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BigfootBill

Central NY

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Posted: 06/15/20 09:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First of all, thanks to all for all the info here. I read for several months before finally buying my first truck camper last week. I have ended up with an 04 Bigfoot 10.11SL as a second owner from someone who bought it new upon retirement but has had it stored away for the last several years - a barn find if you may. Based on discussion, I don't think that it was ever resealed and so I am going about addressing that.

On to the questions:
I have started with several coats of Hengs on the roof over what was there and cracking based on what I have read here.
1 - It appears that there is something similar to what I am putting on the roof on the side compartments that was "tooled" similar to what would be done with caulk. Should I try to apply a thin coat of Hengs in this location?
2 - How can I tell if the windows need to be resealed or should I just jump in and do them all for peace of mind?
3 - As a fiberglass construction, the Bigfoot design has several seams where the fiberglass meets. These joints are covered by some sort of semi flexible material that is bent over between two finishing pieces that are caulked. Should I be considering exposing these joints to reapply whatever sealant is hopefully currently doing its job?

Thanks for all of your help and guidance. The drive home was more pleasant than any trailering experience I have had and solidified that my choice was correct for my situation with a truck camper over travel trailer.


2008 Ram 3500
2004 Bigfoot 10.11

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 06/15/20 09:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wasn’t aware that the recommended maintenance for fiberglass roofs is rubber roof coating. I don’t think it is. But you said there’s existing rubber coating already?

Fiberglass roofs should be essentially maint free except sealing penetrations.
There are FG root coatings which are resin based with fibers. I think that’s what you’re supposed to use if necessary to re coat. ICBW


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

bigfootford

Fair Oaks, California

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Posted: 06/15/20 09:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Congratulations on that barn find!

Our camper is 20 years old and has traveled almost 200,000 miles on 2 trucks.
It was exposed to sun and weather for it's first 10 years then we built a camper cave for it.

So here is my answers to your questions:

1. I too use the Hengs that is used to seal the vents etc. I do use tape to mask off so the lines remain nice. I clean as much of the dirt off the old surface as I can.. I get up on the roof and inspect each year but I probably do re-seal every other year and only where the cracks are. I have not removed the old sealer. I remove the tape pretty quick after I re-seal. Makes the sealer round off nice.
I have had to replace the fridge vent hood and that was some work..hahahaa. I also have replaced the fridge vent to put a better fan in.

2. After about 5 years I noticed that there was some small gaps in the Butyl tape seal between the window and fiberglass. So during the warm season I tightened the inside screws by just a bit. I found some screws that were totally loose... So after contact was made screwing them down I probably snugged a 1/4 to 1/2 turn on each screw. It took about a month and the tape was really oozing out of the outside surface.. I observed that some of the oozing tape was dirty so that meant that there was no sealing going on. So I watched and finally those spots were oozing clean sealer. After about 6 mos I used a razor blade and removed the excess tape. I did this one more time a few year later.
A bud of mine has a 1987 BF.. All of his windows were leaking because of the tape not sealing. He removed all his windows and re-sealed them. That is a real chore!

3. I have not touched the seams on my camper nor has my bud in all the years. He removed the silicone that was put on the outside of the seam but I did not. The silicone has little mold dots on it but I ignore that.
The way the top over laps the bottom is sealed quite well. I have not heard of anyone having trouble of leaks from those areas.

One thing that is important is the running light seals. Especially the front ones. I had one leaking and the only indication of a leak was the front bed vertical cabinet on the passenger side. It had moisture. WTHeck I said....
I pulled the 1" trim inside that vertical cabinet and then the trim across the bed fwd wall. The water was coming in and running along the foam seams over to the cabinet!
I looked at the way BF had sealed the lights and then I sealed the outside of the lights with a clear house window sealer, not silicone. That was over 10 years ago... No more leaking.

That pretty much covers the sealing and maintenance.
I do wax mine about every year and when I wash it I use a wax as you dry Eagle One.

Congratulations on your find and hope that you will enjoy yours as much as we have ours.

Jim


2000 2500 9.6 Bigfoot,94 F250, Vision 19.5, Mich 245/70XDS2's, Bilstein shocks, air bags/pump, EU2000, PD 9260,Lifeline 100ah, 200W. solar, Morningstar Sunsaver 15A/ display panel, Trimetric, Delorme/laptop, Holux gps rec,led lights, Wave-3 heat.

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 06/15/20 10:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think the only thing Bigfoot used on the sides is butyl tape under the flanges and silicone on top. So if there is some Hengs or other on side bits it was done aftermarket. I personally wouldn't use that stuff for anything but I'll admit I am way in the minority.

The two halves of the shell have an overlap, the top overlapping the bottom. The trim piece covers the joint and also hides the screws. There is no feasible way to recaulk or improve this seam. However the screws can leak and eventually rot something. I don't know when the crossover was, but originally they used steel screws and then changed to SS screws. I would check yours to see which, if steel I'd go to the trouble of replacing them all with SS, sealing each one with a little PU sealant. The silicone normally spread around that trim does absolutely nothing except collect dirt and mold.

Resealing windows is a lot of work, I'd do what Jim suggests to start with. Also good the clearance lights, they have very little flange sealing them and if the wiring hole was drilled a little bit off, you have leaks. The later models have a very sticky, stretchy sealant that you hate to disturb if it is still good, so it is a dilemma - disturb what may be good or leave it alone until it actually leaks.


Bigfoot 10.4E, 2015 F350 6.7L DRW 2WD, Autoflex Ultra Air Ride rear suspension, Hellwig Bigwig sway bars front and rear

bigfootgrey

Connecticut

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Posted: 06/16/20 04:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A 3000 series Bigfoot is not a two piece shell like a 2500 or 1500 series. It has a Fibercore wall structure and a seamless rubber roof. I don’t believe Heng’s was used al all on the 3000 series from the factory.


2011 Ford F-350 PSD SC DRW
2008 Bigfoot 25C-10.4E
Firestone airbags - torklift stable-loads,fastguns,Talons Rancho rs 9000XL’s. 2015 Lund Alaskan 1600 tiller.

bigfootford

Fair Oaks, California

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Posted: 06/16/20 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bigfootgrey wrote:

A 3000 series Bigfoot is not a two piece shell like a 2500 or 1500 series. It has a Fibercore wall structure and a seamless rubber roof. I don’t believe Heng’s was used al all on the 3000 series from the factory.


Great catch! BFgrey.
Did not look at the mod number, just assumed that the OP was talking about the 2500/1500 Models....Bigfoot 10.11SL is a 3000 hard side type..

The OP will have to disregard the parts we all wrote about the shell 1/2's seams...

Sorry OP!

Jim

BigfootBill

Central NY

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Posted: 06/16/20 10:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the input. I went to look at this Bigfoot expecting a rubber roof and was surprised to find the fiberglass. From talking to the original owner, the fiberglass roof was an upgrade from the factory. After curing, the Hengs that I added appears to be the same as what was up there previously and has bonded well to the original sealant. I will keep an eye on it to identify any separation that may occur.

Beagle was correct in that after doing some prodding, I believe that the side compartments were sealed with caulk that has faded and cracked similar to what I was seeing on the roof. I will plan on resealing with appropriate caulk.

Also thanks to Ford for the suggestion on how to massage some more life out of the windows. I will take the tightening approach and see where it gets me.

As mentioned by Grey, my model is not the standard clamshell design and because of that, does have some vertical joints on the roof, such as where the front nose cap meets the roof piece. I don't want to disturb some sort of seal in there if not necessary. I am considering a hail mary call to the new manufacturer with the understanding that they are not technically the same company that built my unit. I am open to any other suggestions that anyone feels like tossing my way from this perspective.

Thanks for the warm welcome.

54suds

adk mts.

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Posted: 06/16/20 11:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think 2004 they changed to a full fiberglass roof replacing the tpo


2017 Chev ltz double cab,drw,4x/torklift tdn's,30k super hitch 36" extention
1999 Bigfoot 1011

Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 06/16/20 12:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For roof resealing, consider the sealer below. Not cheap, but I did several roofs in my life and this one is THE ONLY who actually works. It will cover all caulking just fine, although for filling the gaps you might need couple applications.

[image]





BigfootBill

Central NY

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Posted: 06/24/20 06:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I finally got around to reaching out to Bigfoot and got a quick response from Grant, as I was expecting based on reading about how he went the extra mile.

For those that may be interested, or the small population that does have a 3000 10.11, here is the answer that I got:

The roof is fitted and then cut at the joint of the front and rear cap to a butt joint. It is then bonded with a urethane sealant. He said that this is the "weakest link". Not sure if that was referring to just the roof or the entire camper exterior in terms of preventing water intrusion.

I will plan on pulling the molding and resealing this winter.

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