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Old 09-04-2016, 03:03 PM   #1
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close to ordering a 17- options, options, options

I'm a bit lost on the option list- we want to not regret any of them, or regret not ordering something...

We're currently on the east coast, but being military, could be stationed anywhere.

Must haves: A/C, bunks for the kids, dual pane windows, external shower, 2-way water heater, high axle,

On the fence: Foam underbelly, heating pads, USB charging ports, solar, bigger batteries

I don't know what it means to have:

Inverter?
Surge protector?
Removable power cord?
Maxx fan upgrade?

Dual pane windows- frameless vs framed? I read the other thread and still don't know the difference. Will framed let in more air?

Do I want a window in the bathroom?

Really, money isn't as important as getting the right trailer, but I don't want extra complexity of stuff we don't need to pay for.

Definitely don't need TV or audio for us. We're happy with iPads and a blue tooth speaker.

For starters, we plan to camp mostly at campgrounds, but most around here don't have hookups where we like to go. I also want to be able to boondock and handle cold weather. I envision even using the trailer when visiting friends and family and be able to stay in the driveway instead of the guest room.
Help!
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Old 09-04-2016, 04:22 PM   #2
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If you want to camp without electric then you will need the solar and dual 6 volt batteries. The removable power cord is just that, one that disconnects from the outside and you stow it else where versus a cord you pull thru a hole in the trailer, it is permanently attached. The surge protector is similar to what you may use at home to protect your electronics, computers, televisions from voltage spikes, but this protects the entire trailer from issues. The inverter allows you to use 120v appliances off your batteries. If you plan it correct, you can have all 12v appliances other than a/c and microwave. You definitely would need more usb charging ports if you go that way. So you can either set it up for one type of camping or get options that allow you to camp with or without electric, your choice.
PS- welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-04-2016, 04:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
You definitely would need more usb charging ports if you go that way.
Or you just buy something like this and say screw it... I want to charge over here
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Old 09-04-2016, 04:39 PM   #4
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The one pictured is for converting 120v to 12v, so you would need to be plugged into cg electric. As an alternate you can have 12vUSB installed for your computers and phones and charge off your batteries/solar without having electric hookups. Free electric....
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Old 09-04-2016, 04:58 PM   #5
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Greg,
We have a 2015 17A, and love it.
Options:
Surge Protection is a definite Yes. campground electrical can be OK, or notoriously bad, surge protection is a must.
(Note this is different from the inverter, which merely converts 12V DC battery power back to 120V AC for AC appliances, when AC shore power isn't available. our Microwave and A/C unit are just along for the ride when we boondock).
The stock Maxx Fan is a powered ventilator that is very quiet. The upgrade can give you a smoke-colored lid instead of the translucent white one. The upgrade also gives you a remote control, but for the 17, the ceiling controls are very easily reachable.
Foam underside insulation is a must-have, both in cold and hot weather. A nice plus is that it cuts down outside noise.
We got the little awning window over the kitchen sink, and use it all the time. Even on very cold nights (8-9000 ft. at a fishing camp) or on rainy nights (Olympic Peninsula) we leave the awning window open a bit, and have the faxxfan vent open (and sometimes the fan on "low") for ventilation.
Front exterior storage. We listened when poster after poster on the forum, and our friend Pat who gave us our first look at an Escape, said to get it. There's plenty of storage for the wet and dirty stuff you don't want inside the trailer (Think: hoses, chocks, jack, etc). A BIG bonus: it protects the front of the trailer: On our last trip up US 395, the car in front of us hit and kicked up a truck tire tread, which I almost avoided with our tow vehicle tires, but it hit and slightly cracked our storage bin on the tongue. That would have been a hole in the trailer.
We have the permanently-attached shore power cord. I got an extra 30 ft. 30 Amp extension cord for those times when we need extra length. Or, if I decide that the permanent one is too much trouble to pull out of and push pack into its hole in the trailer corner, I'll just use the extension as if IT were the detachable one. (Much cheaper this way, as well - $40 versus $100++).


We added a 12V DC on the exterior next to the 120VAC receptacle, and we have used it a fair amount.
We got Solar (150W + controller), and the group 29 larger 12V battery. We have plenty of power for our 12V needs, and the solar maintains battery charge even with the cover on the trailer (We got a CalMark cover that's made with Sunbrella fabric, so it lets in just enough So.Calif. sun to keep the battery up.
Weight distribution hitch (WDH): we were going to get one, but we have a Honda Pilot, and the mfr. says NO WDH, so we don't have one. We have found that the 17 is a very stable tow, with no sway. It's 12 ft. between the coupler and the axle on the 17 ft. trailer, and with the 4"x2" tube-steel trailer frame, the weight is low and distributed well.

Enjoy the decision-making. It's all fun, and exploring this forum for answers, you'll find a wonderful group of people with all manner of right answers.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:10 PM   #6
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Greg,
You mentioned "kids" (plural). A couple of thoughts regarding the 17.
We got a 17A, no bathroom, but it gave us a permanent queen-size bed in the front, so we don't have to make up the dinette into a bed every night. We can still sleep four if we make up that dinette. In the 17B, "kids" means two adults in the dinette/bed, and two kids in the 3 ft. wide goucho bunks in the front. According to past discussions on the forum, there is a weight limit to the bunks, and teenagers reach that limit at the time of growth spurt! So, an Escape 19 may be worthy of consideration. (Side note to others on the forum: there, it's in print: a dyed-in-the-wool 17 owner suggesting such a thing as a 19!!!)
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
(Side note to others on the forum: there, it's in print: a dyed-in-the-wool 17 owner suggesting such a thing as a 19!!!)
Nothing wrong with that. Depending on the age of the "kids", that extra space could come in handy.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:26 PM   #8
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Lots of good info so far (all except for the suggestion that u go bigger to 19 ) although I will admit Don/Teresa make some valid points re packing kids along.

If u figure on doing lots of boon docking and go heavy into the 12 volt world u can skip the inverter. For example we don't have a microwave and don't miss it. We have AC which has been used about twice. But when u need AC and R hooked up to power it is nice. Sometimes, I wish we were not hauling the extra weight.

We have the detachable power cord which we like and store in the front storage box which I consider almost an essential - particularly if u haul kids

Welcome to the Forum.

Ps the 17 is a bit harder backing up than the 19 but it fits on our driveway where a 19 would not. Plus out in less structured areas it is nice having a smaller trailer.

Larry

We don't have it but some people really like the outside shower. Might be nice to have if u want to spray off the kids before u let them into the trailer
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:33 PM   #9
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.....................

Ps the 17 is a bit harder backing up than the 19 but it fits on our driveway where a 19 would not. Plus out in less structured areas it is nice having a smaller trailer.

Larry
Have to agree with Larry on the smaller trailer niceness!

We have pulled into shopping centers, and been able to pull-through into two spaces and park the rig without sticking out.

We even parked in the Trader Joe's parking lot in Bellingham amazingly enough. (Yes, Karen: it's true) The streets in the old part of downtown were too small, but the parking lot was OK.
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
... you can have 12vUSB installed for your computers and phones and charge off your batteries/solar without having electric hookups.
Yes, or even better, just get 12V outlets ("accessory sockets") and use cheap USB adapters in them. There's no need to build USB power supplies into the trailer, although if you do that they should certainly get their power from 12V DC, not 120V AC.
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