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Old 05-03-2012, 12:03 AM   #1
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Soon-to-be Escapee

My wife Cindy and I put a deposit on a 19' Escape this week and are counting down the days until it is available in June.

I am calling it our "Escape Pad". We'll see if the name sticks - my wife will either need to come up with a better name or stop rolling her eyes!

We came across Escape less than 2 weeks ago and have been immersing ourselves in the forum every day since. After seeing a 19' trailer a few hours from us we were hooked. Thanks Bill and Val!

We are in the process of finalizing our options in the next few weeks, and will be posting questions - especially about modifications - as soon as we get through what already exists. This is our first trailer, so everything is new to us. The posts have really helped to get a sense of our options and what we need to think about.

Having plunked down a deposit, it seemed like we should take a break from reading, officially join the forum, and say "hi".

David
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:09 AM   #2
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Welcome, David. You can rest assured you made yourselves a wonderful decision there.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:52 AM   #3
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

You're going to have a great time.. hope you find the forum a great source of information.. enjoy
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:58 AM   #4
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Thanks for the welcome. After looking at several different brands of trailers and reviewing feature sets, layouts, and quality - we are pretty sure we will be very happy with our choice.

Not having owned a trailer before, the hard part is trying to get a sense of how we will use it - what options will become important to us down the road.

Right now, we are applying "if in doubt, get it" as a general rule of thumb. For example, we are going with the thermal windows and extra insulation. We are also considering the spray underside insulation to keep us cozy and using the trailer over a longer season. Opting for LED bulbs over incandescent also appears to be a practical choice.

Other options are harder to for us to evaluate. For example, how useful are solar panels to users who would spend about half their stays connected to shore power? For 1 night off the grid vs. a long weekend?

We think we will spend roughly half of our time connected to power, half without, with average spans of 2-3 days at a time at any one destination. We do not want to use a noisy generator as we can forego A/C when we want get away from it all. Does some sort of solar option become necessary for the basics - just to keep the lights on, furnace blowing, and fridge cool? We wish to avoid strict rationing of power.

What are the "most have" options that people would recommend for a family of 4 and a mixed camping style, e.g. nothing extreme?

I am interested in how others use their Escapes and when the need for options such as solar really kick in.

David
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:29 AM   #5
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Hi: David R...WELCOME to the Fiberglass Flu. It's really more of an Addiction!!!
Our list of "must haves" would include a dual fuel hot water heater. Use the electric when plugged to the current bush, and your propane when off the grid. I would certainly get solar panels vs. a generator too. Power requirements are in direct proportion to the personal entertainment devices carried. Even a campfire will only entertain for so long!!!
I tend to look at the fact that some options are best added while the trailer is being built...usually the major ones. Alf
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:08 AM   #6
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Welcome! As to options, I too ordered just about every one of them. I found combination of the solar panel, dual 6V batteries & LED lighting lets me stay unplugged for at least 4 days. Probably could have gone more, but that's the longest I've stayed in one place.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:15 AM   #7
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

You should consider the exterior storage box, very useful. And dual 6-volt batteries.

Rick
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:57 AM   #8
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Thanks for the suggestions. We are adding the dual 6V batteries. We will need to recharge laptops and cell phones, power a portable music player for our iPod, and occasionally use a toaster. No TV or microwave, or other appliances (unless we read of something really useful).

Right now, options such as solar, dual water heater, storage box are on the bubble.

We are trying to keep a mindset of traveling as light as practical, while not having to severely limit our options of where we stay and how we use the trailer on long weekends.

For those without solar, how many nights can you go without needing to plug in - just one? Is it on your list of next upgrades, or is it not missed?

Same question for those without the storage bin. Are you able to make due with the rear passenger-side storage compartment, or would you gladly pay $700 for a storage box to hold your hoses, leveling boards, and camp equipment?

David
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:41 AM   #9
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

David, with the dual 6V batteries, you will be good to boondock for at least 4 nights. If you ever needed you could add solar later. I mostly boondock, and have had the thought of solar in the back of my mind for 3 years, yet have not had the need for it. I don't have LED lighting yet either.

I have also had in the back of my mind the option to buy a 1kW gen set for topping up batteries, as these are very quiet units. I really have had no need for it.

Some of this will depend on your intended usage too. Regardless of weather, we are rarely in our trailer from 8AM to 8PM, mostly cooking and hanging out in the living room if we are around the trailer during this time. (I just realized how much definition is lent to the term 'living room' when it is in the great outdoors)

Ditto on the dual fuel water heater, and the insulation and thermal windows. Both good choices. The extra insulation will keep the heater running way less, which is one of the biggest battery loads, plus they are not all that quiet either.

JON, with the solar panels, and the dual 6V, would you not be able to go almost indefinitely? I know you say you use an inverter probably more than the norm. How much of your load do you think goes through the inverter?

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Old 05-03-2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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Re: Soon-to-be Escapee

Hi David

A lot of what you need in a trailer is relevant to your camping style. If you come from a background of tenting and move up to a trailer then just having lights and a hard shell is pure luxury and you'd probably hardly use the battery. But for you, never having a trailer before, you will find you will have to adjust and economize somewhat compared to being at home and might find that you use the batteries more than expected when boondocking.

We just moved up to a new Escape having had an older one for the last three years. We went with the dual 6v batteries, solar panel, thermal windows with extra insulation and LED lights. Our old trailer had just a single 12v battery, single pane windows and no solar. We found that when camping in the shoulder season we were having to top up our battery every second day with our generator. Having the solar for us is pure joy as one never really has to think about power and the generator can be left at home. I think whether or not you need solar depends on how much you use the trailer facilities. You mentioned that there was 4 of you so I'm assuming there is 2 kids evolved. Depending on age you may be hosing them off with the outside shower (excellent option if you have kids or dogs that need to be hosed off from time to time), having to entertain them on rainy days ect. and when you start using the pump, inverters and the like the battery runs down pretty quickly. If you were just using the lights at night and the pump the odd time then you would have no use for solar with dual 6v. You also mentioned in one post that you would like to use a toaster via batteries. For this you would have to use a very large inverter and this draw would run your batteries down big time. You'd be better off getting one of the toasters that work on a camp stove, they work great and are less than $10. Also one thing to remember is that when the trailer is in tow the vehicle is charging the battery as you drive.

If you still are unsure about solar then you could also have the trailer prewired for solar and add it at a later date if you find that you need it. The panels are always coming down in price as technology improves.

I note that you are from Oregon. You guys are spoiled with your excellent state parks and facilities and you may find as you travel further afield that the best campsites have no hookups and you end up using your batteries more and more. I know here in BC 99.9% of our provincial camp sites have no hookups but they sure are in some beautiful areas!

One thing for sure, as others have said, you'll love your trailer and you made the right choice with Escape. Reace, Tammy and the staff at Escape will look after you not only during the ordering and delivery process but well into the future. Like I said we're on our second one and loving it.

Good luck with your decisions.

Barry

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