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Old 06-21-2014, 10:28 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Niceville, Florida
Trailer: Prospective Escape Owner
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Talking New member has some questions.......

Hi folks, I am new to this world and am in the process of getting ready to purchase a new 19 ft. ESCAPE. I am 55 and lucky enough to be fully retired. I must admit I am not going to go full time at first. Everyone I talk to has told me to rent a few different types of RV's/Trailers and see what I like. I have done that and have used a friends Casita a few times which led to my discovering the ESCAPE. I will maintain my townhome in Florida as a home base and go out for a week or two and then graduate to longer trips. My tow vehicle is the super capable 2012 Toyota Tundra 4WD SR5/Double Cab with tow package(5.7L V-8/6sp Auto). Best truck I have ever owned and I've owned many. Anyway, that's me, just a single 55 year old looking to see the country at my speed. Here's a few questions.
1.) Are there any options you wish you would have ordered and did not? Remember I will buy the 19 ft. model.
2.) I am a big college football fan and follow my team on the road. I need technology to write my blog, use satellite TV to watch games during road trips and tail gates. Any ideas for us technology freaks ? Yes, I'm that guy with the 75 inch TV and I love it!
3.) Does anyone else use a Toyota Tundra equipped like mine? Any suggested modifications? Trailer brakes is one I can think of regardless of my Tundra(10,500lbs. tow cap.) being overly capable.
4.) As much as I like technology, I also want to be set up well for dry camping. Does anyone use their ESCAPE to dry camp and utilize SOLAR and other Off-Grid Technology? I would love to hear more.
5.)Would you suggest a factory visit prior to making up my mind? I think that would be best since I have never seen the ESCAPE in person. Any suggestions regarding a visit would be appreciated.

Thanks Everyone! Sorry for the long post, but I felt that would be the best way to educate myself before dropping down the cash
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:43 AM   #2
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My suggestion as a first place to start would be to click on the Owners Map tab at the top and you'll see a 21' Escape not too far from you near Pensacola. Contact the owners to see if they will show you their Escape. I'm betting they will be more than happy to do that.

Welcome to the Escape world--you've chosen the best!

Edited: You'll find that you'll spend hours upon hours on this forum learning from earlier posts. Use the Google search function at the top to find threads on almost all the options offered by ETI. The bottom line is that your camping lifestyle will drive all your decisions regarding options as there are pros and cons to each and every option. Good luck and have fun as "building" your Escape is exciting!
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:15 AM   #3
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Good idea Karen, also they could call ETI for someone also who might not be on the owners' map.
Welcome TennNomad, as to options you can see on the forum what others have done, or not and whether they were happy or not with their decisions. Since there are so many many more choices, it will be difficult to figure out. One thought is to mentally go through your non-working day, and think with regard to what you do. For example do you cook a big breakfast? Would cook that outside at times? You might use the propane hook-up. I'd always advise the air conditioner. Would you need interior and exterior 12v outlets?
I'm not sure if anyone has made a master list, but follow cpaharley2008's contributions (among others), and you'll get tons of ideas. Good luck!
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:18 AM   #4
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Location: Burlington, Ontario
Trailer: 2012 Escape 19
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Welcome.. my suggestion would be to use the search functionality of this site for a bit if you haven't already.. at least 4 (and maybe all) of your questions have already been EXTENSIVELY discussed by the members.. I'd be afraid I would miss something important to you and already posted in the archives if your just reading quick present day answers to your questions. What's your time frame for purchase? You'll got a bit more time (months from today) to finalize everything if your already settled on a new 19.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandra L View Post
I'd always advise the air conditioner. Good luck!
Made me smile, made me smile, Sandra! This validates my comment about pros and cons of each option. This would be a no-brainer for TennNomad living in Florida but I have no use or need for AC living in the PNW as I don't tolerate heat well and have no business camping anywhere it would be needed. It's all about lifestyle and that's why this forum is so great!
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:37 AM   #6
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Welcome!

I think everything you're looking for is already in the forum, but it can be hard to find so if other members link to the most useful existing discussion topics it would be helpful.

As for this specific question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TennNomad View Post
3.) ... Any suggested modifications? Trailer brakes is one I can think of regardless of my Tundra(10,500lbs. tow cap.) being overly capable.
Despite the capability of the Tundra, it does need the trailer to have its own brakes.

Fortunately, your Escape will have brakes. Any trailer of the size considered (19') now comes with brakes, and even from the first Escapes which were small enough that brakes might not be required for some owners, I think they were standard. ETI (Escape Trailer Industries) uses Dexter Torflex axles/suspension so the brakes are from Dexter; all of the axles are 3500 pound capacity so they have 10"x2-1/4" drum brakes, in the usual electric design.

In order to use the trailer's brakes, you need a brake controller. I don't think a Tundra is available with one from Toyota, so you add your own, and some degree of wiring (I would hope it's an easy plug-in as it is with most current trucks). If you search this forum for "Prodigy" (the name of a popular model of controller) you should find discussions of controllers and their installation.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
Made me smile, made me smile, Sandra! This validates my comment about pros and cons of each option. This would be a no-brainer for TennNomad living in Florida but I have no use or need for AC living in the PNW as I don't tolerate heat well and have no business camping anywhere it would be needed. It's all about lifestyle and that's why this forum is so great!
I originally thought the same thing, and wasn't going to get one, because I thought all of my camping would be in the cooler areas. Further, I had a trailer with air conditioning and never used it! However I have spent some hot days in Eugene, OR and other PNW places, and have surprisingly ventured out to some warmer climes. So, needless to say, I was happy with that expense. Plus, I have an older furry dog who prefers to be cool.
You are totally correct on personal preferences. If the need arises, I think it is strong selling point for most prospective purchasers as well.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:38 PM   #8
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I did use the search function prior to submitting my first post. It's called a conversation starter. Thank You.
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:51 PM   #9
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I use the Toyota Sequoia as a tow vehicle, it is based on the same chassis as the Tundra, and has nearly identical specifications. Your vehicle is very well suited for towing a 19.

Installing a Prodigy brake controller is an easily accomplished task that you can do your self. As a matter of fact the Prodigy website even features a video of the steps to install the controller in a Sequoia. You will need the controller and a specific cable that has the Toyota style connector. It is a matter of accessing a plug already present on your Tundra, connecting the cable, routing the cable under the steering wheel and installing two small mounting screws above the accelerator pedal. Probably a thirty minute task. With the tow package everything is wired for connecting your Escape via a 7 pin Bargman connector next to the hitch.

There is a wealth of information on the forum on solar. I believe I would be able to function indefinitely during summer months off grid with my solar setup. Dual 6 volt batteries are a must in this situation. I choose not to have Escape install a roof top panel as I camp in too many locations that need a portable panel that can catch sun.

I have chosen not to install a weight distribution hitch, I do believe it is a good safety measure, and may change my mind at some point.

I would recommend becoming familiar with the Google search feature inside the forum at the drop down search tool bar.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:00 PM   #10
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Use the Google site search.
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