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Old 03-30-2012, 12:39 AM   #1
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Front Storage Box Update

After using our 19.6 Escape a whole year, I found the front storage box to be the most useful addition to the trailer and worth the price. It makes checking the batteries easy. Some other Brands of Fiberglass Trailers, the owners have, a real time removing their battery from the compartment to check the fluids.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:38 AM   #2
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Re: Front Storage Box Update

2X on the storage box. I have dual 6v batteries on the rear bumper of my 17B so it doesn't help with them, but it sure is a great place for hoses, power cord, and other "outside" stuff.

For those that haven't seen the storage box on a 17, here are some photos I took when picking up the trailer last April.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:34 AM   #3
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Re: Front Storage Box Update

I could definitely see getting one for retirement, and when we will be doing extended trips of a couple months or more. They are very well designed and built, and will be added space that is much appreciated by many, but for now, I have no real need.

The batteries in my 19 are under the seat in the dinette, and very accessible. They only get checked once or twice a year anyway. If I was to ever get the front box installed, I would be happy with them to stay in there, and have room for stuff that is used more often.

That said, in the 3 years of using the trailer, I have never felt a need to carry more stuff than I can fit in the existing storage, or what I like to keep in the tow vehicle. In fact, I still have more space to store stuff in the existing spaces. I am afraid, just like building more storage space into a house, that you just find more junk to store, an not always stuff you regularly use. Installing that double sized access hatch to get to the under bed storage, it has really opened up the use of that space for more efficient use.

Last year, after baglo mentioned doing a purge, we did so too, and brought out a couple small boxes of stuff that was not getting used at all, or got little use and could easily be worked around. Lots of stuff that looked like a good idea at the time, but actually did not work out so good.

I know it has been discussed before, but a lot of this has to do with our backgrounds, where I camped for 20 years out of a backpack or a canoe, and learned to minimize gear, and yet have an extremely enjoyable experience. So moving to a trailer is total luxury, just to have a space set up and ready to go. A few pots, toys, and clothes, and life is good. For others that have done little outside the luxury of a house, it is a totally different transformation. Good friends of ours are in the latter category, and pretty much want to move the contents of the kitchen and bathroom into their RV. The spend more than twice the time we do on domestic type duties, whereas I would rather sit and read, play bocce, or have a cocktail with my time.

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Old 02-16-2013, 06:55 PM   #4
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I am re-thinking my decision to forego the front storage box but still have some questions. In Jon's picture, the box has a label limiting the capacity to 100 pounds. How in the world can one put dual batteries in there then? Also, if the batteries are stored there, it doesn't seem like there would be room for much else so what would be the point? Does anyone have a picture of the box with the batteries already in there?
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:31 PM   #5
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I asked that and Reace said that the 100 lbs was above and beyond the battery weight. Yes, the batteries exceed that. There is plenty more room. We have chocks, blocks, locks, clothesline poles, and we put the WDH bars (and pipe) in there when not being used.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:34 PM   #6
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We splurged last year and had the box put on our 19. However, we really don't use it for storage. I noticed we were picking up a few rock / road debris chips in the fiberglass and the box seemed like it would an excellent solution for front end protection. I have to admit, it is a good place for the batteries but I'd be worried about altering tongue weight too much if the box accumulated much stuff. Don't want to mess with our "equilibrium".

We do regular purges to get rid of things that aren't getting used. It's real easy to throw stuff in because there's lots of space. The joke with us is, if it doesn't have at least 2 uses, it can't come. At the end of the day, it's camping and we like to keep it simple.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:55 PM   #7
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I was looking at the storage box more as a place to put my camp chairs, umbrella, and side tables as I would put chocks, blocks, etc., in through the exterior access hatch. My thoughts were that the fewer things I had to transfer to/from the back of my truck, the easier it is just to pick up and go.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:04 PM   #8
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KarenH

Here are some photos of our 15A storage box with 2- 6V batteries in place. I have also included some measurements to help you figure out just what can fit in there. Keep in mind that the box is not sealed off and water and dust can get into it when traveling. There are 2 small drain holes in the bottom, one each side.

The wood cover over the batteries is 16” wide.
The back width of the box is 74” across the top with a front to back measurement of 13” and a vertical depth of 22” to base of batteries.

The side ends are about 3” front to back at the top.

The front width is 42” across the top with a vertical depth of 17”. The outer bottom sections of the box extend a further 3” below the level of the section where the batteries sit.

The sides all slope inwards. The front to back distance is 11.5” at the bottom of the batteries.
The metal strut across the middle is 2” below the top of the box, at the front, which leaves a vertical clearance to the wood cover of 4” at the front and 5.5” at the back.

If you have any further questions feel free to send me a note.

John
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:20 PM   #9
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Camp chairs would have to be really small eh?
I don't have the box, but I do have the space for it. Been trying to think how to use it; like maybe installing a cheap bike rack to hold chairs. I'm open to ideas.
The distance from the trailer to the WDH chain hangers is about one foot.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:23 PM   #10
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Glenn,
I just went out and measured, you have about 6 3/4" space on the top rail from the box to the tank cover and from your photo it doesn't appear like you would need that much since the top portion of your w/d hanger is narrower than the bottom portion.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:42 PM   #11
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But, I don't want the box on the front. I have one on the rear, sitting on a cargo carrier into the bike hitch receiver.
It contains all hoses, extension cords, axe, hatchet, etc.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post

Here are some photos of our 15A storage box with 2- 6V batteries in place. I have also included some measurements to help you figure out just what can fit in there.

Thank you so much, John. That is exactly what I needed to visualize what can and cannot be done with the space. The batteries do make it somewhat awkward to fit in a lot of long stuff like chairs and a table umbrella. Could your batteries have gone at the rear of the trailer or even under a dinette seat or is that area too small on a 15?
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I have one on the rear, sitting on a cargo carrier into the bike hitch receiver.
Oh, for crying out loud...another option to consider!
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:06 PM   #14
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You have to be careful not to unweight the hitch by placing heavy items in the rear box.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:12 PM   #15
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Another thought, go with one battery with solar, you really do not need 2 batteries.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:19 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
Thank you so much, John. That is exactly what I needed to visualize what can and cannot be done with the space. The batteries do make it somewhat awkward to fit in a lot of long stuff like chairs and a table umbrella. Could your batteries have gone at the rear of the trailer or even under a dinette seat or is that area too small on a 15?
Karen

Yes, the functional use of the box is greatly diminished by having the batteries in the box.
If the batteries were on the rear bumper the box would be much more functional.

I believe the 17’ has the batteries on the rear bumper.
The 19’, I believe, has the batteries under one of the seats. If inside they need to be in a sealed container and vented to the outside.

There may also be issues with the distance of the batteries from the electrical panel inside the trailer. I think the shorter the distance, the better it is electrically. In our 15A the electrical panel is under the front seat. We do not have a rear dinette so that may be a factor on our location. I guess if you have the rear dinette then the panel could go in there and keep the distance short? Not sure what the standard panel location is on the 15A.

Loading the 15A becomes more of an issue than with the other trailers. The geometry of the axle location relative to the hitch makes it important to get the weight distribution correct. Reace mentioned this to us during one visit. The other trailers have a greater distance from the hitch to the axle.

With the batteries on the back and a loaded box on the front, there would be some compensation for the extra weight on the rear. Propane option could also have an effect if you go for the dual propane. An extra tank up front adds another 40 lbs almost directly to the hitch weight. But, the propane is a decreasing weight as you consume it. Another consideration.

We also have the bike receiver on the back and usually always have 2 bikes back there. That adds about 75 lbs to the rear including the carrier.

As you stated, after Baglo’s reply on the rear carrier, there are too many options to consider.

In your case, if you really want the box, it would be worth a call to Reace to see what the options are as to locating the batteries. On the rear bumper would be big bonus to use of the box.

One thing that pushed us to get the box was the protective paint on the box. I don’t see the option any more but Escape used to have a paint option for the lower front portion of the trailer to protect it from flying rocks and debris. It was the same paint used on the box. I think the paint option was about $500 and the box was $700. We also wanted a place to put wet or dirty things, like hoses, chords and blocks, where they would not mess up other locations in the trailer.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post

One thing that pushed us to get the box was the protective paint on the box. I don’t see the option any more but Escape used to have a paint option for the lower front portion of the trailer to protect it from flying rocks and debris. It was the same paint used on the box. I think the paint option was about $400 or 500 and the box was $700.
An earlier post mentioned the box as a protective feature against flying rocks and debris. But I note on the standard features list for the 15 that it has both a front window rock shield (of course) and front rock guards. It appears that when the box is added, the front rock guards are redundant as I don't see them on John's 15. For those who do have the front rock guards, are they effective?
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:52 PM   #18
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Keep in mind that the box is not sealed off and water and dust can get into it when traveling.
FWIW, the only water that gets into my box is from either rain while I have the top open or from wet items placed in the box.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:40 PM   #19
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We recently moved our trailer from Calgary to Vancouver. There was some water on the items that were in the top of the box and a lot of saturated silty sand piled up in the bottom. The silt and water was likely a factor of the slush on the highway that was coated all over the box.

We have little or no experience towing in just rain so cannot comment on those conditions.

I think the secret is to stay off central Canadian highways in the snowy winter and go south to Arizona!

PS - We were not winter camping. Just out for a drive!
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:42 PM   #20
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I know everyone's needs are different, but we keep all our chairs, tables, games, hoses (2 water, spare sewer, and 2 gas), cords (the one to connect to services and an extension), chalks (BAL X-chocks), blocks (2 cases of Lynx blocks), some tools, dog toys, fire tools, etc. under the bed in our 19, all accessible from the outside hatch, plus we still have lots of room if we want to carry more. For us, the storage in the trailer, plus a bit in the tow, is plenty without the box.

As I have mentioned before, if I were to ever get the front storage box in the future, I would prefer to keep my batteries under the dinette seat, as access to that space is way tougher that the storage box would be, and keep the box for stuff that is accessed more often.

LIke a few others, we are purgers, and after the season those items that we thought we might be able to make use of, but really never did, get removed.
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