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Old 03-06-2018, 02:55 PM   #1
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Have been doing quite a bit of research since I bought my truck to see what's towable and will withstand the weather of the Pacific Northwet. It looks like I may have found what I'm looking for and I'm looking forward to learning more about the Escape from all of you folks.
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Old 03-06-2018, 03:15 PM   #2
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Have been doing quite a bit of research since I bought my truck to see what's towable and will withstand the weather of the Pacific Northwet. It looks like I may have found what I'm looking for and I'm looking forward to learning more about the Escape from all of you folks.
While I don't full time, I'm on day 214 of a trip in a new 21, including wintering in Quartzsite, AZ. I'll be taking a 3 month break from traveling to visit home in Oswego, NY this May. Then it is off to the Boler 50th & the Albuquerque Balloon Festival.
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Old 03-06-2018, 04:00 PM   #3
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We are not full-timers either, but do 3 to 4 months at a time as campground hosts in Big Bend National Park. B.B. has the advantage of being very dry, average humidity less than 20%, which makes for a dry interior. In cold wet climates we would have to take steps to minimize condensation.

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Old 03-06-2018, 08:53 PM   #4
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We're spending the winter in Brenda AZ (outside Quartzsite), four months. We plan to head home to Oregon early May to sell our house and go full time for a few years. We have a 19 towed with an XTerra. May end up with a 3/4 ton diesel pickup for a little more towing power and storage.

We plan to winter in Arizona and summer in the Northwest (Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, etc.) with some in between time in New Mexico, etc. I'd not want to winter in the Pacific NW. I think this would be hard on the trailer due to condensation. I'd also hesitate to winter over the mountains (Cascades or Sierras) due to it being too cold, again condensation. Cabin fever could also be a problem with wet or cold weather. These points for all trailers, not just an Escape. An Escape, being fiberglass, may even be better than most though the interior cabinets are wood.

An Oliver or maybe a BigFoot may have less woodwork and I think have inside tanks. Inside tanks would help in sub-zero weather. Is your though of Pacific Northwest in the mountains, freezing? But both are heavier than an equivalent Escape.

Hope this is of some help.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:21 AM   #5
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I've been living in my 19' since last April and have been very happy with the trailer (and my life!). I was in Tennessee in Nov and Dec and did find condensation to be a bit of a problem, especially behind the dinette back cushions where they lean up against the outside wall, same at the ends of the mattress, when it the temps dipped into the 30s and 20s. I would not want to stay in places where it gets into the 10s, even in a dry climate. The insulation in is not adequate for those conditions (I do have the extra insulation and the spray foam on the bottom and glad for that).
I am single and find the space in the 19 perfect for just me, would probably want a 21 if I had a partner. I did have the bed and dinette reversed, and am so glad I payed the extra bucks for that.
I've had only a few minor issues with the trailer, which were promptly taken care of by ETI.
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:22 AM   #6
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Are you planning on full timing in the PNW?
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:02 PM   #7
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Wow, thanks for all of the great input! I currently live on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula, which is as wet as it gets in the lower 48 for at least 7 months out of the year. I'm hoping to head to the Southwest from roughly November through late February - early March and roam around the country as the weather improves before heading back 'home' for a few months at the end of summer.

The ways I've thought of to control condensation are a small dehumidifier and something like Damp Rid. I don't know if that will be sufficient, but I hope so! I'll undoubtedly wind up staying in campgrounds with electrical service while I'm in my 'home' area, at least until I can figure out how to rig a portable wind generator and hook that up to the batteries (we seldom lack for wind out here, that's for sure). Heaven knows solar is catch as catch can at best here, we usually have wonderful sun breaks even on the wettest days, but they're fleeting.

As for other trailers, I've looked at Oliver and Bigfoot, but I hate the layouts of the Olivers and the Bigfoot model that is closest to what I want is heavier than I want to go. I looked at Livin' Lite trailers, but they've gone to using too much laminated wood in their build ('all aluminum' my great aunt Annie's fanny) and their quality control is miserable, at least from the reviews I've read.
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:35 PM   #8
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We use a 15 pt dehumidifier when things start feeling damp in the trailer, takes about 24 hrs to dry out. Can't imagine damp rid doing much in an occupied trailer.
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:28 PM   #9
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I was in/on the Olympic Peninsula last year after I got my trailer, from late April to the middle of May, and didn't have much trouble with condensation there. I've found that it gets bad when it's cold out ( 40s, 30s and below) with moderate to high humidity. Tried Damp Rid, didn't work at all. I've seen write ups for a device that pulls the interior air across a small heating element to basically bake the moisture out of the air. Seemed like a good idea. Haven't found one yet, and can't remember the make/model,etc.
As for electric, I did alright with just the solar panel and frugal use of battery power. Only once did I have to hook up to the truck and run the engine for a while to recharge a bit.
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:57 PM   #10
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I've seen write ups for a device that pulls the interior air across a small heating element to basically bake the moisture out of the air.
Sounds familiar. Had one. Trashed it. Where does the moisture go after being baked out of the air?
It's not baking moisture out of the air. It is warming the air and warm air can hold more moisture.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:07 AM   #11
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My two cents worth, if you must live in the Pacific Northwest, especially in winter, is buy a proper dehumidifier, one which uses a refrigerated coil to condense water out of the air, and use it. Anything short of this is unlikely to keep up with even one person in a small trailer. Powering a dehumidifier with solar or wind would be a challenge, the power use is relatively high. Think small electric refrigerator, that is pretty much what you will be feeding.

Even with a dehumidifier, you will have to be careful about condensation in cupboards or behind cushions against outside walls. Ventilation is your friend.

Dehumidifiers are among the least reliable household appliances out there, so warranty coverage is worth making a priority.

OTOH, if you don't have to live in the Pacific Northwest in your trailer in the winter, there are other places which are warmer and drier...
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Old 03-11-2018, 06:49 PM   #12
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My two cents worth, if you must live in the Pacific Northwest, especially in winter, is buy a proper dehumidifier, one which uses a refrigerated coil to condense water out of the air, and use it. Anything short of this is unlikely to keep up with even one person in a small trailer. Powering a dehumidifier with solar or wind would be a challenge, the power use is relatively high. Think small electric refrigerator, that is pretty much what you will be feeding.

Even with a dehumidifier, you will have to be careful about condensation in cupboards or behind cushions against outside walls. Ventilation is your friend.

Dehumidifiers are among the least reliable household appliances out there, so warranty coverage is worth making a priority.

OTOH, if you don't have to live in the Pacific Northwest in your trailer in the winter, there are other places which are warmer and drier...
Thanks for the info, it's appreciated. One thing I will not be doing much of up here in cold, wet weather is boondocking, that's for sure.

Yeah, the warmer and drier sounds so much better for the aching old bones! I'm going to try to spend the bulk of the coldest, wettest weather in the Southwest and be home in the spring or fall. I know a lot of folks who like to summer here, but there is just something wrong with a dry, dusty and hot rain forest those years we have completely dry summers. :-p
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:31 AM   #13
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We live on the east side of the Olympics, so considerably less wet than the west end, but still the PNW. Both here and in extended travels around the US (family of four in a 17B for a year and now in a 19) we’ve found that the key to controlling condensation is ventilation. We usually keep the MaxxFan open but off, and a few other windows cracked an inch or so; furnace set to low 60’s and down comforters to keep warm. The furnace may run a fair bit if it’s cold, but we stay snug under the comforters, and the windows are generally condensation free in the morn, except for possibly on the frames due to thermal conduction. When not using the trailer we button it up and run a powered dehumidifier and a ceramic heater on a Therm-a-cube to keep things from freezing.
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:14 PM   #14
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We live on the east side of the Olympics, so considerably less wet than the west end, but still the PNW. Both here and in extended travels around the US (family of four in a 17B for a year and now in a 19) we’ve found that the key to controlling condensation is ventilation. We usually keep the MaxxFan open but off, and a few other windows cracked an inch or so; furnace set to low 60’s and down comforters to keep warm. The furnace may run a fair bit if it’s cold, but we stay snug under the comforters, and the windows are generally condensation free in the morn, except for possibly on the frames due to thermal conduction. When not using the trailer we button it up and run a powered dehumidifier and a ceramic heater on a Therm-a-cube to keep things from freezing.
Thanks, it's good to know that just keeping the ventilation open helps considerably in an Escape (though I will definitely keep the Damp Rid and dehumidifier handy to use as needed). I'm used to dressing in layers and like to sleep cold anyway, so that will work nicely. I can tell I'll be using more Thermacare strips on the neck and shoulders while in cooler climates, though (layers only do so much for achy bones).

From what I've been reading in this and other threads, I'm definitely getting the heating pads under the tanks, extra insulation everywhere I can get it and thermal windows that open as options.
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:47 PM   #15
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You might want to think twice about the spray on foam underneath - it can be a nuisance if you need to get at stuff for repair, and may be a corrosion hazard where it coats the frame. The floor can be insulated with standard styrofoam sheets which can be removed easily if necessary, and the tanks can (I hope) be dealt with separately one way or another.

On our 21, I may simply install 120 volt heat tapes intended for water lines in the appropriate locations. Heating tanks with 12 volts doesn't seem a great advantage to me - it would not last long unless plugged in to shore power, or serious charging is available from the tug, in either of which case running 120 volt heat tapes would work fine.

In any case, I will not be adding the spray on foam.
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:52 PM   #16
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Same here Allen there are other ways to insulate the underneath of Escapes which allow easy access to plumbing and electrical when the need arises
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:07 PM   #17
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I never had spray insulation installed under my trailer either. Partially because I knew I had work to do under it, and also because I was not certain I wanted it either. My thought was I could add it after all my work is done. I have since decided that I will just do my own 2" rigid to insulate the floor where I can. Not only is the option pricey, but the vanity in me just does not like how it looks on trailers that have it, with it puffing out under the trailer when you look at it from the side.
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:25 PM   #18
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Same here Allen there are other ways to insulate the underneath of Escapes which allow easy access to plumbing and electrical when the need arises
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I never had spray insulation installed under my trailer either. Partially because I knew I had work to do under it, and also because I was not certain I wanted it either. My thought was I could add it after all my work is done. I have since decided that I will just do my own 2" rigid to insulate the floor where I can.
Many of you have probably seen this but here are two examples of 2" rigid foam being applied. Ron in BC did his 19 and I also did a Scamp 16.

www.escapeforum.org/forums/f40/spray-foam-option-11339.html#post218211
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:43 PM   #19
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I have had the spray foam on all 3 of my Escapes, basically the entire underneath of the trailer is coated and painted black. The foam protects the entire underside and tanks from road debris. The floors are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer and with the thermal package the entire trailer is more quiet. I like that the foam covers part of the frame and protects it from rust, my touch up is limited to the front tongue portion and rear bumper. BTW, the heat pads, although 12v use a lot of juice and you will need to be hooked up to utilize them. They are thermostatically controlled, on at 30 and off at 40 and there is a on/off switch. The pads are only on the fresh and grey tanks as the black tank in inside the trailer.
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:45 PM   #20
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Hmm, I'm doubtful ETI would add anything that would increase the corrosion factor that much. To my way of thinking, the spray insulation and the pads on the tanks will be more than worth the extra pain in the neck and draw on power when it's needed. Even down in the Southwest, they get freaky winter weather where the temps drop into the 20's for a few nights and stay below freezing during the day and I really don't relish the idea of my tanks and plumbing freezing in such an instance. As always though, opinions and mileage vary.
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