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Old 01-11-2016, 06:15 PM   #1
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Hello from Petaluma, CA

We're awaiting pictures soon for our 19' , due in Feb. . We paid our deposit in May, and people said that the time would fly by, and it sure seemed to !
The Escape forum, and all the generous opinions, advice, and experience shared was a wonderful resource for us in finalizing our build list . We're especially grateful for all the kind people who took the time to show us their trailers and answer our many questions .
We're very excited by the prospect of going up and getting our new Escape when it's completed . But never having towed anything before, we also are feeling a healthy amount of nervousness about the whole towing experience . We'll try to be as prepared as we can, and adapt and learn as we go . We'd like to find some sort of a weather "window", at least for our return trip south, when we plan to camp some with our new rig . ( We'll see how that goes )
We hope to meet many of you in our camping travels this next year and beyond . We look forward to becoming a part of such a welcoming community !
Yes, we will try to share our build pictures as we get them ( if we're able to figure out how to do it ) . Dennis and Jessica
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:20 PM   #2
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Tutorial on posting photos:

Posting Photos
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:58 PM   #3
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Lots of spots along the way south on I-5 to hole up if you run into bad weather on the way back to the Bay area.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:10 PM   #4
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Very nice, time to start getting real excited.

I would take a lot of time to practice towing the trailer in a large parking lot after the businesses close. Practice will help with the confidence. A few people went to a driving school near Escape and got some instruction on towing, maybe that might be an option.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:32 PM   #5
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Good advice Jim. One thing to think about too, is to look ahead when you need to stop or get gas, and try not to go anywhere that you need to back up.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:39 PM   #6
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I pay a lot of attention to how I will exit a gas station after getting parked in at one once. It was nerve wracking to have to back up repeatedly with vehicles arriving and with people, drinking their slurpies, walking behind the trailer.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:45 PM   #7
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Welcome! I would look for a few clear days before leaving so that you do not have to worry about towing in bad weather, just as it seems you plan to do. You can pick up the trailer anytime. You will get used to towing soon enough. You will have more backing practice then than you will probably want! Have a good trip home.
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:56 AM   #8
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I pay a lot of attention to how I will exit a gas station after getting parked in at one once. It was nerve wracking to have to back up repeatedly with vehicles arriving and with people, drinking their slurpies, walking behind the trailer.
One of worst ones is the Superstore one in Chilliwack. Talk about congested and difficult to maneuver.

To those picking their trailer up, do it with a full tank, don't make that gas station your first stop.

Ron
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Old 01-12-2016, 02:09 AM   #9
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I went to the local construction rental center and rented a trailer and spent the day driving in circles and backing up in a parking lot.

it helped to build experience when backing up the trailer

-David
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:43 AM   #10
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My wife and I also had never towed before. We planned our 10 week pick up trip that would cover 10,000 miles. We were cautious as we began towing and always tried to plan ahead. We made a few mistakes and figured out how to turn around. We started right in with backing into campsites. My wife's first trial of towing was 20 minutes on I5 above Seattle. With time, we both got better and more comfortable. Our advice is to take it slow, drive defensively and enjoy your trailer!!!
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:03 AM   #11
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I went to the local construction rental center and rented a trailer and spent the day driving in circles and backing up in a parking lot.

it helped to build experience when backing up the trailer

-David
That is not a bad plan at all, if you have no or little experience.

Doing so for an few hours after picking up your trailer would work too, and help build a bit of confidence, and take some of the anxiety away.

Even though I have towing 100's of thousands of miles with various trailers (mostly bumper pull), the only fifth wheels I have towed have been real long tractor trailer combos, and reversing them is a breeze. I only back in my great aunts short fifth wheel trailer once about 20 years ago, and found some nuances I needed to get used to. So, even I plan to do a bit of practising after first picking it up. We never stop learning.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:54 AM   #12
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Thanks for the steps to adding pictures onto the message . We'll try it out in the next few days .
Dennis
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:57 AM   #13
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Jim, I like the parking lot idea, and we're also considering taking a lesson at the trailer driving school near ETI before pickup .
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:59 AM   #14
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Ron, thanks for the tip on getting gas in Chilliwack . We'll try to have a full tank when picking it up .
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Old 01-12-2016, 12:11 PM   #15
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If you gas up in Sumas before crossing the border you'll notice it's so much cheaper than gassing up in Chilliwack. We get hosed in BC. Many Canadians duck across the border to gas up.

Ron
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Old 01-12-2016, 01:13 PM   #16
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You'll be comfortable towing before you know it. Even with a lot of towing experience, I was a little nervous after hooking up and leaving Sumas. There is just no way to avoid all that traffic in the Pacific Northwest. The two main things to remember are your length in switching lanes and to swing out more on the corners. Good towing mirrors are a must. Also keep your height in mind. On the news the other night they showed a large fifth wheel going under a low overpass. He cleaned off everything that was on top of his trailer. Loren
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Old 01-12-2016, 02:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
If you gas up in Sumas before crossing the border you'll notice it's so much cheaper than gassing up in Chilliwack. We get hosed in BC. Many Canadians duck across the border to gas up.

Ron
There is a Costco in Bellingham, WA. That's where I've gotten gas. I've never encountered one that you could not pull through. Also, because I wasn't in a hurry, (I was working), and I didn't want to chance snow, I waited until I thought there would be no snow on the roads to deal with. (I didn't have to.) ETI said it was OK to keep it there.
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:17 PM   #18
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Also keep your height in mind. On the news the other night they showed a large fifth wheel going under a low overpass. He cleaned off everything that was on top of his trailer.
It's good to keep overhead clearance in mind, particularly around buildings and even some gas stations (which can have low overhangs or canopies) or of course in garages and on ferries. On the other hand, there's no need to get stressed about this on the road, since no Escape is tall by truck standards.

Perhaps the best known low overpass which catches trucks has been made famous by videos posted at 11 FOOT 8 - The Canopener Bridge. Even an Escape 5.0TA with an air conditioner and set at the highest suspension height would clear that. Just know your height (get out the stepladder and tape measure), remember that one value, and read clearance signs if you see them.
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:27 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
It's good to keep overhead clearance in mind, particularly around buildings and even some gas stations (which can have low overhangs or canopies) or of course in garages and on ferries. On the other hand, there's no need to get stressed about this on the road, since no Escape is tall by truck standards.

Perhaps the best known low overpass which catches trucks has been made famous by videos posted at 11 FOOT 8 - The Canopener Bridge. Even an Escape 5.0TA with an air conditioner and set at the highest suspension height would clear that. Just know your height (get out the stepladder and tape measure), remember that one value, and read clearance signs if you see them.
Wasn't necessarily a low height problem but was definitely a case where more thought was required in advance. My brother was on holidays a couple years ago and "forgot" that he was towing his 24 ft camper behind his truck when he pulled into a fenced-in MacDonald's drive-through. I understand that he was quite embarrassed and required a number of attempts in order to back his way out of that spot. That could never happen to me personally as I would never consider eating at that establishment.
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:57 PM   #20
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Here's a list of post-trailer-pickup stops for gas/food/stuff on the way back to Bellingham. We compiled and used this list successfully last Sept.
Where to stock up after pick up
Post #19.
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