Finalizing build sheet for Jan 25...hoping we will go forward! - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 01-12-2018, 12:06 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Trailer: 21' due April 25, 2018
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Finalizing build sheet for Jan 25...hoping we will go forward!

Okee doke, well we're about 95% sure we'll proceed with submitting our build sheet on Jan 25. Thanks for all of the input. Thank you Stacey and Tim for inviting us to come see your Escape this upcoming weekend!

Here is the build sheet we're working with currently. Our goals for the camper are to have the options for the easiest, most convenient camping with hookups AND boondocking experiences possible. This means many conveniences available, ease of setup and use, and things working as well as possible! We want to be as spontaneous as possible, yet still provide a stable and easy home away from home for our 3 year old etc. For this reason we've selected alot of options. We live in South Louisiana and hope to travel to all climates.

I do have some specific questions, which I've posted below the list. Please critique freely, I have no RV experience!

-3 burner stove with cover $100
-external fridge fan $175
-microwave $110
-2 way hot water tank $200
-foot flush toilet $60
-toilet shut off valve $25
-winterizing t valve $35
-exterior shower $150
-exterior 12V outlet $75 each -consider 1 near awning leg mount
-comes with 1 exterior 120v
-i've seen this recommended for 12v exterior fan
-interior 12v outlet $50 each -consider 1 in front, 1 in back on interior
-comes with 1 12v/USB outlet
-dual 6v batteries $275
-160w solar panel with charge controller $850
-Inverter 1500w to one outlet or with transfer switch $650 or $950 ??
-surge protector $350
-removeable power cord $150
-additional exterior LED lights $75 -center of front above belly band
-in back above belly band
-LED awning strip $170
-AC $1100
-Maxxfan upgrade 7500k $125
-wireless backup camera $450
-extra insulation an frameless windows w/opening rear window $1500
-opening thermal window in bathroom $300
-additional front window with rock shield, non-thermal $300
-aluminum rim package $475 ??
-high lift axle $300 ??
-power tongue jack $295 ??
-exterior access hatch $150
-exterior propane quick connect with hose and adapter $160 ??
-spray foam, with or without heating pads $1000 or $1400 ??
-extra cabinet door under bed beside bathroom door $85
-storage box on tongue $700
-convert bench seat to u-shaped dinette $400
-vents for bed area dampness/hypervent layer under bed ??
-vents for storage areas ??
-interior switch for all exterior lights ??
-springfield pedestal with ETI slider
-reinforce walls $100 -inside wardrobe for shelves/hanging bar
-bed wall
-both dinette walls
-interior fridge fan $21 ??
-fridge storage bars $12 ??
-step cover $14
-outdoor rug $50
-wireless temp gauge for fridge $32

?? I just don't have the experience to decide on these.
-Equalizer hitch (pro series 600 in trunnion) with or without sway bar $350 or $475
-hitch lock (included in starter) $15
-hitch wheel $35
-leveling blocks (10) $32
-deluxe sewer tube kit $80
-sand pads (4) $50
-sewer tube adapter $10
-starter kit (TP, toilet chemical, gloves, 25' water hose, city water pressure regulator, 2 tandem chocks, propane filled, hitch lock) $190
-x chocks $90
-tandem wheel chocks (included in starter kit) $60

My dad, a mechanical engineer, did a good job of talking me out of an inverter a few months ago, but I can't remember the exact argument and I'm back to leaning toward getting the inverter again...his argument was something about wasting so much battery power converting to 120V, that I should just get a small plug-in inverter if I need maybe? this sounds like a good option for most things (although I don't have the electrical understanding enough to know if I'll fry an outlet). But I do know that it will exclude microwave use on battery power, which is a nice option in toddler hunger inspired emergencies, although not a necessity. I just picture a long day of travel, pulling into a parking lot and hoping for a quick, hot meal.

Questions:
1. Do you need reinforcement to add shelves or clothing bar to wardrobe, or just find studs?
2. I don't intend to camp in painfully cold weather, but should we get the heating pads as insurance in case we get stuck where the temps dip and we'd otherwise freeze? how cold can you go with just the foam?
3. My rationale for wall reinforcement at the bed and dinette is my toddler boy. He can get rough and I'm afraid he'll tumble on one of the beds through a wall. Do we need this?
4. What is the benefit of aluminum rims?
5. Should we get the high lift axle as undercarriage insurance, or is the foam enough? If we forgo it, will it really limit our access?
6. is the exterior propane quick connect just for a BBQ pit? do you use yours?
7. is bed area dampness a current issue? we live in south louisiana, remember, and the air can get thick. i worry about all of the time it will be parked.
8. do we need storage area vents? ditto above
9. is there a better interior fridge fan online?
10. i'm a casual claustrophobe so i like the idea of a front window. there is much debate on it, will i regret getting it because of the problems it causes?
11. the u shaped dinette converts to a bed just as easily as stock, right?
12. should we try to do without the storage box? the price is ouch!

Well that's about enough.

Thank you!

EDIT: readability
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:39 AM   #2
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Questions:
1. Do you need reinforcement to add shelves or clothing bar to wardrobe, or just find studs?
2. I don't intend to camp in painfully cold weather, but should we get the heating pads as insurance in case we get stuck where the temps dip and we'd otherwise freeze? how cold can you go with just the foam?
3. My rationale for wall reinforcement at the bed and dinette is my toddler boy. He can get rough and I'm afraid he'll tumble on one of the beds through a wall. Do we need this?
4. What is the benefit of aluminum rims?
5. Should we get the high lift axle as undercarriage insurance, or is the foam enough? If we forgo it, will it really limit our access?
6. is the exterior propane quick connect just for a BBQ pit? do you use yours?
7. is bed area dampness a current issue? we live in south louisiana, remember, and the air can get thick. i worry about all of the time it will be parked.
8. do we need storage area vents? ditto above
9. is there a better interior fridge fan online?
10. i'm a casual claustrophobe so i like the idea of a front window. there is much debate on it, will i regret getting it because of the problems it causes?
11. the u shaped dinette converts to a bed just as easily as stock, right?
12. should we try to do without the storage box? the price is ouch!
Some info
!. you should be able to locate internal studs for closet shelves
2. Pads are only helpful if you have hook ups. I found with the foam underneath and heat inside, pads were not needed. Wait until the daytime when it gets warmer to dump if need be.
4. Aesthetic only, look good particularly if you tow has them
5. I have never felt the need to have the high lift
6. never got one, I use the small 1 lb containers and save my tank for heat/hotwater/refer operation
7&8. with ventilation, sitting you should be fine, just allow the air to get around items
9. there are several
10. with the other windows I doubt you will miss it
11. probably
12. definite keep it is indispensable
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:32 AM   #3
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You're not going to get a clear consensus on most of these, that's why they are options. Camping styles run the gamut.


1. Do you need reinforcement to add shelves or clothing bar to wardrobe, or just find studs?
If you have ETI put in shelves you do not, last I knew a bar was standard. Only certain walls are reinforcable, the electric layout diagram has them marked.

2. I don't intend to camp in painfully cold weather, but should we get the heating pads as insurance in case we get stuck where the temps dip and we'd otherwise freeze? how cold can you go with just the foam?
Just get the foam, the pads are for extended cold weather stays.

3. My rationale for wall reinforcement at the bed and dinette is my toddler boy. He can get rough and I'm afraid he'll tumble on one of the beds through a wall. Do we need this?
You'd be the first I heard of for this reason, but I don't know your son.

4. What is the benefit of aluminum rims?
My reason for getting them was because they don't rust.

5. Should we get the high lift axle as undercarriage insurance, or is the foam enough? If we forgo it, will it really limit our access?
If I were to get a do over, I'd get the high lift. It does limit where I can go a bit, if one wants to get off the beaten path. It may hamper your son's accessibility, which may be a good thing. He can't knock down walls if he can't get in.

6. is the exterior propane quick connect just for a BBQ pit? do you use yours?
I use it for the grill and the fire pit. mostly the grill. While it does mean that your grill and fire pit are tethered to the trailer, I prefer it to carrying an extra gas bottle, others have the opposite view.

7. is bed area dampness a current issue? we live in south louisiana, remember, and the air can get thick. i worry about all of the time it will be parked.
Yes, you need to take steps to limit it.

8. do we need storage area vents? ditto above
It's not something I'd be concerned with.

9. is there a better interior fridge fan online?
I didn't know ETI sold one.

10. i'm a casual claustrophobe so i like the idea of a front window. there is much debate on it, will i regret getting it because of the problems it causes?
No idea

11. the u shaped dinette converts to a bed just as easily as stock, right?
I believe so.

12. should we try to do without the storage box? the price is ouch!
No way would I not get it, unless you have the ability to build your own.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:47 AM   #4
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[COLOR=Red]7. is bed area dampness a current issue? we live in south Louisiana, remember, and the air can get thick. i worry about all of the time it will be parked.
8. do we need storage area vents? ditto above

We also live in a very humid area. I installed vents in one dinette seat only. The rest of the cabinets and doors and drawers I leave cracked open while in storage and keep a full size dehumidifier running. During the summer it is full but I usually only dump it once a week. This time of year I can go 2 weeks or more between dumps. I also keep the fridge cracked open as it mildewed inside in back around the drain hole.
Here is similar to the vents Escape uses. You can easily install them with a hole saw. I only installed them in the dinette. One near the top away from the wall and one near the bottom near the wall on one side. The other side I just leave the add-on door cracked open. I have a 19 and am not sure if the 21 uses a similar arrangement.
https://ventmastersstore.com/product...RoCGmAQAvD_BwE[/
12. should we try to do without the storage box? the price is ouch!

It may be ouch but storage is precious. I can't imagine not having it now.


We do not camp in real cold weather. If we did we would also work on ventilation on the sides and bottom of the mattress and behind the dinette seats. Water can condense in those areas while you are inside as your breath is humid.
Eventually we will camp in cooler weather so I will install Hypervent or Aire-Flow under the mattress and maybe the dinette.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:24 AM   #5
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We are about to sign off on our build sheet also ! Whee !
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernCamper View Post
12. should we try to do without the storage box? the price is ouch!
Pros and cons here...strong opinions either way. While I have it with my 15A and would probably get it if I had a 17, I wouldn't for a 19 or 21. I still have an empty cubby in my small trailer. It's very expensive and really detracts from the aesthetics of the trailer. Yes, it's nice to have a place for wet stuff (chocks, etc.), but there are other solutions and, in fact, I don't even put that kind of stuff in there.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
Pros and cons here...strong opinions either way. While I have it with my 15A and would probably get it if I had a 17, I wouldn't for a 19 or 21. I still have an empty cubby in my small trailer. It's very expensive and really detracts from the aesthetics of the trailer. Yes, it's nice to have a place for wet stuff (chocks, etc.), but there are other solutions and, in fact, I don't even put that kind of stuff in there.
But there are not 3 of you in the trailer are there? With the two of us can we fill the trailer up for week long or longer trips if the climate is varied.. Weekenders a lot of it is empty.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:25 AM   #8
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Think a lot of it depends on what you’ll tow with. We use a Nissan pickup with a folding hard cover on the bed, so have a giant, much larger more organized/accessible storage box with the bed of the truck. Folks that tow with SUVs seem to prefer getting the box so they don’t have to put tow items inside a car.
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:15 PM   #9
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I think that some items on the build sheet are for convenience/easy shopping. The same interior refrig fan is available right now at camping world for quite a bit less than the build sheet price even considering the currency conversion.

Re shelves, my wardrobe will be a different size, but I am going to use either elfa rack and shelves (which are available in a couple of depths and widths and height) , or these https://www.containerstore.com/s/lik...%20stacking%20 drawers, both available from the container store, depending on which system is lighter. The elfa is on sale through the end of Feb 30% off. I think with a little one (lots of clothes for him, and small pieces) it would be easier to find things and keep the cupboard organized with either of these (or other available shelf/drawer type system). One advantage of the elfa is that the drawers come out easily so you can pack inside the house and just move the drawers. The plastic ones come out, too, just not as conveniently. I've never used a hanger for clothes while camping, and if I did need a fancy outfit, I'd just put it in the car.
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wetzk View Post
But there are not 3 of you in the trailer are there?
No. I was simply offering my opinion based on my experience.
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