19 Pickup Trip Report and Initial Impressions - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-13-2016, 02:38 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Trailer: 2016 19
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19 Pickup Trip Report and Initial Impressions

We picked up our 19 (2016 version) on 6/27 and just returned home to Colorado after a two-week shakedown trip through the Cascades and Rockies.

Unfortunately, we did need to return to Chilliwack the day after pickup to address two issues that we noticed on our first night: (1) our opening kitchen window was not properly sealing closed (portion that opens wasn't sitting flush against the frame, and there was a good amount of daylight coming through one edge); and (2) water pump did not work properly from the outset (not shutting off at all, had varying pressure, and then stopped working entirely). ETI addressed these issues as quickly as they could (fixed the window alignment and replaced the water pump outright) and then we were on our way. The new water pump has been fine, although we are still having issues with the kitchen window (more on that below).

We spent the night of pickup at Silver Lake (great spot and relatively close to ETI, which proved useful), a couple of nights in North Cascades NP, then across to Missoula and then down into the Pioneer Mountains/Big Hole area of Montana. After that we spent four nights in Jackson/Grand Teton NP (where we camped near another 19 owner!), then down to Salida, CO.

My two small kids did their best to test the durability and functionality of the trailer for a family of four, and for the most part so far so good. We are lifelong tent campers and new to towing anything, but I thought some initial impressions could be useful to others:

- Towing was comfortable and intuitive using the WDH with a 2009 4Runner (V6), once we figured out the routine for massaging the ball into the coupler and setting up the WDH. That said, I have already been browsing for a tow vehicle with a V8. In a couple of locations, namely Teton Pass (which is admittedly very steep at 10%), we were straining. I'll try a couple of more local trips to see how the V6 holds up, but with four people and nearly all of our camping up the hill or over a mountain pass (or three), I may be evaluating other options.

- Kitchen Window- A few days after ETI fixed our opening kitchen window, the knob that opens it stopped working altogether and has prevented us from fully sealing the window closed (some air pulls it open a couple of mm when we drive). I talked to Reece and he is mailing us a new knob and screw, which he claims will fix the issue. I'm worried there is something else going on but will give ETI the benefit of the doubt until I try the new knob.

- Solar and dual 6V batteries are awesome. We didn't need to plug in the entire trip. This is a great option for us as we almost always camp in USFS or BLM campgrounds or dispersed areas.

- Three-burner stove with oven and hood vent have, been awesome, although we have yet to try the oven. Fridge and freezer compartment were also great (ice cream for days!) on both propane and battery power (although it definitely drains the batteries quickl on a hot day, even with solar panels in direct sun).

- Sleeping setup is comfortable for four. We bought the "cot" option but only used it one night before deciding that it wasn't worth the setup hassle as long as both of our kids fit comfortably on the dinette bed together. As an aside, the cot fits easily in a Yakima Rocketbox 11 without taking it apart. Also, be aware that when the cot is set up in the trailer and unoccupied, a three-year old can kick the sharp edge of a rail right out of the bracket and have it land on the dinette bed. Close call but trip to the ER averted!

- We always ran the Maxxfan on low with at least one window cracked at night and had no visible condensation the entire trip.

- The hose/shower head for the outdoor shower looks a bit industrial at first glance, but it works surprisingly well.

- The storage box is key for storing WDH components, blocks and chocks, the fresh water hose, and other miscellaneous tools. I wouldn't go without it.

- I am a big fan of my 1Up bike rack, which I have used for several years on our 4Runner with no issues. However, I was disappointed to find that I am not a fan of using the 1Up on our Escape, at least not with our current bike configuration (three bikes total, including two 29er MTBs with 2.2-2.5 tires and one kids bike). I can post more in the 1Up thread, but the basic reason is that the bikes seem to jostle around much, much more than when the rack is mounted behind our car. This resulted in direct contact between the end of my handlebars and the back of the trailer (even with the rack mounted as far outboard as I felt comfortable), damage to the bikes caused by contact with each other, and on three occasions 29er wheels slipping entirely out of the arms that secure them in place. After these incidents I gave up and moved both 29ers to the roof rack (where fortunately I already had two bike trays) and just kept our daughter's bike on the 1Up at the back of the trailer. I would guess that smaller wheels or narrower tires are more secure in the 1Up arms, making this less of an issue.

- Minor niggles and areas of monitoring: After seeing some daylight through the door edge one morning, I adjusted the rubber seal a bit manually to close the gap. We'll see how that holds up. Also, on one windy night the wind whistled through the edge of the emergency exit window a bit. I have not had a chance to inspect that area. Finally, the screen door is already starting to tear vertically out of one corner.

Despite these minor issues we are very happy with our 19 and look forward to many more miles and nights. Thanks for reading, and for all of the information I received here before purchasing.
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Old 07-13-2016, 03:04 AM   #2
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Congrats on your new Escape, and nice write up!

We have a 2017 21' on order... and I got a bit concerned when you mentioned that your tug - a 2009 4Runner (V6) - was underpowered at times.

I gave that vehicle a quick Google and the internets tell me you have 236 HP.

Our tug will be a Acura MDX with tow package, and it has 300 HP.... I know that HP is not the only measure of power & towing ability, but 300 HP is much more than 236 HP, and .... even with a 21' (weights more than a 19') I am assured by ETI that we'll be fine towing....

and I know that we won't be in mountains tons, and we are not full timing, so I am confident that we'll be fine... especially as i bought a tongue scale, and will be very careful to pack light and to load right.

Good luck with your small issues (sorry to hear of them) and... enjoy!
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:02 AM   #3
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canyonrider, I had more fun reading about your young and active family! Your 19 will be the perfect platform for many, many adventures. Sorry about the issues though
Hopefully they will all be resolved in short order.....too much fun to have
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:46 AM   #4
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Canyonrider, good info, great story!
Did your trailer pass the quality inspection? I thought they have a person in place now to inspect every trailer before it goes?
Of course the person can miss some errors...... Just wondering
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:39 AM   #5
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canyonrider, sounds as if you had an awesome first trip! Nice route.

The 4Runner as you may know is a new generation from right after yours, and not the same at all, but if you are into mountains much, you probably want something else.

There may be some who use electric for the refrigerator while boondocking but most use propane. Glad to hear it was working well for ice cream!

May you have many more great days in your Escape.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:58 AM   #6
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Hiya.


Re: 1up. Yep the fulcrum point of a trailer is a tricky thing. I vaguely remember them having fat bike/fat tire accessories on their site? Might be worth a look.

I haven't had trailer rubbing on my solo 26" set up, which may/may not have to do with it being the "super heavy duty" carrier (whatever they call it). Also remember that 1up rates the RV use at two bikes max.


Good luck bro.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canyonrider View Post
- I am a big fan of my 1Up bike rack, which I have used for several years on our 4Runner with no issues. However, I was disappointed to find that I am not a fan of using the 1Up on our Escape, at least not with our current bike configuration (three bikes total, including two 29er MTBs with 2.2-2.5 tires and one kids bike). I can post more in the 1Up thread, but the basic reason is that the bikes seem to jostle around much, much more than when the rack is mounted behind our car. This resulted in direct contact between the end of my handlebars and the back of the trailer (even with the rack mounted as far outboard as I felt comfortable), damage to the bikes caused by contact with each other, and on three occasions 29er wheels slipping entirely out of the arms that secure them in place. After these incidents I gave up and moved both 29ers to the roof rack (where fortunately I already had two bike trays) and just kept our daughter's bike on the 1Up at the back of the trailer. I would guess that smaller wheels or narrower tires are more secure in the 1Up arms, making this less of an issue.
Not sure what is up here. I have had someone follow me with the 1UP behind my trailer with a 29" and 26" bike aboard, and they reported that it was rock solid.

If you have the arms adjusted long enough, I can see no way that a 29er would come off the rack, it just seems impossible. I have not used it for a fat tire bike, but my brother has borrowed it and used it for that with no problem.

Do you have any photos with it set up on your trailer?
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:08 AM   #8
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Location: Los Osos, California
Trailer: 2014 21 2013 Yukon
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Congrats on the new 19! We stayed at Silver Lake Park last May and thought it was pretty- and wish we'd had our kayak that we bought a week or so later. I see you skipped the A/C too- who needs it when you're off-grid so much Like the location of the outdoor shower above the belly band- much more convenient than the stock location down low on a 21. What kind of WDH did you get?

This is probably the first report of any issue with a 1UP bike rack here; I see on their website a fat tire spacer kit for 3.1-4.9 so your 2.2/2.5 tires should not be a problem. Can you imagine using any other rack back there though? The pendulum effect is pretty severe. You might try some more experimenting with it while one of you follows behind.

You wouldn't be the first or last to move up to a beefier tow vehicle. The confidence from having one makes travelling much more enjoyable as it requires less work not having to manage the RPM's so much.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Congrats on your new Escape, and nice write up!

We have a 2017 21' on order... and I got a bit concerned when you mentioned that your tug - a 2009 4Runner (V6) - was underpowered at times.

I gave that vehicle a quick Google and the internets tell me you have 236 HP.

Our tug will be a Acura MDX with tow package, and it has 300 HP.... I know that HP is not the only measure of power & towing ability, but 300 HP is much more than 236 HP, and .... even with a 21' (weights more than a 19') I am assured by ETI that we'll be fine towing....

and I know that we won't be in mountains tons, and we are not full timing, so I am confident that we'll be fine... especially as i bought a tongue scale, and will be very careful to pack light and to load right.

Good luck with your small issues (sorry to hear of them) and... enjoy!
Horsepower is the only factor that determines how fast you get up hills actually. Torque determines how many RPM's you need to run to get enough HP to go your desired speed up the hill. A 2017 MDX has 290 hp and 267 ft-lbs of torque. A 2009 4Runner v6 has 236 hp and 266 ft-lbs of torque. The 1gr-fe v6 in the 4Runner has a performance curve that gets pretty flat above 4,200 RPM, so most people will be doing long climbs at around 4,000. That kind of RPM sounds a bit alarming to most people, so it's not that comfortable of an experience.

The MDX has more hp, but at 4,000 RPM it's an almost identical 200 hp to the 4Runner, so you will have to rev even higher to get up the hill any faster.

As a comparison, our Touareg TDI has only 225 hp but 406 ft lbs of torque. That higher torque means it develops about 200 hp somewhere around 2,700 rpm. Most of the time we are cruising at 1800-2000 rpm, so not much difference when climbing hills, which is very comfortable. Technically I'm not getting up the hill any faster than you guys are though.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:19 AM   #10
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Congrats on your new trailer.

Here is what we did to fix our 1 UP issues:

We pull the hitch out about an inch and half.

Bought a StowAway hitch tightener: https://www.amazon.com/StowAway-Carg...eceiver+u+bolt

We mount the 29er closest to the trailer with the front tire facing the driver’s side with the inboard crank arm against the spare tire cover. (Our Escape tire cover has holes worn thru because of this, but our rear window is intact).

I made the comment of our bikes handlebars coming into contact with the back window on an earlier post. On our maiden voyage bringing our trailer home it wasn’t an issue until we hit the frost heave sections in the Yukon. On the rough road sections the there was enough sway with the carrier that I saw marks in the dirt on the back window that the handle bar was hitting the window. Pulling the rack out an additional inch or so with the crank arm against the spare tire solved the contact problem.

Next problem we had was that over time on rough roads that the screw holding the bike rack into the receiver would loosen up and the rack would move in and out. That is where the StowAway solved the loosening, movement issues. Unfortunately this makes moving the rack from trailer to tow vehicle more difficult, so we tend to leave the rack on the trailer for the camping season and use the pickup bed for shuttle runs. Scott

Scott and Lori
I like bikes!
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