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 > Purchasing Warped Roof 1997 Bigfoot 2500 9’6”?

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covered wagon

USA

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Posted: 12/13/21 07:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Could be the camper jacks are low in the rear which is proper way to store a clamshell camper. Everything looks straighter than most. I think it's in good shape and what your seeing is simple dimple sag. My NL has some areas getting weak too but , no leaks. Use it as a pricing point to get a great deal'

Chances are if any wood needs replacing its just the sklight frame which is easy to do. Ive had mine all apart/ made my own stainless steel insulated hatch , new hinge etc.

bigfootford

Fair Oaks, California

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Posted: 12/14/21 11:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That looks like a 24/24 vent/escape hatch... BF did not put them on. A 12/12 is what normally is there.
I put a 24/24 vent/escape hatch in my 2000 years ago.
The curvature of the roof required a build up of the surface of the camper due to its arch. The vent frame is metal, not plastic and will not conform to the arc of the roof.
I used extra layers of Butyl tape to compensate but as I pulled the vent frame down It did create a bit of a dip in the front of the frame of the vent. I just let it be, That was 15 years ago. The fiberglas is pliable and the gelcoat has never cracked.

In my opinion, if there is no indication of water intrusion it would be a great deal.

BTW... Look in the cabinets on each side of the head of the bed and into the clothes storage on each side of the bed... Check for water damage there. That is where the water will go!
Even a leaking running light on the front of the camper will leak and run across the front head of the bed and then into the side cabinets! I learned that pretty easy years ago.

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.

ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 12/14/21 03:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I scanned thru and didnt read most post bc traditionally they are answered by ppl without first-hand exp...

I owned a fiberglass TC.

Sagging is common for fiberglass shells and expected. This one looks good, and I would expect more sagging at the AC unit. Sagging can be fixed,or just leave it alone.

Remember, the fiberglass shell is basically a boat. boats can sit in water for decades and not leak. A sag will never leak, only a crack.

The window rubber trim is common and always happens.

The price seems about ballpark right for a Bigfoot, but compare it with others for sale.

The only place that camper can leak is at the penetration points, holes, screw holes, vents, windows. Not even the seam of top and bottom can leak. Leaks at holes or vents is not a camper issue, it is a maintenance issue and easily fixed.

These fiberglass campers can leak and have little damage as the structure is, afterall, fiberglass. Just some cleaning agents and a rag can fix most water leak damage.
You will want to look for anywhere there is wood to see if the wood is water damaged.

Eterna bond tape is great stuff, but it does leak where the tape over-laps itself. I would rip all that tape off and re-do with Lap sealant, or you could just put Lap sealant on the over lapping parts and likely have a good seal.

covered wagon

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Posted: 12/14/21 07:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've seen problems with Eterna Bond tape so I do like ajriding said above and use lap sealant around my hatches and vents. I mask a discreet square area around the hatch and vents and work the lap sealant back and forth with a throw away brush. This insures working it into the surface and then pull the masking for a nice straight line around each one.

My factory hatch hinge was so close to the roof fiberglass I couldn't get a proper seal so the hinge leaked. After building an all new hatch in stainless with the hinge higher off the roof all is well.

Some openings on a fiberglass camper have wood around the rough openings, not many, so I did not know about yours. Mine did not.

BTW. my roof is warped upward where the wet bath is but it's minimal. The factory did that with the wet bath stall put in before the two clamshell halfs were together. It no biggy.

Bigfootford is correct about where the water goes you will see stains on the wood. Sometimes very slight or mostly down in the bottom of those bed side cabs.

3 tons

NV.

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Posted: 12/14/21 07:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agree on the eternabond, water seeped underneath and dripped from bath vent…Result, was that I layed down a good stream of Dicor then covered over it (for weather protection) with Eternabond…

3 tons

mbloof

Beaverton, OR

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Posted: 12/14/21 07:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Humm... only $10K for a 9.6' clamshell camper? Better run out and buy it!!

Any seals (including the window ones shown here) are going to fail with age. Simple/easy/cheap to get it resealed. Problem solved.

The sagging roof is likely only fiberglass/foam separation. This is what happens with these types of campers with age - the glue fails. While it can be a major issue if it is in key structural support areas (like on ether side of the pass through window) in front of the bedroom escape hatch does not look to be a real issue.

The clamshell campers age well as long as (like ANY other RV) the seals are maintained.

I'm surprised that they are not asking $15-20K for it knowing what the going rate of a new ones are. The biggest replacement item is the refridge. While many RV units will seemingly "work forever", they will degrade if operated to far off level for to long and are costly ($1-2K) to replace.


- Mark0.

covered wagon

USA

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Posted: 12/15/21 09:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought mine new in 03 and did a lot to it. I don't want to go thru another again so this 'old thing' which is better than new won't be going anywhere except long camping trips as usual. When you buy something like this you need to commit yourself to getting after the work it will need. Often the harder the work, the more it pays and carries with it a greater degree of satisfaction that will only prompt you to find more. It's a slippery slope to be an owner with high standards as long as it's not a lost cause or a pile of neglect your buying.

ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 12/15/21 09:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sagging roof discussion.

https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f55/sinking-roof-87765.html

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 12/15/21 09:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:

These fiberglass campers can leak and have little damage as the structure is, afterall, fiberglass. Just some cleaning agents and a rag can fix most water leak damage.
You will want to look for anywhere there is wood to see if the wood is water damaged.


The structure actually isn't fiberglass. The structure is a sandwich with a thin skin of fiberglass on the outside, thin luan plywood on the inside, and wood glued in-between to take the shear forces. Foam too, but the foam is quite weak compared to the wood. Each of the elements by themselves is weak and flexible, if any of these elements fail, you have a collection of weak and flexible elements. They have to all be there, intact and still bonded, to be strong.

Water staining can be cleaned up, but if the wood rots due to a neglected leak, that area will be weak and flexible, and likely needs to be fixed.

On the hatch over the bed, my 9.6 had an 18 x 18 as was required by regulation for fire exit. You cannot exit a 12 x 12. My 10.4 has a side exit from the bed area through the drivers side slider, probably impossible to use but maybe if you were chased by a fire you'd figure out how.

Some are doubting the price of a 25 year old camper. There is a marked difference in price between a 25 year old stick camper and a 25 year old fiberglass camper, and not without reason.


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

jimh406

Western MT

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Posted: 12/15/21 09:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Clam shell TCs leak at the same place that other TCs leak. That is, they leak around lights, skylights, vents, etc. Once they get wet, they are just as bad as other TCs. Even fiberglass boats can leak around through hulls.

I think it would be possible to build up the low area though, but let's not pretend that clamshell fiberglass campers are perfect. Then, there is the major limitation of clamshells for some of us. That is, they have very limited space inside compared to a TC with slides.

If one design was perfect for everyone, there would be only one. [emoticon]


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Toyo M655 225/19.5 Gs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


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