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Old 11-11-2014, 10:13 AM   #1
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Would like the 21 foot escape....advice?

Hello from League City, Texas (near Houston).

I have been looking at the 21 foot escape longingly. It looks like a great trailer. I have a Toyota Highlander (5000 pound max), so I guess my car is adequate? I have never bought a travel trailer before, thus I am a complete neophyte. I have also only looked at pictures of the Escape...
Looking at their web site, there is a long laundry list of options to buy. Which ones are worth it? I plan to use it with my family on some short trips and hopefully a long vacation every once in a while. I will most likely go to places with electrical and water hook ups.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:28 AM   #2
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Welcome, you came to the right place. There are a ton of options, and a ton of opinions on which ones are needed. My advice would be to view a 21 in person, and spend some time in it. There is no substitute for spending some time in the trailer to figure out your options. Contact ETI and they can refer you to a trailer owner near you who will be willing to show you around. Print out an options list and take it with you when you tour the trailer. It helps you figure out what each one is and whether or not you need it.

Several people have towed a 21 with a Highlander and the reports are that it does a good job. My caveat would be that you may experience performance issues when climbing hills or passing. I would go with a full body-on-frame vehicle for towing. I consider that a superior towing platform in every respect - but to each his own.

You could probably safely eliminate the solar/inverter/etc. since you intend to camp where you'll have hookups, and could probably eliminate the spray foam and heat pads since you're a fellow South Texan. The insulation, thermal windows and AC are a must have for you.

Consider additional 110v outlets since you'll be camping with hookups. Extra outlets always come in handy.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:31 AM   #3
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Hi Daniel,
Even though I've ordered a 17' Escape, really want to follow this thread because I'm also considering a Toyota as a pull vehicle and love hearing suggestions on options. Escapes are awesome--I realize that more and more every day and am SO GLAD that was my choice!!!
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:26 AM   #4
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Welcome to "The Forum of Dreams".
We're dreaming of our soon-to-be-built '21. Like most everyone on this forum, we spend days discussing the build sheet - where all the options are specified, and reading every word that might sway our decisions one way or the other.

Our tow vehicle will be a Tacoma with the off-road package, trailer package and manual tranny. Will it work for us at 10k feet in Colorado? We'll let everyone know next year!

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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
You could probably safely eliminate the solar/inverter/etc. since you intend to camp where you'll have hookups,...
Consider skipping the heavy-duty dual 6v batteries also. They are not necessary if you have ready access to 110v power. Save both some weight and $$.

I'll second the suggestion for thermal windows and extra insulation. Not only will it help with heating/cooling but also noise issues - which might be more significant if you always camp with hookups.

Enjoy!
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:00 PM   #5
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Be sure and have a look through the forum. Search on things like "build sheet", and you should find several posts from folks who have posted what they got and why. There won't be any shortage of opinions! Also, you should pay attention to things that aren't on the official option list, but Escape will do anyhow. For example, we had ETI install a cell phone antenna in our recently built 21.

We tow our 21 with a Highlander, and so far we have been pleased with it. But others feel differently, and suggest larger vehicles. Again, it is one of those things that you have to read everyone's thoughts, and decide what makes sense for you. If you already have, and like, your tow vehicle, you can probably just stick with it and then change it later if you aren't happy.

In any event, it is certainly a fun experience to choose a trailer and the associated options. It is even more fun to camp in the trailer!
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:03 PM   #6
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Welcome Daniel, to our Escape world. Have you contact Escape Trailers and asked for contact info for a 21 that may be near you? I have shown my unit over a half a dozen times in past year to prospective owners. Having said that, an Escape 19 should not be ruled out as it has a cot option for little ones and it is easier/lighter to tow with your Highlander, check out both models.
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:16 PM   #7
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Hello.

Two good threads to read:


Planned modifications to BlackJack….


If You Could Design My new Trailer and Pick My Options......
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:27 PM   #8
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These links are extremely informative. Thanks!!!


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Old 11-11-2014, 03:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielyulkim View Post
Hello from League City, Texas (near Houston).

I have been looking at the 21 foot escape longingly. It looks like a great trailer. I have a Toyota Highlander (5000 pound max), so I guess my car is adequate? I have never bought a travel trailer before, thus I am a complete neophyte. I have also only looked at pictures of the Escape...
Looking at their web site, there is a long laundry list of options to buy. Which ones are worth it? I plan to use it with my family on some short trips and hopefully a long vacation every once in a while. I will most likely go to places with electrical and water hook ups.
Whenever I show my Escape, I print out my "build sheet" without prices and give them a copy. Then, I use this sheet to explain to the person looking at my trailer what I added or left off and why. I believe that gives them a starting point. This is a suggestion as a way to get an opinion on what can be done when they order theirs.
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Old 11-11-2014, 03:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielyulkim View Post
Hello from League City, Texas (near Houston).

I have been looking at the 21 foot escape longingly. It looks like a great trailer. I have a Toyota Highlander (5000 pound max), so I guess my car is adequate? I have never bought a travel trailer before, thus I am a complete neophyte. I have also only looked at pictures of the Escape...
Looking at their web site, there is a long laundry list of options to buy. Which ones are worth it? I plan to use it with my family on some short trips and hopefully a long vacation every once in a while. I will most likely go to places with electrical and water hook ups.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to know if you would use many items without having had a trailer. You might look at the ones that cannot be changed at all later, or easily, such as insulation vs. what can easily be added. Of course, the cost of each figures in. You do not actually need much of anything but since you expect to have hookups, I would not be without the dual water heater, for one.

What you see on forums are basically two groups of people: those who boondock much of the time (no hookups) and those who do not, or not much. You see opposite recommendations because of a difference in camping life. Since you know which group you are in, you can try to pick by that.
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Old 11-11-2014, 05:04 PM   #11
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Hi ellen i have pulled a 17 and a 19 with my honda pilot. With the 17 i didn't know it was there. With the 19 it was very comfortable. No problems with both.
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Old 11-11-2014, 05:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielyulkim View Post
Hello from League City, Texas (near Houston).

I have been looking at the 21 foot escape longingly. It looks like a great trailer. I have a Toyota Highlander (5000 pound max), so I guess my car is adequate? I have never bought a travel trailer before, thus I am a complete neophyte. I have also only looked at pictures of the Escape...
Looking at their web site, there is a long laundry list of options to buy. Which ones are worth it? I plan to use it with my family on some short trips and hopefully a long vacation every once in a while. I will most likely go to places with electrical and water hook ups.
I'm somewhat in the same boat as Daniel.With an exception.My 21 is to be del/pkd/up march 25/15.I have some experience with Escape trailers.I had a 15A,missed it a lot.I went the 15a route,because I mostly rough it.But now I'm retired,bones creak more,and time awaits.My build sheet kinda revolves around,a bit of boondocking.Basically ordered standard issue 21.But swapped out ac for a 2nd max fann.Reason if the hole & wiring are there with [2nd fan],if I choose the ac .It won't cost me an arm /leg to cut/place an ac unit in.Went with extra insul/thermal windows.The frt storage box,Led lights thru out,2 6 volt batteries.I am still debating solar vs sm.generator.The onboard water/sewer at hand will be new to my lifestyle.Pit toilets/sponge baths history.My pull unit is a 2014 Sierra 1500 4x4,love my flyfishing in remote areas.Ocassionally like to wet a line thru the ice.Which ain't far away from now -23 c,outside now.From Calgary to Chilliwack will be interesting,in march.Hope the weather gods are friendlier than last years polar vortex winter.
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Old 11-11-2014, 05:26 PM   #13
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You can always have ETI keep it there until better weather which they often do. That will be some big change for you and no doubt you will love it. Please send us the photos.
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Old 11-11-2014, 05:33 PM   #14
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I will.If i can ever figure out how to upload photo's here.I have photo bucket.I will admit i'm a bit of a self taught dinosaur.Put that's all a steer can do is try...
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Old 11-11-2014, 05:41 PM   #15
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Congrats on the 21 tracker.
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:23 PM   #16
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I will.If i can ever figure out how to upload photo's here.I have photo bucket.I will admit i'm a bit of a self taught dinosaur.Put that's all a steer can do is try...
Not sure about photo bucket but some suggest that you load directly to the forums or else they may not be there later.
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:34 PM   #17
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I will.If i can ever figure out how to upload photo's here.I have photo bucket.I will admit i'm a bit of a self taught dinosaur.Put that's all a steer can do is try...
Read this sticky. It includes photo posting instructions.

Posting and account help | Forum 101
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:01 PM   #18
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Good to know! I was getting an oil change on my Civic and saw the new Honda Pilot, top of the line model. What a beauty but slightly out of my price range. (ok, way out of my price range) Will definitely check into an older model Pilot. Thanks for the info!

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Hi ellen i have pulled a 17 and a 19 with my honda pilot. With the 17 i didn't know it was there. With the 19 it was very comfortable. No problems with both.
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:13 AM   #19
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Thanks for the advice...tips on driving trailers?

Thanks for all the advice....I can see myself spending quite a bit of time just doing modifications (if I wanted and if I had the time). I am thinking of even taking a trip to the factory myself to see and to compare models.

Any special equipment to make it easier to drive the trailer. I have never driven a trailer before. I plan to buy clip on trailer mirrors for my car...should I get a rear
view camera also? The brake controller and anderson hitch will help too?
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:46 AM   #20
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There are a bunch of Escapes in Texas and you would do better to see a couple of them and talk to the owners. There are rallies where you could see different models at once. No need to go to the factory from that distance even though some have bothered. If you know the model you are most interested in, someone in TX can tell you where they are.

You will need a brake controller. You will have to look into your hitch situation and that hitch in particular.
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