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Old 07-31-2015, 05:49 PM   #1
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Looking to be a 21 ft owner

Hello everyone, my wife Kim and I have been in touch with ETI and scheduled to visit the factory this September. With years of RVing experience followed by our first downsizing to a new 2005 Scamp 13', we know what trailer we want for our retirement ( November 2016 ).

I clearly remember Reace's announcement of his and Tammy's new company years ago over at Fiberglass RV. Their reputation is almost legendary and for good reason. I am happy to see their company doing so well.

So I thought it was about time I stop just reading and announce myself as a very likely 21 ft owner. Will announce the good news this September.

I am a very hands on person and will share my Escape ownership experience, mods and places Kim and will plan to visit, basically all of North America (Mexico excluded). I did not participate much at Fiberglass RV due to time constraints brought on by family, career demands, parents in need and in recent years, re-building our retirement home in our spare time. All that is dissipating and come November 2016, we will be free!

Santiago in Anaheim California
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:50 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum Santiago. Life's about to take an amazing turn!
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Old 07-31-2015, 06:02 PM   #3
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Thank you RBryan
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:48 PM   #4
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Excellent news for you both!

What about the 21 attracts you? The larger bath is a plus for me. For the tow, is it a ram ecodiesel in the future?
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:26 PM   #5
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Hi Bruce,

Yes I need a new tow, the Ram Pentstar v6.
Considered the Ecodiesel as I love diesels but at the end of the day its really an automobile grade diesel, I hear dealers can have long waits for parts, it's made in Italy, and being stranded in a small town for a week or more waiting is not something I look forward to. Did that in a small town in Colorado back in 1968 as a young man when my British sport car snapped the metal timing chain.

Second reason is economics, again when I had diesels in the past fuel was a lot cheaper than gasoline, no more. Then there is a premium ~$4k for the engine, then there are the $50/$60 oil filters, urea for smog control that I read consumes twice as much as what Dodge claims.

It's a turbo, and that alone makes it more prone to having issues as compared to a simpler naturally aspired engine. Having said all that, I love the simplicity of a diesel, its efficiency, gas mileage and longevity that I will not be able to take advantage of. My next car will be a diesel, not my tow unless its a Cummin of course.

Diesel towability would be excellent and I will miss that as well. I figured I need parts and mechanics out in the boonies while crisscrossing this beautiful country. The standard gas V6 has 269 ft-lbs of torque ( not at low rpms like a diesel ) but good enough for a lightweight trailer. Not an easy decision due to my bias towards diesels but just being practical. The standard Pentstar V6 has EPA 18/25 its a lot better than my current gas tow which runs premium gas.

What attracted us to the 21ft ? The floor plan is about perfect. In my view Reace and Tammy got the 21ft formulation just right. Yes I wish the bed was a few inches wider but that is about all. To me the most beautiful part of the 21ft is the fact that the front has no window, it has a beautiful clean aerodynamic look. Wish it did not have the flat indent where the front window would have been but nothing in life is perfect.

We plan on ordering without the awning we will never use, that much we know. That alone will enhance the cleanliness of the shell's design. We had and never used our awning why carry it around.

Right now am shopping for a 6 to7 cf 12v/120vac two door refrigerator, made that known to ETI, no confirmation from them. I will buy without refrigerator if it becomes an issue and install myself. Oh yes, it will not have a furnace, I will install my own. Other than those two the rest of the changes are on the options list.

Santiago and Kim in Ahaheim
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:30 PM   #6
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Sounds good Santiago. I'm partial to my hemi myself but its mountainous here. Please report back when you hear from Reace

Many happy miles to you both.
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:32 AM   #7
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Thank you Bruce.

I thought about a V8, hemi in a Dodge or the 5.0 if it was the Ford F-150 just as long as it's not turbo but decided the Pentstar V6 was more than adequate for the 21ft. Now if the 21ft weighted 4000 pounds dry then yes the v8 hemi option would be my choice.

I will not hear from Reace as I was already told they are too busy to measure a couple of measurements I need in order to decide if the 12vdc refrigerator I chose would work out. I am to wait till mid September and measure it myself when we visit the factory. So at this time I still don't know if my refrigerator swap plan will work.

I will take a small tape measure when I visit and measure the entry door width and a couple of measurements inside the cabinet door under the standard LP refrigerator such as distance from inside cabinet door to the wheel well, then height of the wheel well from the floor. The 12vdc unit I have in mind has the compressor and coil at the very bottom and I suspect it will fit in that space. Above the wheel well the refrigerator box will fill that cavity. There will be no shell cut-out on the street side of trailer nor a flue cutout on the roof. Electric refrigerators work in a sealed environment.

The beauty of the compressor and coil down below is that it vents to the trailer's living space, like your home refrigerator. It is free and unobstructed venting for maximum cooling efficiency. Other units with compressor/coil behind and enclosed require vents and will certainly run hotter back there.

The refrigerator is manufactured somewhere in B.C. , I forgot to ask. So if I am on my own with this change my plan is to have the refrigerator ready for pick up at the refrigerator manufacturer when we go pick up our trailer next year, load it in the truck and head home.

Santiago
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:00 AM   #8
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My 21' Escape came in at 4300# last year on way home from Osoyoos, 500# t/w and 3800# on axles. I'm pulling with a 2014 Hemi 8 speed and this year, once 10,000 miles hit my gas started improving. I'm averaging 14 mpg towing and over 20 not towing. I have the 3:21 rear end which helps with the mpg. I believe the smaller engines will work harder thus causing efficiency to drop, particularly out west with the mountains and the E85 fuel.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:14 AM   #9
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Looking to be a 21 ft owner

Santiago, if you're talking about a NovaKool, they're made in Surrey BC. A couple of their models do fit in an Escape - the chief limitation being that they can't be wider than 22" or they won't fit through the door. Also, the NovaKool models that do fit are not self venting to the interior. The compressor is in the rear.

One of the forum members has retrofitted with a NovaKool, but he has also added several solar panels so he can power it while boondocking. Without such a setup, you'll be limited to camping with full hookups.

It's a very expensive undertaking, and in my humble opinion, not really necessary when you consider that the new Escapes come with a 2 door RMD8555 refrigerator that does a decent job of cooling.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:00 AM   #10
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21 owner

Santiago, I agree with much of your thinking, we also have had a lot of experience with fiberglass trailers and many other RV's. We now have a 21 and love it, but we also have had a 13 scamp for years with 4 of us. We learned then that we lived outside under the awning most of the time just as we do now. When we moved up to a 19 Escape I felt like I needed a better tow vehicle but something shorter than the 150 super crews that we had before, we went to the Jeep GC with the Dodge Hemi. It had the performance of the diesels but not the price and we could find a dealer with parts hopefully anywhere. At 83000 miles I'm thinking about the next tow vehicle and it may be the Jeep again. It has short wheel base, good mileage daily and towing and I like to see the 1800 rpm at 70 to 75 towing.
The new 2 door refrig that Rease and company installed in June does appear to be working much better, we'll know for sure when we leave Tucson for Monterey CA in two weeks. As for a furnace, we use a portable 120v heater most of the time as we are more of a traveler than a camper and usually have full hook-ups. The installed gas furnace will drive us out with the extra insulation.
Good luck with your decisions, it is a great way to enjoy retirement.
Jack and Nancy and Chico the dog
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:53 AM   #11
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Nova Kool RFU 8320 Refrigerator Installation

At one time Reace would leave whatever size hole for the fridge, if asked. He said also he wouldnt be able to run a propane line for future use, which wouldnt be a problem for your unit. there was a furnance delete thread here somewhere, started by nwcatowner for reference.



Looked at a V6 towing thread...those boys liked it well enough for light trailering. No mention of high mountain passes in that thread though.
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:12 PM   #12
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Good morning everyone, great advice as usual - thank you. Gets the wheels in the old noggin spinning again.

Jim, you are right on the advantages of more displacement being more efficient and durable under load, always believed that. But, 4300 pounds is more than I had in mind, although accurate I am certain, and from experience know actual weight shoots up fast. Will carefully re-consider the V6 for what I had originally contemplated, a good old American V8. The sound of it alone is worth the loss of few mpg. With a 3:21 you must be tooling along at lower rpms and due to the 21ft's lower weight as compared to other brands sounds like a good match.

Robert, Surrey BC so that's where they are? Yes it is NovaKool. My desire for 12vdc/120ac is not due to the RMD8555's performance. I just don't like adsorption units. Having said that I know adsorption have many benefits, long lasting propane power being at the top of the list.

A couple of models have the Danfoss compressor and coil at bottom venting to the cabin. Question is - will that part that sits under the refrigerator box fit between the wheel well and end of cabinetry ? The model I have in mind, RFU 8220 7.3 cf is 19-1/2" deep so yes it will go through a 22" door. Other models like the 9.1 cf with same width but deeper after temporarily removing the door will fit through the 22" Escape door. So the Escape entry door opening is 22" ? Wish I would have gotten that little bit of info from ETI when I asked several times.

At any rate calculating expected 12v demand of the refrigerator, battery set up, possible tow charging and finally solar for boon docking which has been most of what we do, will work by golly. Is the cost and time worth it, to most folks - no.

Not saying the model I want will pop in as exact replacement, although many other models will pop in but you need to add two cabinet vents to allow heated air to escape via convection due to their compressor/coil unit being in the back - still no fans needed.

Jack, my next door neighbor has a Jeep GC and it's beautiful. Temping yes but I like pickups. One of my hundred hobbies is wood and metal working as well are never ending construction on my home and another I have. Gotta have a pickup.

I plan on deleting the standard furnace due to the fact that it's easier for me to design my own with better air distribution, quieter and more efficient. When power is available, 120vac space heater works great.

You have the extra insulation? Wow can you tell me about it. I asked ETI but again I have to wait for the visit in September to get an answer, but feel free to describe what it is. I know the standard is a roll on insulating bubble "wrap" with reflecting film, what do they do beyond that to call it "extra insulation". How thick is the extra insulation, what added R value does it add?

Santiago
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:34 PM   #13
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My 21' Escape came in at 4300# last year on way home from Osoyoos, 500# t/w and 3800# on axles. I'm pulling with a 2014 Hemi 8 speed and this year, once 10,000 miles hit my gas started improving. I'm averaging 14 mpg towing and over 20 not towing. I have the 3:21 rear end which helps with the mpg. I believe the smaller engines will work harder thus causing efficiency to drop, particularly out west with the mountains and the E85 fuel.
Jim,
Are you using a weight distribution hitch with your set-up and if so, which one? We are having trouble deciding. Any suggestions would be appreciated. We will be towing our '21 with a 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 with the 5.3 and 3:42 rear. Christine and Emilio
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:38 PM   #14
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Sounds like you have a handle on all the issues that could arise from using the NovaKool, Santiago. And yes, the door width is just over 22". Provided you vent as described, and you provide for a taller cutout for the larger NovaKool, you should be able to install without issue. Be aware that Escape might take some convincing to do the fridge omission and/or to rough in the cutout. You'll probably be charged the same whether or not you omit the fridge.
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:49 PM   #15
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Jim,
Are you using a weight distribution hitch with your set-up and if so, which one? We are having trouble deciding. Any suggestions would be appreciated. We will be towing our '21 with a 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 with the 5.3 and 3:42 rear. Christine and Emilio
I use the Andersen on my cross country trips but normally just use a regular hitch on in state trips.
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:55 PM   #16
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You have the extra insulation? Wow can you tell me about it. I asked ETI but again I have to wait for the visit in September to get an answer, but feel free to describe what it is. I know the standard is a roll on insulating bubble "wrap" with reflecting film, what do they do beyond that to call it "extra insulation". How thick is the extra insulation, what added R value does it add?

Santiago


The thermal package includes thermal windows and reflectix from the belly band down to the floor. Since this area is normally unseen it is normally unfinished. Thus with the package your entire trailer from the roof to the wheel wells is covered with reflectix and the white vinyl covers all areas that can be seen. If you get the foam spray outside underneath then the entire bottom is protected and insulated, definitely recommended not only for cold areas but also in warm areas. Plus the entire trailer is almost sound proofed now.
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:00 PM   #17
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I believe Reace has looked into Novacool and reached the conclusion that it is not a good alternative to the Dometic that they do install, nor is it economical to offer it as an option. I wouldn't expect them to redesign their standard build to accommodate it.
I'm also curious how you plan to redesign the furnace to make it quieter and more efficient, given that the specs for the standard furnace are already excellent for a propane furnace.
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:18 PM   #18
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While I have the extra insulation and double-pane windows (no underfloor spray foam) for heat retention during winter months, I would have a hard time saying that it reduces the noise level significantly. That's just my opinion.
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:26 PM   #19
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Jim,
Are you using a weight distribution hitch with your set-up and if so, which one? We are having trouble deciding. Any suggestions would be appreciated. We will be towing our '21 with a 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 with the 5.3 and 3:42 rear. Christine and Emilio
I believe Jim has the Anderson. We tow with the exact same Chevy with a 21', but use a Reese SC 66151. Built in sway with spring bars. Tows great. I'm sure the Anderson works great as well. We had the Reese from our Casita. The Reese is more a conventional big chunk of Iron. Had to do a quick maneuver lane change coming through Indianapolis and everything stayed in line, no big sways. The Chevy would probably handle OK without a WDH/sway but I like belt and suspenders when your life is on the line.

Tow/haul and hill decent control on the Chevy is awesome. Makes driving in mountains so much easier!
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Old 08-01-2015, 01:27 PM   #20
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You have the extra insulation? Wow can you tell me about it. I asked ETI but again I have to wait for the visit in September to get an answer, but feel free to describe what it is. I know the standard is a roll on insulating bubble "wrap" with reflecting film, what do they do beyond that to call it "extra insulation". How thick is the extra insulation, what added R value does it add?

Santiago


The thermal package includes thermal windows and reflectix from the belly band down to the floor. Since this area is normally unseen it is normally unfinished. Thus with the package your entire trailer from the roof to the wheel wells is covered with reflectix and the white vinyl covers all areas that can be seen. If you get the foam spray outside underneath then the entire bottom is protected and insulated, definitely recommended not only for cold areas but also in warm areas. Plus the entire trailer is almost sound proofed now.
Jim- is it possible that you have it backwards i.e. the reflectex with thermal pkg. is from about the bench seat height up? Thought my non-thermal packaged 17B had the reflectex on the wheel wells. Maybe not.
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