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Old 07-12-2014, 05:20 PM   #1
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Newbie on the Block

Hi. Brand new to RVing and the forums. I'm a sailor and have lived aboard small boats (27 feet) for 4-5 years in the years past. So, tight spaces are fine. I do not currently own my own boat, but I do sail when I get the chance. So, my thoughts are to combine sailing with RVing. Pull the rig to where I like to sail, find a camp ground; park it; drive back and forth to charter or crew aboard sailboats at the marinas.

The 16 or 17 looks like a winner. Right up front, I am a stickler for quality, and that includes rounded corners and proper structural integrity and hinges and locks that work and keep on working. I am the same with boats. There are compromises, but some things cannot be compromised--like watertight integrity and leaks caused by dopey construction methods (the competition uses pop-rivets? You've got to be kidding, right?)

Extra insulation would be paramount to keep the rig quiet in a rain storm, and cozy in hot or cold weather. I've been in some trailers where you couldn't hear yourself think during a hard rain. I do not need a freezer, but a frig is awesome as long as it keeps on working in a tough environment. A porta-pottie is just fine. I do not watch TV nor do I need a radio or DVD player to make me happy. I have two laptops and they can provide the same entertainment. I am a voracious reader.

I also do not currently own a vehicle. I walk and backpack wherever I need to go in town. Three to four mile walks are pretty much the norm for me. Rent a car if I need to shoot out of town. I would rather have too much ability to tow than "iffy" ability to tow. I've been reading some stories about folks towing with cars not rated for the weight of the rig. They say their insurance companies will not cover them if they have an accident.

At the same time, I do not want a behemoth. I don't like SUVs or these monster trucks. A good used smaller truck or something with a really good towing capacity seems the way to go. Reliability is tops on the list. Decent gas mileage for when you break the rig and want to travel back and forth. I do not need electric windows, seats, or door locks or other bells and whistles. But I'm not a youngster anymore, so it wouldn't hurt to have a decent seat that doesn't feel like a park bench.

Any help, advice on these issues would be most appreciated. Thanks ahead of time.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:38 PM   #2
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Welcome,

I would suggest contacting ETI and find some Escapes to look at there are several in your area. Once you decide what size fits your needs then you can determine your tow vehicle. You can check the map here and see what sizes are near you but please contact ETI they will give you a list of people who have agreed to show their Escapes. I do not think you will find a manufacturer who does the quality of work and is easy to work with for anything in particular you might want. IE your not stuck with what ever they build there are limits and changes add-ons cost but you get what you want and need.

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Old 07-12-2014, 05:43 PM   #3
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Welcome! You've come to the right place.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:49 PM   #4
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Thanks guys - J
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:50 PM   #5
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I have a 2003 Dodge Dakota with a 4.7L V8 for a tow vehicle and it works great. Mileage is about 14 MPG with some hills and flat land city driving. Mine is a quad cab (4 door) and you can pick them up for under $7000 with around 100K miles. Well taken care of, they're very dependable. Mine pulls my 19'.

Welcome and good luck!
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:57 PM   #6
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Mark,
Do you have a tow package on your truck? One person I talked to says that all towing vehicles should have a factory tow package that includes a transmission cooler, a larger radiator, and heavier springs and brakes.

Also, what mileage do you get highway driving without the trailer--just the truck alone?
-J
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telemark3232 View Post
One person I talked to says that all towing vehicles should have a factory tow package that includes a transmission cooler, a larger radiator, and heavier springs and brakes.
I don't understand the idea of second-guessing the vehicle designer, and wanting change in various aspects of the design. If the vehicle is rated for your trailer load, there's no reason to assume it needs modification to cooling, brakes, or suspension. If getting your required rating means selecting a towing package, that package may have changes from the base equipment to one or more of these aspects... but usually not all of them.

If you want better performance than the factory equipment provides, you may choose to further enhance some of these aspects... but for a specific purpose, not just because the original design is assumed to be inadequate.
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telemark3232 View Post
Mark,
Do you have a tow package on your truck? One person I talked to says that all towing vehicles should have a factory tow package that includes a transmission cooler, a larger radiator, and heavier springs and brakes.

Also, what mileage do you get highway driving without the trailer--just the truck alone?
-J
You could tow the 17 ft Escape with just a V6 SUV or a lightweight pickup, no issues. We do plan to add an aftermarket transmission cooler to our SUV prior to picking up the trailer, but that's a wear thing rather than a towing capacity issue. If your vehicle has a factory posted GVWR, max tongue weight, max axle weight and maximum towing capacity that is under the loaded out weight of the trailer, you should have no issues. That's kind of the point with these light weight fiberglass towables -- you can tow them with almost any normal vehicle.
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:12 PM   #9
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Point was having too much towing capacity gives a big safety factor. Compared to standing rigging or running rigging on a sailboat (something I know about), that indeed does make sense. But overkill does not. My earlier post mentioned some folks stating their insurance companies would not back them up if they had an accident. And they thought their vehicle had plenty of towing capacity. Some (actually many) insurance companies can be seriously anal about such things. I trust most insurance companies about as far as I can throw them. Thanks for the comments.
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:23 PM   #10
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Insurance companies SHOULD be anal about this. The time to have a discussion with your insurance agent about towing is when you're insuring the trailer. Mine asked right away about the towing capacity of my truck, and it's something they can verify via the VIN, usually. If you've ever rented an auto trailer, or a vehicle towing dolly, the first question the rental company will inquire about is what you're going to use as the tow vehicle. There's plenty of liability to spread around.
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