED 20A-23 and BLUE 20A-25) These switches require a ground to the third terminal on them for the illumination to work, and the terminals are not common spade connections, but rather a smaller .187” wide spade, so I ended up on Amazon ordering these special spade connections.

I won’t get too deep into the technical details of this, but if anyone wants to know, I might make a short video showing what I did.

The big issue here is that I needed to run an additional wire for the new switch. BF could have easily done this when the trailer was built but they took the more difficult and expensive way, not sure why.

My pictures tell most of the story, but basically I had to remove the forward side wall of the wardrobe closet, the microwave and the panel below the microwave, and in the end I actually removed the vent hood also. In addition I removed the back wall of the storage below the sink and the bottom of this compartment and disconnected some of the heat ducts and pulled them out of the way. I also removed several drawers and emptied the compartment below the wardrobe, and opened up the LH dinette seat bottom panel (which I have done about a zillion times already). After removing these panels I removed all of the fine brads that held them in, and predrilled pilot holes and used #4 x Ĺ inch long oval head stainless screws and stainless finish washers to reinstall the panels.

I used 14 gauge primary wire in red, and routed it from the front thru the clamps following the existing wire bundle. In some cases I removed the electrical tape wrapping the bundle and reinstalled Ty-wraps to secure the bundle. In the double wall bottom under the microwave I found all of the wires passed thru a multi-pin Molex connector, so I measured the pin size (.093”) and ordered pins (I have a Molex pin crimping tool) and routed the wire thru an unused position in the connector.

I removed all of the extra wire I had installed on the water heater, and left the original Atwood supplied wires, and added a new four pin Molex connector. The two existing wires from the harness, plus the new wire, plus the ground were all bundled together and the other half of the Molex connector was installed on them.

I will be adding to this thread with a how to add LED indicator lights to the Dometic switch panel, as that is what is used on the newer campers and trailers, and it would be nice to have a visual light indication of the switch being on. This is an easy modification.

Now I am not suggesting that anyone do what I did, unless they are game for a lot of work. This took me a week of days, working 8 to 10 hours, resting to cool off, dealing with feeding cats, etc. It is not easy, but it is doable. You have to lay down flat on the floor and stretch to reach thru openings to get to the wire harness, manipulate Ty-wraps one handed, and contort your body in strange ways to reach into some places.

The second pic shows the new Dometic switch panel I installed in the same storage compartment on the left side, but at the very front with a USB plug i installed, in a difficult place to accidently hit, and with switches that are more difficult to operate accidently.

The third pic shows my final result of running that new wire and cutting out the overlay over the unused switch hole in the hood, and installing the lighted switches so I can see if they are on or off.

Ain't it purdy? Took a lot of work to get to this point. In case you are wondering, I added the labeling "Gas", "Electric" above the switches, and the words "Water Heater" beneath the red switch. The remaining legends were already printed onto the overlay. I used a Brother labeler using TZ tapes, white on clear. Ariel Bold font, 10 point, with -10 line spacing on the "Water Heater".

If you correctly connect the wires to the switches, the lights are illuminated ONLY when switched ON, get the power and load wires reversed and the switches are on 24/7 no matter the switch position, which you do not want. The fault light will only be illuminated when the heater does not start after the third try, which is how I got it on for the pic.

The fourth pic shows how I connected the wires to the water heater using a 4 pin Molex connector. Had I used individual connectors, and something became disconnected, it would be tricky to figure out what color went with what. Connector makes that foolproof.

Charles
Attached Thumbnails
Newer 21RB with WH switch panel on front of counter.jpg   wtr htr sw move interim sw panel install.jpg  

wtr htr sw move final result.jpg   wtr htr sw move final connection at wtr htr.jpg  

__________________
'03 Ram 2500 CTD and 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB...... My Thor/Dutchman Freedom Spirit 180 is being repaired and will be sold. Long gone now is a 2007 Winnebago View 23H Motorhome.
CharlesinGA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2021, 10:07 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Charles
Trailer: Bigfoot
Georgia
Posts: 174
I am baffled by the move of the levels indication from the stove hood to a panel on the wall. What BETTER place is there than that unused space on the stove hood? Its easily accessed and looks nice and very functional. Instead, BF switched to a wall mounted levels system indications and pump switch, even though the mounting and everything that Rick shows is still in place behind my solid overlay in the middle. Granted, I think the generator switch needs to be on the far left by the generator hourmeter, and the levels test switch needs to be immediately to the right of the levels indicators on Rick's, but other than a couple of non-intuitive things like that, its a very functional setup.

My levels panel has an indicator LED for the water pump, but it is recessed and difficult to see. I want something that glares at me so I don't forget it before I go to bed (I do not leave anything turned on when I go to bed).

I will be posting more on the newer combined switch panel for those who have that, and want some way of illuminating the switches.

Charles
Attached Thumbnails
Water Pump green illuminated switch installation.jpg  
__________________
'03 Ram 2500 CTD and 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB...... My Thor/Dutchman Freedom Spirit 180 is being repaired and will be sold. Long gone now is a 2007 Winnebago View 23H Motorhome.
CharlesinGA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2021, 10:33 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: Charles
Trailer: Bigfoot
Georgia
Posts: 174
Water Heater Switch Mods for the "rest of you", newer switch panels

For those of you with newer Bigfoot (or any other kind) RV’s with the Atwood or Dometic water heater switch panel with two switches and a fault light, you got left out of my other mod…………… and I didn't want anyone to feel slighted, so..................

Buttttt never fear, I have a mod for you that will allow you to have indicator or pilot lights to show when the heater is switched on.
The standard panel is set up with two rocker switches and a fault light. To know if the water heater is switched on, you have to physically check the switches and even then you don’t know if they have power and are actually switching on the water heater or not.

If you pay attention to looks and aesthetics at all you will notice that Dometic supplied Black finished screws with this white panel………… DUH! There is an easy fix for this, the second and third pics down tell the whole story. A couple of dollars at Home Depot and you have white painted #6 flat and oval headed screws in one package. Take your pick and install them and quit looking at those non-matching screws! Now, if the screw holes are stripped out in the very thin plywood they are screwed into, also at Home Depot you will find metal #6 speed nuts. As you run the screw in thru the wood, hold this in place and run the screw thru it and tighten it up. I had to use these on my LP/CO detector installation. They are quite handy if you have access to the back side.

INDICATOR LIGHTS

As far as indicator lights go, there are two ways to go on this. Now, I didn’t think of this modification, I saw it in an RV forum thread somewhere a couple of years ago, and it may have been something posted here or elsewhere, IDK but it works.

The problem with installing the LEDs is working with that hair fine wire that is used on them. Also, the LEDs I used were fairly cheap ones I bought off of Amazon in a package of a hundred mixed ones. I highly recommend the Blue Sea indicator lights, they will be of better quality as they have a solid body and and are made for 12 to 24 volts. The cheap ones I bought were 9-12v so I have no idea how they will hold up at 14 volts. My recommendation is to use the Blue Sea ones, however they make Red, Green, Amber but NOT Blue…….. huh? Does someone hate Blue?

Blue Sea indicator lights Just be sure and get the ones that are 12/24v DC. You can find them on Amazon also.

Anyhow, I will leave the pictures to show you what was done. It became more complicated than I planned on, due to the fine wire, small heat shrink, soldering, multiples of the spade adapters, drilling holes, etc.

Charles
Attached Thumbnails
sw panel mod 1 basic Dometic combination gas electric water heater panel.jpg   sw panel mod 2 white screws from Home Depot.jpg  

sw panel mod 3 speed nuts for number six screws.jpg   sw panel mod 4 unmodified panel.jpg  

__________________
'03 Ram 2500 CTD and 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB...... My Thor/Dutchman Freedom Spirit 180 is being repaired and will be sold. Long gone now is a 2007 Winnebago View 23H Motorhome.
CharlesinGA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2021, 10:36 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Name: Charles
Trailer: Bigfoot
Georgia
Posts: 174
More pics to go with the above post.............

The Blue Sea indicator LEDs use a different size hole than is reference in the annotated pic below. Blue Sea says the holes need to be 11/64, however I would drill them at 5/32 and only after trying them, would I drill to 11/64. A dab of glue from a hot glue gun on the backside should retain them sufficiently. Additionally the Blue Sea indicator lamps have to be pushed thru from the front, so they will have to be in position and glued down if necessary, BEFORE you solder wires to the spade adapters/doublers.

Charles
Attached Thumbnails
sw panel mod 5 where holes will be drilled.jpg   sw panel mod 6 showing LEDs wired and ready to install in panel.jpg  

sw panel mod 7 backside wiring of LEDs.jpg   sw panel mod 8 all LEDs illuminated.jpg  

__________________
'03 Ram 2500 CTD and 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB...... My Thor/Dutchman Freedom Spirit 180 is being repaired and will be sold. Long gone now is a 2007 Winnebago View 23H Motorhome.
CharlesinGA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2021, 10:49 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Name: Charles
Trailer: Bigfoot
Georgia
Posts: 174
USING ILLUMINATED INDICATOR SWITCHES

It doesn’t get much easier than this, you snap out the existing switches and snap in some new ones, add a simple wiring jumper and you are done.

I searched long and hard for Blue switches with a white body. If you settle for red on both switches and want a white body, Sigma Switches makes a p/n 1A-10 which is a white body with a red illuminated rocker. Pay attention to the fact that these make the ground on the brass terminal and the incoming power attaches to the middle terminal and the outgoing power attaches to the end silver terminal. Get the power wrong and the LED operates all the time instead of just when it is switched on.

These switches are larger than the ones I used in my stove hood. These are designed to fit a 1.125 x .550 opening. Some will say 1 x Ĺ inch but they indeed fit also.

This Ebay seller is the gentleman I dealt with and he went so far as to phone me and tell me that Ebay overcharged me on the shipping and that I would be refunded. Very nice and good to deal with.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/39324177067...kAAOSwKaVfHwHM

This second seller is more expensive and higher shipping. I have not dealt with them.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/23212109765...wAAOSwHMJYClG0



NOW, if you don’t mind a having Black bodied switches in your white panel (or if you have a Bigfoot with a black panel that came from who knows where as I have never been able to locate a part number for the black one, or that it was ever made by Atwood or Dometic), I found these very inexpensive Red and Blue rocker switches at NAPA. They are supplied by Grote which is a large manufacturer of aftermarket lighting, reflectors, etc for vehicles. These have a wiring placard on the side and you MUST follow it, the power on this goes on the end terminal, the ground on the brass terminal and the water heater out/load goes in the middle. They are backward to most other switches. The links are for the Red 821901 and the Blue 821904 respectively.

https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/GRO8...pressionRank=1

https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/GRO8...pressionRank=1

The NAPA stores will not have these in stock but can get them overnight from the warehouse. They were $3.99 each plus tax, pretty good deal.

You may need to get creative with some of the wiring, especially the ground wires, depending on what is connected behind your panel. Some of the manufacturers use rather heavy 14 gauge wires and will bring two or even three grounds together on the back of the fault light. Depending on the amount of room you have behind the panel, the little brass spade "doublers" I show may NOT work and you may need to do something different.

I think the pics tell the story on this modification so I will stop here.

Charles
Attached Thumbnails
sw panel mod 10 Grote red and blue switches from NAPA.jpg   sw panel mod 11 Grote switch wiring placard.jpg  

sw panel mod 12 backside of sw panel with grote switches and ground jumper.jpg   sw panel mod 13 grote switches everything on.jpg  

__________________
'03 Ram 2500 CTD and 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB...... My Thor/Dutchman Freedom Spirit 180 is being repaired and will be sold. Long gone now is a 2007 Winnebago View 23H Motorhome.
CharlesinGA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2021, 10:49 AM   #10
Member
 
Name: ginette & ron
Trailer: 2008 25RB 21 Bigfoot
Ontario
Posts: 91
i have basically the same trailer, 2008 25B21RB 30 aniv edition. Vent and switches are the same except my water heater is gas only so no additional switch.
__________________
GiRo proud new owner 2008 bigfoot 21'with cargo pod and Ram 1500 Ecodiesel. Attached with a Pro Pride Hitch(Hensley design)
giro53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2021, 09:46 AM   #11
Member
 
Name: Darryl
Trailer: Bigfoot
Wisconsin
Posts: 37
25B21RB December 2008 production date

Hi Charles
Thanks for project detail.
I moved electric switch for OEM gas/electric water heater - same reason.
Canít find replacement wood paneling so left dead switch in place.
Attached Thumbnails
BF91E92A-F5E2-4EF5-BBEF-01E85C78F8DA.jpg   4D7A42CA-A608-4043-AA79-F4C6A2DFA10B.jpg  

2C4ABE86-BB91-4C6F-BA09-E50E7A987A76.jpg   AF8A6C1C-469F-403E-BD0C-7218977100D0.jpg  

DarrylScamp78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2021, 10:52 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: Charles
Trailer: Bigfoot
Georgia
Posts: 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarrylScamp78 View Post
Hi Charles
Thanks for project detail.
I moved electric switch for OEM gas/electric water heater - same reason.
Can’t find replacement wood paneling so left dead switch in place.
Darryl, thanks for your input, its good to see that I am not the only person who thought the water heater switch was "poorly" placed. It is a lot of work for sure. I have more pics on the BOCI forum, which I can post here too, guess I should.

Now for some thread creep..............

The wood paneling is just thin Luan covered with wood grain paper and stapled to the underside. You cut cut a new piece of wood and cover it with fabric, etc.

The previous owner installed new laminate over the old on the dinette, kitchen counter and the counter at the entrance of the 21FB. They gave me the remainder and I intend to cut a new piece of 3/4 hardwood plywood (or with lots of layers) and cut it to the exact shape and size as the existing top, radius the edge behind the cushion and cut a new access door opening to align with the window, and cover it all with the laminate and stained edges. That's a project for the future.

Your LP gas leak sensor is the typical stuff BF installs and I replaced mine as it had aged out, and when I removed it I found a bunch of holes where people had sat on the end of the dinette and hooked their heel on the detector and ripped it out of the wood, so it was screwed back into new screw holes. I installed a flush mount LP/CO combination detector. That thin wood cuts easily with a steel straight edge and a box cutter. Pics attached. Just food for thought. PS, the new detector is not crooked, its just the angle of the pic that makes it look that way. MTI 35-742-BR

Charles
Attached Thumbnails
Removed LP gas detector.jpg   New Safe T Alert LP-CO detector.jpg  

new safe t alert lp-co detector backside.jpg  
__________________
'03 Ram 2500 CTD and 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB...... My Thor/Dutchman Freedom Spirit 180 is being repaired and will be sold. Long gone now is a 2007 Winnebago View 23H Motorhome.
CharlesinGA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2021, 11:01 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Name: Charles
Trailer: Bigfoot
Georgia
Posts: 174
Additional pics of the work involved............

Removed the forward wall of the wardrobe to access the wiring.

Removed the microwave and the panel that is the floor of that compartment, this pic shows it pulled up but I removed it for working. This is above the vent hood.

Last pic is how I found the original BF wiring of the water heater.

Charles
Attached Thumbnails
wtr htr sw move front wall of wardrobe opened.jpg   wtr htr sw move under microwave.jpg  

wtr htr sw move orig wiring with multiple splices.jpg  
__________________
'03 Ram 2500 CTD and 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB...... My Thor/Dutchman Freedom Spirit 180 is being repaired and will be sold. Long gone now is a 2007 Winnebago View 23H Motorhome.
CharlesinGA is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bigfoot, vin


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
Vintage curtain tracks -- need vintage snaps Mara Modifications, Alterations and Updates 5 05-29-2013 05:50 PM
SOLD? 2000 17' Caista 2000 - Craigslist Robin G Classified Archives 1 06-16-2008 04:02 PM

» Trailer Showcase

Ziggy

TheWanderers

Scamp

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

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.