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Old 07-11-2016, 01:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Milam, Texas
Trailer: 2016 ESCAPE 21
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21 first trip: thoughts and issues

After picking up our 21 on 6/20 and making a meandering 3500 mile trip home it seems like time to shore some thoughts and experiences.
Towing: Our lifter 21 towed very much like our old Casita 17, I could tell little differences, even in wind. Our 2014 F-150 4X4 [eco boost] got 11mpg in the mountains and 12mpg in more flat country. These numbers are again, almost identical to Casita towing.
Border Crossing: We crossed twice and each time took 5 minutes or less. We had two dogs and told the guards that we had dogs and paperwork, they did not ask to see the paperwork. We were asked about weapons and a couple other things but they did not look in the truck or trailer. Quick and professional.
Camping: We did boondocking and national parks and RV parks. If you are on the road around a major holiday like July 4th..... get reservations way ahead if possible as things get rather crowded.
Solar power: Our solar far exceeded expectations. We did 3 days in rainforest with little sun and in spite of some microwave use ad regular lighting use, we never got much below 80% on solar. [This is after an initial repair listed under issues]

Issues: Solar; Our inside control panel was not working right initially as it had a symbol for the inverter showing [panel is not hooked to inverter] and would not go above 90% charge. We stopped before leaving Canada and Reese quickly changed out the panel and we were fine on solar after that.

Water pump: Our pump would often not shut off when the water demand stopped. I called Tammy and she emailed adjustment instructions. After a little tinkering, the pump shuts off fine.

Fridge: We had issues. Initially in cool Canada, we were getting 34-35 degrees at night and 44-45 in the day with the fridge set on "5" As we got farther south it got worse even though temps were rarely above 85. Daytime highs in the fridge were high 40's and not getting into high 30's till after we went to sleep. We tried it on gas, 120, and solar with similar results on all. Also the exterior blue light on the door would go off and on at different times but the interior lights always showed the unit on. By the time we got to WY [about 1/2 way home] we had to start using an ice chest for all our cold food. We kept it running to monitor performance and the last night the temp only got down to 48. The coldest the freezer got on the trip was 13. Rease said we could not likely get it repaired on the road and should take it to a Dometic warranty place when we got home. Tomorrow I will take it in.

None of the problems we had had anything to do with Escape's construction or attention to detail as they were all with installed components. The detail and construction are all much superior to our old Casita. The fridge issue was very frustrating but hopefully Dometic will get it squared away.
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:10 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2017-21' Escape born Dec 28, 2016, Casita 17' (sold)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper-tx View Post
After picking up our 21 on 6/20 and making a meandering 3500 mile trip home it seems like time to shore some thoughts and experiences.
Towing: Our lifter 21 towed very much like our old Casita 17, I could tell little differences, even in wind. Our 2014 F-150 4X4 [eco boost] got 11mpg in the mountains and 12mpg in more flat country. These numbers are again, almost identical to Casita towing.
Border Crossing: We crossed twice and each time took 5 minutes or less. We had two dogs and told the guards that we had dogs and paperwork, they did not ask to see the paperwork. We were asked about weapons and a couple other things but they did not look in the truck or trailer. Quick and professional.
Camping: We did boondocking and national parks and RV parks. If you are on the road around a major holiday like July 4th..... get reservations way ahead if possible as things get rather crowded.
Solar power: Our solar far exceeded expectations. We did 3 days in rainforest with little sun and in spite of some microwave use ad regular lighting use, we never got much below 80% on solar. [This is after an initial repair listed under issues]

Issues: Solar; Our inside control panel was not working right initially as it had a symbol for the inverter showing [panel is not hooked to inverter] and would not go above 90% charge. We stopped before leaving Canada and Reese quickly changed out the panel and we were fine on solar after that.

Water pump: Our pump would often not shut off when the water demand stopped. I called Tammy and she emailed adjustment instructions. After a little tinkering, the pump shuts off fine.

Fridge: We had issues. Initially in cool Canada, we were getting 34-35 degrees at night and 44-45 in the day with the fridge set on "5" As we got farther south it got worse even though temps were rarely above 85. Daytime highs in the fridge were high 40's and not getting into high 30's till after we went to sleep. We tried it on gas, 120, and solar with similar results on all. Also the exterior blue light on the door would go off and on at different times but the interior lights always showed the unit on. By the time we got to WY [about 1/2 way home] we had to start using an ice chest for all our cold food. We kept it running to monitor performance and the last night the temp only got down to 48. The coldest the freezer got on the trip was 13. Rease said we could not likely get it repaired on the road and should take it to a Dometic warranty place when we got home. Tomorrow I will take it in.

None of the problems we had had anything to do with Escape's construction or attention to detail as they were all with installed components. The detail and construction are all much superior to our old Casita. The fridge issue was very frustrating but hopefully Dometic will get it squared away.
Thanks for the awesome post......

so sorry you had component issues..... too bad they weren't caught in final tests by ETI..... but i guess these things happen.

When we bought our Casita new in 2011 we did a test camp nearby the first night, and the fridge was bad. Casita swapped it out the next day... so I feel your pain point.

so great to hear about the happy towing and solar experiences.

good luck with the fridge. Fingers crossed you get an easy quick fix.
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:23 PM   #3
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What refrigerator model do you have?
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:30 PM   #4
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What refrigerator model do you have?
RMD 8555 I think. Not at home at the moment to check
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:42 PM   #5
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So you have the old style dual door Dometic, the one that Dometic replaced RM8555 with?
If so there are several threads here Dometic RMD8555 Frustration
on making it perform better, one involves letting the internal thermister hang loose inside, making sure you have water in the overflow cup in the rear which you probably did not if this was your maiden journey. Both of these will help cooling.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by thumper-tx View Post
RMD 8555 I think. Not at home at the moment to check
if it is that one, then I LOVE the idea of "integrated airing" in the door design

I dislike having to jam something in the door to keep it open, when it is off and the RV is stored.

it is mentioned here:

RMD8555 2-Door Refrigerator - Dometic Corp

and i also like hidden buttons, so my hip doesn't change the settings!

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Old 07-11-2016, 03:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
So you have the old style dual door Dometic, the one that Dometic replaced RM8555 with?
If so there are several threads here Dometic RMD8555 Frustration
on making it perform better, one involves letting the internal thermister hang loose inside, making sure you have water in the overflow cup in the rear which you probably did not if this was your maiden journey. Both of these will help cooling.
I did put water in the cup. I just got the trailer three weeks ago and the fridge is the old style that has been replaced Is that possible?
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Old 07-11-2016, 03:10 PM   #8
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Let me clarify, you have the classic style, not the 2017 newer style refrigerator. The original Dometic was single, replaced with double door model in 2015. Now with 2017 there is even a newer model, another Dometic but different series due to the wider door in the 2017 model.
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Old 07-11-2016, 03:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Let me clarify, you have the classic style, not the 2017 newer style refrigerator. The original Dometic was single, replaced with double door model in 2015. Now with 2017 there is even a newer model, another Dometic but different series due to the wider door in the 2017 model.
aha. of course. I knew that.

silly me.

still hoping the new model fridge in the 2017 21' has the airing-hold-door-open feature.
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Old 07-11-2016, 03:26 PM   #10
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Most Dometics have that feature.
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