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Old 05-04-2012, 04:31 PM   #21
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

I would get the dual water heater..without question... The how many days on batteries that's is really subjective.. but my guess is at least 3 absolutely no problem..a small generator is probably a good thing.. we got one and used it.. also there's the added benefit of at home if you have a power outage you can run your firdge or small appliances..

there wasn't the storage box when we initially got ours so we bought a roof-top cargo box for our SUV and it worked out really well.

we got the extra insulation & dual pane widows as well..

hope this helps
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:43 PM   #22
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

This has given us plenty to think about. I'll summarize where we are at today as far as the options discussed on this thread, and will update where we end up in a few weeks when we finalize our order. I feel that we have already made the most important decision by getting an Escape - the rest is gravy.

By the end of this season, we will have well over 50 days of experience and a much better picture of what we truly need and can go without. Although it would be nice to have everything, it is also good to leave some things on the table. Besides, if we had it all, I wouldn't have any fun dreaming up what to get next!

o Extra insulation / double-pane windows / spray foam insulation - yes
o Dual 6V batteries - yes
o LED interior / exterior lights - yes
o External storage box - yes
Although $700 is a lot for a box. Has anyone added a conventional truck cargo box up front?
Our bike rack upgrade will be used for bikes, so we cannot connect a box to the hitch in back.

o Generator - no
Besides the cost, I would prefer to camp quietly. (The kids make enough noise.)
o Solar panel - no
But may pre-wire for future upgrade. Will also look into portable options.
In a pinch, hooking up my 4Runner to top things off seems a reasonable - and significantly cheaper - fallback option.
o Dual water heater - no
Upgrading would not alter where we go or how we camp. But not upgrading may encourage shorter showers!

o Inverter - maybe
Thanks for the info Jon! I need to think about the tools and electronics more. Hopefully I can source converters for everything.
o Additional brake/running lights - probably not
I like the safety factor, but I hope to do little traveling after dark when these would be most useful.

Up next - customizations!
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:04 PM   #23
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Well, you got ALL that right, but do you have a name for it?

"Origami"

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Old 05-04-2012, 10:26 PM   #24
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

The only comment I'd make on your list is to reconsider the solar if you are going to do the inverter without a generator. Depending on the size & load, an inverter can pull down your batteries in an amazingly short time. The advantage of the solar option is once the sun comes up you have hours of quiet recharging.

If you are going to depend on the tow vehicle to recharge the batteries I suggest at least a #10 (and preferable #8) wiring from the tow vehicle battery to the trailer batteries. If there is too much voltage drop in the run from the tow alternator to the trailer batteries, even if you have an oversized alternator you won't get much in the way of charge current.

Sounds like you are putting together a great trailer! Hope to meet you along the way...
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:35 PM   #25
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

David

If you are going to put bikes at the back of the trailer then they could block the trailer tail and brake lights. Escape will add an extra set up high for only $85 which are clearly visible above the bikes when they are attached.

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Old 05-04-2012, 11:02 PM   #26
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye

If you are going to depend on the tow vehicle to recharge the batteries I suggest at least a #10 (and preferable #8) wiring from the tow vehicle battery to the trailer batteries. If there is too much voltage drop in the run from the tow alternator to the trailer batteries, even if you have an oversized alternator you won't get much in the way of charge current.
I had #10 ground run which added $25 to the installation.

I have a 1000W Honda generator which I bought after a couple years. You have to consider that you need to store it securely when away from camp, carry fuel for it, run it every couple of months to keep it lubricated. But, it doesn't depend on the sun. The Honda runs quiet and only takes an hour or two to top up the batteries ( you could do it faster by connecting the leads directly to the battery instead of plugging the trailer into it - read the manual that comes with the Honda ). All that said, I'm not trying to run an air conditioner.

The portable solar system also needs to be stored securely, so leaving camp for the day while the batteries charge probably isn't a good idea.

I don't know the cost, but I'd probably order the trailer wired for solar which would also help on resale. Not that you would ever sell it. And, then I'd buy a Honda generator.

One thing a lot of people don't realize is that although the fridge and furnace run on propane, they require electricity to work. The furnace requires power for the fan and the fridge also requires a small amount to work.

baglo





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Old 05-05-2012, 12:27 AM   #27
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Good point about the higher brake lights being useful with the bike rack. Did not think of that.

And I have made a note of going with heavier wiring when I get the electric brakes installed in my 4Runner. Have not been able to get to the towing section yet.

It is a shame that everything needs to be locked up, secured with cables, or bolted down. I always assume that cables and locks only deter opportunistic thieves; if someone is determined to take something, they will get it.

When away from the trailer, do most people secure laptops and other desirable items in their tow vehicle, or just stow things out of sight in their trailers? Or with common sense, is theft not much of an issue? I did not see a security box option
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:17 AM   #28
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

I guess precautions depend where you are camping.

It's only recently, after reading various forums, that I started locking the door at night.

At camp, I generally put the generator in the RAV or inside the trailer if we are going to be away ( or leave it at home if I don't expect to use it ). I probably have the Mac with me ( which doesn't make it any more secure ). The BBQ is likely in view, or maybe tucked on the far side of the picnic table. Chairs, butane stove, propane lamp might be moved to the seat of the picnic table, rather than left on top.

I've not had anything go missing, but I haven't camped in a Detroit Wall Mart lot yet.

I would suggest that, if you are camped next to a group of teens celebrating grad, that you not keep a cooler full of beer under the trailer.

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Old 05-05-2012, 02:14 AM   #29
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

o External storage box - yes
Although $700 is a lot for a box. Has anyone added a conventional truck cargo box up front?
Our bike rack upgrade will be used for bikes, so we cannot connect a box to the hitch in back.

Yep, had a truck box. But when the Escape box became available, I made the change. Here are 2 pictures of each box taken during the install of the new Escape box. At the same time I had the added lights installed. I post a picture of the lights in a new post (each post has a limit of 2 pictures)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg front.jpg (27.3 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg side.jpg (27.2 KB, 30 views)
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:16 AM   #30
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

And here are the added lights, a very good addition!
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