For sale: 2005 Bigfoot 30MH29SL -- $29,900


Our Bigfoot parked near our home
Our 2005 Bigfoot 30MH29SL before our trip. (Note the old Sellwood Bridge.)

We bought this motorhome in early 2015 and used it for a 17,500-mile cross-countrytrip that concluded in June 2016. For fifteen months, this was our home. We had a great experience, and that's largely because this is such a wonderful rig. (If you're curious, you can read about our adventures at our travel blog, Far Away Places.)

Now that we're back in Portland, we're looking to sell so that we can put the proceeds toward a beach house.

This page should contain all the info you need to determine whether this Bigfoot is right for you. If you have any questions or want to set up a time to tour the RV in person, drop us a line at bigfoot@jdroth.com.

Photo Gallery

To start, here's a photo gallery showing the rig we're selling. You can click any photo to open a larger version in a new window. (For videos of this RV, scroll to the "detailed info" section of this page.)

Front view of our Bigfoot 30MH29SL
Front view of our Bigfoot 30MH29SL

Front-right view of our Bigfoot 30MH29SL
Front-right view of our Bigfoot 30MH29SL

Rear-left view of our Bigfoot 30MH29SL
Rear-left view of our Bigfoot 30MH29SL

Control panel for RV systems
Bigfoot's control panel for RV systems (that generator reading is NOT current)

current mileage
Current mileage on our motorhome

The Bigfoot is easy to drive
The Bigfoot is easy to drive, but you probably shouldn't let a 7-year-old behind the wheel

Wide view of the interior
Looking back at the main living area from the chassis

Looking at the living area toward the chassis
Looking at the living area toward the chassis (slide is in)

The bedroom
The bedroom features a full queen bed with space on either side to walk

This RV has a passable shower
This RV has a passable shower but we almost never used it. (This was storage space for us.)

Now let's run down the specs on this rig.


Essential Info

This is a 2005 Bigfoot 30MH29SL 29-foot Class C RV. It's built on a Ford E-450 gas engine chassis. The motorhome has roughly 54,342 miles on it.

Our Bigfoot includes one slide-out, which we had serviced in August 2015. It includes an LPG furnace and an electric air conditioner, a gas generator, electric microwave, LPG range, and dual-energy hot water tank and refrigerator.

One reason we chose this motorhome over others is that it had ample storage for a long trip. With most RVs, you have to cram stuff into corners. Not with this Bigfoot. There are lots of drawers and cupboards inside, plus there are several large basement storage areas outside.

One of the best features of the Bigfoot 30MH29SL: tons of basement storage
One of the best features of the Bigfoot 30MH29SL: tons of basement storage

Outside, there's also a manually-retractable awning, manual stabilizing jacks, and a nice little stereo for when you need tunes around the campfire.

Here's the "recreational vehicle specification nameplate" from inside the motorhome:

RV specification nameplate
RV Specification Nameplate [click to open larger version in new window]

And here's the motorhome weight info:

RV weight info
RV Weight Info [click to open larger version in new window]

Here's a capsule summary of our experience with this motorhome, including major maintenance. (For more detailed info -- including videos -- scroll down to the bottom of this page.)

  • We purchased the Bigfoot 30MH29SL on 17 January 2015 with 36,700 miles on it.
  • On 25 March 2015, we left for our road trip. The RV had 36,966 miles on it.
  • On 27 April 2015, we changed the oil ourselves in Palm Springs, California. Bigfoot was at 38,652 miles.
  • On 17 July 2015, the entire engine had to be replaced in Plankinton, South Dakota. The motorhome had 43,059 miles on it at the time. The new engine works great. We've had no issues with it in 11,000+ miles.
  • On 29 August 2015 in Rochester, New York, we got an oil change, new air filter, and the slide-out repaired. The RV had 46,196 miles on it.
  • On 15 October 2015 at the world's worst Camping World in Savannah, Georgia, we replaced all four brake pads. The RV had 47,575 miles on it.
  • On 26 May 2016 in Natchez, Mississippi, we changed the oil ourselves at 50,754 miles.
  • On 24 June 2016, we replaced the left-rear-outside tire and the right-rear-inside tire. The RV had 53,810 miles on it. (Our records show that the previous owner replaced all six tires at 24,313 miles, so the remaining four tires have about 30,000 miles on them right now.)

We kept records for all of this maintenance, plus we have some documentation from the previous owner. We've also put together a package of additional info in an attempt to answer as many questions as possible.

  • Here's the 2005 Bigfoot sales brochure [2.3mb PDF], which includes specs for this motorhome. (You're looking for the 30MH29SL column on the far right of the spec chart that starts on page six.)
  • Here's a current CARFAX report on this vehicle [861k PDF]. Note that the info in this report is very incomplete, which makes me doubt the reliability of CARFAX in general.

We have manuals for most (all?) of the appliances and systems, such as generator, slide-out, inverter, water heater, and so on. We also have a printed copy of the RV owners manual, including lots of notes on our experiences with repairs and maintenance.

Everyone wants to know what kind of gas mileage an RV gets. Most sellers give a bullshit answer like, "I don't know...maybe twelve miles per gallon." They really do know but don't want to say. We kept detailed records on our trip, and I can tell you that in 17,044.7 miles logged, we used 2202.59 gallons of gas. That means this motorhome averages 7.7 miles per gallon. This remained remarkably consistent throughout the trip. On our best tank, we averaged 9.0 miles per gallon. On our worst tank, we averaged 6.9 miles per gallon. Most of the time, we were between 7.6 and 7.8 mpg.


Valuation

Based on our experience with this motorhome, we believe it's worth about $35,000. To check our estimates, we visited the NADA Guides website to check its valuation estimate. (You can follow that link to run the numbers yourself.)

Without entering any of the options -- assuming this were a base model without air-conditioning, etc. -- NADA Guides says a 2005 Bigfoot 30MH29SL with 54,342 miles in average condition is worth between $28,750 and $34,672.

RV value
Estimated value of our RV

Because we'd like to sell this soon, we're pricing this vehicle near the low end of that estimate: $29,900.


Detailed Info

We bought this 2005 Bigfoot 30MH29SL on 17 January 2015 with the idea that we'd make a three-month trip across the U.S. before selling it again. We chose a Bigfoot RV because they offered great quality but weren't the expensive top end like Lazy Daze or Born Free. After looking at a couple of Bigfoots in the Portland area that had issues, we chose this one because it was in excellent shape and had been cared for.

Here's an 11-minute video I made during our pre-purchase inspection at All RV and Marine:


When we bought the RV, it had a leaky roof. Just what every new owner fears, right? We took the rig to Rose City RV Service and Restoration, where they repaired the leak, performed other minor maintenance, and then gave us a crash-course in how RVs work. Here's a 14-minute video that shows more of our Bigfoot's inner workings:


After two months prepping for our journey, we left Portland on 25 March 2015. We meandered through California, Arizona, and Colorado. Buy June, we'd made it to Montana, where we cut east across the Dakotas.

In eastern South Dakota, the engine gave out. We chose to spend $7751.39 on a brand-new engine rather than repair the old one (or purchase a refurbished one). The new engine was installed on 17 July 2015 by Overweg Repair in Plankinton, South Dakota. I've contacted the shop that did the repair, and the owner is happy to chat with anyone who has questions about it.

A brand-new engine!
A brand-new engine for Bigfoot!

We continued our trip through the Great Lakes region, then south to Indiana and Ohio and West Virginia. After moving to New York and New Jersey, we decided we were ready for a break. What was meant to be a three-month trip had already lasted six months. We spent last winter in Savannah, Georgia where the motorhome was in secure storage.

At the end of March 2016, we began our trip back to Portland. It took us three months to wind our way through the southeastern United States, then cut from Colorado through Wyoming and Idaho back to Oregon. We returned home on 29 June 2016.

Here's the bottom line: If your mother wanted to drive this RV cross country for a couple of months, I'd happily let her do it. I'd feel confident that it'd treat her well.


Adventure Photos

Finally, here's a gallery of photos showing our Bigfoot 30MH29SL in locations around the U.S. We hope this gives you an idea of some of the adventures you can have in it! (Click any photo to open a larger version in a new window.)

Cruising through the redwood forests in northern California
Cruising through the redwood forests in northern California

Camping outside Yosemite National Park
Camping outside Yosemite National Park

In the desert near Monument Valley, Utah
In the desert near Monument Valley, Utah

All alone outside Sun Valley, Idaho
All alone outside Sun Valley, Idaho

Descending from the campsite above into Sun Valley
The scariest drive of our trip - descending into Sun Valley

Parked on the prairie overlooking the Badlands of South Dakota
Parked on the prairie overlooking the Badlands of South Dakota

In the forested hills of West Virginia
In the forested hills of West Virginia

Spending the weekend at a vineyard near Niagara Falls
Spending the weekend at a vineyard near Niagara Falls

Squeezed onto a wooded hillside outside Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Squeezed onto a wooded hillside outside Tahlequah, Oklahoma

That's it. I think this page gives you a pretty good idea of the motorhome we're selling and what you can do with it. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. You can reach us at bigfoot@jdroth.com. Thanks!