The "Suite Escape" has made it back to California without damaging anything or anyone or being damaged! Having not really towed a trailer (except for about a 20 minute Escape trial), and never alone before, it was rather a tense experience for me. Mostly it was because I generally travel in the fast lane, and I am not used to being passed or sandwiched by humongous truck and trailer rigs. Additionally, lane changing to keep on the route was a concern. I also was concerned about the steep decent from the Siskiyou Pass, and whether I would overheat the brakes.
Between both Tammy and Reace, I spent a full day going over everything, running minor errands and hooking up, on Monday last when I got her. They were both very gracious and helpful and didn't seem to mind thousands of questions. (BTW a hole got drilled in the underside of my bumper near the tire bolts).
The RV park where Tammy made reservations was fine for me and Wolf. The only negative thing there for me was the "free" wifi. I couldn't connect inside, and only in the evening for a short while outside. There was a commercial service available, but since I paid for the space which was to include that, I opted out to pay more. The park was clean and well maintained, but I was surprised at the number of "permanent" residents. However, the area was beautiful, and I didn't hear traffic noises inside. Plus the easy accessibility was important to me.
The evening went well and the "Suite Escape" was cozy and warm. The next morning however was rather inauspicious: since it was cold (for me), I turned on the gas furnace for the first time. The fumes from the new heater (not gas) set off the smoke alarm and Wolf freaked out. I couldn't get the alarm to quit, even with the fan on, so I removed the battery. Then every time I tried to re connect it it would screech!!! Of course that upset him even further. I later learned that it will screech briefly upon battery replacement (something Tammy had told me but I had forgotten). Meantime I needed it warm in order to try out the shower, so I hooked up a little 1500 watt cube electric heater. That went OK for about 20 to 30 minutes (I think), then the breaker tripped and all the outlets were dead! I tried resetting the breaker, which at first was recalcitrant. I then got it flipped up and still no power to the outlets. I knew then for sure I was going to get pre-trip towing practice by going back to the factory, which I did. I later learned that nothing was wrong with the electrical, just that I had not flicked the switch down hard enough to reset it. Reace also suggested I use it at a lower fan speed to avoid a further incident. For the furnace situation: I unhooked the "Suite Escape", left her behind while I went to get av cords to connect the stereo to the tv, Reace turned on the heater with the doors and windows opened to "burn off" the new heater for about an hour, and hopefully that will be that. The battery alarm was replaced and I haven't tried the heater since, but expect that will do the trick.
I would recommend anyone who is new to towing, who needs to go down I-5 through the Seattle area take the I-405 by-pass. It is driver friendly as to signage. It also avoids numerous lane changes. For the most part people were courteous and let me make necessary changes easily. Around the Tacoma area the road was like a washboard for a bit and I felt like I was riding a bucking bronco even at low speed. I used lower gears 3rd and 4th mostly on the hills. On the Siskiyou decline, I went for a short way in 2nd, but mostly in 3rd. The "Suite Escape" did not sway at all and was not buffeted even when passed by those humongous trucks. In fact when I got to the flatlands and near home, it was hard to keep within the speed limit as she just breezed along seemingly effortlessly.
I have even managed to unhook the equalizer hitch all by myself and she now sits in front of my house until I manage to get her to DMV and make her legal. Everyone who has seen her thus far has been impressed by the quality and features.
My three local granddaughters (10, 5 and 31/2) were thrilled with her and can hardly wait to go camping. I think they think of her as a big playhouse, which in a way she is! They inspected everything. The middle one even wanted to use the potty! I am hoping to go to a nearby lake this coming weekend (if I can get reservations). At least I will be able to get a lot of local practice before I venture out on another 900 mile trip.