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Old 12-18-2014, 07:08 AM   #11
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Hi George and Jodi, guess you made up your mind.

1. The aluminum wheels are pretty high quality on these, time will tell. I've had more problems with steel then aluminum, plus the trailer won't be on the salty winter roads every day like the vehicles are.

2. How long do the dual 6 batteries last? Would we be good for 4-5 days?
Sounds similar to us, we can easily get 4 or 5 days. With solar you can stay till you need to dump.

3. Inverter/Solar. We had prewire done, mainly I wanted a bigger panel then the 95W that was available from ETI, they now use the 160W (which is what I installed). If you want to do it yourself, you can end up with a some what better controller and maybe a monitor for about the same money, but it is a fair amount of work.

For the amount of use you want it for, an inverter will run the hair drier just fine. Do figure on solar or carry a small generator though.

4. Is the stereo that escape offers adequate? We would mostly use it to plug in an iPod and occasionally look for a weather forecast.
I had prewire done but haven't done anything with it. We use an Ipod with bluetooth speaker, not as convenient but it works, plus the speaker had to be recharged fairly often. I get weather off the smart phone also seems most campgrounds post the daily weather. Might install one some day, just no need for it as yet.

5. We want to put sliding shelves in the pantry similar to yours Bob. Did you take out the middle shelf or install above it? Should we have that shelf eliminated from the build? Do we need to reinforce the walls to mount the brackets?
I only installed one slider for pantry use, it's in the lower shelf area. The upper shelf is just towels and such. The shelf ETI installed is pretty much permanent, think it'd make a mes of the sides if I were to remove it. If I decide to put a slider up there I'll install it over the shelf. So far no need.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:12 AM   #12
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Congrats on your purchase, you are going to love it. And, welcome to the forum.

1. I have never had an issue with aluminum rims, and have had them on lots of cars. My 19 still has the steel ones though.

2. Our dual 6V batteries last fine at near freezing temps overnight easily for 3 nights, and have easily gone more with less furnace use. With no furnace use, and only lights and pump, you could go a long, long time. It all depends on your demands on the battery.

3. We don't have need for an inverter for anything, this would put a huge draw on batteries if needed. There are lots of options to using 120V appliances. Hair drying for instance, you can just let air dry. My wife, with thick curly long hair does this. Still, a prewire for solar is not a bad idea at all, though there is the option of going portable too.
4. You don't need a powerful stereo, and I the one Escape offers would do the job. However, I would look at some kind of portable player with bluetooth capability myself.
5. There is a pantry, cool. My 19 does not have one, so I can't comment.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:26 AM   #13
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Rolling Shelves... they're on my mod list (which isn't very long). Tom posted these bottom mounts. Cool, don't have to worry about drilling in a wall! Pull out kitchen, Pantry, Shelves and Drawers Roll out Kitchen Drawers Inc. Here's his post with pictures: Accessible and Convenient Storage
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:10 AM   #14
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We have a 5TA That we picked up in August, drove back across the US/ Canada - we really love it, I'm sure you will too.
We have the 5 aluminum rims, we had a 17 escape previously with steel rims, and living on the East Coast, I was constantly touching up the steel rims for rusting, - the spare in particular as it was under the vinyl cover. We have had no problem with the rims losing air at all. Plus the rims are fairly cheap- $85x 5 =$425, compared to buying them separately on a vehicle.
We have camped for 3 - 4 nights no problem with the battery and that was the 12 volt one on the 17. We got two 6volt batteries, and prewired for solar on the 5TA, So I'm expecting We should have no problem getting a bit more out of the two 6's. We are a bit careful with the lights, but still use them a fair bit. We didn't get an inverter installed, we really don't use much 12 volt items, we have a small plug in inverter to charge our phones, and we switch to propane and boil water on the stove.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:41 AM   #15
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Welcome.

1. I bought aluminum for all five wheels. They look great and I have had no issues with loss of pressure to date.

2. With the solar option, your boondocking stays are no longer limited by battery capacity and more limited by storage tank capacities and how long it takes to drink up all of the beer. Staying out a week with solar is not an issue, particularly if you go with the upgraded dual 6V batteries.

3. I would skip the inverter (and did), but that is my preference. If you go for it (the inverter), solar or a generator for charging your batteries will greatly increase the duration of your boondocking stays.

4. I thought the Escape stereo was inadequate and supplied my own for Reace to install. Went with the Jensen JHD910BT, which is a bluetooth stereo with weatherband. It is sized small for use in motorcycles and other small vehicles, and works well for us.

5. Sliding shelves are nice. I would have raised sides, front and back on the shelves (basket like) so that they can slide in and out without stuff falling off of them when extended.

Also, you will need to buy a couple of other essentials including:
  • wine glasses
  • beer mugs
  • cork screw
Enjoy.
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
With the solar option, your boondocking stays are no longer limited by battery capacity and more limited by storage tank capacities and how long it takes to drink up all of the beer. Staying out a week with solar is not an issue, particularly if you go with the upgraded dual 6V batteries.
As long as you don't park under heavy tree canopy or it rains.......

If it rains, the corkscrew and what it is used for helps!
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Hi George and Jodi, guess you made up your mind.

1. The aluminum wheels are pretty high quality on these, time will tell. I've had more problems with steel then aluminum, plus the trailer won't be on the salty winter roads every day like the vehicles are.

2. How long do the dual 6 batteries last? Would we be good for 4-5 days?
Sounds similar to us, we can easily get 4 or 5 days. With solar you can stay till you need to dump.

3. Inverter/Solar. We had prewire done, mainly I wanted a bigger panel then the 95W that was available from ETI, they now use the 160W (which is what I installed). If you want to do it yourself, you can end up with a some what better controller and maybe a monitor for about the same money, but it is a fair amount of work.

For the amount of use you want it for, an inverter will run the hair drier just fine. Do figure on solar or carry a small generator though.

4. Is the stereo that escape offers adequate? We would mostly use it to plug in an iPod and occasionally look for a weather forecast.
I had prewire done but haven't done anything with it. We use an Ipod with bluetooth speaker, not as convenient but it works, plus the speaker had to be recharged fairly often. I get weather off the smart phone also seems most campgrounds post the daily weather. Might install one some day, just no need for it as yet.

5. We want to put sliding shelves in the pantry similar to yours Bob. Did you take out the middle shelf or install above it? Should we have that shelf eliminated from the build? Do we need to reinforce the walls to mount the brackets?
I only installed one slider for pantry use, it's in the lower shelf area. The upper shelf is just towels and such. The shelf ETI installed is pretty much permanent, think it'd make a mes of the sides if I were to remove it. If I decide to put a slider up there I'll install it over the shelf. So far no need.
Noticed the woodworking . Very nice !
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:51 PM   #18
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for all of the quick replies, good food for thought in all, knew our Escape friends would help out! We will have to talk over all the comments and see what seems right for us. We already have the wine glasses and corkscrew, no need for the beer mugs, just use the bottle.
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-twnbob View Post
You are very fortunate, we placed our 5.0TA order on the 14th of November and have a projected completion date of 5 August. They must have sold a lot of trailers in less than 2 weeks to be almost 3 1/2 months behind you! I really like the looks of the aluminum rims but we believe that money would be better spent on upgrades inside. We will also go with the 6 volt batteries and purchase a Honda 2000. Good luck with the build sheet.
t-twnbob, We ordered on Nov. 3, with a completion date of July 20, 2015. On Nov. 20 I noticed an open date of April 21 on the production list, called in and got us moved up, there must have been a cancellation and I happened to check at just the right time.
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCampers View Post
t-twnbob, We ordered on Nov. 3, with a completion date of July 20, 2015. On Nov. 20 I noticed an open date of April 21 on the production list, called in and got us moved up, there must have been a cancellation and I happened to check at just the right time.
Good for you, that's awesome! I have have mentioned to ETI a couple of times that we would like to take advantage of a cancellation if able, so we are keeping our fingers crossed. Bob
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