Escape 21 coming to Livermore, CA - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 01-27-2015, 07:06 PM   #1
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Location: Livermore, California
Trailer: Escape 21', "Cardinals' Nest"
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Escape 21 coming to Livermore, CA

We’ve been enjoying the Forum for some time as ‘stealth’ members. Guess it’s time to come out of the closet. We ordered a 21’ scheduled for July 24, 2015 completion. We were at ETI the day Toto was picked up. Initially, we decided on the 19’ for the queen bed; but after looking at that, the 21, and the 5.0 TA, decided we were ok with the smaller, more easily accessed, bed on the 21’; we really liked the extra storage space and roomier dinette, and we had trouble with the stairs on the TA.

Now we need a tow vehicle, as our Prius doesn’t seem quite up to the task! Neither of us has been attracted to the idea of a truck. It would have the advantage of long wheelbase, especially in a crew-cab version that could carry a few extra people, but we are unhappy with parking its length and the open bed storage. We’ve decided on a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited diesel with most of the factory options, including tow package and the advanced technology safety package (including front collision warning with stop) and the off-road package-I (protection from road-debris, even if we never go off-road), but not the air suspension (primarily for reliability concerns).

We have already purchased a Hensley Cub weight-distribution hitch, following the advice from J.D. Gallant at RV.org that it eliminates sway as an issue; we understand from Reace that this will be the first one he has installed. This hitch may be overkill, as we haven’t found complaints about sway on this forum, but we like the ‘belt and suspenders’ approach to safety. We’ll also look into one of the driving schools that have been recommended, especially it that is possible before we go back across the border to accept delivery.

We’ll post our build list and evolving changes on the Shopping Escape Forum.

Art and Kathy
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Art M. View Post
..., as our Prius doesn’t seem quite up to the task! ...
Art and Kathy
Really
Prius tow capacity.jpg
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2015 17A: 2011 Honda Pilot
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:29 PM   #3
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Hello Art and Kathy. Congrats on your decision on the 21! The Grand Cherokee sounds like a good match for it. Where I live you get tarred, feathered and run out of town if you don't own at least one full sized pick-up. Have fun making your build decisions. Jeff
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:33 PM   #4
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Location: Tucson, AZ, Arizona
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Escape 21 in the valley

Art and Kathy,
We spent 73 to 83 in Pleasanton and had a number of RV's with so many places to go year around. We are now in Tucson with our 21 and we seem to go West a lot. We have also had a few tow vehicles, some underpowered, some too long and some uncomfortable. We now use a Grand Cherokee 2 wheel drive as we no longer go where we might find snow. I think the Jeep is a great choice and if we had to replace ours (it only has 75,000 miles, half towing) I would buy another. The diesel wasn't available when we bought the 2011 but the Hemi really tows well with good mpg.
You cannot go wrong with the Escape and the Jeep is short enough to go anywhere with the trailer. For a first short trip you can't beat Chabot? camp ground above Castro Valley or the Del Val Lake camp ground in your back yard. Enjoy
Jack and Nancy
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:51 PM   #5
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The operating principle of the Hensley hitches (there are three models now) is sound - although not quite the miracle they claim - but it does have downsides. For one, they're heavy (about 150 pounds for even the Cub, I hear), but also their hinge point is way back from the tug's bumper, so the tug is carrying the tongue weight way back there and so weight distribution is a problem... so you need the weight distributing (WD) hitch feature even if the same tug and trailer wouldn't need WD with a normal hitch.

Personally I don't think I would resort to any Hensley for an Escape, especially at a couple thousand dollars, but at least the rig should be stable.
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:53 PM   #6
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Congrats and welcome to the forum! Seems like a new member or two joins every day and announces their purchase. ETI is gonna need more room!
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:21 PM   #7
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Thanks to DFAndrews for the Prius towing a red wagon.

That's getting close to our first thoughts on what RV we should get: my dad built his own tent trailers using a WWII surplus officers tent, and Costco sells a camper/utility trailer that is equivalent to his: no kitchen, no bathroom, ...

It was a slippery slope when we escalated from there. Our love for camping, without wanting to bring our house along, saved us from going all the way to a 35' fifth wheel or large motorhome. The 21' will be luxurious compared with my childhood camping with my parents, or our tent camping years ago. This should be a fun second childhood.
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:45 PM   #8
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Hello and congratulations on your 21- it makes camping way comfortable. Agree with Brian though on the WDH and think you may regret not having the Andersen which is the opposite in terms of weight and generally being user-friendly. These trailers don't suffer from the sway & buffeting like larger/heavier ones do. Can you return the unused Hensley?
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:40 PM   #9
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I would have to agree with the comments above about the Hensley. Even the cub model is quite expensive, and sway isn't generally an issue with an Escape - although weight distribution might be, depending on your tow.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The operating principle of the Hensley hitches (there are three models now) is sound - although not quite the miracle they claim - but it does have downsides. For one, they're heavy (about 150 pounds for even the Cub, I hear), but also their hinge point is way back from the tug's bumper, so the tug is carrying the tongue weight way back there and so weight distribution is a problem... so you need the weight distributing (WD) hitch feature even if the same tug and trailer wouldn't need WD with a normal hitch.

Personally I don't think I would resort to any Hensley for an Escape, especially at a couple thousand dollars, but at least the rig should be stable.
I remember the Hensley Cub Hitch weight being closer to 75 than 150 lbs; and hoisting the boxes in my garage seems compatible with about 75 lbs., but I couldn't find an exact number on their website. Still a substantial weight, and it extends the length of the hitch by 12". The effective hinge point is well ahead of the tugs bumper, giving stability near that of a fifth wheel.
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