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Old 11-23-2016, 08:09 AM   #1
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New to RVs 2017 Escape 5.0 on order

My wife and I are new to RV travel trailers looking forward to the day when we can travel more extensively in retirement. We are excited to have our 2017 Escape 5.0 on order and, like so many others, are eager to take delivery. We are working through our build list considering the many options.

To help the “newbies” along, we would appreciate any feedback on the following:

1. Your top 3 pearls of wisdom as we make our build out list selections based on your RV camping experience (must have’s, stay away from’s, etc.). One example we say was adding additional light switches to control any extra add-on outside lights we install.

2. We are just beginning to comb through the forum posts finding them most helpful and informative. In our brief time online, we are learning there are some “off list” refinements that many users have made or requested. We’d appreciate your top 3 “off list” modifications that we might consider.

Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2016, 08:34 AM   #2
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A little over three years ago, I was in the same position as you are today. I am by no means an expert on RV's, but I can assure you that the answer to any and all questions you'll have (and there will be many) can be found on this forum. Use it! As to your specific questions, know that any of the Escape models, without any options at all, will provide you with an adequate infrastructure to enjoy a great camping experience. All of the options are merely "creature comforts" that just enhance an already positive experience. Balance "needs" with "wants" and you'll be happy.
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Old 11-23-2016, 08:45 AM   #3
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My best suggestion is if you want custom upholstery, start looking immediately. Get samples, don't trust your computer colors. Buy a big bottle of Tums .

Enjoy the process of selecting all the things that will make your trailer truly your own. But be careful of over buying. If you cook and eat well at home, you'll probably cook similar in your trailer. So if (for instance) you don't use a rice cooker at home, don't buy one for the trailer no matter how much someone else loves and recommends one.

Fun times ahead!
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Old 11-23-2016, 08:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zardoz View Post
All of the options are merely "creature comforts" that just enhance an already positive experience. Balance "needs" with "wants" and you'll be happy.
Best advice to build on (). After that, consider how you intend to camp as that has the biggest influence on what you want to add to your trailer. No one has the same "wants" and only you can figure out your camping style. There are no "must haves"--only lifestyle enhancements.

Welcome to the Escape world!

Edited: I find it comforting to see that the first three responses discourage "over buying" for your unit. I have gotten an increasingly uncomfortable vibe from this forum that if one doesn't add on $5,000-$10,000 worth of options, the camping experience is not complete. Not true. Follow the KISS rule is my advice and you'll have fewer headaches down the road.
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:09 AM   #5
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...I find it comforting to see that the first three responses discourage "over buying" for your unit. I have gotten an increasingly uncomfortable vibe from this forum that if one doesn't add on $5,000-$10,000 worth of options, the camping experience is not complete. Not true. Follow the KISS rule is my advice and you'll have fewer headaches down the road.
I agree with Karen (again). This topic has been brought up before, and I also feel that new buyers can be discouraged from purchasing if they cannot afford every one of the available options, or they feel that they need to load up the trailer with options just because they see others on this forum have done so themselves. These next few quotes date back to a similar forum thread in 2015.

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
...One fellow told me to estimate $10,000 worth of options...
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
Wow, that could be a huge red flag to potential buyers. I didn't spend near that amount of money and I would strongly suggest that the basic Escape model with NO options is perfect for a lot of people. Not everyone needs enough power to require huge inverters or 12-volt plugs every four feet or lights everywhere or the myriad other options mentioned on this forum. It seems that the tone of this forum has changed in the last few years and is veering toward who can spend the most money, have the most options, or make the most modifications. Just my opinion...
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Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
I agree with Karen in that I have also noticed a definite change in attitudes over the past 3 yrs. When I joined this forum while shopping for a fiberglass rv, the impression I got was that the Standard Escape was perfectly suitable for 99% of a persons needs, and it is nice to add a few options as luxury items. I am not sure if it is one-upmanship or something else, but to me it seems that many newcomers to the site are convinced by "us" that a new Escape is not complete unless it has nearly all of the available options (and other options not currently offered) on the standard Escapes. There are countless threads on the forum discussing changes/additions/options that should be added to new Escapes at the time of ordering.

I think it is well worth reminding everyone on this site, both oldtimers and newtimers, that a new Escape with only the Standard features is an excellent product, and it is not absolutely necessary to get more than that to be happy with your purchase.
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:33 AM   #6
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Welcome, Tim. In my opinion, I think the two biggest decisions to start with, that can be challenging to change later, are the configuration of your dinette area and your wardrobe closet. Do you want the standard dinette (two opposing bench seats with full table that can drop to make a second bed) or the wrap-around lounge configuration (with or without a small center table that can drop to make a second bed, with or without small flip-up end tables attached to the cabinet walls). Both are functional in their own way, both are popular among 5.0 owners. Current owners can chime in. As for the wardrobe closet, do you want space for hanging clothes, or is that a waste of space? Or would you rather have more factory installed shelves, and if so, how many shelves how far apart? Or do you want to keep it flexible so you can figure your needs out after a couple camping trips and customize it yourself? We purchased a different model (the 21'), and we simply asked to have both sidewalls of the wardrobe closet reinforced (extra charge) so that however we might decide to modify it later, the walls will be thick enough and strong enough to hold firm. One more thing, think about your power needs for both 120V and 12V. As an example, thinking of our camping style needs/wants, we made it so there would be both a 120V and 12V/USB on the bench seat faces on both sides of the dinette (a sort of his and hers), and then we asked for a 12V drop (pre-wired but capped off and nothing specific there yet) inside the cabinet over the head of the bed. We're thinking that's where we will power the transmitter for a wireless rear-view camera we already have - the camera itself being attached inside the rear window looking out the back (I know that will sound confusing to some, but it should work fine for our purposes and the model of rear-view camera we already have). It's relatively cheap to have extra wires strung to various locations inside the camper during the build based on modifications you think you might want to do in the future. Again, others on this forum have done quite a bit of that, too. I'm sure many will want to chime in on stuff like that. Most everything else is just reflection on your camping lifestyle and what you feel will make your time inside and outside the camper more comfortable and enjoyable. Just my two cents worth. Have fun. Final sign-off on your build sheet will be here before you know it! Dale
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
Best advice to build on (). After that, consider how you intend to camp as that has the biggest influence on what you want to add to your trailer. No one has the same "wants" and only you can figure out your camping style. There are no "must haves"--only lifestyle enhancements.

Welcome to the Escape world!

Edited: I find it comforting to see that the first three responses discourage "over buying" for your unit. I have gotten an increasingly uncomfortable vibe from this forum that if one doesn't add on $5,000-$10,000 worth of options, the camping experience is not complete. Not true. Follow the KISS rule is my advice and you'll have fewer headaches down the road.
Lots of sage advice so far, but Karen sums it up well. I see way to many folks getting an option "just in case". Just because someone thinks an option is a must have, does not make it a good one for you. That said, if you want, load 'er up if you like! That is the beauty of these trailers, it is up to you.

To answer the original question, three of the most important options for us are;
1. Firstly, the added wall insulation with thermal windows. This is a comfort thing mostly, but having less condensation problem (up here in the north) is another plus. Not only does it help keep the heat in, in cold climates, it helps keeps it out in hot climates.
2. Dual 6V batteries, as it gives you a heck of a lot more time when off the grid, where we camp a lot. This can be improved even further with the addition of solar. Of course, if you are pretty much in campgrounds that connect to the grid most of the time, this would not be as important.
3. Whatever else fits the style of camping you see yourself doing. Remember, if you haven't RV'd much before, you will have to discover "your style", but remember, most of the options you can add later.

Bottom line, enjoy the experience of doing your build sheet, do start on things right away, and if you get a bit confuzzled, just step back for a bit. You are going to end up with a fantastic trailer you will enjoy for many years.
3,
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:45 AM   #8
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FWIW, as we worked with our build sheet, we scrutinized every option, multiple times, that would increase cost - adding, deleting, adding, deleting, etc. In the end, our add-on options (and a few small-dollar accessories) totaled $7,829 CAD or $5,872 USD (calculated at the current 0.75 conversion rate). In reality, we could have cut that in half and still been very happy, but we're pretty sure this will be the last camper we ever buy, so we dug a little deeper into our retirement funds and allowed ourselves a few extra comfort perks.
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:06 AM   #9
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Being in Louisiana I'm sure you will want air conditioning as well as the insulation package to help keep the heat out. Similarly the same reason for thermal windows. Other than that, the stock items included are numerous. The off list items would be anything you may want in the future but need to plan for it now. Moving or adding 120v outlets or 12v outlets is always a favorite as well as adding future lights in the cabinets or under the bed. The exterior lights come with standard on/off switches already mounted on them, with one light on an interior switch. I'd suggest with the high ceiling in the 5.0 you add a switch for the ceiling lights.
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:24 AM   #10
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In reality, we could have cut that in half and still been very happy, but we're pretty sure this will be the last camper we ever buy, so we dug a little deeper into our retirement funds and allowed ourselves a few extra comfort perks.
This is very true. If you were to outfit a trailer because you "needed" it, you would add very few options, as all you really need is the experience you receive when using it.

Adding options that you "would like" is a different thing, and if you can afford them, it is not so bad to have some more conveniences that you might use.

Then you have me, who will get likely fewer options from Escape than most, but will certainly be adding many more costly ones once I get the trailer. This I am doing mostly because I enjoy doing this sort of thing, not because I need too.
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:33 AM   #11
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FWIW, as we worked with our build sheet, we scrutinized every option, multiple times, that would increase cost - adding, deleting, adding, deleting, etc. In the end, our add-on options (and a few small-dollar accessories) totaled $7,829 CAD or $5,872 USD (calculated at the current 0.75 conversion rate). In reality, we could have cut that in half and still been very happy, but we're pretty sure this will be the last camper we ever buy, so we dug a little deeper into our retirement funds and allowed ourselves a few extra comfort perks.
This is same way we approached our trailer and the options we chose. We also went with items that would be easier for ETI to do at the build, including some things that we might have wanted to do ourselves, but we weren't interested in doing. Dirk says he's done enough of that in the house, thank you very much.

Also, it's our *only* camper we've bought as we're new to RVing, but quite looking forward to it.

So, if you wanna add options and can afford it, go for it. And if you don't like brown in the flooring and fabric, you can choose your own. We got ssssooo tired of seeing brown inside just about all the trailers we started looking at a few years ago. Yet another reason we went with an Escape trailer!

And congrats on your trailer choice! It's a great trailer. And have fun reading about a bazillion posts on this forum. When I first joined, besides keeping up with current/new threads, I'd also go through each section and just start reading. I started a spreadsheet of all the interesting options folks had added, as well as filling multiple folders with various links to stuff that also sounded interesting. Whew!
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:58 AM   #12
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FWIW, for me, the happiest moment in my Escape was one morning when I woke up and I was FREEZING! I mean REALLY cold. I sat up, flipped the lever on my primitive, analog thermostat and about 60 seconds later, heat came out. It was raining but my fiberglass shell doesn't leak so I got up, made coffee in my "one moving part" Aero Press, and got back under the covers. Honestly, I haven't been so happy in all my years.
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Old 11-23-2016, 11:05 AM   #13
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New to RVs 2017 Escape 5.0 on order

In considering all the forum advice on build sheets decide on where you will be taking your Escape. For example, if you prefer camping off the grid a microwave won't be important to you and the space for one is better used as a pantry. Choose YOUR best options for YOUR style of camping.
And congrats on your purchase.
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Old 11-23-2016, 11:56 AM   #14
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Congratulations on your decision to go with an Escape! You could not have picked a better one!
And yes, everything said here so true. That is one of the reasons ETI is doing so well. Doesn't come standard with all the bells and whistles most RV's do, ETI builds trailers specific to costumer needs.
Being new to camping, you first have to discover yourselves:
How and where do you see yourself camping?
-are you an inside or outside person: are you going to spend your evenings outside enjoying the beauty of nature or are you going to be inside watching tv?
-do you see yourselves as a barbecue lover or do you prefer making meals on the stove?
-do you see yourselves as a boondocker or do you like all the conveniences of the 120v?
These 3 were the start for me staring at our build sheet, and helped me delete and add.
(example: we like to do everything outside, and went with the quick connect, two burner stove, no oven, no microwave. We don't care for luxury: got dual batteries and solar, no tv, no radio. Have a dog and do all dishes outside: chose outside shower/tap on passenger side)

Start visualizing yourself at the campground, camping away in your dreams, now and ten/fifteen years down the road, is the only good start for a build sheet!
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Old 11-23-2016, 12:12 PM   #15
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Being from the south, I would get the AC, thermal windows and foam insulation on the underside as must haves. Other than that you are good to go.
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:57 PM   #16
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Just the main 4 I got cost $4k, doesn't take long to hit the big bucks.
Solar/6v batteries
AC
Thermal windows/ extra insulation
Undercarriage Spray Foam

Tips... As mentioned above, try to guess how you want to camp and outfit the trailer appropriately.

Ask questions, you'll get answers that run the gamut, take what you need and leave the rest.
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Old 11-23-2016, 02:10 PM   #17
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As a newbie too and with my 5.0TA on order I'm also pouring over the posts on this forum as I go through the build sheet. RV'd as a youngster with my folks in the 70's and things have changed quite a bit since then! I'm so appreciative of all the comments pro and con on each option. Neither my husband nor I are particularly handy beyond basic adjustments/maintenance so I am considering all options with thoughts towards the future and a desire to reduce my after market additions...beyond decorating of course! I've already started a "hope chest" with items for the trailer and hope to be ready when my date arrives...am I the only one who feels like this lead time is like waiting for a baby?!
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Old 11-23-2016, 02:25 PM   #18
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As an example of location-influenced options, I can attribute a little over $2800 USD (well over half of the total) of the options we added to our 2017 21' to the fact that we currently live and mostly camp in the deep south where we want to mitigate as much heat load inside the camper as possible and that we frequent the gulf coast where salt water mist can cause premature rusting and corrosion. Other owners in other geographic locations likely keep all that money in their pocket.
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Old 11-23-2016, 03:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by labearit View Post
My wife and I are new to RV travel trailers looking forward to the day when we can travel more extensively in retirement. We are excited to have our 2017 Escape 5.0 on order and, like so many others, are eager to take delivery. We are working through our build list considering the many options.

To help the “newbies” along, we would appreciate any feedback on the following:

1. Your top 3 pearls of wisdom as we make our build out list selections based on your RV camping experience (must have’s, stay away from’s, etc.). One example we say was adding additional light switches to control any extra add-on outside lights we install.

2. We are just beginning to comb through the forum posts finding them most helpful and informative. In our brief time online, we are learning there are some “off list” refinements that many users have made or requested. We’d appreciate your top 3 “off list” modifications that we might consider.

Thanks!
Hi: labearit... The way I look at it is this!!! What should be done during the build that might be impossible to do later. You certainly need to know how you are going to camp. Full hook ups or none. This could impact whether you get the trailer solar powered or not. I'm sure glad I did!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 11-23-2016, 03:29 PM   #20
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Sisababe, more then one person has gotten to know the UPS person way too well.
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