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Old 12-17-2014, 11:39 PM   #1
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New 5.0TA will have home in Minnesota

Hi all of you Escapees!
George and Jodi here from Minnesota. After searching the internet for small fiberglass campers we found Escape, contacted them, saw a '19' less than 10 miles from our home and were impressed, then crossed paths with a '5.0TA' in the Black Hills in September and chatted with the owners for a long time (Padlin, I believe that's you). In early November we placed our order for a 5.0TA with a completion date of April 21st.
We have been reading so many forum posts in the last 2 months or so that it seems like we already know many of you and you seem like a pretty friendly bunch so we thought we would ask for some input on a few things.

1. We like the look of the aluminum rims, but from past experience with them on cars, there seemed to be a problem with them holding air pressure. How have the aluminum rims worked out for you on your Escapes?

2. How long do the dual 6 batteries last? We typically dry camp and just use minimal lights in the evening, the fan, water pump and charge a few small electronic devices. Would we be good for 4-5 days?

3. Thinking about the inverter, does this significantly reduce the battery charge? I have a 700W hairdryer that would be on for about 3-4 min. Would we need solar to recharge? We will at least prewire for solar, but aren't really sure we would need to put it in.

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.

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?

That's all for now, but there may be more questions in the future, build sheet is due Feb 1. Thanks for your help and any other suggestions you may have to offer.
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:52 PM   #2
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Welcome to our Escape world G&J,
I'll try to answer some of your concerns. There have been no issues with the aluminum wheels holding air. I have had them on 2 Escapes with no issue. If ordering, I'd suggest you get 5 for a matching spare. The dual 6 volts will last your all week with solar. You limiting factor will be water and waste, not your batteries. If you want a hair dryer then you will need solar and an inverter. Leave the dryer home while camping and save yourself some $$$. The factory radio does not have weather. You can purchase a portable weather radio as well as a bluetooth speaker for your IPOD. That way your interior is not marked with speakers and a radio that may be obsolete in a year or two. Enjoy.
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:26 AM   #3
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If you camp in shoulder seasons, you're gonna need to run the furnace. The fan probably uses more power than any other device. For that reason, I'd get the solar installed.
Trying to run high wattage appliances like a hair dryer while dry camping is costly in terms of battery power. And trying to mitigate that problem is costly in terms of your wallet.
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:03 AM   #4
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Welcome and congratulations on your purchase! Nothing to add on the items that Jim and Glenn mentioned -- they nailed it. As for the slide out shelves, those I've seen don't have reinforced closet walls and they mounted just fine.
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:15 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCampers View Post
1. We like the look of the aluminum rims, but from past experience with them on cars, there seemed to be a problem with them holding air pressure. How have the aluminum rims worked out for you on your Escapes?
I've never had an issue with aluminum alloy wheels holding air, and I've used them at least some of the time on almost every vehicle I've owned. Most of my alloys have been original factory equipment, although some have been aftermarket. Problems holding air may be a quality issue in casting (some are porous) or finish; I don't know of any reasons to expect problems with wheels from Escape... but I don't have any experience with them.

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3. Thinking about the inverter, does this significantly reduce the battery charge? I have a 700W hairdryer that would be on for about 3-4 min.
That's a lot of power, so perhaps 65 amps; fortunately only for a short period. If the use is really that short it might only be 4 amp-hours, but that's still a meaningful portion of the battery capacity.
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:28 AM   #7
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Genset vs solar is a whole 'nother thread. If you are going to boondock and run an air conditioner, you're gonna need a generator. Not sure how one sleeps with a generator and air conditioner running.
I've got a Honda 1000 and have added a couple 40 watt portable solar panels. Wish I had just invested in the solar in the first place.
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:45 AM   #8
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Hair dryer probably won't be used every day, so may be fine there for a few days. Solar pre-wire would be good should you find you need it later. I think if you get the bigger 12V battery it's in the dual 6V box (best check that) so an upgrade to dual 6V and solar would be simple. You won't really know until you've done a bit of camping in the new rig.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:07 AM   #9
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Hair dryer probably won't be used every day, so may be fine there for a few days. Solar pre-wire would be good should you find you need it later. I think if you get the bigger 12V battery it's in the dual 6V box (best check that) so an upgrade to dual 6V and solar would be simple. You won't really know until you've done a bit of camping in the new rig.
You are correct Charlie, my battery box for the group 29 is the same for the dual sixers, I doubt ETI stocks a different box for each type of battery, other than the black outside vs the white interior box.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:08 AM   #10
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Aluminum rims

The only problem I have had on aluminum rims was on a Pontiac that was 14 years old. I think the issue was in the bead area with corrosion. I doubt you would see that on a trailer that does not get the repeated exposure to winter salt. My fix at the time was a can of sealant in each tire.
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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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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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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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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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