Bigfoot owners, Does your camper have this bottom panel ? (2023)

Dodgemahal
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Posted:04/27/21 12:53am Link |Quote |Print|Notify Moderator
I just completed a lithium upgrade. Having access to the underside was great. But I am wondering if this is on all bigfoots. The bottom of our 9.6 is cut out and a white plastic sheet was screwed to the hull. There are two panels, a front one and a back one.

Interesting to find the 50 gallon water tank suspended by seatbelts. Able to be rocked to and fro a little. The manual claims structural damage by filling to fast. I did that once and feared the worst. Seeing the suspension system was a relief. There are no structural members to fracture. I do not believe the tank has been removed or replaced. The webbing screws are on top of the tank impossible to reach. That is a LOT of weight to hang from straps.
Anyway, just wondering if other Bigfoots have this cut out and white covers.

Bigfoot owners, Does your camper have this bottom panel ? (6)

Almost new to truck camping. Truck is a 2001 Dodge 3500 Dual rear wheel with a few performance mods. Camper is a 2005 Bigfoot 2500 9.6 with Lithiums. The trailer carries gear, one quad, two kayaks, two bicycles, and a 3700kw generator.
HMS Beagle
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Posted:04/27/21 09:17am Link |Quote |Print|Notify Moderator
Yes they do, depending on model. My 9.6 had panels similar to yours, the 10.4 I have now has one large panel further forward giving access to the tanks, and a small one on the side of the box all the way forward through which you can access the shower drain plumbing. The tanks are suspended on nylon webbing.

The concern about filling too fast is the air cannot escape fast enough and the tank will swell, breaking it or its fastenings. This is true of most RVs, not just Bigfoots. It takes only a few psi on the large area of the tank bottom to produce a lot of force.

Bigfoot 10.4E, 2015 F350 6.7L DRW 2WD, Autoflex Ultra Air Ride rear suspension, Hellwig Bigwig sway bars front and rear
Paradox123
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Posted:04/27/21 04:27pm Link |Quote |Print|Notify Moderator
My 9.4 has a panel like that. Found my water tank barely secured. It had two steel angles under it, both with screws only half driven. So much for quality control.
Dodgemahal
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Posted:04/27/21 08:31pm Link |Quote |Print|Notify Moderator
Interesting and I am not surprised on the screws. I found a half dozen screws holding things like wire run clips only half way in. Sawdust, dropped screws, plastic shavings, all kinds of debris that would have taken ten minutes to vacuum up. All in areas that were not readily visible. Like behind the power center. The fit and finish inside the interior is beautiful. As to be expected. However comma If you look closely at the cut on mine, it is terrible and wanders all over digging into the framing and drifts back out into open air see sawing back and forth. Look at the outside corner on the basement there and you can see a big fiberglass flag missed by the saw. The cut was done so poorly I wondered if it was a factory feature. Actually that is one of the reasons for this thread. At first I feared a breakage and a repair. Glad to hear this is a standard thing.
A simple grease pencil line would have done wonders. I was not impressed. Bigfoots are indeed great campers, but they too have issues I see. Maybe it was a finished on a Friday.Bigfoot owners, Does your camper have this bottom panel ? (23)
54suds
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Posted:04/27/21 09:11pm Link |Quote |Print|Notify Moderator
most of the ones I've opened had sheet1" foam on top of the fiber glass /plastic pannels 2021 Chev 6.6 duramax ltz DBL cab,drw,4x/torklift tdn's,
1999 Bigfoot 1011
HMS Beagle
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Posted:04/29/21 04:51pm Link |Quote |Print|Notify Moderator
Having owned 3 Bigfoot products (2 campers and a 5th wheel) and numerous other brands I can assure you that Bigfoot quality sucks. But it sucks noticeably less than the other brands. It's the RV business - "quality" is not a word they use.
GoinThisAway
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middle TN
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Posted:04/30/21 05:27pm Link |Quote |Print|Notify Moderator
Its like a scavenger hunt. Bigfoot provides a bunch of spare parts with their units but hides them in out-of-the-way places. So far I've found numerous screws, a hydraulic strut (for upper cabinet door), and a furnace vent. I spotted the latter in the bottom of the bathroom cabinet 10 years ago but couldn't get it out until last year when I pulled the water heater to replace it.

As to the original question, I bought my unit new and it too has the removable panels on the bottom. I'd like to ask a question of my own on that. For those who have removed it, what did you use to seal when you replaced it?

2008 Dodge 3500 DRW 4x4
2008 Bigfoot 25C10.4
Torklift/Fastguns/Hellwig/StableLoads
otrfun
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Posted:05/01/21 08:21am Link |Quote |Print|Notify Moderator
I suppose these removable panels are a double-edged sword. Provides access, but at the same time could potentially leak. Our Northern Lite has no such panels on the bottom. I shudder to think how we'd access some of the plumbing in the basement area if we had any problems. Not sure whether we'd cut the interior or the exterior for access.
Dodgemahal
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Posted:05/01/21 10:53am Link |Quote |Print|Notify Moderator
These replies are very interesting. I am surprised to read about other campers with so much debris and stuff like dropped screws that were never picked up etc. One thing I found while doing my lithium upgrade and peeking everywhere with a mirror and a flashlight, I found two wires pinched between the short stub wall that supported the raised bottom of the dinette seat. I used a prybar on a block to gently lift the seat compartment bottom and push the wires out with a long stick into free air. Thankfully there were no staples or screws to remove near the end of that little wall. I was able to push the wires out. Nothing to short to like metal but eventually they could have been cut. I just chalked it up to being built on a Friday. So maybe these Bigfoots are over rated. Bigfoot owners, Does your camper have this bottom panel ? (54) There was a 2008 for 29,900 and a 2021 for 51K recently on FB marketplace. Insanely overpriced I thought. Small dealers though. I guess we will just appreciate our camper and try to take care of the interior for sale value later.

And yes, I too had the 1 inch styrofoam bottom sheets. I put them back before closing it all up. I did not use any sealant because I did not find any. I know water will not pool in there or migrate else where. The one good thing about no sealant is if you have a water leak, you will sure see it. I don't think water intrusion would be an issue. It does not need to float thankfully. Bigfoot owners, Does your camper have this bottom panel ? (55) I am still stunned by the carelessness of the cuts. A simple line to cut would have left a really nice end result. That and a 1/2 sanding drum to radius the inside corners of the cuts would even have the benefit of greatly reducing the potential for fiberglass cracks later. I am kind of a perfectionist with that kind of stuff. I do metal work on cars so I like the little details. I appreciate the replies that are being posted. Hopefully we will be camping very soon. So much to do.

HMS Beagle
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Posted:05/02/21 01:42pm Link |Quote |Print|Notify Moderator
I found a variety of spare parts, screw, dust, tools, earplugs, etc. in every RV I've owned. That includes Monaco Class As and Airstream trailers. I do not know why they can't be bothered with a $6/hr employee with a vacuum cleaner before things are closed, but it seems to be a universal problem.

The removable panel on the bottom of the Bigfoot would only be a problem if your pickup bed had a watertight liner with no drain holes, and you parked on a serious downhill slope. There is no need for the rest of us to seal those panels.

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