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Old 02-14-2011, 04:00 AM   #1
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We're Newbies

Hi Escapees!

We've just discovered the wonderful world of Escape Trailers and have enjoyed reading our way through the forums. Sure sounds like they are a good product. We were looking at ordering a new 15, but then saw Norm's ad for the older 17A. We're retired/semi-retired and look forward to getting back into camping after dealing with health issues for the past 3 or 4 years. Our previous camping experience was in tents, but the old knees and back won't take the groundwork anymore. Any words of wisdom would be welcome. Must have options? Does size count? Does age matter? ...for trailers, of course!! Also, are they easy to set up, back-up etc. as I expect to be on a sharp learning curve about it all.

Cheers,
Pam & Doug
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:19 AM   #2
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Re: We're Newbies

Pam and Doug:

Welcome to the Escape Forum!

I retired in May of 2009 and it was while we were tent camping in July of 2009 that my wife asked me if I would consider getting a small trailer to make getting up a bit easier. I did some digging on Internet and on August 4, 2009 we ordered our Escape 13. You can hear the full story on the "Meet the Escapees" section of the forum where you can also hear other people's stories. While we have been camping with our little trailer for only about one year we have been delighted with it and have already been out once this year. See the link below:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brian_v...059614/detail/

I think the options and size are quite an individual thing. We ordered the smallest size (13 foot at the time) because we have a small car and wanted a trailer which it could tow. A small trailer is already quite a step up from a tent. It is wonderful having a small "home away from home" that can go almost anywhere in any season and in any type of weather. With nice beds, a kitchen, running hot and cold water, a furnace, fridge, what more could you ask? Larger units give more room and the luxury of a shower, but we have found the excellent state parks in Washington and Oregon have good showers, and we have a porta potti in its own cabinet which gets us through the nights, and it works just fine. I don't think age is any barrier to owning a trailer as long as you are mobile. Setting up and taking down a trailer is pretty straight forward and not hard work.

Brian
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:45 AM   #3
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Re: We're Newbies

Hi: dpsmith...Welcome to our little "Glass" corner.
The biggest factor in buying used is condition...not age. Every part of these trailers can be repaired or replaced. Another big consideration is the high resale value. So if you buy used it's almost new price should hold true for the second buyer etc. I spoke to a former used Trillium Trailer owner who sold after two years for what he paid!!! If you buy used and find that your missing something important it is usually easy to order new and resell.
That said I'm biased!!!
As for set up nothing could be easier. Park it, unhook it, level it, put out the awning, mat, & chairs and open a beer. 15 min. or less. The more times you do it the better. Sometimes I can even convince my wife to open the beer for me!!! Alf
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:31 AM   #4
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Re: We're Newbies

Hi Pam and Doug. Welcome aboard.

As Alf mentioned, as long as it was well cared for, I would have no reservation buying an older Escape trailer. Besides, it really is not that old.

I too come from a tenting background, in fact I still use a tent in the backcountry where the trailer can't go.

Using a trailer is an easy thing. Reversing will come with practice. Empty parking lots in the evening are a great place to practice, and they even have lines marked for reference.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:37 AM   #5
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Re: We're Newbies

WE went from a tent to a tent trailer to 32 foot travel trailer.
Which was to big to heavy.
So After many RV shows and talking to people.
Decided on a 19 Escape Aug. 2010
Being 7' wide it is in the slip stream of the tug.
very happy with it, and the staff.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:48 PM   #6
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Re: We're Newbies

I too have moved from sleeping under the stars, to a tent, to a tent trailer, and we now have an Escape 19 on order. We won't use it all that much right away but when we retire in a 4 years, it will be suitable for anything from a week at a local campground to a few months down south in the winter to escape the cold winters that we have here. We had a fair idea of the size we wanted from our experience with our tent trailer. It was about 15' long when set up and we couldn't see ourselves going any smaller. The body on the Escape 19 is 15'-8".

In regards to choosing the size of the trailer, I suggest that you buy the trailer you need/want and then get an appropriate tow vehicle if what you have now won't pull it safely. I see an Escape trailer as a long term investment as opposed to a car/truck which wears out more quickly and needs more frequent replacement. There is a tendency for people to choose the largest trailer that their current vehicle will pull, and then wonder why they didn't buy a larger one a few years later when they have a tow vehicle with a larger capacity.

When we bought the tent trailer, it was at the top end of our vehicle's 2000# towing capacity. A few years later one of our cars got written off in an accident so we bought something with a 3500# towing capacity. The Escape 19 will be near the top end of our current vehicle's range, but the next vehicle will have a the greater towing capacity that it requires.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:28 PM   #7
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Re: We're Newbies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold Kroeker

In regards to choosing the size of the trailer, I suggest that you buy the trailer you need/want and then get an appropriate tow vehicle if what you have now won't pull it safely. I see an Escape trailer as a long term investment as opposed to a car/truck which wears out more quickly and needs more frequent replacement. There is a tendency for people to choose the largest trailer that their current vehicle will pull, and then wonder why they didn't buy a larger one a few years later when they have a tow vehicle with a larger capacity.

When we bought the tent trailer, it was at the top end of our vehicle's 2000# towing capacity. A few years later one of our cars got written off in an accident so we bought something with a 3500# towing capacity. The Escape 19 will be near the top end of our current vehicle's range, but the next vehicle will have a the greater towing capacity that it requires.
My wife and I chose a 17b for reasons similar but opposite to Harold's logic?

With a trailer that may still be useable in 20 or more years (think Boler ) what will the cost of fuel be for that cross-continent trip that we dream about? We chose the smallest trailer that still suited our needs 'cuz gas does not seem to be going down in price and v8 motors may be very expensive to run as gas costs approach European prices.

Like Harold says, the tow vehicle will change but what will you be able to afford to drive? If you need a full sized pickup to pull the trailer, you might consider buying one of those huge stickbuilt toy hauler trailers. The magic of Escape is fuel economy (as well as quality, customer service, etc).

Think smaller!

Gord
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:43 PM   #8
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Re: We're Newbies

I'd say most of us, if not all, went the tent (good grief, 2 boys in a backpacking tent), to a pop up (easy to put up in the rain, but what a pain to put down in the rain), to a first trailer (a 17' Casita for us), to what we want to take us the rest of the way (HokieEscape - our 5.0). I'd have to agree with both Harold and Gord. Get what you think will take you the distance, and be happy. For Brian, the 13 is perfect...the 17 is perfect for Gord.....Jim knows his wife needed a little more space, so the 19 is perfect for him....and with 12 grandkids, and with them wanting to travel with Poppy and Nana (only 2 at a time), the 5.0 is perfect for us...(Alf needs the 5.0 for all his beer and Marianne's sewing machine!). But the Escape is perfect for all of us because we have a choice, and you don't need a gas guzzling V8 to pull it! A V6 works just great for any of those trailers. So, even with the largest Escapes (the 19 and 5.0) you'll still be able to pull them when you retire : - )
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:36 PM   #9
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Re: We're Newbies

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanngord

My wife and I chose a 17b for reasons similar but opposite to Harold's logic?

With a trailer that may still be useable in 20 or more years (think Boler ) what will the cost of fuel be for that cross-continent trip that we dream about? We chose the smallest trailer that still suited our needs 'cuz gas does not seem to be going down in price and v8 motors may be very expensive to run as gas costs approach European prices.

Like Harold says, the tow vehicle will change but what will you be able to afford to drive? If you need a full sized pickup to pull the trailer, you might consider buying one of those huge stickbuilt toy hauler trailers. The magic of Escape is fuel economy (as well as quality, customer service, etc).

Think smaller!

Gord
Looks like the 17b is 2100lbs dry, and the 19 is 2510 dry. That's about 20% more weight. But the lightest of those toy haulers is about 5000 lbs BEFORE you put the toys in them.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:27 PM   #10
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Re: We're Newbies

Gas mileage varies and there's so many different variables . when I towed 17ft PlanB with our Highlander I think I got around 14-15 MPG.. When I towed our 19ft Bambi with our F150 I got around 15-16MPG.. The Airstream was much heavier, but the Truck was more suited to towing than the Highlander..

We pretty much try to stay around 65mph (both set-ups)

I haven't gotten around to figuring out mileage the 24ft Itasca Impulse as of yet..
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:08 PM   #11
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Re: We're Newbies

Thanks for all the great input. Our tow vehicle is a 2008 Rav4 V6. I gather from what I've seen on various forums that quite a few of you are towing the Escape 17 with a Rav. Any feedback on that?

Pam/Doug
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:56 PM   #12
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Re: We're Newbies

RAV4 V6 and 17B is my perfect combo.

It gets reasonable mileage when I'm not towing and has the power to haul the trailer to merge speed on short highway on-ramps and up long hills.

Only change I would have made is to get the leather upholstery since we have a dog and the fabric covers collect hairs.

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Old 02-15-2011, 05:21 PM   #13
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Re: We're Newbies

Sounds good - what year is your Rav4? Ours is a 2008 4 wheel drive, and there seems to be some issue about needing to have a special towing package for towing more that 2000 lbs. (which we'd probably be over by the time we're loaded? ) but we're having trouble getting information about what exactly that is. We've tried talking to one dealership, but couldn't get an answer.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:34 PM   #14
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Re: We're Newbies

Hi: dpsmith... Can't directly speak about the Toyota Tow Pack'g but for our Nissan Frontier what I would have gotten was a hitch I can't use and a wire harness that cost $80. from after mkt. source.
I might have to add a Tranny Cooler but I'm not sure yet. I found it really hard to get straight answers about towing from all sources Alf
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:09 PM   #15
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Re: We're Newbies

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo
RAV4 V6 and 17B is my perfect combo.

It gets reasonable mileage when I'm not towing and has the power to haul the trailer to merge speed on short highway on-ramps and up long hills.

baglo
The RAV4 V6 seems to be the way to go: my wife and I will start shopping for one as soon as the trailer is paid for.

I was hoping that Glen would be buying one of those German tricycles mentioned in a previous post and offering his RAV at a deep discount price

The new RAV4 v6 is rated for 37 mpg (Canadian gallons which are larger or smaller than the southern version). I wonder what the real world towing mpg would look like?

G
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:11 PM   #16
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Re: We're Newbies

The mention of special towing hitches could be that most bumper hitches may be limited to 2000pound tow weight and only about 250 pounds hitch weight.

I short bumpers may not be attached to a vehicle in a manner conducive to pulling heavy weights.

Therefore a hitch attached properly to the vehicle under carriage frame will carry and pull more weight.

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Old 02-15-2011, 06:14 PM   #17
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Re: We're Newbies

Below are some links and info that might be helpful as well as my opinion on the towing issue.

Travel Trailer Weight Calculator:http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-...eight-tt.shtml (make sure that you input all of the info asked for in order to get the most accurate calculation!)

Here's a forum that addresses the issue of Rav4 Towing package: http://rav4world.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=152499

Don't forget that the trailer weight (such as a 17B on the Escape website which is listed as 2100 lbs.) is without options, water, propane, or any of the gear that you add for camping. It doesn't take much to get it over the limit for a Rav4. (I think it is 3500 lbs for a V6 with tow package; without the tow package, max tow weight for a Rav4 is 1500 lbs.) 5 gallons of propane (not counting the tank) is about 21 pounds. 5 gallons of water is 42 pounds. You can get some good basic info about towing/terms at this link: http://changingears.com/rv-sec-tow-v...derstand.shtml

I think that many people are stretching the limit with what they tow and don't realize how dangerous it can be if they are. Towing more than is good for your vehicle will also cause it to wear out sooner. One of the issues is trailer sway; there are lots of factors that can cause that. Here's a good link for some general safety info: http://www.marxrv.com/ram/towsafe.htm

Edmunds.com has lots of info on specs of any given vehicle (check by going to used cars, then choose the make/model, etc.).

The way the trailer is loaded is also important. Lots of factors to consider and it really pays to do some research.

Good luck! Pete and I try to make sure we give plenty of leeway when making this decision (tow vehicle capacity) as we have had a few close calls over the years and know others who have had some dangerous moments as well. I think it is really a personal issue because it depends so much on what options your trailer has, how much gear you carry, how many passengers you haul, what kinds of roads you travel, and many other factors. I would not personally want to pull a 17ft. Escape with a Rav4, even though I know lots of folks do and seem to have no problems with it. It is not an easy decision. Pulling 3,000 or more pounds with a vehicle that weighs 3370 pounds (curb weight of Rav4 V6) could be a bit scary coming down some steep passes. Just my opinion.

Linda
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:22 PM   #18
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Re: We're Newbies

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpsmith
Sounds good - what year is your Rav4? Ours is a 2008 4 wheel drive, and there seems to be some issue about needing to have a special towing package for towing more that 2000 lbs. (which we'd probably be over by the time we're loaded? ) but we're having trouble getting information about what exactly that is. We've tried talking to one dealership, but couldn't get an answer.
I have a 2010 RAV4 with the the tow package. From Toyota:"Tow Prep Package" (V6 models only) -- includes 3500-lb. towing capacity, upgraded radiator, fan coupling and alternator". It does not include a hitch, or the wiring for the trailer (at least in the US. It may be different in Canada).

I bought the wiring kit from Brandsport for around $130.00, less expensive than our local dealer. I installed it myself because I also wanted to add a brake controller & charge line, neither of which our dealer would do.

I found This Web Page helpful for doing the installation. Toyota's instructions leave a lot to be desired.
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:38 PM   #19
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Re: We're Newbies

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpsmith
Sounds good - what year is your Rav4? Ours is a 2008 4 wheel drive, and there seems to be some issue about needing to have a special towing package for towing more that 2000 lbs. (which we'd probably be over by the time we're loaded? ) but we're having trouble getting information about what exactly that is. We've tried talking to one dealership, but couldn't get an answer.
I have 2008 RAV4 V6 Sport. It has a "tow package" of sorts. See other posts in thread. Canadian models have this standard. In the U.S. it is optional. It includes an extra oil cooler or transmission cooler ( I can't remember which ) and such. However, you still have to get a hitch receiver and wiring and the Toyota factory hitch is only class II. You need class III to use an equalizer hitch. My dealer - Jim Pattison in North Vancouver - had a installer come into their shop and install a class three Hidden Hitch, the wiring and brake controller ( which I provided ) for $650. Had I gone with the Toyota factory hitch it would have been almost $1,000 and the brake controller install would have been extra and it would have been inadequate.
A buddy got his class III hitch installed in a Hyundai at U-Haul for $600.

If you use the search feature on the top right of this site, you can look up previous posts on towing with RAV4 and mileage.

baglo



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Old 02-15-2011, 08:02 PM   #20
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Re: We're Newbies

I would not personally want to pull a 17ft. Escape with a Rav4, even though I know lots of folks do and seem to have no problems with it. It is not an easy decision. Pulling 3,000 or more pounds with a vehicle that weighs 3370 pounds (curb weight of Rav4 V6) could be a bit scary coming down some steep passes. Just my opinion.

Linda
[/quote]

I use the equalizer hitch and I've had no problems with sway or long, steep hills like the Coquihalla. That said, it is a compromise, balancing my everyday needs and a comfortable, safe, tow for the 17B.

Last time I weighed the trailer ( hitched to the RAV ) I got 2,816 lbs. on the trailer axle. Then I weighed the hitch. According to the Sherline hitch scale manual, you add the tongue weight from the hitch reading ( which was 300 ) to that to get the total weight - 3,116 llbs.

That leaves about 400 lbs of margin to the 3,500 tow rating, which isn't a lot. BTW, the Hidden Hitch rating is 4,000 lbs. for their RAV4 hitch.

I leave the vacuum at home and bring badminton instead of bocce balls.

All I can say is that in practice I have had no concerns with the combination of RAV4 and 17B, towing it from BC, over the mountains to Alberta, down to Iowa and back through Washington State.

Baglo



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