virtual tire kicking - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-16-2015, 10:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Trailer: 2017 Escape 19 (Serenity).
Posts: 56
virtual tire kicking

Hello,

We are considering an Escape for our next trailer, so have joined the forum to kick tires, virtually.

We currently have a 1979 Trillium (13') with solar power, and we love it for going to small isolated campgrounds. We are introverts, and are not excited about camping with 500 of our closest friends in a crowded RV park. A small place in the middle of nowhere with no cell coverage and maybe 1-2 other campers? Heaven.

The Trillium works well for this, but it is a bit small.

I have just started to read / search forums, but am looking into the following questions:
- Best size for boondocking and use on rough roads? I note that the 17' model has the axle lift kit for better clearance, but not the 19' model. I assume this is deliverate.
- Would the 5th wheel be suitable for rough / high clearance roads, or who am I kidding? Seriously, never used a 5th wheel. I'm assuming that the truck-connection limits height modifications of the trailer.

We have enough power to tow (F-150 4x4), so that's not an issue.

Cheers,
Stephen
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Old 08-16-2015, 10:42 PM   #2
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Location: St. Thomas not BVI., Ontario
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0TA
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Hi: FlatlandFlyFisher... Had some 13' Outback owners chase us into the FlyingJ to have a look at our trailer. Don't know how they saw us with the Big Country blocking the view. We love the 5.0TA and they couldn't get over the room inside!!! Alf
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:11 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatlandFlyFisher View Post
- Best size for boondocking and use on rough roads?
Generally single-axle trailers (which means only the 17 Foot of current models) are better in really challenging conditions, but since we're talking roads and not off-road, that may not matter. Generally smaller is better for maneuvering in tight spots, but depending on where you're going size might not even be an issue - any Escape is reasonably small by travel trailer standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatlandFlyFisher View Post
I note that the 17' model has the axle lift kit for better clearance, but not the 19' model. I assume this is deliverate.
A spacer kit can be fitted to any model other than the 5.0TA. The height of a Dexter Torflex suspension (as used on everything except the 5.0TA) is changed by the arm angle, which can be made in several choices (but not changed after the suspension is built). Over time, Escape has gone to higher settings, making spacer kits less likely to be needed... but they can still be used (even with the 19') if the current higher configuration is not enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatlandFlyFisher View Post
- Would the 5th wheel be suitable for rough / high clearance roads, or who am I kidding? Seriously, never used a 5th wheel. I'm assuming that the truck-connection limits height modifications of the trailer.
There's no more problem with clearance on the 5.0TA than with other models, particularly if its suspension is set high (which is done to lift the body to clear high pickup truck box sides). On the other hand, fifth-wheels are rarely used off-road, probably because the hitch can't pivot as much as a ball hitch (and serious off-roaders use design which are less restrictive than a ball even on conventional trailers), and because the trailer hits the top of the box when the truck and trailer tilt different directions.

The truck limits how low a fifth-wheel trailer can go, but to some extent the pin box can be extended down and the hitch can be adjusted up, to accommodate a higher trailer (if the suspension can go that high).

For just rough roads, as long as the trailer to box clearance is set on the generous side, I assume a 5.0TA would work fine. Depending on the destination, I might be concerned about height to overhanging branches - the fifth-wheel is tall due to the need for height in the sleeping loft.
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Old 08-17-2015, 07:53 AM   #4
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Location: Burlington, Vermont
Trailer: 2014 17b/RAV4 (sold) 2012 Chevy Colorado
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This trailer may not be any larger than your Trillium but its design flexibility is potentially valuable.The Happier Camper • The Ultra-Light Travel Trailer Coming Soon Incidentally, we are happy boondockiing with our 17b. Be advised that the dual 6v battery combined with the solar panel is VERY robust. We are able to run all our system electronics, charge electronic devices, and keep our batteries charged even in the winter.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:58 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Seatac, Washington
Trailer: "The Trailer", 2nd Gen 21' & a 2017 Tundra CrewMax in Blazing Blue Pearl
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Good luck with your decision making, Stephen. Are you able to tour any Escape trailers in your neck of the woods? There might be some forum members in your area. You can also ask ETI and they'll search their database for someone willing to show you their trailer.

When I first joined this forum, I had 4 different owners offer to show me their trailers. Including a 21' with a u-shaped dinette, which I now know I definitely want.

Or if you're going to be visiting another area soon, post about it and someone might be in that area as well with their trailer.

When my husband and I toured a 19', 21' and 5.0TA it really helped us confirm we were making the correct decision in what type of trailer to purchase. Seeing them and flopping on the beds and dinettes made all the difference in that decision. (Plus the full length queen bed which is very rare to find on trailers and motorhomes.)

Seeing them in person will really help with your tire kicking. And you can actually kick a tire in person, if you want.
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