Originally Posted by Jim Bennett
Glad to see you got it all sorted out, Pat. A bit of a hassle, but with good results.
One of the biggest issues that any RV manufacturer faces, not only Escape, is to keep costs down. The one way to do that is to use the regular, run of the mill components found extensively in the industry. While those lights that Nathan linked to are great, if you use 4 of them you just added $160 to the build, and this is just one component of many that go into the build.
My thoughts are that the industry standard components lack quality largely due to the fact that they mostly see very little use. The vast majority of RV's out there spend almost their entire life in storage.
There are lots of standard items I would love to see upgraded, sinks, taps, stoves, interior panelling, toilets, fill and electrical hatches, drawer slides, and so one, but to address the potential concerns of all these features will push the price to a degree that will scare many people off. Just look at what happened to the Nest Caravan, an extremely well built unit using top quality components, but the final cost got pushed to where very few would be willing to pay the cost.
Just so long as the base elements of the trailer are sound, these individual items can be changed out at the owner's expense afterwards, if they so desire. Some things people want included, Escape will try to accommodate if reasonably possible. You have to remember that something like mounting the existing porch lights takes them less than a minute each, whereas using something supplied by the purchaser will mean they have to build a template to ensure the hole pattern works out, effectively multiplying the time taken by 3-10 times (just guessing here). Do this with a bunch of components on the build, and every other build, and it can drastically affect production time. This I know very well, doing custom building for people. Those production builders can knock off homes in no time, with their eyes closed, whereas every build we do is a prototype, requiring much more time to produce.
This is not to say that requesting higher level products is not a good thing, heck I do plan to do so with a few things myself, or if it is too much of a hassle for Escape, I will just install, or replace, them myself when needed.
Do remember, this post was written by a guy who loves to buy quality products in places where it matters to me. I do buy some cheaper items where longevity and usability are not key factors, but usually buy quality as I know most often there is value in doing so.