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

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stupendous_man

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Posted: 12/10/21 12:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NRALIFR wrote:

From the pictures, the camper looks pretty nice for being almost 25 years old.

Considering how Bigfoot TC’s are made, I think it’s unlikely that’s evidence of water damage. If it was, I would expect to see some signs of water intrusion on the inside around the roof vent.

Any stains on the ceiling? Any sign of damage or cracking of the fiberglass shell on the outside?

The window seals you circled look like they’ve shrunk and pulled out. If they’re not torn, they may be able to be repaired, or just replaced. A glass guy could probably fix those.

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As far as I can tell, there's no damage to the exterior, but it he did mention it was knocked over onto a bush during a recent hurricane, which meant the front jacks had to be replaced. The interior looks good from the pictures he sent. It is pretty nice shape for the age, but others have pointed out, it seems highly priced. Given the current market, I would expect the resale value to hold, but what do you think a fair price would be?

NRALIFR wrote:

It’s gonna take more than a puddle of water on the roof of a fiberglass shell camper to make me think there’s water damage. There has to be some evidence inside if it’s there, either visible or smells.

Look everywhere, sniff everywhere. Remember, water runs downhill.

[emoticon][emoticon]


Thanks for the advice, the seller did say the roof was resealed yearly, but I'm going to go in there sniffing like a bloodhound. Could I also ask you for your opinion on the asking price?

Kayteg1 wrote:

Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't BigFoots build with fiberglass shells?
Water is not going to damage fiberglass, but still sagging should be carefully inspected.
I never get over the looks of "camper attached to AC".
Why manufacturers don't spend another $200 for low-profile AC ? [emoticon]


Yes, they are built with fiberglass, clam-shell style. He put it in himself, but it does look pretty silly, doesn't it. Not too far off from this:

[image]

Bedlam wrote:

Those hatches are known to fail due to fatigue and weathering but are readily available and cheaper than a Heki hatch. I would be more concerned with the window seals than the pool of water next to the hatch unless you see signs of water inside the roof. Look for water damage on the inside lower portion of the window framing to see if the windows are beginning to leak.


Do you mean the wall inside, under the window frame, or the bottom part of the actual black frame of the window? I had a similar seal problem on an old Tufport and it seeped some water during rain, although some have said these seals aren't as important as the caulking around the window. If you don't mind, could you also share what you think a fair sale price would be?

mkirsch wrote:

$10,500 is about $8000 too much for a 25 year old camper regardless of condition, let alone with a sagging roof and bad window seals. It better be covered in gold leaf for $10,500.


Fair point, it is really high, although unfortunately I'm starting to lose hope I could find such a deal on a fiberglass camper. I've been looking since June and ones of similar year and condition are asking for lots of cash - I saw a 1995 9'6" go for $13,000US in Canada two months ago. I guess I could always wait for the market to drop, but I'm set on skiing the rest of the winter out of a resort parking lot.

notsobigjoe

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Posted: 12/10/21 03:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You mention hurricanes means your south like me. I'm in central Florida and you could hit a RV dealership or a mobile repair guy with a golf ball hit in any direction. Have someone come and look at it. A couple hundred bucks at most. It doesn't look like water damage to me it looks like the camper is tipped to the rear. The window stuff is nothing to worry about as you can find them on amazon and eBay. Good luck sir!

Bedlam

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Posted: 12/10/21 03:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MSRP back then for them was about $14k and this should be in the $7.5-9k range now.

I would look on the inside walls for any bubbling or discoloration to indicate water leaks. I doubt the seller will allow any invasive inspections that could create additional problems.


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bighatnohorse

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Posted: 12/10/21 05:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It looks risky to me. A friends 2003 Bigfoot delaminated on the inside and failed due to hitting pot hole - insurance cashed him out for $10,000 - this was about a year ago - so there's an ball park valuation for you.

When the internal wood to fiberglass frame separates (delaminates) you will see a difference on the interior when the camper is on the truck and when it is on jacks. --- If the frame is damaged the flex will show up as a gap between cabinets or stove on the interior.

You'd need to see it on the truck bed - inspect the interior - and on jacks and really look hard for spaces opening up on the interior.

NRALIFR

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Posted: 12/10/21 05:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Regarding the asking price, I haven’t been looking for truck campers to buy recently, so I’m not really familiar with the used market right now. It would be very easy for me to say the sellers ask is just way out of line and I’d never pay that much etc etc. But, just doing a quick search for other BF 2500’s of about that age leads me to think that he’s not really out of line with his asking price.

Yes, his ask is higher than what he’ll accept, that’s a given. But when I’m trying to sell something like this, I always ask higher than I’ll take. I suspect he is, and will too. I absolutely would offer less than his ask, but how much less is going to be very dependent on what is available (both buyers and sellers) in the market at the time you are ready to part with your cash. I doubt he’s going to have to come down to $2500 though, unless there truly is water damage, or some as-yet undisclosed damage from being tipped over.

I will say this; it’s to the sellers credit that he disclosed the hurricane incident. Unless the other side looks drastically worse than the driver side making it just painfully obvious that it was on its side, I wouldn’t have suspected that. At the least, it tells me you’re dealing with an honest person. I’ve never owned a BF, but I do know they have always been highly regarded, especially back at the time that camper was made. I’m not quite as familiar with the brand since it’s ownership changed.

At this point, I’d just say that it’s worth taking a closer look at. If you don’t see any signs of damage or cracking in the outer fiberglass shell, then start looking inside at all the wall and ceiling panels. Those are all thin wood paneling, and they readily soak up water if there’s a leak. Especially at the cut edges. If water makes it to the edge of the panel (like around the roof vent penetration) it will soak it up like a sponge. It doesn’t have to go on very long before it leaves a stain, and the panel starts to soften and rot. Stains, rusty staples, wavy surface appearance, and soft spots are all classic tells of a leak.

The roof vent cover over the bed appears to be the exact same as the one on my camper. The cover is some kind of plastic, or fiber reinforced plastic, and they crack with age. I think replacements are still available. I can tell you that the fridge vent cover has been replaced, as it says “Camco” on the side. I think the two plumbing vents on the rear are missing their covers. They probably both had some that looked like this at one point.

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* This post was edited 12/18/21 08:58pm by an administrator/moderator *

Killingsworth

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Posted: 12/12/21 07:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would say the seller's asking price is at the upper end of the going rate, the camper is 25 years old, you have concerns/worries about possible water intrusion and its had a go with a hurricane. My opinion, if it were me, would be to pass. IF this was a "great"deal money wise, then maybe I would really consider it.
I am only on my second truck camper, and learned the hard way on my first. It had water intrusion problems at the overhead vent and was almost impossible to tell from just looking, I wasn't as touchy feely as I should have been and I paid the price.
I would walk away from this one and continue the search, there are more out there and will be plenty more once we get back to what we think of as normal.

Kayteg1

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Posted: 12/12/21 10:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am surprised how little BigFoot owners participate in this topic.
When price looks high to me as well, the market changes and I assume OP did his research.
In my years of RVing I restored several different RV and all restoration were great success. But for all projects I was seeking solid base.
So it was Airstream, Prevost, Barth. All RV with solid frame and regardless 30 or 50 years of age - they generated lot of pleasure for me and later buyers.
When I never owned BF, the fiberglass shell is solid base for restoration. Long way from "toothpicks frame with skinny plywood slapped over to hold it" lot of other constructions present.
OP good luck with this or other purchase.





notsobigjoe

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Posted: 12/13/21 06:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

I am surprised how little BigFoot owners participate in this topic.
When price looks high to me as well, the market changes and I assume OP did his research.
In my years of RVing I restored several different RV and all restoration were great success. But for all projects I was seeking solid base.
So it was Airstream, Prevost, Barth. All RV with solid frame and regardless 30 or 50 years of age - they generated lot of pleasure for me and later buyers.
When I never owned BF, the fiberglass shell is solid base for restoration. Long way from "toothpicks frame with skinny plywood slapped over to hold it" lot of other constructions present.
OP good luck with this or other purchase.


The only time I've ever been in a fiberglass shell camper was a northern lite and it was well built and beautiful. I agree with all you said because I too do my own work and am in the middle of rebuilding "so to speak" my lance 1181. It is also a hell of built machine. When members say that wood is present in the frame what does that mean? Is it so they have something to attach the inside walls and ceiling to? Or do they actually incorporate the wood in the pour of the mold. I'm asking because I don't know. Realizing they aren't going to drill holes in the shell...
Thanks, Joe

Kayteg1

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Posted: 12/13/21 09:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From what I read in the past about fiberglass shell campers, they are build with the same idea boats are. To attach internal walls or cabinets, they glue pieces of wood to the shell and whey the wood can rot, small pieces should be easy to replace. For good DIYer that is as dealing with epoxy is not for everyone.

notsobigjoe

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Posted: 12/13/21 04:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

From what I read in the past about fiberglass shell campers, they are build with the same idea boats are. To attach internal walls or cabinets, they glue pieces of wood to the shell and whey the wood can rot, small pieces should be easy to replace. For good DIYer that is as dealing with epoxy is not for everyone.


Yeah, I worked at a marina in Endicott NY a very long time ago and Bayliner had an enormous problem with just that. The wood would rot but impossible to get to because it was molded in. I helped do several floors during that time and wouldn't do it again. Back in those days everything wasn't disposable and you fixed what you bought. I still live in that time period! [emoticon]

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