Five-month trip in an Escape 21 -- summary - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-26-2015, 03:43 PM   #1
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Five-month trip in an Escape 21 -- summary

I left home in mid-March and returned in late August, so I was livinin my Escape 21 for a bit over five months. I won't write a detailed report this time, but I'll summarize my impressions of the trailer and its systems during this trip:

Towing -- I still believe that the Escape 21's best feature is its
towability, and the Toyota Tacoma makes a perfect tow vehicle for it, as long as you aren't going over high mountain passes on a daily basis. That might wear out a Tacoma's engine prematurely.

Livability -- I was comfortable with the trailer's space and storage, and never felt cramped. I used the trailer's bathroom and avoided campground facilities, and I dumped the holding tanks about once per week.

Stability when parked -- Our trailers are light enough so that the wind can push them around when they are parked, potentially causing a hazard. Make sure your trailer is well-chocked, and use sturdy chocks. The X-Chock is not a chock.

Refrigerator -- I had my fridge replaced with the Dometic two-door model. It seems to work better than the single-door model, but it still gets too warm sometimes. It is possible that its fans aren't working correctly. I learned to keep only three days' of food in the fridge/freezer, and eat out on Saturdays (yay!).

Furnace -- The Atwood 8012-II that was used until recently in Escape 21 trailers has an unusual sail switch that RV dealers do not stock. Carry a spare. Also, problems with this sail switch seem to be hard to diagnose.

Water heater -- I finally decided to leave the water heater on all the time. It doesn't use much propane, and I had hot water when I needed it.

Solar power -- 355W of solar panels will run the fridge when towing and keep the batteries charged. This is true for August when it is sunny; on a cloudy day when towing the battery charge will go below 90%, still good. I don't know about fall/winter yet. I have the two six-volt batteries.

For details of any of the above subjects please ask. Also, for details of the trip itself I've included a spreadsheet listing the places I visited. I started the spreadsheet for myself to track trailer mileage, but then added info to make it useful to others. So look it over and ask me anything, as they say on Reddit.
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Old 08-26-2015, 03:58 PM   #2
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Were you by yourself on the trip?
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Old 08-26-2015, 04:32 PM   #3
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I believe he was, at least in Osoyoos he was.....nice meeting you Mike!!
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Old 08-26-2015, 04:40 PM   #4
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Mike,
Some headings were not shown, confuse over mileage difference, also what about your gas,food expenses and other, just to get an idea on what the total costs were.
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:05 PM   #5
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Jim, it was good to meet you as well. I'm having a multiple-tech-failure-day (MTFD) so I didn't get the headings in. They are:

Date, Trip Leg Destination, Trip Leg Miles, Cumulative Trip Miles, Cumulative Trailer Mileage, Nights (at campsite), Cost / Night, Total Cost, Campground Facilities, Comments. If I manage to successfully export the spreadsheet to a PDF again, I'll post it again. Apparently I get only one shot, though.

I was traveling alone. Furthermore, I did not find a wife on this trip. :-)
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:33 PM   #6
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Quite an interesting trip, Mike. Any good shots at Big Bend? Mt Rainier? Great Basin? Favored spots on WA->OR Coasts?
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
Jim, it was good to meet you as well. I'm having a multiple-tech-failure-day (MTFD) so I didn't get the headings in. They are:

Date, Trip Leg Destination, Trip Leg Miles, Cumulative Trip Miles, Cumulative Trailer Mileage, Nights (at campsite), Cost / Night, Total Cost, Campground Facilities, Comments. If I manage to successfully export the spreadsheet to a PDF again, I'll post it again. Apparently I get only one shot, though.

I was traveling alone. Furthermore, I did not find a wife on this trip. :-)
Mike:
To be clear, we have a 21' on order for April delivery and this is my first post. So I am no expert on the Escape. Thank you for the five month review, especially the comment on how the new two door Fridge performed. We live in Las Vegas, NV with the high heat and hope the Frig will be acceptable.

We have owned three different RV's with Dometic Fridge's and all have cooled OK. The last being a Casita. We have always traveled with the propane on, and I believe this allowed the Fridge to stay cooler. Your post indicates you travel with your Fridge in DC mode not propane.

Have you tried the Fridge on propane while traveling? Any additional comments are appreciated.

Thank you Mike and everyone else for all the great information you have provided, We can't wait for hockey to start and April to come.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Quite an interesting trip, Mike. Any good shots at Big Bend? Mt Rainier? Great Basin? Favored spots on WA->OR Coasts?
That looks like a nice campground, Myron. I thought about trying for it or Whidbey Island, but I didn't on this trip.

I'll post some photos in a few days. I didn't really take a lot of photographs on this trip. Among other things the wildfires out West caused a lot of haze, the least of their bad effects, I know.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronkat View Post
Mike:
Have you tried the Fridge on propane while traveling? Any additional comments are appreciated.

Thank you Mike and everyone else for all the great information you have provided, We can't wait for hockey to start and April to come.
I have traveled and camped with the fridge on propane, and in general it does pretty well, but at times it has gotten too warm using propane. There is another thread where folks have posted fridge temps. I'm recording a spreadsheet and I'll post August temps at the end of the month.

Right now, among other things, the freezer door is jammed shut. I've no idea what to do and haven't yet really investigated. I discovered the jammed door this morning.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Quite an interesting trip, Mike. Any good shots at Big Bend? Mt Rainier? Great Basin? Favored spots on WA->OR Coasts?
As for campgrounds / locations, I liked:

- The Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park campground in Fredericksburg, TX. The town was built out of limestone by German immigrants. I'd like to spend more time there.

- Chisos Basin campground in Big Bend National Park.

- Most of the state parks I stayed at in New Mexico are scenic, but I was hampered by bad weather.

- Sedro-Woolley, Washington city park is inexpensive and convenient to a nice area.

- Nk'Mip Resort was nice; I'd like to spend more time in that area.

- The campgrounds in the more remote national parks like Great Basin are sometimes bargains, but beware of national park campgrounds that are run by concessionaires. They tend to be overpriced. $32 for a site with no hookups is a ripoff imho. The national parks themselves are very popular with U.S. and foreign tourists, so they are frequently crowded. Serious nature-lovers probably enjoy them more than I did; I'm more of a "traveler" than a "camper".
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