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Old 08-13-2018, 09:44 AM   #1
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Trailer: 2015 Creekside
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Questions about Escapes - new to Forum

Good Morning,
We are once again considering the purchase of an Escape 19 or 21. We currently have a 24.9 ft Creekside Trailer which we ordered it and picked it up in OR. We like many things about it - especially the dry bath with small tub, queen walk around bed, loads of storage, large tanks, 3 season insulation, and large rear windows with u shaped dinette. However since purchasing it we have moved from the Midwest to Florida where we have much less room for parking. The fuel economy has only been 9-10 mpg when towing with our Ford 150. (We are not interested in the fifth wheel because we would not want to give up our truck bed.) We are looking for a smaller trailer which would be easy to tow, could withstand (outside storage) in the hot, wet Florida weather, and would provide most of the conveniences we enjoy when camping.
We strongly considered an Escape when we purchased this trailer in 2014 and viewed a 19 in the midwest. At that time our previous trailer for many years had been a Sunnybrook 26DB and the 19 seemed very small in comparison. That combined with concerns about fridge performance and comparative cost prompted us to choose the Creekside. The owners who showed us their trailer mentioned the fridge did not cool below the mid 40's most of the time and that was a concern for us. We have read the discussions of the 19 vs 21 and have some specific questions:
1) How does the fridge performance compare in these models? Any problems with doors? (We saw an on line video of a woman who purchased a new 17 and then spent a great deal of time waiting on a replacement for a defective fridge door.) Does the battery keep the fridge cold enough during travel? (We often travel with frozen items) Size of freezer compartment?
2) Adapting to a wet bath - we store toiletries in the bathroom and are concerned about storage, mold, leakage, water on the floor, adequacy of tank sizes etc. (We also looked at a Skamp which had significant issues in these areas.) We realize almost all small trailers have wet baths but are not sure about this switch.
3) How much storage is available under the bed and dinette for these two models? It is hard to tell how much of the space would be taken up by tanks and components of the trailer.
4) Approximate mileage with a similar tow vehicle,
5) Performance (capability, power draw and noise level) of air conditioner. Has anyone installed a split unit to keep the overall height and interior noise down?
6) How much do solar panels extend the time off the grid, and how durable are they? Recommendations?
7) Do the add-on A frame storage boxes hold up in a hot climate?
8) We would like to view both models and live in eastern Florida now. Are there any owners close to us who might be willing to show us their trailers?

We greatly appreciate your input and assistance.
Thanks,
Wanderers
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:28 AM   #2
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Thats a lot of questions. Your best bet is contact Escape - ask if there is an owner near you you can visit to see one for yourself. My views follow.

1. Fridge door problems? Depends on the road. Never had any but I always strap mine down when in transit. Unwise to run fridge on battery when driving. Use propane. Freezer compartment size depends on which size fridge you get. I removed mine so fridge is cooler overall. I usually keep frozen stuff in a separate cooler. My fridge works just fine.
2. Never heard of mold in the bathroom. The floor has its own drain hole for the shower wand.
3. My bed is the full Queen. Plenty of deep space under there, along with the hot water heater on the street side. No tanks because they are all under the floor.
4. I usually average 14.7 mpg with my Silverado but obviously that depends on how fast you drive and how many hills you climb.
5. My air conditioner is loud, no question. Just tough nuts on that one. What is a split unit??
6. Everyone I know swears by their solar panels, including me. I have 200watts of solar but they are portable units I cobbed together myself. How long you can stay off the grid depends on how much sunshine there is, but I think you knew that.
7. A front storage box is a wise and functional choice. I refused to spend $700 on one though, and built my own.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:33 AM   #3
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Welcome tot he forum and I will try to answer some of your questions. Since late 2016 Escape has been making what we call 2nd G models, with power awning and frameless windows and new style refrigerator. I'm not aware of any door issues and the newer model seems to work better in hotter climates. It is not recommend to operate off 12v but propane and electric seems to give you your best cooling.
The newer style have a medicine cabinet for storage as well as a power vent and an optional window, plenty of air and no mold issues.
Plenty of storage under the bed in both models as well as dinette storage. The 21 has a larger closet as well as more counter space.
The front storage box carries your dirty items, hoses, electrical, sewer attachments, there is also a sewer hose holder.
One member installed a split system, otherwise the 11,500 btu is plenty big for the 19 or 21.
Solar is 165 watts and with dual six batteries you should never run out of power.
Contact the factory and they will put you in touch with some local owners....again Welcome...
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderers View Post
Good Morning,
We are once again considering the purchase of an Escape 19 or 21. We currently have a 24.9 ft Creekside Trailer which we ordered it and picked it up in OR. We like many things about it - especially the dry bath with small tub, queen walk around bed, loads of storage, large tanks, 3 season insulation, and large rear windows with u shaped dinette. However since purchasing it we have moved from the Midwest to Florida where we have much less room for parking. The fuel economy has only been 9-10 mpg when towing with our Ford 150. (We are not interested in the fifth wheel because we would not want to give up our truck bed.) We are looking for a smaller trailer which would be easy to tow, could withstand (outside storage) in the hot, wet Florida weather, and would provide most of the conveniences we enjoy when camping.
We strongly considered an Escape when we purchased this trailer in 2014 and viewed a 19 in the midwest. At that time our previous trailer for many years had been a Sunnybrook 26DB and the 19 seemed very small in comparison. That combined with concerns about fridge performance and comparative cost prompted us to choose the Creekside. The owners who showed us their trailer mentioned the fridge did not cool below the mid 40's most of the time and that was a concern for us. We have read the discussions of the 19 vs 21 and have some specific questions:
1) How does the fridge performance compare in these models? Any problems with doors? (We saw an on line video of a woman who purchased a new 17 and then spent a great deal of time waiting on a replacement for a defective fridge door.) Does the battery keep the fridge cold enough during travel? (We often travel with frozen items) Size of freezer compartment?
2) Adapting to a wet bath - we store toiletries in the bathroom and are concerned about storage, mold, leakage, water on the floor, adequacy of tank sizes etc. (We also looked at a Skamp which had significant issues in these areas.) We realize almost all small trailers have wet baths but are not sure about this switch.
3) How much storage is available under the bed and dinette for these two models? It is hard to tell how much of the space would be taken up by tanks and components of the trailer.
4) Approximate mileage with a similar tow vehicle,
5) Performance (capability, power draw and noise level) of air conditioner. Has anyone installed a split unit to keep the overall height and interior noise down?
6) How much do solar panels extend the time off the grid, and how durable are they? Recommendations?
7) Do the add-on A frame storage boxes hold up in a hot climate?
8) We would like to view both models and live in eastern Florida now. Are there any owners close to us who might be willing to show us their trailers?

We greatly appreciate your input and assistance.
Thanks,
Wanderers
I can answer some of your questions. I towed an Escape 17B for 6 years, then switched to a 21 last August.

I tow the 21 with a 2018 Ford F150 Supercab 3.5 EcoBoost without maximum tow or payload packages. Mileage so far on 1400 miles of mixed secondary & interstates at an average of around 60MPH is 13.4 MPG. Best was towing @ 59MPG for 90 miles on secondary roads - 13.9 MPG. This may improve - the truck only has 2500 miles on it.

While I have rented class A RVs, my primary camping style before the Escape 17 was in a tent, so just about everything about the small trailer was an improvement.

The 21 has a larger bathroom. Still a wet bath, but large enough that is comfortable to use the shower. It does take a few minutes to wipe down the shower afterwards, but not really a problem.

The stock refrigerator in the 21 is a 2 door Dometic 6 cu ft that performs better than my 5 cu ft single door I had in the 17. We are experiencing 85F - 95F temperatures, with the nights only going down to the low 70's, and although I have to run the refrigerator on 5 (the highest setting) it has been able to keep the interior below 40F. I run it on propane while traveling, although when (if ever) I reach cooler weather, I might try it on 12V while traveling. The freezer section is a good size for a small refrigerator, and easily maintains very close to 0F.

There is lots of space under the bed in the 21. Access is through an outside door, a 1' or so square door at the foot of the bed facing the rear of the trailer, an optional door (which I suggest adding) facing the trailer outside door, and a section of the plywood bed support that can be opened when the mattress is lifted (heavy, but the largest access). The water heater & the black tank take up some of the under bed storage area. There is lots of additional storage in the trailer, including under all the dinette seats (I have the "U" shaped dinette seats) as well as an added option of a second full height cabinet over the drawers above the furnace.

The while the furnace is the quietest I've heard in a trailer, the AC is fairly loud. Of course all that is relative, but I run the AC as little as possible. Since I dry camp all winter in Arizona, I don't run the AC except when hooked up (I don't carry a generator). At least one owner that posts on this forum had added a split AC.

I have the dual 6 volt batteries & 320 watts of solar on the roof, along with the Escape optional 1500 watt inverter. No problem using the microwave for short runs, a toaster or electric coffee pot. I have modified the mounts for the solar panels so they can be tilted to the proper angle for the winter sun. I have not needed to tilt them in the summer, but the shorter days & low angle sun during the Arizona winter makes tilting necessary to feed my 50 amp hours per day consumption.

Not sure what you are describing as an A Frame storage, but I did add a StowAway II carrier to the rear of my 17, and found it useful for light stuff. I haven't felt the need for one with the 21.

Some photos and descriptions of some of the modifications I've done to the 21 are here: Trailer Modifications - Escape 21.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:45 AM   #5
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The "A" frame is the front of the trailer (shaped like an A) and that is where the front storage box, as I mentioned earlier carries some of your bulky items. The 21 box is completely empty whereas the 19 bas has the batteries inside which take away a little storage. This box is fiberglass and protects the front of the trailer from damage, it is coated for protection.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:47 AM   #6
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1) How does the fridge performance compare in these models? Any problems with doors? (We saw an on line video of a woman who purchased a new 17 and then spent a great deal of time waiting on a replacement for a defective fridge door.) Does the battery keep the fridge cold enough during travel? (We often travel with frozen items) Size of freezer compartment?
We have the 19 with the 5 CF refrigerator. No problems at all except the time I added Camco bug screens to the outside vent. It stopped cooling when on the highway. Probably happens to other makes too but few would notice it as they do not monitor the temperatures. The battery feature is useless unless you have a massive alternator system and large gauge wire running back to the trailer or a real good photovoltatic system all the 12v option will do is slowly warm as it runs down the trailer battery. Again this also applies to other makes. Fridge parts, escape does not use an unusual model of fridge. She would have had the same issue trying to find parts with any other model of RV. Escapes use Dometic refrigerators. They work fine on propane while traveling so we use that to keep it cool.
2) Storage depends on the owner. What I find is plenty is probably not enough for someone else and there are folks out there that would not believe how much we carry.
4) We use a Tacoma so this will need someone else to answer.
5)
6)
7) Do the add-on A frame storage boxes hold up in a hot climate?
No problems with ours. We did debate getting it due to the cost but are glad we did now.
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:15 AM   #7
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Trailer: 2015 Creekside
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Thanks for all of the information!

We really appreciate all of the information provided. We have contacted Escape Industries as well but it is always good to hear directly from owners.
We are trying to weigh all of the pros and cons.
Thanks again!
Wanderers
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:55 AM   #8
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We went to a wet bath from a dry, takes a bit of getting used to. As we did before, we use the campground showers when they are up to the task, we use our shower when that is not the case.

We ave the smaller bathroom, same as the 19. I smack my elbows all the time when showering but the biggest hassle is drying it, which not all folks do. The 21 has a bigger bath, which would be nice. I thought the 5.0TA was going to have the bigger one when I ordered it.

As I mentioned, it took some getting used to, but it works okay for it's intended purpose. We dedicated a cabinet to the stuff that used to go in the bathroom vanity and behind the mirror. Of course the newer trailers have a small medicine cabinet now so that helps.
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderers View Post
5) Performance (capability, power draw and noise level) of air conditioner. Has anyone installed a split unit to keep the overall height and interior noise down?
I did the split system and all I can say is AMAZING. You can now have a conversation in the trailer and sleep in peace. (Note that we had the older style Dometic A/C with a single fan speed. I hear the newer two speed units are quieter, but I'll bet not much quieter.) To do the mini-split you need room on the tongue for the condenser like I did (no front storage box) or find some other creative way to mount it. I installed a Fujitsu 9,000 BTUH unit and it cools the trailer well on the hottest of days. If you wanted a little more there is also a 12,000 BTUH system with equipment sizes the same. Only penalty is the outdoor unit is 5# heavier. I run mine easily on a Honda EU2000i. These systems don't have the large starting load because of the inverter compressor technology.

If you plan to do a lot of camping in hot weather I highly recommend you explore the installation of one. It might need to be a DIY though because most HVAC contractors won't do the custom work required and can't warranty a system rolling down the road.

www.escapeforum.org/forums/f8/custom-air-conditioning-retrofit-8249.html

Shortcut to post with start of pictures:
www.escapeforum.org/forums/f8/custom-air-conditioning-retrofit-8249-10.html#post153646

Shortcut to post with link to videos on YouTube of original overhead unit and new split unit running to compare:
www.escapeforum.org/forums/f8/custom-air-conditioning-retrofit-8249-16.html#post157180
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Wanderers View Post
3) How much storage is available under the bed and dinette for these two models? It is hard to tell how much of the space would be taken up by tanks and components of the trailer.
In case you are confused by conflicting information about tanks in the responses above...
  • Fresh water and grey waste tanks are under the floor in all current (and recent) Escape models, so they do not take any space from these storage areas.
  • Black waste tanks are on top of the floor, under the toilet and extending into the adjacent cabinet, again in all current (and recent) Escape models, so the black tank does take some space. In the 21' (the most likely model given the desire for space), the black tank extends somewhat into the forward end of the under-bed space, but it's not the most reachable location anyway. In the 19' it is under the driver's side dinette bench.
  • In all models, there is equipment under the beds or dinette benches, including the water heater, water pump, electrical power centre (converter, AC panel, DC panel), and shore power cord. The battery (or batteries) are under a dinette bench in the 21' and 5.0TA (only). The optional Electrical Management System and inverter (with transfer switch and additional circuit breaker box) are under a bench or bed if you get them.
All of this is generally typical of small travel trailers.

You might be interested in this thread:
What lurks below those seats and beds?
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