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Old 03-05-2016, 12:13 PM   #1
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Smile California dmv success!

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Judy & I are pleased to report that we picked up our new family member "Billie" (a gorgeous 21' Escape) on Monday, February 22nd and made our way back to Woodland, CA. We made a stop in Hillsboro, OR for Charley Young at RV Widget Works to work his magic on 2 ginormous under bed drawers. Coming from a 17' Casita we are awed by the quality of construction, extra roominess and storage space in the Escape 21' enhanced by Charlie's well crafted mods.
Yesterday 3/4/2016 I am pleased to report that "Billie" was registered at the California DMV with only 1 appointment that took just 45 minutes from start to finish at the local Woodland office!
This contrasts with the 5 appointments it took to register the Casita in 2013 not suggesting in any way a local bias for Canadian imported machinery versus Texas imported equipment.

Two Return Trip Data Points
1. Weighing in on the suitability of a Toyota Tacoma with towing package for pulling a 21' Escape performance metrics - When we pulled over Siskyiou Pass 4,300' just outside of Ashland OR on I-5 at a 6-7% grade we pulled at a steady 50 MPH with 3,000 RPM on the engine Tach which was quite adequate to pass all the 18-wheelers and most of the passenger cars. We were quite pleased with Rocky's performance up the grade.
2. Regarding 21' trailer and tongue weights - a weigh- in at the local truck scale yesterday indicated a trailer weight of 4,100 lbs and a tongue weight of 500 lbs. On board equipment was 6 gallons of water, basic kitchen gear, camp setup hoses and cords. We'll add another 2-300 lbs of camp setup gear when we hit the road.
Lastly, and apologies for the extra long post, our transaction with Escape Trailer Industries was positively outstanding!
ETI does what they say they are going to do,when they say say it will happen for the amount contracted for. Stupendous!
Reace and Tammy and their entire crew have our highest recommendation and we are pleased to join the extensive CD-US trans-border ETI fan base.
We are looking forward to seeing many of you at the Osyoyoos Rally in May.
Best Regards
Jim & Judy Tischer
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Old 03-05-2016, 12:27 PM   #2
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Congratulations!!! Many happy trails with Billie!
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Old 03-05-2016, 01:45 PM   #3
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Nice rig. And a full season of camping to look forward too!
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:21 PM   #4
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Congratulations on the trailer, and congratulations on getting thru DMV
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Old 03-05-2016, 05:10 PM   #5
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Fantastic Post

Jim & Judy, What a fantastic post! Thanks for all the useful information, especially your experiences with CA DMV, your Tacoma, and ETI. Glad you made it home safely too. Enjoy!
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Old 03-05-2016, 06:26 PM   #6
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Jim, Great post. Welcome to the family!

I've been going back and forth on towing without a WDH like I do in my 19. So I'm thinking from your post, I should fuhgedaboudit?

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Old 03-05-2016, 06:35 PM   #7
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Those weights seem high for an almost empty trailer, was the weight 3600 over the axles and 500 on tongue for a total of 4100#
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:05 PM   #8
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Hi CPAharley2008
Per guidance from the Escape Forum, the 500 lb. weight was the trailer tongue only on the truck scale with the trailer leveled up.
The 4100 lb. weight was with the trailer in the center off the scale also leveled up.
As I mentioned in the post the only equipment was as it was delivered from ETI plus the 2 under bed drawers Charley installed, about 6 gallons of liquid in all 3 tanks, pots and pans in the galley and the water/propane hoses. No other camp setup equipment was on board.
We did order the 2nd 6V battery, the 150 watt solar unit from ETI but nothing particularly heavy.
One if the reasons I reported out in some detail was the tare weight of the trailer alone was a bit heavier than I expected.
Any thoughts?
Jim Tischer
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:19 PM   #9
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Yo Greg
Thanks for the note. I would however suggest you take another look at the WDH as an option.
We too were not sure if it was a good purchase or not but the drive home on beat up I-5 from Chilliwack made me a believer.
The Tacoma and trailer tied together with a WDH makes for an integral rig that is 41'4" long from nose to tail and makes for a much smoother ride than what we were used to with the Casita and the pivot point in between the two pieces of equipment.
The point was driven home yesterday when I drove it over to the DMV for registration and to the truck scale for the weigh in. I had to cross rough railroad tracks twice and go down some roads that are up for repair as in missing pavement and chug holes. The ride was noticeably rougher than our trip down from Canada on I-5.
I-5 through Seattle is pretty rough and every bit the equal of some of our I-5 stretches here in California. We would have been hamburger if not for the WDH.
I may be a recent WDH convert and those are the worst kind, but I can't help but believe that the WDH reduces road trauma on both the truck and trailer because of significant dampening of vibration.
Lastly, and this may be more than you want to know, but I haven't experienced any difficulties with installation of the WDH or backing into place. It works quite well.
We have an electric hitch so it makes installation and removal pretty easy as well as saving my back.
Cheers
Jim
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:25 PM   #10
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Thanks Marry
We enjoyed our weekend In Chilliwack before the handoff. Stayed at Lynne Goodwin's Riverview B&B with a gorgeous view of the Fraser River valley and surrounding mountains.
For us Californios it was novel to see snow on mountains and get rained on. We loved it!
Regards,
Jim & Judy Tischer
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:32 PM   #11
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Hi Steve
Thanks for your note. Love your little icons.
We too enjoy Doran Beach and Bodega Dunes. Do include us in your future CA Escapers campout organizing efforts as it is only about 2 hours from Woodland.
As a sidebar we are headed to Fort Bragg, Pomo Campground RV Park for a 4-day outing next weekend with friends. It will be our maiden voyage for "Billie" and a good rig shakedown.
Best Regards
Jim Tischer
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Old 03-06-2016, 12:34 AM   #12
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Congratulations Jim and Judy! We will be going to pick ours up at the end of this month. We used to live in Yuba City so we know Woodland well. We are interested in the under the bed drawers. We will private message you about this. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Maury and Julie
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtischer View Post
Hi CPAharley2008
Per guidance from the Escape Forum, the 500 lb. weight was the trailer tongue only on the truck scale with the trailer leveled up.
The 4100 lb. weight was with the trailer in the center off the scale also leveled up.
As I mentioned in the post the only equipment was as it was delivered from ETI plus the 2 under bed drawers Charley installed, about 6 gallons of liquid in all 3 tanks, pots and pans in the galley and the water/propane hoses. No other camp setup equipment was on board.
We did order the 2nd 6V battery, the 150 watt solar unit from ETI but nothing particularly heavy.
One if the reasons I reported out in some detail was the tare weight of the trailer alone was a bit heavier than I expected.
Any thoughts?
Jim Tischer
Did they give you a print out? Mine showed 3800# at the axles and 500# on the tongue, total 4300# and the trailer was full of clothes, food,water for 2 weeks of camping. Perhaps that is what yours may be 500# tongue and 3600# axles. Was your front box empty, mine was full as well as propane.
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:55 AM   #14
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Congrats on picking up your new trailer. Glad to hear all transactions went smoothly too. Lots of great fun ahead now. See you in Osoyoos.
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Old 03-06-2016, 11:29 AM   #15
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Your report just makes me anticipate our May date even more! Still have the hurdle of getting Colorado DMV to issue us something temporary to use when we travel north from Chilliwack for 2 months. Otherwise, there's going to be " some 'splainin' to do" to the men in blue.
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Old 03-06-2016, 02:19 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jtischer View Post
Hi CPAharley2008
Per guidance from the Escape Forum, the 500 lb. weight was the trailer tongue only on the truck scale with the trailer leveled up.
The 4100 lb. weight was with the trailer in the center off the scale also leveled up.
As I mentioned in the post the only equipment was as it was delivered from ETI plus the 2 under bed drawers Charley installed, about 6 gallons of liquid in all 3 tanks, pots and pans in the galley and the water/propane hoses. No other camp setup equipment was on board.
We did order the 2nd 6V battery, the 150 watt solar unit from ETI but nothing particularly heavy.
One if the reasons I reported out in some detail was the tare weight of the trailer alone was a bit heavier than I expected.
Any thoughts?
Jim Tischer
Even assuming that the 4100 lb was the entire trailer - unhitched so the even the tongue weight was on the scale - that's still 960 pounds over the base-dry-empty spec of 3140 pounds.
Some of the difference is easy to account for:
  • 6 US gallons of water is about 50 pounds
  • The dual 6V battery setup (assuming Interstate GC2-XHD-UTL) is not just an extra battery - each battery is heavier than the base Group 27 battery (assuming Interstate SRM-27) so the net change is 78 pounds... plus extra cables and thicker cables
Were the propane tanks full? That's 40 pounds of propane not in the dry weight spec, and perhaps another 36 pounds of the tanks themselves (depending on whether or not they are included in the base-dry-empty weight; they are standard equipment).

I don't know what the drawers weigh. ?
I don't know what the pots and pans and hoses add up to. ?

The solar panel and controller, using Samlex specs for an example, is probably about 26 pounds... plus brackets, mounting hardware, and wiring.

I assume that the trailer was weighed without the weight-distribution system engaged, but the brackets are still on the trailer. That doesn't sound like much, but they're substantial chunks of steel, and all the little bits add up... maybe 10 pounds for these bits, assuming that the spring bars were not left sitting on the tongue.

What about other optional equipment? The big ones would include the air conditioner and microwave, but I assume those are not included, given the "nothing particularly heavy" note. We're only about 1/3 of the way to accounting for all of the additional weight...

In all brands of trailers, I think there's a tendency for actual weights to be a bit higher than the design calls for, since there are little bits of extra material (such as thicker fiberglass, extra screws, etc) all over the place as the builders make sure they build it well enough - they're not robots. This shouldn't be more than a few percent of the trailer weight.
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:50 PM   #17
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Yes, I did receive scale tags from the weigh master at Big Rig Scale Co. on Friday. As reported out earlier the 21' tongue weight was 500 lbs. while the entire trailer weight was 4,100 lbs.
We do have the 11,000 BTU Dometic AC as an option and both propane tanks were filled in Chilliwack before we departed for Woodland.
We don't have a microwave in the trailer nor a convection oven.
No, the EasyWay WDH was not part of the trailer weight as the hitch was on the truck and not weighed this time. I had a previous truck weight when I weighed the Casita last year.
We did order the extra insulation and have the dual glaze windows as additional options.
The front tool box has mostly bulky items and most likely doesn't weigh more than 50-60 lbs
Thanks to both of you and others for your comments on the weight differential and where it might be coming from.
Regards'
Jim
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:38 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jtischer View Post
We do have the 11,000 BTU Dometic AC as an option and both propane tanks were filled in Chilliwack before we departed for Woodland. We don't have a microwave in the trailer nor a convection oven.
...
We did order the extra insulation and have the dual glaze windows as additional options.
The air conditioner is significant (115 pounds?), and I think someone reported a weight for the windows (the insulation would be next to nothing in weight). It would be nice to have option weights to add all this stuff up, to allow for more accurate planning when ordering, but I don't think anyone has assembled that.

Quote:
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No, the EasyWay WDH was not part of the trailer weight as the hitch was on the truck and not weighed this time.
Not even the brackets on the trailer frame? Doesn't really matter.
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Old 03-07-2016, 07:07 AM   #19
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Ok, so the total was 4100#, with 500# tongue would leave 3600# on axles which is fine. I was 3800# on axles, same tongue weight lead for bear so to speak. I have most of the options also.
When emptying the trailer for the new owners, I took out 7 storage tubs of items plus numerous other items, it is true, the larger space the more you want to fill it.
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Old 05-02-2016, 07:35 PM   #20
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Debbie and I are approaching 3 weeks on the road since we picked up our 21 in Chilliwack. The trailer has been fantastic with all systems humming. Our V-6 Explorer is pulling just fine, especially with all the hilly climbs on Hwy. 101. Our route has taken us over the Port Townsend Ferry, west along the Olympic Peninsula, and down the Washington and Oregon Coasts. We had a wonderful venture inland to the Spring NOG in Waterloo, then back out to the coast.
Two days ago we passed into California, and this morning, May 2, we had our 10 am apt. with Eureka DMV. We got there early, about 9:25 am, and went straight to the Appointment Line. The friendly clerk said, "No Problem" about being early, and quickly consulted his supervisor to make sure he understood the import procedures. He was back in 90 seconds, handed me a form with a brief explanation, and told me to come back to him when I was done. I was back in 20 minutes. He passed me to a very nice female inspector, who quickly examined the paperwork, then asked to look at the trailer VIN. She did a quick measurement with her tape measure, and said, "Now let's go back inside for your plates".
We wrote a check, and 55 minutes after our arrival, I was using my new screwdriver for the first time.
Two more days and we will be home, with time to wash and wax before Mother's Day!

Life is Good:
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