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Old 04-19-2019, 08:22 PM   #1
gbb
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Escape 21 ordered

Hi,
Thanks to all the information and helpful folks on this forum and the gracious owners who gave us tours of their trailers we have ordered an Escape 21. Now we have to finish the build sheet so again we are hoping for more help from all of you.
This forum is very, very helpful, but occasionally we read some threads where there are differences of opinions and some of them (solar) are simply over our heads. Our main questions seem to be connected to the items where there are differences of opinions.
1-Frameless vs framed windows? We like the look and function of the frameless windows but the reports of problems for some owners does concern us. Are there any guesses as to what percentage of them are giving problems? Any idea if Escape is working to correct the issue?
2-Power vs Manual Awning? Again, people like both of them for different reasons but there seem to be more reports of problems with the power awnings. Are there enough problems/disadvantages with the power ones that we should go with the manual? We have never had either so no experience to guide us except this forum.
3-We are leaning towards the factory solar but we donít have any experience/knowledge with solar or inverters. When camping without hookups we would like to be able to use the minimum like lights and water and charging phones and a computer. Not sure about 120, but Suzanne has to have 1 cup of coffee every morning and we both like toast occasionally so probably need inverter? Other than cost are there any disadvantages or added complexity due to having solar and/or inverter?
4-Simple ball hitch or WD/Sway hitches? Never towed an RV but routinely pull cattle, equipment and hay trailers on our farm with loads from 4000 to almost 10000 lbs with just a ball hitch and no problems.
We have more questions but this post is already way too long! Thanks again for all your past and future help!!
Buddy and Suzanne Belflower
Rosie (our mountain feist companion)
Henry (grandson and hopefully future camping companion)
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:42 PM   #2
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I have also been gathering information on a 21’, so will be following this thread with interest. I will comment on the toast portion which I do know something about. We use an old stovetop toaster. It’s a piece of metal with holes and four metal flip things that stick up that you balance the toast in. You put it on the gas burner. Works well and fits flat for storage. You don’t need electric and it takes up very little room. Something to consider....
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:18 AM   #3
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The same differing opinions you saw elsewhere you'll probably see here. Do keep in mind that the forum, any forum, is prone to attract folks having problems as opposed to folks just stopping by to say they everything is fine.

ETI stopped installing the small double pane frameless windows that were the source of most of the window issues. Guess this amounts to you take a slight chance of delamination to get the nicer cleaner look.

Awning... don't see too many folks complaining about the power awning after they have it. The power one is obviously more convenient, the manual one more adjustable. You'll learn to work with whichever you choose.

For 95% of folks the factory solar and inverter will be the best choice, I suspect it will be for you too. Solar allows one to camp longer without having city power so getting it depends on how you want to use the trailer. I like having the solar and do not camp much without hookups. The few times I stay for multiple nights somewhere that has no power, like national parks, it's great to have.

Can't help with the WDH, I used one when I had a bumper pull and kept using it when I got bigger trucks that really didn't need it. I had it so I used it.
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:50 AM   #4
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We had a 17B with the frameless windows in it, never had any problems, and stuck with it when we went to the 21 two seasons later. One of the issues was that users perhaps tried to crank windows closed too tightly and this, particularly in certain temperature conditions (hot), tended to cause delamination. We just vowed to be really careful how tight we do up the windows as we like the apron style windows, especially in damp weather and like the cleaner look.

The electric awning is perhaps less robust, particularly in breezy conditions and handles rain less well, but decided to stick with the electric awning due to its ease of use. Some campers will tell you that they can get the manual awning out pretty quickly, but we decided the convenience of the touch of a button and the cleaner lines was worth it. We just remember to close it whenever we leave the trailer.

We have been very pleased with the factory solar panel, which we added on our 17 as a retro fit, but ordered with on our 21. We are not heavy power users and use our propane stove to heat the water for out french press coffee maker and have never got into "instapot" type cooking and microwaves. Our TV and DVD player for long dark evenings run fine on 12V and have and decided to go without the factory inverter and work with a portable inverter to power our laptop. All the small devices can be charged using USBs, but we went with an extra USB charger.

We didn't have a WDH on our 17B. Although it was fine, we decided to get one with our 21, even though we also upgraded out Tow Vehicle as well and perhaps don't really need it. However, we do find that the ride with the WDH is much smoother and feel that the extra $350 (Can) was well spent, but don't feel that the sway bars are necessary, especially with the tandem axle.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:38 AM   #5
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When ordering our 21 we struggled with the same questions. The solar was a no brainer for me, I dry camp multiple times a year and the option of 12v power will be nice. One of our goals for this rv is to see the national parks, these camp grounds usually have no electric or water. Plus the solar has a 30% tax rebate for 2019 while filing. We added multiple 12v/usb plugs, but decided against the inverter. The reason being, we live in the hot and muggy south and if I really need 120v AC is for the Air Conditioning, which the inverter cant run. I have two ultra quiet generators and I will decide between my Honda eu2000i and eu3000is which works best for our useage.

On the windows and awning, I totally went with easy of use and looks. The first draw to the new body 21 was the clean look of the power awning and frameless windows.

In the end we pickup in a couple of weeks and we will see if the choices that we made work for us.
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:18 AM   #6
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"One of the issues was that users perhaps tried to crank windows closed too tightly ... tended to cause delamination. We just vowed to be really careful how tight we do up the windows..."

And a few times a year, spray some silicon on a cloth until it's wet and wipe the rubber window seal with it. This will help prevent the glass from sticking to the seal.

Do the same with the seals around the entry door and exterior bin doors.

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Old 04-20-2019, 11:30 AM   #7
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:01 PM   #8
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Lisa, thanks for the toaster info, and for sharing your 21 info
padlin, thanks for your comments, agreed that owners with problems are more likely to post than the ones with no problems
Chris and Patricia, thanks for sharing your experiences, good info for this future 21 owner
buellfire, thanks for the comments, we have thought about one of those small quiet honda generators, and would love to hear about your experiences when you pick your camper up soon. We hope to do a lot fairly short trips to other areas in the SE and KY is not very far from us. When we get our escape hope you will share some KY camping spots with us.
EdColorado, thanks for the window operating tutorial, great idea about siliconing the windows
cpaharley2006, thanks for the link, Im sure they will be useful for many things besides the windows

We are leaning towards the frameless windows and solar, still can't decide about the awning. Would love to hear more thoughts and could someone give me an idea about how long it takes to set up the manual awning?
Thanks again
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbb View Post
Would love to hear more thoughts and could someone give me an idea about how long it takes to set up the manual awning?
Thanks again

It takes two or three minutes for me to set up or take down my manual awning. It would take less time if I had someone working the other arm, saving me walking back and forth.
I don't think it's an issue worth considering. If I was in a rush, I wouldn't put it out at all. But, I'm not in a rush. I'm camping.
At 16:39 of this video http://www.rvtraveltv.com/?p=407 Tammy demonstrates opening and closing the manual awning.
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:06 PM   #10
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My 2018 trailer came standard with the power awning. I love it. That said, the manual is now standard and the power awning is $1075. Sadly, I think I would have passed.
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