Going to the Auto Show to research TVs - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-08-2014, 05:04 PM   #1
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Going to the Auto Show to research TVs

This week, weather permitting, I will be going to the Philly Auto Show to try out some potential tow vehicles for an Escape 19, 21 or 5.0 TA.

Couple of things I am considering. One is how easy/hard they are to get in and out of as I have mild arthritis. So, I think some SUVs and trucks may be too high for me. The other is the towing capability. While I have learned from this and other forums that several factors enter into this, I know that the GVWR of the trailer is an important one. The Escapes above range from 4000 to 4500 lbs. According to some threads here, they recommend a TV capable of pulling 5,000 lbs. but I am wondering if that is enough for the new 21 since I think you are supposed to stay at 80% of GVWR which would be OK for the 19 but not the 21? I would prefer an SUV if I'm going to pull a trailer vs. the 5.0 which I know requires a truck.

Another thing to look at, I am hearing, is the height of the walls of the truck bed to get clearance when turning with the 5.0. I couldn't find a spec for this on the ETI site. The reasons I am considering the 5,0 is that I have heard they are easier to hitch for someone like me and I really liked Tim and Julie's (onetim) that I toured at the Copake rally last autumn.

I plan to use an RV for touring more than camping. I want to go on some long trips across the US and Canada and may even be full-timing in a few years. So it is important to me to have something comfortable to tour around in even when I am not towing. (I am also still considering a small motorhome as an alternative)

Even though I may be buying a used TV rather than new when the time comes, I like to try things out at a show where all the vehicles are in one place and they can't sell so they don't hassle you as much. This way, I can eliminate some that just don't suit me.

Any recommendations for my TV search at the Show?

Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:47 PM   #2
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Rosemary,
Let me voice my opinion, FWIW. Any SUV or 1/2 ton truck with 5000/500 lb capacity with class III or IV hitch is adequate for any Escape trailer. The 80% rule is not written and is thrown around frequently. As long as the gross weight is less than the gross weight specified you will be fine, some say the 80% is built in to the specifications.
I'd vote for backup camera accessory as well as towing package as being required. Built in brake controller would be nice. Disc brakes all around is good. With these 4 items I'd next consider the economy. Some larger V-6's are as powerful as some of the smaller V-8's. With everything equal then look at price and aesthetics.
As far as the new 5th TA requirements, ETI should be able to guide you there.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:52 PM   #3
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Let us know how it goes for you Rosemary. I was going to the auto show here in Portland today... but, not with 6-10" of snow on the ground and freezing rain on the way.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:52 PM   #4
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:22 PM   #5
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Hi Rosemary
ETI asked for and I provided the measurements of the bed and tailgate of my truck, I presume to ensure they raise the 5.0TA's body as much as needed for my order. This is something they require on the build sheet. I was concerned as I have a newer F150 4x4 with the heavy duty payload package which raises up the body even more then normal. I've heard no comments back from ETI so I'm taking it as a go. As they haven't finished one of the TA's as yet max truck bed height is still anyone's guess. So you could go with a Mid or Full size truck and be okay.

As you are buying the TV to fit whatever trailer you end up with, I'd suggest you decided on the trailer first. You could be in the market for anything from a small SUV to a full size truck.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:34 PM   #6
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Yea, I received a message from Kim a couple of weeks ago wanting to know about my truck and the bed height. Told her, I haven't bought it yet! ETI wants the info in March for my build. Guess I'm going to have to go shopping when the snow melts....
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamstress View Post
Couple of things I am considering...
The other is the towing capability.
I completely understand the idea of going to a show to see everything at once (and especially to check how easy there are to get into, which you can't tell from websites), but I don't think you'll find any useful towing information there. Sales people rarely know anything useful, so unless the show vehicles have their owner's manuals in them (which is very unlikely) you won't find your answers there. Well, you'll get answers, but they are likely to be incorrect. Of course the brochures will have some information, but likely less than the web sites of the manufacturers.

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Originally Posted by Seamstress View Post
While I have learned from this and other forums that several factors enter into this, I know that the GVWR of the trailer is an important one.
Actually, it doesn't matter at all. What matters is how much your trailer will actually weigh. That's the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), not the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This isn't just a detail of terminology - it is meaningful.

Let's say a trailer weighs 3,000 pounds empty, and has a GVWR of 4,000 lb, allowing you to carry up to half a ton of options, water, and your stuff. If another trailer also weighs 3,000 pounds empty but has oversized axle and frame and thus the ability to handle up to 7,000 pounds (a GVWR of 7000 lb), you don't need to pack an extra ton and half of stuff; if you carry the same half ton of stuff it still has a loaded weight of 4000 lb. The tow vehicle cares how much it is actually pulling, not how much that trailer is allowed to weigh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamstress View Post
The Escapes above range from 4000 to 4500 lbs. According to some threads here, they recommend a TV capable of pulling 5,000 lbs. but I am wondering if that is enough for the new 21 since I think you are supposed to stay at 80% of GVWR which would be OK for the 19 but not the 21?
Reace normally sets the GVWR at a reasonable level, choosing suspension specs for good ride and handling, instead of just putting in the stiffest suspension and getting a stupidly high GVWR like some manufacturers. That makes Escape GVWR values more useful for planning than some brands. Having said that, I don't think most Escape 15' owners need to allow for 3500 lb of towing capacity.

ETI has already added an extra margin of capacity by advising 5,000 pounds of capacity for a trailer which will not (unless you overload it) weigh more than 4,500 pounds; I see no reason to add that margin again by applying the entirely arbitrary 80% rule.

I think an excessively high tow vehicle requirement is sometimes set for one of three reasons:
  1. owners are expected to overload their trailers (beyond GVWR)
  2. owners incorrectly assess their vehicle loading, and think they have the full rated trailer capacity when in fact they have cut into it significantly by carrying too much in the tow vehicle
  3. the hitch weight rating is usually fixed in proportion to the trailer weight rating (hitch at 10% of trailer), and specifying a 5000 lb trailer weight rating (for instance) is one way to get a 500 lb hitch weight rating (in this case), to accommodate trailers which have a high fraction of their weight on the tongue
If you load the trailer properly and consider all of the vehicle loading limits, not just the trailer weight rating by itself, none of the above apply to you.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I'd vote for backup camera accessory as well as towing package as being required. Built in brake controller would be nice. Disc brakes all around is good. With these 4 items I'd next consider the economy. Some larger V-6's are as powerful as some of the smaller V-8's. With everything equal then look at price and aesthetics.
As far as the new 5th TA requirements, ETI should be able to guide you there.
Sorry for the delayed response, family emergency to attend to.

Jim, your opinion is always welcome. Definitely want the backup camera and fuel economy will be a major factor. Any decision on a fifth wheel will be dependent on finding a pickup I can handle and is comfortable. Thanks.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Let us know how it goes for you Rosemary. I was going to the auto show here in Portland today... but, not with 6-10" of snow on the ground and freezing rain on the way.
Will do, Donna. It's snowing again here and with 100,000 homes STILL without power since last Tuesday.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Hi Rosemary
So you could go with a Mid or Full size truck and be okay.

As you are buying the TV to fit whatever trailer you end up with, I'd suggest you decided on the trailer first. You could be in the market for anything from a small SUV to a full size truck.
Thanks, I agree, but I am not near to making a decision about the trailer so exploring SUVs and pickups will help with that. I could be happy with any of the three. The fifth-wheel, however, will depend on finding a pickup suitable to me. If I can't that one, will be eliminated, thus the early exploration of TVs.
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