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Old 05-03-2012, 02:47 PM   #11
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Hi David,

Welcome to this forum and to the fiberglass family. Forget the square footage vs money. What your buying is a great trailer built by Escape Trailer Industries. You will find Tammy and Rease accomodating and most helpful with your build. But most of all your getting a large fiberglass RV family if you so choose..to provide friendship and helpful advise as you enjoy your new RV. I suggest keeping things light and simple. Have the trailer built to fit your basic needs now. As first trailer owners refrain from purchasing every RV gadget that crosses your path. Unused storage is a good thing. Most of all... enjoy your beautiful state of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. See you out there.

David C.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:33 PM   #12
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

I do have the storage box on my 17B and find it useful, although it is a bit difficult to keep the tongue weight under the 350 lb limit on my RAV4.

As to running indefinitely, it would not be a problem with normal use, ie the furnace, LED lights, fan, etc but I also have a cell phone amplifier & router that draw around 2 amps 24/7 unless I don't have a cell signal, a 17" MacBookPro that draws close to 9 amps if I'm using it & the battery is down that I use 3-4 hours per day, and a iPhone dock that draws 3-4 amps @12V I run for a couple of hours per day. All in all, if I'm in the sun I'm usually back up to 100% by the middle of the day, but if camping in the shade I tend to draw out more than the system puts back in. The last time I stayed in the shade I was down to 85% by the end of the 4th day. (That was without the coffee pot described below).

I also have a 1000W sine wave inverter & have to watch how long I use it. I have a 600 watt coffee pot I use to make one mug of coffee a day. As long as I remember to shut it off once the coffee is brewed I'm usually back up to 100% by noon, but if I forget it can pull down the batteries real fast (it draws 60 amps @12V while powering the coffee pot).

Even though the time a toaster is on is fairly short, they draw quite a bit of power - not unusual to be 1200W or so. You will need a fairly large inverter to deal with that - I'd rather plan to toast when plugged or use one of the gas powered alternatives.

I don't carry a generator, and while I there were a few times it was hot enough to want to run the AC, if it was that hot I opted for a campground with utilities.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:01 PM   #13
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

I suggest ... the front storage box and a 2000i Honda and your troubles will be over. the gen will power lots, charge anything. It's portable and can be serviced during the off season.And with a gallon of gas you can rough it for a week at 7 hrs per 4.5 liters rain or shine. And you can use it at home puts out 13.5 amp max.$1800.00 on sale - $1200.00 reg CAD. And you can use a electric chain saw for fire wood vs gas. It's a Win..Win...

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Old 05-03-2012, 10:18 PM   #14
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

I think what one has to ask is what do you need electricity for, and is there an alternative to get you the same result.

Things like toasters, coffee makers, frying pans, kettles, crock pots, and almost any kitchen appliance short of a microwave, have a non-electric alternative that works quite well. Not only do you reduce your weight, you also reduce your reliance on electricity. And even with microwaves, it is real easy to get by without one.

Like David C. said, keep things light and simple. For those not used to camping, it is understandable that your reaction would be to bring all the luxuries of home, or at least many of them. One of the main ideas behind the design of the Escape trailer was to make it light, and you defeat this if loading it right back up with more weight.

Remember, your memories come not from what you bring with you, but from what you take back home.

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:03 PM   #15
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Welcome, David!

You might want to consider portable solar panels. I can't say how well they work as we do not have them yet but that's the plan. You can get them in 40W, for instance, put them in the tow vehicle to keep the weight out of the trailer, and not have any holes in the Escape roof. So that is what we are considering, just having bought our Escape. Can get two 40Ws or whatever. Zamp has portables.

The spray underneath is a great option that I wish we had. That said, you might want to consider that it is another 70-90 lbs.

People love the box. I have heard that there is trouble accessing batteries in other trailers. Batteries in the front box are easy to access so that is one big advantage. If you decide against the box, I understand that you can have a hatch put in at the front driver's side.

One thing I am already sooo glad we have and would not be without is the dual water heater.

Have fun!

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:50 PM   #16
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

I am sensing a lot of love for the dual water heater. From a cost perspective, not sure it would pay for itself. Or is it the fact that you don't need to always plan 10 minutes ahead for when you need hot water, or need to refill you propane tanks as often when connected to shore power? Let me know what I am missing here.

We definitely want to keep things as light, simple, and quiet as we can. That said, we have a couple of young kids and as Barry pointed out we will also need to get through the occasional rainy day with our sanity intact.

Jim, I am encouraged that is possible to run for as many as 4 days w/o recharging. We may not be able to squeeze out as much, but it is good to know what is possible. Agree that non-electric alternatives are the way to go whenever possible. Already rethinking the toaster.

Portable electronics, however, are things that we would have a harder time going without in the evening on extended trips. I would think we could use a couple of 12v to 20v converters. Or is it just easier to go with a decent inverter?

Jon, I am interested in learning more about your inverter. How do you have it wired to the battery and to devices? Assuming is stand-alone and not somehow connected inline to your AC electrical system, are you able to "jumper" it to an electrical outlet to power all of your outlets when not connected to shore power?
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:58 AM   #17
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Welcome David. Order the additional tail lights on both sides of the rear window. I ordered the solar system which works very well a good addition. The front box is another useful item to have. My 19ft is a 2010 we got in November. Last year we slept in it 44 nights. You will really like the trailer and the way it pulls.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:48 AM   #18
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

There was no storage box option when I got my trailer, and the dual 6V batteries are under the dinette seat, towards the front of the trailer. They are easy enough to access for the once or twice a year you need to, and in the future if I was to ever add the storage box, it would leave the space in the box for things that get used outdoors.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:51 AM   #19
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Hi David and welcome to the world of Escapes! We just got our 19 and really like it so far. We did not get the dual power water heater. We had one in our Casita and never used the electric side. Personally I do not think that is uses that much propane. In the morning when I get up I hit the switch to ignite the WH and 10 minutes later I am ready to go. I guess the key to using the WH is to turn it on and off only when needed. Propane only works just fine for us.

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Old 05-04-2012, 10:22 AM   #20
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

I didn't order the trailer with the inverter (although I believe Reace has done trailers with installed inverters - you might give them a call.) I added it afterwards, so the original battery to converter wiring installed by Escape was #10. Xantrex recommends #0 wire & a run less than 6' in their owner's manual (a PDF of the manual is available at their website). While my run was a bit longer, I don't ever use the inverter at full power, so I went with #0 wire.

While welding cable would have been less expensive, I purchased pre made cables with lengths, colors & terminations to my specifications from GenuinedealZ. They sell Boat Cable, which is very flexible. I also added a 150 Amp fuse & a 200 amp switch even though the ProWatt SW inverter manual states there is no input current draw when the inverter is off. Even with the fuse, I want to be able to shut off the connection between the batteries & inverter.

I eliminated the #10 wiring to the batteries & connected the converter & solar controller to the in trailer ends of the #0 wiring from the batteries before the 200 amp switch. Since the #0 wiring simply replaces the #10, the solar system still keeps the batteries charged even with both the 200 amp & the Escape installed switches off.

The inverter is in the under seat area where converter & water heater are located. Rather than adding a transfer switch for an already existing receptacle (which is available fairly inexpensively from Xantrex) I opted for a separate outlet I mounted in the sink wall above the rear bed (again, this is on a 17B). While I "could" make a dead man jumper to go between the dedicated inverter receptacle & the Escape installed receptacle 6" away, as an electrician I'm very much opposed to that type of wiring. If I wanted to power the entire trailer I'd add a transfer switch. You would still have to deal with shutting off the converter to prevent a loop, and the water heater (if you have the electric option) AC, etc to prevent overloading the inverter - a dedicated receptacle makes more sense in my situation.

Overall, it works well since my main use for the inverter is to brew a pot of coffee when I'm not hooked to shore power. I already have 12V to "what ever" power supplies for most of my portable equipment & camera battery chargers so I don't really use the inverter for much else other than occasionally charging a portable drill. I split dry camping with campgrounds with at least AC fairly evenly, so I generally have AC to run chargers.
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