So this is my very first post here on the Escape forum. Which is really not that extra-ordinary as new people must post all the time. But I dare say by the time I finish the post, a majority of you will either be comatose or begging me to make it my last. And I'm ok with either, as long as people would be kind enough to answer my questions before it happens
So for those of you who haven't read my posts on the CasitaClub, you don't know that I can rather ramble on about the most minute, unnecessary details before coming to my point. Its a character flaw of mine. However, if you want to avoid all the "blah, blah, blah" just scroll down to page 158 where my questions will be brilliantly numbered.
You're welcome. I mean, thank you. And just know I will be calling Escape on some of the "can this be done?" questions, but I think most are more opinion in nature.
So a bit of background...in 2006 my wife announced in rather emphatic tones that she was sick and tired of...not camping. What did you think I would say? Me?! As in hardly!!
She said she didn't care what kind of trailer we got, we just had to get SOMETHING. Fortunately, a friend of my parents had a 13' Scamp we just by luck happened to see, and we both fell in love...with the concept. I also had been internetting (my very own word misspelling!), and we looked at several aluminum stickies locally. We even actually called Escape and talked to Reace about their trailers. But due to the fact that Escape was so far away, and also because we saw a Escape at a Camping World being repaired, which looked like something only a mother could love (the shape it was in), we kept looking. Then I found Casita's website...Cue the heavenly harp music...we were like 2 teenagers in love. We bought a 2007 SD which we have to this day.
Fast forward 8 years, and the two precious toddlers we had, running around in diapers, are now now 15 and 11. Ok maybe they were't still in diapers, but it paints such a strong emotional picture, don't you agree? Sure, they tent outside the Casita when we camp locally (around New England) but we have found the older they get, the more aware they are to the fact that their mom and dad are sleeping in a climate controlled camper while they are trying to sleep in a heat and moisture capturing tent in 90% humidity and 70 degree weather. This has led to demands that they be treated as equal citizens under the law. Well, more like "c'mon...do we HAVE to sleep outside? It's so hot!" What parents, who love their children and who want to have fun camping, can say "no!"? So they sleep in the Casita too. One on the dinette and on under the bed. Oh yeah, then the two dogs have to sleep somewhere in the Casita too. Usually laying on my pillow with their paws in my face. And I don't even like them!
When we got back from a trip to Disney World and Hilton Head a few months ago I was wondering why, that even with this epic, once of lifetime trip, I was an angry man by the time we got back. Then it hit me. Who in their right mind wants to live the game of Twister in real life for three weeks?
So with that revelation, we decided we are going to try and sell the Casita and get an Escape. The funny thing is, the kids are the ones who don't want to. Both have sentimental attachments to it because of the memories and such, but we tell them, memories are about the camping and family, which we will still have with the Escape. Kids learn such valuable life lessons nowadays! Back when, we only learned how to work hard and be good citizens.
Which finally brings me to the present. No, no, it's ok, I'll wait for the applause to die down...Here is our situation:
We have a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser, 5000 lbs towing capacity, give or take 5750 lbs GVWR, 9500 lbs GCVWR, and a tongue weight capacity of 500 lbs. If there is anyone smart out there who sees that I got my numbers all screwed up, be forewarned, I am not the sharpest tool in the shed. We have a 2 bar WDH and an anti-sway bar that attaches to the WDH and trailer. As it now stands, we could afford the upgrade to the trailer, but not it AND the tow vehicle.
The first barrage of questions are as follows (please don't fall asleep now!):
1. If we mainly will pull the trailer around relatively flat terrain and mostly a just couple hundred miles (we don't have the Rockies or the Sierra's in Maine just tiny tiny hills) is the 21' an option with the FJ? I know its maybe not the "ideal", I just want to be within the margin of safety. Even if its pushing the envelope.
2. If so, on the 21', with the bed being the size and shape it is (I was sobbing my eyes out when I saw it was no bigger than our Casita's) do you feel cramped with 3 walls surrounding you?
3. If we went with the 19' we would still like the oven, and the larger fridge. If that were the case could the fridge be dropped down so a microwave could be installed above the fridge. Or would that make the microwave too high? The problem easily seen with this is that we lose all our storage. Not smart. But I already told you I'm not, so that's no shocker.
4. We were surprised when we looked a 19' Friday how small the bathroom was in comparison to the Casita's. Well, except for the height. Which we don't need as we are only 5'8" and 5'4". We are Oompa Loompa's. At least in height.
Is the 21' bathroom more comparable to the Casita's? We exclusively use the bathroom, never campgrounds, so a nice fit is always a pleasant thing.
5. My wife was a little shocked with the thinness of the outer wall around the bathroom. Felt flimsy. Is there any issue with it being that thin as far as durability, or is there a reason why they don't put a cabinetry-style wall around the bathroom? Or could that be an option?
6. If we went with the 19', and didn't go with the cot option, which we might, could the 3 windows be lowered, instead of having the benches raised?
7. Can we get different color window shades? Such as well, say cream instead of the tan? We aren't thrilled with the way the tan shades darken the trailer up. I realize there will be give and take with a new trailer, but we are just used to how bright the Casita can be even with all the wonderful (I jest) vinyl blinds pulled down.
8. Do all trailers come with the snap on vinyl rock protectors, or can those be left off?
9. Where do people store their dirty clothes? My wife was thinking of places to put them but we don't want to permanently replace storage (i.e. a dirty clothes hamper in the hanging storage closet).
The thing is, I feel very much liberated and overwhelmed with the insane amount of customization which can be done in the Escape. Too used to "we have three favors of ice cream you can choose from. Vanilla, or Vanilla, or Vanilla. Which flavor of Vanilla would you like?" Now we have 51 flavors...
Please feel free to add to, dissect, criticize or mock any of my thoughts, please just don't ignore them!