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Old 01-13-2016, 09:12 PM   #1
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Having just managed to secure an order for the Escape 19 and hoping for it's delivery in December 2016, I am now humbly seeking some much needed advice on the type of vehicle I need to get for towing. I am considering the Grand Cherokee V6 with 290 hp but I am unsure that this vehicle may not be suitable for mountainous terrains (i.e. up-hill towing). It would definitely need to be a SUV and not a truck. Is there anyone out there in the Escape world who can shed some light on the matter? Thank you.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:34 PM   #2
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escape orders

How did you get a 2016 delivery date ithought they weren't taking any new orders
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennykatz View Post
How did you get a 2016 delivery date ithought they weren't taking any new orders
You are absolutely right, they are no longer taking new orders but I had placed the order in time, last year!
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:09 PM   #4
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I've towed my 19 from Arizona to Alaska with my lowly Ford Ranger with far less h.p. No issues at all.

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Old 01-13-2016, 10:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockers View Post
I am considering the Grand Cherokee V6 with 290 hp but I am unsure that this vehicle may not be suitable for mountainous terrains (i.e. up-hill towing).
Suitability depends on your expectations. If you expect to run up extended steep grades at high elevations without slowing down from a flat-road speed (of, say, 100 km/h or 60 mph), then you'll need a lot of power and that might not do it. If your expectation is to be able to climb much faster the big tractor-trailer trucks, that SUV should be just fine.

You'll get all sorts of opinions on this, depending much more on the driver's expectation than the performance of the vehicle. My van has a 230 hp V6, tows a trailer which is somewhat lighter but has just as much air drag, and it's fine in the Rocky Mountains.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dockers View Post
It would definitely need to be a SUV and not a truck.
I assume that this means you need enclosed cargo space (rather than an open cargo box). Can it be a van? You can have the same power as that Grand Cherokee, more interior space, and longer wheelbase (for stability) in one of the few "minivans" (they're not so "mini" anymore) which are still available. Of course, towing ratings would need to be checked to see which vans will work for an Escape 19 Foot. The SUV will work fine, too... I'm just wondering if a whole category has been eliminated unnecessarily.
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:06 AM   #7
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I agree that a SUV with a V6 producing around 250 hp and similar torque is fine to tow an Escape 19. We had several Grand Cherokees over the years and used them to tow. We try to keep our vehicles 8-10 years and the Jeep GCs towed fine but we had reliability troubles and higher than average repair costs. A new GC with the V6 would tow the 19 fine.

We now tow with a Highlander and often in the mountains on extended trips. On steep grades we take our time. The 2010 Highlander has been towing since we purchased it new and only issue has been a wheel bearing needing replacing. At times I think it would be nice to have more power but can't think of a SUV that would be a significant improvement over what we currently have.
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:39 PM   #8
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Thank you for your responses folks! I have another question... if you are recent Escape 19 owners (say in the last year), how did you feel about the Dexter Axle shock absorbers on it? Were they mechanically sound/satisfactory? Did you experience a smooth or bumpy journey? Would love to learn about your thoughts.
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:50 PM   #9
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I do not think that Escape installs any shocks on any of their models....
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:23 PM   #10
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The rubber torsion suspension axles used on many Escapes was new to me when we got our 21 last May. I talked to Reace about getting shock absorbers added because we had them on our Nash trailer for traveling rough roads. He didn't know if it was possible to mount them on their axles, or if it was necessary., I researched them and read many forums, learning that they apparently absorbed shock fairly well.

After taking our Escape 21 down mildly rough gravel roads, we didn't see any damage or evidence of contents being thrown about, though we did strap the fridge closed to be on the safe side. I'm waiting to see how it handles some of the rougher roads before I can say how it performs compared to our old trailer. Mind you things really flew around in our previous trailer even with shocks.

I see other Escapers reporting haven driven down pretty rough roads, so I believe it should be okay on the rougher roads too. (Washboard; big potholes) We do slow down appropriately.

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Old 01-25-2016, 05:07 PM   #11
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Rubber does damp oscillations better than inter-leaf friction, so the rubber-sprung Torflex system used by Escape (in all models other than the 5.0TA) is better damped than a basic leaf-spring suspension. This smooths the ride and improves control.

Although shock absorbers are routinely available for rubber-sprung independent "torsion" axles (simlar to Torflex) in Europe, Dexter does not offer shock absorbers for their Torflex suspension (and neither does any other manufacturer in North America of this type of trailer axle/suspension), and the generic-fit retrofit kit from Monroe has not been available for years. Airstream has used shock absorbers with this type of suspension for decades, and since they switched to Dexter's Torflex they have had a mounting tab welded onto the suspension arm (I believe by Dexter at the factory) to facilitate this. Many people have built their own shock absorber mounting brackets, and they are offered for some specific models by a company which has also investigated the possibility of providing them for Escapes (most recently about a year ago).

Although the Dexter Torflex suspension is a premium feature for travel trailers, it is still inferior to the suspension of any car or light truck, so the trailer contents get a rougher ride than you or the cargo you have in the tug. This is why some people have reported refrigerator doors opening or latches failing, and similar problems - all travel trailers have this sort of issue, which has been discussed in this forum, including the topic Any Damage From Driving on Rough Roads?.
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:02 AM   #12
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Shocks for Escapes

Here is an older thread that talks about shocks for Escapes. We had shocks, customized by Orbital Machine Works, put on our Casita, which also uses the Dexter rubber torsion axles.

We did this hoping to reduce the breakage of the rivets used to hold the Casita's shelves in place. I don't know if it was successful. We had 3 rivets break in the 2 1/2 years we owned our Casita. One rivet holding the upper shelf in place broke twice, so I replaced it with a bolt and nut. The other 2 were between the door frame and closet.

Has anyone looked further into shocks on the Escape? Are shocks as necessary with a double axle trailer as one with a single axle?

Also how does Escape hold in place their upper shelves? I haven't read anything about rivets.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:31 AM   #13
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If you follow the "This is friday" thread where pictures are posted of the trailers during manufacture. You can see where Escape will fiberglass in wood supports around the interior for cabinets and other structural reasons. Then the items are attached to these for a rigid and rivet free connection.
In addition the dual axle units ride smoother than the single axle which tend to bounce more.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardr View Post
Here is an older thread that talks about shocks for Escapes. We had shocks, customized by Orbital Machine Works, put on our Casita, which also uses the Dexter rubber torsion axles.

We did this hoping to reduce the breakage of the rivets used to hold the Casita's shelves in place. I don't know if it was successful. We had 3 rivets break in the 2 1/2 years we owned our Casita. One rivet holding the upper shelf in place broke twice, so I replaced it with a bolt and nut. The other 2 were between the door frame and closet.

Has anyone looked further into shocks on the Escape? Are shocks as necessary with a double axle trailer as one with a single axle?

Also how does Escape hold in place their upper shelves? I haven't read anything about rivets.
We looked at the Casitas before we even discovered Escape but there were just to many stories of rivets popping on the Casitas. Loren
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loren & Cathy View Post
We looked at the Casitas before we even discovered Escape but there were just to many stories of rivets popping on the Casitas. Loren
We weren't concerned with the rivets. The design is time tested, with thousands of Casitas on the road. If a rivet needs replacing, it's easily done.

What we were concerned about was that Casita was not responsive to our inquiries, ignored our calls and emails, and doesn't offer much in the way of personalizing or customizing the trailer. Turns out that was a fortuitous problem, or we would have wound up with a Casita before we found Escape.

Also Richard, as Jim pointed out, Escape fiberglasses in the support structure to the inside of the shell wherever an interior component is going to be attached. Then the interior component has something to attach to, and is simply screwed in. A superior method by far imho.
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:00 PM   #16
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We have a 19' Escape and are pulling it with our 2001 Toyota 4-Runner. It's allowed to pull 5000 lbs. It's doing ok.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:58 AM   #17
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I own a 2008 toyota highlander rated at 5000 lbs towing capacity. Somewhat concerned about the tongue weight of the escape 19'?
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:26 AM   #18
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Our 2010 19' Escape goes camping weighing 3680 lbs. Tongue weight is 440 lbs. Hooked up to our 2012 Highlander Via the standard Escape Pro Tow hitch. We're rated at 5000 lbs Tow and 500 lbs on the hitch. This rig has performed very well for us towing about 25,000 miles including several trips back and forth over the Rockies. You should have no worries with your combination in my opinion.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:33 AM   #19
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I pull a 21' with a FJ. V6 about 240hp. Much shorter wheelbase. It's not going to win any races up a hill but it does just fine in the passes and it's stable on the road. I do use a WDH.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tisiphone View Post
I pull a 21' with a FJ. V6 about 240hp. Much shorter wheelbase. It's not going to win any races up a hill but it does just fine in the passes and it's stable on the road. I do use a WDH.
You may be surprised to know that the wheelbase on the FJ is really not that different than the wheelbase of the Highlander or the 4Runner, which are all a bit shorter than the wheelbase of the Grand Cherokee that the OP was discussing.

2017 Grand Cherokee 2916mm wheelbase
2017 Highlander 2790mm wheelbase, -176mm (-6.9") relative to GC
2017 4Runner 2790mm wheelbase, -176mm (-6.9") relative to GC
2014 FJ Cruiser 2690mm wheelbase, -226mm (-8.9") relative to GC

For comparison, the F150 trucks have a much longer wheelbase in the range of 3409mm to 4158mm (depending on cab style and box length), which are +493mm (+19.4") to +1242mm (+48.9") relative to the GC.


There have been a number of posters on this forum who have reported that they were happy towing the 19' with any of the above vehicles.
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