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Old 01-26-2015, 01:01 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Denham Springs, Louisiana
Trailer: 2017 5.0TA (Completion Date: August 2017)
Posts: 53
5.0TA Build Sheet – Due Sunday


I have been lurking on the forum for a few years now, trying to learn as much as possible for a new Escape trailer build. My wife and I previously had another brand of fiberglass egg that we sold in the summer of 2013 with plans to get an Escape fifth wheel. Well the time is NOW! Our build sheet is due in a few days (2/1) and we still aren’t sure about everything! Help! We are trying to create a versatile build as we plan to camp as much as possible off-grid (National Parks, National Forests, BLM, etc) but will also be camping hooked up to a current bush quite a bit. Also, we are hoping to travel once we retire and really don’t know what situations we will be in. We do realize that some of our “wish list” items may need to be deleted at the end due to cost. Please look over the following build sheet and give advice as any help would be welcome! At the end of the build sheet are some questions for which we need answers. I apologize in advance for the length of this post and the number of questions, but my wife and I are trying to make sure we don't miss something important or misunderstand anything. This is nerve-wracking and fun at the same time! Hope to see you at the Rally...

Thanks in advance,
Mark & Mary McMorris

Escape 5.0TA

Dometic RMD 8555 Dual Door 6.7 Fridge
2 - Way Hot Water Tank
Oven with 3 Burner Cooktop
Additional 12V Interior Outlet (1 near TV Ready. Need to determine other locations as we like to camp off-grid)
Additional 120V Outlet
Air Conditioner
Digital Thermostat
5 Aluminum Rims
Bike Rack Ready (NEED BOAT PULL READY, complete with wiring & attachment point for safety chains)
Dual 6V Batteries
Exterior 12V Outlet (located near existing 120V outlet)
Exterior Access Hatch
Exterior Shower (Driver Side)
Exterior Propane Quick Connect with 12' Propane Hose and Adapter
Inverter 1500W
Transfer Switch to include all outlets
LED Interior Light Package
LED Exterior Light (X4, Driver, Passenger, Front, Rear)
LED Captains Reading Lamps (2 at head of bed. Considering 2 at rear corners over dinette or possibly 4 at dinette)
MaxxFann with Remote 7000K (Upgrade)
Opening Window in Bathroom
Propane Tanks - Filled
Removable Power Cord
160W Solar Panel with Charger
Spray Foam Insulation for Under Trailer
Stainless Steel Sink & Chrome Faucet
Starter kit
Surge Protector
Thermal Windows (Non-Thermal Opening Windows in Bed Area) & Double Insulation Upgrade
12V Outlet near TV Ready
Custom Formica
Custom Fabric
Convert Bench Seat to U Shaped Dinette
Mattress Cover
Throw Cushions x 4
Foot Flush Toilet
Opening Thermal Window over Sink
Install Umbra Hooks at orientation
Winterizing T-Valve
Toilet Shut-Off Valve
Light Switches at Door (All Interior, Only Center Ceiling, All Exterior, Only Porch)
Counter Extensions X 3
Pads on scissor jacks
Add EZ Lube Grease Hub System to the Spring Axles with EZ Flex Suspension
Extra Cushion(s) and filler board to make a lounge area
12V Drops in upper cabinets for later use


1) Television
a) What is the largest size recommended for the 5.0TA?
b) Do you recommend the Wall Mount Extendable TV Arm or do you prefer another type?
c) Thinking of getting Jack Antenna which includes TV Ready with 120V. We will definitely add a 12V outlet to the TV Ready location so we have the ability to use a 12V TV. Is a second TV in the dinette area advisable or can the TV in the normal 5.0TA location be seen from the dinette?
d) We would like the ability to use the Jack Antenna, be able to hookup to cable at a campsite if available, and potentially use a satellite antenna (TailGator with DISH) in the future when we retire. Are all these options possible with the Jack Antenna setup from Escape?
e) We would like to be able to use the DVD player and speakers from a stereo system with the TV. Is that possible a standard Escape TV and Stereo setup?
f) Is an HDMI cable run advisable?

2) Stereo
We would like a stereo but don’t want to have unnecessary holes for items that may become obsolete due to technology. Also, we are not sure of the quality of construction or sound of the model that Escape provides. Are there wireless options available that allow the use of the DVD and speakers with the TV?

3) Shelves in the Wardrobe Closet
May forego this and just use a plastic 3-drawer dresser inside that will still allow the use of closet rod to hang clothes. What do you think? Should I have Wall 7 reinforced for possible future shelves in the wardrobe closet?

4) Horst Miracle Tank Probes
We were considering this but they have been discontinued by the manufacturer. I believe I can still locate the probes though. Would these probes be durable enough for the ICE cleaning method for the black tank? Is there a way to keep the stock probes working for the gray tank (we can visually check the level of the black tank if necessary)?

5) Shower and Sink
We will use campground showers on some occasions but will also use the 5.0TA shower. Is there enough room to shower? Is it best to not have the sink installed?

6) Oxygenics Showerhead
We are considering upgrading the shower to an Oxygenics Showerhead. It seems rather large and we are wondering if it is too large for the 5.0TA bathroom? Does the wall need additional reinforcement? Would it be more prone to falling off during travel and damaging the fiberglass shower?

7) Texas Fan
Does this make sense for the Dometic RMD 8555 Dual Door 6.7 Fridge?

8) Fridge Fix
Does this make sense for the Dometic RMD 8555 Dual Door 6.7 Fridge?

9) Dinette Table
Considering not having the Dinette table mounted but have it supplied loose on delivery. This would give us a chance to try it without the table and install it later if needed. What do you think? Is the table install something that would be difficult and best be done by Escape?

10) Backup Camera
a) Is it possible to install a wired backup camera, with the camera mounted above the rear window, after the build?
b) Is it possible to install a wireless backup camera, with the camera mounted above the rear window, after the build?

11) Additional Brake Lights
Does the 5.0TA need additional lights added for better visibility when carrying bikes on the rear?

12) Heat Strip for A/C
Do these really work or is it better to bring a portable electric cube heater?

13) Power Outlets In Cubbies
We would like 12V and 120V Outlets in the cubbies at the head of the bed. Will Escape install these?

14) LED Awning Light Strip
We are considering this but have never seen one. How is it powered on/off?

15) Umbro Hooks
Is it necessary to reinforce the walls where Umbro Hooks will be installed?

16) Hitch Lock
What brand\model does Escape sell and do you recommend it or another kind?

17) Step(s)
What are the step(s) made of (steel or aluminum) and how many steps?

18) Other
Any upgrades recommended that we don’t have listed (better monitoring, larger wiring, vents in cabinets, etc.)


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Old 01-26-2015, 02:02 PM   #2
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3 we went with the shelves and found they work well as there is nothing in our "retirement" wardrobe needed to be hung up.
6 We had Escape install and love it.
5 Although campgrounds usually have showers, some of the "non-commercial" campgrounds we stay at are pretty "rough." Good to have a nice clean shower!
12 Between the propane heater and a cube heater you should be all set.

Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything - Charles Kuralt
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Old 01-26-2015, 02:06 PM   #3
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I can't imagine needing four captain's lights in the dinette area; they are very, very bright.

My Umbra hooks were installed on the wardrobe walls with no extra reinforcement of the walls.
Karen Hulford
2013 Escape 15A, "Egbert"
Ford 150 XLT 5.8L
Bellingham, Washington
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Old 01-26-2015, 02:09 PM   #4
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Location: Oswego, New York
Trailer: 2016 Tacoma Off Road, 2017 21
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I have a 17, so I can't answer many of your questions - rather than include your list & questions, I'll just answer the few that I can:

Are you in an area that allows 2 trailers, sometimes called "Triple" towing? Many states don't allow it.

3. Even in the small wardrobe cabinet installed in the 17B, I added shelves. Since I generally wear "T" shirts, and don't carry any "dress" clothes, it makes more sense than hanging. I do have 2 sets of Umbro hooks that I use for jackets & a few long sleeve flannel shirts. While I didn't have the walls reinforced, I believe the walls I mounted them on were thicker than normal (on the exit door side of the refrigerator wall, and on the front dinette side of the bathroom wall (again, this was a 17B).

10. Back up camera. I've tried a few wireless cameras & found them pretty useless. Lots of interference problems. drop outs, etc. While the 5th wheel may put the camera closer to the dash, I'd still go with a wired camera, which should be installed by Escape since running the wires after the trailer walls are covered is difficult. I sent one to them & they did mine (purchased from Rear Camera Safety).

11. Check with Escape - All the 5.0TAs I've see already have upper lights, but they may have been added to all of them as an option, or they may be standard.

12. I'd prefer a cube heater. The AC fan runs with the heat strip & is much louder than a cube heater.

Looking at your options list, I don't think you left much out!
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Old 01-26-2015, 02:16 PM   #5
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I can try and answer a few of them.

We have the Jack but have yet to go with a TV. Use the laptop with a standalone DVD and blueray speakers. We did get prewire for stereo.

Shelves in the Wardrobe Closet. I'd hold off, there is quite a bit of storage in the trailer, we've not needed more shelves and do use up most of the closet with hanging clothes so for us it is not wasted space.

Horst Miracle Tank Probes... Did you hear about being discontinued from Horst? first I heard of it. The only way I know to check the grey tank other then the monitor is wait for the shower basin to fill up. In reality you learn how long you can go before needing to dump.

The bathroom sink does not get in my way when showering, the side walls do.

Oxygenics Showerhead... I've got one but have yet to use it, fits in the holder fine, at least mine did. Don't know if it'll fall off, on some of the wash boards it well might. Good thing to add to the list of moving prior to rough roads, along with the microwave tray.

Texas Fan... I've got it, no idea if I'll need it or if it'll help. In theory it should.

Table... I like your idea. I've remove and re installed a table just like the U dinette one in a prior trailer after replacing the floor, it's easy if you have a drill driver.

Rear Camera, I've yet to need one so can't say.

Additional brake lights are standard I believe.

I'd prefer to NOT run the noisy AC for the heat strips. We carry a small cube electric heater that works okay.

Power Outlets in cubbies... If you have a reason, go for it.

Awning Lights, Bah Humbug

I installed some Umbro hooks, work well, kind of a pain to install, yes have ETI do it.

Hitch lock, don't know the brand, but it works fine. There is a better one.
The ETI one is like this one
CURT® 23255 - King Pin Lock

This one is better, I may pick one up for boondocking. Would need to verify it would fit, it's for tractor trailers as far as I can tell.
Trailer King Pin Lock

Steps are steel, and they rust. Just one step if I recall correctly. I built a 2nd wooden one.

Good luck
Happy Motoring
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Old 01-26-2015, 02:25 PM   #6
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Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
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1. Can't really comment on the TV, as we never watch one. Maybe upon retirement though. I have twice before just used my laptop, and that worked fine for us.

2. I have an under cabinet mounted stereo, that will also play DVD's, though we have never used that feature. While it works fine, I would not do it again, and instead opt for a portable option, giving us much more flexibility in use. Lots of great ones out there, including Bose.

3. We like hanging clothes, and pack them in tight on hangers. We find in our 19 there is adequate shelf space in the upper cabinets. If doing shelves, I would opt to do them myself.

4. No clue what these tank probes are. The stock ones have worked good for us.

5. Like you, we always use campground facilities if they have them. I have not been in a 5.0TA shower, but it has to be at least as big as in our 19, which works just fine. Not super big, but gets the job done, while taking up as little space as possible from the rest of the trailer. For myself, I would not get the sink. We never use ours.

6. The stock showerhead seems to work fine, but take this with a grain of salt from someone with no hair to wash.

7. Can't comment on the Texas fan, but it seems to be a good thing, if you do need it.

8. Must be lots of new stuff, not sure what the fridge fix is.

9. You certainly could mount the table later yourself. Aside from the bed in our trailer, the table (as large as possible) is the next most important and used thing in our trailer. We don't eat at it lots, but it is used as a marshalling area for all sorts of things, and a hold-all for stuff that need a temporary home.

10. A backup camera is something I would not consider myself, so will let others address this.

11. I had to add them to my trailer after the fact, as the bikes covered the existing ones, so if you plan to put anything on the back receiver, it would be cheap safety insurance.

12. Don't have A/C (yet), but from all I have heard, this heat strip is pretty weak performance wise. We do carry a small cube heater, which works fantastic, if we have access to 120V power.

13. I don't think they can put power outlets in cabinets. I know that you definitely can't do 120V outlets in an enclosed cupboard, as it is against code.

14. An awning light strip is a personal choice. Some seen to like them, I definitely don't. We only use the porch light as a task light too, and don't leave it on to bother others.

15. They are neat hooks, though it is real easy to install to suit your needs once you give the trailer a try.

16. I don't use a hitch lock. (I know, I know, I really should)

17. There is one steel retractable step.

18. Don't forget that you can add just about anything after you bring your trailer home. Some times it is better to just get out and use it, to show what you might need to fit your camping style. Personally, I think most people get caught up with all the worrying, and opt to include almost everything they can think of, just in case.
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
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Old 01-26-2015, 02:55 PM   #7
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Reace has the Fridge Fix in his office. He keeps it there as a prop while he explains to a customer why they don't need one, that it doesn't work, and that it only takes up space in the fridge.

I would not rely on a backup camera for positioning the trailer. I get out and look at the space I am backing into and surrounding area ( noting trees and low rocks that you could hit with the tow vehicle while trying to alter the line the trailer is taking ). A backup camera is not a alternative to mirrors. Laws require you to see what's in the lanes next to you ( I forget, but it's about 200 feet back ). What is immediately behind me isn't of concern.
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

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Old 01-26-2015, 03:27 PM   #8
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Trailer: 2015 5.0 TA
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I put my umbra hooks up with Double sided tape. Do not carry anything on them when traveling and they have not come off yet.
I want the rear view camera to see the Sillys who follow so close I can't see them until I need to change lanes and discover there is suddenly a car next to me that I had no idea was there and about to pass me.
The heat strip in our Casita worked really well down into the 30's with the digital thermostat.
2015 Escape 5 TA
2016 Ford F-150
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:29 PM   #9
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Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA
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We opted for the Jack antenna and also want to use the satellite dish if set up some where for awhile. If you talk to Reace you can ask him about the same set up as ours. We have an extra shelf under the cupboard by the door being added for the satellite receiver and a separate cable run up to the back of the TV so that the satellite dish can be plugged in at the back of the trailer. We also dropped off a RCA to 3.5 plug audio cable that will be connected to the audio in on the stereo so we can play the TV over the stereo speakers.

The shower size is fine for the average person. Don't worry about the fridge the new 2 door one is fine according to Reace. The stock probes that ETI uses worked fine on our last trailer and were still OK after 4 1/2 years when we sold it. The awning light strip has a remote with it, looks cool but we have a light right there anyway. We decided to stick with our cube heater over the heat strip so we can move it around (and its cheaper) but I would go with the digital thermostat for sure.

Hope this helps
Cheers Doug
Doug & Eileen
2015 Escape 5.0TA
2015 GMC Sierra Crew 4X4 6.2 8 speed
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:30 PM   #10
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For those who install shelves in the closet, where do you put tall items like a broom?

If anyone is interested, we did find that items fall off the hangers on bad roads, ran into Sta-Put hangers at a show, they work great but require a smaller rod then my Escape came with, replaced it.

Happy Motoring
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