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Old 03-12-2019, 09:44 PM   #1
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"Necessary" Options

I realize everyone requires a different set of options for the kind of camping they do, but my question is a little different...
If a person was under a stricter budget in their purchase of a 21', what options are best installed at the build, and which ones can wait until later down the road and when extra cash is available? I'm talking about options such as exterior shower, additional captain's lights, hatches, etc., which can add up quickly. Cushions should be easy enough to re-cover down the road, a change in formica should probably be done at the build, I'm thinking. Although my husband can fix anything around the house, he is probably not going to touch the trailer.
We are not interested in any solar/TV/microwave. Logically speaking, it will probably be our last trailer (had the Casita 12 years and running now), and I am not concerned about resale value and what the next owners might want. Thanks in advance for everyone's input.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:50 PM   #2
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Extra insulation and the thermal windows would be our minimum that is very difficult to add later. Next would be any extra windows you might want and the fridge size you want.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:55 PM   #3
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Toilet shut off, dual 6V, for sure. If not the electric tongue jack, get it wired for one. Do get front box or you will wish you did. Foot flush toilet is a low cost upgrade as well. Skip the frameless windows and power awning to pay for most of the above. Btw, we didn't have the Thermal Package in our 17 and dont really notice much difference in our 21 with it.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:56 PM   #4
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None of the available options are absolutely necessary and in many instances are purely cosmetic
The base Escape 21 is extremely functional and more than adequate for its intended purpose .
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:04 PM   #5
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I just went down the option list for a 21 and the only items in my opinion that should be decided on and added at the build are standard cooktop vs. oven, extra insulation or not, window type and quantity (whether adding front, bath, or side window over drawer stack), U shaped dinette or not, and power awning vs. manual. The custom Formica countertops would probably be smart to do too. Everything else can be added. I have done many myself and seen many others done by fellow forum members. The difficulty will be finding someone you trust to do the work on your trailer if you won’t be doing it yourself. Of course if you are close enough a visit back to Escape would be practical and probably your best bet.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:25 PM   #6
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When I was going through the build sheet, there were two things I absolutely knew I didn't want to deal with after the fact. Running wire under the headliner and propane. I know others have done both, just not something I had any skillset in. So, I figured where and want what I wanted for the 'electrics' and decided I wanted the propane quick connect. Shiny wheels, installed solar (pre-wired) and A/C (pre-wired) could wait.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:40 AM   #7
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If I remember correctly, ETI can upgrade all of their options, except maybe extra insulation. I'll break your question down into two questions.

Things that are probably expensive to add later:
- extra insulation & dual pane windows
- upgrade fridge size
- 2 way hot water tank (you'd probably have to replace the water tank)
- extra outlets/lights (depending on where they are you might need to replace headliner)
- solar (you might be able to get it solar ready though which would put blocking in the right places)
- additional rear upper LED brake signal (same problem as other wire routing under the headliner.. yeah, you can do it, but this is going to be a lot cheaper proportion-wise at build time)
- backup camera (you need power and ground wires to the camera)

Here is what I'd get for a modest budget:
- solar (it's that great!)
- removable power cord (others will disagree, but I don't like having extra intrusions, and this is not as expensive as other options)

On a budget, I'd throw in extra insulation and thermal windows only if I was planning on doing off season camping. Even then, you can counter condensation with more ventilation and using the furnace more.

I really like the front storage box, but you can add that later IF you can get back to ETI. It's really expensive to ship, so I'd add to the list that if I wasn't local.
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:40 AM   #8
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First I would really think about your camping style, do you plan to boondock or full hookups? If boondock then be sure to get everything wired for the solar. Our 2014 came with the standard formica and fabric and they are OK with me.
It's the electrical and propane things I would focus on and at least have them done so you can finish later.
As for the front storage box, we bought our Escape used never seeing one before then and now that I've seen what the factory box looks like glad I have the one I have. The person we bought it from had a custom made aluminum box that the propane tanks are enclosed in and you have a lot of extra storage as well. The factory box is narrow and odd shaped to fit the area they mount it in behind the tanks. The person I bought our unit from said he paid $700.00 for box to be custom made, pretty sure this is what ETI gets for theirs and much rather have mine.

One thing I've not seen mentioned is outside storage hatch, our came with the one under the bed.

Either way I think you are buying the best value in the travel trailer market place.

Enjoy the journey.

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Old 03-13-2019, 07:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa M. View Post
I realize everyone requires a different set of options for the kind of camping they do, but my question is a little different...
If a person was under a stricter budget in their purchase of a 21', what options are best installed at the build, and which ones can wait until later down the road and when extra cash is available? I'm talking about options such as exterior shower, additional captain's lights, hatches, etc., which can add up quickly. Cushions should be easy enough to re-cover down the road, a change in formica should probably be done at the build, I'm thinking. Although my husband can fix anything around the house, he is probably not going to touch the trailer.
We are not interested in any solar/TV/microwave. Logically speaking, it will probably be our last trailer (had the Casita 12 years and running now), and I am not concerned about resale value and what the next owners might want. Thanks in advance for everyone's input.
I would really think hard about dismissing solar. It really extends your ability to boondock/dry camp in cheap or even free camping places, which is important if you are budget conscious. Also many of the best places to camp out in the wild don't have hook-ups. Also, if you are driving somewhere, there are lots of free places for overnight parking such as walmarts and casinos. There are many ways to manage water usage and grey/black waste to increase your ability to not have to hook-up, but if you don't have solar, you really are limited. The trailer control systems for fridge and lighting, furnace, hot water and charging phone batteries etc all need electrical power, even if you don't have a microwave or TV etc. Although many people have portable solar, having a fixed panel on the roof is so much better and way more convenient, especially as its always working, even when you are on the road. If having the panel is above your current budget, at least get it pre-wired. We decided to have our first Escape trailer pre-wired for solar, but added the panel only a few months later. When we upgraded to our new 21, the panel was the first option ticked off. If this is to be your last trailer, don't be too chintzy for a relatively few dollars compared to the price of the trailer as a whole. In a budget conscious situation, there are some options that could easily be spared, as suggested by others, but I'd think very hard about solar.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:10 AM   #10
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For off grid camping solar is a huge asset . We added an aftermarket portable solar system (100 watt ) to our trailer for a cost of under $300 . The factory rooftop solar is nice but not a necessity . Our less expensive system has been more than adequate for our needs but we don’t travel with every electronic device on the market .
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