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Old 10-14-2018, 11:18 PM   #1
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water system questions

Dear Escape owners:

We got our new escape 19' this summer, I have a few questions about water system:

1. Do you always sanitize your fresh water tank? Like before the first time use, before every trip? (assume not going to use the water for drinking and cooking, will bring bottle water for those purpose)
2. Do you always drain your fresh water and water heater after each trip? I assume gray and black tank you should always do it.
3. Do you need to winterize your trailer if you live in California where in winter the temperature rarely drop below 32F?

some questions not related to water system:

1. Do you take the battery out after each trip because the propane detector could quickly use up all the battery?
2. I saw on Escape web site, they have an new option for Canopy: Is it good if we have to store the trailer outside in window?

Thanks a lot,
Jing
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jmcrv2017 View Post
Dear Escape owners:

We got our new escape 19' this summer, I have a few questions about water system:

1. Do you always sanitize your fresh water tank? Like before the first time use, before every trip? (assume not going to use the water for drinking and cooking, will bring bottle water for those purpose)


We do this once a year.. We only use the fresh tank for shower and toilet, so we think that's sufficient.


Quote:
2. Do you always drain your fresh water and water heater after each trip? I assume gray and black tank you should always do it.
We haven't drain the water heater tank since we got the trailer (a little over a year) I plan to do that this coming week. I guess I will find out if there's any ill side-effect.



We don't always dump the black and gray tank tho, the longest we've left them intact is maybe 3 months? Ordorlos is a good thing.



Quote:
3. Do you need to winterize your trailer if you live in California where in winter the temperature rarely drop below 32F?
I dont think you need to worry about it unless it stays below 32F for more than half of the day..



Quote:
some questions not related to water system:

1. Do you take the battery out after each trip because the propane detector could quickly use up all the battery?
We didn't.. Where we store our trailer, the solar panel seems to always keep the battery charged. (I think it gets about 2-3 hours of mid-day sunlight) We plugged it in when we cover the trailer.



Quote:
2. I saw on Escape web site, they have an new option for Canopy: Is it good if we have to store the trailer outside in window?

Thanks a lot,
Jing
No idea about the cover Escape is currently selling. We have a cheap cover that we only put on when we don't use the trailer for extended period of time (winter, 3 months)
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcrv2017 View Post
Dear Escape owners:

We got our new escape 19' this summer, I have a few questions about water system:

1. Do you always sanitize your fresh water tank? Like before the first time use, before every trip? (assume not going to use the water for drinking and cooking, will bring bottle water for those purpose)
2. Do you always drain your fresh water and water heater after each trip? I assume gray and black tank you should always do it.
3. Do you need to winterize your trailer if you live in California where in winter the temperature rarely drop below 32F?

some questions not related to water system:

1. Do you take the battery out after each trip because the propane detector could quickly use up all the battery?
2. I saw on Escape web site, they have an new option for Canopy: Is it good if we have to store the trailer outside in window?

Thanks a lot,
Jing
1) no, we use it often enough that i don't feel the need to sanitize it.

2) if its going to be parked for weeks, I drain the fresh water tank. of course, you drain and flush the black+grey, usually at each campground we visit, or after each leg of boondocking.

3) I have not bothered to winterize anything around here in coastal Santa Cruz.

battery:

1) no. our trailer has solar, anyway we plug it in when we're home so it stays 100% charged. besides that, the propane detector is like 0.075 amps or something, it would take 1000 hours to put a measurable dent in the battery charge.

2) no idea what you mean by Canopy.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcrv2017 View Post
Dear Escape owners:

We got our new escape 19' this summer, I have a few questions about water system:

1. Do you always sanitize your fresh water tank? Like before the first time use, before every trip? (assume not going to use the water for drinking and cooking, will bring bottle water for those purpose)
2. Do you always drain your fresh water and water heater after each trip? I assume gray and black tank you should always do it.
3. Do you need to winterize your trailer if you live in California where in winter the temperature rarely drop below 32F?

some questions not related to water system:

1. Do you take the battery out after each trip because the propane detector could quickly use up all the battery?
2. I saw on Escape web site, they have an new option for Canopy: Is it good if we have to store the trailer outside in window?

Thanks a lot,
Jing

Hello neighbor (Pleasanton is about 15 miles N/E of Fremont, Ca.), I’ll try to answer how we do it as we have had no problems in 2 1/2 years. I’ll preface that we do have the undercarriage spray foam, dual pane windows, and extra insulation options.

1. We sanitize the system annually, usually around the slow month of January. Between sanitation’s, we keep about a quarter tank of fresh water in the tank, and bring it up to about 2/3 before a trip or camping. We do drink this water as it has been pre-filtered before entering the fresh water tank and filtered again using a Brita Water Pitcher before use.

2. As stated above, we do not drain the fresh tank between uses; we add to it. However, we do use the trailer at least once a month. If the gray and black tanks are 1/3 full or less, we do not dump them before storage, as we will have the trailer out again soon. We do use Odorlos or Thetford tank treatments in both tanks and have never had a tank odor.

3. We have NOT winterized our trailer as it is stored in temperatures you describe. As long as daytime temps rise above 32*, the interior and areas within the foam prevent a hard freeze.

1. We have never had our batteries out, however I do check them every 2-3 months for corrosion and water level. We have never had any corrosion, but have added water on each occasion. Our trailer is stored under a carport and the solar panel receives no direct sunlight. I do turn the battery cut-off switch to the OFF position when in storage. 3-4 weeks later, the battery is always at 90%.

2. In the California sun, UV rays are an enemy to the fiberglass and gelcoat. I wash the trailer after almost every use and wax it with a good marine wax twice a year. I have not used a canopy/cover, but may consider it if I were not under a carport.

Good Luck,Jing! I hope this helps
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:04 AM   #5
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Hi: jmcrv2017... Why sanitize? There should be enough sanity in the water already. Battery storage is good where it is. Use the "Kill" switch to prevent phantom drains!!! Alf
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcrv2017 View Post
Dear Escape owners:

We got our new escape 19' this summer, I have a few questions about water system:

1. Do you always sanitize your fresh water tank? Like before the first time use, before every trip? (assume not going to use the water for drinking and cooking, will bring bottle water for those purpose)
2. Do you always drain your fresh water and water heater after each trip? I assume gray and black tank you should always do it.
3. Do you need to winterize your trailer if you live in California where in winter the temperature rarely drop below 32F?

some questions not related to water system:

1. Do you take the battery out after each trip because the propane detector could quickly use up all the battery?
2. I saw on Escape web site, they have an new option for Canopy: Is it good if we have to store the trailer outside in window?

Thanks a lot,
Jing
1. I have not sanitized yet in two years, and have not needed too, though I think when I un-winterize when heading south in the new year I will. I always drink from the fresh water tank. I only fill it with water I would be willing to do so with. If at a campground and connected to water that does not smell or taste all that great I only use it with the city water system and do not put any in the tank.
2. I only drain the fresh water and water heater when winterizing. Grey and black almost always after a trip unless just a little remains.
3. You should be just fine to not winterize, lucky you.

1. Batteries never come out. With solar they are always charged, and if no solar if you can keep plugged in the will be charged too. You can always turn the battery disconnect off.
2. Sorry, not sure what you are asking.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:12 AM   #7
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We sanitize our water system only once or twice a year depending how ambitious I am .
We use the water from our tank for cooking , cleaning and drinking
Not a fan of bottled water , too much plastic waste already
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:56 PM   #8
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Not a fan of bottled water , too much plastic waste already
Most definitely! Even when we take extra water it is in a 5 gallon can which is also handy if we need to pick up more water while boondocking. I never buy water in a plastic bottle, as I feel we really do need to get rid of all of these single use plastics we use.
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:53 PM   #9
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Most definitely! Even when we take extra water it is in a 5 gallon can which is also handy if we need to pick up more water while boondocking. I never buy water in a plastic bottle, as I feel we really do need to get rid of all of these single use plastics we use.

We carry our drinking water in a 3.5 gallon container... home water tasted better If we ran out we use the filter and get campground water.. or sometimes at the parks that have "water filling station" for water bottle... It was a little weird trying to fill 3.5 gallons at those place, but still doable.
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:11 PM   #10
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I was just at Safeway checkout, behind a young couple, each with a 12 oz. bottle of water. They were examining the labels and then the woman wandered off and came back with a different brand. It was also different from the guy's bottle, but still contained water.
It took all I had for this cantankerous old bugger to keep his lips zipped.
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:53 PM   #11
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Some states require a s deposit on plastic bottles to encourage recycling and discourage throwing money away.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:28 PM   #12
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Got to wonder about those who don't have deposit/refund.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:00 PM   #13
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my city water at home has become so awful tasting with excess chlorine and high iron content that we stopped drinking it, instead we get purified water from a local water store, refilling a 5 gallon bottle... its $0.50/g and we go through about a 5G/week between the two of us, for drinking water and making coffee, so that's about $12/month.

when camping, we bring a 5 gallon carboy bottle with us and use a 'Dolphin' brand pump that fits in the bottle, put this just outside the trailer door, under the shade of the awning. if the camping area has good tasting water we'll happily refill it from the tap, if not, we'll either find a water store that sells filtered/purified water, or as a last ditch, buy 1G or 2.5G jugs of preferably Crystal Geyser at the supermarket. I figure a couple 1G jugs is a lot less wasteful than a bunch of 12 oz bottles. We'll also reuse those 1G jugs a few times, either filling them from the 5G carboy, or filling them with 'good' local tap water, when available. We often keep one in the Escape's fridge for chilled drinking water in hot weather.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:07 PM   #14
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Yes, I agree, I fill the fresh tank at home and bring a 2.5 g bottle for coffee...
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:19 PM   #15
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I found quite a few places that sold good filtered water in Arizona. It was $2 for 5 gallons. Great for topping up your tank and drinking.
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Old 10-16-2018, 03:52 PM   #16
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I drain my fresh water tank after every trip. On the way home I drain the tank then remove the valve so the remaining trapped water can slosh out. My fresh water tank is not insulated and mold or mildew will grow if I leave water in it.
If you get under the back of the trailer you can see the tank. If you see discoloration or dark spots through the plastic then you may have mold or mildew inside.
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:13 PM   #17
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I found quite a few places that sold good filtered water in Arizona. It was $2 for 5 gallons. Great for topping up your tank and drinking.
Was that the brown stuff in the glass bottle you kept bringing over to my trailer at Quartzsite last year?
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:15 PM   #18
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Was that the brown stuff in the glass bottle you kept bringing over to my trailer at Quartzsite last year?
No that was scotch but the price was as posted.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcrv2017 View Post

1. Do you always sanitize your fresh water tank? Like before the first time use, before every trip? (assume not going to use the water for drinking and cooking, will bring bottle water for those purpose)
2. Do you always drain your fresh water and water heater after each trip? I assume gray and black tank you should always do it.
3. Do you need to winterize your trailer if you live in California where in winter the temperature rarely drop below 32F?

some questions not related to water system:

1. Do you take the battery out after each trip because the propane detector could quickly use up all the battery?
2. I saw on Escape web site, they have an new option for Canopy: Is it good if we have to store the trailer outside in window?

Thanks a lot,
Jing
We live in Santa Rosa, so not too far away.
1. We sanitize our tank once a year in the spring. We keep the fresh water tank full from our city water as I plan to use our trailer as an emergency shelter if needed. And it was needed last year when we were evacuated from our house due to wild fires. Fortunately, our house survived, but we lived in the trailer for a week until we were allowed to return home.

2. After a trip, I dump the fresh water and refill to keep it fresh. After 3 years, this has worked well for us. We use water from the tank for drinking and cooking. Our city water is great. I do occasionally top off the tank while on a trip which is another reason to dump and refill. I also dump the black and gray water tanks after each trip.

3. I don't winterize our trailer. The first year we had the trailer, I tried to buy some trailer antifreeze and found that the local dealer did not stock it because he had no demand for it.

1. Battery: We connect our trailer to house power before a trip and run it ff solar the rest of the time. The solar recharges the batteries during the winter with no problem. I check the battery water level at least annually and have had to add water, usually about once a year.

2. We store our trailer outside all the time and so I can not offer any advice about a cover nor do I feel we need to have one.

Art Molvik lives in Livermore and has an Escape 21, and might be able to give you local advice. I imagine Escape could put you in touch with him. But Santa Rosa is also pretty local.
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Old 10-17-2018, 09:58 PM   #20
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Thank everyone for your information and reply! Sure I learn a lot from you guys! And good to know we got quite some “neighbors” around :-)

We are RV newbies and had never traveled in a RV or trailer. It is pretty challenge to us but our whole family(my husband and I and my 8-year-old son) are looking forward to travel with it with a lot of fun!

Our original plan was to go to the Chiliwack factory so that we can have a good trip plus a detail orientation. Just before the trip, I got to know I was sick and need surgery. So we have our trailer delivered instead at the end of August. So far we have not really used it except my husband brought it to DMV for trailer registration. We plan to have our first trip on this weekend.

I am glad that maintain water system seems not as hard as I thought. Great no need for winterization! Get one or two big jug is a good idea so that I can bring water from home.

I just realize that I should worry about the battery more. When trailer came, I was focus on other aspect such as hitch, plumbing, water heater… Totally ignore the battery. I had thought that is something I need only when dry camping... And there are lots of way to charge. I never thought that battery needs to be charged when 50% full (NOT like my cell phone battery) and even not using it, the battery will be discharged very soon… Last night, I went into trailer and found no power at all. The propane detector has no green light. The Maxx fan has a flashing green light and weak chirping… Will my battery go totally dead? If I just plug in a shore power from my garage, will it get charged back? How long would it take? Do I need to check anything before plug in?

I have 2 6v batteries but don’t have solar installed. I had thought I can buy portable solar to use when dry camping (never thought battery needs to charge even not in use).

If I am lucky to recover my battery, in the future, between trips, I need to switch the disconnect button to “On” so it won’t discharge the battery. Do I need to take out the battery? Even taking out, I still need to charge it if the battery goes too low, right? Any recommendations for tools to check the battery life and charge it when taken out?

If the battery already dead and have to be replaced, where should I get it and what is your recommendation?

BTW, the most important: Where is battery? I looked through the menu, can not find the location of battery. How to connect a portable solar panel (not buy yet) to it?

Thanks a lot,
Jing
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