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Old 04-19-2019, 08:22 PM   #1
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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 don’t 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.

Ed
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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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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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Old 04-23-2019, 09:47 PM   #11
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At 16:39 of this video RV Travel TV » Escape Training Video Tammy demonstrates opening and closing the manual awning.
Also at 18:05 in this orientation video the awning opening and closing is demonstrated on a classic 19
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:50 PM   #12
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We never had an opportunity to test out WD hitch with sway control in 10 years of RVing until last year. We were doing 50mph around a 2 lane blind corner when we came upon a stopped lineup of cars. I slammed on the brakes as hard as I could and still the trailer fishtailed a bit. I don't know what would have happened if the sway control was not there. Also, as already been mentioned, the WD bars sure make your tow and trailer feel like one unit.
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:16 AM   #13
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I highly recommend the power awning set up for a newbe as the manuals more complex and some strength is needed by 2 people who know what they are doing, whereas the power awning is a one person task with a remote, nothing more simpler than that. Having had both, I'd never return to the manual.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:23 AM   #14
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The reason we chose the power awning was that it was fully enclosed when closed.
It pretty much eliminates mold damage from rolled up rain exposure and UV exposure when not in use.

If a boxed manual awning had been available that would have been our first choice
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:28 AM   #15
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Bah. I'm no spring chicken and I can handle the manual awning on Ten Forward with ease all by myself. Yes I get extra steps going from one end to the other to deploy/retract, but exercise is good! In the nearly five years I've owned the trailer, I've never had anyone help me and I use the awning frequently. Make your choice on the type of awning you desire based on alternative criteria other than just being a solo traveler.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:40 AM   #16
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We just picked up our new 5.0TA and are very happy so far with all the options we chose.

Love the look and function of the frameless awning windows. In the years ahead if any of them have problems, a window is easier to replace than a lot of other components.

I am loving the convenience of the power awning. Living in Texas we use our awning much more for shade than for rain protection. The ease of extending it, even a short bit when we are stopped for lunch, means that we will use it much more than the manual awning on our old trailer. If you live or camp a lot in a rainy climate and like to have the awning out in the rain, the manual awning may be better but for ease of use the electric one is hard to beat.

We got the solar package, inverter and EMS and I am really liking them a lot. On our old trailer we had two 6 volt batteries but no solar, and with careful use we could easily go a few days. Watching the solar panel recharge the batteries every day, and knowing that is also happening while we are driving, is just wonderful - I doubt we will ever have to worry about running out of electricity with this setup. It seems really decadent - but we can get used to it - to pull over at a rest stop for lunch and turn on the inverter to microwave a hot drink. We won't use the inverter a whole lot, but those times when we do it is a really nice capability to have. Between the displays for the solar charger and the EMS, I can always tell at a glance what's going on with our 12 volt and shore power. The small furnace in the Escape is more efficient with electricity than our old one - much smaller blower motor - and I'm confident that with our solar panel we will have plenty of electrical capacity even in cold weather running the furnace. The ETI systems seem well designed, have more than enough capacity for our needs, and I am happy to have them installed and fully integrated during the build by ETI rather than adding on components later.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:59 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I highly recommend the power awning set up for a newbe as the manuals more complex and some strength is needed by 2 people who know what they are doing, whereas the power awning is a one person task with a remote, nothing more simpler than that. Having had both, I'd never return to the manual.
Don't know why you think the manual awning is so hard to setup. Our new Carefree awning is a breeze to setup and takes much, much, less strength than any previous awning we've ever owned. Two people? Terry has no problem setting it up or taking it down by herself.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:00 PM   #18
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You will love the 21 foot 5.0TA

We picked up ours last summer and drove it from BC to Maine........great trip but better camper
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:36 PM   #19
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Don't know why you think the manual awning is so hard to setup. Our new Carefree awning is a breeze to setup and takes much, much, less strength than any previous awning we've ever owned. Two people? Terry has no problem setting it up or taking it down by herself.

Enjoy,

Perry
3 rd manual awning on RV . The only difference in 30 plus years is the newer manual is a lot lighter in construction then awning 30 years ago. I can do it by myself and fast .So ? Pat
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:38 PM   #20
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Sorry Perry wanted to quote Jim ! Pat
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