Escape + Kids - 17A vs. 19 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-09-2017, 06:56 PM   #1
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Escape + Kids - 17A vs. 19

I'm sure this topic has been hashed out at length elsewhere, but couldn't find anything this specific using the search function...if there is an existing thread, feel free to send me there!

Looking very seriously at Escapes, we were more or less set on the 17A but happened to see a 17B outside the library the other day and the super nice owners let us tour it and I must say, it seemed a bit small for our needs so no we're considering the 19...

Here are the parameters:
- 2 adults + 2 young (baby-toddler) kids
- Currently exclusively tent camping and mostly want to make our life simpler in terms of getting out of town (e.g. the ready to go camper vs. packing tent, stove, fuel, chairs, etc. etc.)
- 4 season viability is a must (we really like skiing). We'd go for the full insulation setup
- Tow vehicle isn't an issue, but we'd like to keep things as small as possible to make towing and maneuvering manageable and have a less ostentatious set up
- We'd actually prefer no bathroom (we are all more than happy to pee outside and use a campground facility when needed)...and a bathroom seems to take up space and require the complications of dumping. We would do an outdoor shower.
- Ideally lots of dispersed camping (we like to avoid established campgrounds where it makes sense)...we'd go for the full solar setup
- Probably trips of 3 days to a week or two, with intermittent stops with friends / etc. We both work, so we won't be taking 2-month road trips (wish we could...)

- Are we crazy for thinking the 17A will fit us?
- Is the 19 much harder to trailer (e.g. deal with in tight spaces) than the 17
- Are there any great mods or add-ons (e.g. bunks) that make family sleeping easier? We were just planning to make both kids share a bed when young and sleep outside when the get older if they want more room.

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Old 10-09-2017, 07:13 PM   #2
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One thing for certain, your kids ARE going to get bigger... I think the 19' with the cot option is a perfect size for a family of four. It will be at least 10 years before they'll be outside and in a tent (OR you'll want them outside). IF your kids are girls... you and they will appreciate having an indoor toilet (and possibly a shower) too. Or maybe it was just my 6 y/o that need to use the "flushy" at midnight. Glad to NOT need to get half-way dressed to walk to the campground bathroom...

BTW: Welcome to the EscapeForum! You'll find a good group of helpful people here.

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Old 10-09-2017, 07:19 PM   #3
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There are other molded fiberglass trailers better suited to winter camping, but you pay the piper, Bigfoot and Oliver. Not to say you can't do it in an Escape, just the others are better setup for it.

I'd think loaded with clothes for skiing, the bigger you go the better.

What do you do with a baby and a toddler while you ski?
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:24 PM   #4
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We had a 17b - 2 adults+2 kids , I'd definitely go for the 19, that way you can all sit at the table on a rainy day and you have pretty much 2 full beds - they could both fit on the dinette set up as a bed. Then you still have the permanent bed in the back, where you can put the kids sleeping bags in the day . Can't comment on the towing of the 19' but I'm sure it tows just as well- I don't even know my 5TA is there- plus the 19 has dual wheels which makes for a smoother ride.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:07 PM   #5
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The 17b has bunks as a option. You probably already knew that, but I didn't see it mentioned explicitly above. The 17A and 19' don't need bunks given that you are 4 people, but as already mentioned you can get a cot in the 19' if you think the kids will ever want to bring a friend.

Our family of 4 really enjoys our 17b with gaucho bunks, so fitting everyone into a 17A is certainly possible. The question is if that kind of tight style works for you. I admit that I'm a bit fanatical about sticking to the "necessities", which of course includes a dedicated toy cabinet that the kids can fill however they want.

The 19' or 21' would be what most 4 person families would prefer I think. We originally discounted the need for a bathroom, but after a few trips we have come to really appreciate it.

One of our favorite kid friendly features: stopping on the side of the road anywhere for the kids to go potty. Last trip we pulled over to the side shoulder during rush hour for potty time. Pulled right back into traffic afterwards without needing to take what would have been a very slow exit. The bathroom is also handy in the middle of the night so that the kids can handle business independently without waking us up to go outside.

The 19' isn't much heavier than a 17'. If you can tow one you can probably tow the other, although obviously you would need to check your vehicle's manual to be sure.

I think you have the right idea about minimizing the packing hassle before a trip. Get the storage box if you can!
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
There are other molded fiberglass trailers better suited to winter camping, but you pay the piper, Bigfoot and Oliver. Not to say you can't do it in an Escape, just the others are better setup for it.
Unfortunately, Oliver doesn't do bunks (I asked), so they sleep 3 max.
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:41 PM   #7
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As others have mentioned, Escapes are 3 season trailers. If you want something that can handle routinely sub-freezing temperatures, you'd need a different hull design.

Having said that, the heat pads and spray foam underneath will allow you to camp most of the time, even most of the winter.

Since a bath appears to be unimportant to you, I'd look into maybe an Escape 19A. They will build one without the bath, as they've done in the past. This would mean much more interior space and storage as well.

While a 17A might suit you at the moment, one thing is for certain: those toddlers turn into kids, and those kids turn into rather large teenagers before you know it. I think you'd appreciate the extra space.
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:42 PM   #8
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19A advice. Don't eat yellow snow.
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

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Old 10-09-2017, 10:06 PM   #9
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It's been said before, but bears repeating -- Resale value of a 19 without a bathroom would be tough. Our daughter has 4 kids and they have a composting toilet in their trailer which means they almost always use the facilities in a campground and it does get old having to hang around the toilet area waiting for a young one to do her business.

We find the 19 easy to tow and we've gotten into some pretty tight spots -- If I were taking two kids I wouldn't want anything smaller.
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:19 PM   #10
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We have 2+1, the little one was 5 when we start looking for "the next thing".. we had a roof top tent mounted on top of an offroad trailer, our living space is outside, we wanted to be able to setup without having to fold up/down things and have someplace to go if it's windy or rainy. We originally looked at the 17A thinking it's more than enough as far as space goes.. we didn't need the bathroom either, the 5 gallon bucket+toilet seat was what we were used to.. then we thought about it hard, going from roof top tent to 17 is a good upgrade, but going directly to 19 gives us a real bed that we didn't have to setup everyday.. and the front dinette can always be a permanent bed for the little one anyway.. in the end we picked the 19. the front dinette has been made to bed since the first night and we havent found a need to convert it back yet.. and yeah we can go without the bathroom but having a bathroom is really nice in the middle of the night, and when the rest stop bathroom has a giant line and little one has to go right away..

If you are looking for long term, 19 makes more sense.. if you just want to try for a few years, 17A should fit good for now anyway..

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